Category Archives: 2016

2016 Year in Review

You guys, January isn’t getting off to a very good start as far as blogging going. I have every intention to blog and I have many posts semi ready to share, however, I just cant seem to make/find time do actually do it. So here we are.

I thought I’d start with a quick 2016 recap.

January we spent a lot of time inside because it was soo old outside! We we to Trav’s work dinner, so I had to go before hand to try on dresses and we spent time with friends. Oh, and worked out.

February warmed up a little and we hit the park several times. I turned 33, We attended friend’s birthday parties, we grew grass just because we can, we did math and I won tickets to a Justin Bieber concert. (And Yes, I was super excited) #noshameinmygame

March we headed to Grandpa’s house for a long weekend, saw a HUGE herd of elk along the way. We went fishing and enjoyed the sunshine, but didn’t really enjoy the crazy wind! We picked buttercups at Papa’s house, we celebrated Daddy’s birthday, celebrated Easter, and I took my niece to Justin Bieber. And yes, I took pictures of him shirtless. (See above hashtag.)

In April we attended Zachary’s track meets, Summer and I had a girls weekend while the boys went to Montana, we spent a lot of time at the park, celebrated Zachary’s birthday, and went to a fun day at Daddy’s work.

May was spent outside a lot! We played at the park with friends, lunch dates with friends, Tyler played T-ball, Zachary ran track, we sent birthday balloons to Grandma in heaven, celebrated Papa’s birthday, ran through the sprinklers and Tyler graduated preschool.

June I got to have a girls night with my best friend, kid less, which never happens! We had a play date with cousins from Seattle, we picked strawberries, we finished up the school year, Summer caught her first fish, I made “best friend” shirts for Summer and I. We celebrated our bestie Haidyn’s birthday, Summer got her ears pierced, We celebrated father’s day, we had a huge storm make it’s way through and we watched my sweet niece Kaylee graduate from high school. We played outside on the slip n slide, saw Finding Dory, we swam in the river a ton, and had a big BBQ with our friends.

July was spent almost entirely at the lake, river or pool. Sometimes with friends, always with family. We watched fireworks with our besties, celebrated a sweet girls first birthday, watched many beautiful sunsets, colored Zach’s hair green, went fishing, picked and canned an insane amount of cherries, went to the local theme park and took a fun ride on a boat with friends.

August was another month outside. Lots of time at a beautiful lake, sprinklers and water fights in the back yard, we make bird feeders, we visited the sunflowers, went to the movies with friends, and spent a ton of time at the park. Tyler got to go to his Kindergarten open house and meet his teacher! Zach and I went to Watershed, which is a big Country music festival. We saw some of our favorites, like Chris Janson, Travis Tritt, Brothers Osborne, Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Keith Urban. It was three days for of amazing music, fun food, rides and interesting people!

September was another busy month. Zach started high school. Tyler started Kindergarten. Summer started preschool.

That’s enough for any mom, right?

We also celebrated Summer’s 4th birthday with a fun tea party full of fun girls. We finally got a new dishwasher after ours went belly up, so we changed out our stove and put in a new microwave while we were at it. We went to the fair, where we rode the rides, ate fun food and fed the animals. Plus, Tyler rode a sheep!

In October Summer and I got to have another girls weekend while the boys went to Montana. (where they caught some huge fish!) Summer went on her first field trip to the pumpkin patch, then Tyler had his first field trip to the pumpkin patch. Zach went to his first high school dance and my little Batman and Cowgirl enjoyed Halloween. Tyler turned 6 and we celebrated by having an awesome Batman birthday party. No superhero party is complete with out capes and masks, right?

In November Summer had career day where a Dr and Cop both came to speak in her class. She loved both and now wants to be both. Papa took Tyler to Dad’s and Donuts at school and taught Summer about birds. We did lots of crafts, celebrated Thanksgiving and Travis did a lot of fishing. He also found this awesome arrowhead! Plus the green in Zach’s hair is just about gone. (yeah, that is something to celebrate!)

