Super Delicious Pumpkin Cookies

Have you ever eaten one of the pumpkin scones from Starbucks? They are soft and the frosting is amazeballs! This cookie is as close as you are going to get to making your own! And you can make them year-round, not just that one week during late September when they first start selling the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte for the non-Starbucks peeps) and all the scones sell out so you have to be the first person in the door. Yeah, they’re that good!!

I came across this recipe because one of the times I was making a pumpkin pie I had left over pumpkin and I didn’t want it to go to waste. I am that person that only buys what I need when I need it for baking, so I also had to find a recipe that didn’t require baking powder (that one thing you either don’t have or you have an expired can) or some other “one-time use” ingredient. This one was perfect and the cookies are perfect so it worked out perfectly. 🙂 If you buy a large can of pumpkin that is enough for 2 pies, you will still have a bit left over after the cookies. It works out well.

Here’s what they look like right before they enter your mouth….

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I’m not going to list the ingredients and everything here because it would just be plagiarizing, but I will show you photos and give you a couple tips before I give you the website. Or you can scroll past all this and just get to the link. I won’t be mad. 😉

Tip 1: Follow the instructions. Easy right? Not for everyone.

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Tip 2: Cook them until you think they are not quite done. Does that make sense? I put mine in the oven for 10 minutes, look at them to make sure they’re still snuggled up on the baking sheet and didn’t run off, then I turn the timer on for 3 more minutes. When they come out they are still soft and almost look uncooked in the middle. And I immediately put them on a cooling rack so they don’t cook any longer.

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The buttercream recipe is pretty freaking fantastic too! So follow those directions too. But these cookies are also 100% delicious without the icing.

Tip 3: If you cook too many (we are a family of 3 and we also had brownies and pie the last time I cooked these so yes, there is such thing as too many cookies) you can totally freeze them for later. I just took some out of the freezer today and they were still amazeballs after defrosting. They didn’t get soggy or weird or anything.

Okay, here’s the link. Betty Crocker Pumpkin Cookies

Enjoy!!!!

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Thankful For Yoga #NamasteTuesday

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s what you missed!!

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Everyone is doing “Thankful” challenges so I decided to do my own. I’m going to be thankful for yoga and all the things it has brought me!! To start off day 1, I’m Thankful for Yoga. Period.

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Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to share yoga with others in the form of teaching/guiding. I get such a thrill out of people coming to my class and experiencing yoga with me. I never thought this road was on my path, but I’m so glad it was.

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Today I’m thankful for the community center where I practice and teach yoga. I happened upon the building looking for the library when I first moved here. At the library I learned of the yoga and exercise classes. I immediately became part of the community. We frequent the community center as often as we do Starbucks (if you know us you know this is a LOT) and we get involved as often as possible. If I didn’t see the yoga sign that day, life here would be very different.

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Today I’m thankful for the opportunities my yoga teaching/attending has given my daughter. When the hub is home I go to yoga alone and the two of them get dad/daughter time. When hub is gone the daughter comes with me and spends time in the library. It’s so awesome! I don’t think about her the entire time. I know she’s reading, crafting, or busy gabbing with the two librarians, 60ish year old Ricky and 32 year old Mary. Gwen even says Mary if her bff. The opportunity this gives Gwen is so much more than library time. It’s time away from me and time for her to be extremely independent and adulty. Annnnddd, if one lady hadn’t ever come to my class, we wouldn’t have been invited to a Hoe-Down at a horse ranch and we wouldn’t have ever gotten Gwen involved in the FREE horse therapy/riding lesson program. Annnnddd I wouldn’t be the new craft coordinator for said program. All thanks to the yoga classes in a tiny community center. p.s. my money tree isn’t dead. She’s sad because she was outside in a freeze.

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Yoga in the biggest, comfyest (totally a word) pair of sweats I own. Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my soul. I feel like the philosophy of yoga (there’s so much more to yoga than being stretchy) unlocked a part of me that was always there but maybe not right on the surface. Ever since really embracing the yoga lifestyle I feel 100% myself. It’s a missing piece I didn’t even know was missing.

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Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my body. Not only am I stronger and more flexible, I love my body for both it’s flaws and awesomeness, and I’m more in tune with my body. I read somewhere that “it’s isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.”

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I tried something new today. I’m continuing to try to figure out new things to do with my legs while in pincha. This was tough but I held it for a couple breaths.

Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my spirituality. I’m not religious, never have been. But I am spiritual. Not believing in one specific idea allows me to be open to a gazillion others. And yoga philosophy has really opened my mind and made me feel, again, like I am finally 100% me. I’ve been living this life for 30+ years but I am finally living it fully.

