Rest

posted on: Thursday, December 27, 2012

 
This week of Christmas has been lovely.
Time spent with family...a day time date with Travis...a lunch date with a friend.
It's been restful.
 
I'm going to carry that restfulness on through this next week.
We're headed back home soon and I'm going to be spending the week preparing for the new year.
January is going to be a good month.
Emma's 5th birthday, Eloise possibly being born and a new blog revamp to name a few.
I'm excited for the upcoming change :)
 
In case you missed my advertising post you can find it here.
I would love to help you promote your blog or shop with the start of the new year!
All prices and details are listed in the post.
E-mail me at thevanillatulip(at)yahoo(dot)com to reserve your spot!
 
Enjoy the last bit of your December...
be back soon!


Christmas Day

posted on: Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Home for the Holidays

posted on: Monday, December 24, 2012


We made the journey to my parent's house in Missouri for Christmas.
It feels so good to be back "home".
Christmas baking has been in full force...
a present wrapping party with my mom and sisters...
late night games with my siblings...
my mom's cooking...
my dad's roaring fires that he makes.

And to top it off this year...
there is snow forcasted for Christmas day.
:)
Glorious!

Happy Christmas Eve friends!

 
_____________________________________________________________________________
The winner of the Ad Givewaway is
Cory!
E-mail me and I'll get you all set up for the New Year:)

Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies

posted on: Sunday, December 23, 2012

If you have any last minute holiday baking to do I have the BEST cookie recipe!
These cookies are buttery and just like their name says...they melt in your mouth.
The next time I make them I will make a smaller cookie and cover it entirely in the frosting.
The cookie itself isn't very sweet so the frosting completes it!
Happy Baking!


-Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies-
 
Ingredients
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
a few splashes of milk
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Take out and make a thumb print in your cookie.
Place back into the oven for 6-7 more minutes.
 
Cool the cookies.
Once cool add as much or as little frosting as you choose.
You can either fill the thumprint with frosting or cover the whole cookie (which is what I suggest!).
 
-Frosting-
Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
a few splashes of milk
green (or any color) food coloring
 
Directions
Combine all your ingredients and mix.
Keep adding splashes of milk until the frosting is the consistency you want it.
 


Birthday

posted on: Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!
I can't imagine my life without him.
He is so good to our family.
He has the kindest heart of any man I know.
He loves his babies more than anything.
He treats me like a queen even when I don't deserve it.
 
He had to work today but was able to come home for lunch.
The kids and I spent the morning preparing for our "party".
This was the first year where they were big enough to help.
It was so much fun seeing them get so excited!
We made cards, wrapped presents, blew up balloons and set out party hats.
We surprised him by picking up his favorite barbeque to eat at home.
 
We spent his birthday evening at our coach's Christmas party.
It was the perfect way to end his birthday.
Mexican food, Christmas cookies, festive sweaters, great visiting and fun games.
 
Happy Birthday sweet Travis :)
We love you!
 








Sponsors + Giveaway

posted on: Tuesday, December 18, 2012


 
This year has been a fun one for the blog.
It's been a year of change and growth for our family as well as the blog.

I'm excited for what the new year brings.
Especially in regards to the blog.
I'm working with Molly to switch some things around for the new year.
And definitely praying about the direction the blog will go this next year.
Lots of ideas and different collaberations in the works that I can't wait to share with you!

Over this past year I have been so blessed by my sponsors who have joined up with me.
I am thankful for each one of you and the blessing that you have been to me.

If you have been considering sponsoring The Vanilla Tulip
I would encourage you to get signed up for the New Year.
I am excited to help promote your blog/shop!

I have created several different ad options.
Three for the side bar and then a new ad option that will appear at the bottom of my posts.
I have also added the option of purchasing three months at a time for a discounted price.
This is a great deal because it also locks in your price as the cost of ads
will most likely increase as the blog continues to grow.

Here are a few recent stats:

*over 150,000 page views last month
*1200+ Twitter Followers
*1100+ GFC Followers

Here are the ad details:

-Bottom of the Post Ad-
One Month-$75
Purchase Three Months at once- $175 (save $50)
 
-Includes 1 month (3 posts)
-Your ad will be seen at the bottom of 3 seperate posts throughout the month.
-Includes One Feature Post on the Blog
-This is perfect if you are really wanting your ad to be seen since
it will appear in any Reader programs (Google Reader, Blog lovin', etc.) 

