a GRAND time

-Whenever I see these 4 words around this time of year I hear Clark Griswald singing it in my head as he's getting ready to light his house. Classic!- 
I love starting new traditions & seeing them become a year after year thing to do.  A couple of years ago we packed up & drove to the BiG City {Salt Lake that is} to spend the Holidays.  We stay at the beautiful Grand America Hotel, it is amazing.  We choose to stay there because of the atmosphere & feel of the holidays. From it's red & green lights on top of the roof to their holiday themed decorated windows throughout the hotel.  
{A small feel of the big apple in SLC} 

-Mace, Em & Audj outside the Grand-

Our trip started by stopping by a new fabulous toy store at the Gateway.  Blinkenstaff's- I've never been in there before but I'll be stopping by there to do some Christmas shopping next year.  It's like walking into Santa's workshop with so many delightful & unique toys. 
-Em spotted this little Wicked Witch doll- so cute!  I think she needs this for her collection. Excited for the movie to come out. We love Elphie in our house -  
-OoMpa- LooMpa!!  Audj & Mace clowning around- 
 Then I spotted something for me to look at & ooh & ahh!  Really... I think I may have a problem ;)  I adore unique pop bottles & when I saw the Nesbitt's Honey Lemonade bottle I just knew it had to come home with this Honeybee!  Actually seeing these bottles actually gave me another idea.... stay tuned! 

- I took home the bottle 4th from the right- so cute!- 
 Another part of our weekend away is eating dinner at PF Changs. The girls love it!  The lettuce wraps, orange chicken & Kung Pao were de. lish & ending the meal with fortune cookies as we look forward to 2013. Fun way to ring in the New Year. 

-Happy girls digging in!- 
After dinner we walked to Temple Square {just a few blocks away but it was freezing!}  So we had to stop into City Creek to warm up. Thank goodness the Nordstorm's 1/2 yearly sale was going on so my hubby could shop.  The girls & I found a way to entertain ourselves while he was checking out.  
-Love my funny girls!- 
 After warming up a bit we headed to Temple Square.  Every time we go there it takes my breath away.  Such an amazing, beautiful place to be for the Holidays.  If you've never been you MuST if you come to Utah- you've never seen trees decorated this way. 

-The Salt Lake Temple standing tall- 
 My girls!  Love this picture of them.  Grateful to be a Mom & to have these amazing, wonderful kids in my life each day. 

-Ty & I- 
We walked over to the Joseph Smith Building & rode the elevator up to the top to get this picture.  My little photographer in the making, Audrey, took it & I just love it!  The Temple spires are so amazing & beautiful.  I marvel all the time at how this building was built years ago by early pioneers.  

-We LoVE to see the Temple!- 
 Thankfully we got on the train to head back to the hotel so we didn't have to walk.  No Jazz fans trying to get to the game so there was lots of room. 
The next morning we had a fabulous breakfast at the Grand- so yummy!  Then we walked around to look at the Holiday windows.  The theme this year was Joy to the World & each window depicted a country & how they pronounce Christmas in their language. 
You started by picking up a pencil & passport & then traveled around the hotel to find the windows & match the language to the country. 

-Audrey & Emily by the Switzerland window display- 
-Macey matching by the Norway window. I really liked this one!- 
-Russia, it was really interesting to see all the different languages, characters & spelling of the words- 
 Another fun thing to see at the Grand is the fabulous Gingerbread house they make each year.  Loved the Chimney this year that was made out of Macaroons.  So clever & cute!  

 The house was Huge!  Mace standing by the colorful, cute entry way.  I could see Miss Mace making one of these one year- she is a talented, creative chef in the making. 

The Q girls by the last holiday window- America.  After the passports were all filed out & you had matched everything you went into the to y shop {Jou Jou} at the Grand to get it stamped before receiving a treat.  This is such a fun place to walk into & explore. The girls had a blast! 

 Standing by the giant candy display at Jou Jou & having fun walking on the giant musical keyboard.  Every time you jump it would go to a different song.  They giggled & laughed alot doing this. 

