It's the end of the weekend, but you won't find any complaints here...it's Christmas vacation!!! I'm SO excited to not have a regular daily schedule to adhere to these next few weeks. Today we went to church and I dressed my boys in their Christmas Sunday outfits that I bought almost two months ago. It's a little stressful to find coordinating outfits for three boys--one in baby sizes, one in little boys sizes and one in big boys sizes. Then there's always the worry that I'll find the perfect combinations but something will be out of stock in the size I need and then the whole plan is ruined. I'm a little dramatic, I know, but you know what I mean. I used to get the same outfit for all three but I like to mix it up a little now so they are all a little different. They were all dressed in blues and greys so I thought I'd at least wear a little blue to coordinate a bit...enter in the Dot Flouncette Blouse. I picked this top up a few months back when it first hit sale because I loved the polka dots, the ruffles and the fact that it looked so cute styled with the Traversa cardigan in the print ads. Sold.
-Dot Flouncette Blouse-J Crew
-Traversa Cardigan-J Crew
-Pencil Skirt-Banana Republic Outlet-(2008)
-Leopard Print skinny belt-J Crew
-Leopard Print pumps-Style & Co.-Macy's
-Mixed Media Pearl Strand Necklace-J Crew Outlet
Here's a close-up of the necklace I referred to in my last post...one of my three December purchases (so far). =)
And here's a little shot of me and my cute boys before they got back into their pj's...I honestly can't believe everyone looked at the camera and smiled at the same time...I set the timer and only took one picture...this NEVER happens! The picture gods were smiling down on me today.
After church I glanced into my closet to see how else I might be able to style this blouse...and came up with this:
Possible date night outfit? Maybe? I pretty much never tuck things into pants so it felt a little awkward to do so, but I actually think it looks pretty cute! The pants have a bit of a shine to them but WOW did the flash pick up on it times ten! I promise they're not really that shiny in real life.
Well, I wrapped all my presents last night and made two batches of my homemade caramels tonight after my kids went to bed to wrap up and give away this week to family and friends. Making progress! Someone asked about my recipe the other day in the comments so I thought I'd share it with you...they're pretty fool proof and SOOO good (and addicting)!
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional--I never put them in)
1 cup butter (two cubes)
1-16 oz package (2 1/4 cups packed) brown sugar
2 cups half and half or light cream (or one-14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk--that's what I use)
1 cup light colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Line a 9x9x2 pan with foil and cover edges of the pan (so the foil hangs over the edges). Butter the tin foil very well. Sprinkle on the walnuts (if desired). If testing the caramel with water instead of a candy thermometer get out several spoons and bowls.
2. In a heavy 3 quart pan, melt the butter. Add the corn syrup, brown sugar, cream (or sweetened condensed milk); mix well.
3. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan (if desired). Reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, until caramel reaches 248 degrees (firm-ball stage). Alternatively, drop spoonfuls of caramel into cold water and test the hardness. The hotter the caramel, the harder the result.
4. Remove pan from heat; stir in vanilla. Quickly pour the caramel into the prepared pan. When the caramel is cool, lift the caramel out of the pan with the tin foil. Use a buttered knife or pizza cutter to cut into pieces. Wrap each piece in wax paper or plastic wrap. Makes about 2 pounds.
*Note--Using half and half takes about 45-60 minutes to heat; using sweetened condensed milk takes 15-20 minutes to heat. Don't substitute margarine for butter.
If you make a batch and end up eating like half of it yourself, don't say I didn't warn you!!! =)
I'm off to bed soon...think I'm gonna get up early and run before the kids get up so I don't have to worry about dragging all three of them to the gym tomorrow along with a million other kids that are out of school. So much for sleeping in!
Have a great day!