Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Week!!!

It is Christmas week… and busy, busy, busy. Back to work I go tomorrow, and I’m hoping time flies so Friday will be here… We are leaving for West Virginia (please Snow STAY AWAY UNTIL WE GET HOME!!!!) and hoping to make it for my parent’s annual Christmas Eve party. Last year we missed it because of work, so maybe this year will be different.  There have been SO many things I’ve wanted to share with my bloggers, but cannot until after Christmas. It is part of my handmade Christmas, and I have loved every single thing I have made… can’t wait to share!  In the meantime, with the cold weather sitting in here in South Carolina, and we have been making lots of comfort, cold weather dinners… all followed by the recipes, and all DELISH! I would recommend them all.
Emeril’s  Cajun Jambalaya
Tyler’s Ultimate Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant and Sausage
Chuck’s Day Off Chocolate Stout Cakes
Some photos from our kitchen - 

 This recipe is more like a bread pudding... made with beer, chocolate and sugar! So good! Hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas week... and to end this note - and the way I ended my evening yesterday.... homemade hot chocolate!!!!
Merry Christmas
Saturday, December 11, 2010

Are you there, Vodka???

I've not quite been in the reading mood lately it seems... Though during a conversation with my best friend, crystal, I was informed that I HAD to read a book she had just finished. While contemplating in my head on buying yet another book to only start and not finish, I decided to go ahead and make the purchase.
Are you there, Vodka? It's me, Chelsea
The name alone gave me a laugh, so I was intrigued. Yes, I have seen Chelsea Lately, and always crack up the entire show, so I was sure to get a few laughs while reading. A few laughs was putting it mildly. I cracked up - out loud - the ENTIRE book. Seriously, it was flipping hilarious. I bought the book through iBooks, and read start to finish within 24 hours. I just couldn't get enough. It's vulgar and raunchy, yet super smart and soooo so funny! One of my favorite parts is this:
"After I decided to never meet this person in public, I looked down at my gut. My body had really taken a turn for the worse, and the surprise party I was throwing for my thirtieth birthday was three weeks away. I knew I wasn't out-and-out fat, and I don't think anyone would have described me as a heifer, but there was definitely some toning up needed. It had gotten to the point that the only body parts I felt comfortable exposing in public were my forearms.  Everything else seemed to be in some state of disrepair, especially my abdomen, which somehow managed to divide itself into three sections when I was sitting cross-legged. Something had to be done, so I closed MySpace and Googled the word "fatass." While looking at a website for liposuction, I learned that it was a six-to-eight-week recovery period, the clincher being that, during that time, I would under no circumstances be able to use street drugs. Obviously I had to think of a more realistic approach." 
The whole book consisted of quirky little passages like that, and always kept you wanting more! I immediately snatched up the sample of her other book, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang... and plan to purchase the book as soon as I finish alllll my laundry and clean my house!
Happy weekend, everyone!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Today has been a very productive day for me…My home is filled with the tunes of The Temper Trap, and although my kitchen does not smell of home baked chocolate chip cookies, it is smelling of something baked! Get ready for this… homemade dog biscuits! Yes, my sweet pups got homemade treats today… many thanks to Katelyn for this terrific recipe that I will share with you.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. Baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk
cookie cutter… preferably something dog-like… since I was feeling festive, I used a candy cane cutter.
1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Set aside.
2.     2.  In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour until well blended. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out dough ¼” thick and cut into shapes.
3.     Place 2” apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Let cookies completely cool, then treat your four legged friend to a delish homemade treat!!! 
Here is how my treats turned out... and Oliver patiently waiting for them to come out of the oven.
For my next project... 
This project is one I have been working on in my brain for quite sometime, and finally got around to doing it. AND I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOOOOVE HOW IT TURNED OUT! You truly need NO skills to do this... just a small bit of patience. 
And without further ado... 
Isn't it perfect! I adore it, and it looks SO cute hanging on my wall right beside the front door.... so EVERYONE can see it! Here is how I did it... 
Basically, it's the exact same concept as my last embroidery hoop project - Day of Crafting Perfection
Start by figuring out the height and width of the your fabric space you will have available to embroider. Open up a blank document in photoshop or word and plug in your numbers. Draw out your heart, then insert a text box with the initials you choose to use. I used a bold font on everything so it would be easy to trace.... Print your page. 
Next, position your fabric over the printout so that everything is centered the way you want it, and tape the corners down. If you have a lightbox, great... if not just use a window like I do. Hold your fabric and paper to the window and trace with a pencil around your heart and letters. 
Put your fabric in the embroidery hoop and embroider away! I used black and red because I liked the way the color popped on the burlap fabric. 
Here is a great video that shows you how to embroider a chain stitch, which is what I used for the heart.
Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!
Saturday, December 4, 2010

a day of savings.

