Monday, December 31, 2012

Cocoa for Two!

I saw this one Christmas gift idea on pinterest and said to myself - I have to make this!  So for my leadership team at the office - I decided to make a little gift for them this year!  Cocoa for Two!

All you do - is take a Ball Jar - I had some left over from the snow globes I made so I thought this would be fun!  Once you have the jar, fill half of it with cocoa and top the jar off with mini marshmallows.  Then screw the jar shut and tie a mini-Bailey's bottle to the jar.  It's super easy and cute!  Cocoa for Two - a fun, fast, gift for the holidays!
Yeah for Cocoa!
xoxo Sarah

Scrabble Christmas Ornaments!

This year, my sister and I have been all into playing the game "Words with Friends" on our Kindle/Phone.  Even though we live in different states, its a fun time for us to play a different version of our favorite game to play "Scrabble."

So this year for Christmas, I decided to make her some scrabble ornaments.  I made a search on pinterest and reviewed all the different kinds of Scrabble ornaments that you could make and came up with this method!  I made one spelled "Kateo," "Sisters," and "Up North." for her.  There were such a cute idea that I decided to make ones for my sister-in-laws, my parents, my friend Shannon at work, and also one for us on our tree at home.

They are super easy to make.  Just find an old Scrabble board game - at a garage sale or thrift store.  Then hot glue the tiles together and then hot glue a ribbon to the top of the world.  The other thing I did, was hot glue a piece of brown packaging paper to the back of the word to just have a little more support.  These ornaments are very fragile - but very nice homemade gifts!

Take a look below!
This is the ornament I made for our tree at home!  
Happy Ornament Making!
xoxo Sarah

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's Cookie Time - Part 4!!

The last and final cookie I made for Christmas this year - I promise you,  I wish I had time for more - is Zachary's favorite Christmas cookie - the Madeline.

Zach's mom and I have been making Madeline's for the last several years.  With our busy schedules this Christmas, I didn't get the chance to make the cookies with her, but I tried them on my own this year.  I looked up a recipe for Madeline's and came across Julia Child's recipe HERE.  These are one of the hardest cookies to make.  And my mother-in-laws recipe is different to this as well - but I couldn't remember it off the top of my head.  All I know - is that with this recipe - the most important part is the browning of the butter.

They sell the pans for madelines at most gourmet shops like Williams-Sonoma.  Just remember, you have to make sure you butter/flour the pan good before placing the dough on the cookie sheet.

This lemony cake cookie is perfect for the holidays and for any ambitious bakers out there - this is a cookie you are going to want to try and make!

Happy Madeline Making!
xoxo Sarah

It's Cookie Time - Part 3!!

Sorry guys - took a break for the holidays!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS - From my family to yours!!!
Source: HERE
It's cookie time part 3 in my books!  I am combining two cookies into one here!  I have had a hard time finding a good gingerbread cookie and sugar cookie recipe for cutouts.  So the best recipe I have actually found are the bagged Pillsbury doughs.  I think to me - they are the best cookie recipes for gingerbread and sugar cutout cookies.  I don't have any pictures of the final products (oops!  I forgot to take a picture - sorry).  But, here is a picture of me making the gingerbread cookies!
Not the most flattering picture of myself but thought I'd share :)
One trick when trying to make any sort of cookie that you need to roll out and cut, use a pastry cloth.  I got a set of pastry cloths for a wedding gift, and every time I have made cutout cookies, I have used them, and they are so helpful!  They make the cookies even and not sticky and help to not create a mess on your table surface that you are using!  

But when looking for a gingerbread cookie or sugar cut out cookie to make, I would highly suggest Pillsbury packages doughs - they work great and are super easy to use!

Happy Christmas Cookies!
xoxo Sarah

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's Cookie Time - Part 2!

Ok - here is the next one I made!  Dark Chocolate bark with pistachios and craisins!

So easy - so simple - so good!

I got this recipe from Skinny Taste.  It's so easy - all you need is 7 oz. of Dark Chocolate, melted (stirring every 15 sec) in the microwave - approx 1 min, then add 4.5 oz of unshelled and coarsely chopped pistachios, and then add 2.5 oz of coarsely chopped dried cranberries!  Seriously - that easy!

Click HERE for the recipe!

This is so easy and delicious - and looks so pretty in Christmas tins!
Quick note - it doesn't make a ton - so I would double or triple the recipe if you want a lot of this!

Yeah for Christmas bark!
xoxo Sarah

It's Cookie Time!!!

Soooo - how many people have been making cookies galore???

I know I have!

I made 4 different kinds of cookies and 1 bark.  There will be more as well I am sure!

But let's start off the cookie posts with my ultimate favorite Christmas cookie... the peanut butter blossom!

