Friday, November 29, 2013

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Today, Laura of I do deClaire and I are bringing you something special... a Christmas cookie swap! Every Friday until Christmas we'll each share a Christmas cookie recipe. It's the perfect way to really get into the holiday season! Today I'm sharing a Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookie recipe.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
adapted from here

for the cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
almond slices (optional)

for the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
3/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp milk
green food coloring (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in almond extract, then add flour and mix until dough comes together. 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

2. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on cookie sheets fitted with parchment paper. Make a small crater in the center of each ball with your thumb, and fill each crater with preserves. Optional: add a slice or two of almonds on top of the preserves for a little something extra.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

3. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until lightly brown. While cookies are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

4. When cookies are done, let cool for a minute on cookie sheet, then move parchment paper and cookies to a baking rack. Drizzle glaze over warm cookies.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

5. Optional: for more festive cookies, add a drop or two of green food coloring to the glaze for red and green cookies!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

J and I ate most of these last night as our Thanksgiving meal dessert, and they were a hit! I hope you and your family enjoy these this holiday season. 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Don't forget to check out Laura's lemon cookies, too!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Cognac and Black

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Cognac and Black
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Cognac and Black
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Cognac and Black
necklace, sweater/ Target | jeans/ Old Navy | boots/ JustFab | jacket/ Kohl's

I love the look of cognac brown and black together. Maybe because I grew up with that "black and brown make a frown" rule, and that one seems to have gone out the window. I'm glad, too, because that one was about as ridiculous as "no white after Labor Day." (However, I still don't think chocolate brown and black go together. Probably because they're a lot closer in color.) 

This is what I wore yesterday when J and I went to see Catching Fire. I thought it was good, but I usually spend the first time watching a movie from a book comparing it to the book. So I'd like to see it again and just enjoy it. I'm usually pretty lenient with changes they make for the movie if I can justify that it makes sense in movie format and would be too hard to do exactly as it was in the book, as long as it doesn't change the essence or important parts of the story. There's only been one thing so far with the first two movies that makes me mad that they changed it. I don't want to give anything away here for people who haven't read the books, but let's just say it has to do with the origin of the Mockingjay pin. Otherwise, I think the movies have been pretty spot-on. 

Anyway, I'll be back on Friday with something special, and until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Vested

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Vested
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Vested
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Vested
vest, jeans/ Old Navy | shirt/ JCPenney | boots/ JustFab

Hey guys! I know it's been awhile since I've posted. I've been really sick for the last week or so, and trust me, nobody wanted to see pictures of that. But now that I'm finally feeling better, I'm excited to show you my newest purchase!

I snagged this vest during one of Old Navy's crazy online sales. I've been seeing so many cute puffy vests around this fall that I just had to try one out for myself. And I think I'm in love! I love the texture and the color, and this sucker is so warm and comfy! It's weird that something that doesn't have arms can keep you so warm. It's just cool enough today for the vest, but not a proper jacket (I know, it's okay to be jealous, I'm jealous of your snow). Also, I think I officially have more blue than any other color in my closet now. 

I'm gonna go finish getting caught up on all you lovely ladies' blogs now, so if you get a slew of comments from me, well, #sorrynotsorry. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 15, 2013

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

This is another installment of The Pintester Movement: Ho Ho Ho Edition

I know it's a little early still to be talking about Christmas, but really it's the Pintester's fault, not mine. This time around, we were challenged to do a pin of a DIY Christmas ornament from Pinterest. After browsing for awhile, I decided on this one, because apparently I have a thing for toilet paper roll crafts. So does E, and this one was a really easy and fun one to do with her. 

I already had the toilet paper rolls, of course, and the paint (we used acrylic paint that I had lying around), so I just had to run to the craft store for some twine and tacky glue.


1 toilet paper roll per ornanament
Tacky glue
Craft paint (I used my acrylics)
Twine, ribbon or string
Anything else you want to use to decorate it with (we left them as is because by the time we were done painting, E was bored)

Step 1: Squash the toilet paper rolls flat

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

Step 2: Cut roll into six equal(ish) pieces. Don't let your preschooler convince you that she can do this part by herself.

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

Step 3: Start gluing.

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower
DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower
DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

Step 4: Let dry for a few hours. Find another way to entertain your preschooler while they dry or she will constantly be checking them and actually hindering the process.

