With the holidays coming to a close I am always thinking of ways to save time, money, and my sanity! Between my husband, boys, coworkers, family, and friends, many gifts were given out this holiday season.
One of my year-round favorite gifts to give or receive are Mason jar mixes. I have come across cookies, breads, brownies, and even alcohol Mason jar gifts. One of my favorites is the recipe below. It is the perfect cookie for now, not too sweet and easy to make!
Check out this easy recipe:
1 ½ cup flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup 1 minute oats and 1/8 cup at the end
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup chocolate chips
1 large Mason jar
Mix the flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Use a funnel to fill the bottom of the Mason jar
Add the packed brown sugar, making sure to level it out
Next, add the regular sugar
Add the chocolate chips on top, continuing to level
Add 1/8 cup more oats just to top off the jar
Place the top and decorate with ribbon or baker’s twine
The baking directions also need to be included with the jar.
*Add one egg, ½ cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla to jar mix. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for around 8 mins.
December is a month my family and I wait for all year long. I especially love the excitement it brings to my little ones, not just on Christmas morning. I am making an effort this December to focus more on family time together and not get wrapped up in having a “perfect” Christmas.
Here is my top ten list for things to do together as a family:
Bake Christmas cookies
Watch at least one Christmas movie a weekend
Visit Santa as often as possible
See the lights at Riverbanks Zoo
Volunteer twice before Christmas
Surprise Elf one of our neighbors
Stroll through Saluda Shoals Park
Decorate an ornament
Send a surprise package to a friend
Attend Christmas Eve mass
I hope this list is just the tip of the iceberg for my family this holiday season. I want us to focus on the times together and not the things we receive.
As my boys get older, I am trying hard to let them both be individuals. This is not always an easy task. See, my first-born little man is a rule follower. He is the ultimate people pleaser—a teacher’s dream. My second little guy, three going on thirteen, is a sweetheart with a wavy edge. His wavy edge makes him who he is, just as my oldest, straight-as-an-arrow makes him special. Embracing Gray’s wavy edge is not always in my toolbox as a mom.
For Thanksgiving, Gray’s preschool send home a blank turkey to decorate any way they pleased. Gray and I sat down and talked about some of the examples his teacher listed: clown, princess, etc. He listened as we discussed and then promptly requested his turkey be decorated as a “bad guy”. Now, my initial thought was, “What in the world?!?! You can’t go to preschool and have your bad guy turkey displayed for everyone to see!” His face was so excited to create a bad guy turkey with his momma.
So guess what? The best bad guy turkey is displayed in the hallway of his preschool-complete with an eye mask, Halloween creepy stickers, and a small heart for his momma on the bottom. Bad guy turkeys love their mommas too.
Just like Wreck It Ralph has taught us: Just because you are bad, doesn’t mean you are a bad guy.
I recently read a quote about friendship on Pinterest that spoke to me.
“In the end, you always go back to the people that were there in the beginning.”
Wow. It was right on target for the weekend reunion I had with a close childhood friend.
I have many people I would call a friend. Different friends have come in and out of my life, during the times I needed them most. God works mysteriously that like. He knows exactly who we need and when we need them. The special thing about old friends, they are know where you are and where you came from.
My oldest friend to date, Shelby, has been around since third grade. Ya’ll – that’s over 20 years of friendship. We have known each other from the very beginning. Bad boyfriends, laughs, cries, silliness, and stories fill our memories. Luckily, we have recently reconnected.
Spending a night visiting with her in Charleston has made my week such a bright spot. The laughing and dancing we did Saturday night was as though no time as passed. I would go back to our friendship over all the others. The ease and comfort is like none other. The quote rings so true for me.
Friendship can take many forms. I find it so interesting how friends are almost categorized based on the time of your life. For example, I have childhood friends, college friends, work friends, school friends, and kid friends. Wherever the friendship originates from, it is important to make time for friendship.
Letting go and allowing yourself to relax with likeminded friends is so refreshing. Laughing until you have trouble breathing and encouraging each other through hard times, sometimes these moments get us through the darkest of times.
I have been lucky to have friends to lean on during specific times in my life – from new jobs, having babies, and getting married, different friends have been there to celebrate or commiserate with me. It is good for my soul.
Whoever your friend or friends are in this season of your life, give those thanks and appreciation. Friendship is truly a gift.
The day I have been dreading has finally come. My oldest “baby” started kindergarten this morning. I held back my tears and we walked down his hallway and into the room that will mold him into the student he will become. My confident little guy went from attendance check in to lunch choice with ease. He gave me a hug goodbye and sadly did not look back. Here are all the words I wish I could have said…
You will always be my baby. You are the one that made me a mom. I didn’t know how much I could love someone else until I met you. I am a ball of emotions. I am both terrified and overjoyed for you. All the experiences you will have, good or bad, will make you into our future young man. Remember to help others, even when it isn’t the popular choice. Find your voice and use it for good. Kids can and will be mean. Do your best to surround yourself with sweet souls. Remember to be yourself. Love you my sweet boy.