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Today I am thankful for what yoga has done for my marriage. I know that seems weird. But yoga gives me time away, mini breaks, time for myself. Yoga has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. Again, it’s one of those things that was there already but yoga has enhanced it. Yoga has really taught me that there are so many other important things in my life and to really enjoy everyday things. Which in turn has helped in the marriage department. Been married 13 years today (11/22)

#ThankfulForYoga

 

Cyber Monday Sale!!

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All my jewelry is 50% off today!! Hop on over to my Facebook page, Chrissy’s Creative Creations, and browse the “For Sale” album! Happy Shopping!!

It’s My Anniversary!

My husband and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage today! Well, we aren’t actually celebrating because he isn’t here, #militarylife. He’s on a trip and won’t be back until tomorrow. But that’s cool. We’ll see each other tomorrow and celebrate.

The last 2 days have been spent revamping the blog, yet again. I sat and went through every single post I’ve made since the beginning in 2012. It was time consuming but actually really awesome. I may not have blogged as often as I kept saying I wanted to, but I do have some pretty good ones in there and a lot of great projects I forgot about. It inspired me to get back into crafty blogging. Which is what this post is about.

Last year we celebrated 12 years of marriage and being the cheeseball that I am, I like to try to do traditional gifts. Let me rephrase… after our 10 year anniversary when I made a really super awesome gift encompassing 10 years worth of traditional gifts (that I really need to blog about because I never did), I decided to try to stick to traditional each year. 12 years is linens. I did not want to go out and buy new bedsheets or something, so I made my husband a quilt with old tshirts.

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The bottom right corner is a white tshirt where I wrote a special message (pictured on the corner). Fun right?

Because we are a 1-car family and I didn’t really think about this gift ahead of time, I had to work with whatever I had in the house. I didn’t have felt or batting for the inside and I didn’t have enough tshirts for a backside, so I found an old blanket that we weren’t using. I cut it to size and used that as the backing. It worked out well. I only broke 2 sewing needles in the process of trying to sew the super thick edges. I think I remember having to hand-sew one or two of the edges because I ended up not having more sewing needles. Good times!! But it’s an awesome, and warm, blanket!

This year the traditional gift is lace. I am not buying my husband lace so I went nontraditional and painted him a picture. You guys have seen the Pixar short called Lava right? Go ahead, click the link and watch it real quick…..Super adorable right? Well, again, we are cheeseballs and totally love it so I painted it. But shhhhh….don’t tell him. I’ll give him the canvas tomorrow. 😉

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If you’re interested in seeing updates for my blogs on Facebook, give me a LIKE. I just made a new page yesterday. @thelifeofachrissy

 

Yoga in a Chair

I had no idea that this yoga road was on my path called LIFE. The very first time I took a yoga class I loved it. It was slow and calming. The poses were easy. If I got tired I could just go into child’s pose and rest. But the second time I tried? I hated it. Like, super hated it. They did planks all the time and down dog was a resting pose. How is down dog a resting pose? It would be about 7 years until I decided to try yoga again. The only reason I did was because a new friend was the instructor. Boy, am I glad I did. My life is forever changed because I got over my yoga fear and took a chance.

Flash forward to another road on my path…teaching yoga. I never ever would have thought this would be something I would do. I never thought I would get such a rush out of people showing up to my class and letting me guide them through a practice. And I really didn’t think that I would have my own beginner class where I teach yoga while sitting in a chair. It continues to amaze me how life works. How one little thing can lead up to so many bigger things. How one trip to the local library to print something in a town with no internet would help mold me into the yogi I am today.

The town I live in is in the middle of nowhere. Lots of farming, lots of open space, no neighborhoods, no sidewalks. It’s also an area where houses are occupied for generations. You don’t find a “new” family living in the houses. Well, I take that back, because we are THAT family. You don’t normally find that because these houses aren’t normally rented out. Families have lived on properties for generations and they continue to. The people I meet at the library/community center all know each other and their kids know each other and their grandparents all knew each other. The reason I am telling you all this is because it paints a picture of the yoga community, or lack there of. There are no fancy studios. There are no expensive memberships. And there aren’t too many youngsters. I think I might be the youngest person who comes to the classes.

The other yoga teacher, who also teaches an exercise class, practically begged me to teach. She had mentioned needing a sub someday and I volunteered. I thought my teaching days would just be that; the occasional leading. I taught one class and she was telling me to have my own class. I thought about it, tried to tell myself not to do it, and then I was like, “F*** it! Let’s do this!” Sometimes that’s the best way to do things; jump right in! I found out later that part of her agenda was to try to get more people to come to the community center. Not only that, she knows the benefits of yoga and knows that yoga can really help with strength and balance for the older community. She wasted no time trying to recruit people to my class.

