Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winter Stamp Fest O8'

Be sure to check out the upcoming Winter Stamp Fest at 2 Peas in a Bucket. You can see the link to it on the right hand side of the blog. It will take place in the Stamping Forum of the website. It is a little over a month away, running February 2nd through 9th, but you can never start planning too early. Even if you don't scrapbook or stamp, still consider checking it out. There are beginners like me, but there are also some fabulous folks that do beautiful work. Consider getting some inexpensive stamps at Michael's (the rubber or acrylic stamps for a $1 are great). Joann's fabrics has sold some stamps for $1 too and they also are a great starting point. Michael's recently had a cute Thanks stamp. Making thank you cards would be a great starting point and you can always use those cards during the year. Of course home made Valentines would be fun to do during the challenge too.

Not only can you learn some great techniques, but many of the challenges come with great prizes. So, if you don't have any stamps or a small collection, who knows maybe you'll win a challenge.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Post Christmas Ramblings

Well, I'd hoped to keep the countdown to Christmas up on the blog, but unfortunately that went out the window. Between having an active little one and all of the last minute holiday preparations and traveling, it just didn't happen.

We had a great Christmas. It has gone by so fast. Thank goodness for antibiotics. My little one is better and is free of his ear infection. I'm so glad we were able to get him well before Christmas so we could all enjoy the day.

Now that Christmas is over, I am looking forward to New Year's Eve and a new year. The thought of a new year is strange since this one has gone by so fast. I am excited to think about the possibilities a new year will bring.

Just a rambling thought to throw out, but if you have a Sonic in your area, I highly recommend their cheesecake bites. A word of caution, they are really hot in the middle so be careful when you bite into them. The caramel dipping sauce they have for them is awesome.

Also, I love, love, love their cherry lime aides. They have "happy hour" from 2-4 everyday. If you're out crusing doing any after Christmas shopping and your are parched, I suggest stopping on in to the Sonic for cherry lime aide. Gotta love that happy hour discount.

We are having family over for New Year's Eve. I love putting up Happy New Year signs and what not. I just saw a cute idea on a website. Send your guests home with little goody bags of Hershey's kisses. Kisses for the New Year.

One of the recipes I'll be making for New Year's Eve was in Southern Living magazine a few years ago. One tip I have learned is to line my baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper. These nuggets will stick to your pan and ruin it, so it is best to have it lined.

Bacon-Chicken Nuggets
2 large Chicken breasts
8 bacon slices cut in 3rds
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove

Cut chicken breasts into 24 (1 inch) cubes. Wrap each cube with bacon and secure with toothpick. Stick together orange marmalade, soy sauce, sesame oil, ground ginger, and minced garlic in a shallow dish. Add chicken. *Note: I put all of this into a large ziploc baggy and then put it in a shallow dish. It is easier to clean up that way. Cover/seal baggy and chill in fridge 2 hours, turning occassionally. (I also do these overnight and they turn out great).

Coat a wrack and broiler pan with cooking spray. Place chicken nuggets on rack in broiler pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, turn and bake 10 minutes.

With this having the marmalade, I highly suggest you keep an eye on them because every oven's temperature varies and they may not need this much time, especially if your chicken cutes aren't very thick.

I hope to do some more posting in the next few days. Maybe share some recipes and other odds and ends. Toodles for now!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day 10 More recipes to share

With the holiday season being so busy, I didn't have anyone send me any projects or recipes, so I thought I'd share some of my recipes that are tried and true. These are great if you are doing any entertaining in the next week.

Hot Crab Dip

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened1/4 cup mayonnaise1 teaspoon lemon juice1/4 cup finely chopped onion1 can crab meat1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Blend cream cheese and mayonnaise together until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread mixture in a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 18 - 20 minutes, until heated through and lightly browned. Serve immediately with crackers.

7 layer bars
Amount Ingredient Preparation
1/2 cup butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/3 cups coconut flaked or shredded
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
1 can milk, sweetened condensed
Directions: Melt butter in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over butter.
Sprinkle in layers, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, and top with coconut.
Pour condensed milk over all. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and cut in bars.

