Happy New Year

Is anyone else feeling like they are in denial that it's New Year's Eve?!  Eeks - where has the time gone?  We finished with our last family Christmas this past Sunday and only 4 days later we're saying goodbye to 2009 and HELLO 2010!

We had a wonderful 4 days of Christmas with our families.  Needless to say by the end there I was dragging.  It was wonderful spending time with family and enjoying the pure Joy on little one's face!


Everything is put away in it's new home.  The tree is packed away.  All of the Christmas Decor has been purged and packed away for next year.  We are now in full on getting ready/inpatiently baby waiting mode.  Hubby and me keep saying everyday how many days are left and trying to wrap our brains around it, but it still doesn't seem like we are really at the end.

Dear 2009 - You've definitely been a challenge to my family.  I now know more than ever what family really is and means.  You've tested us with my Dad's fall from a tree accident, the hubs being laid off approx. half of the year total, dealing with Gramma's cancer coming back and her treatments, deaths in the family, the whole house debacle.  I'm so glad that you are leaving and we are welcoming 2010 with open arms because if this past year hasn't broken us then nothing will.  We as an extended family are stronger and I know without a doubt that this has made my marriage stronger and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever been more in love with my Hubby.  I already know 2010 is going to better as we will be welcoming Avalynn Grace into our family and new beginnings. 

I'm in the process of making a personal goal list for 2010 that I'll post in a few days.  I want to put some more thought into it.

I hope you all have a safe New Year's and that this coming year will be better for you and your families.


Merry Christmas

Wishing all a Merry Christmas with your families and loved ones! 

We will be having family Christmas's until Sunday, things should hopefully be back to normal around here next week. 


EEKs...a week!

So, I have no clue where the past week has gone but we've been busy!!!  And I'm feeling the busy-ness continue through this week too. Here's what we've been up to.

We got baby girl's room painted and her bed ready.  Still have to get curtains, shelving, and some other odds and ends, but the spare room is no longer and it's now Avalynn's.

Making a village of gingerbread houses. This was our first year not going out to buy a kit.  We melted some sugar over the stove top (**TIP: use an old pan you don't really care about, and use cold water and a hard scraper to get it out of your pan**) to attach the graham pieces to one another.  And for the icing just did a mixture of milk and 10x sugar (**TIP: little bit of milk goes a long way**)  This was little one's first year decorating one all by herself.  I think my favorite thing was whenever she'd get icing on her fingers, this would follow "OOPS, need to clean it off" and lickety lick she'd go to town.


We got our first significant snowfall, appox. 6 inches.  Little one had a blast sledding and making snow angels.  Love her face in these, her joy is contagious.


During the snowstorm we had our first family Christmas to go to.  It was a blast.  Here is one of the games we played.  Your partner had to wrap you in a bag full of random goodies.  Here are some of the following entries.



Christmas Decor - Part Duex

Finally getting around to posting the rest of our holiday decor that we have around the house.

Here's the tree all trimmed out with our family ornaments, we have a mixture of handmade, hand painted balls, and special bought ornaments that have been passed down to us from our mom's and now as little one is getting older and making them at functions they are being added.  I love remembering who they all came from.

Little arrangement on the one end of our tv cabinet.

This is on the other end.  The deer and lantern were both yard sale steals - finds & just added some garland I ripped apart that my Gramma didn't want anymore.

My father-in-law made this nativity set.  For the past 3 years we've gotten 3 pieces each.  You can't really tell from the pictures, but these pieces are HUGE.  Beautiful but HUGE.  They do come with some lovely glass candle sticks, but we never light them. 

Chistmas ball tree that my mom made last year as a present.  Love it! 

This little guy my mother-in-law made one year, I think he's so just the cutest! 

I love this Santa candle, especially how it looks like ribbon candy with the design. 

This is on our bathroom sink, my friend made it last year.  I have a bright green bathroom and this just continues with the bright theme and love all of the colors. 

Here's a portion of our decorated wall of shelving.  Many homemade items on here also.

I love pulling out all of these goodies every year, especially the handmade ones.  They mean the most to me and I look forward to being able to pass these down to my girls some day, as some of them have been passed down to me.


DIY - Christmas Gifts

In our families we always make a homemade gift.  Typically, I've done ornaments in the past and occasionally the Hubs will do something with his woodworking.  But this year with the Hubs working his crazy schedule I remembered two DIY gift ideas I'd seen around the Blog-land.

First, I saw earlier this year when Chris @ Just a Girl posted a tutorial - the ever so popular Tile Coasters.  Total cost per gift was $3-4.  You really can't beat that and they are super simple and go quickly!

Here's the materials we got: tiles from our local hardware store, a pack of the 12x12 cork tiles (4 in a package), staz-on ink in brown, package of clear stamps, and the spray sealant.

