Dinner Last Night: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

On the shortest day of the year, it seemed only fitting to have the ultimate comfort food for early darkening skies and falling temperatures, sweet potato shepherd's pie.  I ended up using yams so my topping was a bit more orangey than this picture, but delicious nonetheless.  Try this at home, it'll be worth your while, a big heaping spoonful of yum!

Storyworth Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Marissa H., Heather T., and Katie U., the three winners of my Storyworth giveaway!  You will each receive a 1-year subscription to Storyworth for 1 storyteller and 1 book, valued at $79!  Thanks again to all who entered.

In case you didn't win this time around - don't fret, it's definitely not too late to partake in the magic of Storyworth.  No shipping and handling necessary, deliver this e-gift today to your loved one of choice, who will assist you in in scribing and preserving your family's stories for years to come.

image via storyworth

Quote of the Week

"First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then-- we’ll snuggle."
- Buddy the Elf
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Christmas Favorites

Christmas is in full swing around our house.  We've got the Mariah Carey "All I Want For Christmas is You" pandora station playing on repeat.  And after two brief - but visibly appeasing - snow days, we've stocked up with plenty of hot cocoa and twinkly lights to keep us warm and cozy through Christmas day.

+ slowly making my way through my favorite Christmas movies, including, Love ActuallyElf, White Christmas, The Holiday, Little Women, and The Family Man. What are your faves?

+ making many a snowflake and mitten from this gingerbread recipe.

+ reading our way through book advent with my kids every night (this and this were my kids' Christmas books for 2016)

+ enjoying apple cider mimosas at brunch with girlfriends (I'd never heard of these before -soo good!)

+ decorating gingerbread houses with my daughter via this kit (on sale!)

+ awaiting our mail carrier's delivery every day for Christmas and holiday cards, we went with these this year 

+ made this delicious tart (yet again) for my mom's group holiday party

What are your Christmas favorites in your neck of the woods?

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Dinner Last Night: Crispy Prosciutto Cheesy White Lasagna

Made this cheesy pan of deliciousness last night - it was the perfect comfort food for a cold, crisp winter day.  Crispy edged on the outside, cheesy goodness inside, enough spinach to justify a vegetable portion, and best of all - crunchy prosciutto on top.  Delish!

image/halfbakedharvest

Giving the Gift of Story **GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

My love affair with Storyworth grows by the day as the anecdotes from my parents continue to roll in.  It feels like such a have new stories from my family's past arrive effortlessly in my email inbox, ready to spring to life by my viewing.  

My most recent favorite was a particular anecdote written by my father.  Having grown up in a different state than my grandparents for most of my life, I find that my memories from my paternal grandparents are a bit hazier than those of my maternal grandparents.  As such, I know even less about their parents (my great-grandparents).  This prompt "Do you have any particularly vivid memories of your grandparents?" was especially enlightening, and a gateway into a whole chapter I never knew.

My most vivid memories of my Paternal Grandparents are from visits to the family farm in South Dakota and seeing all the work they did every single day. They always rose early and worked until sunset. My first real memories of them are as an 8 year old at their 50th wedding anniversary with all of my family and many many relatives there for the celebration. I recall my grandmother making sheets of egg noodles for the entire family to have chicken noodle soup and canning every fruit and vegetable imaginable for the winters ahead. I remember my grandfather and uncles in their denim overalls heading out to the fields after a full breakfast and then breaking for lunch (“dinner” in the Dakotas) and a late supper. I also recall the great two story home they built with a wrap-around porch and root cellar for canned goods. I spent many days collecting the morning eggs from the chickens, spreading corn for livestock and operating harvest equipment with my uncles in the Midwest states.
My memories of my Maternal grandparents are of a much different nature in the same state. My mother’s mother died when she was very young and my memories are of her father and stepmother who we always knew as our grandmother. They lived in a fine house in Rapid City, South Dakota. My grandfather was a lawyer and Judge in the South Dakota court system and held that position for many years. My grandmother raised my mother and several additional younger children she had with my grandfather. I recall the large back porch overlooking acres of grass behind the house and my grandfather’s office with it’s musty smell of older law books and wood. We spent many hours roaming through the house and grounds of their property.
After receiving these stories, I find myself reading and rereading these passages, hanging onto specific details as I try and visualize the scene, and my father living these moments as a child.  
This connection to the past has been such a gift, as these kinds of prompts don't always arise in casual dinner conversation.  I'm thankful that Storyworth has recognized the power of the written word, and provided my family opportunity to have our stories preserved in print, catalogued for our family for generations to come.

Just in time for the holidays, I'm offering a giveaway so you too can give the gift of Storyworth.  All you need to do to be eligible is enter your name and email address here!  Three winners of those eligible will be picked to receive a 1-year subscription for 1 storyteller and 1 book, valued at $79!  This would be such a wonderful gift to receive this Christmas season.

To be eligible: click this link, add your name and email, and leave a comment below.  Happy storytelling! 
**NOW CLOSED**

Christmas Gift Guide

I love seeing the various gift guide's across my favorite blogs, so I decided to make my own - a collection of my current favorite things for this holiday season - and oh, my sweet 
husband, if by chance you're free, feel free to take notes...
Small Victories cookbook
cozy winter jammies (currently on sale!)

What's catching your eye this holiday season?