Brandon says our Christmas decorations are "eclectic." And to that I say bah humbug. Shopping in themed sections of holiday decor is for boring people (unless you are one of those people, then hats off to you because not all of us can be so well put together). Seriously though, is there a limit to the number of Christmas decorations one person should own? Every...

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Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Normally I hate commentary on a recipe blog post. I don't care what's going on, I just want the recipe. But here I am, writing my first recipe post, and I'm going to tell you a little story. Sorry.

I have this problem where about once or twice per season, I wish it was a different season. And I don't just mean that in winter I wish it was summer. In fact, it's generally the opposite. And for some reason, for the last month or so, I have wanted it to be fall or winter SO BAD.  I've been dreaming of football season and boots and hot chocolate and rainy days. And Christmas. All I've wanted is for it to be Christmas. I love the Christmas spirit, and I think I want to feel it again already because I wasn't in the mood for it in December. Once it gets warm and stays warm, I'm sure I'll feel different, but all I know is that when it snowed last week, I felt no shame listening to Christmas music on the way to work.

We still had Hershey's Kisses from Valentine's Day, so I decided to make these peanut butter blossom cookies for Brandon to take to work. He called me that afternoon to say the cookies were going quickly, and he said that his manager told him something that made him understand why I made the cookies. He said "everyone is saying they make these at Christmas. Now I understand why you wanted to make them." That wasn't my original intent, but I guess my subconscious knows me better than I do!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. I'm pretty sure that somehow the ingredients combine to make some sort of addictive substance, so consider yourself warned. I'm not ashamed to admit that we each ate ten the day we made them. Happy baking!


    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    1/2 cup granulated sugar,  plus more for rolling
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Parchment paper for cookie sheet
    5 dozen (one 11 ounce package) Hershey's Kisses, foil removed


Step 1
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing thoroughly. 

Step 2
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet with nonstick liner and set aside. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (or bigger, for less, but softer cookies).

Step 3
Roll cookies in sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. bake 6 to 8 minutes until very light brown and puffed. Remove sheet from oven and lightly press a candy kiss into the center of each cookie, allowing it to crack slightly. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

**For extra happiness, double the recipe. You'll thank me later. Recipe adapted from cooking.nytimes.com


Christmas this year was different, as expected. As much as I usually love Christmas, I couldn't wait for it to be over this year, but it actually wasn't as awful as I expected it to be. 

We had planned to stay home and celebrate Christmas just the three of us, but we decided that staying home without Carter might be too hard. On Christmas Eve, we made our way up to Brandon's family's cabin at Bear Lake. It rained most of the way to Logan, which was so weird. There was no snow on the ground either; even more weird for Logan. We stopped in Logan for lunch, then went to the cemetery to see Carter. When we decorated his trees, we took one strand of lights since we had only bought one tree, which left his second tree, purchased on a whim, unlit. We took a second strand of lights with us on Christmas Eve to put on the second tree, but the first strand was dead, even after we replaced the batteries. So he only had one lit tree for Christmas, but now we know for next year!

The drive through Logan Canyon to the cabin was beautiful! There was snow all over the mountains and trees, but none on the road, thankfully. So we were able to just drive and enjoy the scenery around us. We got to the cabin around four, and spent the night chatting, eating, making gingerbread houses, and watching Christmas movies. 

Christmas morning we woke up at 6:30 to Feliz Navidad blasting throughout the cabin, a Robbins family tradition. We went out into the living room and lined up on the stairs in order of age, then went up to open presents. Being an adult at Christmas isn't quite as fun as being a kid, is it? The night before Christmas Eve we went out and bought stuff for our stockings, and it's just not as fun when you know exactly what you are getting haha. It took us all about three hours to open presents, since we took turns opening them one at a time. Brandon got some tools and a tool chest, and I got clothes and some gift cards. His mom made us the nicest gift I have ever been given. She took leftover fabric from the blanket she made that Carter is buried in, and the scraps she had from altering the clothes he is buried in, and made us a little pillow. It is sitting in Carter's crib now, but it is so nice to be able to hold the pillow and feel his clothes, and just feel so connected to him. 


After presents, we had breakfast while some of the people went to church. Between breakfast and Christmas lunch/dinner (it was at two, what do you call that?) we just hung out and talked. The boys all built the legos they got; it was fun to watch them, it was like getting a glimpse into their childhood.

After lunch/dinner, Brandon and I packed up and left. The roads through the canyon back to Logan were pretty snowy, since it had snowed a ton the night before, but we made it back to Logan safely. We went directly to the cemetery. It had been clear of snow the day before, but when we went back on Christmas there was like eight inches on the ground! It was crazy, and also cold. We took down Carter's trees that day, because we weren't sure when we would be back to Logan. I also wanted to take them down that day, because we always take our tree down the day after Christmas, so I was trying to keep him a part of that tradition as much as possible. We had asked family to put an ornament on his tree if they wanted, and it was so fun to see what everyone had chosen for him.

We got home around six that night, the road through Sardine Canyon was pretty snowy. We unpacked, put a ham in the oven, and then sat down to open presents from my side of the family. Another funny thing about being an adult at Christmas is the gifts you are so excited to get. We got a new vacuum and a rug for under the kitchen table. Younger me would be so disappointed, but adult me is thrilled! We ate dinner, and then just watched tv the rest of the night. It was different, but we both were just ready for it to be over.

Brandon had Monday off, so we slept in, making up for the lost sleep on Christmas Eve, then spent the rest of the day doing laundry, running errands, and taking down the Christmas tree. It was a somewhat relaxing day, but we felt like we did a lot! It was just kind of nice to be at home, and feel like we could be close to Carter and close to one another.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!