-Thought it was funny that Audrey wore the hotel slippers around all that morning.  She is a character!- 
-Playing around & having FuN!- 
 After the passports were completed you got to go into the most amazing bakery at the Grand, 
& show it to receive a treat.  They give out their signature Shortbread cookies, this year in the shape of a Gingerbread man, so darling & sweet!  While we were there we also had to sample the Gelato {Mint, Pistachio & Vanilla}  so good! 

-Didn't try it but the ricotta cheese drizzled with Balsamic sounded kind of good- 
& Miss Mace had to try a Macaroon for the 1st time.  They are so good!  They have a wide selection of flavors to choose from.  She choose the salted caramel & it was divine.  

 The bakery also has wonderful things to buy as gifts too. It's always such a wonderful place to step into for all the senses.  It smells amazing, looks divine & tastes fabulous! 

Hope you have had a wonderful holiday & are looking forward to a fabulous NeW YeaR!  What are you doing to celebrate tonight?  Me... I'm celebrating my hubby's 40th birthday & making lots of appetizers, cake & dinner for a family party tonight.  
{Love you Ty!} 
I posted one of my FAVORITE things to have around the Holidays on the H&H FaceBook Page. It's a easy recipe for Shrimp Dip-yummy!  Great for tonight's party or tomorrow while you're hubby is watching Football on TV. 
{he'll be happy- trust me!} 
Off to spend the day with my Schmoopie! 



Snow & pleasant Surprises!


  Hello.... hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We sure did.  We enjoyed driving up to Grandma's house Christmas Eve, waking up to lots of surprises & nice gifts on Christmas morning, having our 1st Christmas meal in our home on Christmas night, enjoying.... SnoW, SNoW, SNOW, oh, we got lots of it. A white Christmas around these parts for sure.  We've also enjoyed sledding & drinking lots & lots of hot cocoa. 
{actually that is my job... stay inside & have warm cups filled to the top for when the girls all come in the door.  Brrr.... it's chilly outside! It's a fun job ;)} 

-That's how we roll- the pumpkin patch tractor pulling the girls around & around the park on snow packed roads- 
-Audrey taking a turn behind the wheel. Watch out!- 
-Em, Mr. Olly & Miss Mace. All bundled up, enjoying playing in the white stuff- 

While they are out playing I'm inside because today is the day... the Christmas all comes down & the Wintertime decor goes up. I can't wait to show you. I'll be back to show pics, I promise. 
I ran into a sweet friend {last Saturday} who I have NEVER met.  We have just been "blogging buddies".  I found her blog about 3 years ago.  I was a "stalker" at first 
{anyone out there like that?}  
-She always looks so cute!  Can't wait to finally get instagram
so I can follow her!- 
& one day I got up the courage to leave a comment & wah-lah we have been friends ever since.  We talked about meeting up one day but never made it work.  She had moved away recently so I thought we would never see each other face to face. 

Well... imagine my surprise when I saw her walking down the aisle at Target 
{of all places- another reason to love that place!} I saw her cute, colorful, adorable shoes & KNeW it was her.  I called her name & she looked up to see me & just started squealing.  We gave each other a hug & chatted for a bit. It was so great to finally met her.  
{fabulous friends are such a blessing!} 
Glad she is back & I hope to run into her many more times now.

Wish I looked as cute as she did that day.  I thought I was just out for a quick day of last minute gift shopping who knew I would run into a friend - so fun
{happy holidays my friend!}

*I'd love to become friends with some of you out there that might just be "stalkers" right now.  Be BRaVE, leave a comment & maybe we can become blogging friends too!*

Ok, off to put away the last little bit of Christmas around here & get ready to go to one of our favorite places later today as a family.  We love it! 
{it's turned into quite a Holiday tradition for us} 

Hope you have enjoyed lots of traditions with your loved ones during the Holidays too. 



