Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long 2009

Here we are at the beginning of the year...

Here we are at the end of the year....

Where did 2009 go? Overall it has been a very good year. Thanks to all my blog reader's who've shared the adventure with me. Wishing you all peace, happiness, and prosperity for 2010. I can't wait to see what the new year holds for all of us. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recovering from the holidays

Hope everyone is having a great day. Can you believe we are almost finished with another year? We've been traveling to see family and have been busy, busy.

Santa surprised me with a Keurig coffee maker. I actually don't drink coffee, but I love, love, love tea and this machine has been awesome. I am so happy with it. Be sure to check these out if you haven't seen them before.

Well, gotta run for now. I hope to have some fun posts before we end 2009. But today there are errands that have to be done.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Brunch


Merry Day After Christmas everyone! I thought I'd share pix and the recipes of some of the dishes I made on Christmas morning. These were all a big hit. We had a wonderful Christmas.

The first picture is of a Country Sausage and Grits and Cheese Casserole. I got this recipe a few years ago and it is always a big hit. It is a heavy casserole and very filling. I'm providing a link to a previous post where I shared the recipe.

This is another recipe I made called Nutty Orange Coffee Cake and it is a Paula Deen recipe. It is a great sweet to offer along with casseroles. It has an orange glaze over top and it is yummy. There was none of this left. This one gets high marks from me.

One note, I do not own a bundt pan, but I do have an angel food cake pan. I line a cookie sheet w/ foil and use that pan. You'll need to do this because the butter drips through the pan otherwise. Because I used the big angel food cake pan, I used 3 cans of biscuits. They were out of buttermilk, so I used regular canned biscuits and the recipe turned out fine.

This next recipe is a new one I decided to try that Kraft Foods sent out in an email earlier in the week. It is called Crustless Bacon and Cheese Quiche. This recipe is another new favorite of mine. It was very easy to make and tasted yummy.

A note on this recipe. It calls for fresh mushrooms and I forgot to buy them. I had a small can of mushrooms in my pantry and the night before I drained them and put them in a paper towel in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. Then I followed the directions and even though they weren't fresh they were still really good. So this is a recipe you can change in a pinch if you don't have the fresh mushrooms. I also used turkey bacon and it was fine and blended in great.

I will definitely be making this again. I have to say I liked that it has red and green in it. Helped make the table look Christmasy. :) Here is a link to Kraft's website so you can get it.

Here is the final dish I made. This is a hashbrown casserole. I don't remember where I found this on the Internet. The only difference is I didn't make the corn flake crust that the recipe calls for and it didn't affect the taste. It is a good recipe. I have to say that the next time I make it I will get the cornflakes and put that on top. It would taste good with that crunchy topping.

Hashbrown Potato Casserole
2 lbs. frozen hash browns, Southern style (thawed)1 stick melted butter1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. pepper1 can cream of chicken soup1 pt. sour cream1/2 c. chopped onions10 oz. pkg. shredded cheddar cheese
TOPPING:1 c. crushed corn flakes3 tbsp. melted butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Arrange in baking dish, 9 x 13 inches. Sprinkle with corn flakes. Top with butter. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

I hope you'll get a chance to try and enjoy these recipes. These would be great with New Year's Day coming up. This worked out well for our family because we didn't have a Christmas lunch, so this filled us up until closer to dinner time.

I hope you are enjoying the holidays. Happy eating, shopping, and being merry!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Packing up the sleigh

Well, we are throw things left and right this morning and packing up the sleigh to head over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house. So, I don't think I'm going to have a chance to post the pix of the holiday decorations on Monument Avenue. Hopefully soon.

We will be on reindeer watch later. We've still got to get the magical reindeer oats ready. And Santas is getting the 7 layer bars I made yesterday. Just hope Santa doesn't run into Old Man Possum who lives somewhere here and shows up to frolick amongst our Christmas lights at night.

Be safe out there if you are doing any last minute shopping. And remember, Santa is watching!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread House

Happy Wednesday everyone! Can you believe we are almost to Christmas? I'm excited that we got a lot of things accomplished yesterday, so I think we have things in good shape.
Today I wanted to share with you our gingerbread house creation. Sawyer and I put it together last week. I should say I put it together and he put some of the candy on it. I think next year will be fun because he will be able to help more. Also, I think next year I'm buying candy canes and extra candies to decorate it. I love the idea of lots of candy on it.

One reason I really wanted to try to do a gingerbread house this year is because I've been reading the story, "The Gingerbread Baby" with Sawyer. If you haven't seen this book, I highly recommend it. It is a really cute story and can be read year round, but it is especially fun for this time of the year with folks making gingerbread houses and cookies. This is a small book and would make a great stocking stuffer. I've seen it at Barnes and Noble. I actually got our copy after Christmas last year at Ben Franklin.

Some tips I'll share that I found when putting this together. The package says the icing dries fast and it does. I had everything I needed laid out so I could work as fast as I could. Also, because it was really me by myself putting together the walls and the roof, I found it was easier to use my juice glasses to help with supporting the walls as I worked. To be honest, I think it just made me feel better. The icing seemed to dry and be stiff enough that I wasn't having problems with it caving in.

This is definitely going to be a tradition in our house. We had a lot of fun putting it together.

Tomorrow I will have a post featuring the gorgeous decorations from the old homes on Monument Avenue located in Richmond, Virginia.
Well, I'm off to do some baking. Dh wants some 7 layer bars and I'd love to do gingerbread men to go with our gingerbread house. Hope you are having a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our lights

Every year dh and I get excited talking about our holiday lights display. And every year it seems we add a little something more to it. We decided a few years ago to do all white lights which we like because we haven't seen many all white lights displays in our area. So, we've looked for different things that will work with our winter wonderland display. Yep, just call us the Griswolds.

We got hit by the big snowstorm here beginning Friday night and into Saturday. DH was sweet enough to go outside to get pictures of our lights so y'all could see them in the snow. The white flecks you see is the snow coming down. I am hoping to get some video up so y'all can see the display and hear the music. We got one of those music machines after Christmas last year so that has been a fun new thing. The neighbors have been great and have enjoyed seeing it. DH hooked up just a few things to the music so only a few special pieces "dance" to the music. We've really enjoyed seeing the lights show at night. A few nights before the snow came, I'd bundle the boys up and sit with them on the porch and watch the lights before dh would get home. It will be a fond memory I'll have from this Christmas.
So, here are some pix of our lights. Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chris Kringle Cookies


Happy Monday everyone! I am so excited about all of the things I have to share this week. We are now in count down mode until the big day. Dh is off this week, so we will be doing a lot of fun family activities together.

Today I wanted to share these cute cookies that I made last week for Sawyer's preschool class and for our MOPS group. I thought this ideas was so cute I just had to make them.

To make these cookies, you need a star shaped
cookie cutter. You will also need mini marshmallows, white frosting, red food coloring, and mini chocolate chip pieces.

