Welcoming 2016

Happy New Year!  I absolutely love this time of year, for me it has always been about fresh starts and new beginnings.  I don’t usually do “New Years Resolutions” because I generally set myself up for failure.  But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a time to start fresh and a time for thinking ahead to what we can accomplish in the new year.

This year we are looking forward to many things, particularly finding a place to call our “home”.  And we have certainly started off the year full force ahead!  We visited 8 homes today.  Talk about exhausting!  In the meantime we have major budgeting goals and will be starting to put into place the debt snowball method.  We haven’t checked out Dave Ramsey’s book yet, but if you are interested in learning more about the Debt Snowball Method I would recommend checking out his book: The Total Money Makeover.

In addition having relocated Simply Living to this location, and finally purchasing our own domain, is a big New Year step!  Out with the old and in with the new!  I’m excited for the potential that this new location has to offer us and I’m excited that you are all along for the journey!

And now, here is how we ended 2015…

Homemade Donuts!
Homemade Donuts!

That’s right…we made homemade donuts!  It’s been years since we’ve done a NYE party, and tend to prefer staying in and enjoying each other’s company instead.  So this year we decided on games and appetizers, and then to try a new recipe for dessert.  Gotta check off another month, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out my Ravioli post where I talk about my birthday wish.

The best part is how easy this recipe was.  You would never be able to tell based on how amazing they tasted.  We only needed to purchase one ingredient, we already had the rest in the kitchen, and it took less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients needed:

  • Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits
  • Melted Butter (about 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixed together, use judgement, we mixed until light brown.
  • Oil for frying (We used vegetable Oil)

That’s it…told you it was easy!

Step 1:

Cut the donut hole out with a cookie cutter.  We didn’t have a circle, so we used a star, and it was straight up adorable.

Star donut holes, because, why not?!
Star donut holes, because, why not?!

Step 2:

Warm oil in pan on medium high.  Add biscuits and brown on each side.  The middle still seems gooey, but I promise that will make them soft and delightful.

Brown biscuits in warm oil
Brown biscuits in warm oil

Step 3:

Dry and cool fried biscuits on a plate with a paper towel.  We fried 4 at a time, so we cooled 4 while we fried the other 4.

Cool on a plate with a paper towel. This will also absorb excess oil
Cool on a plate with a paper towel. This will also absorb excess oil

Step 4:

Once all biscuits are cooled, dip one side into melted butter.  Drip off excess butter and dip into cinnamon sugar.  Repeat on other side.

Donuts and Donut holes dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.
Donuts and Donut holes dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.

Step 5:

Enjoy!  OH wow they were SO good!  So good that I need to emphasize with all caps!  They were unbelievable warm, but were still soft and yummy the next morning.

Homemade Donuts!
Homemade Donuts!

I would absolutely recommend this recipe.  Not only are they delicious, but they are super easy.  They made the perfect dessert with our sparkling apple cider on NYE, but they would also make a wonderful addition to a breakfast or brunch.  No messy recipes, no deep frying, easy peasy and YUM!

What are your plans for the New Year?

New-Sunday-Features-I-Love-To-Party

The Resourceful Mama
Mom's Small Victories

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Wedding bells

B and I wanted to come up with something creative for our guests to use as we exited the church.  We wanted something more environment friendly than rice, confetti or balloons.  I loved the idea of bubbles, but my sister used that for her wedding three years prior, so I was in search of something a little more freesh and original.  As I was looking I came across the perfect idea.  Wedding bells!
We decided to create ribbon wands with bells on the end for our guests to wave as we walked by.  A bit more of a time consuming project, but I was ecstatic with the result.
We were fortunate to have help from our sisters and brothers in law so the project wasn’t too overwhelming, but we made just about 150 of these puppies!  First thing we did was visit the craft store and gather all of the necessary materials.  Actually, I made multiple trips to the craft store so that I could use my 50% off coupon more than once….
Supplies:
Dowels
Eye hooks
Key rings
Bells
Ribbon
Once we had gathered all of our materials the first step was to drill a small hole into the end of each dowel (thanks to family members with power tools!).  Once we had a small hole to guide us it took a little bit of elbow grease to screw in the eye hook.  We managed to only split one or two dowels by mistake, I consider that a success!
The next step was what I considered the most time consuming, attaching a key ring to each bell.  Just when you though you had the ring open the bell would slip away!  Once each bell had a ring attached we then attached bell to the eye hook on each dowel.
Next I made a sample so that I knew approximately how long I wanted my ribbon to be.  Then I cut all of my ribbons.  I chose the yellow and blue to go with my wedding colors and then found a fun white ribbon that said “Happily ever after”.

Next came the fun part.  We tied about three ribbons to the eye ring of each dowel.

That’s a lot of wedding wands!  As it got closer to the day I arranged them in a basket with this cute saying “Wave the wand with joy and laughter and celebrate with the new Mr. and Mrs. for a Happily Ever After!”  Perfection.
I think it was a fun touch for our special day.  It was the exact extra oomph that I was looking for.  Oh, and our ring bearer was quite possibly is the cutest little man ever.