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

Step 5: Paint!

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

Step 6: Once the paint is dry, cut a six-inch length of twine per ornament, and attach. Tada!

DIY Christmas Ornament: Toilet Paper Roll Flower

Now E is continually asking me where the Christmas tree is, because why on earth would we make Christmas ornaments if we weren't going to put them on a tree? But we stayed busy for an afternoon and now I have a cute flower that she made to hang on the tree once it's up, so I call this a win.

Happy (early) holidays, all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Lucky

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Lucky
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Lucky
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Lucky
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: Lucky
scarf, jacket/ Kohl's | shirt/ Target | jeans/ Old Navy | boots/ JustFab

You guys know that I've had a couple items on my fall wish list for... pretty much all of fall: a leopard scarf, and a brown (p)leather jacket. I was having the hardest time finding either of these items that were both 1) my style and 2) my price point. Just the other day, I bemoaned on Twitter how fruitless my hunt for a leopard scarf was, to the point of being convinced that leopard was no longer in style. (Dramatic, much?)

Well, my (sort-of) patience finally paid off. Yesterday, I made a run to Michael's for a couple of craft supplies (more on that tomorrow). Michael's just happens to be next door to Kohl's, so of course I accidentally found myself there. As luck would have it, they were having an awesome sale, and this scarf and jacket just sort of jumped into my arms. It was an out-of-body shopping experience if ever I've had one. 

Moral of the story: two more things checked off my wishlist! Wooo!

Linking up with Just Another Smith for her leopard print link-up!

And also Work Clothes, I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Caring For Our Heroes: Learn About PTSD This Veterans Day

Dr. Mario Trucillo contacted me about sharing this post from The American Recall Center, and I agreed. I have too many friends who have suffered/are suffering from PTSD, and if this information can help anyone else, I sincerely hope it does. Please pass this along to anyone who might benefit from it. And thank a vet today! 

Veterans Day, observed on November 11, is an official United States federal holiday honoring men and women who have served in the armed services. A short history lesson (1) —Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Hence, Armistice Day was created. Then in 1954, Armistice Day became Veterans Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Don’t confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. Veterans Day celebrates all military veterans who served; Memorial Day remembers veterans who died while serving. 

Many vets return from their service just fine, and get on with their lives. Some return with physical injuries, both major and minor. And some return with mental health issues. One of the most common after a traumatic event is PTSD—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

The symptoms of PTSD can be terrifying, disrupting your life and making it hard to continue with your daily activities. Symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person, but there are certain hallmarks of PTSD that are common. There are four types of PTSD symptoms (2) : 

  • Reliving the event (called a flashback) 
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event 
  •  Feeling numb 
  • Feeling keyed up 

Counseling and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) appear to be the most effective treatments for PTSD. Counseling means talking with a therapist about the traumatic event. The therapist listens to your concerns and helps you make changes in your life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy seems to be the most effective. 

SSRIs are a type of antidepressant medicine that can help you feel less worried or sad. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). How do SSRIs work? Chemicals in your brain affect the way you feel. When you have PTSD, you may not have enough serotonin (a chemical that contributes to general happiness). SSRIs raise the level of serotonin in your brain. Studies show that SSRIs improve symptoms of non-combat-related PTSD; however, studies are mixed about whether SSRIs work as well for combat-related PTSD. (3)

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory (4) on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide in children and adults. The FDA has not recommended that children and young adults stop using antidepressants. However, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide (especially at the beginning of treatment or when doses are changed). 

Additionally, the FDA has asked drug companies to include a “black box” warning in their package inserts (PIs); this is the government’s strongest medication warning. The warning is in bold letters inside a black box and recommends that anyone considering the use of the antidepressant in a child or young adult carefully balance the risk of taking the drug with the need to use it.

Paxil is a popular choice for treating PTSD. Additional information is available about Paxil, its side effects, and its black box warning

 If you’re a vet, thank you for your service! If you need more information, visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs and specifically the Veterans Health Administration. Click on “PTSD COACH” to find online help for PTSD. 

  3. Benedek DM, et al. (2009). Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. American Psychiatric Association. Available online:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: New Clothes!