I used the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix to make the cookies. Once you've rolled out and baked your cookies and they've cooled, you'll need to frost and decorate them. I took some of the white frosting and put it in a Ziploc baggie with some of the red food coloring. That is how I got the red frosting for the top of Santa's hat. For the marshmallows, you need to cut them in half. As you can see, one goes on the top of Santa's hat. I found it easiest to cut a small part out of one of the corner's of the Ziploc baggie to pipe the red hat.

Once you've got the hat completed, you'll need to take some of the white frosting and ice the bottom of the cookie. I used white tube icing for this and piped it on and then used a spreader to smooth out the frosting. Once you've frosted the cookies, you then add the halved marshmallows on top. Finally, you'll need to add a dab of frosting to each of the chocolate pieces to get them to stick for Santa's eyes.

Wouldn't these be cute to make with your kids to leave out for Santa? I'm sure he would definitely put you on the nice list. :)

Be sure to stop by tomorrow so you can see our Christmas decorations.

Have a great Monday. Be safe out there!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Winner

Since I have not heard from the winner of the Wilton Give Away, I've drawn another name.

Here are your random numbers:

1 Timestamp: 2009-12-18 02:58:13 UTC

Paula said...
That's a great prize. I'm hoping to do a little baking this weekend.

December 8, 2009 5:13 AM

Congratulations Paula! You are now the winner of the Wilton goodies!

Grrr the digital camera

I've been wanting to show some of the beautiful decorations we got to see recently and I can't find the digital camera. It is somewhere around here. Probably under some wrapping paper and bows.

I'm in the midst of Christmas chaos right now, so hopefully tonight I'll be able to find the camera to get up a post.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick tip for holiday shopping

I'm slammed today with needing to get some cookies baked for a gift for tomorrow, so I wanted to share a quick tip today. Tomorrow I'll have some Christmas decorations to share with you.

Today I was in Target and they have the best little gloves sets for $1.50 They come in combos like Winter White and Black or Tan and Winter White and I believe Pink and Black. I bought some of these because they make a great gift for the mail carrier. I always leave something for our mail carrier at the holidays because she does such a great job for us. So, she will get these along with some other goodies.

I have not yet had a chance to send out the emails to the prize winners. If they want to shoot me one with their contact info, that would be great. So the dead line for getting back with me will be extended.

UPDATE: If you have won a giveaway, please email me. Some of you don't have a way for me to contact you. Shannon, you are one I'm having trouble finding an email address for. Thanks y'all, I really want to get the ball rolling to get your contact info. to the sponsors.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa's Good list aka the give away winners

Ho, Ho, Ho. Today I feel like Santa because I get to announce the winner's of the contests from last week. First, I'd like to thank all of the wonderful blogger's who participated in last week's cookie carnival. If you missed it, be sure to go back and look at last week's posts. There are some really cool cookie recipes. What I love about the recipes is there is a little something for everyone. From the experience baker, to those who don't have a lot of time and want to grab a box of mix and go. I am hopeful that the Cookie Blog Carnival will become an annual event. You can never have enough cookie recipes in my opinion.

I also want to thank the generous sponsors who offered up some fabulous prizes. Who doesn't love to get some great goodies for the holidays? Wilton, Huggies, and ELF have all been great folks to work with. I was pleased to work with them because they all have products I personally use and love. Things I'd recommend to my friends and family. So if you aren't familiar with any of them, be sure to check them out.

So without further ado, here are the winners...

Giveaway#1 Elf Makeup

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-12-14 17:15:09 UTC

Misty said...
I left a comment of Jens blog

December 9, 2009 12:35 PM

Give Away #2 (TWO WINNERS)Huggies

Winner #1 is ...
Here are your random numbers:

18 Timestamp: 2009-12-14 17:26:17 UTC

Shannon said...
I commented here:

Shannon said...
We love making cookies with boxed cake mixes too! They make the cookies so moist and easy to prepare! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

December 12, 2009 8:11 PM

December 13, 2009 12:32 PM

Winner #2 is...

Here are your random numbers:

27 Timestamp: 2009-12-14 17:29:43 UTC

carafit said...
Waffle cookies look like my new favorite!

December 13, 2009 2:16 PM

Give Away #3 - Wilton

Here are your random numbers:

10 Timestamp: 2009-12-14 17:34:33 UTC

Tessy said...

I went & checked out the Waffle Cookies and that was such a unique idea on a cookie. I'd post a link but I had to wait on blog approval so I hope this do. Thanks for the chance to win.

December 9, 2009 12:40 PM

Congratulations to all the winners! You will be getting an email from me requesting your contact information. You will have until Wednesday to get back with me. If I don't hear from you I will draw another name.

Have a Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's all in the mix

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you've enjoyed getting to know some great bloggers and seeing their wonderful cookie recipes this week during the Cookie Blog Carnival. There has been such a wide range and variety of recipes. I'm sure something everyone will love.

Today's recipe is offered by Charissa from the Mimi's Babies Blog. Her recipe really speaks to me as a busy mom. She has made Cake Mix cookies. She says this is a great recipe for busy mom's on the go.

What I love about this recipe is that it has simple ingredients that would be easy to let a small child help you. This is one that I could see me letting my three year old help pour the ingredients into the bowl.

So be sure to go over and check out this recipe.

Sweet Give Aways!

Giveaway #1 - Elf Makeup -

Giveaway#2- Huggies (2 winners) Each winner will receive a coupon for a free pack of Huggies, as well as a $10 Wal Mart gift card.

Giveaway #3 - Wilton has offered up a ton of fabulous baking supplies.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Visions of sugar plums...or cookies

Happy Thursday everyone. It is another exciting day here with our week long Cookie Blog Carnival. It has been great to see all of the yummy treats everyone is preparing in their kitchens. So many unique and different recipes.

Our first blogger today is Amanda from the Best Momma on the Block Blog. Isn't that a cute blog name? Amanda is a Twitter buddy of mine. You can find her on Twitter @caffeinated_mom Today she is making Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. They sound like something that would be on Santa's naughty list, don't they? So you know they have to be good. LOL

The second blogger I'm featuring today is Iris from the Mama Says Blogging Team. She has a cream cheese Rugelach recipe she is doing. Ok, I've never had a rugelach before, so I am intrigued and can't wait to see this. I'm a sucker for recipes with cream cheese. So mosey on over and check this one out too.

Sweet Giveaways

Giveaway #1 - Elf Makeup -

Giveaway#2- Huggies (2 winners) Each winner will receive a coupon for a free pack of Huggies, as well as a $10 Wal Mart gift card.

Giveaway #3 - Wilton has offered up a ton of fabulous baking supplies.

Happy Baking everyone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet & Chewy

Well it is hard to believe that it is already Wednesday. Where are the days going? Have you started to panic yet that Christmas is two and a half weeks away?

Today I'm happy to introduce you to two great girls who are sharing recipes. Our first blogger today is Jen from the Thrifty Northwest Mom blog. Jenn is my Twitter buddy. If you aren't following her you need to be. She is always sending out great stuff.

