Saturday, December 20, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Well, tomorrow, the Hubby and I will be hitting the road for Virginia where we will spend 10 days with family and friends. And because my parents live out in the sticks and have dial-up and Dustin's parents don't have a computer, I may not be able to post again until we return.

This morning the Hubby and I exchanged Christmas presents. It's easier to do it before we leave so that we don't have to carry all of our presents with us. I have lots of pictures from our fun morning, but because I'm so exhausted and ready for bed, I only have the energy to show off one of my many lovely presents.

Dustin bought me a lovely fat quarter bundle of Amy Butler fabrics and got me a gift certificate to my favorite fabric store, Clementine's. I did not expect it at all and am sooo excited to get back here so I can buy some beautiful goodies that I'm thinking about using for my Quilting Bee project.

So I apologize for the brief post, but I'm off to bed for some much needed rest before our 700 mile (12 hour) drive tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas spent with loved ones and remembering God's amazing gift for all of us.

Friday, December 19, 2008

In Between Finals...

I was actually able to do some baking and sewing today! Oh the sweet relief of having enough time between working on my finals to work on some much needed Christmas sweets and presents for Christmas sweeties. I was able to make some delicious peanut blossoms, my favorite Christmas cookie as a child...and let's face it, as an adult. (This part of my post goes completely against my earlier post on healthy snacks).

These are the best when they are fresh out of the oven. The Hershey Kiss just melts in your mouth. And of course, if you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna want a glass of milk. These cookies should always accompany a cold glass of milk. Yum Yum!

I was also able to make these darling Christmas presents for our Pastor's two daugthers.

LinkI found the pattern in this amazing book. It's so incredibly easy. Each hat took me about an hour and a half to make. It was also the first time that I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine and the first time that I made yo-yos. It was so much fun!

And now my finals are complete. All I have to do is give two presentations tomorrow and I am done with school for 3 weeks! Christmas vacation here I come! Woohoo!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Tasty Treat Sales Pitch?

The holidays always make me feel like I'm stuffing my face with sugar and nothing of real substance. So when I'm feeling munchy but I don't want to stuff my face with junk food, I eat some yummy Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Yogurt with Trader Joe's Pecan Praline Granola. It is quite delectable and it fills me up enough to take away those dangerous munchies. It's a great snack for any time of the day and it will leave you quite satisfied. For those of you with children, this is a good substitution for something high in refined sugars because all of the sugars are naturally milled organic sugars and yet they are still so sweet and yummy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home-Made for the Holidays

Last week I had three lovely girls come over to make home-made Christmas ornaments. These darling sisters were such a delight and we had so much fun with our home-made dough. When I was a kid, one year, my mom made home-made dough and me, my little brother, and our cousins all got together and made our own home-made Christmas ornaments. So I thought, this would be the year that I would attempt to do so.

Dough ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Mix together until it's thick.
Roll out on counter/board - use LOTS of flour to prevent sticking (we found this out the fun sticky way!)

Krista, Mackenzie, and Libby hard at work.

Little hands so delicately decorating flour covered trees.

LinkWhat do two little girls do while their ornaments are baking? Why play with the nativity scene and read Christmas books like "Olivia Helps With Christmas" and "Stranger in the Woods," of course.

Bake until lightly brown and dough is no longer mushy. Allow to cool. Then decorate away! We used acrylic paint and Martha Stewart glitters for ours.

Once you're finished decorating and the ornaments have had at least 12 hours to dry, hang them on your tree and watch the magic of home-made Christmas ornaments fill your tree with charm. Don't forget to initial and date the back so you can always remember who made each one and when it was made.

I hope you all include this festive project into your holiday festivities at some point. If not this year, then perhaps next year. I know I'll be doing it for many years to come.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sparkle Sparkle

A few more ornaments from our tree...

This is Dustin's ornament from last year. His favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story so he found Ralphie's little brother in his snow suit. "I can't put my arms down!"

Garfield looking so smug. He's knows he completes the tree.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two Blogs Two Give-Aways

There are two wonderful give-aways out there in the blog world. The first is at Tollipop's site. She's giving away this great ornament that she made. It's one of her lovely Tollipop ladies. Just so cute! Now, if you win, you have to let her know that you found out about her contest from my blog...that way I win one, too!

The other give-away is at Ruffled Feathers blog. In celebration of her birthday she's giving away this lovely little bundle. Just so happy and cozy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Me & My Hubby

Every year Dustin and I take a Christmas photo for our Christmas cards. This year we were blessed to have a free photo shoot done by Josh of Sunlit Images. We worked out a deal where I designed some Christmas cards for his clients and he provided us with a free shoot in downtown Indy. It was so much fun and the photos came out so great! Here are just a few...

