Christmas Church Windows


One of my favorite things about old churches are the gorgeous stained glass windows. Ever since I was a little girl I had a dream of getting married in one of those beautiful churches during the winter. I mean, how gorgeous would it be to look out a stained glass church window and see the snowflakes delicately falling down. My first Christmas away at college I went to a cookie exchange party, where everyone shared their favorite holiday recipe. One of my dearest friends shared a recipe for Church Windows. They were simple and easy to make, but meant everything to me. I haven't made Church Windows in years, but after everything that has happened in the past year I decided it was the perfect year to make these gorgeous cookies and I cannot wait to share them with my friends and family.

Church Windows
Ingredients
1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 bag (10-12 ounces) mini colored marshmallows
1 bag(14 ounces) shredded, sweetened coconut

Directions
1. Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan that has been placed in a pan of water over love heat (or use a double boiler). Stir until smooth and cool for about 1-2 minutes. Add the nuts and marshmallows and mix to coat.
2. Using wax paper, shape the mixture into three round logs. Roll each log in coconut and shape wrapping firmly in wax paper. Freeze over night. While frozen, slice each log into desired sizes and enjoy.


Coming to Detroit and Giveaway: Rock of Ages

{sponsored}
Broadway’s Best Party is turning up the volume to ten! The ROCK OF AGES Tenth Anniversary Tour is blazing across North America and will appear at the Fox Theatre for three appearances from January 18-19, 2019 as part of the Fox Theatre Series. Now is your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see the show on January 18 at 7:30 p.m. Enter below, and good luck!


Tickets (starting at $34) are on sale now and can be purchased at 313Presents.com, Little Caesars Arena XFINITY box office and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 7453000.

Fox Theatre Series subscription packages and discounts for groups of 10+ are available by calling the Olympia Entertainment Group Sales Department at (313) 471-3099. Subscription packages include savings of up to 20 percent when purchasing three or more Fox Theatre Series titles.

Nominated for five Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, ROCK OF AGES captures the iconic era that was the big bad 1980s Hollywood. “Know What Love Is,” “Feel the Noise” and “Take Your Best Shot” at one of the Sunset Strip’s last epic venues, a place where the legendary Stacee Jaxx returns to the stage and rock-n-roll dreamers line up to turn their fantasies into reality.

Featuring the music of hit bands such as Styx, Poison, Twisted Sister and Whitesnake among many others, this Tenth Anniversary production features a dynamic new cast revisiting the larger than life characters and exhilarating story that turned ROCK OF AGES into a global phenomenon.

This is one for the ages that will have you singing “Here I Go Again.”

Performance Schedule:
Friday, January 18, 2019    7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 19, 2019    2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Dog Treats: Gingerbread


Your pup wants to be apart of Christmas traditions too, that is why I am sharing Jackers favorite Gingerbread Biscuit recipe. It's quick and easy to make and every pup on your street is sure to go crazy for them.



Gingerbread Dog Biscuits
Ingredients
1.5 cups flour* (see notes below)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup molasses

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Cover cookie sheets in parchment paper.
3. Mix together all ingredients.
4. Let rest for 15 minutes.
5. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.
6. Using holiday themed or bone-shaped cookie cutters (large or small) cut out the cookies.
7. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-20 minutes depending on size and crispness.

NOTES: You can use all-purpose flour, wheat flour (I do not it gives Jack BAD gas) or oat flour (which is oatmeal broken up in a food processor). I use half all purpose and half oatmeal flour.

** The above recipe is for treats only and should not replace your dog’s regular meal plans. Always check with your veterinarian regarding new additions to your dogs diet.

Simple Sprinkle Cookies


There's a small Italian bakery near my parents house. While they have absolutely amazing cakes, I am a huge fan of their holiday sprinkle cookies. If you know me you know I am a firm believer that anything is better with sprinkles. At a cookie exchange a few years ago one of the girls shared their Italian Sprinkle Cookie recipe with me, and I have been making it ever since. This year I thought I would share the amazing recipe with all of you.

Sprinkle Cookies
Ingredients
1.5 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
dash of salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 egg white, lightly beaten
multi-colored sprinkles

Directions

1. Beat butter, and sugar on medium-high for 3 minutes.
2. Add vanilla, almond and egg; beat until smooth.
3. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat until just combined.
4. Use a cookie scoop drop into balls onto a parchment lined baked sheet.
5. Press each ball into disks.
6. Chill disks for 40 minutes (I placed my cookie sheets outside -it's freezing out).
7. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
8. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush tops of cookie disks with the egg white and press into sprinkles.
9. Return cookies to baking sheet.
10. Bake for 10 minutes or slightly brown on the bottom (time varies based on oven) rotating the cookie sheet halfway through.
11. Allow to cool before serving.

