Friday, December 21, 2012


 It has been 1 week since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
7 days since 20 school children and 7 adults were taken too soon. 
7 nights that 20 families didn't get to tuck in their little one.
168 hours since we all heard the news. 

So why do I feel like I just found out? 
Why am I still on the verge of tears whenever I look at my daughter?  
Why was I crying as I wrote her teacher's Christmas card,
thanking her for all that she does?

The last time I can recall being this emotional about a national tragedy was September 11th.
I cried on and off for the loss of thousands, for about a week.
I constantly watched the news.
I wondered, why?
But this feels different.
This really hits home.
I have a six year old daughter.
She is in 1st grade, like the victims.
She attends a 1st - 4th grade school, like Sandy Hook Elementary.
 Her classroom is the first one you come to when you enter the school,
like the victims' classrooms.

Last Friday a little bit after 11am I went on Facebook.
The first posts I saw were all about some terrible breaking news.
I immediately turned on CNN.
I sat on the couch for the next four hours watching and crying.
Wondering why and how someone could do that to children.
My husband came home and we watched, talked and cried together.
I wanted to turn off the TV, but I just couldn't.

Around 3 o'clock I had to pull myself together.
It was time to pick my daughter up from school.
Walking to her school I tried to fight back the tears.
As cars passed by I'd raise my sunglasses and wipe away the tears.
Walking up the front steps to the school I felt an overwhelming sadness.
Inside parents were chatting like usual.
Everyone seemed like it was just another day.
I wondered if they'd heard the news.
For fear of bursting into tears I made a point not to look at anyone.
Then I heard the bell ring and waited to see that smiling face walking towards me.
My heart was racing and as soon as I saw her my eyes filled with tears.
I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her I much love her. 
Then I quickly ushered her outside so I could put my sunglasses back on.
She sounded soo sweet telling me all about her day.
She had no idea I was silently crying as we walked home.
She doesn't know of the evil that happened that day. 

 20 families had missed their smiling child greeting them after school.
20 families had missed the daily update on the way home.
20 families wouldn't be sitting down to dinner as a whole family that evening.
20 families wouldn't be letting their child stay up a little late because it was Friday.
20 families wouldn't be getting the goodnight hugs and kisses.

How do we comprehend what happened?
How can we?

All I know is that since that day I start crying at the drop of a hat.
I haven't watched the news in a week.
I appreciate every little hug and and kiss that much more.
I watch and listen to my daughter play, in awe of her precious innocence.
I felt a twinge of pain in my heart watching her at her school Christmas concert.
When she lost her first today Saturday night I thought of the parents who
will now miss out on all the little things. 

It hurts to know there are hundreds of children who lost their innocence that day.
Hundreds who are now terrified of a place that should be a safe haven.
How long will it take for them and the victim's families to heal?
There are soo many questions we will never know the answers to.
 My hope is the children and families will, in their own time, find peace.

Sharing with:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Music

Hi there! 
I'm here today with a quick post to share a couple free Christmas songs with you.
The songs are by the incredibly talented Sarah McLachlan.
In our house Sarah's music is near and dear to our hearts! She has been a part of me and Mr. CC's relationship since the start. We love it soo much that we knew if we ever had a daughter together her name would be Adia, after our favorite song of Sarah's. Nearly seven years ago Miss A, Adia, joined our little family. The meaning of Adia is gift or gift from God. How perfect is that? 

Anyway, I said this would be a quick post. lol

Sarah is the founder of  The Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver. There they provide music education to underserved and at-risk youth at no cost. The school is dedicated to helping young people build community and find their voice. 

This past couple years Sarah and the students have put together new Christmas classics and they're available for free! 

Click here to get it Find Your Voice.
Click here to get Space On The Couch For Two.
Feel free to leave a donation while you're there!

But before you do that, watch the videos.

I hope you enjoyed them. Sarah is such a beautiful person inside and out.
 Don't forget to download your copy of Find Your Voice and Space On The Couch For Two! Sarah also has an entire Christmas album called Wintersong. LOVE it! Check it out here

Here's a little extra video for your viewing and listening pleasure. 

Thanks for joining me today. 

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Yep, you read that right - no flour peanut butter cookies.
These cookies are melt in your mouth good! And only call for four ingredients!
This recipe has become my go-to for making pb cookies. I bet it will become yours too.

