Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stained Glass Window Cookies!

Nothing says Christmas like a big box of cookies! If you're like me, you've had your fair share of thumbprint, gingerbread, peanut butter, chocolate chip, and shortbread already. But it wouldn't be Christmas if there wasn't at least one more batch of cookies to eat! That's why I made some Stained Glass Window Cookies. I first made these with my mom when I was about four years old, and they've remained some of my favorites ever since. They're cute, fun, and you can even use them as ornaments, how neat!

You only need a few ingredients for this semi-homemade recipe. Sugar cookie mix, eggs and butter, and some hard candy!

First, mix the ingredients for the sugar cookie dough. I did this by hand as I don't have a mixer (hint hint, Santa) but if you do have a mixer, I recommend you use it. Then, smash up a few pieces of your hard candy with a spoon, this will make it easier for the "window" to melt evenly.

Roll out your dough and use whichever cookie cutters you see fit. If you'd like to hang your cookies as ornaments, now is the time to poke a little hole in the corner.

Once you've cut out your cookies and your little picture windows, fill them with your crushed candy and bake them for 6 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Only a week until Christmas now, I can't wait! Make sure you check out Sophie and Caelan's recipes today, as they've got some really yummy treats to share with you!

What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas at The Babe Cave

This year we've really been getting into the Xmas festivities around here, and we got the tree up a few weeks ago, as soon after Thanksgiving as the roomies would let me. There wasn't much of a set theme, but the red and white looked good together so we stuck with that. I think the cardinal ornaments are my favorite!

We each got an ornament with our initials on them too, which I think adds a cute little personal touch.

I couldn't resist getting this noodle/pho/ramen ornament. Sometimes there are just some things you have no reason not to buy!

Earlier this week we had a little Christmas get together. I made some yummy sangria with some red moscato, white wine, cranberry juice, and some raspberry seltzer.

We exchanged gifts, donned our ugliest Christmas sweaters, played charades, and basically looked adorable and had tons of fun together.

How did you decorate?
Are you having a Christmas party this year?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Music I Actually Like

Hey all! By now, I'm sure you've gotten an earful of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" and are ready to move on to say... anything else? Either that or you're an absolute Christmas music fanatic, and in that case I'd ask you to explain yourself.

You see, like my gal pal Caelan, I've worked retail many a Christmas, and once dealing with rude customers, your manager pushing back your lunch break, and the phone ringing off the hook with someone yelling about an online return, it's not all merry and bright. Especially when you've had to listen to "The 12 Days of Christmas" 59 times in the past hour.

This being said, I do have a soft spot in my heart for a few songs in particular, and I can tolerate the likes of almost all of them if I only hear them once or twice in the weeks leading up to the day the big fat man climbs down my chimney.

I'd have to say I enjoy any Christmas music, in extreme moderation, as long as it isn't too campy. I have already hit my "Santa Baby" limit for the year, and even though I do think it's kinda cute and funny the first time, I'm over it by the time she asks for a ring (but she doesn't mean on the phone, of course!) and the only version that's acceptable is the original one by Eartha Kitt.

There are a few Christmas songs I can't get enough of, and like Sophie, I'm okay with pretty much anything by Michael Buble or She & Him.

These, however, are my favorites!

"Baby It's Cold Outside" by Mindy White and Anthony Green

I love this song, it makes me want to cuddle up to my bae and drink spiced wine while watching A Christmas Story. By the way, NO the Idina Menzel version is NOT okay with me. I'm not a fan of her or her crappy version. Get out of my face Idina, and take "Let It Go" with you too.

“Don't Shoot Me Santa" by The Killers
My roomie Sabrina introduced me to The Killers' Christmas songs, and each year they make a new one for charity. I thought this was really funny and totally unlike any other Christmas song out there. Another one you need to check out: "Joel The Lump of Coal" by The Killers & Jimmy Kimmel, the charitable Christmas song for 2014.

Speaking of pop-punk Christmas songs, we have:
Yule Shoot Your Eye Out by Fall Out Boy
Okay this song is really harsh, but in my 7th grade emo phase, I couldn't get enough of it. Plus, why have Christmas without a little cynicism to balance it all out anyway?

