2016 has been a rough year. Between dealing with male PPD, an unexpected move, raising another baby, potty training and everything else in between, I think Tall Dad and I have had enough of our fill this time. So, we’ve decided – that’s it. We’re going to slow down, relax, and not have such big milestones anymore for quite some time at least. But, I will admit doing that is still hard for us because now we’re in the new home and we’re still getting used to it. There’s so much to still put up, organize, and do around the house. It feels like we can’t relax. More importantly, it still doesn’t feel like OURS quite yet. But, after a lot of thought – we just decided to MAKE it ours. Read on to see how we are making it happen with a little help of our good friends The Gilmore Girls, and some good ol’ fashioned Christmas baking and cooking…
In my eyes, the key to making a new house feel like home is just having the memories in the home. Yes, pictures, decorations, and your furniture all help, but it’s all just stuff.
Stuff makes a house. Living makes a home.
Buying a new home is always tons of work, and Tall Dad would argue, fun. Though I still don’t see how any of that process could be fun at any point in time. Naturally, after the emotional high of closing, moving, and getting all your stuff out of boxes, then you’re stuck in someone else’s home with your stuff. There’s a big let down. Given the fact that I can get wicked cabin-fever, very quickly, I had a huge let down. Very little we did seemed to make me happy.
We decorated, Tall Dad built our brand new podcast studio, and we even produced a few episodes of new shows we thought of. But I still felt foreign. And then we came up with a new podcast called, “You’ve Been Gilmored” – a show dedicated to Gilmore Girls – and we started discussing all of our favorite episodes after we re-watched them.
Of course, I immediately remembered why I loved that darn show so much – between the characters, the endless cups of morning coffee, and the fairy tale-esque setting – how could you not, right? But most of all, it just felt like home. It was worn in, like that favorite pair of jeans you’ve had for years and refuse to give up despite all the wear and tear.
This in mind, I watched the latest episode of the Year In The Life revival series for Gilmore Girls, entitled, “Winter”, and suddenly, it hit me. Now I won’t go into any spoilers, but there comes a point for Lorelai, Emily, and Rory, when they realize life is what you make it. They just had to DO something to make it.
And as I looked at my screen, watching my favorite girls traverse through their lives, (and the actors fitting comfortably in roles they haven’t inhabited in over nine years), and seeing the town of Stars Hollow decorated to the hilt for Christmas, I realized, my house is what I make it.
So, I turned to Tall Dad and said – that’s it! We’re having Thanksgiving here at our house, we’re decorating for Christmas the following day, and we’re going to have our friends over as much as we can to create the memories we and this house deserve.
We’re going to make our own little Stars Hollow right here.
A fifteen pound fried turkey, one Gregg’s chocolate layer cake, and lots of great conversation with my family later, we held our first Thanksgiving at our new house. New memories. New life. Almost a new home.
Then, Saturday – we went to what I believe to be Rhode Island’s version of Stars Hollow – which is Westerly, RI – for inspiration in creating our new holiday life.
It was stunning, between all the little shops, christmas tree lighting, all the decorations, and superbly friendly people down there, we got our main inspiration for our own Stars Hollow.
Sunday arrived and I was ready for it. While Tall Dad worked, I took the kids and we went shopping to find so many lights that even a character like Taylor Doose would shy away from it. When we all came back home, it was go-time. Felicity napped, Tall Dad broke out the step ladder, and Rhys and I unfurled every single light. Within an hour, we had icicle lights framing our house, garland wrapped around the deck, the tree up, lit wreaths in the windows, and even a little golden reindeer on our mantle.
I had my Stars Hollow.
But even Lorelai herself would admit, there’s no Stars Hollow without desert. So I decided to make my favorite sugar cookies with this amazing cheescake dip. And coffee. Lots of coffee.
Lorelai would be proud of me.
Rhys helped me mix, Tall Dad cleaned up the tornado of boxes and old lights in the yard, and I perfected my sugar cookies even further while I wore my favorite holiday themed apron and listened to Christmas music. Most of you readers know that I’m not the best cook. In fact, I’m pretty terrible. But, baking, oh yeah – I can bake.
Every year I even go to a girlfriend’s house and do a cookie making party/cookie swap. Cookies are fun to eat, but around the holidays its so much more than just the cookies. It’s the other dishes, especially the dips – which really excited me, so with the cookies, I decided to whip up a super easy and yet super delicious Sugar Cookie Cheesecake dip – which is sure to be a hit this holiday season.
The trick to this recipe is to use some of the International Delight® Sugar Cookie Coffee Creamer. I’ve been using this creamer, as well as the International Delight® Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer one to keep me going each morning.
I got in the holiday spirit here at home even before Thanksgiving – because I LOVE the seasonal coffee. Honestly, if I could, I’d get an IV of this stuff!
The dip rocks because you can dip cookies in this dip – ’tis the season after all – or you could mix things up and dip fruit slices in this dip too. If you have a holiday party coming up and you want to bring something – or you want to make your own version of Stars Hollow, use this dip! You’ll be glad you did!
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Dip:
1/4 cup International Delight® Sugar Cookie Coffee Creamer
1/4 cup Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
8 oz. Low Fat Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Beat the 8 oz. of low fat cream cheese until it is nice and smooth.
- Once smooth, mix in all of the other ingredients. After well mixed, beat together for a minute so that the mixture is nice and creamy.
- Put the dip inside a bowl, and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Serve with cookies, apple slices, or anything else you’d like with this delicious dip!
- Feel free to add sprinkles to dress up the dip!
And it’s all thanks to Gilmore Girls….and this drool-worthy dip my morning cup of coffee, and sugar cookies!
Now if I could just speak as fast, and with as many pop culture references as Lauren Graham, then I’d really make Lorelai Gilmore wicked proud…
You can grab all sorts of holiday flavors from International Delights at your local Walmart. They have a whole slew of holiday flavors to choose from, and these coffee creamers can be used for so much more than just your morning cup of coffee.
Here’s an example of a pumpkin pie spice frappe for example – super easy and delicious!
You can learn more about International Delight by visiting them on Facebook | Instagram and Pinterest.
Hope you have a happy and delicious holiday season!
Talk soon, friends!
I felt much the same way when we moved to our new house. It really started to feel like home after the holiday season and all of the fun gatherings!