Monday, December 27, 2010

Our New Baby

This is Lucy, our new baby!! 

Ok, she's not exactly a baby.  Lucy is my brothers dog...she's a 3 year old pug. 

My brother is in the Navy and is being transferred to Japan next week.  Since he will be traveling alot while he's in Japan, Doodle and I agreed to watch his dog for the next 2 years.  Although, we have totally fallen in love with her he may not get her back. ;)

We've known for about six months we'd pick her up from him at our parents house at Christmas.

Well, we originally thought we'd be getting his boy pug, Jon, but that was changed to Lucy a few weeks...long story.

She is completely PRECIOUS!!  So loving, cuddly, and snorty, LOL.

I'm sure you'll be seeing much more of her! :)

Until next time.....

(I linked this post to Debbie's Pet Party at Debbiedoo's Blog on 1/24/11)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 12 - Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls House is complete here at Erin's humble abode!! :)

Some say it's silly for me to decorate like I do considering that we are never home for Christmas.  But the truth is...I cannot imagine NOT decorating!!

I mean, we are home from Thanksgiving until almost Christmas!

One thing you will notice is....I'm still a traditionalist people!  I'm sorry...but I like my reds and greens around here!  Just like I like my orange and black at Halloween.

I kind of like a 'homespun' Christmas look, so I changed out the curtains and pillows to reds, and took my usual oranges out.  I put down the more traditional rug and sprinkled Christmas cheer, mostly in the living room, but touches are in each room.

So, without further ado, my final day of the 12 Days of Christmas (on the 21st of December, LOL) home all decked out!! :)

Um, I don't intentionally collect Snowmen...but I apparently have quite an affection for them that I didn't realize.

An older lady I worked with at Burger King, when I was high school, gave this reindeer to me!  She did crafts and sold at craft shows...that might have been when my true love of crafts took off!

The sign was from a blog with free printable...but I can't remember WHOSE!  If you do, let me know and I'll give credit!

This one was just scrapbook papers.

This little guy lights up (with a nightlight style light bulb)...LOVE him...not sure why I didn't take a picture with his light on.

Well, I hope enjoyed this little tour or our snowmen home!! :)

Since we will be driving Wednesday evening and Thursday and spending time with our family in Dallas, this will be my last post until after Christmas.  So, I hope each and everyone of you and your families have a VERY Merry Christmas!!! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11 - Gift Presentation

Are you irritated with my serious lack of follow through yet?  I mean, 12 days of Christmas SHOULD have been finished on the twelfth if I was any kind of blogger. ;)

And here we are on the 20th of December, and I'm still have one more day!

I gotta tell you, I had  BLAST this weekend! 

First of all, on a total side note, I went and saw the play WICKED Friday night....FANTABULOUS!!!!  Not at all what I was expecting...but completely worth it if it comes to your area!!!

But that's not what I was referring to!!  I am done with all my Christmas doings.  So, I actually just got to sit home and enjoy the house all decorated before we leave this week for Dallas!!!

But of course, I don't really 'sit' ever.  So, I had to be doing something. 

That something involved my newest toy!!!  I went last week and purchased (with a nice gift card I received) the Martha Stewart Scoring Board!!!

I am completley IN LOVE!!!!

And just as an FYI, no one really cares about my opinion enough to pay me or send me anything, LOL, so this is my own personal review. :)

It was only $20 at Archivers, PLUS I had a 30% off I only paid $14!!!  WELL worth the cost!!!

First thing I made were holders for the gift cards I'm giving to my brothers (and cousin).

The score board has measurements and tells you were to score for different size boxes, cards, and envelopes.  There is an angled thing-a-mabob for making envelopes, which is what I had to use for the gift card holders.

Here's what it looks like after I scored it and made the creases.

This was my practice one, so I used a plain piece of cardstock (so I didn't waste money with fancy paper just yet).  But here's the inside.

I just used double sided tape (that I got at Archiver's too) to seal it all together.  Once I got the technique down, I changed to fancier paper, so the inside was pretty too. :)

Once I got the card made, I embellised it so the gift card is, hopefully, a little more exciting to open.

