hello friday.

hello friday december 23rd. you are here.......already.

i'm still trying to figure out how it has become december 23rd already. doesn't it feel to you as well that christmas has come fast and furious this year? i feel ready but still feel like i have a mountain of things to do before the big guy visit's tomorrow night. around here this week we have been very busy. crafts. baking. last minute gifts. i have had the family stone playing on repeat in the kitchen to keep me company while i putter around {think i might mix it up with love actually today}, the husband has worked late more than once this week and i suspect tonight is no exception - sometimes christmas doesn't matter to deadlines.  just saw that prime rib is on sale this weekend at that may change our holiday dinner plans. tonight there is a cookie exchange, a trip to the grocery and some wrapping all on the agenda. also tonight i am going to make the sponge cake for my christmas dessert - a peppermint yulelog. i wonder is santa's elves work this hard?

+ the replacement gift we got for cooper after the other electric race track broke. it took two hours to build and we shocked at how big it was but they love it!!

+ another present of cooper's that keeps finding it's way into my kitchen to keep me company.

+ a great gift we got - jar o'cookies. i just have to add the wet ingredients. can't wait to make it!

+ elliott, our elf, from his current perch. the kids have been having so much fun with this that i am going to be sad to see him go back to the north pole tomorrow night!

+ coop happily taking a christmas cookie.

+ starting on some wrapping.

+ christmas sugar cookies. i think i am the only one in the house who enjoys these but they have become the norm to make them - even if they don't get eaten. a good old christmas craft.

+ playmobile advent calender. new favorite tradition. this has been the best present and month long journey for the kids. aydan got the pony one and coop the knights.

+ my december daily. as many of you know i do one of these every year and this year is no exception. the only thing is that this year i have had no time to do it! i like to post it up here and take you on our holiday journey but it's already the 23rd!! i have it all written out, drawn down and photo's taken but have not had a stitch of time to be creative and crafty with it. i plan to do it through january and post it as a flicker album for whom ever wants to take a peek.

+ today ended up being a snow day!! hopefully it will stick around and we will have a white christmas after all!

+ we made graham cracker houses today. they are so sweet and the kids get to do their own thing. plus we get a little village of houses.

some gems i'd like to pass on that i found while wasting time on the web:
stumbled upon this idea by marta for arranging holiday cards - totally rocking this for next year. gifted online magazine not only showcased an amazing gift giving issue it was also full of free printable gift tags. this peppermint bark recipe curated by the extraordinary tara over at seven spoons may have to make it into our bellies this weekend - might have to extend my shopping list. very few decoration displays actually make me want to change mine up cause i do like my decorations but meg over at whatever has given me a few things to thinks about - love her decorated house! found this recipe for polar express hot chocolate and that may be something we just have to try! in awe of ali - being able to get her daily done in spite of everything - good for her! my favorite designer, sarah richardson,  showing off the farm house she re-did {and i guess couldn't sell} and decked out for the holidays. and for this - just so pretty!

one quick holiday recipe for you - honeycomb!
i have had this recipe in my hot little hands all summer/fall/winter and i broke down yesterday and whipped some up! so delicious. cooper kept sneaking back into the kitchen for just one more little piece! too cute.

well i hope that you guys all have a wonderful christmas weekend and here's hoping we all come through on the other side of it!!! merry christmas from us to you & yours! xoxo

via bon appetite.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons of corn syrup
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of baking soda

line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. combine sugar, corn syrup, honey and 1/4 cup of water {the martha version uses a 1/4 cup of honey and no corn syrup - might be something to try out next time to compare} in a heavy deep saucepan. stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. increase heat to high; bring to a boil. cook without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down the side with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns a pale amber. working quickly, add baking soda {mixture will foam up dramatically}; whisk quickly just to get it incorporated. immediately pour candy onto prepared sheet {do not spread out}. let stand undisturbed till cool, for 20 minutes. break candy up into pieces.

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