Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sweets for Santa

I can't believe Christmas is almost here.  Where has the time gone?  I feel like I just put all the decorations up.  Today and tomorrow, I'll be busy baking but I wanted to share a really cute cookie recipe.  You can find the recipe here at the cutest little things blog.

Aren't they cute?  It's a really good recipe too because the cookies didn't spread.  However, I used silpat liners and chilled them prior to baking.  Tint the dough in different colors and mold them into ear muffs, scarves, and hats with your hands.  To make the hair, push a small clump of dough through a clean garlic press and then place it on the unbaked cookie.  After baking, you add the eyes and rosy cheeks.

I love their little faces!  Mix a drop of red food coloring with water to dilute and brush the cheeks with a new paintbrush.  Instant charm!

Allie loves to bake and help out in the kitchen so I wasn't surprised when she wanted to enter the gingerbread house contest at school.  I couldn't help her at all with the decorating; it had to be her concept completely.  It warmed my heart to see her rolling out the fondant and cutting out little shapes all by herself.  She piped royal icing to glue it together and used lots of little candies to decorate.

Here she is at the table with her certificate of participation.  I'm so proud of my little first grader!

I hope everyone is having fun making last minute preparations.  Thank you for stopping by and have a Merry Christmas.

Linking to:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas House Tour

Welcome!  I'm linking up with Kelly for her tour of Christmas houses.  I can't wait to see all the homes decked out for Christmas.  It's the most beautiful time of year!

Let me start off with our living room area.

 And here is the closeup of the arrangement I did for the dining room table.

Here is the kitchen and family room area decorated for Christmas.

 This is our hutch that holds my collection of teapots and cookie jars.

 And our small Christmas village.  This year, we added the train.

Our mantel in the family room.

Upstairs, we have a tree in our loft area which we use as a playroom for the kids.

And all of the bedrooms are decorated as well.  This is our master bedroom.

The girls' bedroom with a white tree.  It's decorated with gingerbread houses, candy pieces, nativity sets.

 And the boys' surf room.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and I look forward to visiting your home's as well.  Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas in the Living Room

Here are some pictures of our dining/living room.  I made a new centerpiece for our dining room table.  Last year, I found the sleigh and reindeer at Michael's at great prices.  This year, I got Santa!

 I thought he was so cute and he fit in the sleigh perfectly.  I used up all of my leftovers;  extra picks, some garland, and ornaments to add more sparkle.

I hung lit garlands above the windows.  I used two types to bulk it up a bit, one with glittery leaves and the other a simple green one.  We always get a real tree for this room and this year we got a frasier fir instead of our usual noble fir tree.  I wish the smell lasted longer.

I love this plaque with the lion and the lamb.  I got it at church bookstore and I bring it out each Christmas and Easter.

 Here's our coffee table.  Once again, I used items I had on hand to make a small arrangement.

Have a wonderful week!

Linking to:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And the stockings were hung... the chimney with care.  I wanted to share some photos of the family room fireplace.  Our family room is brown and aqua so the mantel has all the colors of the room.  The garland has mini white lights and looks beautiful at night.  I love that everything is on a time so I don't have to plug each cord in at night.  They are great time savers!

I made the stocking a few years back but they still look new.

  I love my nutcrackers!  My sister bought this one for me a while back.  I wanted to pick up some for the mantel but there is so much going on, I thought they'd get lost in the faux flowers.

And, this is the mantel in my room.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the other Christmas decorations out there.  We've been so busy lately that I haven't been on the computer much and I can't wait to see all the Christmas decor.  This week, I'm linking up with:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.  I officially started putting up Christmas decorations in my room the day after Halloween.  Early, I know, but I want to enjoy it for as long as I can.  I love the way the house looks at Christmas.  Our community had a yard sale a few weeks ago and my husband found this tree for next to nothing.  I've been wanting one for our room for a while but the budget never seemed to allow for it.  Granted, it was a bit sparse, but nothing some deco mesh and ornaments couldn't take care of.  Come see how it went from this to...
to this.

I used all the odds and ends that I already had.  During our camping trip this summer, the kids collected these huge pine cones.  Although you can't make it out in the picture, I glittered them and they filled in the gaps nicely.  Also, I had some sheet music which I turned into these snowflakes.

You can get step by step instructions here.  I simply scaled down the size so it would look more like an ornament.  It really didn't take much time at all and I had all of the supplies.  I love free projects!

Here's our room all decorated.

And here's the fireplace.

 The garland over the fireplace is actually three different garlands that I put together.  I really like the crystal branch garland because it really reflects the light.

 I like so many different styles of Christmas that each room in the house has a different theme.  In our room, I'm using creams and browns.  It's very neutral but elegant.  However, across the hall in the loft, I'm using lime green and red.  We use the space as a kids playroom so the colors are bright and whimsical.