Jen is sharing a recipe for Molasses Sugar Cookies. I can't wait to give this one a try. Recipes like this always seem so comforting to me. And with having a big sweet tooth, a good sugar cookie recipe is right up my alley. So check out Jenn's blog at

Our second blogger today is Shonda from The Knowlton Nest blog. Shonda and I went to high school together and we cheered together. I'm so glad for things like Facebook because it has helped us reconnect. Don't you just love when that happens?

Shonda is sharing a recipe called MGM cookies. They are a oatmeal roll out cookie with frosting. She got this recipe from her grandma. You know if you get a recipe from a grandma or a nanna it is going to be good. A good oatmeal cookie recipe just screams "homemade" to me. So be sure to check out this recipe on Shonda's site.

Sweet Give Aways!

Don't forget to visit these links for our 3 giveaways this week in celebration of the Cookie Blog Carnival. We have some great prizes you won't want to miss. A big thanks to our awesome sponsors!

Give Away #1 - ELF Cosmetics Gift Set

Give Away #2 - Huggies (2 winners) Each winner receives a coupon for a free pack of diapers, as well as a $10 Wal Mart Gift Card.

Give Away #3 - Wilton has offered a ton of a ton of baking supplies. You will love this stuff. Seriously.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mmmm, can you smell the cookies baking?

I'm so excited to share with you the first two bloggers who are featuring cookie/bar recipes today. These ladies have baked up some yummy treats that I know you'll love to check out.

Bridget from the Bake at 350 Blog has shared a Cranberry Almond Bars recipe. The pictures she takes of her food make my mouth water all over my laptop. So just be warned. LOL

Jamie from the Cool Crafty Mom Blog is featuring a fabulous cookie recipe. She is making a waffle turtle cookie. I'm in heaven! So be sure to check it out.

Sweet Give Aways!

Don't forget to visit these links for our 3 giveaways this week in celebration of the Cookie Blog Carnival. We have some great prizes. A big thanks to our awesome sponsors!

Give Away #1 - Elf Cosmetics Gift Set

Give Away #2 - Huggies (2 Winners) Each winner receives a coupon for a free pack of diapers and a $10 Wal Mart Gift Card.

Give Away #3 - Wilton has offered a ton of baking supplies. You will love this stuff. Seriously.

Sweet Give Away #3 - Wilton


Our sweet give away number three for the Cookie Blog Carnival is sponsored by the good folks at Wilton. Did you know that this week is Cookie Exchange week? Wilton has some wonderful information available on their website that gives great information about cookie exchanges, as well as decorating cookies.
I know when I've purchased Wilton products in the past, they've been great tools to use for my baking needs. Their metal cookie cutters make it easy to cut out your cookie shapes with a clean look.
Wilton has generously offered a number of baking goodies for one lucky winner. The winner will receive the following: 1 pack of 50 parchment sheets, 1 treat box kit snowflake w/ 3 ct sticks, 1 Green Cookie Icing, 1 box of Gingerbread boy mix, 1 Red Cookie Scoop, 1 Tree and Present Trio Cookie Cutter, 1 XMAS 3 piece colored metal cookie cutter set.
Can you believe all of that cookie baking goodness? How can you enter to win?

1.)You may leave one comment on each of the blogger's websites who are participating in the Cookie Blog Carnival to gain an entries. Once you leave a comment on their blog, come back here and leave a comment with a link to your comment.

2.)Follow me on Twitter. @chiccraftychick Once you are following, come back here and leave a comment.

3.)Tweet the following: Come see how the cookie crumbles on the Chic Crafty Chick blog's Cookie Carnival. Win great prizes!

This giveaway will run from Tuesday, December 8th through midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th. The winner be announced here on Monday, December 14th.
(NOTE: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately)

Sweet Give Away #2 - Huggies


As I've mentioned here on my blog, I've been a huge fan of Huggies since I had my first son three years ago. They've made my life so much easier and with this giveaway, they are going to help make things easier for you too.

Huggies is sponsoring an awesome giveaway for TWO lucky winners. Two winners will each receive a coupon for a free pack of Huggies, as well as a gift card for $10 to Wal Mart. You can swing buy Wal Mart to get your free diapers and some supplies to bake some cookies.

How can you enter to win? You have a number of ways to gain enteries.

1.)You may leave one comment on each of the blogger's websites who are participating in the Cookie Blog Carnival to gain an entries. Once you leave a comment on their blog, come back here and leave a comment with a link to your comment.

2.)Follow me on Twitter. @chiccraftychick Once you are following, come back here and leave a comment.

3.)Tweet the following: Come see how the cookie crumbles on the Chic Crafty Chick blog's Cookie Carnival. Win great prizes!

This giveaway will run from Tuesday, December 8th through midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th. The winner be announced here on Monday, December 14th.
(NOTE: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately)

Sweet Give Away #1 - ELF Make Up


Our first giveaway for the Cookie Blog Carnival is sponsored by Elf (Eyes, Lips, Face) makeup. Elf is giving away to one lucky winner one of their super cute lip gloss gift sets. Elf was kind enough to send me one of these a few weeks ago and I have to tell you I've loved these little lip glosses. They don't take up a lot of space and can easily fit in your pocket or small purse when you are on the go. I've even put one in my car in one of my cup holders so I can grab and dab.

The pretty sparkles in these lip glosses make them the perfect thing to make your lips glitter. With Mistletoe all around, your lips need to be prepared. And then there is also New Year's Eve coming up, your lips will twinkle when the ball drops.

So, how do you enter to win? You have a number of chances to win.

1.)You may leave one comment on each of the blogger's websites who are participating in the Cookie Blog Carnival to gain an entries. Once you leave a comment on their blog, come back here and leave a comment with a link to your comment.

2.)Follow me on Twitter. @chiccraftychick Once you are following, come back here and leave a comment.

3.)Tweet the following: Come see how the cookie crumbles on the Chic Crafty Chick blog's Cookie Carnival. Win great prizes!

This giveaway will run from Tuesday, December 8th through midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th. The winner be announced here on Monday, December 14th.
(NOTE: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cookie Blog Carnival

Well, today is the kick off of the Cookie Blog Carnival and I thought I'd explain about all the festivities. As hostess, I want to ask you to grab a glass of eggnog as I explain about all the fun.

Every year for the past eight years, I have participated in a neighborhood cookie exchange. It is one of the things that I look forward to every holiday season. I love to bake, so it gives me a chance to try out new recipes, as well as socialize with my neighbors.

I decided that I wanted to share that experience here on my blog to bring this holiday tradition to more folks. So the idea of the Cookie Blog Carnival was born. I contacted bloggers that I either read their blogs, and/or follow and tweet with them on Twitter to see if they would want to participate. Many of the girls were on board so I knew this had to be an idea that was worth exploring. So for the last few weeks I've been in contact with these great ladies in preparation for the festivities.

