2nd Annual Cookie Recipe Exchange

It's that time of year again....
The Larson Lingo's Cookie Recipe Exchange!
Coming to a blog near you...one week from today

Last year's Cookie Recipe Exchange was so much fun, I can't wait to do it again!

There were almost 30 recipes linked up last year, I can't wait to see what you link up this year.
I made so many of the recipes you linked up last year and was able to give cookies to friends & family during the holidays. I love trying new recipes!

On Wednesday, December 7th, I will put up a blog post with one of my favorite cookie recipes and I will have a linky up so you can link up your favorite cookie (or cookie bar) recipe!

It can be a recipe you have already blogged about, or you can post a new recipe.
It doesn't have to be a Holiday Cookie recipe (but it can if you want it to!)
Have you been wanting to spill the beans on a secret family cookie recipe? Now is the time!
Post your favorite cookie recipe or a "tried & true" cookie recipe!
Is there a cookie recipe on Pinterest that you have been wanting to make? Pin it, Make it & Link it!

Cookies, Cookie Bars, Brownies, Fudge....I can't wait to see what recipe you share!

Be sure to comes back next Wednesday to link up (or to just check out everyone's recipes!)
You can grab a button on my sidebar

For those of you who missed it last year, I hope you join in this year!
Start digging through your cookbooks & recipe boxes...
It's time to make some cookies!


Decking the Halls

On Friday morning, we headed out to get our Christmas tree.
Growing up, it was my family's tradition to get our Christmas tree the Friday after Thanksgiving. Kevin and I have continued this tradition since we got married.
The only difference is that growing up we chopped down a Christmas tree in the mountains.
Kevin and I have done this *most* years, but not this year.
We were just too busy on Friday/Saturday/Sunday to head up to the mountains because we had parties, photo shoots & family events, so this year we got our tree at...... (gulp) Home Depot.
We had so much fun with the girls cutting down our tree last year, I was bummed we had to go to Home Depot this year.
We literally walked into the tree lot, saw an unwrapped 7 foot tree, held it up & I said, "It's perfect, this is our tree."
(The guy next to us had just unwrapped it & his wife didn't like it, so he continued to unwrap tree after tree after tree. He told us he was bitter it only took us 30 seconds to pick a tree because he had been there for 30 minutes!)
"Hauling" the tree all the way back to our car.

The tree all ready to go!
As we loaded up the girls to go home, I was feeling bummed that the whole "tree" experience took about 10 minutes. That isn't what Christmas memories are made of!!!! And, my poor children were pretending that the orange Home Depot carts were sleds. Pathetic.
I needed a pick me up so I told Kevin to drive to the donut shop.
So now, if we don't cut our tree down in the mountains, we will go to Home Dept and then get donuts....Hooray for new traditions!
Donuts aren't complete without chocolate milk, right?
And...when I paid for the donuts, I got 3 dollars in change and the cashier gave me a $2 bill!!! FTW!!! So pumped. I am saving it. My Grammy used to give me $2 bills all the time :)
After we had our donuts, we turned on the Christmas music and busted out the Christmas decorations. It was the day after Thanksgiving...it's time for CHRISTMAS!
Decorating for Christmas warms my heart.
I love the way our home feels during Christmas.
This Willow Tree Nativity set was a wedding gift to us 9 years ago & Our advent calendar that my mother in law made for Kate's first Christmas.
It just feels so warm & cozy. There is something about garland & lights that soothes me.
The sparkle & shine of ornaments. I love it all.
Christmas countsowns. Charlie Brown Christmas. Cozy jammies. Love.
Tree during the day & tree at night.
Not bad for a $40 Home Depot Tree ;)


A Lovely Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving this year.
Our day started off with watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while we ate breakfast & got ready for our day. I love the Thanksgiving Day parade (It is on my bucket list to go to NY and watch it live)
Then, it was off to the horse races!
For the past 50 years, Kevin's family has gone to the Horse Races on Thanksgiving Day.
It is such a fun tradition! I love going to the horse races
(It is also on my Bucket List to go to the Kentucky Derby one day!)
Because Kevin's family has done this for so long, they get a race dedicated to them & we get to go down to the track during that race to watch it up close & then you get your picture taken with the winning jockey.
It is the best seat in the house!
It is so fun to see the horses up so close, Horse #6, For the Win!
Here is a picture of some of our family with the winning jockey:
The girls also got their picture taken with some other jockeys because their outfits were pink & they wanted pictures with the pink jockeys!
One of my favorite parts about the races is the amazing breakfast buffet.
Eggs benedict, hashbrowns & bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. And, a mimosa, of course!

