Outside my window...it's completely dark.
I am thinking...about the video I just watched of the Air Force Band doing a flash mob at the Smithsonian. The orchestral music and the singing was outstanding and inspiration. Just a wonderful way to start my morning.
I am thankful...for heat on cold winter mornings. Right now it's 5 degrees above zero. The warmest it has been in days.
In the kitchen...I'm taking a break from making Christmas treats after two days of cooking and baking. Made a variety of treats including one for Andes Mint Fudge that I found on Pinterest.
Andes Mint Fudge that I made.
The pin leads to Sally's Baking Addiction. It's absolutely amazing...and very easy to make:
2.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1.5 cups white chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoons peppermint extract (or more, go by your taste preference)
2 drops green food coloring
1 teaspoon shortening
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and/or Andes Creme De Menth Baking Chips (I used the latter)
Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Spray paper with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1.5 cups chocolate chips with 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, stirring occasionally. Spread melted chocolate mixture into pan and chill for 5-10 minutes.
In another saucepan, melt white baking chips and remaining condensed milk, stirring until completely smooth. Remove from the heat and add peppermint extract and food coloring. Spread mint layer over chilled chocolate layer. Chill for 5-10 minutes as you make the final layer.
Melt remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 tsp shortening in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir until completely smooth. Spread over chilled mint layer. Top with mini chocolate chips and/or Andes baking chips. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until fudge is completely set (could take up to 4 hours).
Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Fudge will freeze and thaw well.
I am wearing...a t-shirt, fleece pullover, pajama pants, and fuzzy socks - and I'm still cold. With Cooper (the dog) laying by my legs, he's keeping me somewhat warm.
I am creating...lots of window stars. Just received two orders from my shop (Harvest Moon by Hand) - one from Italy and one from France - over the weekend.
One of the sets of window stars I just completed.
I am going...to take my daughters to their homeschool co-op today. Sophia has piano lessons, jewelry making, and ceramics. Olivia has piano lessons, French, and science.
I am wondering...when I'm going to have time to make some homemade Christmas items like I was hoping to do this season.
I am reading...more on the internet now than I am the library books on my shelf. During December, I prefer reading short things than a book that takes a longer time commitment to read. Am looking forward to reading some of the library books I want to read after Christmas: I am Malala, The Waiting Child, and Daring Greatly.
I am hoping...to get quite a few errands done while the girls at the co-op today.
I am looking forward to...Friday when we go back to the nursing home to volunteer. Sophia will be playing her harp for residents and their families in the assisted living section; and then afterwards Olivia will dress up as St. Lucia and visit some of the seniors in the nursing home section and pass out some Swedish treats.
Sophia playing the harp last year at the assisted living section of the nursing home.
This was at the Christmas party for residents and their families.
I am learning...to let some things go, and not try to do as much as I had hoped to do this season if the girls or I feel tired.
Around the house...I got the laundry all sorted, folded, hung up, and put away. All the rooms are vacuumed, half the beds have fresh sheets/bedding (the rest will be done today), and all the bath towels are washed, folded, and put away. Such a relief.
A favorite quote for today...“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~ Nelson Mandela
One of my favorite things...a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in the morning.
A few plans for the rest of the week: homeschool co-op and errands (Monday); Olivia has special education and speech therapy as well as her drawing class (Tuesday); the girls have choir practice and Sophia has a violin lesson (Wednesday); and we volunteer at the nursing home (Friday). Interspersed is homeschooling, gift making, and holiday preparations.
A peek into my day...
It looks like December now that it has snowed.