Hostess Gifts

If you are like me, you like to bring a little something to your host when invited over to dinner or to a party. With this holiday season still in full swing {it’s not New Years yet! :)}, I got to thinking about the things I like to give to my hostess friends and thought I would share some of them. I usually try to buy extra of these things when we have a little money to spend and keep them in the hall closet with the rest of my party supplies. I also keep around cello wrap, special ribbon, tags and cello bags to throw a lovely little gift together last minute if I need to.

My go to hostess gift ideas:

Trapp Candles- I buy in bulk from {HERE}. Depending on what I have on hand, I either give a large candle alone as is, since it comes in such a beautiful box, of I give a smaller one, I put in a cello bag and tie with a ribbon. They smell so heavenly, your host will thank you!

Pretty Soaps- I always keep a couple bars of soap around the house to give away if needed. There is a lovely shop here in town that sells French and Italian soaps and I try to stock up when I go {HERE}…but I have found handmade soaps such as the pictured one, from Karol’s Handmade Soaps {HERE} to be amazing gifts! I got three soaps from Karol to give to my sister for Christmas and they are so very yummy. It’s fun to put soaps in a cello bag like the I do with the candles and wrap with a ribbon, or you can just wrap the soap alone with a ribbon.

Cookies- I think I have told you all how much my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe {HERE} is loved around here. I try to keep some dough in the freezer, like {HERE}, in case I need them last minute. Depending on the size of the crowd, I’ll either make a whole plate full, or a small little cello bag full…also tied with a ribbon {see a ribbon pattern here? ha}. If you have a favorite cookie recipe or perhaps a store bought cookie that you love and always have on hand, wrap them up! Who doesn’t love cookies!

Flowers- During the summer, when my roses are in full bloom, I feel there is NOTHING better than a lovely bouquet of roses. I buy cheap vases when they are on sale at Target and/or Michaels and keep them around to use as gifts when I need them.

Which leads me to my last point….

If I don’t have roses, cookies, soap or candles on hand, my absolute last resort for a hostess gift is store-bought flowers of some sort, usually a potted variety from Trader Joes…but that just doesn’t seem the same as my other options, now does it? ha.

So tell me, do you have any great hostess gifts? I’d love to add something new to my list! Happy holidays everyone! xoxo

Sometimes There Are No Words….

…to describe your feelings. That’s kinda how I feel right now. So many thoughts swirling around in my head. Especially around this holiday season. I found myself moved to tears so many times these past couple weeks, and it all began the moment I found out about the shooting in Newton. The shock, the awe…the complete inability to fathom what happened. During the days following, I was so shook up that as I walked around town and saw everyone going on as nothing happened, I wondered how people could move on so easily? Maybe it’s because I’m an elementary school teacher and the scenes seem so real in my mind, or maybe because I’m a mom who has kids the same age as those shot…I don’t know, I can’t say for sure, but regardless, this tragedy has put a whole new spin on things in my life. It has made me think more about who I am, what I am doing and where I am going. It’s made me think more about my kids…am I really giving them my all? Because they could be gone tomorrow. And thanks to this realization, this holiday season held a whole new meaning for me.

This post really started out as my holiday recap, but as I sat down to write, I realized I couldn’t move on without acknowledging what made this holiday season seem more real to me. Newtown definitely did that. It made me think. And I will be forever changed because of it. It has sincerely shook me to the core. Have you seen this?

These beautiful prints were jointly created by friends of this blog and can be purchased HERE . The proceeds go directly to Newton {Hurry, it looks like you only have one day left to purchase!}. I bought nearly every print and will be hanging them in the hallway that leads to the kids rooms. I don’t want to ever forget how blessed I am to have my little ones, and I hope and pray that these help me remember…to love my kids with all my heart and to always pray for those who lost their babies way too soon.

With these thoughts in mind, I gave Christmas a hard look this year. I also started thinking more about the new year and I actually sat down and started thinking about making a New Years Resolution this year. Normally I don’t make any commitments of any kind on New Years, mainly because I am HORRIBLE at keeping them {ha}, but this year, I feel propelled to do one. Maybe it’s the Newtown situation or maybe it’s simply the Lord guiding me, but either way…

In 2013 I am going to strive to live simpler.

