Thursday, December 30, 2010

more gift reviews and a shout out from christmas vacation central!

We have been taking this no school business very seriously. Peeps are up until 11pm and sleeping in until 9ish. Good stuff. In constant rotation from the moment they wake until their eyelids finally close are the Ipod touch (and my iphone too) and the DS's. New games, especially the ones that both kids can play as partners, are big fun.

Creationary: A LEGO version of Pictionary. Totally fun but you must embrace change and adapt and work with what you have! The pieces are so tiny it would be hard to construct a masterpiece but we learned to just lay pieces out and work with it and it was Especially with MaMA and PaPa.

Pictionary Card Game: Another great concept. The decks of cards have simple shapes on them and you use these in combination with on another or in addition to any other props you can lay your hands on, including yourself. This was so fun and apparently while I was out last night, the girls played it again on their own.

Kindle: I read a Jennifer Weiner short story that I paid 99 cents for and I just completed my first book, a freebie, The Year She Fell. Great story and I totally loved reading it on the Kindle. I am sold. I am a new disciple. So much so that today I found myself browsing Amazon for things like this:
Kindle Sleeve

and this:
Kindle Skins.

Which led me to some DIY crafty, sewing type searches.



this cutie found on etsy.

Today I made good on one of my take the girls to the movies. We saw Tangled which was very cute and that Mandy Moore, she can sing! Just one rant--the movies and especially the concessions are too darned expensive. Pin It

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas hits!

There was no doubt what the two most popular gifts of the day were:
For Olivia--the Ipod Touch.
For Shelby--the Nintendo DSi XL
I downloaded my photos tonight and I think you can see it was love at first sight for both of them!


I am pleasantly surprised with both of these gadgets. They have exceeded both my expectation and the girls.

Other hits include: Just Dance for the Wii, Zoobles, Squishies, the Kindle (that was my gift!)...

Misses: Minute To Win It on the Wii

Questionable: UDraw for the Wii. The Pictionary game is fun, using the tablet for freestyle drawing has proven difficult so far. I will report back after we try that again.

What'd you get?!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

get your merry on

...we are certainly headed in that direction over here!


I woke up this morning, headed directly to the kitchen and made this:

Breakfast Casserole
Jewish Coffee Cake

Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Baked Parmesan Dip

They are all in the fridge waiting for tomorrow. I forgot to get broccoli yesterday so I am hoping to send Dave and the girls out for that shortly so I can make a broccoli salad and while they are gone I hope to wrap the few remaining gifts. Sigh.

It's almost here. Enjoy. Pin It

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

cook and bake

Yesterday, the girls and I did a little semi homemade holiday treat making.

First up, Ready to Bake cookies.
My girls much prefer to eat the dough instead of the baked cookies.

Next, we made Hershey Hugs Pretzel kisses. My nephew determined we had been making this recipe for about 7 years. I saw it this week on another blog (whose pic I borrowed above!) and you can go there for the how to. Another tasty version...pretzel, topped with a rolo, baked until soft and topped with a pecan. Instant turtle!

And last, I made Rocky Road fudge. This easy recipe never disappoints.

I shared one plate of goodies with friends last nite and heard today that the pretzel kisses are already gone. Today I sent a plate to work with Dave as well.

What easy treats do you like to make for the Holidays? Pin It

Sunday, December 19, 2010

thank you iphone

for capturing this sweet moment. to date, the only visit we have had to santa this year.
for making the stage of the school gym look fab and retro via the hispstamatic app. bottom left, front singer.
for allowing me to photograph my girls, from behind a closed window of my warm house---but making it look like this.
and for this little sweet capture of my trio: shelby, olivia and skipper the dog.

I have been totally embracing "the best camera is the one that's with you" philosophy. In fact, I am off to read Chase Jarvis's blog and perhaps download an app :)
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Friday, December 17, 2010

good things

Free wine bottle labels from BHG
. I have printed two of these out so far onto full size label sheets, I then trim them to size. I found soaking the wine bottle in warm water with dish detergent is best for removing the original bottle label. A quick spray of Windex clears off the rest of the residue. Attach these labels and you have an impressive hostess gift.
Cute kids. Seriously, this is Olivia and Shelby + 3 cousins last night at a retirement dinner for their grandmother, Pookey. I wish I had captured their snazziness better b/c this does not do it justice. They were SO well behaved, I was extremely proud. Many thanks to the staff at Eddie Merlots for a fine evening. Our food was wonderful but the service was even better.
School is out until 2011. No more homework. Yippee!

Tomorrow is Cookie Day.

And not so good things...Miss Shelby woke up with a fever and has been very sick all day. She missed her last day of school and the Christmas party. Girlfriend is too yucky to even care :( Pin It

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

an angel in our midst

Last night, Olivia performed in her school play, The Christmas Story. Go ahead and tell me I am biased but I am quite sure she was the most beautiful angel there. She had a narrator part AND a solo. Hers was the the last bit of singing of the whole night, and she went out on a high note, singing for all she was worth. It was awesome.

Today, I am knee deep (or is it waist high?) in school Christmas prep. There are gifts for teachers and busdrivers and those who work in the office to complete. (I have made 10 of these little bags so far which include one handmade tissue holder and one Bath and Body hand sanitizer) There are meetings to finalize party plans on Friday. There is the threat of another snow day tomorrow (oh no!, we already had Monday off) and so much to do, I don't know where to begin or when it will end. Right now the glue gun is heating up so that I can attach ribbon to wooden spoons that on Friday will be transformed into Rudolph ornaments.