-Feature Ad-
One Month- $45
Purchase Three Months at once- $105 ($30 discount)
 
Includes:
-Feature Post on the blog
-Ad in constant rotation at the top of the ads
-Only 3 Feature Ads available per month
 

-Large Ad-
One Month- $30
Purchase Three Months at once- $70 ($20 discount)
 
Includes:
-Group Post introducing Large Ad Sponsors
-Ad in constant rotation with other Large Ads

-Medium Ad-
One Month-$20
Purchase Three Months at once- $45 ($15 discount)
 
Includes:
-Side Bar Ad only
-Ad in constant rotation with other Large Ads
 
-ADDITIONAL OPTIONS-
 
Giveaway Option- If you would like to purchase a Post to do a Giveaway with please e-mail me and I will quote you a price and make sure that your product would fit my readers.
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com
 
____________________________________________________________________
 
As a thankyou and to show my appreciation for you all I am giving away one of my new
Bottom of the Post Ads (500x80).
 
The winner will receive the month of January for free.
That is 3 seperate ads appearing at the bottom of 3 seperate posts throughout January.
 
To enter:
You must be a follower of The Vanilla Tulip via Google Friend Connect
 
Then....
 
Leave a comment telling me one thing you're thankful for this Christmas season!
 
One entry per person.
 
And that's it!
I will be announcing a winner this coming Monday!

Nan's Famous Fudge


 
 
 
 
My mother-in-law makes the absolute BEST fudge I have ever tasted.
It's perfection.
Not grainy like some fudge can be.
The perfect amount of chocolate.
Just all around perfect fudge.
I was surprised to find out that it's one of the easiest fudge recipes ever!
And get this... it's made in the microwave!
Enjoy!

Nan's Famous Fudge
 
Ingredients
3/4 cup butter
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 pkg (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
 
Directions
Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
 
Microwave the butter in a 4 qt. microwavable bowl on High for 1 minute or until melted.
Add sugar and milk, mix well.
 
Microwave on High for 5 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes.
Mix well making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
 
Microwave on High for 5 1/2 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes.
 
Gradually stir in the chocolate chips until they are melted.
Make sure to work quickly once you stir in your chocolate chips
because the fudge begins to set as it cools down.
Add the remaining ingredients, mix well.
Pour into your prepared pan.
Cool at room temperature.


The Weekend

posted on: Monday, December 17, 2012


Our weekend was a full one.
Full but good.
Our church had their big Christmas choir performance this weekend.
Three nights with a packed sanctuary each night.
I'm so thankful for the community that we live in.
 
Saturday we made a quick trip to the city to finish up our Christmas shopping.
It felt so good to be in the hustle and bustle :)
I'm sure not many people would say that...
but after being in a tiny town I find myself wanting to be around the busy!
 
This week has already filled itself up.
Christmas parties, Trav's Birthday!!, a dr. appointment to check on the baby in my belly,
packing, present wrapping and then off to my parents to celebrate Christmas with them!
 
We have so much to be thankful for.
While my heart is still heavy for the families in Connecticut it is also full of hope and thanks.
I am so thankful for the Savior that we celebrate this Christmas season!
Thankful for my husband and babies.
Thankful to be home with them.
 
How was your weekend?
Did you finish your Christmas shopping?
Hope it was a good one for you!
 
It's going to be a good week on the blog.
I've got a yummy recipe and some fun news to share with you mid week!
 
Happy Monday friends!
 


Fekkai Hair Products

posted on: Sunday, December 16, 2012





I'm constantly on the hunt for hair products that will help to protect my hair from the elements.
I'm hard on my hair.
Flat irons, blow drying, hairspray and lots of teasing (the bigger the hair the better;) )
has left my hair feeling dry and brittle.
Not to mention having four babies in five years has done a number on my hair as well.
I have been trying to grow my hair out for a year but
 it's been slow going because of the constant breakage.
I've been looking for a solution to my problem and
 was so pleased to find out about the Fekkai Hair Products.
 
I was excited to see that Fekkai Hair Products offers a line specifically for damaged hair.
Fekkai says, "I worked with our team of scientists to create Fekkai Advanced PrX Reparatives, a technology that repairs hair’s texture, restores shine and prevents future damage. With keratin and silk proteins, it provides up to 98% less breakage."
My favorite product from the Advanced PrX Reparatives line is the Intense Fortifying Mask.
It helps to restore smoothness and shine while strengthening
 your hair against styling and chemical damage.
You put it on your hair after washing it and leave it in for awhile.
Rinse and voila!
Hair that feels smooth as silk!
The matching Advanced PrX Shampoo and Conditioner are amazing as well!
 
Another thing I love about the Fekkai Products is that you can purchase everything online.
Everything you need with just the click of a button!
 
Fekkai is currently offering a fantastic holiday deal on their products.
10% off your total order and a complimentary exclusive holiday headband with your $50 purchase (while supplies last).
At the checkout enter the promotional code: HEADBAND

Praying and Guarding

posted on: Saturday, December 15, 2012

 
Our hearts are aching for the families that have lost their sweet loved ones in Connecticut.
As a mom I can't think about the events without crying.
Crying for the lives the lost.
Crying for the parents who lost their babies.
Crying for the children whose innocence was taken from them.
 