To live simpler in my life looks like getting my finances in better shape and living to give instead of receiving. It means to say no more often and yes to things that really matter. It means not complicating life with extra “to dos”. It means embracing my family to the fullest and not wish for something different. It means contentment.

“…for I have learned, whatsoever state I am in, to be content.” Philippians 4:11

All of this will be starting this coming week. I am cleaning out my studio to do inventory, so it is the perfect time to re-evaluate things I have. I am pouring over our finances for tax papers, so it’s the perfect time to cut out the fat. And the kids are off of school, so it’s the perfect time to enjoy them to fullest.

Friends, I mean this with all my heart, I pray for you. I really, really do. Sometimes {like today} when I write a blog post, I pray for you while I’m writing. I want you to know that I love you and you are in my thoughts and prayers. So I have a request for you….will you pray for the Miraflor family? Pray that while we continue doing what God has asked us to do, that we do it simply. I’m praying the same for you.

Love you friends…so tell me, do you have a New Year’s Resolution?

xoxo

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours….

Brandon

Amy

Jacob

Evelyn

…Merry Christmas! We pray that the REASON for the SEASON brings you joy and peace all throughout the new year. We are so thankful for you all and love and appreciate your friendship.

And of course, happy birthday, Jesus! Thank you for coming to earth just for us. We can’t express how grateful we are. May our lives bring you glory.

Love, the Miraflor family. xoxo

All photos by DASO Photo.

Ruffle Tree Skirt Winner

So sorry for the delay, it’s been a crazy day today. Have you seen the Eggnog Bread recipe? Hop on over to the Food Friday {on Sunday, ha} HERE.

So the Ruffle Tree Skirt Winner…I have a confirmed winner, and her name is…drum roll please:

Congrats Aisha!!! I hope you love the skirt!

And and big, huge thank you to all of you who entered! You guys are amazing, and I hope you had fun. We will do some more of these give fun, non Evy’s Tree giveaways soon. I enjoy have a little break from the hoodie world. ha.

Big hugs everyone! xoxo

Food Friday {on Sunday}: Eggnog Bread

I know, I promised this to you on Friday. Well, just as I was going to sit down and get this blog typed up, the news of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut stopped me in my tracks and gave me the inability to focus on absolutely ANYTHING that was I supposed to focus on it.

I am heartbroken. Completely, one hundred percent heartbroken. I could not stop crying on Friday, especially when I drove up to the post office later that evening and saw the flags flying half mast. Perhaps it was because I had finally finished all my work and was able to allow myself to really think about the tragedy, or perhaps it was because Jake was finally home from school and I felt utter relief that my family was safe…yet complete sorrow for those who were not so lucky. There are no words, you know? And everything, I mean EVERYTHING, seems so trivial in the face of this tragedy. Even food, which we all know is a necessity.

So I could not blog about eggnog bread, so sorry. In fact, I couldn’t really blog about anything. The words wouldn’t come. I am struggling to grasp all that has happened, but yet I know I will never be able to understand fully. Only God knows, and it is a relief to know HE is in charge and that these little ones are in His hands. I found this post to be perhaps the most uplifiting post I’ve seen all weekend…amidst the crazy storm, there is a calm when you are higher up…and that gives me great peace, as I am sure it does you.

Anyway, eggnog bread….sigh…

This stuff is amazing. Really, really good. I have been on a diet for the last week and a half {I’ve lost 5 lbs!! yay!}, and I have been staying away from breads of any kind, but I admit, I ate half a loaf today. ugh. Why do I forsee those pounds returning? ha. Even my husband, who isn’t fond of eggnog, liked this bread.

A little history: My mom acquired this recipe from my friend Martha’s mom, Ginny, when I was in grade school. Thank you Ginny for sharing! xoxo

Egg Nog Bread

2 C. Flour

1 1/4 C. Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp baking powder

1-2 tsp nutmeg {I used 2}

3 eggs

1 1/2 C. Whipping Cream

2-3 tsp Imitation Rum Flavoring {I used nearly 2}

Preheat your oven to 350. Add all the ingredients to your mixer in order that they appear above. 