My mom makes the best, but this year I decided to get the recipe on my own :)

I got my recipe from JIF, whose peanut butter I use in the cookies.  Click HERE  for the recipe for these cookies!  SO SO SO SO GOOD!
Best Christmas Cookie Ever
Yeah for Peanut Butter Blossoms!
xoxo Sarah

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree...

This past weekend, we decorated our's a sneak peak...

We love the tree decorated with white lights, red bulbs, and all the other amazing ornaments that we have collected over the years.  My favorite ornaments have to be my Old World Christmas Nutcracker collection.  It took me years to find all of them - but I did!  I love the Old World Christmas Ornaments.  I collect any and all of them!  I think they are beautiful and just the epitome of what a Christmas tree ornament is.  

Zach really takes Christmas tree decorating seriously - so we do it all out!  Appetizers galore, White Christmas in the background on the TV and champagne!  Take a look at our wonderful spread we had - lobster and fondue and - not shown, Home Run Inn Pizza - a classic Campillo Christmas tree decorating necessity.  
Apps and champagne, and me hanging and ornament!
Have you been waiting in anticipation for the final picture of tree?  Well here it is - We think it turned out pretty beautiful!  What are your thoughts?

I will have to say, that I love coming home from work and it is dark out - but our tree is on!  It's the most beautiful sight!
Yeah for Christmas trees!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh Holy Night...

The stars are brightly shining!

I am going to try to do as many blog posts with Christmas song titles as possible - just kidding!

But seriously though - this song sums up this post here.  On a Saturday night, the other weekend, when I was home in WI, my mom, sister, and I traveled to "Enchantment in the Park" just outside West Bend!  Unbeknownst, to us - this is a really popular holiday attraction because when I read my friend Katie's blog this week, I found out that she went with her family the day after!  I know random...Katie doesn't even know this!

If you would like to see her review, please view her blog HERE.

So what is great about this attraction, is that you go through in your car viewing the lights and they blink/change to music.  You tune your radio to 94.7FM and there you hear Charlie Brown's Christmas music and the lights flicker to it!  See the pictures below that I tried to take in our moving vehicle. 
Pictures I tried to take from the car window - the last two pics are of the same trees changing color because of the songs. 
This weekend, was just topped off with this, we had a great weekend of shopping and just running into random stores looking for sales!  My mom just loved spending time with her girls, and we just loved spending time with her!

Yeah for Christmas Lights!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

St. Louis Gooey Cake

So this January, I will be travelling to St. Louis for the first time in my life!  I think I have driven through it a few times with different car trips I took in college, but this January I met actually get to climb the arch!  I am super excited to go to someplace new and especially when it is with our friends celebrating a wonderful couple's wedding!

When I had my friend Missy's shower the other weekend, I came a little early to help out and was asked to bake this cake known as the "St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake."  I was so nervous making it because 1) there wasn't another desert and 2) I didn't want to ruin it for some St. Louis natives!  But the cake turned out deliciously!  I found a website, The Cake Spy, that has the closest recipe I could find to the one I made.  Click HERE for the recipe.  
I had to make 3 batches - and I think they turned out just great!
For all those St. Louis natives out there, I think it turned out pretty good right???  So if you ever need to make a classy little tea cake for a ladies luncheon - this is definitely a contender!

Yeah for St. Louis!
xoxo Sarah

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just Give it a Little Shake!

This year for Christmas - It's going to be a "pinteresty" Christmas in the Campillo household.  

I have found so many wonderful and creative ideas for the holidays!  I will be making a lot of posts about what I have been doing for the holidays from pinterest - but I can't divulge all of my secrets because some are for gifts for family and friends!

But I thought - this one I can share because it is such a fun and creative gift that anyone can do!  And since we haven't gotten any snow yet in Chicago - why not see it in a globe :)

I found this idea on pinterest and thought it would be a great idea for the younger individuals in my life (aka niece, nephew, and SILs).  I went to Martha Stewart's website for these directions on how to make your own snow globe.   Click HERE for the directions you will need to make your own snow globe.  NOTE:  I added glue to the jar when I sealed it after adding the water, glitter, and glycerin.  I used a q-tip to spread the glue around the jars edge. 

So I made a few of them (more than are showed below) but I think they turned out pretty well - what are your thoughts???
It's hard to see the glitter in the jar - but I promise it is there!  Silver and white!  Can't wait to see the little ones reactions to this gift this year - I know Keira is going to love it!
Yeah for Holiday Crafts!
xoxo Sarah

Following My Blog...

Hello all!  Short-fast-post here!

I added two new fancy features recently - from Twitter (top of blog) and by email (bottom right of blog).

This makes it easier so when I have a new post, you can see it via Twitter or via an email message to you!