Starting tomorrow, there will be different blogger's I'll be introducing to you each day. They will be posting their favorite cookie recipes on their blogs. There will be different folks each day, so you'll want to make sure you stop by to see what the latest and greatest will be. I know you are going to love getting to know some great bloggers, as well as find out some wonderful new recipes to try this holiday season.

And one of the other exciting pieces of this Cookie Blog Carnival is our three wonderful sponsors. I'm excited to share with you that the Wilton company has offered to sponsor our event this year. This is such a great partnership because this week is Cookie Exchange week. You can find out details about it on Wilton's website.

Another one of our sponsors is ELF makeup which I've shared with my blogger readers in recent weeks. Elf makeup is a great idea for a stocking stuffer or to give yourself a merry makeover for the holidays. And if you haven't heard, ELF makeup is now available in Target. Right now ELF has some great holiday gift sets reasonably priced. Some are even under ten dollars. One lucky person is going to win a gift set.

And our final sponsor I'm excited to share with you is Huggies. I almost did a back flip when I find out the Huggies folks were on board with sponsoring this event. Ever since my first son Sawyer was born premature, I have been a Huggies user. We started out with the tiny preemie diapers in the hospital and have graduated through the sizes. When I was going through such a stressful time being a new mom, I have to say that using Huggies products meant I had one less thing to worry about.

In order to give everyone ample time to get into the Cookie Blog Carnival spirit, I'm going to have the giveaways start tomorrow with our first cookie recipes post. So be sure to check back here tomorrow when the fun begins!

Happy Baking!

ELF Make Up Winner..

And the winner of the Elf is...

Here are your random numbers:

1 Timestamp: 2009-12-07 04:15:54 UTC

The first comment was left by:

christin said...
I am so excited these will now be at target!! I would love to try their eyeshadows as well:) Thanks!
christinbanda at yahoo dot com

December 1, 2009 12:20 PM

Congratulations Christin! Please be on the look out for my email. I wish I could stop by with balloons and a bouquet of flowers and big check like the Publisher's Clearing House folks, but hey we are all on a budget these days. :)

Will be updating later...

I want to get things all ready for the Cookie Blog Carnival, as well as announce the winner of the Elf giveaway so I'll be posting later today. Be sure to check out all the details. There are great recipes and prizes. It is going to be a great week. Come bake with us!

Friday, December 4, 2009

It all began here two years ago...


Well, I'm very excited about today. Two special things are happening for my blog. First, as you can see by the handy dandy logo to the left, I have been bestowed the honor of being picked as the Featured Blogger by the Blog Roller gals I was so excited when I received the email about this. Now I know how Ralphie's father felt when he received his "major award". I hate to disappoint, but there won't be any "soft glow of electric sex" on this blog. Boy would that be a change of direction for this blog. LOL
I want to thank the Blogger Roller gals for this nice surprise. I'd better thank them quick before Kanye shows up and tries to take over my acceptance post.
The second special thing for me today is that today marks the two year anniversary of my blog. It is hard to believe that two years ago I decided to take the plunge and start writing a blog. If you go back in my archives, my first post was a picture I posted of a Christmas album I bought at Wal Mart. Two years later that album is still not finished, but my blog marches on.
What I've loved about blogging has been using this blog as a way to express my creativity. It has provided me the opportunity to learn how to do new things. I also love how this blog has given me the opportunity to "meet" other mom's who blog. It empowered me at a time where I felt powerless. It has been a great journey and for those of you who have been reading my blog, thanks for joining me for the ride. So, everyone raise your glasses of champagne in celebration of my blogiversary. Clink, clink.
In celebration fo my blogiversary, don't forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway. It runs through Sunday.
Also, next week is my Cookie Blog Carnival and let me tell you there are going to be some mouth watering cookie recipes and fabulous prizes. Just the thing you need to put some Ho, ho, ho in your holiday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things are in the works

I missed blogging yesterday because I had to run the kids to some appointments (Christmas, very top secret, can't share now) so by the time we got home things were crazy and I was worn out. I told someone yesterday that being the mother of two boys under the age of 4 makes momma want to ask Santa for a flask sometimes. LOL But these two little guys are so sweet and the sweet hugs and kisses make it all worth it.

Giveaway Info.
If you missed my post on Tuesday, be sure to check it out. This week is my blog's 2 year anniversary and I'm getting to give you a gift. Some great Elf gift polish! So be sure to go and enter that contest for your chance to win.

Upcoming Holiday Event
In case you missed the nifty little button I put at the top of my blog, next week I will be hosting a Cookie Blog Carnival here on my blog. For the last eight years, I've participated in a neighborhood cookie exchange. It is a great way to celebrate the holidays with my neighbors and to catch up with everyone. So, at this time of the year I'm always on the look out for great cookie recipes. I thought it would be fun to partner up with some great bloggers to find some new recipes and just bring that fun cookie exchange feel to the blogging community. So be sure to follow the blog all next week for not only great recipes, but great prizes as well. Yep folks, we've got sponsors for this little shin dig. Huggies, Elf Cosmetics, and Wilton Cakes are all on board to sponsor. You've got a chance to win some great things. So be sure to remember to come back and check out the celebration.

Well, we are out the door in a few minutes. A crazy day lies ahead. Have a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to me! Giveaway for you!

Happy Tuesday everyone. Those darn kids got in the way of my blogging yesterday. How dare them. Can't they just feed and change themselves? LOL
I had a great time going Black Friday shopping with my sister. We found some great deals and that is always nice. I had some spending money from my birthday so that made it fun. The only sad thing that happened is that I had one of my purchases lost/stolen. The reason I threw in stolen is that at one point before we were going to leave the mall, this lady was a bit aggressive and shoved her way through the tiny space where my sister and I were looking at some skirts. I usually never put my bags down, but I had put one of them down. I was so sad when I got back to my parents house to discover it missing. It was a really cute silver top I'd gotten on sale at Ann Taylor. It was really different from anything I own and I was looking forward to wearing it. At least it was just one item that was missing and I did get it for 1/2 off.
So my advice is keep everything close to you while you are out shopping. I'd hate for you to have that happen to you.
Now on to more cheerful things. This week is the two year anniversary of my blog. I'm so excited. I started it December 4th. I wanted to have a way to do something fun and creative after having my first son. So I entered the world of blogging.
As a way to celebrate my blog's anniversary, I'm hosting a give away. I've mentioned recently in some posts that one of my favorite new finds is Elf cosmetics that are now being sold in Target. They are such a great, inexpensive way to get glam. Well, the good folks at Elf said they would love to send me some of their products for me to try and to give away. So to celebrate my blogs anniversary, I'm giving away one of their super cute nail polish gift sets. I'll also have another one of their products to give away next week.
I love these sets because they come in these pretty pink round containers. The set I'm giving away is the "favorites" set. These little sets are a great price at only $6. They would make perfect stocking stuffers, especially great for filling that bottom part of the stocking that is so odd shaped. You know the one that "Santa" always stuck the apple & orange in to fill it. LOL

To Enter this Giveaway:
You will have 5 opportunities to enter this giveaway. Please post a separate comment for each entry. The contest will run from December 1st until midnight EST, December 5th. I will announce the winner Monday, December 7th.
1) Which ELF product would you most like to try?
2) Follow me on Twitter @chiccraftychick
3) Tweet about this giveaway by tweeting the following...
Woo Hoo Chic Crafty Chick Blog is turning 2. Win some Elf makeup just for you! @chiccraftychick Ho, Ho, Holidays!
Come back here and post a link to your tweet. You may tweet once per day for an extra entry.
4) Subscribe to my blog.
5) Follow @askelf on Twitter
Be sure to leave a separate comment so that your entries will count.
Also, check out Elf's website. They have extended their Cyber Monday minerals sale through today. I'm sure you can find all kinds of goodies for those who have been nice. And naughty. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Give Away Announcement Today!

