Valentine's Day Snack Mix

20140212-210938.jpg I will be the first to admit it, I love Valentine's Day. I have such fond memories of this holiday from my childhood. My dad spoiled his three girls (my mom, sister, and myself) each year with such fun and thoughtful gifts---a new puppy(!), a box of sweet treats and a Bangles tape(!), and nice dinners of fondue and seafood in fancy restaurants.

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I love to celebrate holidays for Jack as my parents did for me. And, I've sort of adopted Valentine's Day as my homemade holiday. You may remember the Super Hero Lollipops that I made for Jack's school friends last year? This year, my main goal was to use red and white bakers twine (yes, I developed a little obsession with this!) and to make a non-candy treat for Jack to share at school. I thought of making heart-shaped, homemade chocolate chip cookies, but realized that making 6 dozen cookies smack in the middle of a work week was not a smart plan for my mental state. So, I went with option two- a sweet, salty snack that contained some of the traditional colors of Valentine's.

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I wouldn't call this treat healthy, but it's not candy (No worries- we will eat plenty of that too- I love those heart shaped boxes of Valentine's chocolates! And, we are likely to eat some of those homemade chocolate chip cookies I was referring to as well...). I mixed goldfish crackers, whole grain pretzel nuggets, freeze dried cranberries and raspberries, and yogurt covered raisins, put a 1/2 cup in each clear sack, and tied it shut with baker's twine and a note reading, "xxo! Love (heart), Jack."

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All the Very Best of Us...2013!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26oc9xuzYQY

Cheers to a fun and picture-worthy 2013! May 2014 be filled with people you love and unimaginable adventures!

Happy New Year! xxo!

PS I posted a similar (shorter) video on Instagram a few days ago...maybe you saw it there; if not, follow me over there!: stephaniebrowngoat.

A little bit of how we Christmas.

Jack is pretty excited about all things Christmas related. He's taken a particular liking to the dark side of holiday stories- Jacob Marley in Mickey's Christmas Carol and the Grinch, for instance. In this video, he created a "All the Whos down in Who-ville" scene with his figurines all gathered around the Christmas tree singing. He told me this was pre-Chrsitmas Eve night and, thus, pre-Grinch.

So, here's a little bit of how we are celebrating...Happy Christmas!

Jack Plays The Grinch

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

20111221-065941.jpgDavid and I just discovered this year that "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" is our shared favorite Christmas song. I think it's such a hopeful song "...from now on, our troubles will be miles away..." and I think it brings such a sense of peace for the holidays and the year to come. It makes you feel grateful and warm inside.

20111221-065951.jpg20111221-065957.jpg20111221-070002.jpg It also reminds me of the scene in The Family Stone (one of the holiday movies we re-watch every year- it's still on the agenda for this year and I'm looking forward to snuggling up and sharing cookies while we watch it for the seventh time!) where the daughters are laying on the sofas on Christmas Eve night watching Judy Garland sing this song in the movie Meet Me in St Louis and their dad pops his head in on the way to bed and just stares in awe at the sight of his girls. It's such a simple, family moment that I absolutely love. 20111221-070009.jpg

We will be missing our family this Christmas, but we were so lucky to have my parents and sister visit this month. Having them here really helped to make our holidays so festive and filled with love. Mom (Nonna), Dad (Pops), and Jessica (Auntie Jessica)...thank you for coming!!! We did lots of fun holiday things that made our spirits brighter- The red stocking Christmas 5K at Magnuson Beach Park: 20111221-072129.jpg20111221-070253.jpg20111221-070245.jpg20111221-084645.jpg20111221-084920.jpg

The Seattle Christmas Ship, which is a 62nd annual Northwest tradition (and it was such a pretty site- all the boats lit up with colored lights and carolers singing from their decks), at a quaint private neighborhood beach club in Laurelhurst: 20111221-071445.jpg20111221-071457.jpg20111221-070411.jpg

And, lots of yummy meals (a separate post to come on our 2nd annual Apps and Brew dinner), playing cards and games, festive holiday drink outings, going to Jack's first production- a puppet show called Merry Chris Mouse that he absolutley loved! (he kept yelling out, "Hello? Mouse), making gingerbread DOGS, and driving to see Christmas lights on Candy Cane Lane and at the Tacoma Zoo.

20111221-070344.jpg Our own little Brie president making his own fun! 20111221-093118.jpg

We hope all of you have a bright and merry holiday! We are looking forward to Jack's discovery on Christmas morning that Santa really did come through the fireplace to bring him some new toys, books, and a cozy sweater!

Merry Christmas from Stephanie, David, Jack, and Sadie xxo