February 5, 2013

My Boy Scouts

My Scouts. My 2 boys and my hubby. I absolutely love this photo. It is so classic and timeless. I snapped this shot back in the Fall, just a few months ago. I just knew it would look great altered into something reminiscent of olden times. I fell in love with how it turned out. I want to frame this one for the mantel.

A slightly different version, though still vintage inspired.

The original shot. Love it!!

Just wanted to share this photo with you all. As it happens, my guys are at Scouts right this very moment. It is snowing like crazy out there and the roads are very icey!! Tonight, they are having a gear inspection for winter camping this month. They must have at least a 0 degree sleeping bag, and at least 2 sets of thermal underwear, snow pants, water proof boots, hat, gloves, winter coat....and a slew of other cold weather, mandatory necessities to pass inspection and be permitted to winter camp.

My oldest has winter camped in single digit temps! He's gone 3 times now. This will be the first winter camping for my youngest. My hubby, his Dad, will be there for this camp out so I will be feeling pretty confident he will be just fine.

When I say winter camping....I mean, camping outside, in a tent, on the ground, in the snow. Scouts are educated on cold weather survival and they take it very seriously. The adult Scout leaders are all trained in how to look for signs of hypothermia and exposure, trained in CPR and First Aid...and the Scouts themselves are trained in those areas as well.

My oldest son's 2nd time winter camping was in 18 inches of snow. Hiking through 18 inches of snow to the spot and then shoveling out a spot for their tent, putting down straw first, then a tarp, then your tent. They are outside the entire time from Friday night til Sunday morning when they pack up and head home.

It is definitely a confidence booster for the boys and also a good understanding that they CAN survive against the elements, that they are not helpless and dead out in the cold and snow of winter. I know it will help them in other things in life that come along...they will think about how tough winter camping was and how they got through it and will know they can get through other situations in life equally as hard.

Winter camping is completely voluntary. You do NOT have to participate. Also, if you feel you do not want to stick it out, you can go home at any time...you can call your parents and have them come pick you up any time of day or night. A few Scouts did end up going home last year. Fortunately, it is not forecast to be as cold this time around....supposed to be around 40 degrees.

As a parent, I am able to go winter camping with them as well. I am not quite sure that I could do it....but how would I know if I never tried. Do I have a desire to do it??? No, not really....but in a way, I guess I do wonder how I would fare. I have camped in 32 degree weather though....as in that was the low over night and about 50 during the day. Does that count?? This will be my hubby's 2nd winter camping with the Scouts.

Have you ever winter camped in the snow?? If you have, I'd love to hear about it. Or, if not, do you think you could handle it??

Okay, now I'm freezing just talking about this! It is 26 degrees outside right now, snowing cats and dogs, I'm freezing my gazoogies off, and I'mma 'bout ready to go put on some water for tea! {What are gazoogies you ask? I really don't know....it's something my mom always said, so if it is inappropriate, I blame my mom! haha!!!}

Happy winter!

February 3, 2013

super soft, sugar cookies

I love soft sugar cookies!! Well, I love the crunchy ones too....but, if I had to choose...I would go with soft. I came across this recipe on the net and was intrigued by the claim that this cookie was guaranteed to turn out a soft, puffy cookie. I have to say, I was not let down!! The dough was perfect...easy to roll out, easy to cut out and easily lifted from the table with a metal spatula. The secret to this dough: cake flour. Buy it, use it, you'll like it!!

These little colorful heart shaped sprinkles I used are the bomb! They remind me of the 80's with their bright colors. And....being as I was a teenager in the 80's....it just kinda warms my heart is all.

I also had some teeny tiny heart sprinkles: red, pink and white. See below.

I really liked the recipe for the butter cream...so definitely try it if you get the chance. I'll use it again for sure. It is really just a basic butter cream recipe but was just right in my opinion.

{recipe found on the wonderful blog A Bountiful Kitchen}

Soft Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups cake flour

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Chill dough before rolling. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick, cut out shapes and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Butter cream Frosting

1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
a bit of milk, start with 1 Tbsp and mix, add more milk as necessary to desired spreading consistency
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat softened butter and powdered sugar til smooth. Add milk and vanilla, mix well. Tint frosting with food coloring. Decorate with sprinkles while frosting is still wet. Enjoy!!