From our house to yours


-a peek into our decked halls- 
Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas! 
Snow is falling outside, kids are out building a snow fort, hot cocoa is brewing & the last bows have been tied onto packages & ready to take to Grandma's house.  Love this time of year to be with family & to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  So grateful for his birth, life & ministry. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. 



Perfectly- SWeeT!

12. 21. 12- 

Well.. the Quigley holiday baking kitchen is officially closed. You know it's time to stop when the cinnamon container only has 1tsp. of cinnamon left.  I've really enjoyed baking the last couple of weeks & more than that I've enjoyed sharing so much of it with others. 

  I wanted to share a favorite recipe of mine that comes from my dear, sweet Aunt Karalee.  
{I just love this lady to pieces!} 
The recipe is called Sweet Petal Roll.

 It's been a Hall family tradition for years.  My Aunt Karalee makes it for our yearly family breakfast every Summer.  It is always everyone's favorite thing to dig into. I even have an uncle who loves to sneak & take out the center of the petal roll when no one is looking.
{yep, it's that good!} 

It's meant to be baked in a large pizza round but I like to divide it up into 2- 9 inch cake rounds so that I can share with friends & family.  My hubby even got me a large pizza round {with sides} for Christmas last year specially for making the petal roll. 

Sweet Petal Roll 
Scald:  1  1/2 C. milk 
Add to warmed milk:
        6 T. shortening 
        1 T. salt 
        4 T. sugar
Cool & add: 5 cups of Flour 
Dissolve 2 T. yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Let rest a few minutes & then add to dough mixture & knead for 5 minutes 
Let raise for 1 hour. 

After dough has risen melt 1 cube of butter & place into a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl combine 1 c. Sugar, 2 T. Cinnamon, 1/2 C. Brown Sugar. 

Rip off a ball of dough & roll into a worm shape, about 6- 8 inches long. Dip into butter & then into sugar mixture.  Put them round & round in a pizza pan. {or you can divide the dough & make 2 -9 inch rounds}  *if you have extra dough after making the petal rolls, just roll a piece of dough into a ball, toss in the butter & sugar & then place them in a muffin tin to bake while the rolls are still raising.  {I usually get about 5-6 cinnamon balls when I use the 9 inch cake rounds} 

Raise for 45 minutes, pre heat oven to 350. Bake for 20 min & then ice with a powdered sugar glaze {powdered sugar, milk & vanilla}

-Looks so sweet wrapped up in cellophane, tied with a baking twine bow & ready to GiVE-

Warmest holiday wishes to you all!  I've enjoyed opening my mailbox & receiving several Christmas cards from friends
{who may have just started out as H&H clients but have become much more than that} that have really touched my heart.  I'm grateful for my business & this blog that allows me to be associated with so many wonderful people that I probably wouldn't have been otherwise.

Truly blessed! My girls are just about to come home to start their holiday break from school. Yeah!



Go figure!


Ok, a few funny & quirky facts about this Honeybee. 

- I absolutely love the smell, taste & flavor of lemons BUT I don't like Lemon Bars.  
-I am great at remembering phone #'s, birthdays, even some addresses BUT when it comes to helping my 5th graders & 9th grader with math uuhh.. forget about it! 
-I am not a Black Friday/early Christmas shopper BUT I am getting so excited about the thought of shopping the day after Christmas, I can't wait!! 
{I have a handful of stores that I just HAVE to go to the day after. Do you?} 
-I  love to bake. The scent  & taste of Gingerbread is my favorite BUT I have never made a gingerbread house from scratch.  
I've always bought the pre-made boxed up kind.  
The girls decorate it each year & it's placed on a cake stand {of coarse} & tucked under a cabinet in our kitchen on the countertop. 

-The Quigley Gingerbread cottage 2012- 
This year we broke off with tradition a bit & decorated it completely different than ever before. We even used a different cake stand than we normally do. 
{opened it up to lots of exciting possibilities- they had a blast!} 
-Em putting on the Rice Square roof tiles- 
-The roof complete! Now to add some cinnamon gum sticks for the eves-

No rooftop is complete with out a dusting of snow
{or in our case Sugar}

 Miss Mace was in charge of the frosting & placing the stones & pebbles {Sugar babies & chocolate chips} onto the sides of the Gingerbread cottage. 