 Here's the hubs measuring out the size we needed for the bottom of each tile.

Bottom of the tile after the cork was glued on.

The finished product after stamping and the spray sealant.  We decided to have two of each design in each set.  We made 8 sets total.

The second gift I stumbled across were these amazing JOY plaques that I fell in love with instantly.  The tutorial is posted over @ Shanty2Chic. Total cost of this project for me was about $15 per set, I ended up having to order the candlesticks and finials online as my craft stores selection was pretty null.  I didn't take step by step pictures of this project, Hubs and me worked on them a little bit each day and are so pleased with how they turned out.  We made 7 sets of these.  Here's our finished project.

There's still time if you need a simple inexpensive christmas gift for someone.  Go out and get your supplies, they will love recieving something handmade.

And - when you happened onto my page did you notice that little one is entered in a contest?  If you have a moment please go take a gander over @ parenting by dummies and vote.  Little one's #28 in case you won't be able to tell, as her bum is the only thing you see and not her face.


Christmas Decor - Part 1

I have a bunch of photos.  Here are some pictures of the garland I made this year and a rag-garland.  The worse part for me is capturing the glitter that's in the garland, just don't feel like the pictures have the sparkle it does IRL.  Everything including the greens for this garland I got on clearance last year after Christmas!!!  I ended up winding 3 greens together to get it thick enough and then just kept on sticking and wiring in the goodies I had.  Love the green and bronze colors.

Here are some close-up's. 


Last year my mom made me this button wreath and it needed something added up above, so in a couple hours I whipped together this rag-garland, I have another longer one in the big arch of our living room.  And love the look of our door now. 



Merry SITSmas!!!

Today is SITSmas over at The Secret is in the Sauce.  What does this mean you ask?  Only a day filled with comment love (with a MAJOR link-up Party!) between all of the SITStah's, and the SITS girls are having a giveaway every hour starting @ 9am EST  today! 

If your stopping by I say Welcome to my little piece of the Blog world.  I'm so glad you stopped by.  If you have a moment to look around please do.  I have a super yummy easy peasy pie crust recipe here and a how-to make cinnamon dough ornaments over here.

I'd just like to say that as we're nearing the end of '09 I look back on this ride my family went on, on the roller coaster of life, and we are so lucky to be where we are today and I look forward to the many changes that will be coming in our life in the beginning of 2010.  The main one being that after a growth ultrasound yesterday, looks like Baby A could be making an earlier appearance than expected, this is exciting and yet a freak out moment all at the same time.  But in the end it all will work out I know.

So, if you'd like to participate in SITSmas (why wouldn't you? this is an amazing community of women) and the giveaways and comment love that is sure to come today, there are just 2 things you need to do and they are explained hereMerry SITSmas to all and to all a good day!!! 

From my family to yours...



Christmas Photo's

Well, looks like I got whatever the little one had earlier this week, hardcore yesterday.  Feeling under the weather and not really up to a wordy post, so figured I'd share our pictures we got done last weekend.  Little one, wasn't really cooperating but we did get a few good ones, so I guess that's better than none.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.



Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

Last year around the blog-o-sphere I saw tons of great Christmas decor ideas and I knew I wanted to do the cinnamon dough ornaments, after seeing them here and there.  After Christmas last year was walking around Target when there in the automotive section was a lonely red shiny tree with a red glittered bottom for only $2.49.  I was so excited obviously someone had put it down after changing their mind but alls I was thinking was SCORE!  So, it's been sitting on a shelf in my basement ever since.  I dug it out the other day and looked up a recipe and here's what I came up with.

Cinnamon Dough Recipe
Ingredients: 3/4 cup of applesauce (do not use homemade) & 1 cup + 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
Directions:  Preheat oven 250 degrees, mix ingredients, use cookie cutters for desired shape, use a straw to make a hole for your ribbon/rope, place on cookie sheet, put in oven for 2 1/2 hours, flipping them over occasionally.

Here's my tips:
  • This was a very very very wet dough to work with (ok, I wouldn't even call it a dough, it's mush), sprinkle ground cinnamon on surface you plan on rolling it on, sprinkle on top, and coat your rolling pin several times throughout the rolling process.  
  • When placing your holes make sure they are far enough down if it's a narrow shape (like snowflake) so there's no cracking.
  • Easiest way to transfer these to a cookie sheet, is to coat a spatula with some cinnamon and slide it under your shape, the excess areas will break away.  I started trying to use a knife, but b/c it's mush, it wasn't working very smoothly. 
Here's a picture of them before transfering them to the cookie sheet.

After letting them cook, I broke off any excess little pieces from the sides.  Used some red and white baker's twine I had around and hung them on the tree.  Only disappointment is they are sort-of hard to see on the tree.  But they do smell rather yummy when you walk by.