It was a fun day at the races. Then we headed back to our house & passed out Pumpkin Bread to all the people on our court.
Fall has finally arrived & our trees are bursting with color!
For dinner, we headed to my parents. I didn't get any pictures of the food, but it was SO good.
My mom & sister Elyse slaved away all day in the kitchen and made an amazing Thanksgiving Feast.
One of my favorite moments of the night was when we were watching the 49er game & Kate told me she wanted to take a family picture of my family (just my parents & sisters). It was so cute.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Having a week off school was glorious, but now I am back to reality.
Just 3 more weeks until Christmas Break. I can't wait! I love this time of year!


Giving Thanks.

So much to be thankful for.
My healthy & happy little family:
2 little girls who keep me on my toes:
This sweet girl who has a heart of gold:
This fiesty Daddy's Girl:
And an amazing husband who puts up with me & my shenanigans.
Thankful for a God who loves me,
Family & Friends who encourage & support me,
and a job that I love.
I am extremely thankful for our friend Steve Hoffmann who took our family pictures when he was in town for a wedding a few weeks ago.
(If you live in So Cal and need family pics, he is doing mini sessions this weekend!)

And, thank YOU for reading. I appreciate each and everyone of you taking the time to read!
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends & food!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for HE is good. His love endures forever" Psalm 107:1


A little R & R in Pebble Beach

We kicked off Thanksgiving Break with a little Rest & Relaxation in Pebble Beach for my Mom's Birthday weekend.
It was actually a girls trip, plus my Dad.
Both Kevin & Jason had to work, so it was all us girls & Jimmy!
One of my dad's work clients has a house in Pebble Beach that my dad gets to use, so we decided to book it for last weekend. It's the cutest little beach bungalow & I just love it.
This is the view from the driveway:
The house is nestled right off 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach. This is our 4th time going & it is quickly becoming one of my happy places. I just love the Ocean Views & the uniqueness of the Pebble Beach golf course that is lined with Monterey Cypress tress.
If you haven't been to the Carmel/Monterrey/Pebble Beach area, I highly recommend it!
If you look to your right, this is what you see:
From the same spot, this is what you see if you look to your left:
We had a pretty lazy weekend at the house (mostly because it rained all day Sunday)
This is what we hung out & did. I edited photos & the girls colored. For hours.
Sunday we braved the rain & headed to Monterey for lunch & sightseeing at the Fisherman's Wharf.
Love all the boats in the Harbor.
Pretty much every shop in Monterrey is either a candy shop, gift shop or restaraunt that serves Clam Chowder.
We are all about the Salt Water Taffy!
Kate & her stash of candy:
The girls trying to check out the sea otters & ocean life:
Here is a close-up of Claire's lovely outfit that she insisted on wearing. I pick my battles with her. Clearly, I gave up on the battle with this classy outfit. Ridiculous.
We stopped for lunch because I had one mission for what I wanted to eat.
Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread bowl. Mission Accomplished. YUM.
After lunch, it was time for more candy:
This cute shop had the most amazing caramel apples.
There were over 10 choices of candy apples. I chose these 2. Chose Caramel Chocolate Almond & English Toffee. Oh my yumminess.
On the way home we saw a double rainbow!!!
You can barely see the other one to the left, but it was there, it just didn't photograph well.
This is an epic moment right here....my dad, Jimmy FINALLY canceling their AOL email accounts. Really Jimmy? Paying for email for over 15 years?!?!? Not okay.
We say that Jimmy is "high-tech, low-tech".
Monday morning was Mimi's Birthday! One more year until the BIG 6-0.
We got her a GPS & celebrated with Coffee Cake for breakfast.
Happy Birthday Mimi! We are so thankful for everything you do for us!
It was a great few days relaxing in Pebble Beach being with my family.
I am truly thankful to have a family that enjoys spending time together
(and a family that puts up with my crazy kids on vacation!)
Hope your Thanksgiving Week has been fun as well!
I am out...the girls & I are now going to make Pumpkin Bread for our neighbors!


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