Archive for the ‘Photography by Candice McGarvey’ Category

Oh how we love Kid President!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Several years ago my heart was won by a sweet little Kid President, Robby Novak. Get ready to smile…

The Kid President is a little boy with BIG voice. Robby, with the help of his older brother in law, Brad, began to make videos because they wanted to encourage kids to make a difference in our world. “I believe kids can change the world. I also believe grown ups can change the world. It just takes all of us working together.” Watching his videos, I am always left giggling and feeling so good about the world. With so much negative on social media, it is so great to have a good example for my little buddy to look up too, even better that he is silly too.


I have used several of the KP’s videos to teach Jude a few valuable lessons; like how to treat others with respect, to be thankful, that we have so many reasons to dance, oh and that corn dogs are awesome!
Being the huge FAN that I am, I ordered Jude (ok, me) the Kid President Box. Of. Awesome. from fanjoy, mostly because I had been eager to get my hands on the book, The Kid President’s Guide to being Awesome. The box also included a T-shirt, enamel pins, stickers, postcards and a few do-good items as well.





“This is LIFE, people! You’ve got air coming through your nose! You’ve got a heartbeat! That means it’s time to do something!” I look forward to sharing with you a few projects I have in line for our family as we take on the challenge to MAKE OUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

One last thing…


Aren’t these enamel pins just the best? Mom gets the pins.

12 Days of Baking: Birthday Cake

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014


I love that my son gives me kisses, loves to cuddle and still brings me every dandelion he find in the yard.

I love that my son has already begun to develop a heart to serve others.

I love that my son finds beauty and magic in the ordinary.

With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I am thankful for a husband and a son who truly bring joy to my life and remind me to SLOW DOWN. They are always ready to laugh, play and have adventures.  I don’t ever want our family to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas, Christ. On Christmas morning we take a moment, before the presents, to thank God for all that he has done for us. To celebrate Christ.

So each year I bake a birthday cake for Jesus. And not just any cake… I want it to be the most beautiful cake I have made all year to celebrates such a Glorious holiday.We light candles and sing Happy Birthday.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!


And yes, I get to eat cake for breakfast on Christmas morning.IMG_9620.JPG

Apple Spice Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbs. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground clove

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

3 granny smith apples, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs to wet mixture one at a time until well incorporated. Next, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Finally, pour  in the apple pieces, you may need to use a rubber spatula at this point to fold in the apples.

Bake for 60 minutes. Allow cake to cool for 15 minute before inverting onto a cake stand. Cake should release easily from pan.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar to decorate.


12 Days of Baking: Pizza & Movie Night

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Tonight, we are having a movie night. Our plan is to turn on the fireplace, jump into our most comfy PJs, make our own pizzas and watch my favorite Christmas movie, ELF.

We make pizza a lot – I am talking weekly. We love to try out all different kinds of toppings and having the options of making each of our pizzas our own.

Recently, I came across this fantastic pizza topped with potatoes, rosemary, garlic, prosciutto and arugula. Oh my!
So tonight this is what I am having as I enjoy my family, and make some fun holiday memories.

Potato & Prosciutto Pizza
1 ball of store bought pizza dough (check with your local baker or favorite pizza shop)
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 red potato, skin on and slice VERY thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
2-4 slices of prosciutto, sliced thin
1 handful of grated parmesan cheese
1 handful of arugula

Roll out pizza dough on a floured counter top or board. Move dough to a well oiled pizza pan and brush your dough with 1 tbs. olive oil. I like to add a little salt and fresh cracked pepper to the crust of my pizza for added flavor.

Next, combine potatoes, garlic, and rosemary with 2 tbs. olive oil, toss to combine. Place seasoned potatoes onto pizza dough in one single layer. Tear prosciutto and sprinkle it on top of your pizza, along with your cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Once pizza is pulled from the oven dress the top with a handful of arugula and a little drizzle of EVOO.

12 Days of Baking: Apple Galette

Sunday, December 21st, 2014



This delicious apple galette is piled high with apples, cinnamon, clove and ginger. The smell of this rustic dessert is intoxicating and my family instantly began to draw into the kitchen as it baked. The crusty is so butter and flaky that it just melts in your mouth. For an simple holiday dessert try this galette. If you apples aren’t your thing, substitute with your favorite fruit; pears, peaches, even berries. For an added touch drizzle with a little honey or top with fresh whipped cream upon serving.

Holiday Apple Galette

1 1/2 cup flour

1 stick of very cold butter

4 tbs. ice cold water

2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced thin

2 tbs. brown sugar

2 tbs. white sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. clove

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

Begin by combining sliced apples, 1 tbs. brown sugar and spices. Set apple mixture aside so that it can begin to macerate.


Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour, 2 tbs. white sugar, 1 tbs. brown sugar and salt until butter is blended into to about pea size pieces. Slowly drizzle in ice water until the pastry dough begins to come together. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.



Roll out dough on a floured counter top or board to form a circle or rectangle, whichever you prefer. IMG_9515.JPG



Next, layer apple mixture into the dough. Start placing apples on the outside, working your way in leaving at least a 1 inch border. Fold up all edges… no need to be perfect.


Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

Sometimes my family and I can’t wait for our treats to cool down, sometimes we can’t wait to take a picture… sometimes we just dig in.

So for now, I do not have picture of the galette from the oven. I guess I will just have to make another VERY soon.


12 Days of Baking: Cheese Straws

Saturday, December 20th, 2014


Our family loves cheese of all kinds. We could easily make a meal out of cheese, cured meats and a loaf of good crusty bread.

In fact, for Christmas Jude asked for just this:  “salami with the wrapper that peels off” (summer sausage) and cheese. He loves evenings watching movies and sharing fun snacks together as a family. I can pretty much bribe him to do just about anything with the promise of a movie night…. I know, I know, great parenting 101. I love that I have just about one of the only 4 year olds who enjoys goat cheese and brie.

To add to holiday treats this season I thought I would make a southern classic, Cheese Straws. These tasty little guys cost quite a pretty penny when purchased at the supermarket, yet only take a few minutes to whip up a big batch of your own. Before we start let’s talk our favorite cheeses-

Michael: loves Smoked Gouda
Candice: I am a sucker for any extra sharp aged cheddar or goat cheese
Jude: we keep our refrigerator stocked with string cheese & those little round cheeses in red wax wrappers for our little buddy.


Cheese Straws

8 oz. of really good finely grated cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar, asiago, or parmesan)

1 1/2 stick of butter, softened

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Start by allowing cheese, butter and eggs to come to room temperature. In a mixing bowl beat together the cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour, salt and pepper to form a slightly sticky dough.

Typically cheese straws are piped out using a cookie press. However, I don’t have a cookie press. I used a large pastry bag fitted with the largest piping tip I own. Evenly pipe out 3 inch long straws onto an ungreased baking sheet or silpat mat.

( If you don’t have a cookie press or pastry bag/tip, form dough into 1 inch balls and flatten with a fork, making crispy little cheese coins.)

Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden and perfectly crisp.


12 Days of Baking: Jude’s Dino Brownie Bites

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

IMG_9334.JPGIt’s day four and my kitchen, my son and myself are covered in flour… We are having lots of fun!

Today’s baked treats were inspired by the sweetest little 4 year old kitchen helper, JUDE!

Jude loves chocolate. So we decided to make homemade brownies. We made a rich & chocolaty brownie batter, scooped out perfect bite sized portions and stuffed them with candy just before baking.

Brownies + Rolos & Reese cups= pure happiness!

Jude’s Dino Bites
1/2 cup + 2 tbs. unsalted butter
9 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Rolos or peanut butter cups or both

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini muffin pan with butter or use a nonstick baking spray (I use Baker’s Joy.)


Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa powder into a heatproof bowl and melt using a double boiler method. Heat and stir until smooth. Let cool. (Alternately, you can microwave the chocolate and butter mixture at 30 second intervals stirring until smooth.)

Mix together flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a stand mixer beat sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Drizzle in the melted chocolate mixture to sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add flour mixture and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Scoop out small teaspoonfuls of batter into your muffin pan, leaving enough room to push your candies down into the batter without an overflow.

Bake for 12 minutes.


I was thankful to have these tiny hands to open all the candy. He was excited to make a pattern, rows of similar candies.


To add to the festivities, Jude picked out these adorable little Dino toppers which sunk their big feet into the brownies as soon as they came out of the oven.

Ahhh… Rich, warm homemade brownies, so much better than boxed. Proud of my littles man’s love for spending time with me in the kitchen. He named these brownies, “Super Dino Spy Brownies!”



12 Days of Baking: Pizzelles

Monday, December 15th, 2014


Michael and I spent our first Christmas together in the mountains of Pennsylvania visiting with Michael’s grandparents. It was there that our sweet Mom Mom introduced me to Pizzelles.

Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies. These cookies are almost too beautiful to eat, as pizzelle irons stamps both sides of these thin cookies with an intricate snowflake pattern.

It was my first Christmas away from home. I will never forget the fun we had laughing, cooking and exploring the nearby Appalachians. Though I missed home, I felt so welcomed into my new family. So comfortable in fact that I just kept eating the pizzelles… I just couldn’t get enough. I don’t know how many I ate, but I am sure Mom Mom was quite taken back about the amount of cookies her new granddaughter could consume. I am not sure if it was the sweet anise or the grandma who made them that reassured me I was right where I belonged.

I eventually bought a pizzelle iron of my own and now make Mom Mom’s cookies by the dozens.

Beware, once you start eating these thin wafers there is no turning back.

Here is where the magic is made… My Pizzelle iron! I received this iron for my birthday from my sweet Gram several years ago. She always knew just the perfect gift for me. A Pizzelle iron would make the perfect gift for that aspiring baker in your life.


6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 cup oil
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tbs. vanilla
1-3 tbsp. anise extract (or the extract of your choice)

Beat eggs and sugar until thick, 3-5 minutes. Add oil to egg mixture and once combined add in the baking powder.  Finally, add flour to the wet mixture 1/2 cup at a time.

Spoon a tablespoon of batter onto pizzelle iron and bake for 35 seconds or until golden brown.


I know owning a Pizzelle press may be an unusual thing, so you may just need to drop by and share a few cookies with me and my family – or pick up one of your own!


12 Days of Baking: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Madelines

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

These decadent Madeleines were inspired by evenings curled up by the fire with a large mug of piping hot chocolate in hand.

The past few weeks have been full of hot cocoa. Michael, Jude and I have had so much fun cruising around (with our hot cocoa) to look at all the wonderful and the wacky Christmas lights in town.

Peppermint and chocolate make a wonderful holiday combination.  Just one bite if these light and airy french cakes will fill you with Christmas spirit!

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Madeleines
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously brush Madeleine pan with butter, be sure to coat all around the edges of these beautiful seashells with butter!

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and both sugars until thick, about 3-5 minutes. Slowly mix the flour into your wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Finally, add vanilla, peppermint and drizzle in the melted butter. Be sure not to over mix.
IMG_9221.JPGUse a piping bag or spoon to fill each mold with about at tablespoon mound of batter. Do not fill molds completely to edge of the pan because they will rise.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until madeleines are set and perfectly puffy in the middle.

To remove the madeleines from the pan, gently flip and tap bottom, the cakes will pop right out!IMG_9233.JPG IMG_9234.JPG
I dipped my madeleines in melted dark chocolate and gave them a sprinkle of crushed candy cane for garnish. With or without dipping these little cakes in chocolate they are perfectly dreamy. Madeleine batter can be prepared in advance and will last about two days in the refrigerator or can also be frozen. The cakes however are best when served the day they are baked.

Enjoy these sweet Peppermint Hot cocoa Madeleines with friends this holiday season… Their hearts will surely be warmed!

At home with the Pattersons

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Meet the Pattersons. My friends Judd and Christy are one of the most fun-loving couples I know. I feel so inspired when visiting their vintage-modern home. Christy is a great example of one who practices biblical hospitality. You never need an invitation to drop by the Patterson’s and that is what I love. The door is always open, their home so warm and inviting and you are never a stranger.

Join me on a tour of their beautiful home.
Our front room is the gathering place in our home. Not that it’s decorated the best but I find that’s where we have most of our family time. It’s a cozy and quaint space, where we always tend to end up as a family. We have made a lot of memories here. I’m reminded as I sit in this room how simply decorated it is.IMG_6740IMG_6751.JPGIMG_6822IMG_6747IMG_8679-0.JPG
The buffet in my kitchen is probably my favorite piece. It is an antique that wasn’t in the best condition, bought at a thrift store for $50. My mother-in-law helped me redo the piece. It was a lot of fun and I learned how to use different restoring techniques. I’m just so happy with how it turned out.
Our bedroom feels clean and  fresh, with lots white. IMG_6778.JPGIMG_6775.JPGIMG_6768.JPG
Our kids rooms are fun and whimsical. We have both a little boy Oliver (4), a little girl Eisley (2) and another little surprise on the way. Soon we will be combining Oliver and Eisley into one space to make room for our new little. IMG_6754.JPGIMG_0352IMG_6758.JPG
I love Oliver’s book wall. We created this wall out of functionality and little space. My husband made it, costing around $40 and I love how the books are accessible to my little ones, while the whole wall looks well decorated.
I had so much fun creating this beautiful pinwheel backdrop in my Eisley’s room. I wanted to make a lot of small pinwheels to create a large backdrop for the wall. I used all kinds of craft paper and scrap book paper. Colorful. I think it’s a cute, feminine accent to her wall.
Whenever decorating, think of whatever inspires you and go with it. There’s inspiration all around. I feel that when you walk in someone’s house it should scream their personality. I always start with a main piece or accent piece. I love to work off of something. Keep in mind lighting and always pick your wall colors last! You can always change your wall color. Create a space that you’ve always wanted, that you feel comfortable in. You don’t have to have a huge budget to create a space that feels like home.
IMG_6827.JPG IMG_6866.JPGIMG_6825.JPGIMG_6824.JPGIMG_6828IMG_6763.JPG
One of the biggest compliments I ever received about my house is that it feels so comfy and lived in. Even though most of the time everything is put in its place, there is still something to be said about the toothpaste smeared on my bathroom mirror, or the jelly smeared on my television, that our house is lived In. I think that’s the biggest feeling I want people to have when they are in my home, comfortable and at home. Mood lighting and great candles also help! IMG_6689.JPG
When hosting guests, I love cooking or just preparing a few snacks. I typically tell people the first time you’re a guest and after that, this is just as much your home as ours. Help yourself, kick up your feet & feel right at home.

That’s why we have a home, to share it with others.
The Pattersons

Flying Paper Airplanes