bakers box of recipes. perfect sugar cookies.

i have a dear friend named norni.
she is quite possibly the sweetest person in the entire world.
she is soft spoken. gentle. and impossibly kind.

the type of lady who makes everything feel like its going to be ok.
the type of lady that you know is just a wonderful mother. wife. & friend.
because with her kind & sweet heart comes a quiet strength that can move mountains.

she is the type of lady that has mastered the art of baking a pie. 
creating the perfect buttery. flaky. pie crust.
& can roll out the most perfect sugar cookies.

she is quite an inspiration if you ask me. 

i am so grateful that she invited me over 
to give me a personal lesson on sugar cookie baking.
actually. i take that back.
i completely invited myself over.
so. norni. thank you for accepting my invitation.

after several hours of mixing. rolling. cutting. baking. frosting. & nibbling.
i left with flour covered clothes . a basketful of beautifully decorated sugar cookies.
& a recipe in my hand that i could try at home.

although mine are not quite as delicious. nor quite as beautiful as hers were . . .
i think these are a pretty good start. 

i knew that i wanted my sugar cookies to be for a special valentines day treat.
so naturally i choose to bake pink ombre heart shaped cookies.

i found this darling little valentine tin mailbox at target {love the dollar section}
and just knew that it would make the perfect little box to deliver treats in.

i particularly love the pale pink hearts.
there is just something so lovely about the simplicity of them. 

these cookies. when baked to perfection. have the most beautiful buttery color.
i love how the edges turn a light golden color.

i sprinkled sanding sugar on top of my cookies.
i just found that it gave an extra dash of whimsy to the look.

all packed up in my little valentine mailbox.
now i just need to sign. seal. & deliver.
how stinkin cute is that?!
i adore. 

the beauty of this recipe is that you can cater it to any occasion.
use any cookie cutter. any color. any size. and so on.
i made snowflakes at christmas time that turned out beautifully 
and i look forward to trying out many other styles. 

so . . . i bet you want the recipe. huh?! 
here it is.

for the cookies:
2 cups flour.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.
1 stick unsalted butter.
1 cup sugar.
1 large egg.
2 tablespoons water.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

for the icing:
i cup confectioners sugar.
i egg white.
almond extract to taste. 

cream together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy.
add the egg. water. & extracts.
with the mixer on low. slowly add in the dry ingredients. 
mix until just combined. 

transfer the dough onto a floured working space.
roll out slightly. wrap in saran wrap & place in the fridge for about an hour.
then roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
use the cookie cutter of your choice to cut out the cookies.
place the cut outs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. 
watch them carefully. because you do not want them to brown.
leftover scraps of cookie dough can be rolled out again.

after the cookies have cooled completely.
mix together the egg white. confectioners sugar. & the almond extract.
mix until it is smooth & there are no clumps left.
using a knife. spread the frosting on the cookies.
take the frosting all the way to the edge of the cookie but
clean up the edge of the cookie so that the frosting does not leak over.

allow them to dry completely before serving & packaging. 

i hope you enjoy these delicious sugar cookies!
thank you. sweet norni. for sharing your perfect sugar cookie recipe with us. 

home inspiration.

i am always on the look out for bold & dramatic home inspiration.
it is just so much fun to find a style you love . . . and then try to recreate it.
this latest find has my name written all over it.

i am totally loving these images from the coveteur
featuring kourtney kardashian's home. 

its fabulously centered around black & white.
with some gold & leopard print sprinkled in.
how glam?!

i could absolutely have a home decorated just like this.
and i guess i could settle . . . if i was forced to . . . for those handbags. shoes. & sunnies. 

so chic.

life planner perfection.

i have been waiting rather impatiently for the last two weeks.
checking my front steps multiple times a day.
wishing & hoping & willing for this special package to arrive.
 . . . and it finally did. 

this might seem like a silly thing to get excited about.
but it seriously makes me oh so happy. 

i have to admit.
i am old school when it comes to technology.
i am not super technologically advanced.
nor would i call myself tech savvy.
{and i kind of like it that way}

one thing in particular that i just cannot wrap my mind around
is using that terrible calendar on my iphone. 

i happen to really dislike it.

i fancy something tangible. something i can write on.
something that shows me the whole month in one glance.
without having to push buttons or navigate around. 
i like to have a real. flip the pages. day planner.

ladies. allow me to introduce to you the ultimate day planner.
the one & only erin condren life planner.

how impossibly adorable? terribly darling? & downright precious is that?!
sweet baby patrick's chubby little face on the front of my day planner.

completely personalized in the cutest colored letters.

& matching colored tabs. 

with polka dots & stripes.
i mean. did this erin chick design these with me in mind?!

love the two page spread that shows the year at a glance.
so necessary. so appreciated. 