Just wanted to highlight these new features in case anyone is interested in viewing the blog this way!

I know random old picture - but just had to show everyone once again, who is the greatest NFL team -
The Champions - the Green Bay Packers!  Don't worry Packer fans - still trying to convert him!
Yeah for new blog features!
xoxo Sarah

Monday, December 17, 2012

A New Gift Wrapping Idea!

I found this gift wrapping idea on pinterest and I thought it was so pretty!

All you need is brown packaging paper, some black stamp ink, stamp letters, and holiday ribbon!

Take a look how this turned out!  I know this is a short post - but I had to show how pretty it is!

Yeah for new wrapping idea!
xoxo Sarah

From St. Nick

So I want to share this Kaminski St. Nick tradition with everyone because I think it is awesome...

When I was younger, we always celebrated St. Nick.  And still, 27 years old, St. Nick still comes to my house every year.  This year, we got candy and Zachary got "Rudy" on blu-ray.  But the big St. Nick gift we always get is from Nueske's.  If you would like to visit their website, click HERE.  One of the most amazing stores in the world for - wait for it - BACON.  Yes, bacon.  It is from a small town called Wittenberg, WI, where this amazing bacon and other pork and meat specialties come from.

Side Note: We always stop at Nueske's on our way up north to Eagle River.  We always pile up on the deli meats, boneless pork chops, and of course bacon.

Back to Christmas, my mom started sending my grandparents a Nueske's ham every St. Nick and it took them a few years to figure out who St. Nick was!  She always signed it "From St. Nick."  Since, I moved from home and have gotten married, my mom has started that tradition with us as well.  I also introduced Nueske's to Zach's grandmas and now we send it  to them every year on St. Nick as well.

Other Side Note: Rick Bayless - famous Mexican cuisine chef from Chicago - uses Nueske's bacon in his guacamole.

Anywho - I love traditions like this at Christmas time.  Are there any traditions you enjoy during this year?

Nueske's St. Nick gift we received this year!
Yeah for St. Nick and Nueske's!
xoxo Sarah

Sunday, December 16, 2012

People Should Call It "The Busiest Time of the Year"

So!  Who feels as if the holidays are crazy busy???

Does anyone feel as stressed as I do???

Well... I think that happens with everyone this time of the year - but I have to say it is my favorite!

I'm sorry I was MIA last week - I was travelling and out of town for work...went to good old Texas :)  Busy time but very productive!

I have been doing so much this year for the holidays I don't know where to begin!  My last post was about Christmas music - so this one is going to be about Christmas movies, or Holiday Movies in general!

I love love love Christmas movies!  Over the past weekend, since this is my weekend to do Christmas at home, we have been watching a multitude of Christmas movies (minus the break we had to watch SNL's Christmas show and the Packers vs. Bears game (Go Pack!)).

We have watched all my favorite movies from "Home Alone," to "White Christmas."  I will have to say, my favorite older Christmas movie has to be "White Christmas."  I could watch that movie over and over and over again.  I remember when my sister and I were younger, we would sing the "Sisters" song for my mom so many times we all know it by heart.  My newer favorite has to be "Elf."  OMG is this not one of the funniest movies I have ever seen in my entire life!!!  I love it so much I could quote this movie too!

What is your favorite Christmas movie?   I would love to know!
"White Christmas" with the most amazing cast ever: Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen. Source: HERE
Yeah for Christmas Movies!
xoxo Sarah

Friday, December 7, 2012

Before The "I do"s...

This past weekend, I went to a bridal shower for my friend Missy while Zachary went the bachelor party for Missy's future husband Donny!  It was so fun to see friends and have a good time and celebrate a wonderful couple about to join the marriage club!

Here are some pictures of the awesome time we had - including the amazing pork tenderloin we had for lunch - the delicious brittle we had - and other wonderful decorations as well!
All the wonderful decorations and added touches for a great bridal shower!  Including a delicious app on the far right of endive and Bourdin spread!
The bride-to-be- and her mom, the lunch, friends!, opening gifts, the gifts, and Missy with the wonderful hostess Mikie!
Congrats Donny and Missy!  We love you guys and are so excited to see you get married!  Best Wishes!

Yeah for friends!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm Dreaming of a...

White Christmas!

Hey everyone and happy December/Holidays!  Sorry I have been so busy with work this week (and believe it or not got ANOTHER cold!) so I have been slacking!

But - what has been cheering me up lately is the wonderful sound of Christmas music - Who's loving it???

I know I am!

I have several different favorite Christmas songs - but my ultimate has to be "Christmas Cannon" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra  - so so so good!

What is your favorite Christmas song?

I would love to know!
Christmas ornament from tree at the Pydo's house this past weekend!
Yeah for Christmas Music!
xoxo Sarah