This kiss reminded us of our very first kiss...we waited a whole year after we started dating to kiss and we were so excited that we smiled and laughed during the whole thing. This is probably what we looked like during that first kiss...hilarious!

My hunky hubby! I just love him!

Thanks so much Josh! They are amazing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A-mazingly Cute for Christmas

So, I don't really have time to work on any of the fun Christmas crafts that I've had planned for this season, but there are some wonderful bloggers out there who have made some great projects and they have inspired me to stay hopeful about getting all of my projects finished before we go to Virginia for Christmas.

Jessica at How About Orange put together these fun and easy Christmas ornaments that I just might have time to make. Check out her blog to see how to make these fun trimmings.

And One Shabby Chick made these great fabric Christmas trees. Oh so cute! I want to make some!

All of you inspire me and make me kinda jealous all at the same time. Thankfully, I turned in one final today...which means four more to go...and next Friday is my last day of school. It's so close...yet it feels so far away...and I have sooo much to do. But it's OK. I'll be OK.

And there ya go...I promise I'll stop complaining about my homework now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Homework Shmomework

I want to apologize for my lack of posts these past couple of weeks. It's seems that I've been eating, sleeping, breathing homework and all I ever do is work on this project, work on that project, write this paper, write that get the picture. I feel like I've been working on finals for the past 4 weeks! Woohoo for being a Senior!

No really, I love school and I really love learning. I'm just spent. Done. Stick a fork in me. My pour little brain cells can't handle anymore. And with Christmas approaching, I'm even more itchy about this quarter being over. I still have 3 more Christmas presents to make AND all of the fun items for my giveaway - Oh the MADNESS!

On another note...we had a beautiful Winter Wonderland this weekend. We got about an inch of snow (which really isn't a lot for the Midwest, but it's a lot for this Virginia Gal who rarely saw snow while she was growing up).

Watching the snowflakes fall from our balcony...This was when it first started...before the pond froze over and the ground was covered in magnificent white.

It's so powdery and soft looking. I took this picture while wearing my slippers on the snow covered porch...not the smartest idea in the world.

A warm view of the chilly winter world outside.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Holly Jolly Christmas

I was so excited when the day after Thanksgiving finally arrived. No, I wasn't interested in the Black Friday Sales or the crazy traffic here, there and everywhere. I was excited about decorating our home for Christmas. I had been waiting for it since September [I know...I'm a nut job].

It all started with getting out all of the ornaments. I didn't realize how many we actually had. Oh and by the way...can you tell which one is NOT an ornament? *Tehehe* Our Kitty was so not interested in the holiday cheer around the house.

Here is our beautiful tree all decorated and surrounded by presents! My Hubby and I like to get our Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving so we don't drive ourselves crazy trying to rush everywhere to get presents so close to Christmas.

And now for a few close-ups of some of the ornaments on our tree...

Olivia is by far one of my most favorite literary characters.

I have this thing with fish ornaments...They just have so much character. Don't you just love the one with the big lips!

During our first Christmas, my Hubby and I found some really great penguin ornaments. Each has it's own personality.

This is a new idea that I came up with this year. In September my mom and I found an antique store that sold vintage Christmas postcards from England. Each one is from the early 1900s. So I decided they would make a really neat addition to the tree. I just sat them on different branches throughout the tree. Perhaps next year I will frame them...who knows. There's so much creative room to do something different with them each year.

Two years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a canvas with a tree painted on it. She got it from someone she works with and gave me the idea to decorate it however I wanted. So last year I turned it into our Advent Calendar. Each ornament unfolds and reveals a Bible verse that corresponds to Jesus' birth and the reason He came to earth. Each day, we read a different verse as we prepare to celebrate Christmas and remember that God loves us so much.

Here is the Christmas table runner I made earlier this Fall. I was so excited to finally put it out and it fits perfectly on this table. [Again notice the item that is NOT a Christmas decoration - I tell ya...that Kitty is somethin' else].

This is the Nativity scene that my parents had while I was growing up. My Dad built the actual manger. Each year, it was my job to set it up. Last year, my parents blessed me and Hubby by giving it to us since we didn't have a Nativity scene yet. So now we have Dustin's Christmas tree from when he grew up and we have my Nativity Scene that I had while I was growing up. It's so neat to have different things from our parents as part of our own Christmas.

Oh the ambiance of Christmas. And last but not least...

...Kitty...under the tree...Look at that look on his face. Could we say, "Bah Humbug!" He can't get behind the tree anymore b/c of all of presents. And again, that has upset him. Oh well. He'll just have to get over it and enjoy this festive time of year.
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