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DIY Tree Skirt & Toky's Sugar Cookies

Hi! So many updates to tell ya about!

1. We finally got moved in to our new place! Wowee. We love it. We have doors that actually close, a dishwasher (for the first time in our 3-year marriage), and our bed isn't in the living room! We have our own room! It's the little things, guys.

1.5 Tina is potty training! It's a very slow process, but it's happening! I don't know how you people do it in 3 days, it's taking us like a month. Probably gonna be more like a year. But all I know is we are going through less diapers and going on a choo-choo train was a great incentive. 

2. Spouse Unit is outta school for the break! Woop woop. They made a mistake--a happy mistake, might I add--on the calendar, so they let classes out two weeks earlier than they were supposed to. The gals and I are getting some much needed time with our favorite male.

3. My long-time dream of seeing Weezer came true last week! Spouse Unit took me for my Christmas present. They are my favorite band and it was the best concert I have ever been to! Sure, I couldn't see 2/3 of the time because of tall people, cat fights, fist fights, and the dope-smokin' ladies doing Snapchat stories two rows up, but the music was phenomenal and everyone was having such a blast singing along. We were pretty close to the front, too!

Twoo wuv.
Here they are in all their glory! Not pictured: Scott Shriner, who was probably doing something awesome. The opening acts were K Flay and Judah and the Lion, and both were awesome performances. However, they didn't make me cry tears of joy by playing an acoustic version of "Island in the Sun" while wearing Hawaiian leis, so...

4. We head to the motherland next week for Christmas vacation! We're "thuper duper exthited", especially Tina who won't stop talking about seeing everyone and going on an airplane. But let's be honest: we're all talking about how excited we are to see everyone and go on an airplane. Fam jam, we're coming for you!

Even though we won't be at our apartment for Christmas, I was insistent upon setting up our Christmas decorations and tree. And now that it's all up, I'm threatening to take it down every few hours because my girls won't stop touching the stinkin' tree! Is there such a thing as toddler repellant? I think I need some. Maybe I should invent it and market it. It'll probably smell like vegetables or shame or something. Or both! Anyone want a piece of this once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity?

Anyway, I have always wanted a Christmas tree skirt but I don't like the prices at the store so I usually wrap a blanket around the base like a weirdo. This year, we were gonna have none of that. I whipped out Google and did a quick search for no-sew Christmas tree skirts (since all of my sewing machine needles are broken and I keep forgetting to buy more) and this one from Sew Many Ways popped up. It looked easy enough and I had some cute reddish canvas that I scored at a church activity that I wanted to use for something. I also had some leftover white felt from Halloween costumes (see here) so I didn't end up spending any lettuce on this project. I really liked how it turned out! Here it is:

Fold it up, cut it at an arc so it'll make a circle, cut out the middle, cut out a million circles and different sized petals, hot glue the heck outta them and slap 'em on like so. Ten points if you know what kind of flower this is, because I have no idea.
All is calm, all is bright... for now...
Closer look with better lighting and a little llama ornament action.

There you have it! Really easy. I made the petals 3D by hot gluing the ends and then pinching them together, like these here. You can use the flowers to decorate pretty much anything, too. I have a pair of pillows that have felt flowers like these on 'em!

Alright, enough of that. Here's a tasty Sugar Cookie recipe. I got the recipe when I was a freshman in college from a sweet lady named Toky. Isn't that cute? I think so, so that's what they're called. Toky's Sugar Cookies. You can make them with buttercream frosting, royal icing on top, or just brush a little milk on them and put sprinkles on before you bake. I made them two different ways but we ate them before we took pictures. Sorry. I should have, though, because Tina helped me decorate them!


1/2 c. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. shortening, optional (to help them keep their shape)
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 tsp.) milk
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla (regular works, too, but good vanilla helps a lot)
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. (3 1/2 tsp.) baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream butter and opt. shortening. Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add milk and vanilla. Add in flour, a little at a time, with baking powder and salt until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and comes together (this is an Alton Brown tip).

Form into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Flour your rolling pin and counter top with powdered sugar (another Alton Brown tip, isn't it brilliant?) and roll one disk of dough out. You'll want it to be a little thick, maybe 1/4 inch. cut out shapes and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, spacing them apart a bit.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes. They'll still be pale but they make for a soft cookie. Cool completely and decorate (I'd suggest popping them in the freezer before frosting so they don't fall apart)!


1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. to 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla

Cream the butter, and add the powdered sugar until crumbly. Slowly add the vanilla and the heavy whipping cream until you reach the desired consistency. I'd also probably add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor. Color it to your heart's content and slather it all over those cookies.

What are your favorite Christmas cookies? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, may your days be merry and bright, and as always, hasta la pasta, ya'll!



  1. The skirt turned out soo cute! Your pattern is lovely! I love the scallop :)
    I bought one our first year of marriage on clearance at hobby lobby and I don't love it, but it gets the job done :) Maybe I'll make one next year, but seeing as I still haven't made myself a stocking probably not ;)

    My favorite holiday cookie is Shawn's mom's ginger cookies. I still need to call her and get the recipe again cause I want to make them for neighbors/friends. They are GORGEOUS and DIVINE! You roll them in sugar before baking and dip each halfway in white chocolate after they cool. Chewy, tasty, everything you want in a cookie. Mmmmm

    1. Why thank you! Well, if you make a tree skirt you can use the leftover fabric to make a stocking! :) You'll have to send me the recipe! Those sound amazing!

  2. LOVEEEEEEE everything about this blog post. I didn't know we had the same favorite band!!!!!! And I totally want in on your toddler repellent. Vegetables would be the perfect ingredient for Buddy. I am looking for cookie recipes. I think I'm going to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for a playgroup cookie exchange on Thursday. Your tree skirt is super cute! And yay for dishwashers!!! The pictures of your apartment are beautiful. I love you!

    1. I know, how did we never discuss this before now? Thanks! I will let you know when I draw up the contract. I love you back, hope your cookies turn out fab!


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