Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tell Santa what you want........

I love the Christmas season.

My Man and my first fight was about Christmas.

He didn't see any need to decorate a tree when we would be traveling to his family's for the actual day.

I think of Christmas as a season, not a day and it was the first SEASON I'd be away from my family.

He FINALLY got how important it was to me.

So by the time the next Christmas season rolled around we decorated even though we were flying to see my family right before and then driving down to see his family for the actual day.

However, another fight was brewing.

I was ready to commit and we were living together at this point. He doesn't like anyone telling him what to do. So whenever he asked what I wanted for Christmas I told him I wanted Santa to bring me a engagement ring.

As the time drew closer to fly back to visit my family, I was getting extremely stressed. Just about every day the phone would ring with one family member of mine or another asking if we were engaged yet.

In a hysterical fit, I finally told him that if we weren't engaged by the new year, I was going to move out.

I just couldn't imagine another year passing while we were living as man and wife, but not moving towards living as man and wife.

The night before we were to fly, my man stayed out until 4 am. He came home drunk and proceeded to slur questions about marriage, whether I'd really move out, blah, blah, blah.

Needless to say, I didn't find this amusing AT ALL!

I went to work a few hours later and he called me there asking me how early I could leave the office. I ranted about all I had to do before I could leave and then told him he needed to pack for himself as I refused to do it based on his behavior last night. Then I heard all this background noise and asked him where he was. (Obviously, pre-caller id). He told me a bar with the same friend he was with the night before. I hung up.

I seethed for about 15 minutes before giving up and going home.

I get home and see he hasn't packed a thing but all the pillows are missing from the bed. WTF??

The phone rang and my man's panicked voice is asking me where am I? Uh, you just called me at home, dude! He thought I'd be at work for awhile, however I informed him I was too mad to stay at work and I was packing MY things and catching a plane. With or without him. His choice.

He told me to give him 15 minutes and then look out the door.

15 minutes later..........there was Santa.

Santa comes into the house and wants me to sit on his lap.

"Tell Santa what you want for Christmas little girl".............

I couldn't say it.

Even more amusing is the fact that My Man couldn't get to his knee as he imagined with me sitting on his lap. He went to stand up to kneel down and I fell off his lap.

His friend snapped blurry pictures and drove us to the airport with Champagne and bridal magazines. I got off the airplane in a daze and walked right past my brother. My dad said I led with my ring adorned hand.

That holiday season was such a whirlwind of seeing family, friends and loved ones and planning our wedding. I barely had time to breathe, and only after my best friend asked if I had cried did I realize I never cried like I had always imagined I would.

Nothing went quite as he imagined. He planned to go to my work and have others tell Santa what they wanted. Then, he was sure when it was my turn I'd tell this Santa I just wanted my boyfriend to give me an engagement ring. Somehow he thought I wouldn't recognize him. Not only was I not at work when he arrived all decked out in a heavy Santa costume stuffed with our bedroom pillows.......this is Florida and it was a HOT December that year! Then when he finally tracks me down, I refuse to play along and say the words he envisioned me saying. And the whole kneeling thing was just icing on the cake.

He later told me he wanted to atone for our first holiday fight by recognizing how important the Christmas season was to me. He had the ring made in June. And waited until December to give it to me. I'm still not over that.

Wanna know when I did cry?

After returning from visiting both sides of our family, we went to visit My Man's boss and his wife. They are like family to us. She is a artist and works with many different mediums.

She gave me the talk.............You know the, do you know what you are getting into being a coach's wife? talk. I didn't cry then either although looking back I probably should have.

When she handed me a small wrapped box...........I opened it to find a hand carved Santa down on his knees offering a diamond ring.

I bawled.

I never tell Santa what I want.............I trust he knows.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How to give a gift card when your feelin' crafty:

1) Spend most of the night bookmarking tutorials on blogs.

2) Choose the easiest tutorial that you already have the supplies for.

3) Go to the Dollar Tree for Altoid tins. Go back again when you realize that one of your gift cards is supersized. Buy a bigger tin.

4) Make a mess of your dinning room table and forget to feed your kids dinner as you become engrossed in project.

5) Decide that because they are your first try, they'll do.........then go ahead and blog about it.

A mini purse ~ altered Altoid Tin.

Another altered Altoid tin

A larger tin (originally a Christmas tin) to accommodate gift card.

(not sure why this won't is straight on my computer ???)