-close up of the sweet little details of the G-Bread cottage. The clumps of snow hanging onto the roof tops, dusted with sugar & the walls.  Too cute!- 
Audrey came up with the perfect door.  She crushed up some oreos & glued them {using royal icing} to a piece of paper she cut out in the shape of a door.  Good thinking Audj! 

Then add a gumdrop lined walkway, sprinkled with sugar to make a wintery scene, place a few green leaf mint gummies & creme candies in the shape of evergreens & wah-lah- A SWeeT little Gingerbread Cottage.  I love watching my girls have such fun, imagination & JoY! 

 It was a wonderful night putting this together.  

Maybe one of these years I'll make a G-Bread house from scratch.  I'd love to hear if you have a Gingerbread house on display in your home.  



Handmade: w/ a few of my favorite things!


I am really loving anything retro, crafty & homemade to decorate & give this holiday season. Anything that allows me to spend time baking & creating with my family.  

I have loved these colorful winter blooms for years now.  
Miss Mace made the 1st one 
{the bottom left one- that's a bit washed out & aged} 
when she was in the 4th grade.  I hung onto it just because I adored it & it reminded me of the crafts I used to make in Elementary School.  Audrey & Em made theirs last year & I kept them to add to my collection.  I asked their teacher if I could please get the pattern so we could make our own each Christmastime. 

 The chunky glitter, construction paper, punched out dots just say Elementary & old school crafting.
{To be honest I wish kids were able to do more of this kind of stuff at school during the day & not just tons of work- kids need to be kids! Ok, I'll get off my soapbox & won't get into that}

-They are so cute all clustered together-

We got all our supplies together & laid it all out to start our girl time crafting. 

{I should really apologize before we get started, I'm the worst to show a DIY project because I forget to take pictures of each & every step, sorry!  I'll try to be better in the future I promise.}
 Step 1:  Cut out all the shapes.  You need a big petal, small petal & leaves for each poinsettia blossom. 

 Step 2:  The trickiest part.  Dab a bit of glue {we used a glue stick} on one corner of the petal & fold over & place the other tip of the petal {with the glue on it} on top of the other & press down until secure. You can figure out the best system for you to do this- everyone is different.  
 No matter how you do it you want the pedals to end up looking like this.  {Repeat with the other size petal cut out}
 Step 3:  Rub glue onto the center of the smaller pedal cut out & sprinkle glitter into the center of the bloom.  
{You could do this before or after you form the petals, either way}
Then glue as many little yellow dots in the center as you would like. Sometimes the more the merrier!

Step 4: Assemble your flower.  Dab glue onto the center of the larger petals & press the smaller one into place. Be sure to space the petals so that they over lap a little bit.  Then dab glue onto the center of the green leaves & stick the bloom into place & hold until firm.  

The girls & I made up a bunch of these to give to family & friends.  So far everyone who has received one has loved them.  Audrey even came up with this cute idea to place it on top of a gift as the bow.  
{Pretty clever don't you think? What a crafty 10 yr. old I have on my hands}

 I've also had the thought of making some more of these {with my girls} to send back to Sandy Hook Elementary School for the students there & sending the pattern so they could have an art project. 

Ok... the 1st 6 people  
that comment {on this post} will receive the patterns for these pretty petals to make up a bunch for yourself or to give away. I'll send them in the mail to you TOMORROW.  
{ready, set... go!} 

-Be sure to email me your address pretty please-




Go with the flow

12.14.12-  {this post is a blast from the past but a good one!} 

It's been baking central around here.  
{Thank goodness I got this all done before the cold hit me}

*-I've baked 2 batches of Gingersnaps
{It was about 120 cookies.  The girls & I shared them at a cookie exchange party & gave them to neighbors}
This might just be the most requested recipe. Everyone loves my Grandma Hall's recipe.  

