Happy second week of December! Just a few weeks left until the big day – how are you doing? You’d think without a house to decorate that I’d have everything done early this year, but nope! There’s always other things to fill the space, you know? I do have everything bought (or ordered) and am almost done making our handmade gifts, so it’s really just wrapping and baking that’s left which isn’t too bad actually.
Speaking of baking did you kind of notice that it’s been all goodies around here the past couple of weeks? I’m taking this holiday opportunity to update a few of our favorite, classic recipes that have been on the blog since the beginning but had terrible photos. All of them make wonderful additions to goodie bags (since I’ve given them many times over the years)- whole grain cut-outs, a perfect soft peanut butter cookie, mocha chip cookies for all the coffee lovers you know, an amazing, rich, brownie with four types of chocolate, and a cranberry bread with crumb topping that you can gift all on it’s own. I hope you’ve found a new recipe to add to your traditions!
On to this week’s things I’m loving – and a few links I think you’ll love! (as always, some of the links I provide are affiliate links)
Our dog’s smooth sailing through surgery. It was just to remove a skin tag right below Samson’s eye that had grown big and started to bleed because he likes to rub his head against our legs. Once he realized it, he would paw at it and then lick the blood he got from it, so it had to go. #yuck
Sadly, it was heart-stoppingly expensive for basically a cosmetic surgery. I don’t know what people do who are on tighter budgets than we are right now – I had no idea pet care has gotten so expensive. They biopsied the tag and did find that it was melanoma, but the vet said it’s not dangerous like human melanoma and the only treatment would’ve been what they did, to cut it out.
As for Samson, he again is showing us that he has ruined us for any other dog! He’s such a trooper and just sits patiently when we take his cone on and off. Then he just goes about his day like normal (though he runs into things of course…). He’s such a sweetie. And I’m just telling him that he better live a long time now (he’s probably 11, which is older for a big dog), ha!
Using my new Instant Pot. If you follow me on social media, you saw that I took baby steps this week to start using the Instant Pot I got during the cyber week sales. I spent time reading how to work it, did a bit of research, and then made two things: brown rice and a slow cooker soup. I’m hoping it will replace my slow cooker so it can live in that space and not just be another appliance in my kitchen. I really liked how I could sauté the meat and onions first before adding the remaining ingredients for the soup!
Next up I plan to boil eggs and cook a pork roast. If you have an IP, do you have any favorite recipes? Please share – I’m on the hunt for different ways I can use this to make it worthwhile!
Our exciting weather week. We had snow fall for a couple hours early Monday morning, though it was just a dusting that melted later in the day. The weather stayed pretty cold all week and then on Thursday morning we had my least favorite winter weather: freezing rain.
Thankfully, it just coated plants and cars, but the ground stayed just wet, so we had no trouble driving around to our planned shopping stops. The bonus was that so many people stayed home there were no lines anywhere – it was awesome for the second week in December!
What we’re watching: The Voice – I rolled my eyes at Miley Cyrus as a judge, but she’s actually pretty good!
Any TV shows you’ve been enjoying that I should check out?
Popular on Pinterest: Freeze-and-Bake Crumb Top Apple Pie
Popular on FB: Mini cheese pretzel balls (not mine, but I know why they’re popular – I’m totally making these!)
Popular on IG: Soft & chewy peanut butter cookies for the win!
Links To Check Out:
Toasted pecan shortbread cookies – they would be amazing with tea!
Okay, I’m ready for the best potatoes of my life.
Wonderful, thrifty garden shed makeover.
How to make scented tea lights.
Tips for growing poinsettias so they thrive.
Handmade gifts- from your slow cooker!
Like these links? I’m always pinning these and lots more – follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! Plus you can trust I’ll only share what I love. (You can always read our entire disclosure page here.)