Want to see which tutorials I copied????


Regular Tin

Are you an original creator or do you need others to inspire you to create. I'm sure I just answered that question for all two of you wondering which category I fall into :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Traditions........

I've carried on a few Christmas traditions over the years:

~Each year I buy a ornament for each kid that says something about what their life is like this year. Of course they each got a baby's first xmas that first year. But as they've grown and their interests have changed, it's been fun to add to the collection. My stepmother did this for her kids and the theory was when they got married, they got their ornament collection. I never did check to see if they got theirs or not..........however my kids have enjoyed this tradition.

~ I buy everyone new holiday pj's to wear on Christmas Eve. That way when we are taking pictures while opening the presents in the morning no one is in their undies!

~ We make smores in our fireplace after decorating the tree. Even if we have to put the air conditioner on to do it.

~After Thanksgiving the kitchen radio gets switched to the station that plays non-stop Christmas music until Dec. 26th.

from Google Image

What are some of your Christmas traditions????

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another day, another craft.....

I've been at it again. This time it's fluffy flower pins.

I'm getting better, but still working some kinks out.

There are so many possibilities with these flowers.

Think of the fabric combos.

Use one alone or group them in three.

You can add them to a tank top, t-shirt or jacket.

You can put them on a bag, purse or backpack.

You can mark your territory by gussying up your badge, clipboard, or cubicle.

Or you can use them to decorate your holiday gifts.......

I'm just thinking out loud here :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Easy Peasy Teacher Holiday Gift

Want a fast, easy peasy teacher holiday gift idea?

Melt 6 oz. milk chocolate chips with 2 Tablespoons of crisco in microwave. Spoon melted chocolate over one end of pretzel rod then add sprinkles. Freeze until chocolate hardens and wrap up!

How easy was that?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twelve dozen down........

and many more to go!

Yesterday, I baked twelve dozen cookies for My Man's players. Each year I do a little cookie bag for them.

I still have all of our own baking to do. As well as some neighbor gifts.

Each year I tell myself I'll start early and make a variety.

Each year that plan fails.

This year was no different.

I ended up making the easy peanut butter cups with Hershey's kisses.

I got the Pillsbury cookie dough on sale, buy one ~ get one free, as well as the kisses, more than a month ago.

My Man always tells me the kids don't care.......they inhale them within seconds of receiving them. But I WANT to do better next year.

For me.

Anyone else get that?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blue Christmas?

About 5 years ago a friend gave me a set of Christmas dishes.
I have a 8 person placesetting as well as a few serving pieces.

Aren't they adorable?

My ONLY issue with them is that the rest of my Christmas stuff is predominately red.

I do have other colors mixed in, but there is a awful lot of blue in these dishes to pull off my regular decorations.

So this year I decided to go Blue.

At least in the dining room.

But, I didn't want to have to really buy anything to pull it off.
I busted out the boys' birthday tablecloth and rifled through my fabric stash for all things blue. And then.....

I immediately thought of doing another one of these.

Whadda ya think?

Me too!

~And it's almost 80 degrees today and wet.........I'm sure that's why that vanity has still not been painted!

Monday, December 15, 2008

TuTu Sweet

Here's another project from my Homemade holiday gift list:

TUTU 's!!

I made these two using the same color patterns: Baby Pink and Paris Pink.

This one is for a 18 month old.

This is for a 2 1/2 year old (who is tall).

This next one I did in team colors for a 5 month old. The pic didn't come out very good. But the top layer is teal with navy underneath. It's reversible.

I had to mail the first tutu for the 18 month old. This is what her 3 month old brother rec'd:

I obviously didn't make that.....but I purttied up the hanger! I added a board book for each of them and mailed it off a few days ago. I'm hoping the weather doesn't prevent a timely delivery.

I bought the tutu pattern from Angelbabes on Etsy after trying to make a birthday tutu without a tutorial. BIG DIFFERENCE! The pattern from etsy came with membership to her yahoo group. Although I've yet to participate in any discussion, there are tons of details, hints, and photo sharing going on there. Another purchase I'm glad I made.

And this makes another project crossed off my list!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

I've been a bad girl.

I've been shopping like there's no such thing as a budget.

I've been lusting after dishes for months.

I wanted plain, white everyday ones that I could mix and match with other things.

I found them 25% off and bought them.

Don't they look like they belong in my cabinet?

I quickly called my mom and asked if she had bought My Man and I a gift yet.

