Saturday, December 18, 2010

getting my groove back

It's been way too long since my last post because, honestly, I just haven't been feeling it. There's been plenty to talk about but at the end of a long, crazy day I just didn't seem to have it in me to download pics and write. Sad, isn't it? Up until yesterday I hadn't baked a thing for the holidays or even watched a Christmas movie, and for me, that's WAY out of the norm. Don't get me wrong, I've definitely been feeling the holiday spirit...our house is decorated, gifts thoughtfully purchased, cards lovingly addressed, and a good dose of Christmas music can be heard blaring from our speakers on a regular basis...I just haven't had the energy to write about it.

Sure, I have a million excuses but they're no different than what everyone else is going through and yet they've had the time + energy to complete post after post. Apparently I'd fallen into some sort of funk and didn't know it. That all changed when I walked into our kitchen yesterday for an afternoon of creating sweet treats for our neighbors. Normally I deliver a smorgasbord of different cookies but this year I just wasn't feeling it {can you sense a theme?} so I reached out to an expert for some different ideas. She sent me links to some awesome ideas {here, here, here}, as well as giving me a wonderful list of others. In the end, after bouncing around from blog to blog, I ended up deciding to do a rather unusual gift idea. For most of you this time of year is filled with cold weather and lots of daydreaming of sunshine + warmth, for us in Louisiana it's filled with crazy, erratic weather...a few days in the 30's/40's and the next near 80 {I kid you not, this was my week}...and the inability to correctly dress ourselves in appropriate clothing. Anyway, I decided to embrace our weird weather and create a "Louisiana Winter Survival Kit" filled with things to keep you cool when it's warm {ice cream sundae fixin's} and warm your tummy when it's cold {hot cocoa}.

I made hot fudge {amazing, btw}, pecan praline sauce {also super yummy}, candy & sprinkle-dipped Oreos, and some incredibly decadent brownies...

Tempted by the brownie? No?! Let me give you another look...

Now you're craving some, aren't you? {Sorry but I couldn't resist.}

To this I added some yummy hot cocoa packets I found at World Market, individual packets of marshmallows, Christmas themed sprinkles, and some fun holiday napkins {not pictured}.

Not pictured are the kits I had to improvise when my first batch of pecan praline sauce didn't turn out so well since I got the pecans more than a bit too toasty, and didn't have enough corn syrup for an additional {3rd} batch. For those I {obviously} omitted the praline sauce but added a cute {small} glass dish that contained fun sprinkles, crushed oreos for another topping option, and instead of two candy-dipped Oreos on a stick I gave them several of the version without sticks. The boxes were filled up lickety split and I must confess, I was pretty happy with the results.

Another thing making me happy was having my "big" camera out & playing around with it. Just having it in my hand made me smile and I slowly felt myself turning back into "me" - it was a wonderful feeling! Apparently baking + photography are two things that make me smile big time!

Oh sweet camera, how I've missed you!

It also made me super happy to get a quick label made so we could deliver these to our sweet neighbors/friends.

Here they are ready to brighten someone's day. It's always so much fun delivering these. I just wish I could have figured out a way to put some ice cream in there as well!

Hope you're having a great holiday season and find yourself gettin' your groove on!


Abbie said...

I've been in a funk, too. It's hard to bust out of it sometimes.

Those turned out SO cute! I'm sure they're tasty. Now I want to make brownies.

Rob said...

mmmm. I wish we were neighbors! A super thoughtful gift.

tracie @ {tsj} photography said...

cyndi these are amazing!!!

i pray you have a relaxing and enjoyable time in cali and that your Christmas is as wonderful as you are!

heather said...

I love this idea!!!! Good work!

Cake for Breakfast said...

What a thoughtful kit! Wishing I were a neighbor right now!

Sadie said...

Clever girl! Glad you got your Martha Mojo back.

mom said...

These are GREAT! I loved the idea when you told me about it - even though you said you weren't bringing any of them with you :-( Now I'm really bummed!! They look fabulous. Glad my neighbors won't see this. I would never hear the end of it!!