December was a cold month! We got a new fridge to match our other new appliances, we went to Tyler’s school friends birthday party, enjoyed Summer’s preschool Christmas concert, had a wonderful long weekend at Christmas and rung in the new year with friends.

We had a wonderful year and I look forward to the amazing memories we are already making in 2017!

S’mores Kiss Cookies

Everyone around here is in full Christmas spirit. We have been using our Chocolate Advent calendar to countdown, we have a chain countdown, presents are about half wrapped, Friendsmas 2016 is in the books and this past weekend I went to my sister in laws annual Christmas Cookie exchange.

Typically around this time I make all sorts of treats, so making something for a cookie exchange is no biggie. But this year I really wanted to make something different from the normal toffee, fudge, peanut butter balls that I make each year.

I headed to Pinterest and searched for Christmas Cookies. Of course there are a million different kinds that sounded amazing. But I picked two and stuck with them. The ones I am sharing today are S’mores Kiss Cookies.

Sounds easy enough, right? It certainly was. These cookies were not only super easy to make but amazingly soft (even a couple of days later)!

The kids loved helping with these because not only did they get the job of unwrapping chocolate kisses, they were able to sneak a couple!

I love s’mores. But roasting marshmallows over a fire isn’t something I get to do often. So I have no problem settling for something as delicious as these S’mores Kiss cookies!

S’mores Kiss Cookies – Recipes from Six Sister’s Stuff

  • 1 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 large marshmallows, cut in half
  • About 40 chocolate kisses (I ended up using 36)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Put tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet, 1″ apart. (I use a small cookie scoop which is basically just a small ice cream scoop)
  7. Bake for 6 minutes and edges are just getting golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and press half of a marshmallow, sticky side down, into each cookie.  Let cool completely.
  9. Let all cookies cool completely then preheat broiler.
  10. Put all of the cookies back on baking sheets and broil for 1 minute. Don’t let them burn!
  11. Remove from the broiler and place a chocolate kiss on top of each cookie.

What are your favorite Christmas Cookies to make?

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

While everyone is sharing all their Christmas desserts, I am over here still sharing pumpkin everything! But that is because I made so many delicious pumpkin treats this fall that I can’t keep them all to myself! And these Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are no exception!

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I am always browsing Pinterest for recipes to try and if you have ever looked at my pinterest, you already know, I have waay too many recipes pinned. But what you don’t see are my secret boards full of more recipes that I think I need to try right away!!

Lately I have shared the Pumpkin Puree I made and an amazing Pumpkin Poke Cake, so today I want to share some delicious Pumpkin Sugar Cookies. This recipe made a great amount of cookies and I froze abut half of them. It is always nice to pull out a package of cookies in a couple of weeks and eat them again!

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There are not too many ingredients, so this is pretty fast cooking! But after you make your dough you do need to let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to chill. I should have let them sit longer because my dough wasn’t interested in rolling. It was still pretty sticky! I ended up just scooping out my and sprinkling with the sugar.

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Home made pumpkin puree is just amazing. You really know where your food is coming from and the ingredients in it: Pumpkin!

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These pumpkin sugar cookies really are delicious and they have the perfect amount of pumpkin in them too!

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Recipe adapted from Wine and Glue

  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 14 Tbsp butter (1 3/4 stick) room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350®
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla, and the pumpkin until well combined.
  5. On low, mix in the flour mixture until well combined.
  6. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 20 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough into one inch sized balls. Roll in sugar and ut onto a lined baking mat.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes
  9. Let cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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What are your favorite cookies?

Pumpkin Poke Cake

Because of all the pumpkin puree I made, we have been eating all sorts of pumpkin desserts lately. One of my favorites was this Pumpkin Poke Cake!

It is one of those desserts that needs to sit overnight or at least all day. So don’t be like me and think that you can just whip it up and eat it right then!

One afternoon I decided I wanted it for after dinner that night. So not thoroughly reading the directions I started making the cake…. And realized I would be eating it the next day…. Bummer for me!