Stay-At-Home Mom Style: New Clothes!
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: New Clothes!
Stay-At-Home Mom Style: New Clothes!
scarf/ gift | sweater, jeans/ Old Navy | boots/ Shoedazzle

Here's a look at some new clothes I bought last month! It feels so good to finally be able to wear them now that I've put that 30x30 nonsense behind me. Seriously, those were my favorite pieces and I got sick of them quick. It's refreshing to just be able to wear what I want, instead of what I "have to." I know it was self-inflicted, but still. Anyway. Moving on. 

This is my third pair of non-denim-colored jeans. (The other two are the infamous grey and blue ones.) I LOVE them. The black is so chic, but they're still just skinny jeans and go with every top I own. Also, these boots might be my favorite pair ever. They're so cool and laid back, and they look amazing with every pair of pants I own. The buttons are the best little detail. I highly recommend them, especially for us gals whose calves are more than 15" around. I call them my pirate boots, because, well... they remind me of boots that pirates wear. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom Style Remix: Cheater-Pants

Please don't hate me, but I'm cheating today. I was looking through past outfits to make sure I didn't repeat any for the 30 x 30, and realized I have eleven outfits that use only items in my remix. I was having trouble coming up with new ones because of this, so I figured I'd do a roundup of those outfits to close out this silly challenge. Honestly, I was getting a little sick of seeing these clothes, and maybe you were too. Also, I really want to show you my new stuff. So I cheat, and call it a day (and the end of the 30x30 remix).

Here are the original posts:

In other news in the FWMGS household... we got E back from her dad last Thursday, just in time for trick-or-treating! It's been an adjustment getting back into our normal routine (more so  than I expected), which means I haven't been taking outfit photos lately (another reason for my cheater-pants roundup). I promise I'll get my blogging act together again soon. 

Also, my husband's work trip is back on, apparently. He'll be leaving this weekend for a couple weeks (so thankful that he'll be back in time for Thanksgiving!), which means that our schedule has been pretty hectic trying to prepare for that as well. I know I know, excuses excuses, I just wanted to let you know where my head is at and what's going on in our family lately. I mostly enjoy being a military wife, but the off-again on-again of this trip has thrown me for a loop!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back with an outfit with some of my new stuff!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Budgeting Bloggers: October Budget

Budgeting Bloggers: October Budget

1. Old Navy drop shoulder v-neck sweater in wine country: (originally $29.94) $12.80 with promotions
2. Bandolino Petite Mandie jeans in mulled sangria: (originally $48) $17.99 via Ross
3. Shoedazzle Irene boots in slate: (originally $39.95) $19.98 with VIP intro offer
4. Old Navy Sweetheart skinny jeans in black jack: (originally $29.50) $18.88 with promotions

Total: $69.65 - $15 clothes sold = $54.65
Saved: $77.74

I know I'm late to the game on this one, but here we are. After not shopping for the first half of the month, I made up for lost time with a couple awesome online sales and a trip to Ross. I was able to cross three more things off my wish list (the boots were just for fun), and once again saved more than I spent (love it when that happens)! 

My new favorite outfit that I've worn several times this month (despite the 30 for 30) is the sweater/black jeans/ boots combo. I LOVE it, and will show it to you very soon! As for the maroon pants, it'll be a little bit before those make an appearance because while they're perfect in almost every way-- fit in the waist, hips and thighs; exact color I was hoping for; thick material that doesn't show panty lines-- they are not cropped skinnies like I wanted. So I will be making my very first trip to the tailor soon to have them remedy that for me. They'll need to take the legs in a little, and raise the hem a bit, so hopefully that doesn't end up being too expensive. I'll include the tailoring costs in November's budget.

Also, I'm not including my new coat in the budget because it's outerwear and actually ended up replacing a coat I had that was on its last legs, but if me not including it makes you mad, it would bring my total up to $75.75. (It was originally $42.94, I got it for $21.10.) Either way I was a little over my $50 budget, but I don't regret any of my purchases! Here's a look at my updated wish list:

Fall Wish List
cognac flats
comfy fall shirt
fall dress
cognac boots
fall scarf
second plaid flannel shirt
colored cardigan
neutral cardigan
maroon/fall colored pants
brown leather (or fake leather) jacket
black skinny jeans

I don't think I'll be making a winter wishlist, since I left my winter wardrobe in Omaha and "winter" out here is basically the same as fall, just more rainy. I'll save updating my winter wardrobe for next year when I have to endure a true Nebraska winter again.

As always, linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers!

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