Downstairs, everything is still decked out for fall.  We're hosting dinner so I still have a few final touches to make.  Have a great week!

Linking up this week to:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Favorite Dessert Recipes

I'm joining up with Kelly to share my family's favorite dessert.  Hands down, our family favorite is a fruit tart.  This is one of Paula Deen's recipes and it's a keeper.  I make it with whatever fruit is in season and it's so easy to make.

To make the crust:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients until it forms a ball and press it with your fingers into a tart pan (the one with the removable bottom) trying to keep it even.  Bake it for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and put it aside to cool

To make the filling:
  • 1 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Beat all the ingredients together and spread on the cooled crust.

  • fresh fruit, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, strawberries
  • apricot jam
Slice the fruit and arrange on the top of the tart.  I like thinly sliced kiwi for color but you can use whatever fruit you like.  To make a glaze to top the fruit, I take a tablespoon of jam and warm it in the microwave to loosen it up.  Add a bit of water to thin it down and strain any seeds.  Apply it to the top of the tart.  Chill and serve.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Allie's Halloween Party

Time is going by so quickly.  I can't believe it's already Halloween!  Allie had a classroom party today at Community Day and she was so excited to go.  There are 30 kids in her class so we made these little owl treat bags and filled them with popcorn.  I found the template here and knew I wanted to make them.  I didn't have enough brown cardstock so I used grey as well.

I went to Costco to buy candy but these were on sale instead.  I'm hoping it'll be a nice change since I know the kids are going to get a lot of chocolate.

Keeping with the owl theme, I made owl cupcakes too.  The directions are on the Duncan Hines website.  I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the Oreo cookie eyes would stay on at least until we got to school.  To my surprise, they made it.

And here's a picture of Allie dressed up in her costume.  It's a spirit day so the kids were allowed to dress up in their favorite storybook character.  Luckily, Rapunzel is here favorite.

She has a long braid to put in her hair but we're saving that for Halloween night.  I was afraid it would fall off during recess.  Tonight we're going to carve our pumpkins and watch a Halloween movie with the kids.  Happy Halloween!

Linking to Kristen's Share Your Creations Party.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Re-visiting Halloween Past

Kelly is continuing her Show Us Your Life series and highlighting Halloween costumes this week.  I thought it would be fun to dig up some old pictures of the kids' costumes.  Unfortunately, many of my photos are missing.  I hope Scott will know what happened to them, but for now, here are some visits to Halloween past.

Allie was Glenda the Good Witch and Ethan was a lion.

And here's a picture of Captain Jack Sparrow and Jasmine.

This was our first Halloween in our new home and we got to trick-or-treat with Eden and Caleb.  I love the expressions on their faces.

This was taken after we spent hours collecting candy.  Poor Allie, she couldn't wear her boots anymore!

Here they are last year with the costumes I made for them.  Scott really did a good job transforming a box into Thomas.  So that's the end of my little tour of costumes.  This year, Ethan is going to be Bumble Bee (from the Transformers), Allie picked out a Rapunzel costume, and Maddie is going to be a princess. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to find my missing files.  Have a great weekend

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Home Tour

Wow, where has the time gone?  I've been so busy with homeschooling, holiday deep cleaning, and back pain, that I haven't posted in weeks.  Well, all of my fall decorations have been up for a while so here's a peak into our home all decked out for fall.

Here's the front yard.  I'm planning on decorating my birch tree for Halloween with a ring of ghosts but I can't put it out yet.  We get really strong winds and I'm afraid it would ruin the ghosts before Halloween.  Speaking of the wind, I had to buy  a new fall flag.

And here's the front door.  You can't tell since I took the pictures in the morning, but I strung up Christmas lights on the garland and it makes a really nice glow at night.

This is the front and dining room area.

 Each table has some type of fall arrangement.

 I found this subway art on pinterest and the candle is one of my favorite fall scents, apple cider.

This is a frame my son made for me when he was taking woodshop.  I painted it white, added some string around the bottom and glued on fall leaves.  I backed it with an extra piece of scrapbook paper and featured one of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

This is our family room and kitchen area.  I love being down here at night.

I love Thanksgiving, in fact, it's right up there with Christmas for me.  This cabinet features some of my favorite Thanksgiving pieces.

I don't typically decorate for Halloween.  However, it's Ethan's favorite holiday so I had to come up with something special for him.  I didn't want to spend any money either so I came up with this tablescape for our kitchen.  I added some extra black and orange ribbon to my leaf garland on the chandelier.  The centerpiece is made with some extra trimmings from my birch tree that I pained white and added bat cutouts.

To add more color to the table, I painted black stripes on my mini pumpkins and embellished them with white dots and a bow.

 I had extra bat cutouts that flew over to the wall.

So that's it!  Talk about picture overload!  Hope you enjoyed the tour and have a great rest of the week.

Linking up with: