Fair warning: this is going to be an image heavy post. Like, for real.

But there’s a good reason, I promise!

Over the past few years, I’ve stopped carrying my camera around. Yes, there was actually a time when I carried my ginormous dslr in my purse. Sometimes with an extra lens. #firsttimemom

But that got old real quick and my dslr hasn’t left the house since summer of last year. I drug it all the way to Alabama on vacay and only pulled it out once. So I’ve been relying on phone pictures since and I always kick myself when I take cute pictures of the kids or the dogs and then print them and the quality is awful.

So I got a new camera and I’m obbbbbsessed.

It’s the Olympus PEN E-PL7 with 14-42mm II R Lens and it is incredible. It’s so much smaller than my dslr, so much lighter, and still allows me to manually control everything, just like my dslr would.

I’ve been carrying it in my purse in a padded makeup bag and every time something fun happens or I see a cactus that I love, I get so excited when I remember that I have it with me.

The two little kids and I found ourselves driving around the countryside one weekend and stumbled upon a Christmas tree farm.

I love a Christmas tree farm. I love the smell, I love how cheery everyone is, I just love it.

So we wandered around the rows of Christmas trees, searching for a small one the kids could call their own, since we have a fake big one.

The kids ended up picking a couple live trees (in the first kid photo) that the guy said we could actually plant them and then in 4 or 5 years, we’d have a full grown Christmas tree!

Errr, the people that live here after we PCS somewhere else will have a full grown tree.

Of course we had to stop for decorations on the way home. My kids (all kids maybe?) love anything brightly colored so they picked these pretty ornaments, some blue tinsel, and candy cane shaped lights.

Yep.

How great is that pictures of our helper?! The details of her fur, her whiskers, everything. The Olympus PEN E-PL7 is seriously incredible.

For the first time ever, Penelope (the husky) is not terrified of the Christmas tree. Progress.

The kids had a great time decorating their little trees and I had so much fun taking photos of them decorating and also taking pictures of our big (fake) tree.

Their finished product! The trees are practically toppling over from the amount of ornaments on them but the boys are so proud of them.

And I, of course, love the quality of all the photos I got of the entire process.

If you are looking for a great gift for the budding photographer in your life, the Olympus PEN E-PL7 is it. It is built for life on the go! It’s compact, easy to carry, offers automatic and manual settings, and has a vintage style with modern technology.

Oh! I almost forgot my fave feature. It has a 180 degree flip touch screen that makes taking the perfect selfie really easy. You know I love a selfie!

Plus, there are lots of accessories and interchangeable lenses that you can purchase for it!

So cookies! I took the cookie photos with the Olympus PEN E-PL7 as well!

I love snowball cookies as a rule but these Chocolate Snowball Cookies my be my favorite. They’re the snowballs you know and love but with chocolate chips and pecans mixed in.

These may officially be my favorite Christmas cookies.

But I’m pretty sure I say that every time I make a new Christmas cookie.

FOR RIGHT NOW these are my favorite Christmas cookies.

Chocolate Snowball Cookies

3 dozen cookies

adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips
powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together and beat until light and fluffy. Add salt, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add in flour and beat until just combined. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.
  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet with 2 inches in between each ball. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes.
  4. Put a good amount of powdered sugar on a large plate. Roll warm cookies in the powdered sugar and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
http://fakeginger.com/chocolate-snowball-cookies/

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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