The downside? They see me, young yogi, and get scared. It does not matter how many times I tell someone that I didn’t look like this when I started or that you don’t have to be flexible. I can shout all day that I won’t fold you into a pretzel but they just won’t hear it. That’s when the idea of chair yoga came up.

Do you know that you can do a ton of yoga while sitting in a chair? It’s true! And you still get a really good workout while stretching and breathing and working on balance and flexibility. We decided to try the class for the month of November to see if we got any fresh blood. We advertised a bunch and talked to a ton of people about it. November 1st was the first class. I walked in and there were 8 people in my class! 8!!! My normal class usually has between 1 and 3 people. I walked in and shouted, “Oh my gosh! I’m so excited!!!” It was so fantastic! This week will be my 4th class and people are still coming back! It’s not 8 people every time, but it’s not 1 or 3 either!! People coming back is such a huge compliment!! And the feedback is all positive too. One lady says that she can already feel her balance getting better and (don’t tell the Tai Chi teacher) she likes my class more than the Tai Chi class! Ahh!! So awesome!!

My Tuesday class is now going to be Chair Yoga every week. There has been such overwhelming enthusiasm that there is no way I would switch it back now. And it gives me a chance to continue to share yoga with others. That really does bring me joy each week! And I get to see people’s progress. Once I start adding new things into our routine I am excited to see how everyone starts to gain more flexibility. I’ll bend these ladies into pretzels in no time!!

Daisy, Daisy, Bo-Baisy #FarmlifeFriday

I’m always trying to think of fun titles!

Not much happening on the farm lately. Daisy is back to laying every day. I read that you can’t expect young hens to have a regular cycle at first because their bodies are still trying to figure out just what the heck is going on. So it makes sense that Daisy would have a little dry spell and then back to it. Most eggs were brown and perfect until…

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She laid a shell-less egg! How weird and cool!! It was soft and had a little break at the top, but I managed to hold it carefully and save it until later to show my daughter and husband. It’s normal for this to happen, again, because Daisy is young. She has the right food, oyster shells, and her own eggs shells to eat so I’m not worried. She took off from laying the next day and then back at it.

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Her last two eggs have been pointier than before, but I guess eggs are like snowflakes; no two are the same. It’s so fun to see how different each day can be.

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I threw one of our carved pumpkins out in the run before it started to rot. They could care less. I have some picky eaters. They ate the cooked pumpkin, didn’t eat the canned pumpkin, and didn’t eat the raw carving pumpkin. Oh well.

I’m hoping our ONE girl duck decides to start laying soon. I’m thinking it will be spring before Hagrid starts. Who knows about the French girls. Chickens are weird! 😉

Dia de los Muertos

Feliz el Dia de los Muertos, everyone!!

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If you don’t know this about me, this is one of my most favorite holidays. I didn’t grow up knowing about this holiday, but as an adult I celebrate and love teaching my daughter and the younger generation about it. It is such a beautiful idea; the idea that your loved ones who have passed will come back to visit you for two days. It is believed that Halloween is the day when the veil between the living and dead is lifted. Souls can pass from one plane to the other and spend two days back with the living.

On this holiday, alters, or ofrendas, are made with photos, food, and flowers to honor our loved ones. Many people visit cemeteries in hopes to spend time with loved ones. Marigolds are planted or put in alters as they play a major role in this holiday. Marigolds are nicknamed the “flower of the dead.” They are so named because one, they remind us about the fragility of life and how quickly it can end, and two, the vibrant color and smell are thought to guide spirits to the homes of their loved ones.  (Below are mine in my front yard)

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One of my favorite translations of this holiday comes from the Yucatan. They celebrate Hanal Pixan which translates to, “The path to the soul through the essence of food.” The path to my soul is most definitely food. I love to make food, eat food, and share food. I think about this translation often as it plays a part in my daily life and also reminds me of this holiday.

In 2012, I wrote a blog post celebrating the life of two of my loved ones. You can read it here. Feliz el Dia de Los Muertos

In 2013 and 2014, we were fortunate enough to live close to San Diego where they have an annual celebration in Old Town. It started out as a few alters being placed around the businesses and has turned into an entire street fair with activities! Below is a photo from 2013. Myself, my mom, my grandma, and my daughter.

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The next year my husband celebrated with us as well. Of course we painted our own faces because we are fun like that. My husband had so many compliments on his. I tried to mimic “La Muerte” from the movie “Book of Life.”