Blend on low speed for one minute, then medium speed for three minutes. Mixture will be thick and smooth. {Thanks Nicole for the extra hand in these photos! ha}

This recipe makes: {1} 9×5 loaf or {2} 8×4 loaf or {4} 4×3 loaf. I like to give the mini loaves as gifts.

Bake at 350 for 40-60 mins, or until knife comes out clean. Dust with powered sugar and enjoy!

YUMMO-O!

I love to wrap them up and give as gifts…

in fact, Brooke made you another hangtag down load.

I love that girl! Just click on the picture and it’s yours! for FREE! I hope you enjoy it! If you’d like, pop on over to Brooke’s facebook page and tell her thanks!

Evys Tree Christmas Tags

Enjoy dear friends! Big hugs to you all…so thankful we are here to celebrate this time together!

xoxo

PS…come back tomorrow to see who won the Ruffled Tree Skirt giveaway!

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Ruffle Tree Skirt GIVEAWAY

Did you guys see this post? If not, head on over, you’ll love what you see….

So I asked {more like begged} Janelle if she would be willing to make me an extra one to use as a holiday Giveaway here on the blog. I love you guys. You are all awesome. And I wanted to thank you for reading my terribly boring blog by giving you a chance to win one of Janelle’s amazing tree skirts!

Someone said that the tree skirt looks like a wedding dress…and it does! It’s amazing! Trust me! These skirts are all handmade and sewn with antique linens. Plus, Janelle scents some of the thread with orange essential oils…my house smells like a boutique! :)

Janelle still has one more left to sell if you want to buy one right away. Email her at hyatt.janelle@gmail.com. The cost of the skirt is $99 +$12 shipping. It will ship on Friday, Dec 14, so just in time for Christmas!

So how do you enter? You MUST share the above photo via social media of some kind:

1. Facebook: Click the share button under the photo on Facebook to tell your friends about the giveaway

2. Instagram: Share the photo above with a link to evystreeblog.com to share with your friends

3. Pinterest: Pin the photo above to share with your friends {or click pin it at the bottom of this post}

You can do ONE of the above daily. Just make sure you come back and tell us you did! Plus there are a bunch of other great ways to enter…do them all! :)

Thank you friends, for being so amazing. Merry Christmas to you all! xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My Christmas Tree is Dying

So today, as I walked past my Christmas tree, I reached over and felt the needles. I do this periodically because I love the feel of Christmas trees, and I love the way it leaves your hands smelling like a Winter Wonderland! ;) But instead of that feeling of excitement bubbling inside of me, I felt dread.

My tree is dying. I took a picture of it from where I”m sitting here at my desk area. I’m sure you can tell right away its dying {I know, you can’t but humor me}

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Ruffle-ly Tree Skirt Goodness

Something REALLY exciting showed up on my doorstep the other day….This gorgeous, gorgeous tree skirt.

It’s absolutely stunning! My friend Janelle made it for me, it’s made from vintage/antique table linens and bed cloths. Each and every piece is individually tea stained so no two linens are the same…which adds SO much charm to this skirt. Each ruffle is hand sewn on by Janelle herself, and it closes with those darling large bows in the back, as you see above.

This skirt is just so, so beautiful!! And, if you know me, you will know how much I love this…it smells AMAZING! Janelle soaked some of the thread in wild orange essential oils…it gives off such a beautiful aroma, my house smells like a boutique! ;)

I have been asked many times if Janelle would be interested in making more of these skirts, so I called her asked her how she felt about it. Here’s the cool part!

Janelle is committing herself to making 5 more of these skirts for YOU…and shipping them by Dec 14, so they would be there in time for Christmas.

She has gathered a bunch of beautiful linens and ready to get to sewing! So here’s the specifics: The skirt costs $99 +$12 shipping. Trust me when I say, this is WELL worth it. Do a little search on etsy, you will similar skirts but here’s the difference:

1. They are more expensive

2. They are not hand sewn {pieced together with hot glue and or fusion tape. Weird, right?}. Janelle lovingly hand sews all of these skirts.