And here's the final product!!

I just added a little button embelishment I got at Hobby Lobby awhile back.  Those were $2 for nine of ten of these were still super cheap to make!!

I also made boxes, with my Martha Stewart Score Board, for the Cake Pop goodies I made this weekend!  (I still had to give one guy at work at gift, plus I like to do something for our FedEx and UPS delivery guys that come to work all the time).

I made all the boxes with scrapbook paper (card stock quality) I already had (from a book of Christmas paper I bought on sale earlier in the season).

The presentation can take a simple gift to a "Wow" gift. :)

Until next time....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10 - Gift Bags

Ok, I feel I must address this before we get started here today. 

I'm really sorry, but I'm afraid of the mass hysteria that might ensue and I figure I should just head it off and get it out of the way.

In the upcoming pictures you will kitchen countertops.

And I KNOW, there will be many of you feeling the little green eyed monster creeping up on you.  It's ok...I understand.  It happens to everyone.  Don't feel bad.

I's not everyday you can behold the beautifulness of my faux wood grained laminate countertops. 

The only suggestions I have for you, is, you might be able to scrounge up the few remaining luxurious countertops out there from the dump high end salvage yards.

Good luck on your hunt!!! ;)


Ok, now onto gift bags.

I KNOW I said I wasn't giving my coworkers anything again this year.  But I had to.  It's been a year of change around here, some ups and downs, so I DID make my donation to the homeless shelter, but I also made the Sandie cookies, I posted about yesterday, for each of my coworkers.

Not many...I mean, I wouldn't want to be accused of adding to their caloric intake during the holidays! ;) 

But I put some in a baggie for each of them.  And I put them into the small brown lunch sacks.  But I decided to decorate them to make them a bit more special. 

I folded down the top layer of the bag to meet the bottom fold (when it's closed).  Then I cut scrap pieces of scrapbook paper to that size.

Then I glued a piece of paper to the folded down top of each bag.

After that dried, I cut along the edge with my fancy scissors (I cannot for the life of me remember what these things are called). :)

Then, I punched two holes for me to put ribbon through.

After that, I tied some ribbon (all of which were crooked, but at 12:30 in the morning, you stop caring).

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, one of these bags I decorated the front with paper, the rest I decorated the front with stamps.  I will be honest, my favorite is the one decorated with paper, but I was tired and had lost all steam.  So, stamps were quick. :)

I also printed this years poem (which I didn't get pictures of) and tied them to each bag.

I'm sure you feel as I do, a poem of this kind of quality and depth will be read for decades to come.

In lieu of gifts again this year
Jessica and I are spreading cheer

For my daughter I want to plant a seed,
That giving to others, who are in need,
Is the greatest gift we can receive!

It fills our hearts to give to those with none,
So what her and I this Christmas have done
Is given a gift of to our favorite charity,
To help people who deal with all sorts of asperity.

We hope you’ll find our lack of personal gift giving,
As our outpouring of thanksgiving.
To our God who is so generous and forgiving!


In lieu of gifts again this year,
Jessica and I have made a donation to the Wheeler Mission.

And wouldn't you know....I got more compliments on my cute brown paper bags than I've EVER received on a gift I've given.  Such is life. ;)

Until next time....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9 - A Cookie Recipe

One thing I do every year at Christmas is bake cookies.  One of my all time favorite recipes (and the favorite of all the ones I give out) is the Sandy Cookie!  Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies.

I just call them Sandies...because that's what the good 'ol red Better Homes and Gardens cookbook calls them. :)

Although their buttery and flaky goodness might seem too decadent to make...they are actually really easy!

Image courtesy of Taste of Home


1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add about half of the flour, the sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water.  Beat til thoroughly combined.  Beat in remaining flour.  Stir in pecans.

Shape into 1-inch balls or 2x1/2 inch fingers or crescents.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 20 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned.  Cool cookies on a wire rack.  Gently shake cooled cookies in a bag with powdered sugar.  Makes about 36.

I hope you enjoy them!!!  I definitely enjoy a few too many every year. ;)

Until next time...

