The Cookie Exchange

I know it feels like a lot of work in the middle of December,
but this year's Christmas Cookie exchange saved me!

The idea (though it may never work like this)
12 friends
12 DOZEN cookies EACH, pre packaged for you to take home

You take home 144 cookies (12 different types) and make plates for your neighbors!

How fun is that!

This year I made

Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
½ cup butter (1 cube)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. grated orange rind
½ package semisweet chocolate chips
½ tsp soda
2/3 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup whole oats
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in order. Spoon into 1 inch dough balls onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes. *Remember these are not your normal cake-like cookie, they are a lacey looking cookie that will be pretty flat.

Makes around 2 dozen.

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Elle was inspired by her party!

Elle can be found in her own mini beauty parlor doing her sisters hair and makeup!
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Elle's Beauty Party (Makeup!!!)

We knew a Makeup party was in store for Elle at some point...who knew it would be at 4 years old! 
This was such a fun party for me to plan, but also for the little girls who attended!


Each envelope was tied with this cute ribbon, and inside could be found...
...the invitation (my sister Miranda turned Elle's picture into this 50's beauty queen...it became the theme of the party!) and...
a beauty mask!

boy did I have fun sewing 10 of these!  At first they seemed easy, but I used a stripe fabric, then the batting, the lace and minkie...I think I sewed around each one 3-4 times!


Ok, so decorations were quite simple! I made a couple different fabric buntings to hang various places, and then signs with Elle's picture. The makeup and nail polish helped me decorate!


I made a little schedule up, to make sure we had time for everything...it looked a little something like this:
10-10:15 coloring make up on faces
10:15-10:45 brunch
10:45-11:00 makeup/hair (divide group in 2)
11:00-11:15 hair/makeup (divide group in 2)
11:15-11:45 manicure/pedicure (altogether)
11:45-12:00 presents & cake and icecream
So they started by coloring until they all arrived:

Brunch was SUPER simple...fresh fruit cups, mini quiches, raspberry lemonade & pastries.
Then they went to their stations.

Hair Salon
(I made them each a cute fabric headband, so doing their hair wouldnt be too hard!)



Then of course we took pictures of the little Beauties!


I decided to make all the makeup out of fondant, but use real mirrors!  So, after a couple hours of work...Voila!


Each little girl went home with her own set of "Elle" beauty products!

I ordered the bottles online, and filled them with bath and body works lotion, bubble bath, shampoo and conditioner (in pink colors) Then I made labels to match the theme.

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Inspiration for Elle's 4th Birthday

On our recent trip to San Francisco, my Mom, sisters and I came across the cutest little beauty boutique called the "benefit brow bar." This lovely lady is there advertisement and became my inspiration for Elle's makeup party...
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