How To: Properly Wrap a Present


In high school I worked as a sales assosicate at a Hallmark store. While working at the store I learned a lot about presentation, and how to make gifts look absolutely beautiful. Boxes are probably the easiest things to wrap, so if you’re giving an awkwardly shaped gift, putting it in a box first is the easiest solution. The hard edges allow you to create a tidy and professional-look. Here is how Hallmark taught me how to wrap a gift.

Step 1: Place the box face down on the paper, and pull up the short side and secure it with a piece of tape.
 Step 2: Fold the other side in about an inch.
 Step 3: Secure the folded side to the paper that you already secured down.
Step 4: Turn the present right way up and fold down the overhanging paper against the side of the box that remains exposed.
Step 5: Press in two side folds, smoothing the edges to give a clean finish. Next fold the bottom flap up to cover all the edges creating an envelope effect.
 Step 6: Secure with tape. Turn over and repeat the process for the other side.

How To: Make a Blanket Scarf


Blanket scarves have been trendy for the past few years, and it looks like the trend is here to stay for awhile. While roaming around Joann Fabric I found some absolutely gorgeous fabric that would make a beautiful scarf, and decided to buy two yards and create my very own blanket scarf - all you have to do is fray the edges.

Material List: 
2 yards of your chosen fabric. I used cotton flannel from Joann Fabrics (7.99 /per yard)
Measuring Tape
Scissors
Needle.  

Step 1: Cut down the width of the fabric to 25” wide (x72” long).  Use the fabric’s plaid grid as a guide when cutting your fabric to help you create straight, clean cuts. 

Step 2: To create on the ends of the scarf, simply remove the fabric’s weft yarns (the yarns that run left to right) along the short side of the fabric. I used a needle to release the yarns. Continue removing yarns until you reach your desired fringe length. I decided on 1 ½” fringe. 

Step 3:
Repeat step 2 on the opposite end of the fabric. You should now have fringe on both of the short sides of the scarf.

 {I cut on the white line}

 {How I pulled up the yarns}

Movie Review: Second Act


I received tickets to see Second Act in exchange for my honest review.

SECOND ACT:
SECOND ACT is a comedy in the vein of Working Girl and Maid In Manhattan.  Jennifer Lopez stars as Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a second act. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Leah Remini, Vanessa Hudgens with Treat Williams and Milo Ventimiglia. Directed by Peter Segal. (STXFilms) This film is rated PG-13.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to see an advice screening of Second Act and decided to take my papa. Taking my grandpa to a movie was an incredible gamble, as he tends to fall asleep watching movies. Falling asleep would be fine if he was silent, but he snores... loudly. I mean, if he would fall asleep in the theater he would ruin the movie for everyone with his loud obnoxious echoing snoring, but he didn't snore. In fact, he didn't fall asleep. That's right my grandpa stayed awake through the ENTIRE movie. I don’t think Second Act could get a better review! 



Not only was the movie well written, but it was funny as well. Let’s be honest, we all love a good laugh. Second Act will be playing in theaters come the end of this month and I highly recommend checking it out for a date night or just a night out with girls.


Coffee Swirl Yogurt Bread



One of my favorite family traditions is Christmas morning while unwrapping gifts, my mum would always have a beautiful array of breads, coffee cake, cookies and more. Despite the fact that my brother and I are no longer little, we still enjoy past traditions. We both now bring goodies to add to our Christmas morning breakfast and this year I will be sharing my coffee swirl yogurt bread. If you know me, you know that I absolutely HATE the taste and smell of coffee. However, this bread does not smell or taste anything like coffee - not to mention it's super addicting.

Coffee Swirl Yogurt Bread
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
dash of salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup butter; softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup international instant coffee mix (any flavor)
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Grease and flour the bottom only of a loaf pan.
3. Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
4. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Beat in flour mixture alternately with yogurt, beating until smooth after each addition.
7. Remove 1 cup of the batter, stir in dry coffee
8. Pour half of the plain batter into the pan.
9. Drop coffee batter by spoonfuls onto batter in pan.
10. Add remaining plain batter.
11. Swirl batters deeply with handle of a spoon for marbled design.
12. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about an hour).
13. Cool 10 minutes.
14. Loosen sides of loaf from pan and set on a wire rack.
15. Cool completely before slicing.