I've gotta run out this a.m., but I will be making a cool announcement later today on a great giveaway you can enter. So be sure to check back.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Birthday Black Friday

As I mentioned on Wednesday, today is my birthday! As Sarah Palin would say, "I'm goin rogue". I am out shopping Black Friday. I'll be back blogging Monday about all the great deals and things I find. Oh, and next week is my blog's anniversary so you will definitley want to check back to see the great giveaway I'll have going on.

Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy turkey day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Operation Black Friday aka Shop Til I Drop

I am so excited because this year I will finally get to go shopping on Black Friday. I haven't been out on Black Friday in at least three years. If you remember, Sawyer is three. There has been no way I was going out with a small child in tow.

The other cool thing about Black Friday is that my birthday falls on that day. So here is my "plan of attack" for enjoying, not just surviving the Black Friday Frenzy. And things I'd recommend you consider if you are going out.

So here are my Top Ten Black Friday Shopping Tips

1) First and most important the kids are staying with my mom. Yay!!! That is probably the best birthday gift. I love my kids, but a momma needs to have some time away. And I won't be gone all day long. You can't cover ground and look at things with a 1 yr. old and 3 yr. old in tow. It just won't happen.

2) Use the buddy system. It is way more fun if you can find the right person to go with you. I'm going with my sister. We used to always go out on Black Friday. It is so fun going out with her. We have the same taste in clothes and shoes so when we shop together we are able to scout out things that we both like. I can't tell you the number of times we've been in a store together and have come around the corner with the same item to show the other one. It is uncanny.

Taking a buddy is great for not only sharing the excitement, but they can help pass the time while standing in line and they can also help hold packages as you take time for bathroom pit stops.

3) I recommend taking change with you for mall vending drink machines. Yes, they are outrageously overpriced, but you will save yourself time by not spending it in line at the food court. Stay hydrated people, there is no reason to find ourself passing out on the shopping trail.

4) Take a page out of Santa's play book and make a list. If your main objective is to get your Christmas shopping done then take a list. When you are in the midst of your shopping frenzy, the last thing you want to do is try and remember if you needed to pick up something for Aunt Edna's cat Mr. Binkles. Perhaps a string of lights? (Anyone pick up on that slight Christmas Vacation reference LOL) Also, if you've already bought items for some folks then make a note of that so you aren't over spending on them. You don't want to get home and think, "Oh yeah, I already had X,Y, and Z for Uncle Buck. That way you can stay within your budget.

5) My next tip is to have a budget. So many people have such big hearts, but a small wallet and they get themselves into trouble at the holidays. Having a list and a budget will help you stay within your means. I also recommend if you can swing it, to give yourself a little fun money. There are great deals to be had. When I've shopped Black Friday in the past, I've planned ahead and gotten some great sales on things I need around my house. Having a budget is also good so that even if you end up spending over it, you will hopefully control yourself so you don't go way, way over. Everyone's will power is at different levels. I'm just sayin.

6) Wear comfortable shoes and layers. I plan on wearing boots like these so that I can slip them on and off quickly while trying things on, but they are also comfortable and won't wear a blister. I got mine at Payless, but Target has them available as well. As a side note, the lady at Payless told me the black are easier to keep clean and I'm glad I went with black.
Instead of having to wrestle with a jacket I wearing a Rachel Zoe inspired faux fur vest with my boot cut jeans. Who says you can't be comfortable and stylish while out on the shopping trail?

7) Take some hard candy or breath mints. I don't know what it is, but when I get in a mall I get all dried out and my mouth tastes terrible. Maybe it is the heat? But, I'll be taking something so that I don't get all dried out. Along those lines some lip gloss or chapstick will come in handy too.

8) Hand sanitizer. I have discovered that Bath & Body Works has these in their holidays scents. My favorite is the Winter Candy Apple. I have already purchased one that I will be taking with me, but I think I will go back and stock up on some more. My hands might as well smell good if I'm having to use that stuff a lot. With the swine flu going around, I'm not taking any chances. Also, I love those small bottles because they fit easily in my jean pocket.

9) Vera Bradley Wristlet. I've featured this on my blog before and I can't say enough good things about this wallet. It has a place to hold my cell phone and will just hang right on my wrist. It will be so much easier to keep track of my wristlet then a huge purse.

10) Snacks. Put some kind of snack in your car. Just call me "Meals on Wheels". After shopping and fighting the crowds you'll need a pick me up and the drive thrus and mall food courts will be packed. Have a little something ready to go in the car to tide you over.

So go out there, have fun, be kind and patient with others and all will be merry and bright!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

I can't believe it is Tuesday already. The rest of the year is going to fly by. I'm very excited about Thanksgiving this week and Friday is my birthday. I'm going shopping with my sister while my mom keeps the kids. I haven't been Black Friday shopping in a few years. Since I had the kids so I'm very excited. My sister and I used to go every year. I remember how it was about 15 years ago when Target first came to our area. They started out by giving out goody bags to the first ??? people that would get there. It wasn't much and it went well in our area. But of course there is no way the could do that now. Especially after things like that poor Wal Mart worker got trampled last year. So, practice safe shopping out there if you are going out on Friday.

Today I was reflecting on my blessings and one in particular. I am blessed to have good friends in my life, but there is one friend in particular that I have been so thankful for over the last few years. We both have children the same age. The two oldest are two weeks a part and the babies are 3 days apart. So that is one thing we have in common. One thing among many.

What I love about this friend is that our friendship is not one sided. I'm not always the one calling to get together. We both make the effort. When I've had some difficult times she has always been such a positive force to make me feel better. And when she has had some difficult things to deal with, I've tried to be there for her too.

We got together last week on Wednesday and I was having a rotten week. But once I got together with my friend, it changed not only my day, but my whole week around. We always have a good time and the time flies. I love it that our children are friends. These are friendship I hope both our families will have for a long time.

So, this week I encourage you to call up a friend and remember that friendship is a two way street. Friendship, just like a marriage takes good communication and letting the other person know that you care. And the rewards are so great.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Cookies

Happy Turkey Week everyone! The big day is quickly approaching. I can almost smell the turkey and pumpkin pie. MMMM.

