recipe: best sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting ever

Guys, I'm not kidding when I say these are the best Christmas cookies ever. This is one of my grandma's recipes passed onto my mother and we make them every year before Christmas. However, you could make these for any occasion AND you could change up the frosting. Don't mess with the cookie recipe though. The thing about this recipe that is so great, is that they are not too sweet, but just sweet enough. If you have a major sweet tooth, you may not care about that but trust me, when you are working with frosting, it's an important thing to consider.
A few of things before you get started:
- When we make these, we use the whole countertop. I recommend making these where you have enough room to spread out.
- Don't skip the sifting. It's very important to the fluffiness of these cookies.
- Keep the dough chilled until you are ready to use it. Cookie cutters and warm dough are NOT friends.
Sugar Cookies
1 Cup Shortening
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. Salt

1. Cream shortening and sugar.
2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3. Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
4. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until mixed well.
5. Split the dough in two and cover. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
6. Pre-heat over to 375 degrees and grease a couple of cookie sheets.
7. Coat your surface with flour and roll out half of the dough to about 1/4-1/3 inch thick.
8. Use cookie cutters to make your cookie shapes and place them on your cookie sheets.
9. Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes.
10. Cool on rack and frost and decorate as you wish!

Original Frosting Recipe
1 Tbsp. Melted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Milk

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Cream Cheese
2 Cups Powdered Sugar, add more to taste
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions: Beat ingredients together until fluffy. Mix with food coloring for colored frosting.

We used cake icing bags for our frosting, but you could just use a knife to frost the cookies. We go back and forth with these two frostings- the original one hardens so you can stack the cookies, the cream cheese frosting cannot be stacked very well, but they are delicious! Anyway, hope you enjoy this recipe and Merry Christmas (Eve)!

xo, Savannah

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baby hippies are actual tree huggers

Well guys, if you didn't already know, we started making children's clothing. We have bells and kimonos right now, but will have some new things next week. SO. EXCITED. One of the really fun things about making clothes (besides the fact that I can't handle their cute-ness) is taking photos of the clothing with actual children in them. It's just so stinkin' adorable! These photos are of a friend's daughter that I took on Thanksgiving Day (I spent the day with their family because mine is all the way back in Texas.)

Of course, this child has the perfect messy bun that I can never achieve.
Anyway, just wanted to share photos from the shoot with y'all, but now I also need to tell you a story about this picture. We went on a little walk around the neighborhood after Thanksgiving lunch and the girls (my friend has two) kept asking to go see "Sad-y". Like Sad (as in the emotion) + eeeeee. Turns out that "Sad-y" is a weeping willow tree that the girls named because it looks sad all the time. And so we went to see "Sad-y" and Kenadie ran up to it yelling "Sad-y!" and gave it a hug. And so I took a photo and now call this photo "actual tree hugger". *Insert cry-laughing emoji here*

Anyway, if you are interested in checking out our children's clothing, visit our website and see many more patterns and colors over there! We are currently having a black friday/ small business saturday/ cyber monday sale. Everything is 15% off, but when you spend $100 you get 25% off. Use code 'BLACKFRIDAY15' or 'BLACKFRIDAY25'!

xo, Savannah

diy: live wreath

If I'm being honest, I don't usually like wreaths. I can't really put my finger on what it is, but I just don't. But the other day, we were at Kroger and they had SO much greenery and baby's breath for $.65 each and for some reason I just wanted to buy all of it. And so, I did. I had no idea what I was going to do with it and was considering making some sort of garland as a Christmas decoration. In the end, making a wreath seemed to make the most sense and it looks pretty nice on our front door.

