Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cookie Exchange Party!

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!

I love all the festivities that occur during the Christmas and holiday season. During this time (and anytime, really!), I love all the opportunities to gather with family and friends.  I enjoy the conversation and the quality time together. And, let's be honest...I enjoy the food. Especially the dessert!

But as we all know, being a hostess comes with a huge set of responsibilites. It can be stressful trying to figure out a way to feed everyone that attends these large holiday gatherings. No one wants or needs any extra stress this time of year.

The solution? Host a Cookie Exchange party!

The idea is simple.
Invite as many people as you'd like, and give everyone the instructions to bring two dozen of their favorite cookies. 24 cookies is a good number - you have a lot to share, but it's not a burden to have to bake that many.
At the party, all the cookies are put out on display.
And then, everyone gets to select 24 cookies to take home with them - either several of their favorites, or one of every cookie to try! How awesome is that?

I recently attended a Cookie Exchange party, and I loved it!
I took a batch of these cookies to share with everyone. Had I have known that people would bring all sorts of baked goods, I definitely would have opted for brownies instead. Have you tried these? They are AH-MAZING! My favorite brownies!

At the party, I added my cookies to the cookie table.

I joined all the other ladies in selecting cookies to take home. 

And the best part was - a plate full of cookies to take home!

All the ladies who attended the cookie exchange party had a really great time. Also, as a fun little extra, the hostess collected all the recipes from everyone who attended, and is compiling a cute little cookbook as a gift to all the attendees! Such a great idea! 

Have you ever attended a cookie exchange party??
What is your most favorite cookie??

Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Since I clearly have no time for the luxury of daily posting, which would allow me to keep each post written all nice, neat, and concisely focused on one topic, you'll instead be getting a post that covers a multitude of topics. A multi-tasking post, if you will.

And since I like lists, let's number this one, shall we?

1) the winner from the carmex healing lotion giveaway is: Gail @ Sophisticated Steps. This number was randomly selected, but without a screen shot to show you. (see above for the no time disclaimer.)

2) A few weeks ago, Kaylee and I made Gingerbread Houses. Every year, we have something called Gingerbread Village, where for a small fee you receive everything you need to build your own gingerbread house. All money raised supports the charity that puts on this event. Here's Kaylee and her completed masterpiece:

This one's mine:
Not really.

3) My sweet little Isabelle is quite the rascal. Those of you who are friends with me on facebook have already seen this, but for those of you that haven't, here's the story.
For the most part, Isabelle isn't allowed in Kaylee's room, especially without supervision. Just too much stuff for her to get into. However, last week, I was folding and putting away laundry, and left the bedroom door open. I sat down to pee (no such thing as TMI on this here blog) and in the 30 or so short seconds it took me to pee, I then walked into Kaylee's room to see this:
Yup, quite the climber that one is! She's gonna keep mommy on her toes!

4) Isabelle loves frozen blueberries. And I love the blue stains it leaves everywhere.

Girlfriend also really likes her chocolate.

5) Lots of deliciousness has been coming out of my kitchen lately, and I have some tasty recipes to share with you. I already shared these cookies, but I've also made homemade chicken and noodles with made-from-scratch noodles as well as perfect-for-the-holidays eggnog coffee cake.
Recipes to come soon!

6) I entered a photo editing contest on The Pioneer Woman's website. I've been trying for a loooong time to win something from her site, but no luck so far. I'm pretty proud of my submission, though. (you can view it here and leave lots of comments about how much you like it!)
(let's be honest here...the creative genius is all mine, but the finished product is thanks to my husband, resident computer nerd and photoshop master.)

7) I served a mixed fruit salad at Thanksgiving breakfast.
My brother wanted to know why there was red corn in his fruit bowl. The rest of us would call that "red corn" pomegranate. True story.

8) As a bzzagent ( I recently had the opportunity to sample Kroger's The Truly Awesome Homestyle Chocolate Chip cookies.
First of all, Kroger hired a great marketing person. "The Truly Awesome"? I love it!
Anyway, while it appears to be your average prepackaged cookie, I'm happy to say that they're made with all natural ingredients and free from preservatives. A good cookie taste and lots of delicious chocolate chips. Pick up a box for your kiddos; I bet they'll love them!
As a special bonus, I'll select five random comments from this post to receive a discount coupon for these cookies!

Anyway, I think that's enough randomness for one day. I'm still in disbelief that it's already December, and I have quite a lot of Christmas shopping to do.

Are you feeling the Christmas spirit already? Have the holiday festivities already began??
So far, I've attended a Christmas cookie exchange, a children's Christmas program at my church, and gone to my husband's work's annual holiday party. It's going to be a busy month!


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