Yesterday we decided to get in the Thanksgiving spirit and make these super easy turkey cookies. These were featured in a Betty Crocker Cookies & Bars magazine that came out in September. Months ago, I did some kind of online survey thingy where they were asking people to choose which cover they would buy. I was pleasantly surprised to receive this magazine in the mail for free.
The recipe calls for using BC sugar cookie mix. I love their mix and have used it before, but I didn't have a lot of time so I saved a step and bought Wal Mart's slice and bake sugar cookies. Oh my goodness, they are a little slice of heaven. They have to be bad for you. LOL
All you do is bake your cookies. Then you'll need some chocolate frosting, candy corn, small m&ms, and another color of icing for the beak & feet. You just need to frost the cookies with your chocolate frosting and then arrange the candies. And that is it! You can see from my pictures how to position your candy. It is a super easy project. I have to be honest and the cookies that I took photographed are the turkey's I finished. Sawyer decorated one and gave that one to daddy. I had to cut him off because that kid was shoving m&m's and candy corn in as fast as he could. So if you do this project, I don't recommend doing it before nap time. LOL
I hope you enjoy our little gobblers!

Ramping up for Black Friday

Here is a great article that gives consumers some information regarding those enticing Black Friday specials. I thought I'd share it with everyone. There are some especially good points if you are doing any online shopping.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gobble Gobble its a Turkey Ring


Since Thanksgiving is next week, I thought I'd share this Pampered Chef recipe I made last night. This would be a great way to use your left over turkey, that is if you have any left over. :) This comes from Pampered Chef's "All the Best" cook book. I know a lot of people get invited to parties this time of the year to do Christmas shopping, so if you are invited to a Pampered Chef party, I highly recommend this cook book.

Turkey & Cranberry Ring

2 cups chopped cooked turkey

1 1/2 cups (5 oz) shredded swiss cheese

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

3 tablespoons of snipped, fresh parsley

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon coarsley ground black pepper

1 egg white, lightly beaten

2 (8 oz cans of refrigerated crescent rolls)

1. Separate crescent rolls into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles slightly overlapping. In a circle on the Large Round Stone with wide ends 4 inches from the edge of the baking stone. (Points will extend off the edge of the baking stone). Roll wide ends of dough toward center to create a 5 inch opening.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine turkey, 1 cup of cheese, celery, cranberries, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, and black pepper; mix well.

3. Using a large scoop (cookie or ice cream works great) scoop filling evenly over dough in a continous circle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under dough at the center to form a ring. (Filling willl show).

4.Once you've done step 3, brush the top with the egg white. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Some notes about this recipe..

I never seem to have the celery or parsley, so you don't have to have them to make this. Also, during the year I go to the deli and buy turkey from there and it tastes great.

I also seem to have a hard time making this into one great big ring. So last night I used eight and made two separate rings. Also, I've found with my oven that I was able to pull this out in 20 minutes so keep an eye on these.

I hope you enjoy! This is a great quick meal during the week. Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Playing hooky

I'm taking the day off and playing hooky from blogging today. We've got a lot going on and momma needs a break. Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Miracle

As I mentioned yesterday, today is "Fight for Preemies Day". This awareness campaign is near and dear to my heart because our oldest son was born very premature. He was born at a gestational age of 25 weeks.

Our journey on the preemie roller coaster began at the end of June in 2006 when I started having some slight bleeding and cramping. I went to the hospital and they kept me over night and then sent me home on modified bed rest. That was on a Friday and on Sunday I started having the bleeding again and we again rushed off to the hospital.

I went into the hospital and was examined by the ob on call. At that point I wasn't dilated. He decided to have a specialist come and do an ultra sound. The on call doctor came within an hour and half and went to examine me and his eyes got huge. I had gone to 6 centimeters that quickly. Everyone jumped into action and fortunately they were able to stop my labor.

The next ten days were some of the most difficult of my life. I was in the hospital, not allowed to get out of bed for any reason and the bed was tilted so that I was basically lay with my feet positioned upward to let gravity help keep the baby inside. I could only lay on my sides, which makes you very, very soar after a while. I was also put on some awful medications to help stop my labor contractions.

On July 4th, I started getting worse and running a fever. Unfortunately, I had some kind of infection and it was starting to affect the baby. I had hoped to keep him in longer, but the ob who was on call told us that we had to go ahead and deliver because the baby was getting sick and it was better to have a premature baby than a sick baby. The medications they had us on stopped working to control the infection. By eight o'clock on July 4th, we knew a baby was coming and our fire works were beginning. They thought my labor would go quickly, but the doctor came in around eleven o'clock and had to break my water. We kept watching the clock thinking we were having a fourth of July baby, but our little monkey decided to stay put a little longer and was born three minutes after midnight.

Our son was a whopping 1 pound, 12 ounces and was 13 inches long. 13 inches. I told folks, just look at a ruler and add an inch. That is how long he is. His little head was literally the size of an orange.

The Neonatalogist came in and spoke with us to level with us on what we would be dealing with. He was a statistics man and the statistics weren't good with having just had a baby so premature. There were all kinds of awful things that could happen. I remember looking at the doctor and telling him my baby was a miracle. He rolled his eyes and told me bluntly that he'd already had three miracles born that month at the other hospital where he had rounds and that if I said that my baby was a miracle again, he was kicking him out of the NICU. Ok, I'm a person that believes the Lord has a purpose for everything. So I kept my mouth shut, said a prayer and knew that this doctor would eat his words.

I remember that we weren't able to go and see our son until later that morning. I was so nervous because they had whisked him away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and I didn't know what to expect. They had tried to show him to me right after I delivered him, but I was in pain from not having any meds (yeah, natural child birth, very over rated) and getting stitched up so I really didn't get to see him until that moment. I remember dh wheeling me into the tiny room where they had him and he was so small. I felt so awkward because I didn't know what to say, but I just talked to him. I was trying to not choke up because I needed to be strong and reassuring and comforting for him. It was very hard to see him with so many wires coming out of him and him hooked up to the ventilator.

Within the first twenty four hours, we received our first blessing. He was able to come off the ventilator. We were warned that he just as easily could go back on it. But we were blessed that he was a strong fighter and never went back on the ventilator.

From the very beginning, we were warned that the stay in the NICU would be a roller coaster of ups and downs. They told us not to expect our baby to come home before his due date of October 12th and he may not even be home by then. All kinds of scary things could happen.

The first two weeks were very difficult for dh and I. We were afraid of our own child. Afraid to get attached to him, fearing the worst that we could lose him in an instant. We didn't even want to touch him, afraid that even doing that could put him at risk for an infection because his little skin was so fragile. I spent the first month feeling like I was in a daze. Trying to make sense of a senseless situation. It wasn't until about a week after he was born that we had what would come to be one of our favorite NICU nurses push us to touch our baby through the isolette. She had also had a preemie years before and knew how we were feeling. We found a number of the NICU nurses had been in our position.

