Winter Vacation 2016

We recently went away on a little winter getaway. It was our third year going to Bend Oregon, and I was still blown away with how beautiful it is. It truly was a winter wonderland. 

You see, we live in a area which never gets more then about an inch of snow (which ends up melting fairly quick) so to be surrounded by snow up to our knees and more falling was amazing. 
The kids could not get enough of it. They wanted to spend every daylight hour outside. Even William (our two year old) enjoyed the snow this year. Last year he hated putting on all the snow gear and wanted us to carry him around in the snow. This year, he lay on the bed patiently while I got his snow pants, boots, gloves, coat and hat on.
I don't know about you, but after helping the kids put on and take off their snow gear two or four times a day for 4 days, I was ready to go back home where there is no snow. Do any of you know what I mean? It can be exhausting (whew). Anyways, I always look forward to our winter vacations, just to get away from the busyness and pressure that we can sometimes feel this time of year, and reconnect with the family and be together without anywhere to be and anything to do.

-our evenings could not have been more perfect-

-the beautiful cabin we stayed in-

-slow mornings are the best kind of mornings-

-sledding and building forts, a few of his favorite things-

-love his rosy cheeks-

Iced Christmas Cookies

We are on winter break (yay!!) which means we can sleep in, play all day, and cozy up in front of the fire watching Christmas movies.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. 
One of my favorite things to do is bake with the kidos, and with winter break we have plenty of time.  

We love making these iced cookies, the kids can't get enough of them. I have used the same recipe for years, the cookies always turn out and the royal icing actually tastes good. 

Cookie Dough


1 1/2 cups butter (softened)
2 cups white sugar 
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. 
Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. 
Chill dough for atleast an hour or overnight.
( I like to split the dough into 4 parts and wrap them up in seram wrap. It is easier to work with small portions of dough. Plus when I don't use all of it, I can just freeze the wrapped up dough till next time)

Preheat oven to 350. 
On a floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. 
Cut into shapes with any cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. 
Bake 9-10 minutes. 

Cookie Icing


4 cups powdered sugar
8 tsp milk
8 tsp light corn syrup
2 tsp almond extract
food coloring of your choice


In your stand mixer, stir together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in the syrup and among extract until the icing is smooth and glossy. 
If the icing is to thick, add more corn syrup and milk (a tsp at a time)

Divide the icing into small separate bowls, add the food coloring to each desired intensity. Use piping bags to decorate the cookies. 

Our cookies are far from perfect, but they are quite tasty :)

Thanks for visiting, 

Christmas House Tour 2016

Welcome to our winter house tour

I love how our cozy our home is right now with all the candles and twinkle lights. 
What is it about christmas lights? Something about them just draws us in. when it is dark and gloomy outside during the long winter days, we are naturally drawn to what little light we can find, and when they are tiny little twinkle lights, well that just makes us warm and cozy inside. 

This is a special season. My favorite time of the year. A time when we slow down and spend time with the ones we love. A time to spread God's love to people around us, a time to be thankful and a time to give. 

May the Lord bless you all this holiday season. 

 It may be dark and gloomy outside, but inside it is warm and cozy. 

 Thanks for visiting, 

Lumberjack Birthday Party

The year has flown by and my older kids are both turning another year older this week. 
How is my oldest 9 already? It seems like it was just yesterday when we brought her home from the hospital, but that was almost a decade ago!!

 We can't stop the time from flying by, the only thing we can do is live every moment to the fullest. 
Love each other, cuddle our kidos while they still like to be cuddle, read aloud to them while they still love bed time stories and spend as much time with them as possible. 

We celebrated their birthdays this weekend with family and friends. It was a such a fun day.
 At the end of the day, my son told me that he wished it was morning again and he could have his party all over again. I agree with you my dear, it went by way to fast. 

This year our theme was lumberjack inspired, both boy and girl friendly. 

Felt boys crown and the girls berry crowns are DIY. The supplies are from craft warehouse
Lanterns are from amazon
Trees are from amazon 
Table runner is from amazon 
Straws are from amazon 
Happy Birthday banner is from amazon 

-Love this years theme, it ties in with my christmas decor so well :)-

-Dessert Table-
Cakes are from our favorite bakery (I just put some animals and trees on them)
Cookies are home made. You can find the recipe here 