Want one? Email Janelle: hyatt.janelle@gmail.com, and she will respond with the specifics and an invoice. Or you could always just comment here with your paypal address and she will address that as well.

So what are you waiting for?? GO BUY THAT SKIRT!

xoxo

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Together In The Kitchen: Mumsy’s Cheesecake

Whelp everyone, we made a little oops and messed you all up last week…we were supposed to post our together in the kitchen TODAY, not last Friday. Whoops. So we’re at it again, but something tells me you won’t mind, right?

Oh, and Aimee has included a little writing prompt to help you all out if you need a little push to get writing. Start writing!!!

welcome back to Together in the Kitchen — our twice monthly encouragement for you to spend quality time in the kitchen making, creating & baking with someone other than yourself! With Christmas fast approaching & cookie exchanges commencing..

What is your favorite cookie to indulge during these holiday months? Leave a comment below and of course, if you can – share the link!!

* * * * * * *

And before we get to ours, head on over and check our cohosts. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back. :)

Aimee……

Ashley……bow arrow: together in the kitchen

 And now me {I’m Amy, by the way, ha}

A while back I shared my mom’s cheesecake recipe {HERE} but I didn’t get a good picture of it or a good step by step. I volunteered to bring a cheesecake to my young mother’s church Christmas party last night and had grand ideas to do a step by step, but alas…I made the cheesecake in the middle of the night on Wednesday, which meant light was horrible and I was tired. Oh well. At least you get a finish product picture. *sigh*

Mumsy’s Cheesecake

Crust:
Box of Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs {or any other graham cracker crumb brand will work}
Butter
Sugar

Filling:
4 eggs beaten well {do not overbeat. I lightly beat them with a whisk in a separate bowl}
4 tea vanilla
1/2 tea lemon juice
4  8oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature {very important, the cheese won’t mix}
1 1/2 C sugar

Sour Cream Topping:
2 C. sour cream
7 Tb sugar
2 tea vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Follow directions on the graham cracker crumb package. I usually double the recipe on the Honey Maid, since I like a very thick crust. With your fingers, mold the crumbs onto the bottom and the sides of a 9″ springform pan.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla and lemon. Mix well until creamy and has very little lumps. Pour mixture into pan, stopping at one inch from top of pan {you might not use all the batter}. Bake for one hour. While cheesecake is baking, mix together the ingredients for sour cream topping. After the hour, remove cheesecake from oven, add the sour cream topping and cook for 10 more minutes.

Remove from oven, bring to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 12 hours {I try to do a good 24 hrs}.

Ok, I absolutely CANNOT have this cheesecake without raspberry sauce. Cannot. My mom makes this amazing raspberry sauce with strained raspberries and cornstarch and you have to sit there and stir and stir. I, personally, never have the time for that, so when I found Ina’s recipe {HERE}, I about died and gone to Heaven. Easy peasy. I usually make some up and put it in a big bowl for everyone to use, or sometimes I dump it all over the top like Ina suggests. Either way, don’t eat this cheesecake without. You’ve been warned. ha.

And of course, my girl wakes up rigghhhtt when I’m about to pull the cheesecake from the fridge for pictures. I love this sweetie!

 And another view of the cheesecake. Just trust me when I say, you need to make this. Yup. It’s amazing.

 We would love for you to share your recipe! Link up with us!

DESCRIPTIVE-TEXT-OF-YOUR-LINK


1: link up a recipe. any recipe. as many recipes as you want to share.. then add our button or text link to your post!!

2: visit at least the two links before you and either comment and/or pin their recipe to Pinterest

3. if you want to share our little get together, please tweet: “share a recipe with @evystree @bowandarrowart @byAimeeSki today at http://wp.me/p2PzO1-5F

4. leave a comment below sharing your favorite cookie to indulge in during the Christmas season & be sure to leave a link, if you can!!

*we encourage you to subscribe by email to one {or all 3!} of our blog posts so you never miss a link up!
Thank you for stopping by!! xoxo



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