Monday, December 22, 2014

Buckeyes: My favorite holiday tradition



Happy week of Christmas, friends!!! I'm so excited to have our first Christmas in New England! We have practice for the Christmas Eve Services tomorrow night, a service at 5:30 and 11pm on Wednesday night and then it's CHRISTMAS!!! This is going to be a really fun week.

I'm teaming up with Faith from Life with Mrs. G and the Artist to talk about our favorite holiday traditions today. Be sure to go check out her post on her yearly trip to Chicago!

I grew up with small but very meaningful traditions in my family. We would attend a Christmas Eve service at church and return home, when my brother and I would exchange gifts with each other. For the past several years, my mom's mom would come spend the night with us that night, too, which was so nice. Christmas morning, we would wake up, open gifts and then my dad would make us a deliciously huge breakfast. We'd eat and spend most of the day in our pajamas. Jacob and I have carried most of those traditions over - the Christmas Eve service, big breakfast on Christmas day and staying in our pajamas for as long as possible. :)

BUT, I haven't mentioned my favorite tradition yet..... buckeyes!! Buckeyes have always been a Christmas time treat in my family, and I learned to make them from my mom. I've taken them to a few Christmas parties this year and everyone always exclaims, "Buckeyes!!!" It's so fun.

So in light of sharing my traditions with you, I'd love to share my buckeye recipe with you. The best parts: there are only 5 ingredients and they are SO easy to make!



Ingredients:


2 cups Jiffy creamy peanut butter
2 sticks butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
12 oz chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1/4 bar paraffin

Instructions:


1. Mix peanut butter with butter. I use a hand mixer to make sure this gets super creamy. It's best if you leave your butter on the counter to soften for a few hours in advance.

2. Add sugar and knead. Do not use the mixer on this part - you want the batter to be fluffy.

3. Roll into bite-sized balls and freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight. This helps the batter get hard enough so you can dip it into the chocolate without losing the ball in the chocolate! I freeze them in a tupperware container with wax paper separating the layers of peanut butter balls.

4. Melt chocolate and paraffin in double boiler. Paraffin is wax in the baking aisle. If you are having trouble finding this - I use the Gulf brand. Stir chocolate while melting to keep it smooth and prevent the bottom layer from burning.

5. Stick peanut butter ball with a toothpick and dip into chocolate, set on wax paper to cool.

6. Once finished, smooth out toothpick hole with finger to give the buckeyes a "seamless" look.



Enjoy!! Once finished, I prefer to store these in the freezer so they can last until we've eaten them all! (Or shared them, I guess...)

Be sure to go check out my friend Faith's post on her traditional holiday trip to Chicago. I've never been, but it looks like a blast!


Happy baking!!
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith



This book is for every person who has ever looked at her home and sighed in frustration, who has been too scared to make changes in her home for fear of failure, who has looked at the beautifully Pinterest perfect homes online and felt utterly unable to match up.

This book is for every woman who longs to make her house a home, to create a cozy space and a welcoming place for family, friends, and strangers. This book is for the home owners, the renters, and the bedroom livers. I cannot say enough about this book.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautifulhas been on my to-read list for quite some time. I had heard lovely things about it, and it certainly did not disappoint. This book is essentially a huge encouragement to all the types of people I mentioned above. Myquillyn goes above and beyond to shatter these ridiculous expectations of home decor we all have in our minds and encourages those who feel inadequate. She gives you practical ways to turn your house into a home you love, no matter your budget or rental status.

This book has finally given me the courage to attempt painting furniture (read: the ugly coffee table we've hated for two years, but I've been too scared to paint.. photos to come to prove it eventually ;)), to not worry about how others perceive my house, even when it's "messy," and to be thankful for the home we have, even the parts I don't love.

I've learned to call those parts of our home "Lovely Limitations," as Myquillyn writes in her book. Often, those lovely limitations she hated about her home were what she ended up loving most once she figured out how to transform it into something she could get behind.

For any of you ladies who want to decorate but have no idea how to start, take a break from Pinterest and start with this book. You won't be disappointed.

Have any of y'all already read this? I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm feeling so inspired to get to work creatively in my home!

*I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. Take heart, these words are my own and all opinions are my own - 34 Magnolia Street is my outlet for sharing things I love, and this I absolutely loved. There are affiliate links in this post.
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