How To: Make the Traditional Tiffany Bow


Besides the little blue box (and what’s inside of it of course) one of my favorite things about receiving a gift from Tiffany & Company is their signature bow. I have never been able to recreate the signature Tiffany bow- that is until now. Over the weekend my mum sat down with me and I took pictures as she recreated the iconic bow on Christmas presents. The bow is actually really simple to create with the steps below.
Step 1: Leaving at least half a box's length of ribbon at the bottom of the box, place the ribbon at the center of the bottom of the box and hold with your thumb.
Step 2: Wrap the ribbon once around the box. Place the second piece of ribbon under your thumb as well.
Step 3: Fold the ribbon over your thumb to go around the box at a 45 degree angle. Keep going until you go around the box once.
Step 4: Tuck the ribbon under and back across the ribbon you were holding with your thumb.
 Step 5: Center and tighten the ribbon.
Step 6: Now just like you learned in elementary school make two "bunny ears" and tie them together. Play with your bow until you like how it looks. 
 {front}
{back}

Coming to Detroit: Waitress


Broadway In Detroit is thrilled to announce WAITRESS will play the Fisher Theatre for a limited two-week engagement, May 7 - 19, 2019!  Individual tickets are now on sale and start at $39.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and also by phone at 800-982-2787.
 
Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles ("Brave," "Love Song"), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting For Godot) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland).
 
Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna - a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
 
"It's an empowering musical of the highest order!" raves the Chicago Tribune.  "WAITRESS is a little slice of heaven!" says Entertainment Weekly and "a monumental contribution to Broadway!" according to Marie Claire.  Don't miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.
 
For more tour information, please visit http://waitressthemusical.com.
 
Connect with #WAITRESSTOUR
Twitter: @WaitressMusical
Instagram: @WaitressMusical
 
Performance times for WAITRESS appearing May 7 - 19, 2019 at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 West Grand Blvd., in Detroit are:
·         Tuesday – Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m.
·         Sunday evening performances at 7:30 p.m.
·         Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
·         Special open captioned performance on Sunday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.
 
Tickets for WAITRESS start at $39 (includes facility and parking fees) and are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and also by phone at 800-982-2787. A limited number of premium seats will be available through Ticketmaster and at the Fisher Theatre box office. For group sales (12 or more) please call 313-871-1132 or email groups@broadwayindetroit.com. Tickets for the open captioned performance may be purchased in person at the Fisher Theatre box office or by phone at 313-872-1000, ext. 0. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.
 
Broadway In Detroit uses Ticketmaster as its sole, authorized ticketing agent. Individual tickets purchased from a ticket broker or “third party” ticket reseller involves risk and may not be authentic, sold at box office prices, or with correct performance and venue information. Broadway In Detroit box offices cannot reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets sold through a third party or ticket reseller. Broadway In Detroit is also unable to contact third party purchasers with pertinent updates or changes regarding performances.

DIY Shortbread Sugar Cookie Bouquet


Impress your friends and family this Christmas with a cookie bouquet. They look super cute as a centerpiece or just sitting out for your guest to snack on. Not to mention they're so simple to make! You'll want a container to put the cookies in as well as foam for the sticks to go into. Don't forget to add rice to the bottom of the container so it doesn't fall over. Add tissue paper to fill in the bouquet. Below you will find my family's recipe for Shortbread Sugar Cookies.

{roll your dough out between two dowel rods} 
{this insures that all of your dough will be the same thickness}
mine were about a 1/2 inch thick
{don't forget to flour your cookie cutter before each cut!}
To insert the stick: Using a spatula transfer the cookie to the cookie sheet. Insert the cookie stick into the bottom of the cookie. Rotating it gently to get it in. Do not handle the cookies by the stick until they are completely cooled.
Shortbread Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
• 1 cup butter 

• 1 cup sugar 
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon almond extract 
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 3 cups flour


Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond. Sift baking powder with flour and add flour mixture to the creamed mixture one cup at a time. The dough will be very stiff. Blend the last cup of flour in by hand. Do not chill the dough. Roll and cut out your shapes. Insert the sticks and bake 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Place cookies on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Be sure not to touch the sticks! Decorate the cookies to your liking.