She had mailed a check that day.

I had to ask how much.

Then, I smiled.


It covered my purchase.

So, it's just our Christmas present from my mom.

I knew it all along.

Not that I have issues.


Not sure how I'll explain getting another 4 piece place setting....

We have a big family?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Card Photos

I've told you how HARD it was.

But are you wondering which pictures I used for our Christmas Card this year?

All's well that ends well.

I had to cut the Holiday Wishes part of the card off for privacy reasons.

You understand.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Baking

I love to bake......year round.

But during the holidays, I just can't get enough.

I started stocking up on sale items that I would use in my holiday baking arsenal.

This is just the non-refrigerated, non-frozen, non-boxed, etc. etc. etc....items.

I think you get the picture.

I am obsessed.

I have an obsessive personality.

But I don't want to change.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gifts for Book Club

I am in a book club. We meet the second Wednesday of the month at noon for discussion and a potluck lunch. I look forward to this day all month!

Our December meeting is enhanced with a game of Dirty Santa (or some call it white elephant). Each person brings a wrapped book (new or lovingly read) and the stealing begins. Here was my book:

We're you wondering what the book was? It was We Thought You'd be Prettier, True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive by Laurie Notaro. The Keeper ended up with it.

I also had a little gift for each book club member. I found the idea for this simple, homemade gift from Little Birdie Secrets.

Of course, I waited until the night before to do it and couldn't get my printer to print out the directions, so I added a dot to the top with 3T written on it. That's to remind my friends to add 3 T. of mix to hot water or milk.

It also reminds them that Laurie Notaro cannot be the dorkiest girl alive.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've been a busy little elf...........

Like just about everyone else out there in America, we are feeling the crunch this holiday season. So this year, most of my gifts will be homemade. I always do some homemade items, but this year I've done more than any other year I can remember. At least as an adult; as a kid I always made homemade gifts for everyone.

I have a Holiday folder. I keep a list of for whom and what I buy each year. And how much I spent. I keep my card list from year to year. I keep my menus. I'm sure there's more, but you get the picture.

This year I made a list of who I could make gifts for and ideas for said gifts. This became my Project List.

I marked the first category off of my Project List last weekend:

I made 6 name pillows.

However, I remembered to take a picture AFTER I boxed two of them up to be shipped out! They were pink and green also.

Same great background...not!......Note to self: Bed doesn't work well as a backdrop.

I bought the instructions for these pillows from I have been happy with every purchase I've made from there. And I love looking through the picture galleries, too.

I should be finishing up with Project #2 today. I'll be posting with those pics soon!

Have you made any gifts this year????

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two days in a row?

I know, can you believe it? I've now posted two days in a row ~ three times in less than a week.

And. it. wasn't. even. a. holiday.

Anyway, after one of my friends saw the pillow I made for the birthday party favor, she asked me to make some pillows for Hanukkah gifts for her. I hesitantly agreed, being sure to make a full disclosure that I'm still learning to sew and am not PERFECT by any stretch. She brought over two beautiful bolster covers and three Pottery Barn pillow forms. Ummmm, the pillows I've made were shaped according to the letters in the name and then filled with stuffing. Like Ann would be wayyyy shorter than say, Annamaria. And if the seams weren't straight, well it just looked "homemade" (hopefully in a good way). But that wasn't gonna be the case here. I thought, "Ok, I can figure out the pillow forms". But the bolster covers made me nervous. I was afraid of sewing directly onto them and messing them up. But I agreed nonetheless. We went shopping and choose fabric together. Once I got sewing I was liking how they were coming together. But I refused to applique each letter directly onto the bolster covers. I came up with tacking a separate fabric on top of the cover, therefore if it turned out horrible it would be easier to remove and do something else with it.

And low and behold, I was happier with the end result than I imagined. It's not perfect, but they will do.

Here, look for yourself:

Sorry about the blinding white background, but I just wanted to get a picture done to force me to post. And it worked.

I'll be back soon to show what Santa's little elf has been up to...........stay tuned!

Monday, December 8, 2008

How hard can it be?

Seriously, how hard can it be to take a picture to send holiday cards???

My family is obviously photographically challenged. Can we get disability for that?

I realize that I have made it exponentially harder each time I add another baby.....but I'm done now, I swear! I accept that I am not photogenic and therefore will hate any picture including me. But I failed to realize I could pass this gene on.