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My kitchen theme is also Day of the Dead. I love the idea that the afterlife is filled with your loved ones and is a constant celebration. It makes me happy to know (or believe) that my husband and I will be together even once we have left our living existence. I have statues of skeleton couples as well as sugar skulls and other colorful items, but the best piece is a new painting I had custom painted by my friend Kim at KD Fine Art.  She took an idea I had in my head for years and made it come to life. It’s the centerpiece of my dining room.

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The entire painting isn’t pictured here, (we’re surrounded by an alter of vibrant colored flowers) but this is the main idea. It’s us! On our wedding day. Another reminder that we will get to spend life together even after death.


 

This year I am far away from family and celebrations, so I decided to celebrate in a different way. I currently live in Virginia on a large plot of land, and next to our house is a vacant old house. It’s been nicknamed the “Creepy House” by our friends. I don’t think it’s creepy at all. I think it’s fascinating! Below is what it looks like when you drive up during the day.

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Here is what it looks like from the side with a fun filter added to it to make it look old. I love this photo.

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The lady that used to own the house we live in was the tenant in the Creepy House up until 1996. I am not sure about all the people before her, but I do know that parts of the house date back to Civil War times. Somewhere between then and the little old lady, a family by the name of Baird lived there. I know this because about 500 feet away from our house is a small cemetery where the family is buried.

I decided to pay homage to the previous land owners and celebrate the holiday by sprucing up their final resting place. I weed-eated (weed-ate?) as much of the overgrown grass as I could.

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I even found a small teddy bear that was left, I am assuming, for the newest member of the cemetery who passed away in 1998. Below are all the headstones.

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Once the grass was cleared, I planted a single marigold in front of each headstone. I also sprinkled seeds all over in hopes that more will grow; marigolds are pretty easy to grow from seed.

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As I said before, I love teaching my daughter about this holiday. She was excited to wear her skeleton shirt and earrings, and was more excited for me to paint her face after school.

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And since I like to have fun, too….

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I hope that everyone who celebrates was or will be visited by their loved ones.

Happy Day of the Dead!

Bend it Like Chrissy #NamasteTuesday

This has been a pretty big week in my yoga world. Hopefully it will get even bigger today! Read on.

Yesterday was the last day of the latest Instagram challenge I was participating in. This was #BentYogis2, and while #BentYogis definitely challenged me, challenging may be an understatement for this one. I tried new things and most of them were difficult for me.

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These may look easy but they are not. I don’t recommend trying any of these without REALLY warming up first. The middle one on the right was totally weird. One of the hosts of the challenges demoed it and said, “it looks deceptively easy.” That was 100% true. You go in thinking it’s going to be simple but it’s not. I am not even in the full pose there but that was all I could do.

The last day was yesterday and the pose for the day equally excited and scared me. It was something I had never done before. It’s called Hollowback. The point of this inversion is my have your hips behind your shoulders. Again, when you see the hosts giving examples it looks easy (that’s part of the problem with pictures). Since I am pretty good at forearm stands I wanted to try it that way. We were encouraged to use a wall if we needed but I was determined not to. I used to rely on the wall and my bff, Isis,  would say, “Fu** that wall!!” So when I thought about using a wall this time, I was emotionally blocked to allow myself to use it (that seems like terrible grammar. Sorry, English majors). I felt like I would be going backwards in my progress. So I tried, approximately 47 times, without the wall and COULD NOT get it. I kept bending too much and going into scorpion. I kept texting Isis telling her that I needed her!! It’s very difficult to learn new things while you’re alone. She gave me some great tips and I tried another 47 times without sticking it. She reminded me that it was the very first time I was trying and that I have a lot of time to practice. I needed to hear that. We are very similar in that when we want to learn something we want to master it that first day. Yoga doesn’t always happen like that. I need practice. I ended up using the wall and going with the handstand variation. It was still incredibly difficult. Good stretch? Yes. Am I sore as shit today from all the trials? Hell yes.

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For now I’ll stick with regular pincha, forearm stands. I like those. And I like to get festive with them!

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Somewhere in the middle of last week, Isis and I decided to do another long distance yoga post. We went with backbends making a heart with our legs. This was out first try lining it up and I love it so much. It’s perfectly imperfect!

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Tonight is my first night teaching my super beginner yoga class. Most of the practice is done while sitting in a chair and we’re sticking to very basic poses. I am really excited. I didn’t realize just how much you can do from a chair. It’s pretty fantastic. I am hoping to see some new faces and get a nice new crowd to class. Not only will it benefit me and my teaching, it will also bring new people to the little community center. Win, win!!

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