I also just made a batch of Chex Puppy Chow (or Muddy Buddies if you prefer) at the request of my angel. Ok, yum. I mean YUM! I only made a half a batch but will make another for our Annual Cookie Day on Saturday. Mmm Hmm, more to prepare for.

Tis the Season! Pin It

Monday, December 13, 2010

the 2010 album project

Remember this? How I was scrapping along, keeping up with each month as it came and then at the end of the year, I would be rewarded with a completed album? It really did happen in 2009.

2010? Not so much. I think the last monthly page I completed is March, maybe April. I am so far behind. And this year, I got kind of tired of using all the same products (although I love how they look and it really makes the process faster). I was so tempted by all of the scrap goodies available and felt like I had self imposed a ban on using them. Silly, I know.

So today, in just about 10-15 minutes, I put together this super simple page. I am going to make a real effort to do a bunch like this over
the Holiday break and hopefully catch back up. So...all of the pages are not going to coordinate. Oh well. At least the important stuff will be documented and the photos will live in an album instead of my hard drive.

Feeling a push and loads of inspiration from Ali Edwards and her Christmas album and approach. Loving the big photos with just a bit of word art on them.
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

prepare for cuteness

My Shelby playing basketball is the cutest thing...ever.
She smiles like this the entire time and also moves and grooves around like she owns it.
I am so proud of the left handed dribbler.
She even took 3 shots today. One was rebounded by a team mate to account for 2 of their 4 points :)
Boys?! Bring it.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

handmade at home

I did manage to make a baker's dozen of these pocket/purse tissue holders.
I followed these directions.
And used sheets from the Vintage Sheet swap I participated in.
Sometime in the past week, I also made this Dollar Store apothecary jar. An idea which I saw online but cannot remember where.
I glued together a candle stick and the largest glass vessel I could find there. Voila...a poor man's apothecary jar perfect for holding my leftover yarn balls and ornaments.
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I shared my project here, check out more by clicking the button.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

more favorite things...

(photo: 2009)

My RikRak stockings from last year. Loving the new color combos being offered this year in their etsy shop.

My littlest making her basketball debut and smiling the.entire.time.
Instagram for the Iphone.
I just downloaded this today but I think it could trump the Hipstamatic. I need to work out how to upload them though (eta: got this one on flickr! it is my tree a few hours ago).
Making a few homemade gifts like these but using my thrifted sheets. Two fat quarters yields 6 tissue holders :) Not as bright as the ones above but cute nonetheless, and I have a bunch of the sheets on hand. I am in the groove of making these now so maybe I will share a few here. Anyone interested? I will get photos of them in the daylight.

What are your favorites right now? Pin It

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a few of my favorite things...

Bare Traps boots. They are like buttah, so comfortable but really toasty which will be perfect for the frigid temps coming soon. I may need to get a brown pair too.

New Christmas stuff from Little Dreamer like this:and freebies like this:

which is a free download, available now. And this is free too

from here. I am going to upload this to Costco, get it printed and framed by the weekend. Love it.
Lots more to share but one kiddo in the tub beckons and one kiddo studying for social studies needs help too. My career is quite demanding... Pin It

Saturday, November 27, 2010

starbucks wreath: my version

If you will remember, I shared a photo of the starbucks wreath last week. A lot of patience, yarn, hot glue and time led to my own version which I will say, I love! I took advantage of the Dollar Tree for most everything you see here. Instead of covering styrofoam balls in yarn, I covered ornaments which is a much cheaper alternative. My wreath form is from the dollar store too, I forgot to take pictures but it is a light colored grapevine style which worked out just fine, and again, for just $1, the price was right. I still need to determine the best way to hang this. The grosgrain ribbon may work just fine, I need to shorten it and iron it to see if that is the proper solution though. What do you think? (Oh, one skein of yarn was from JoAnns and the other from Walmart).

I shared this project here:

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

I am thankful for so many things today. First and foremost, my family and friends.
I am thankful for Flickr. Above is a small sampling of my favs found there. For details on the projects visit Flickr.

I am thankful for the companies that employ me and allow me to work part time and enjoy a very flexible schedule so that I can also have plenty of time for my girls and their school and activities.

I am thankful for healthy kids (those St. Jude commercials and specials are really moving).

I am thankful for a safe and warm home (even though I would like to gut and remodel almost every bit of it).

Have a great day. I am headed to my Mom's for the first feast of the day and I cannot wait for my favorites like her sausage dressing and sweet potato casserole. I also cannot wait to see my girls who have been there for 24 hours! Pin It

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

crafting, creating and trying to get christmas-y

Thanks to my awesome family, I have had most of the day and I will have all of the night, to myself! I have done some computing and office cleaning, which led to a bit of crafting but I did not have plans for anything specific so I moved on to a list of gifts I will need to procure.
Finding that nothing I was currently crafting was likely going to work on that list, I moved on to my annual calendars.
So as not to ruin the surprise, these are just snippets of the final product. A much different look than I have done in the past, and in a smaller size, 4x6. I am loving them! You can purchase this calendar kit, with most of the work done for you, at Little Dreamer Designs.
I will have these spiral bound this year. Although last year's stand was clever, it was not as sturdy throughout the year.

It has gone from gloomy, to sleeting to all out raining now. A good day to be inside and uninterrupted. The UPS driver just delivered my Shutterfly book...the one I just completed on 11/20. It looks great although I found two typos. Darn it.

I completed my wreath but because it is so dark, I will have to take a photo in the next few days.
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