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8 - Dollar Tree Pictures

You've got to be kidding me!  It's December 14th and I'm just now on Day did I get so far behind?!?!

Holiday parties and room redo's...that's how!!

So, without further is a project I made from frames I got at the Dollar Tree and scrapbook papers.  So they are super CHEAP!!! :)

Here is what the frame looked like before:

Not the worst thing I've ever seen at the DT...but I knew it could be improved upon!

So, I took the whole thing apart.

Yes, this picture is showing a different matte than the black and white one.

Then I put glue onto my matte and stuck the scrapbook paper to it.  After it dried (if your patient enough, which I'm not, but you really should wait) I used my Xacto knife to cut around the matte.

Then I reassembled my frame.

I used Gorilla Glue and weighed it down while it dried (this time I really had to wait).

While I waited I finished the center.  I used Christmas scapbook paper again, I cut the sleigh shape out of one of the pieces of paper and glued it onto a pretty background paper.

And here is what it looks like complete!

I will not lie....this sleigh is my absolute favorite!!!!  LOVE IT!!! :)

But I did complete a couple more, using the same steps as above.

I cut a Poinsettia out of scrapbook paper for this one.

And for this is one, I used a scrap piece of burlap and stamped a Christmas tree on it.

Each frame was less than $2!!  Not too shabby if I don't say so myself! :)

Until tomorrow....

Thursday, December 09, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7 - A New Tradition

Well...we've made it to Day 7!  I hope everyone is enjoying my 12 Days of Christmas!! 

I am!!! :)

It's been fun sharing ideas, crafts, recipes and some of my family traditions.

Today I'm bringing you another tradtion.  This is one is new though...just started last year!

We have several Christmas Eve traditions in my family.

We come from all over for Christmas.  My brother from wherever he's stationed at the time, me and Doodle from Indy, depending on where we are 'meeting' that year, like this year is Dallas, so my grandparents are flying in from Florida.  My aunt and her daughter always used to come in from Louisiana (although they now live in Dallas, so they aren't far anymore)...and sometimes more come from Michigan and Florida.  It just depends. 

It's our unofficial annual gathering!

One of the things you can count on, we ALWAYS attend Christmas Eve candle light service at the church!!  It doesn't matter where we grandparents in Florida we go the Lutheran church service.  Dallas the Baptist church service.  But we ALL always go...whether you are a regular Sunday goer or only go this one time a year.  It is a requirement. :)

Two, my step-mom bakes and cooks enough food to feed a large small village!!  Seriously, there is always more food than all or us could EVER eat!  And some of the food is VERY unique to our family (like Monkey Puke, LOL).  But it's tradition!! 

The other tradition we ALWAYS do is...we each get to open ONE present on Christmas Eve.  And it is ALWAYS new pajamas that are the required 'uniform' for opening presents the next morning.  You will NOT shower or get dolled up before presents on Christmas morning! :) 


Last year my Grandma Pat started a new Christmas Eve tradition for the ladies in our family.

Now keep in mind, my G-ma Pat is self described....NOT crafty.

So, this was a BIG deal!! :)

She bought us all plain red or green aprons and tons of iron-ons and stencils and glitter and all kinds of goodness for each of us to make our own aprons.  If there were two girls in the house, you each had to get a different color so there was no confusion. 

Doodle chose green.

So I got red.

Dontcha just love my apron model!  I do! :)

And we are now supposed to bring them with us each year so that we can add to our aprons!

Some of things Doodle used in 2009:

I got a little braver, using a stencil, glue and glitter!  Overall I think it turned out pretty cute! :)

Some of our family is definitely not crafty...but I think we all enjoyed it!!  I know I did! :) 

I even think my baby brother enjoyed it (he made his girlfriends for her since she wasn't there Christmas Eve). :)

I can't wait to see what she has for us this year to add to the apron! :)

I have two Christmas parties to attend this weekend.  So, most likely I will have to continue with the 12 days of Christmas on Sunday.  I apologize...but you know how this time of year can be.

So.....until next time.....