Mexican Wedding Cookies (My grandmother used to make these. They are a pretty cookie and taste great)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and water. Add the flour and almonds, mix until blended. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shape dough into balls or crescents. Place on an unprepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from pan to cool on wire racks. When cookies are cool, roll in confectioners' sugar.Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Be sure to check back tomorrow. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Days 8 & 9 Holiday Attire

Well, I missed a day of blogging with taking care of a sick baby and just trying to get holiday stuff completed.

Jazzing up from head to toe!

Today I wanted to share with you something to consider for wearing out for the holidays. If you haven't discovered them yet, Oka shoes are the cutest. I bought mine last Christmas at a local holiday bizarre, but I 've seen them in a few specialty shops in my area. I have the black mules. Since last year they have come out with even cuter ribbons you can buy with them. Mine have black velvet ribbon in them. I bought other ribbon at a craft store to switch them out, but I haven't yet. I wear mine with socks and they are really comfy. Here is a website where you can buy these shoes in case you don't see them in your area.

They also have some cute shoes for summer as well. But, who can think of that when Christmas is so close!

Also, if you are feeling a little frumpy, one thing I've found is basic black looks great with a shot of color. I've seen some cute jewlery at Target. They have such pretty bracelets in red, they look like they have jewels on them. I searched their website for a picture, but didn't see any. Check your local store.

Another inexpensive thing to consider is getting a great hat and scarf set in a bright color like red or pink. Just pick your favorite color.

I hope to keep up better with our countdown tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DAY 7 Some Humor for the Mom's out there

Well, I'm still dealing with a sick guy. We got on an antibiotic yesterday, so hopefully that will start to kick in. He has had a little bit of a fever today, so I'm hoping the Motrin will kick in and that by this evening he will be better on the mend. We need a well boy for Christmas.

I'm still worn out from not sleeping the night before, so I'm putting off doing my other post with more Christmas decorations until the next few days.

I'd love to solicit some feedback from you. I'd like Sunday to be Reader Feedback day. Please email me your favorite recipes you'll be making for the holidays, as well as picture/directions of any crafty projects you've made. If you include your blog, I'll include that too. So, please send me your things for our "Best of Christmas" post to come on Sunday. I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Today's story is one that a friend sent me in an email. I thought it was so cute, I'd share it. We all need a chuckle this holiday season. With sick kids, crazy family, shopping and cooking, a good laugh is the only way to stay sane. Laughter is the best medicine!

The Christmas Pageant

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby.I decided to do some serious praying andpromised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.God answered my prayersand blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us with another son.The following year,He blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter. My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty.We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old. I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me,"If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella." I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs onthe kitchen floor searching for baby chicks. I tried to be understanding when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.
When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to seehow it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess. In spite of changing overtwenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time,I still thank God daily for my children. While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother -I didn't even come close.

I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God. I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too. Something was lost in the translation whenI explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his "last wife."My proudest moment came during the children'sChristmas pageant. My daughter was playing Mary,two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine. My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line,"We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes." But he was nervous and said, "The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes." My four-year-old "Mary" said,"That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly. That's dirty, rotten clothes." A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing. I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, "Mama-mama." Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back upand held it tightly as the wise men arrived. My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced,"We are the three wise men,and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur."The congregation dissolved into laughter,and the pageant got a standing ovation.

"I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,"laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes "For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur.""My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. Had no army,yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DAY 6 Recipes to Share

I have a sick 1 year old at home, so today's post will be short and sweet. I've been up all night and to the pediatrician's this morning. My little guy has an ear infection and we are on antibiotics. Better now than on Christmas eve.

I still wanted us to continue with our count down, so I'm sharing two recipes that I think you'll find great. One is for Toffee Crunch Cookies. I got this from the FoodNetwork website. It is a fabulous cookie recipe. And, if you don't like nuts or are allergic, they taste great with or without nuts. I made this recipe for my neighborhood cookie exchange a few weeks ago.

The second recipe is a Country Sausage and Grits casserole I make for Christmas breakfast. It is great because I cook the sausage the night before and then just have to cook the grits and throw everything else together Christmas morning. I love this recipe.

