Wednesday, December 15, 2010


We only had to bribe them with one Tootsie Roll to get those cute smiles! =)

Here is a menagerie of links I've been collecting to share with you all:

*I'm a fan of Sara Groves' music, and I was excited when I learned that you can download a free recording of some of her songs. She did a holiday concert in an Illinois prison, and continuing with a generous spirit, made the live album available at no cost!

*Eric's not big on cornbread, so I was a little skeptical when trying Amy's renowned pumpkin cornbread muffins. They did not disappoint--we both loved them--and I will definitely make them again this season! I also tried Amy's pumpkin spice latte (same link) with some friends--yum!

*Here's an interesting perspective on 10 things to NOT spend money on this year.

*I haven't bought a can of chicken broth in years because I've either used bouillion or made my own stock by saving the water after cooking chicken. There's a great tutorial here on making your own stock--easy, more flavorful, and free!

*If you want to be inspired or more educated about coupons and grocery deals, I learned via MSM that there are free on-line videos on the subject. I already implement many of these strategies, but this would be a helpful resource for others who are just starting out.

*I've been reading Small Notebook for awhile now, and it is full of gems. The blog's author just wrote her first book, and I enjoyed reading the first chapter here. If you're interested in learning about how to simplify blogging, this would be a great book to check out!
*I recently watched this movie with Nathan, and thought it was well-done and a worthwhile story. The DVD features this song, which I love because it encourages a giving spirit through one of my favorite ministries, Operation Christmas Child. We also watched this newer Christmas release of theirs--another great story!

*This past Saturday, we had a really full day planned, but all of that was brought to a halt with a crazy blizzard. We got at least 8 inches of snow, but some of the drifts are over a foot high! We were bummed to miss out on some of what we'd been expecting, but it really was nice to spend a cozy day at home. I'd been debating about whether or not to make cut-out cookies this year, and the extra time gave us a wonderful chance to do just that. I made a new sugar cookie recipe, courtesy of my Noel swap partner, Lindsey. They were delish, especially topped with my mom's frosting recipe and lots of sprinkles thanks to Nathan's decorating! Here's the recipe if you want to try them:

Grandma C's Caramel Cookies

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt (I omitted both)
1 tsp vanilla
4 c. flour
1 c. white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder

I'm a "dump all ingredients and mix" kind of person, so that's my first instruction. Then of course you roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. I like chewy cookies, so mine were probably at least 1/4 inch thick, and I baked them for 10 minutes at 350. Enjoy!


Hayley said...

Can I add something to that list of 'What Not to Buy?' We went to a recent Disney on Ice performance, where I forked over $15 for a 3 page program.....yep....$15 for a THREE page program. The nerve of some who think people will buy these things just because they are at the event! Well, they suckered me, that's for sure. NEVER AGAIN. lol. Love your linkadoos, thanks for sharing.

erin said...

Thanks for sharing the link to Small Notebook, I had never been on that site before and I think it will become one that I read regularly. Hope you are enjoying the snow! :)

Mom said...

Great post beginning with the darling photo of Nathan and Natalie and ending with a yummy recipe. :) Lots of good links -- I had recently seen that list of 10 things not to spend money on. Of course, I can't go along with the coffee/pop entry! :) Love you, Mom

Katie said...

What a fun and useful variety of links, Carrie! I checked out that top 10 list and was especially inspired by #7, #8 and #11. I think I feel some challenges coming on! =)

Just checked out Small Notebook ~ thanks for sharing this neat site! I love the adorable wool baby pants posted this morning!!