Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012


This week has been so very wonderful and relaxing.  It's 4:30 on New Year's Eve and the children and I are still in our pajamas!  Except for an excursion to a museum we have done very little except read, play games, and play.  There's something about this week after Christmas that feels so much slower than any other week during the year.  I love it.

I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming year, more so than usual.  2012 is poised to bring about some changes in our lives and I find myself apprehensive, excited, and at times a bit sad, but it's all moving in a good direction and I have faith that this year will play out exactly as it is supposed to.  Change can be hard but I plan on working to enjoy the journey instead of worrying and second guessing choices we make.

All of this is to say that I'm not really making resolutions this year.  Instead, I'm going to focus on relationships with those around me, making a loving home for my family and being grateful for all that we have been blessed with.

Thank you for reading this little blog!  I have so appreciated your kind, uplifting and enthusiastic comments.  I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite Things #17


When Gretchen and I were in the city over Christmas we ate what was possibly the most heavenly food ever offered by a street vendor... a waffle covered in speculoos and whipped cream.  I had never had anything of the sort and it was so, so good.


So of course, I was delighted to discover Trader Joe's Cookie Butter.  I love this stuff.  It's a spread made out of biscuits that tastes like gingerbread cookies and other bits of goodness.  I've been enjoying it on cinnamon bread, crackers and bananas.  I've yet to put it on a warm waffle but it's only a matter of time.  Have you tried it?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sibling Gifts 2011


When we started making sibling gifts several years ago (here, here, and here) I had no idea that it would become such a family favorite.  The children love making gifts for each other and it's the first gift they want to open on Christmas morning.


This year, Grace knew right away that she wanted to make some sort of animal for Harris.  She decided on a sock animal that she found in an old Martha Stewart Kids.  With a little help/guidance from her Grandma she created Mr. Meows for Harris.  He is darling and Harris adores him!



I helped Harris to make lip balm for Grace.  He was giddy the whole time he was making it (and he did almost all the work- he even shaved the beeswax!) because it was one big science experiment for him!  We followed the instructions from Martha Stewart and the balm turned out beautifully.  I think we will all be using it.  I waited a little too long to order pots or tubes so we used travel sized pots from Target and they worked out just fine.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve and Christmas

Christmas at our house was everything one could hope for (minus the snow, we wish we had some!).  










How was your day?  I"m already feeling the itch to clean-up, put away and organize for the new year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  I hope that your day has been full of merriment, magic and happy family time.  


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce for friends


I delivered a few gifts to friends today that I'm hoping will add some seasonal cheer to their weekend!  I made a double batch of peppermint hot fudge sauce, packaged it up in small mason jars, tied on candy cane toppings and added a pint of really yummy (local) ice cream.



While wandering the grocery store, I happened upon these darling miniature, one serve ice cream containers.  They fit the top of the mason jar perfectly and were adorable.  But alas, I figured it would be nice if my friend's families could have more than one spoonful each, so I'm filing the idea away for later because everything is cuter when it is smaller!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vintage Christmas


After Christmas last year I found two vintage pieces at the antique store that I bought and put away for this year!  I plan on using them both for Christmas breakfast.  They make me happy just looking at them!

This sweet Santa pitcher will be perfect for cream at the table.


This tablecloth is meant for a rectangular table, but I plan on using it as an overlay on one of my round tablecloths.  I love each little scene!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Bubble Print Wrapping Paper


 Harris has been really excited this year about wrapping gifts.  He has even made colorful wrapping paper!  In one of our craft books is a "recipe" for making bubble-print wrapping paper.  The process was fun and the gift is certainly wrapped uniquely (perfect for a grandparent!).


A Recipe for bubble-print gift wrap

In a shallow bowl mix together 1/2 cup water, 1-2 tablespoons red paint*, and 1/2 tablespoon dishwashing liquid.


Put a straw in the mixture and gently blow to make bubbles.  Blow until the mixture almost rises over the edge of the bowl.


Put a piece of paper over the bubbles and hold until several bubbles have popped.  Move the paper and continue to blow and pop bubbles until most of the paper is covered.


Let the paper dry.


Repeat the whole thing with green bubbles, let dry and wrap!


*In the picture of the materials used I show children's washable paint.  This is what we originally tried to use but found that the color didn't show up in the bubbles.  We ended up using regular craft paint.  I also changed to a shallower bowl than shown.
  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekend

Hello friends!  I took a bit of an unintended blog break because the hustle and bustle of the season won out and I was either too busy, too tired or too uninspired to blog!  But this weekend?  This weekend has been a perfect start to Christmas week.  We filled it just so with lovely Christmas activities and I feel ready to enjoy the next week leading up to Christmas.

Friday evening we spent with dear friends to see a live nativity.  It was beautiful.



Saturday morning was our annual Christmas breakfast with Kristin, Tim, Grace and Matthew.  It's always a highlight of the season!





Saturday evening we attended a Christmas party that was loads of fun and where Bryce was able to dance his heart out (seriously funny and fun!).  We joined friends for dinner beforehand for extra festivity!


We feel very blessed to have such good friends!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Scenes- Part 1

Our Christmas season is flying by!  I love everything about Christmas, but this year I have found myself a tad overwhelmed.  I just wish that there was more time to fit everything in and do it in a relaxed and thoughtful manner.  Is that too much to ask?

I thought I would share some scenes from our Christmas activities.  I could have blogged about them all separately but glimpses will do.  After all, I've got presents to wrap!

Our town's holiday walk was lots of fun, Santa is always the highlight!




Both children and Bryce participated in our church's Christmas Pageant.  I love it every single time.




Yesterday, Gretchen and I went into the city for a fun adventure.  We did some window gazing (that's Tiffany's I'm standing in front of), a bit of shopping and had a long, leisurely lunch with a dear friend.  Any restaurant that serves cotton candy for dessert is tops in my book.  



P.S.  I wore my "new" vintage coat into the city.  I got it for something like $10 (but I did have to alter it!).  
I love how old fashioned I felt in it and it was really warm!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lavender Sachets (in a tea strainer)


Remember the lavender that I harvested back in the summer?  I finally did something with it!  Years ago I saw a suggestion in Martha Stewart magazine to put lavender in old tea strainers and use them in drawers and closets as scented sachets.  Lavender also has the added benefit of being a repellant to moths (I've had an unfortunate incident recently with a favorite wool cape).

I bought this strainer for a couple of dollars, including shipping, on ebay.  It's a nice large size and it cleaned up very easily.  Ebay had lots of choices including some beautiful sterling silver ones!  I think that I'm going to be on the lookout to add to my collection of two strainers!


I filled the strainer with lavender buds, tied a bow on the top and stashed it in a drawer.  Now I'm hoping that the lovely smell will subtly scent the drawer!

 
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