Sunday, December 21, 2008

Back from Vacation

Bavarian Shops and Restaurants in Leavenworth, Washington

Worldmark by Windham Resort in Leavenworth, Washington

Winter Sunset over the Cascade Mountain Range (the view from our Condo)

Sorry that I haven't blogged in a while. We just returned last night from our Winter vacation. We vacationed in Leavenworth Washington in a Condo at one of our time share destinations. We had a wonderful time and the town and festivities are remarkable. Leavenworth is a Bavarian Inspired Tourist Town. It happens to be the number 10 Christmas town to visit.

The weather in Leavenworth was snow, snow and cold. We had over a foot of snow and the temperature was any where from -4 degrees to 11 degrees. We anticipated a 6 hour drive, It took us eight hours to drive there and took us twelve hours to return home. The snow and ice was treacherous throughout the Colombia Gorge and on into Oregon until we hit Salem. We made it home just in time. We heard that they had closed down the Gorge until maybe Sunday afternoon due to the conditions. I did learn how to put on tire chains and remove them. My husband gave me a lesson (I asked him to) and we each got out and took turns on a tire each time. You never know when you might have to do this on your own.

Leavenworth was a Winter Wonderland. We went sledding everyday, we went on a horse drawn sleigh ride, went skiing, snowmobiling, shopping and dined on German cuisine. We mostly prepared our meals at the Condo, to help cut down on expenses. Yes, you can be frugal on vacation.
If you want to be invited to be able to view The Koch Family Blog and view our family photos, please leave your request on the comments. I do not post my children's photos on my Inspired Living blog as I do not want my sweet cheeks out on the Internet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Cookie Exchange

Big Plate of Holiday Cookies.

Each Family went home with a box of cookies.

Icing a fresh batch of cookies.

A dozen for you, a dozen for me.

Oh Sweet Treats!

Today I hosted a Holiday Cookie Exchange during our weekly morning coffee. We had a lot of fun. There were six of us who were able to participate. We each baked six dozen cookies. We kept one dozen for ourselves and then each person exchanged a dozen of theirs for others. So we each ended up with a box of six dozen cookies in six varieties.

We had Snicker Doodles, Frosted Christmas Sugar Cookies, Amish Ginger Cookies, Oatmeal Scottchies, Iced Lemon Cookies and Holiday M&M Cookies. One of the ladies even brought some fudge that her Mom made (Thanks Momma Kathy!)

I think that the cookie exchange was a success. If we would of had ten or more women who would have participated we would only have exchanged six cookies each. I didn't want to have everyone bake ten dozen, six dozen cookies was a lot of baking in one day. Our families will be reaping the rewards with the tasty cookies over the holiday season.

Be Inspired to Host or participate in a Cookie Exchange with your friends and family.

Good Job Dad!

These are two gifts that my Dad got me last year, one for my birthday and the other for Christmas. I have to say, that he did a good job picking out these gifts. He usually has some corny ideas or I end up having to return and exchange them. But he really put some thought into these and knows that I love to cook.
I have used both of these cook books and have brought some new recipes into our home. We love a big simmering pot of soup in the Fall and Winter. The Deceptively Delicious book is written by Jerry Seinfeld's Wife, Jessica. It is really cool to sneak healthy veggies into meals, if you have a picky eater.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Glass Re-used

Here is the ginormous glass re-used for Fall Decor.

Aromatic and beautiful in the room.

My mantel with a touch of Fall and all things I love.

This is the ginormous glass that I received the homemade cocoa in for my birthday. I wanted to find a way to reuse it and change it every season. For Fall I decided to put a fragrant vanilla candle in it and added coffee beans around it for a rich color. The two aromas together were wonderful. Vanilla Latte anyone?

I placed it on my fireplace mantel with my fall foliage. I have to say it compliments the mantel very well. I am now in the middle of taking Fall down and putting up Christmas. I will post a mantel picture later in the month and display my decor and you'll have to wait and see what I do with the ginormous glass again.
Be Inspired to Reduce, Re-Use or Recycle.