"Last Christmas" by Hillary Duff
OMG Hillary Duff aka Lizzie McGuire. This song was my Christmas jam when I was like 8. The first and only Christmas CD I ever owned. Nostalgia, table for one!

That was my list of all-time favorites, but like I said, I can get down to almost anything if I only have to hear it a few times during the holiday season. Except Christmas Shoes. That song is NEVER okay. We don't need to cry while unwrapping our presents!!!!!

What are your favorite Xmas jams?

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Favorite Holiday Makeup Look


This is the makeup look I've been loving this holiday season. It's simple, shimmery, and can be dressed up with a red lip, or dressed down with a little less eyeliner and just a swipe of mascara.

To achieve this look, I applied my foundation as usual (I actually use a BB cream and just a touch of powder because I prefer lighter coverage.) Then a bit of blush and bronzer, keeping it natural.
For my eyes, I used the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette, using the shade YDK in the crease, and Verve on the lid to lighten it up a bit. After blending all that shimmery goodness out, I used my Tarte Amazonian Clay cream liner and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. Finish it up with lips and brows if you so desire!

I hope you all are having a looovely Monday, and as always, be sure to check out my ladies Caelan and Sophie and their holiday posts today!

What's your favorite Holiday makeup look?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

All I Want For Christmas

tarte wish list
There's not much I want for Christmas this year, especially since I've been trying to minimize my stuff intake and focus even more on experience than items. These are just a few of the little things that have caught my fancy over the past few months, and I've noticed simplicity is a recurring theme. Below are the links to the items so you could purchase them for a friend or a loved one if they catch your fancy too! Happy shopping.

Sophie and Caelan have adorable wishlists posted today as well. Go check them out! I'm kind of obsessed with their picks!
What do you want for Christmas?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Traditions

Baby Jess, circa 1997, when I was about three years old.

I've always loved Christmas, but never really had any "out of the ordinary" Christmas traditions in my family. It was always the run-of-the-mill leaving cookies our for Santa, waking up at 6AM to open presents, and when I was little, a stocking was hung for both me and my Cabbage Patch doll, and sometimes for my dog and my cat.

Decorating the tree was always fun, as we had many different colors and themes of ornaments and tinsel. My favorites were the glass hearts, feathered doves and cardinals, and the long, pink strand of beads we kept in a lion king shoebox. My mom would put on the Elvis Christmas CD and we would set out her little Christmas village figurines, a lot of which she'd painted herself. The best part was the mirrored tray that doubled as the ice skating rink.

When I was really young we had a natural tree that we would go to the tree farm and pick ourselves, but when they came out with the acrylic ones, we got one of those. I don't have a preference between real or fake trees, but I do have fond memories of running around the tree nursery and looking at all the plants for sale.

Being an only child, our Christmas morning festivities were over fairly quickly and there was never much fussing or fighting, which I suppose is good. After presents were opened, we would usually go to my grandparents' or aunt's house for Christmas dinner.


Other than the Cabbage Patch doll I got when I was knee high to a grasshopper, my favorite Christmas gift was probably the Easy Bake Oven, either that or the mess of Bratz dolls and accessories I was obsessed with in the early 2000s.

In more recent years, we've become a little more lax with our Christmas traditions. My dad made these really cool Christmas tree lights that he hangs on the porch, and since our actual tree is packed away in boxes, we've been using a lava lamp as kind of a substitute tree. It's kind of a running joke we have.

Also, you should totally stop by Caelan and Sophie's blogs today, as they have tons of adorable photos and stories to share with you!

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Days of Christmas with The Daily Sass + Nana Wintour

I've hinted that a little something special is coming your way, and today I'm happy to announce that I'm teaming up with two of my best blogging buds, Caelan from The Daily Sass and Sophie from Nana Wintour! We've got a lot of things planned for you, and can't wait to get started spreading our holiday cheer!

Stay tuned to each of our blogs for stockings hung by the chimney with care, some anecdotes on our favorite Christmas memories, kisses under the mistletoe, and tons more that you'll just have to stick around to see!

Much love, and happy holidays! 
See you soon!