Toffee Crunch Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (10-ounce) bag toffee candy bits
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 cup chopped whole, skinned almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla.
Beat the eggs slightly; then add to the butter mixture and mix well. Sift flour, salt and baking soda; then add slowly to the moist ingredients and mix thoroughly. Mix in the toffee bits, oatmeal, coconut and nuts. Drop dough by the teaspoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Country Grits and Sausage Casserole
Southern Living Recipe
To punch up flavor, use one pound of mild sausage and one pound of hot sausage in this casserole. If you're really brave, use hot sausage exclusively!
2 pounds mild ground pork sausage
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits, uncooked
4 cups (1 pound) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
Brown sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles. Drain well, and set aside.Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and stir in grits. Return to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add cheese and next 3 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in sausage and eggs.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish; sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour or until golden and heated. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.
Make-Ahead: Prepare grits mixture as directed above, but do not bake. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from refrigerator; let stand, covered 30 minutes. Uncover and bake as directed.
Yield: 10 servings

Monday, December 17, 2007

DAY 5 Some of my favorite Christmas things....

Today's blog entry is dedicated to showing off my sweet pup, and two Christmas movie recommendations for you.

For those of you who have not had the chance to meet her, let me introduce my sweet pup Miss Zoe. Miss Zoe is a Boston Terrier and she turned 5 this year. Her birthday is in October and she was given to me by my dh 5 years ago at Christmas. She was so tiny when she came to us and she was our first baby before ds came along last year. It wouldn't be Christmas without her. So, today's blog entry is dedicated to showing a few pictures of Miss Zoe. She is such a sweet, patient pup.

She has been the best Christmas present I ever had. When I went into preterm labor with our son, she laid in bed with me for 3 days because she knew something was wrong. Then, I ended up in the hospital for 10 days on bed rest. It killed me not to have her with me. If I had been on bed rest longer, dh was going to sneak her into the hospital. When I was released and came home, she was so joyful. She was jumping up and down, so happy to see me. She kept licking me, welcoming me home. I cried. It was the best welcome I ever received. She isn't a dog, she is a member of the family.

If you know anyone who is thinking of getting a Boston Terrier, I highly recommend them. They are very intelligent dogs, great with kids. They are a tough little breed, but fun. Some people think they are hyper. Zoe is not. She gets excited at first when people come to visit, but she calms down. No offense to other breeds, but I don't think I'd ever own another breed. And, hopefully Miss Zoe will be with us a long time.

She loves looking out the windows and she looked so cute in the candle light. I love how she looks.

Poor thing, she hated having this hat on. I only snapped one picture. She is a miserable little elf. That is a Christmas tree on top of the hat.


Ok, other favorite Christmas things are two movies you must see this holiday season. Every year we watch White Christmas.

I love this movie because it is so sweet and innocent and just great entertainment. It was made during the time my grandparents grew up and knew. It features Danny Kay, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney (George Clooney's aunt) and Vera Ellen. Vera Ellen is an awesome dancer and is just as cute as can be. She looks like a Barbie doll.

Ok, I have to tell y'all that my dh had never seen this movie a few years ago. His aunt and I convinced him and his uncle to watch. They loved it! So now dh likes watching this movie like I do every Christmas.

Ok, and now on to another one of our holiday favorites, A Christmas Story. I remember when this movie came out. I was a kid and my parents went out on a date to see it. DH and I watch this every year. Beginning on Christmas Eve, TBS runs this movie continously all night into Christmas Day. We have it on our tv and watch it over and over. The story is about a boy named Ralphie who wants a Red Ryder bb gun for Christmas. The movie unfolds showing Ralphie at school with friends, facing bullies, and his family participating in different family tradtions. It is a light hearted comedy that everyone will love. If you've never seen it, it is a must see.

Check back tomorrow for our next countdown to Christmas. Oh, and please feel free to live comments or ask questions. I love seeing them and getting feed back.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day 4 ~Monday Mince Meat Mania~

Hello Gentle Readers. I'm sorry it has taken me until this late to post Monday's Mince Meat Mania. I have been taking a teething one year old to see Santa. Let me just say it wasn't pretty and I'll definitley be sending our picture into the Ellen DeGeneres show.