Fall Home Tour 2016

Hello my dear friends, It has been a while since I took the time to post anything. The kids had been sick, and I have been rather preoccupied. This is a busy season for us. Kids are in school, I joined a BSF bible study group, so any free time I have, I do my daily lessons. 
I have been to bible studies before (which I never stuck to) and even read the bible cover to cover (which took me over a year)  So I need this kind of structure. I need to be part of a group so I am more responsible and make time for God. Because, lets face it, motherhood is hard and your responsibilites never end, If you don't make the time, you will never accomplish what you want.
 I have only gone to two classes so far and already learned so much! It is amazing how I have read these passages so many times before and NEVER actually understood them until now. I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity to spend two hours surrounded by different women who love God as much as I do, maybe even more. This is just what I need in my life right now. I have been praying for God to send me people who would motivate me, who would bring me closer to Him, people who would lift me up and enoucrage me and He has answered my prayers :) 

It is fall Y'all!! I am so excited for this new season. I have been putting up some fall decor for the past few days and am loving how warm and cozy it is now :) Not only do I love the colors of fall, but also the smells. I have already made an apple pie, and have candles burning, the weather is crisp, which is perfect for the blankets and fireplace. It is absolute perfection :)

I have so much to be thankful for this season. 

Homemade Healthy Fruit Snacks

My kids love snacks. An hour after they eat a full meal, they will ask for a snack, and I don't mind, as long as it is a healthy snack. I don't even know why I cook for them... they can just eat snacks all day long. 

Even though I am not a "crunchy mama", I still try to make the right decisions for my kids, and tend to stick to the "healthier" versions of things. BUT,  I have to admit that sometimes "TASTE" wins over "good for you" things. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I bake atleast twice a week. We have muffins, cookies, cakes almost every week. When my mom was visiting, she told me that she no longer uses white flour, and avoids sugar, and I should try it to. How do I bake a cake without white flour and sugar?! Nope, sorry, won't do it. I have a major sweet tooth. But as I say, everything in moderation :)

So when Nadia from My Fruit Shack contacted me about trying out their fruit snack molds, I jumped at the opportunity. The idea of making a healthy version of my kids favorite snack appealed to me.

Since receiving the kit, we have already made fruit snacks on two different occasions, and my daughter is already thinking of different flavors she wants to try out next. 

The kit comes with 4 different molds, 4 trays, 2 droppers and a recipe card.  

There are two different ways to make fruit snacks, you can use juice or jello mix. I wanted to make a more healthier version, so I decided to use Naked juice. 

You also need gelatin. I bought my beef gelatin here
You can sweeten your fruit snacks with honey or sugar. 

Mom's Refrigerator Pickles

My mom makes amazing Russian food, most of my "Russian" recipes come from her. She was and still is a supermom. She managed to work, run a household, cook  dinner every day, and raise 7 kids.   
Every summer she would can her own pickles and tomatoes. I actually dreaded those days as a child. It meant all hands on deck. Jars needed to be washed, garlic needed to be peeled, bags of pickles needed to be scrubbed, dill needed to be chopped. But now as a mom I look back  I realize those were amazing bonding moments, and I really miss those days. I miss sitting around the dining table with my sisters talking and helping out. Especially since they all live across the country from me. 

I love the idea of canning, but this is not something I want to do. However, making refrigerator pickles in ridiculously easy.  In Russian they are called: Mалосольные Oгурцы. (Low Sodium Dill Pickles) I grew up eating these pickles my whole childhood. My mom would make them often during the summer for the weekend. 

They last about a week in your fridge, but we always eat ours within 2 or 3 days. 

Print recipe HERE


Pickling cucumbers (I use about 3 pounds)
8 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
3 bay leaves
1 cup of chopped dill
10 black peppercorns
2 TB of pickling salt to 4 cups of water


Wash and cut both ends of the cucumbers. 

Place chopped dill, garlic, bay leaves, pepper corns in a large jar or bowl with a lid, then put in your cucumbers. 

In a medium size bowl or a 4 cup measuring cup, add 4 cups of cold water and 2 TB of picking salt. Mix until completely dissolved.

Pour over the cucumbers. Repeat until all of your cucumbers are completely covered with water. I had to repeat 2 times. 

Place into the fridge for 24 hours, and then enjoy. These are amazing and can get addictive. I love to slice some up to snack on during the hot summer days. 

Thanks for visiting, 

Family Room

Its been almost a year since we got our new Ikea section and we still love it! In this past year, I only washed the cushion slip covers twice. This is why I love gray slip covers so much! They hide all the stains, and believe me, we are not careful around this sofa, we watch TV, eat snacks and have drinks.

I ended up getting a new rug for this space. The rug I got last year was a pain to keep clean. You could see every stain and crumb on it, it drove me crazy. This is why I love jute rugs, they hide crumbs and little messes- a must have with little kids. 

I picked up a few new pillow covers from h&m (gotta love H&M prices) to freshen up the space for spring/summer and got a new palm plant for the corner. I love how bright and summery this space look now. 

-love this candle from h&m-

Thanks for visiting,