I shopped for coordinating outfits for all 6 of us, avoiding anything too matchy-matchy. Then I find a day when our schedule is fairly open. This is MUCH harder than it seems, as it is basketball season. A few things I didn't count on when trying to organize: the windy, overcast weather, My Man losing a game the night before, and as previously mentioned, the un-photogenic gene.

Throw those three challenges together with a willful toddler, two kids in braces who don't like to smile, and a hyperactive child who either smirks or has the widest fake smile, and can't seem to look at the camera unless he's blinking. Oh what a very, merry Christmas time, this year!

We haven't taken a family picture in about 4 years and Bunny boo has since joined our family so we thought we'd try to get one of these.

Here's a few examples of how it worked for us:

This was our first shot and bunny boo was still cooperative. The wind, however was not.

We switch sides of the gazebo trying to avoid the ONLY ray of sunlight, but the wind is still crazy.
Bunnyboo is getting fussy. Let's go to the boardwalk and see if the wind is blocked a bit. Nope.
Let's go back to our friend's house (she is the photographer for the day). But all Bunny boo wants to do is swim!
Bunny boo is done at this point. My Man is over it. Let's just go with what we got and try to make something work.

I played with photoshop for a few days but just couldn't get anything I was happy enough with to make 100 cards out of. I'm new to photoshop and it shows! I told My Man we would choose one of the family ones and just make a few 5X7's to give to grandparents, but I thought our best shot was a card with picture of the kids.

So yesterday, I decided to take the kids out back individually and shoot a few pics. The weather wasn't a problem, it was a bright, sunny day with just a bit of wind. My Man wasn't AS stressed. And I didn't have to be in the pic. What else could go wrong? Genetics, baby!

I know you have braces, but could you please smile????

I guess not.

I sound like a broken record, but: I know you have braces, but could you please smile??

OOOHHH, maybe not.
Hey, I'm over here!
Have you been into the benedryl again???

All that's left is the baby. Should be a piece of cake! I mean babies look cute all the time, right? Ummm, not so much.

Nice drool!

Don't tell Mommy no! I promise not to take anymore pictures.

No need to hit the camera. I swear that was the last one.
By some miraculous feat, I managed to get at least one decent shot of the three older kids and the baby's just shows her personality. It's just this year's card. I can do better next year. Maybe I should start working on this in May..............
Please tell me I'm not the only one who has this affliction. PLEASE!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving ala' Chickie Poo

It looks like I'm only able to hit the holidays, blogwise. I am pathetic, I know. Wanna hear what's worse? Chickie Poo actually took these pics and told me they were for my blog. So now I must post!

I've mentioned before that I am married to a college coach. He coaches basketball which is currently in season. They practice Thanksgiving morning and play in a tournament the following two days. Athletes that have family living within two hours usually go there for dinner. But many live too far for it to be practical to go home. So they come here. That means I never know until about 2 hours before I'm serving my meal how many people I will be feeding. This year we had the least; 14. I'd guess the most we've had was 30 or so. It always makes trying to plan fun! Yeah, right!

My husband also let's each player shoot ONE half court shot after Thanksgiving practice. If they make it, they get a homemade pie of mine. This year two players came close but no one won. Last year, two kids won. I was told that one of the current players who came close this year complained because he is a senior and won't get another shot!

Chickie Poo wanted to take pictures of our rustic holiday table decor. I was too busy getting food out and resetting the tables each time the phone rang adding and subtracting guests! But I promised I'd post them so here they are........

Our Adult table set for dinner.

I made a dollar tree run the night before and picked up these candle holders and candles.

Then I used stickers and made tags spelling out THANKFUL. I used twine to tie them on.

For the Kids table: I clustered votives, tied them with a ribbon, and put them on a glass salad plate. Then I turned a glass bowl upside down, put a pine cone inside and placed the plated candles on top. Looked cute, but we lit them too soon and then melted before we sat down to dinner.

This was our dessert table. We had four types of pie, ice cream, whipped cream, cool whip, as well as caramel and chocolate sauces.

This was our Thanksgiving Tree. I'm pretty sure Chickie Poo made some of the players add leaves of what they were thankful for. Can you see the football game on?

Of course, Chickie Poo made a sign for the tree, in case anyone didn't know what it was. And then she had to take a picture, because.......If you give a mouse a cookie...then.....

She took more pictures, but I'll save you. I'll try to be more consistent about blogging and if not, there's always Christmas and New Year's coming soon :)