I decided to do this post to share one of my family's traditions. My grandmother was a World War II bride from England and one of her traditions was to make mini mince meat pies during Christmas. She would make a bunch and freeze them and she would slowly dole them out. We all looked forward to them every year.

My sister and I both have carried on this tradition. We both love making the mince meats. They remind us both of my grandmother.

Here are some step by step pictures of me making mince meats. They actually can be made fairly easy. And, I thought it would be interesting to include some history on mince meats that I found on Wikipedia. I hope this is something that you will try. By the way, if you are scared to give making these a try, you can buy premade mince meat pies in your grocer's freezer section. Don't let the ingredients list scare you. The best way to describe mince meat is a rich, flavor. It reminds me of cinnamon and and of all spice and the apples and raisins are great. Yum.

The easiest way to make this is to use Jiffy Pie Crust. And then you'll need a jar of mince meat. Any grocer should sell this. I bought mine at Wal Mart. A jar runs around $5, but you get quite a few little pies out of of it. The brand I've gotten is called Borden None Such Mince Meat.

To fill the pan, you can take small balls of dough and press it into the pan. The pan I used is by Pampered Chef. They also sell a tart shaper, it is a wooden piece and is fabulous for helping you shape dough in the pan.
Here are the little pies filled with mince meat. I made two trays of 12 and still had some mince meat left over.
Ok, here is a crafty tip. I needed something to cut tops for the mince meats and the tops from my son's Dr. Brown's bottles were the perfect size. If you don't have kids, use a shot glass.
Ok, I decided to jazz up my mince meats by monogramming them. My last name happens to start with M, so I figured it works as a monogram for my name or M can stand for mince meat. I liked doing this too because it provided a little vent for the pies, so mine didn't bubble over. I'd bake these until your dough looks golden brown on the top. If your dough is thick, it might take a while.
Here is a baking tip I do. When I roll out on my counter or stove, I first cover it with saran wrap. I find it makes clean up a lot easier. See, just peel back the saran wrap and most of the flour is contained in it.

Ok, I had to do a "Food Network" shot. Eat your heart out Paula Deen. LOL

Be sure to check in tomorrow on our Countdown to Christmas. Thanks for stopping by!

History of Mince Meat Pies from Wikipedia

These small festive pies, usually between 2 and 3 inches in diameter (5-7.5 centimetres), can be made using either sweet shortcrust pastry or puff pastry. The American version of the mince pie can be much larger (8-10 inches or 20-25 centimetres).
The origin of the word 'mincemeat' is of interest, especially as most modern mincemeat does not contain any meat whatsoever, save for the Amish variety, which often contains pork, beef or sausage. Up to Victorian times, the mince(meat) pie would actually have been a spiced meat pie with some dried fruit. Nowadays, the only remnant of the original meat is the inclusion of suet. Typically, the filling is now made entirely from fruit-based mincemeat containing dried fruit such as raisins, currants, glace cherries, apricot, candied peel; spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg; nuts such as walnuts or chopped almonds; suet; and some kind of alcohol, usually either brandy or rum. Mince pies are suitable for vegetarians only if the suet is replaced by vegetable fat.
Once cooked, the pie is often finished off with a delicate dusting of either caster sugar or icing sugar on top.

The origins of the mince pie begins with the medieval pastry, chewette which was either fried or baked. The "chewette" actually contained liver or chopped meat mixed with boiled eggs and ginger. Dried fruit and sweet ingredients would be added to the chewette's filling for variety. By the 16th century 'mince' or shred pie was considered a Christmas specialty, but in the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell made the eating of mince pies on Christmas Day illegal. (This law was voted fourth "most ridiculous British law" in a 2007 poll.)[1] In the mid-17th century the liver and chopped meat was replaced by suet, and meat products were no longer generally used in the 'mince' by the 19th century in both North America and Great Britain. Though traditional suet pies are still made, they are no longer the dominant form.