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from The Starved Writer
makes 3 - 4 dozen

  • 2 cups of your favorite peanut butter - smooth or chunky
  • 1 cup sugar - 1/2 cup white & 1/2 cup brown
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir peanut butter and sugar together until well mixed.
  2. Mix in eggs and baking soda. 
  3. Place walnut sized balls of cookie dough on baking sheet. Press down with a fork. 
  4. Bake 10 -12 minutes. 
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes BEFORE transferring them to cooling rack! After the 2 minutes place on cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy! 
  • Don't worry that the dough looks really thin before you add the eggs and baking soda. Once you mix them in the dough thickens up. I promise! 
  • I've made these cookies several times and have used a mix of sugars or just one or the other, depending on what I had on hand. Every time they've turned out delicious and I've never noticed a difference in their flavor. The only difference is when you only use white sugar the cookies aren't as chewy and are more on the crispy side.
  • Instead of pressing the dough down with a fork for the classic pb cookie look you could roll the balls in sugar and press down with the back of a glass. 
  • For a little extra treat drizzle melted chocolate over them once they've cooled a bit. Or push a Hershey Kiss in the center before baking. M&M's/Smarties are also good additions and kids love them!

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Egg Nog Cookies

    Today I'm sharing a recipe I came across on The Recipe Critic. (Thanks Alyssa!) As soon as I saw these delicious looking cookies I knew they would be my Cookie Exchange cookies! Don't egg nog cookies just scream Christmas? They do to me. I can not even begin to tell you how good these are. Scary good! Bake with caution - I mean it. And don't blame be if you eat a dozen yourself and your jeans are too tight. lol I wasn't counting, but I think I ate five or six yesterday.  ; )

    Egg Nog Cookies
    adapted from The Recipe Critic
    makes 3 - 4 dozen

    • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup eggnog
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 2 1/4 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Eggnog Glaze:

    • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons eggnog

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.
    3. Cream sugar and butter together in mixing bowl.
    4. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks.  Beat at medium speed with a mixer until smooth.
    5. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until combined. Do not over-mix.
    6. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper and make the dough balls rather small because they will spread in the oven. Sprinkle the cookies with nutmeg.
    7. Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
    8. While the cookies are in the oven make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar with 3 T eggnog.
    9. Drizzle the glaze over cookies.

    •  Mine took 12 minutes to bake.
    •  I put the glaze in a baggie and snipped a teeny tiny bit of the corner off. It made it much easier to drizzle.
    You should most definitely add these to your holiday baking list! They will not disappoint. Really. 

    Happy Holidays!  

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Milk Unleashed & A Giveaway!!

    Earlier this week I was contacted to do a post and giveaway about milk in a box that you keep in your pantry. I have to admit I had no idea you could buy milk off the grocery store shelves, like paper towels or crackers. Almond milk, rice milk, even some soy milk, yes. But milk, milk, really? Yep. Apparently it's been around since the '60s.  And yes, it's as nutritious as refrigerated milk and taste the same - it is real milk! In many countries around the world it's the only way milk is sold. Who knew?

    I don't know about you but we go through A LOT of milk in our house! About a gallon every other day. Between lots of cereal being consumed, a ton of tea and hot chocolate, not to mention the countless glasses drank, it seems like we are always running out. I love that I can have a surplus of milk just waiting in the pantry for those emergency mornings when you're out and need it for breakfast!

    You can keep the Tetra-pak boxes of milk in the cupboard for 9 months! And once it's opened it will keep in the fridge for up to 20 days! It comes in a variety of sizes - liters or juice box size. Those are perfect for lunch boxes or on the go with the kids. There's also chocolate milk for the picky milk drinkers in the house. It is delicious! I don't know why I was soo surprised that it tastes just like 'regular' chocolate milk. I mean, it is real milk. Why would it taste any different? I will definitely be putting this on my next grocery list.

    To learn more about shelf safe milk visit Milk Unleashed. Before you do that though, check out their cool widget. It has milk tips, ideas for activities and snacks and a quiz. Love quizzes!

    Now that you're all 'boned-up' on your shelf milk knowledge, would you like a chance to win a Milk Unleashed variety pack? 
    (Please note - this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only!!!)

    Your pack will include:
    •   One liter of Shelf Safe Milk (Grand Pre or Baboo)
    •   Three single serving shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Chokeo Chocolate Milk, Grand Pre  or  Baboo
    •   A calendar and brochure with information about Shelf Safe Milk
    •   Cool stickers and Tattoos
    •   Plus, one bonus prize! 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thanks for entering and good luck!
    Contest closes Sunday the 9th.
    Winner will be announced Monday!

    **I was given a variety pack to sample in exchange for doing this post. All opinions are honestly and truly my own.**
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...