Baking Up Traditions & Giving Back With Pottery Barn Kids

Family, traditions and giving back are some of the things that are most important to me. The same values that were instilled in myself by my parents when I was young, I am now teaching my own little girl and it couldn't be sweeter. This year we've partnered with Pottery Barn Kids to tell you a little about how we're spending time as a family while keeping family tradition going strong, and teaching Bella the lifestyle of giving back.
Baking is something I learned to love at a very young age. I remember helping my mom in the kitchen as young as age 2 and baking with her. She'd let me mix and stir things together, roll out cookies and let me help give them away, which was one of our favorite things to do around Christmas. We'd always make a trip to one of the local nursing homes  to drop off a basket of freshly baked cookies and homemade cinnamon rolls, and also give some to elderly neighbors.
So thinking back to all of my own childhood memories (which are some of my favorite), it's great to be able to get my own daughter in on that tradition. If there's one thing that Bella loves, it's helping me and her daddy bake and cook, and also pretending to bake and cook with her play kitchen. She's always asking "Daddy, can I help mix that?" and "Mama, can I stir that for you?". It's the sweetest thing, and not only is she learning valuable life lessons, she's always having fun doing something she loves and spending quality time with her parents.

This past weekend we took a few hours out of our day to give back and bake some traditions up as a family. Hubby and I got to work baking one of our favorite sugar cookie recipes  (I'll be sharing the recipe below so you can try them too) and Bella was a big help. She poured most of the ingredients into the mixer and helped mix some by hand as well. It was a great big messy, sweet and fun time; with memories made that I'm sure she'll remember for the rest of her life.
After they had finished cooling, we packaged them up in cute little brown baggies (made even cuter with Scandinavian inspired holiday washi tape) and delivered them! Two elderly neighbor ladies, a highway patrolman, and another elderly couple. All of them were so excited about the cookies and loved meeting Bella. The elderly ladies, highway patrolman and elderly couple were all instantly cheered by Bella's infectious smile and joyful attitude, and she made sure to tell each and every one of them "Merry Christmas!" She also thanked the highway patrol officer for keeping our roads a safe place to drive.

Soft Chewy Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups sugar for rolling cookies


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer) until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients in slowly, until a soft dough forms. Roll the dough into about 1 inch balls and roll the balls into the additional sugar (we like to color ours for holidays with extra added colored sugar or sprinkles) before placing them on parchment paper lined baking sheets (you can also use lightly oiled cookie sheets, but parchment paper works best). Bake for 10 minutes or just until the bottom edges begin to turn brown (they should be overall still very light in color). Cool for just a few minutes in the pan before eating, or transferring to a cookie plate or bags/containers to give away.
These cookies are so delicious and they're so simple to make, the perfect treat to bake up if you'd like to start this tradition as well!

When we're not baking for real, Bella loves pretend baking on her Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen from Pottery Barn kids. She has such a great time playing with it and it's so realistic! Secretly, I really wish my own kitchen looked like this, it's so pretty! The faucet and handles are all made of metal and the sink is actually watertight for realistic dish cleanup!
Though it comes in several beautiful colors (pale pink, simply white and gray) we chose the "simply white" option because Bella and I both immediately fell in love with it. We love to sit and browse Pinterest together in the mornings sometimes, so she was excited to find and finally have her favorite "Pinterest-ish" looking kitchen. The quality of this play kitchen is impeccable and it has a great chip and fade resistant finish on all sides (even the back, yay)!
This is the sweetest little play kitchen I've come across so far, and one of the greatest perks is that it doesn't take up much room (it was also incredibly easy to put together once it arrived), but is the perfect size for little hands to play with for hours on end, fueling their imaginations and all the while they can keep the practice of family traditions of giving back that they've learned. Its an all in one stovetop, oven, sink and refrigerator!

What's better? The Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen  is actually on sale right now over at Pottery Barn Kids! This play kitchen makes the best gift for children off all ages and genders. The perfect gift for hours and days, even years of imaginative play, to bring your family traditions to life. All through the year, your little one can pretend and bake and give.  Go on over to Pottery Barn Kids and snag one the Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen's for your family before they're all gone. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Post sponsored by Pottery Barn Kids. I received the item featured this post in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

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