& how fun are these little stickers?!
colored stick-ons for various occasions.
like very first birthdays . . .

and doctors appointments.
and basically anything else you might want a sticker for.

there are bow ties. and inspiring words on nearly every page.
{this one being my favorite}

loving the rows & rows of color!

& days broken down into 
morning. day. and night.

i honestly cannot get enough of these stripes.
they just scream let's have fun!

the next few years even get a shout out in this planner.
yahoo! perfect for planning out those family vacays.

& an entire page dedicated to my important numbers.
{i may or may not even know my lovies number by heart}

& rest assured. this ain't no flimsy little planner.
this binding is ultra sturdy. & the pages turn beautifully.

a ruler bookmark to provide easy "flip & find" days.

and quite possibly the little deet that knocks this out of the park . . .
the ribbon that holds it all together.
it comes with three color choices.
& can double as a headband.

if there ever were to be an example of planner perfection . . .
i am quite certain that erin condren would take the cake.

stay tuned for more erin condren goodies & a giveaway! 

pink cupcakes.

i adore really pretty baked goods.
and even more so when they are pretty & pink.

you can imagine how my heart went aflutter 
when i stumbled upon these darling little cupcake liners.
{homegoods always has the cutest things}

adorable. right?!
those stripes. those scallops. just precious.

i love how these babies look like little ice cream cones.
the frosting ended up perfectly imperfect.

i'll let you in on a little secret . . . 
the icing was a piece of cake to do.
i used a gallon size ziploc and cut a whole in the bottom corner.
scooped all my frosting into the ziploc & got to work.
slowly squeezing out the frosting through the little hole.
i did tiers that gradually got smaller & smaller.
it was so simple to create that ice cream look. 

i simply can't wait to deliver these pretty little valentine inspired treats.
i just know that my girlfriends will adore those cupcake liners as much as i do.


the book of love.

are you on the hunt for the perfect valentine's day gift?
whether is is for your significant other or just a friend you love dearly . . .
these valentine's day scripture books are a gift they will treasure forever.

all sixteen scripture verses are centered around love.
the books can be catered to be either a romantic love or a platonic love.
you get to choose!

the key to my heart scripture book is darling in pink & reds.
i adore the key paper & they great big pink satin bow.

how stinkin cute is that?!
i only have six of these available . . . so act quick!

this is another one of my faves.
it is just so whimsy. so poppy. so fun.

if you are loving the pink heart as much as i am . . .
call dibs asap. as i only have four of these adorable pink hearts!

this book is so pretty.
love the simplicity of the colors & that pop of red.

plus typewriter font is always too cute.

a more neutral & natural take on the valentine's day book.
with a humbling reminder on the cover.
we love because he loved us first.
thank you. Lord. 

love that bow. 

a traditional take on valentines.
nothing screams "valentine's day" like the color red.
love it. 

& for the young at heart . . .
this darling gold polka dot & glitter book is so darling.

hurry up on over to my shop to place your order today! 

eat your heart out.

i am already excited for valentine's day. is that silly. or what?!
i do not particularly like going out on valentine's day . . .
that feels too forced. too much of a show.
instead. i rather like the idea of valentine's day.
the idea of celebrating love. taking time to share love.
and soaking in everything pink & hearts & warm & fuzzy.
i do happen to really enjoy that.

i think that there should be some unspoken. unwavering. unbending rules for the big day.
rules like: you must snuggle the whole night through. 
you must give more kisses than you can count. 
and you must totally eat your heart out.
i mean. really. how impossibly perfect would that be?!

so. ladies. here is to eating your heart out this valentine's day season.
darling little heart shaped rice krispie treats.
a valentine's day sweet treat. indeed. 

how pretty are these? i just adore them.
so girly. so sweet. so delicious.

i simply used the original rice krispie treat recipe.
literally off the back of the box. 

i used a heart shaped cookie cutter to imprint the heart.
{my cookie cutter was not deep enough to cut the whole way through}
then i used a sharp knife to actually hand cut out the hearts.

then i melted a bowl of white chocolate.
added some vegetable coloring {beets are great if you are hoping for pink hues}
gave it a great big stir & got ready to spread.

using the back of a spoon . . .
i spread a layer of melted chocolate on half the heart.
sprinkled a few pink pearl candies. & voila. 
you have a pretty little valentine's day treat.

in my little world . . . packaging is everything.
it can honestly make it or break it.
i simply adore pretty packaging & displays.

i had fun putting this little treat together.
using assorted pink crinkle paper added a touch of whimsy.
& i just love everything about these treat boxes.
the scallops. the polka dots. the pink.
oh my. be still my heart. 

isn't that just too cute for words?
it makes the perfect little treat to drop off to pals.

these are the perfect way to follow one of my valentine's day rules.
so go ahead. eat your pretty little heart out! 

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