And then my mind races to my own babies.
And I cry because this is the world that they are growing up in.
A dark one.
Full of evil.
And all I can do is pray the Lord's protection over them.
 
This article from Sally Clarkson is beautifully put
 about guarding and protecting our children's innocence.
I strongly urge you mother's/father's/grandparents to read it.
 
John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world, you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world."
 



Feature Post- Tootie and Dolly

The time has come to stock up on clothes for our little Eloise who will be here soon!
I am excited to put her in some soft gowns from Tootie and Dolly.
Head here to see more of their products and
 to find out more about how you can get a free hat with your purchase!

Feature Post- Jolly Edition

Jolly Edition has the most gorgeous work I have ever seen!
They offer custom prints, wedding invitations, cards and more!
Head over here to learn more about their shop.

Feature Post- Tine & Thread

I am in LOVE with the shop Tine and Thread!
Tara has the most beautiful selection of items ranging from custom calligraphy, design services, vintage postage stamp sets, paper straws and more!
Head on over here to find out more about her shop and to see more goodies!



Disney Baby

posted on: Thursday, December 13, 2012


My dear friend Casey is a contributing writer for the Disney Baby Blog.
I'm honored to be a part of a great lineup of blogger moms and babies
that she has featured in her latest article.
Head over here to see what some of her favorite mom blogs are to read!

Today


It's been quiet here today.
One of those days where the laundry is caught up and the house tidied by 10.
My favorite kind of day.
 
We spent the rest of the morning eating chocolates and crafting while listening to Christmas music.
Actually the kids crafted whileI made lists.
I have made a mental Christmas list but nothing on paper.
Probably not the best idea.
I ended up buying doubles for some people and nothing for others. :)
Oops.
 
How is your Christmas shopping going?
I've done the majority of mine online this year.
I kind of like it that way.
Stress free.
I do however like to enter the stores for fun little "additions" to presents.
You know... little things you didn't know existed but are
the perfect something extra to top off your gift.
 
And I need to get the kids stocking stuffers.
My favorite part of Christmas gifts!
Do you do stockings at your house?
And what do you fill them with?
I usually head to the Target dollar aisle to pick up little treasures..games, stickers, puzzles.
And then to the toy aisle for little toys... matchbox cars, polly pockets, etc.
 
Hope your Thursday has been good!
I'm off to talk Travis into getting take-out burritos for dinner...
wish me luck!
 


Feature Sponsor Post- Brittany from This Beautiful Life

I'm excited to introduce you guys to Brittany from This Beautiful Life!
I've gotten to know her over the past month and she is as sweet as it gets!
I've asked her to share a yummy Baked Pumpkin Donut recipe with you all today!
Make sure to head over to her blog to say hi!
____________________________________________________________________________
 Hi Vanilla Tulip readers! I'm Brittany and I blog over at This Beautiful Life. I'm a proud wife, adoring momma to a Fur Baby, cupcake lover, DIY crafter, passionate blogger, and most importantly, Jesus worshipper.
Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Donut batter:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
Donut coating:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter donut pan.
In a medium bowl stir the first 5 ingredients together, set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk. Stir only until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Do not over mix the batter.
Using a pastry bag, fill each donut cup. {Fill them full, but not overflowing.} Bake for 11 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed. Let cool on a wire rack for a couple of minutes.
When donuts are slightly cooled and ready to be served they are ready for their cinnamon sugar coating. Important: If you are making the donuts ahead of time you can store them in a container until ready to eat. Do not coat them until just before serving to prevent sogginess.
While donuts are cooling, melt butter in a small dish. In a separate bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. While donuts are still warm, brush each with melted butter using a pastry brush. Then, roll in cinnamon sugar coating. Serve immediately.
Enjoy!
{Recipe adapted from Sweetened with Honey}

GlassesUSA

posted on: Wednesday, December 12, 2012



Awhile back GlassesUSA.com offered a pair of their glasses to review.
I quickly took them up on it and started the process of choosing the perfect pair!
I began my search under the Vintage/Nerdy category on their website.
I loved that they had the styles of glasses grouped into categories.
It made the search for the perfect pair super easy!
I ended up choosing the College Tortoise Shell Glasses.
They are incredibly comfortable and go with everything!
GlassesUSA offers prescription glasses, sunglasses and also glasses to wear just for fun!
Their shipping was incredibly fast.
The eyeglasses were here within four days of ordering!
Next time you need to buy glasses I would highly suggest GlassesUSA.

Besides their high quality frames and lenses they offer:
110% lowest price guarantee and a 100% satisfaction guarantee
A generous refer-a-friend program (you can get $30 for each first purchase a referred friend makes and use the $30 towards your next pair of glasses).

Coupon Code: Blog10 for 10% off any order