November 30, 2012

Getting Ready

It feels like Christmas is in Full Bloom....but technically it's not even December yet. 
 Does everyone realize that?

We're sort of waiting until at least December to put up all our decorations.

Also we love to buy real trees and we don't want to have our tree all dried up on Christmas day-- so we're going to wait a bit longer.

However, to get us ready I did update the Chalkboard.
I loosely based it off this gorgeous print.
Makes me start singing every time I see it.


I did get out the Advent Calendar to hang up tomorrow-- or possibly tonight.


And Lastly, I'm sewing like a mad-woman to finish up the stockings as soon as possible. 
 I've got 3 1/2 done...only 1 1/2 to go.  I think I can make it this year!

November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Ooh, I did it.

We're hosting Thanksgiving this year (just four extra guests) at our home.

I spent the entire day yesterday planning out the Menu.  Today's my shopping day.  Looks good, eh?


Thanksgiving Menu 2012
Appetizers: 1. Spinach/artichoke Dip
PHILLY Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe

2. Cheese ball/crackers
3. Chocolate Truffles (sister's recipe)
Main Dish: 15 LBS. Turkey (Bought this yesterday)
Perfect Turkey in an Electric Roaster Oven. Photo by "Chef Zone Masconi"
Side Dishes: 1. Mash potatoes
2. Gravy
4. Fancy Salad (something I'll buy in a bag)
6. Rolls (frozen)
Balsamic-Glazed Carrots recipe 
8. Corn Casserole (My husband's Family Tradition)
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
10. Pickles
11. Olives
Desserts: 1. Two Pumpkin Pies
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
3. Pecan Pie- Store bought
4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (Grandma B's Recipe)
5. Whip cream
6.Vanilla Ice cream
Snacks: 1. Chex Mix
2. Cookies

Let's just hope it all comes together as well as it is in my head.

November 16, 2012

New Pillows

Until a couple months ago we were the proud owners of 1970's, brown, uncomfortable, low couches.  They drove me crazy often, but how can you complain with free couches?  I did comfort myself with two thoughts.  1.) I made some pillows that kind of spruced up the couches
2.) I knew those couches would not be leaving that apartment, which eventually meant new couches.

And with those lovely new couches...new pillows.

So I give you...

Snip- Snip- Cut- Cut- Cut 

I will mention the two of the far ends came with the couches.  I made the four in the middle.


And I do have to mention this pillow.  I made it originally and it's the only one I kept that didn't get changed up too much.  It's made from an H & M sweater I bought when I was in Europe.  I always liked the sweater, but it was a bit too boxy to wear, so I was really excited to make it into a pillow.  
I chopped off the sleeves and sewed up the sides.  I hand-sewed the bottom closed. Then I tucked in the hood into the V-neck and hand-sewed it down.

Then for this edition of pillow I cut out some matching fabric on the bias, folded in all the sides, and sewed it into one long strip, which I then tied into a bow and "knitted" into my sweater and hand-sewed into place.


Here's a look at our living room with our lovely new pillows.


Cozy.

November 14, 2012

How to Make your Own Grocery Bag Holder


Okay, I've got another project that was quick and simple and it seriously makes me wonder WHY did I not  make this years ago?

I've been having grocery bag woes for years.  I use them often (usually to line the smaller garbage cans) and I save them and they've always been shoved under my sink, or in my pantry, making a huge mess and bugging me immensely.

I had a free half an hour today so I knew I had to put it to good use and get those darn bags up and out of the way in their own Grocery Bag Holder.

Here's how to make your own.

MATERIALS NEEDED:
1. Fabric One cut 28.5" x 16.5"
2. Fabric Two cut 6.5" x 16.5" two times
3. 2 strips of elastic 9" long
4. Extra strip of fabric two cut 4" x 1.5"

STEP ONE: First cut out your fabrics.
Note, I wanted mine really long and skinny so it could tuck neatly into my pantry.  You may want yours wider or shorter-- adjust as needed.




STEP TWO: Make your hang up strip. Cut out fabric, fold, iron, and sew together.
Um, this one needed some guess work so what's shown is actually an 8" strip, which I eventually cut in half.  


STEP THREE: Grab fabric two and fold under one side of each 1/2" two times, iron and sew down.


STEP FOUR: With right sides together pin fabric two to fabric one on both the top and the bottom of fabric one. Sew together.


STEP FIVE: Add 9" of elastic into the top and bottom of grocery bag holder.



STEP SIX: Pin in the holding strap, facing towards the right side of the material.


STEP SEVEN: Pin and sew from top to bottom, with right sides together the entire grocery bag holder.


STEP EIGHT: Turn right side out and you're All Done!



Last thing I did was attach a command strip holder to my wall, then I stuffed my holder with bags and I was done.  And happy as can be with my neat and tiddy bags, that even the kids can reach when I have them take the trash out.


November 12, 2012

Little Turkeys

One of my favorite decorations each year for Thanksgiving is making Turkeys using my little kiddos hands.  So last week during our preschool time the two youngest and I made these. 



Always a simple favorite.

November 8, 2012

T-Rex and a Snakie


There's a lot of things that are not fun about living away from Grandma and Grandpa.  But one teeny fun thing is that on your birthday, if you're a kid around here, you get sent a special birthday note with a whole $5 bill inside.  Score!

Me and this cute big boy were at Hobby Lobby the other day when he spied just the thing to spent his bounty on.  At $1.99 each, he even had enough money to buy his own paint-- which Mama is a big fan of.  Sometimes I get tired of sharing all my fun art with well meaning, yet sloppy kids. I really liked the paint set we got him because it was meant for outdoor projects so it sealed everything up real nice.



So last week we covered up the table and got painting.   Sister was especially excited to try out the watercolors.  I love the concentration they both devoted to each stroke.


He had Such a great time painting his T-Rex and Snakie.  And now they're all set and ready to play.

What a fun project, indeed.

November 6, 2012

Be Grateful!

I love this time of year for many reasons, but I especially love the emphasis that is puts on being thankful and showing gratitude.

Being grateful makes us more optimistic and happier.  I once heard about this psychologist who was a therapist for more than thirty years and she could basically put people into two groups-- determining if they were happy or not. Those who showed gratitude were happy, those who did not show gratitude were not happy.  It was as simple as that.  That really struck a chord with me.  So simple-- looking for ways to see your blessings, thanking others, praising God for all that we have been given will lead to a happier life.

Anyways, I was pondering all this when I decided to change up my chalk board.

I wanted to keep it simple and to the point.


I decided to go with the tree theme because it seems very symbolic to me. 
Plus, we could write in what we're grateful for in its leaves. 

By Thanksgiving our little tree will be all filled up with things to "Be Grateful" for.  I decided not to set on a time when someone could write something, or a specific day-- anyone who wants to add something can.  And if we run out of leaves-- I'll add more.


See that little notch right there with "J + A"?


This is not the first tree to receive such words.

There is an actual tree with a similar declaration.

For the record, I did not write it.  This was knifed into the tree in the backyard where I lived when I first met my husband to be.  He did not write it either.  We were not even dating when this tree got it's marks.

My roommate did it.  She was just so certain we were going to be together. One day she ran out of the house with a huge knife and started carving.  Picture me giggling behind her. You can see to the right of the heart where her original heart was going to be.  I yelled out, "whoa, not so big".  So she started again, a little smaller.


I'm grateful for that tree testifying of my love for J!