You will need:
- Some greenery and/or baby's breath (or you could use any flowers, but these look pretty much the same when they die)
- Floral tape
- Floral wire (or pipe cleaner when you can't find the wire and don't want to go to two places)
- a wire wreath base
- Scissors
This wreath is really simple to make. All you have to do is bundle the stems and tape them together...
Wire them onto the wreath base...
And repeat. I mixed in one baby's breath bundle after every two green bundles. But the pattern isn't that serious. Do whatever you want, it's your wreath!
You could add anything you wanted to this wreath with the same method. I am considering adding some lights to the wreath, but other than that, I like how simple it is. And I feel like you could spray water on the back of the wreath to try to extend the life of the wreath, but these stems really don't change much when they die. I guess it all just depends on what you use. I don't consider myself a converted wreath-lover, but I definitely think I see more live wreaths in my future. 

xo, Savannah
Pin this DIY for later!

recipe: buttermilk pie

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and today we are getting (mostly) everything ready! I'm spending my day with some friends and Casey will be working. It has been a crazy couple of months. We moved our house and studio (while the new house was still being worked on) and have been preparing for our big holiday shows, which has meant long days and nights, blood, sweat and tears. Literally. ALL of those things. Anyway, it's nice to take a moment away from the crazy to do some holiday baking. This pie is so simple, but I have loved it since I tried my great-grandma's as a kid. It's completely delicious.

This pie is perfect just as is, but I also am a bit of an experimental baker. And that has been even more true since Casey and I have been friends, since she has celiac. So I am currently experimenting with this pie containing some other things like coconut and marshmallow cream. Anyway, for now, we can just keep it simple. And the tiny little pie is just about a cup of the filling that I poured in a ramekin and baked without crust- making it gluten-free for Casey.

Buttermilk Pie
1.5 cups Sugar
3 Tbs. Brown Rice Flour (Or any flour you have on hand)
3 Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1 Tbs. Lemon Zest
3 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together sugar and flour.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the sugar-flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
4. Pour mixture into pie crust and bake for 40-45 minutes.
4. Let sit for an hour and serve as is, or with whipped cream as a topping.

And there you have it! A simple delicious nostalgic pie. What are you making for your Thanksgiving meal? Anything from your childhood? Leave us links to your recipes, we'd love to see what you are up to!

xo, Savannah

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experiments in coffee dye-ing

So we've recently been experimenting with using coffee to dye fabric. We have used some natural dyes before and never had great results. We've also gone back and forth with using natural dyes on our kimonos, but after a lot of research, it seems that natural dye isn't really much, if any, better than the dyes we've been using. But we won't get into that too much, this post is about coffee!!
As you can see, these pieces of fabric have a couple of colors on them. The olive green-ish color is not coffee. This piece of fabric was tie-dyed with coffee and then tie-dyed with green dye.
This piece was tie-dyed with coffee first and then dip dyed in the green dye. So you can see the coffee color a little better. It's a very light beige-y brown.
This one is probably my favorite because of the design the coffee created. This one was dip dyed with the coffee and you can see that the coffee left these lines just like spilled coffee does. What is annoying is that I couldn't re-create this effect.
Anyway, here are the four samples we did. We soaked the fabric beforehand in a mixture of soda ash and water and we also added urea to the coffee. We also made the coffee extremely concentrated. I read so many articles about how to dye with coffee and honestly, it wasn't too helpful. Some people say they just used coffee and they got this lovely rich brown color. That was not our case. Overall, I probably wouldn't use this method in mass. It is more of a supplemental thing. I probably won't ever dye something with just coffee, unless I really just want something that beige-y color. Plus, it was pretty messy and the combination of coffee and urea smells pretttty bad. Not to mention how expensive it gets to make concentrated coffee with ethically made coffee, and in the amount you need to use as a dye. All this to say, I really like these combinations of the coffee and the green color.

Have you ever used coffee as a dye? What was your experience like?

xo, Savannah

5-minute Braided updo

I've recently become an eHow contributor and thought I would share this hairstyle I posted about recently. You may find this hairstyle familiar because we did this tutorial on Casey when we were first blogging. (click here to see that post) That post was our first one that completely exploded on Pinterest. It brought so much traffic to our blog and we were soooo grateful! It is crazy how important Pinterest was to our blog when we first started blogging and how the times have drastically changed. We always talk about how the internet (and Pinterest, specifically) is so saturated now that nothing can really have an impact like it used to. It's not wrong, just not necessarily good/easy for business.
Anyway, that's my thought for the day. For the full tutorial of this hairstyle, head over to eHow! (or click here)

xo, Savannah

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A Dramatic Kitchen Before & After

Guys, sorry to brag but holy moly how much do you love our kitchen?!?!?!?!?! We are so in love. You cannot even imagine the pain + suffering that was involved with this kitchen, but we are ecstatic with the results. My (Casey's) parents bought this house to renovate and we are renting it from them. We were so fortunate to be able to make requests and suggestions instead of having to rent a place as is. My stepfather, Richard, is contractor, so he did all of the remodeling. Obviously, that was a huge cost saver for my parents!

This side by side view really shows the extreme changes. We will eventually be sharing all of our house with you, but we are starting with the one thing that is complete already!
Originally all of these cabinets were going to stay put, but after much consideration we decided that they needed to be ripped out. There were a lot of issues going on behind them.
We knew we wanted wood counter tops and got a great deal on these. At first we thought it wasn't going to be possible due to the care needed for the wood, but my stepdad knew about this wonderful stuff called Waterlox. Its. Amazing. It completely seals the woods, never allowing water to seep through. We've tested it. It's great! We had to be creative with the space in the lower corner. There weren't any cabinets that would allow us to use the space and since custom cabinets were not an option, there is just dead space. We have plenty of storage space elsewhere in the kitchen, so it works.

Also, we realized that there were 2 windows hidden behind the upper cabinets. Blasphemy! The windows were older than dirt, so they had to be replaced. That also meant that we wouldn't have as many cabinets, but we were okay with that sacrifice. 
In the back by that window the previous owner had a washer + dryer. How European of her, but no thank you for these ladies. 
Don't you think a breakfast nook is a much better use of the space? We eat breakfast here every morning and it is so delightful. We relocated the washer + dryer to our studio space which will show you pictures of in the future. There are also new windows here. The window on the left originally had an A/C unit that had dripped over time and rotted the wood under the window. When Richard went to replace the window, the old one literally fell out of the house. SMH. He put up a shelf over the bench and we were initially unsure about it, but it's a great place for plants and knick knacks. He also made the table in the breakfast nook. The top is made from the leftover counter top wood and is sealed the same way.

Richard replaced the door in the kitchen with this one that allows way more light in. Before, there was a solid wood door that was put on wrong and would only stay closed if you locked it. The new door was originally a beige color that did not work in this room, so we painted it bright yellow for a little accent.
This light fixture was one of the first things we purchased for the kitchen. We love it so much and then we wanted to buy everything in copper.
The kitchen opened into this random room. I'm not sure what the previous owner used it for but we thought it would be much better used as a bedroom, so we added a wall here and you will see below what we put in its place. 
Hello pantry + hall tree + shelving! We haven't had an actual pantry in ages. We love this barn door Richard added. It's such a nice touch.
Our curated coffee cup collection. Say that 3 times fast! Whew. We had this in our last house and we knew it would have to come to the new space.
This is the room that is attached to the kitchen and is now Savannah's bedroom. Pictures of of our bedrooms to come in the future. 
This is the new wall that created a room on the other side, rather than a strange kitchen addition space. The bench in the hall tree provides extra storage. 
Total worth having these windows instead of cabinets. What we love most about our new windows is that the window sills are so deep! We are so excited to be able to utilize that space for plants, of course.
Well that's our kitchen! Hope you've enjoyed the tour :)

We are going to try to tell you where we got most of the things in our kitchen, but we may forget/ not remember/ have made it ourselves/ thrifted it. It's been a whirlwind trying to gather everything we needed to pull this off!

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