*-A huge batch of Scrabble 
{love to have a salty mix around to go with all the sweets}
You can get that recipe HERE.  I substituted Honey Nut Cheerios in the recipe this time & LoVED the little sweetness it added

& a double recipe of Sugar Cookies. 
{This is a terrific recipe, I've been making them for years.  These are one of my favorite cookies to bake & eat}

Sugar Cookies
{Have been using this recipe for years, it's the best.  Got it from Martha Stewart's Living magazine, love!} 

2 sticks of softened butter 
2 C. sugar
-Cream together & then add eggs 
2 Eggs 
-Mix together well & then add:
2 tsp. Vanilla 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. Baking Powder 
4 C. Flour 
1 tsp. Lemon Juice 
-Cover with plastic wrap & chill for 30 minutes.  Take out of fridge, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough into desired thickness & cut into shapes. 

-The festive shapes that the cookies will become- 
-This picture makes me happy: sugar cookie dough, a rolling pin & flour sifter. I really do enjoy baking & around the Holidays is just the best!-
 Place onto an un greased cookie sheet & bake for 8-10 minutes.   
Place cookies on a cooling rack & cool completely before you decorate. 

You know that a kitchen really enjoys making Sugar Cookies all year round when there is a drawer devoted entirely to holding all the different shapes & sizes of cookie cutters.  

After the cookies have cooled  Now... comes the fun part, the decorating!  A&E decided to have a few friends over for a cookie decorating party so it was time to set the stage. 

 The Quigley's "official" cookie sprinkling plate & that's all it is used for around here.  Haha, do you have one in your house?  I'll explain.  

When we decorate sugar cookies I've always made my girls place their cookie into this plate to collect all the stray sprinkles that don't stick.  Then the last couple of cookies we decorate get all the remaining sprinkles put on them.  I think they really turn out to be the cutest cookies & it totally helps eliminate the mess. 
{TRuST Me!} 
-Ty & I got this as a wedding gift, I'm sure it was never intended to be used for Sugar Cookie decorating. It was a set of 4 but this is the only one remaining.- 
 Another sign we love to bake & decorate in our house.  We have a entire pull out drawer, on the side of the stove hood, that holds a wide array of every kind of sprinkle imaginable.  All colors of Sugar, jimmies, holiday  sprinkles. 

Recipe cards for the girls to write down their recipes on. Set out little bowls to put the frosting in.  Got these as a birthday present a couple of years ago from one of my foodie friends & I have LoVED them!  Use them for so many things.
{Thanks C}

 Some finished recipe cards. 
{I told this little friend, she had great penmenship.}

-The hubby got this paper serving trays a few years ago for a project he had & we had ToNS left over.  At first I thought,  "What are we going to do with 500 of these?"  Now, I'm a little sad we are down to just a few left they have come in so handy over the years for many things.  I'll have to get some more- 
-A couple of trays of finished cookies.  Love that you can see a bite mark out of one of them. I haven't found a Sugar Cookie I could resist either!- 
-Oh, what a sugary, sticky, island mess! Pass me the advil!-

All the mess I had to clean up made it worth it when I see this picture.  A fun, cute group of friends laughing & having a blast. 

{not to mention being very, very silly!}  
-Sugar Cookies make everyone happy, right?!- 
Still ahead on our holiday baking schedule

*-Cinnamon petal rolls 
{a giant big cinnamon roll- a family favorite for any holiday!} 
{Haven't made it for a while & it sounds good}
*-French Hot cocoa
-Cinnamon roasted Almonds
{Miss Mace made these a few weeks ago & they are GooD!! We decided we needed to make another batch just before Christmas 
She got the recipe off of Pinterest & pinned it to her board} 

Glad there is still 11 days to get all the baking done.
{& to feel a bit better}


**Oh, did you hear?  
All remaining H&H Christmas items are now 30% off!  Click the SaLE button on the right side bar to see what's still on the shelfs. 
{There is still some really great stuff so check it out. Seriously, if a certain frames doesn't sell it's going up on my shelf next week, too cute! I can't believe someone hasn't gotten it already}