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But it is definitely a cake that tastes better after you let it sit! So don’t skip that step because you are impatient! I really thought it was better even on the second and third days. Then I had to stop eating it because it was just a lot! It is so rich but amazingly delicious! So make sure you make this when you can share with your friends or family.

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With the cake mix, you do NOT add the ingredients from the box! I was a little nervous but trusted the recipes and it worked perfectly.

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After your cake is done, let it cool to room tempurature.

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Once it is cooled down use the handle end of a wooden spoon and poke all over the cake.

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Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, making sure to get some in each of the holes.

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Next you will spread on the cool whip. Sorry for this terrible night picture!

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And add on teh Heath bites

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Now drizzle the caramel all over the cake and let rest in the fridge over night. You really do want to let this sit for as long as you can. Mine sat for about 24 hours before we dug in.

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I loved every delicious bite of this Pumpkin Poke Cake!

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Pumpkin Poke Cake recipe from Something Swanky

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 C pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz. container cool whip
  • 1/2 bag Heath Bits
  • Caramel Sundae Sauce

Instructions

  1. Mix together the cake mix, the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice until a batter forms. (Do NOT use the other ingredients from the cake mix instructions!!!)
  2. Put your batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350º for 35-45 minutes. You want to insert a knife and make sure it comes out clean.
  3. Let the cake completely cool. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake
  4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, filling each of the holes. Refrigerate for 60 minutes to let the sweetened condensed milk soak into the cake.
  5. Spread the cool whip over top of cake. Add the Heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top. Refrigerate at least 5+ hours but overnight would be ideal.

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Have you ever tried Pumpkin Poke Cake? Or any other poke cakes?

How to Speed Clean the Bathroom in 15 Minutes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScotchBriteCleanHoliday #CollectiveBias  Speed Clean the Bathroom

It’s that time of year where you may have a bit more traffic in your house due to the holidays, And who wants to spend all their time cleaning the bathroom? I sure don’t!

One thing I have learned over the past few years is to speed clean my bathroom. And really, the number one reason I have is because the “main bathroom” that company uses, just so happens to be the same bathroom that the majority of the family uses. Which means it is the dirtiest. There always seems to be leftover toothpaste in the sink or water on the counter and who wants their friends and family to experience that mess?? Not me!

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That is why I wanted to share a few tips on how I speed clean the bathroom in just 15 minutes.

I headed to my local Fred Meyer to grab a few things like some new micro fiber cloths and a new toilet scrubber. I was super excited to find this Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber because it has a disposable head. Removing it takes just the click of a button. That means that I don’t have to touch anything dirty and it’s great because it scrubs away the messes you’ve been leaving behind.

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It also is perfect for scrubbing under the rim where you often miss. It has a built in bleach alternative with pumice that scrubs away any rust and hard water stains. That’s great because it means you don’t need a special cleaner for your toilet! You are not putting cleaner in the toilet, waiting for it to soak, etc. You just scrub the toilet and flush! If you have an extra ornery stain you can scrub and wait a few before flushing. You’ll notice below on my cleaning chart that I scrub at the beginning and flush at the end.

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I start with a quick spray down of the shower and sink then I use the toilet scrubber and give the toilet and good scrub and then I sweep and mop the floor.

Next, I scrub the shower. Because I do this fairly often I don’t have to scrub too hard to keep it clean! Then I scrub out the sink, wash the mirror and clean up the counter tops.

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I grab the hamper to empty into the laundry room and I flush the toilet on my way out of the bathroom and I now have a fresh clean bathroom!

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For the Bathroom Checklist PRINTBLE, click here —-> Printable

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I have a sparkly clean bathroom now in just 15 minutes and I am not embarrassed when my friends and family come over!

There will be a Buy One Get One Disposable Toilet Scrubber Starter Kit at Fred Meyer and Kroger when you head to the store! Don’t miss it!

Want to find more great cleaning inspiration? Check them out here!