[edit] Traditions
Folklore states that mince pies are a favourite food of Father Christmas, and that one or two should be left on a plate at the foot of the chimney (along with a small glass of brandy, sherry or milk, and a carrot for the reindeer) as a thank-you for stockings well-filled.
British tradition demands that the mince meat mixture should only be stirred in a clockwise direction. To stir it anticlockwise is to bring bad luck for the coming year.
Tradition also says that one should make a wish whilst eating one's first mince pie of the festive season, and that mince pies should always be eaten in silence. There are variations on this, including eating the first mince pie in a different location during the season in silence, while other family members try to make this a game by tricking the eater into speaking during its consumption.
Eating at least one mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas is thought by some people to bring luck for the coming year.
Mince pies traditionally have a star on top, to represent the Christmas Star which Christians believe led the Magi to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

DAY 3 Countdown to Christmas ~ Mele Kalikimaka

Here is a scrapping project I finished last night. It is for the Reminisce weekly challenge. I used Reminisce products on this page. I used the Surf rubons and the Reminisce tiki looking paper and the other paper that had hibiscus on it. The paper is double sided, so I got to use both sides to create this layout.

I printed off the words to Mele Kalikimaka (as sung by Jimmy Buffet). And to do the ornaments, presents, palm tree, wreath, and Merry Christmas words, I used my Cricut machine. I used the Doodlecharms cartridge and the Christmas cartridge. I love the detail that the Christmas cartridge gives you, so I took close ups of the page so you can get a better look. I had fun using my rubons to decorate the packages with tiki faces and put the rubon surf boards and palm trees around the lyrics. I also used one of their stickers to put Aloha on the palm tree.

I've always thought it would be great to spend Christmas in Hawaii. Aloha y'all!

(please click on the image to get a closer look)

Check the blog tomorrow. I'll be posting pictures of me making my mince meat pies. I'm calling it Monday's Mince Meat Mania. Don't miss it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

D A Y 2 Countdown to Christmas

Today I wanted to share some of my Christmas decorations inside the house. I have two crafty things to share that I have done with my decorating. First, was to come up with a way to hang the stockings without using my stocking hangers. I have a one year old son that is quick as lighting to pull things down. This year he is tall enough to reach the end of the stockings, so the stocking hangers were out.

I found a great spool of ribbong I bought after Christmas last year and I got inspired to use it to hang the stockings. Our little guy isn't allowed to go up the stairs, so hanging them on the banister going up the stairs was the perfect spot to keep them away from sticky fingers.

Close up of my bow. Don't you love this ribbon?

The second crafty decorations I wanted to show you are the wreaths I have hanging on the windows in my kitchen nook. I made these about 5 years ago and they have lasted that long and look just as great as when they were first made. I bought these little wreaths at Dollar Tree. I also used cinnamon sticks and then there are dried apple pieces and oranges on it too.

To dry the apples, oranges and limes, I picked a Saturday when I knew I was going to be home all day. You set your oven to 200 degrees. Thinly slice your fruit and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You need to find a way to keep your oven door ajar while it is open. Can you see why it is great that I didn't do fruit drying while having a little one? You could try to do this in a toaster oven, but you'd have to do small batches. You let your fruit hang out in the oven and turn it over every 30-45 minutes. That way it has a change to dry well.

Once you have your fruit dried, you just attach them and your cinnamon sticks with a hot glue gun. Take some wired ribbon and there you have it. Your own handy, dandy wreath. I really love how these wreaths warm up my windows for the holiday.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll have more exciting things tomorrow for our countdown to Christmas. And just a note, gentle readers, I probably will post either in the afternoon/evening time due to the craziness of the holidays and keeping up with my little guy. Be sure to tell your friends about our countdown.

Friday, December 14, 2007

{12 Days of Christmas}

Ok, the first order of business is to announce the winner of yesterday's RAK of Archiver's coupons. Our winner is..... Jennifer H. who wrote: "I am totally on the nice list this year! :)"

I'd like to thank everyone who has stopped by. Please tell your friends about this blog. I hope to have something up everyday for the next 12 days to countdown until Christmas. Count down with me.