I got into a routine of going to the NICU every day which started to bring a sort of comfort to me. I was able to participate in my child's care which helped me form a bond with him. Because it is so important for your baby to hear your voice, I would bring books to read to him. After a while you run out of things to say.

We were very blessed that over the course of Sawyer's NICU stay, he really didn't have any "major" set backs. At one point we were possibly facing him having to have heart surgery, but we had a miracle that a medication that wasn't favorable for working for him did work. Any time something came up that looked like it would be an issue, we had friends and family pray and the prayers were answered.

On the day that my son was released, the doctor I mentioned above was our discharge doctor. Now, I think it is only fair that I mention that we had the opportunity to get to know this doctor during our son's NICU stay and while his bed side manner is gruff, he is a very caring individual who is a wonderful doctor and I knew my son was in the best care when he was on duty. This doctor started to go over our discharge and was reviewing my son's chart. As he looked through the chart he said, "You all never had any major set backs, did you?" At that point I looked at him and said, "You probably don't remember this, but the day this child was born I told you he was a miracle. And you told me if I said that you would kick him out of your NICU. Well I'm here today to tell you again that this child is a miracle and you can now kick him out of your NICU." He smiled at me and said, "Well, I won't say he is a miracle, but he has had a miraculous stay." He also said that in twenty five years of practice, my son was only one of three children he has seen do so well during their stay.

Remember when I told you that we were told not to expect our baby home by his due date of October 12th? Our son came home to us on September 27th.

Our story is one of how God does miracles even today. There were so many things that happened during our son's stay that I know God was watching over us. If you wonder if miracles still happen, you only have to look at the pictures below to have that question answered.

While we have been very blessed to have a fairly healthy child, we still worry as the parents of a preemie. Our son is now 3 years old. We are working on his speech. Things like H1N1 are especially scary since he is still considered high risk.

While it hasn't been easy having a child born so premature, dh and I couldn't imagine our life without our little Sawyer. He is such a sweet boy, we know the Lord has special plans for his life. That has already been shown to us from the beginning.

This is a picture of me having "kangaroo care" with Sawyer. It would help him to lay on my chest in my shirt. Whenever we would do that his breathing would do so well. They were always amazed at how well he did. He would cry like a little kitten when they would take him away to put him back in the isolette. It would break my heart.

In order to show friends and family just how small our little guy was, we put dh's wedding ring around his arm. See the ring around his arm?

Remember when I told you he was born an inch longer than a ruler? He he is in perspective to a pencil.

This is my sweet, 3 year old today with his little brother. We were blessed to have some wonderful specialists who figured out I have an incompetent cervix, thus the reason I went into premature labor. They were able to help me to keep from having a second premature baby. We are so blessed with our two boys.

Thanks for stopping by today and reading my story. I hope it helps others who might be going through this. Having a premature baby is something no mother should have to experience

*Note: These pictures are copyright and property of the Chic Crafty Chick blog and may not be used without written permission.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fight for Preemies Month


One of the wonderful things I've found with being on Twitter is that I'm finding out about more information I never would have stumbled across. One of those things has been finding out that November is National Preemie Awareness Month. This is near and dear to my heart because my oldest son is a preemie survivor.
Tomorrow I will be sharing my story. Please come back tomorrow and read my post and share my link with your friends and family. I have shared my story with many folks because it is my hope that I can help prevent other families from going through the life long roller coaster of having a premature child. Or if you do find yourself in that situation, how to cope and what it feels like from a parent's perspective to live through the experience.
Today I wanted to share the following information from the March of Dimes regarding prematurity. If you aren't familiar with the March of Dimes, they are a wonderful organization which is involved with the fight for preemies. Here are some statistics which they have provided.
"Every year, over 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick - half a million of them are born in the United States.
Do you know a baby that was born too soon, too small, unable to suck, unable to breathe on his own? Premature birth is a health crisis that jeopardizes the lives and health of nearly half-million babies each year. It is the #1 killer of newborns and can lead to lifelong disabilities. Worse: the number has increased 31 percent since 1981. It can happen without warning and for no known reason. Until we have more answers, any one's baby could be born too soon.
Medical advances have given even the tiniest babies a chance of survival, yet for many babies premature birth is still a life or death condition. It's the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. And babies who survive face serious health challenges and risk lifelong disabilities."
So, come back tomorrow so you can read about my story and learn more about what it means to have a premature child. Or as I like to call him my "little miracle".

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday

What a day. Verizon DSL is on my list right now. We've been having problems for well over a month and every time I get the same song and dance. It took me threatening to cancel the service for them to finally get off their butt to send a technician out here on Monday. I'm over bad customer service. Grrr.

I had to make a Target run and I was looking through the food section and this tea caught my eye. I'm not a big Chai tea person all the time, but the weather has been foul here and I needed something different.

I was pleasantly surprised when I had a cup of it this morning. I love coconut and if you don't, I have to say the coconut is hardly noticeable. In fact, if it didn't say it on the box I wouldn't know it has coconut in it.

To me, this tea had a smooth flavor to it. I think I will definitely be drinking this one a lot more often then other Chai tea's that I've tried. I also love that it is decaf. I try to limit the amount of caffeine I have because it really keeps me up. Caffeine is not always my friend.

I have a friend at MOPS who is expecting that loves Chai tea. I think I'm going to share a few of these bags with her so she can try it too.

So if you are looking for a nice new tea to try, I'd say give this one a try.

I hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods. I've got some things I'm excited to share with you next week. Lord willing the DSL holds out. LOL

Have a great weekend!

Check in later

I'll have a Fabulous Favorite Friday post later today. Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm living with The Grinch

What a rough few days it has been here. I'm pretty sure Little Logan has a sinus infection and I'm fighting one. I think he may also be trying to cut his first tooth. So needless to say, that baby is not a happy camper. I may just have to get him a Grinch shirt. Poor little monkey just wants his momma every minute. And he has started throwing himself back on the floor in a tantrum if I put him down. So, it is fun times here.

But, I'm not letting all this icky weather and stuff get me down. I'm getting really excited in anticipation of the holidays. I have started talking about Thanksgiving with Sawyer since this will be the first year he will understand. It is so cute, I've been trying to teach that the turkey says, "Gobble, gobble" and to flap his arms like a turkey. It is really cute. I may need to take a video to show y'all.

His preschool class is focusing on leaves month and I'm going to try to come up with some leaf activities here at home. I also have an idea on doing something with turkeys. As soon as I get it all together, I'll share it here on the blog.

I'm also keeping my eyes peeled for books about Thanksgiving. We have a little board book I bought two years ago that we read about Thanksgiving food. I'd love to find something that talks about the Pilgrims and the whole Thanksgiving story.

So, those are my thoughts today on the upcoming holidays and things I'm doing to make it special for my little ones.

Do you have any fun crafts or family traditions for Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear about them. Leave a comment if you do.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas Music

I can't help it, but I've started playing the Christmas music. In the car, in the house, while cleaning. I'm loving the Christmas music.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have the new Elvis Christmas CD that Hallmark has put out. I think my favorite Christmas CD collection are the Time Life CDs. The collection is two cds and it has all the classic songs. It has a great mix of fast and slow songs.

