Very Merry Christmas Eve


Christmas eve was such a nice day. It was everything I had hoped it would be. A lazy, laid back day of playing, snuggling and baking. Nana and Pawpaw ( my parents) were in town from Georgia which made it even better! 
We started the day with baking my guy's favorite cookies in our jams!

The littlest of the chefs were watching very closely to make sure they knew exactly what to do!

Then they did it their way... Which included eating most of the dough. 

And wanting more.

We also made yummy cornflake krispies in the shape of wreaths for our goodie bags we later took to our neighbors. 

Then bagged them up & delivered them!

There was a lot of silliness. 

And eye rolling because Mommy wanted to take lots of pictures. Okay, no eye rolling but I'm sure they would have if they knew how to. 

Snuggling with Pawpaw

and with Nana.

All while I prepped the Red Velvet Cake for Christmas Day. One of our many traditions we have set in place. 

 Snuggling with Daddy was a must on Christmas Eve. 

And riding in their doll strollers. 

We had homemade lasagna for dinner and the girls loved it.

It's another one of our family traditions.
Lasagna on Christmas Eve and it was DELICIOUS!

Later that night we exchanged Christmas eve Pajamas. A tradition Josh and I both had as children and his parents continued into adulthood. 
We have continued it in our own family too. 
I always love seeing what jams Josh picks out for me and picking out jams for him and our girls is so much fun for me!! 
Merry Christmas Eve! Up tomorrow: Christmas Day. 

Must Have Monday: Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark


Last Thursday the Moms in our regular play group had a Ladies Night Out. We do this monthly and it is so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the "to-do" list of keeping everything running smoothly in our home with twins. My guy usually takes care of it all. Everything. All I must do when I get home is go straight to bed. It's great and a nice break.
This month our Ladies Night Out was Christmas themed like everything else we have done recently. It was full of exchanging festive holiday treats, exchanging gifts, eating at a swanky little restaurant and enjoying drinks and great conversation. 
I made one of my all time favorite holiday treats to share with the gals. 
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark. Oh my YUM!

½  bag of mini pretzel twists
2 sticks of butter (1 cup total)
1 cup of brown sugar
 bag of chocolate chips (2 cups)
Sea salt or table salt

First you melt your butter and brown sugar on your stove top until it starts slightly boiling but not sticking to the bottom. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

While you are waiting for your caramel to cook (while stirring frequently) arrange your pretzels on your pan that is usually lined with wax paper. I forgot this step and ended up breaking a wooden spoon trying to get this stuff out of the pan the next day. It wouldn't be a fun holiday of cooking if everything went perfectly, right?!

Then you pour your hot caramel mixture over the top of the pretzels as evenly as possible and pop into the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. 

When you pull it out sprinkle your chocolate chips to the top and then pop back in the oven for one minute. When it's done use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly. Sprinkle with Salt and VOILA!!! 
The perfect combination of Salty and Sweet!

Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours, I usually do overnight. 
(Hence the breakage of a wooden spoon getting my unlined, frozen pretzel bark out of the pan! Oops!)

I packaged them in tins so that it was easily refrigerated. 

This is a must have during the holiday season as far as treats go. What is your must have treat?

                                                            The Life Of Faith

Five Favorite Snowmen


Christmas time is hands down my FAVORITE time of year! I love everything about this jolly season, the glitter, gold and red hues, sparkly everything and oh, the snowmen. I swoon for snowmen. I never even saw a real snowman in person until my adult years since snow rarely graces the beautiful countryside of Georgia. Regardless of never really seeing much snow in my life, I love snowman decorations!

Here is the rundown of my favorite snowmen.

This guy was my very first snowman purchase many moons ago at Kirklands. I got him 50% off and he is really big.  He was always on my mantle at our house in Georgia and now has a home on my entry table in our new home here in CNY. I love that he is holding candy... Christmas candies are the best!

This guy or gal was purchased with the first guy above. I like to think of it as a her. She has a shopping bag and is wearing a stocking hat unlike the usual top hat that snowmen so often are dressed in. Isn't she a beauty? 

These two make the perfect pair on my entry table and have been with Josh and myself through many Christmases. I just love them!

My guy gave this snowman to me as a Christmas gift a few years back. He is such a manly, outdoorsy snowman much like my guy. It's kind of neat that he got me this snowman the same year we started getting a real christmas tree. Appropriate since Mr. Snowman himself has a tree too.

This is a Jim Shore snowman and is one of my favorite. He is just beautiful. My mother-in-law and father-in-law gifted him to me several years ago. He was the perfect addition to our snowman family and is the ideal representation of my in-laws. He is holding a cardinal and bird house which is exactly what I think of when I think of Bob and Sandy. They live in St. Louis, home of the Cardinals and those beautiful birds are everywhere near their home. My MIL loves her garden and has many birdhouses in her yard. Just love this guy and them!

I saved the best for last. This snowman has a very special story. Josh and I inherited him when his Grandpa passed in 2010. It was Josh's Grandma and Grandpa's snowman. I'm not sure how long they had him but I'm sure it was a while. I know for sure that he traveled from their home in St. Louis to our home in Georgia and now is in our home in New York but I think that he also lived with them in their home in Indiana too. He's a world traveler, or state traveler at least. 
A few days ago the Zabies stood at the book shelf crying wanting to hold Mr. Snowman and I caved...
The both held him like a baby and patted his bottom while humming to him. As they held him I explained that we had to be very careful because he is a very special snowman. I told them that he was their great-grandma and great-grandpa's snowman. Josh sat and watched them and tears welled up in his eyes watching his daughters hold a small piece of his grandparents. It was such a sweet and special moment. It was like they were here with us, for just a moment. I know they are watching over our sweet girls daily and Praise the Lord for that!

Do you have any special Christmas decorations? Share them with me!

Throwing back on Thursday...


Last year we went to Georgia to visit my family for Thanksgiving so that most of my family and friends could meet our sweet little ladies. While we were there my Mom wanted to have family pictures taken. She had been asking me for a few years to have pictures of us (me and Josh) taken with her and my Dad, professionally. We always had someone snap a quick picture here or there at family functions but never had any nice photos taken. I gave in and arranged to have our photos taken by a family friend who did a great job. The day was cold but she worked quickly and the photos turned out great, with the exception of my 3 month postpartum body that I still critique in photos... but that isn't anything she could have made better... photoshop? Ha! I kid!... Kinda! I love photography in general but especially love any photos of my girls, my guy or my parents. Looking at these picture brings tears to my eyes because I can not believe a year has passed since the Zabies where this small. Where did my babies go? Time needs to slow down!!!

Josh, Kensington, Quinn and myself with my parents, Nana & Pawpaw. 

Clearly we were still learning how to hold our babies and not look awkward! 

Look at those babes!

Us with my parent again. I just love these pictures and I'm so thankful I gave in to my mom's request!

This guy right here stole my heart many moons ago!

How cute are they? So sweet!
Such great memories from that day. The Zabies had their first experience at Ross' Diner for lunch and also met my God Parents later that day. Sweet, sweet memories.

                                               Thoughts for Thursday

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