{Gift Ideas}

Now, back to the program. Today begins the countdown, it is 12 days until Christmas. I thought it might be helpful to show you two gift ideas. One is a handmade gift, the other store bought. Both might be good ideas for that one person on your list who seems to have everything.

The first is a great combo gift for a family. These beautifully packaged gifts are sold at Pier 1 or Wal Mart. This particular one came from Wal Mart. Just add a Blockbuster gift card, or a dvd and you are ready to go. The crafter in me loves that cute ribbon on the top. Wouldn't that look good on a scrapbooking layout? This containers a box of Fiddle Faddle, box of microwave popcorn, Pretzels, and a big Nestle Crunch bar. And, the popcorn container is super cute!
Gift idea #2
These are coasters made from tile from Lowe's. I love doing these coasters. Supplies you need include: Staz On Ink in your choice of colors, porous tile, and small round felt pieces to put on the bottom. The felt was found at Lowe's too. You get a ton of the small felt pieces (I want to say 75 or so, so you can make a bunch of these). The tiles I used were around 50 cents a piece.
I must give credit that I saw this idea and the step by step directions posted at SplitcoastStampers. Here is a direct link to the tutorial I used to make mine:
I made two different sets of coasters. One with a Christmas stamp, the other with something that could be used year round. I purchsed both of my stamps at Michael's crafts.

I felt I needed to post a picture of the Santa stamp so you could see the detail on it. I have learned one lesson. If I use this stamp again, I will reverse the colors and do the wording in red and the Santa in black. I think he will show up better.

Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow for day two of the 12 days count down to Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

RAK = Random Act of Kindness = J O Y

Attention Archiver's shoppers. I have a set of coupons they sent me in the mail and since the closest store is 2 1/2 hours away, I'm not going to make it there to use these coupons. But, I'd love for one of y'all to be able to use them. Post a comment on this message before midnight tonight (EST) and please leave me your email address. I'll pick a winner, shoot you an email and get your mailing address so you can get the coupons. If you don't leave your email address, I'll have to pick another winner.

I'd love for you to come back and visit my blog this week. I've got great things planned. More decorations, Mince Meat Pie Mania, you can't miss it! And, maybe another RAK. Remember, Santa is watching!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chic Crafty Chick Christmas

Here is a look at my house all a blaze in Christmas glory. We've already been told by a number of neighbor kids that ours is their favorite on the block. Craftiness runs in the family, as you can see and we take Chic Crafty Christmas decorations to a whole new level. We expect to see the limos driving by soon for the light tours. LOL Who says you can't have a Chic Christmas lights display?

Except for the blue lights for the water for the deer drinking, the whole display is in white. I call it our Winter Wonderland.

So, enjoy the show. And, be sure to tune in for our second installment later this week, Chic Crafty Chic's holiday tour the inside edition. That post will include creative decorating tips for hanging your stockings in a fashionable manner, yet out of the reach of the sticky, fast hands of a one year old.
Happy Holidays Y'all!

We just love those snowflakes in the trees. I hope to get some more when they go on sale. And, that little thing perched up on the side of the house is an angel.
We have little Christmas trees and then our electic luminary bags going up the side of the driveway. The luminary bags then turn and go in front of the house too as you can see from the picture above. We got our bags at Lowe's about 2 years ago and they are awesome.
This picture does not do these wreaths justice. They are huge wreaths on the big doors of our gates on our fence. That is a confederate jasmine bush to the left of the wreaths.

Here is a side view of the walkway up to the front porch. I love our snow people family greeting everyone.
And here they are now, the welcoming committee. Can't you just hear Burl Ives singing Holly, Jolly, Christmas? It is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Holly Day Ornament


--Edited to add that these were made using glass ornaments purchased at Ben Franklin crafts. Michael's crafts sells them too.

I made this ornament for my son's pediatrician. I used rubons and just crinkled the paper. This was a fun, easy project to do.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My first post!


Here is a new album I just got at Wal Mart. I can't wait to get some Christmas pictures scrapped.

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