One of the best Christmas songs is Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas". I love the upbeat tempo and the light heartedness of the song. When we play it, I love to grab up the babies and dance with them. They start to giggle and if they are in a bad mood then it helps turn that around.

So, it is beginning to sound like Christmas around here.

Have you started listening to Christmas music or doing anything to get ready for Christmas?

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Monday

Happy Monday everyone. I've decided to give myself the day off. We had a rough weekend with little Logan getting some kind of 48 hour bug thing. He was very cranky and very clingy all weekend. And, I made the mistake of drinking too much caffeine Saturday evening so I got no sleep Saturday night. After two weeks of night sleeping because of Sawyer getting up at all hours of the night, it has really worn me out. I'm hoping to catch up on some rest and be back to blogging tomorrow.

Hope you are having a great Monday in your neck of the woods!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Happy Friday everyone. The weather is beautiful here and the leaves are falling so fast. It sounds like we will get frost tonight. I've been putting my baby in footed jammies at night since it has gotten so much colder.

As I mentioned yesterday, I've had Christmas on the brain and I've started the Christmas shopping. I've been listening to Christmas music in the car and as I rock the boys to sleep at night, I've been singing Christmas carols to them so they will start to learn them.

My Fabulous Favorite Friday pick I've got today is something I haven't actually purchased yet, but plan on buying. I am going to get one of the Chick Fil A 2010 Cow Calendar. I just saw on Sweetie's Swags website that when you purchase a $20 gift card at Chick Fil A you can get a free calendar. Sounds like a great deal to me. I love the idea of giving someone a calendar that comes with great coupons. And the Chick Fil A cows are such fun.

So, that is what is going on with my Christmas shopping. Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Check in Later

Gotta run to MOPS this morning, but hope to check in later today. Hope you are having a great Friday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Yesterday I got an email advertisement that said there were 52 days left until Christmas. So, that makes it now 51 days until Christmas. Yikes!

This year I have started shopping early to get a head start. I personally like shopping early because it now only relieves my stress, but it also spreads the costs out. Trying to shop with two little ones is definitely a challenge, so I find that I don't get as much accomplished.

I wanted to share a couple of ideas with you of things I've recently purchased that may work for folks you've got on your list.

As I've mentioned before, my little Logan loves Elvis. It is so funny how he just calms right down in the car when I put on the Elvis' Greatest Hits CD. So, when I went to Hallmark recently and saw they are selling an Elvis Christmas CD, I snatched it right up. We have actually started listening to it in the car. So if you know someone who likes Elvis, I'd check this out. I've seen advertisements that many Hallmarks are having their Open Houses this weekend. Many stores have great deals during that time, so you might want to check out a Hallmark near you. I also find them to be a great place to pick up nice, inexpensive gifts such as cute holiday spreaders, cookie platters, and of course holiday ornaments.

Yesterday I bought one of the easiest gifts I've purchased this year. I picked up the phone and called Kraft Foods and ordered their "Food & Family" magazine for my grandmother. This has been a free publication, but they are now charging a subscription for it. Right now when you purchase a subscription, they are also giving a free gift of their "Best Loved Recipes" cook book. My grandmother has enjoyed this magazine, so I took advantage of the great price and ordered her a two year subscription. Plus she will get the free cook book as well. You can either give them a call, or you can go to their website to order subscriptions.

As I was out and about yesterday, I popped into Bath and Body Works and browsed around. I love their holiday gift sets and scents. They have my favorite scent back this year, Winter Candy Apple. I purchased one of their small antibacterial bottles in the Winter Candy Apple scent. I don't remember them coming in the holiday scents, so I was excited to see them. I will definitely go back and pick up some more of these for gifts. With this whole H1N1 and bad flu season going on, I think these will make great extras for folks this holiday season.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm excited to see that ELF makeup products are now in Target. I may have to grab a few of their things as gifts too. You can't beat the price.

So, those are just a few things I've purchased that I thought might be of interest to you as you are developing your Christmas lists. So if you haven't started your shopping yet, then you better get started. Because soon there will only be 50 days left to shop.

Have a great day in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ELF - and not the Christmas kind

Well, baking day didn't end up happening yesterday. I was trying to clean the house and the kids were both very clingy yesterday. So I didn't get anything baked. I think we are all so wiped out from losing sleep that we were trying to catch up on our rest in the afternoon.

This weekend, I was excited to head to Target and to see that ELF products are now being carried in the store. If you've never tried or heard of ELF, that stands for Eyes, Lips, Face. I placed my first order through their website. I decided to take advantage of a special they had which ended up with me getting their mini kits for free. It is a great little package that has a number of eye shadows, lip glosses, eye liner pencil, blush etc. I have really enjoyed using this kit, as well as the other eye shadow I purchased.

If you haven't checked out ELF, their makeup is really reasonably priced. A lot of their products are just a $1 a piece. Some of the new products at Target are priced at one dollar and some are a little more. The items that are priced higher are because you'll find multiple items packaged together. When I went over the weekend, I purchased two of the lip glosses and they were $3 for the two. They come in cute round containers with duo color combos. I thought the price was very reasonable for two of them. They also had other packages including one with eye lashes, mascara and some other goodies.

They have a great looking eye lash curler for $1, as well as some awesome looking tweezers. They call them professional tweezers. It is hard to find good tweezers and they look like a nice pair. I will definitely give them a try.

With the holidays coming up, I'd suggest checking out the ELF website, as well as the display at Target. These little gems would make great stocking stuffers. They are also be great if you are looking at doing any mini makeovers on yourself for any holiday parties you might be attending. ELF products are definitely a way to do "chic on the cheap".

Here is a link to the ELF website if you want to check them out.

BTW, there is a great sale starting today at Gymboree. Circle of Friends members get 30% off their total purchase. So if you need something from Gymboree, you might want to search online to see if you can find one of these coupons. They emailed one to me.

Have a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baking Day

I decided that today I'm going to join in the baking day that Money Saving Mom is sponsoring. She is going to be doing updates and tweeting about her progress using the Twitter hash tag #bakingday. I'm going to be doing the same. I'll share some pictures here on my blog of the finished product(s).

When the weather gets cooler, I love to bake. I decided that I'm going to try and make a pound cake using Paula Deen's recipe. I want to make this because it is a good recipe to freeze, per Paula, and I thought it would be nice to have something to put in the freezer with the holidays coming up. I'm hopeful that I'll also get a chance to make some pumpkin bread. I love making pumpkin bread in mini loaves. Of course they don't last long. But they look so cute. My favorite thing to do is add golden raisins, pecans and coconut. It really jazzes up the pumpkin bread.

Wish me luck on the baking. Sawyer wasn't feeling well yesterday, so we are keeping our fingers crossed we will have a good day. He hasn't been sleeping well at all at night. We are in a bad phase with that right now. I think he is getting worn out with not sleeping. And it is wearing us out too.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

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