Today has been a great day... a day full of savings, and surprises! First, I will start with my trip to Kohls with my husband. Last week, while Christmas shopping at Kohls, I earned $20 in 'Kohls Cash' good towards any purchase, so today was the day that I could use it. I went in looking for a new pillow, a GOOD pillow! Instead, I was drawn to the jewelry counter, where sparkly, silver watches caught my eye. Bulova watches, to be exact... well, of course the one I wanted was $525.00. Yes. Little did I know, that very hour ended Kohls 'power hours' of shopping for that day... so in addition to everything on sale, you get an additional 10 percent off. Plus, an additional 15 percent off with the weekend store pass coupon. (shew)
So, the Bulova watch... it. was. heavenly. Even more so did I want (need) this watch when it was placed upon my wrist! Though, all I could see was the price tag... Here is the part where I will tell you of the sale price on this watch. 
Original price: $525.00
Sale price: $179.00 (eeeeeeeeek)
After standing at the counter for what seemed to be a million minutes, frantic and trying to decide what to do... I handed the little slice of heaven back to the sales associate, and walked away... extremely sick to my stomach. My husband also said I had tears in my eyes, and very red cheeks :) I know that I made the right decision, considering I still have much Christmas shopping to do, but it was still VERY hard to walk away from. I didn't get the pillow either.
Later in the day, David was browsing online and saw an ad about the new iPhones... I have the 3g iPhone, two years and still running strong. It is my everything and I really couldn't get through a day without it... but with this special from Radio Shack, yes, Radio Shack - if you are eligible for an upgrade with AT&T, you get the $199 phone for $149. In addition to that savings, if your old iPhone is in good condition, they will pay you for it! $75 for it actually!!!!! So I got an iPhone 4 for 75 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
HERE is the link with all the info.
All in all, today has been a very good Saturday... we got to sleep in, enjoyed a yummy and healthy breakfast and lunch, and a not so healthy dinner of pad thai, but SO VERY GOOD!  And speaking of eating... today is the three week mark of my diet. I have lost 6 lbs! Very excited about that! Looks like I will reach my ten pounds in ten weeks goal! Tonight is date night, and we are seeing Love and Other Drugs... hope it's good!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

decking the halls...

Yes, I'm still at it. But you will never hear a complaint from this girl about decorating, especially Christmas decorating. My house is bumping with the tunes of Christmas, and smelling like a fresh pine forest! My husband even joined me in watching A Christmas Vacation... and of course, hysterically laughing the whole movie. Last night, Elf was the choice, and I even started wrapping presents to put under the tree. Here are a few more of the decorations I've put out, and some crafts, too! But first, I will start with out 2010 Christmas Tree! 
2008 Christmas Ornament
 2009 Ornament
 2010 Ornament - purchased on our trip to Carmel, California.
 Wedding Ornament
Our beautiful tree!!!
Now for a super easy, and adorable project... a branch vase with hanging ornaments. Start by going outside and finding branches in all different shapes and sizes. I added a LIGHT coat of white spray paint because I also wanted the look of the natural wood to show through. After that completely dried, I added a quick spray to the ends of the branches with snow spray. Turned out pretty cute. I just stuffed some floral foam in the bottom of my pitcher and stuck the sticks into that, then added some torn white tissue paper around the top. Just add some bulbs and your set! I filled my platter with some sprays of leftover fresh garland, and some red berries.
Another easy project... a new door wreath. Not only was last years wreath SMASHED in the storage box, it was looking a bit worn... so a new one was a must! I wanted something simple because of my red front door... I started with a grapevine wreath ($3.00), and gave it a light spray of white paint.  I then added my glitter branches, white berry sprays, and bulbs with floral wire. For a finishing touch that I COULDN'T pass up... a teeny tiny silver birdie. I love birds, and this one fit perfectly! Makes the whole wreath, actually! 
I will close this with one last photo... my mantel. I can't even tell ya how much I love it. I swear, it's not coming down until February! I mean that! ;-)
Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Mix

Just a few of my favorites I thought I would share... to put you in the spirit!  Enjoy.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

it's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!!!!

Thanksgiving was yesterday for us... So today started the Christmas season! My sweet husband had a fresh Christmas tree and 25 feet of fresh pine waiting in the house for me... So I got straight to work. A mantel is my absolute favorite thing to decorate... And I will just say, this years mantel beats every other I have ever decorated. I absolutely LOVE it!!! My main colors used are silver and blue... but there are splashes of red throughout.
Here are some photos of my holiday decor... So far!  Much more to come!
Happy start of the Christmas season to you all. I am so in love with this time of year!
Emme enjoying the Christmas Decor
Oliver joins
While standing in line on Black Friday, I scored these adorable little candles, one with a D, and one with a J... love them! 
I had to keep the H out, so I just hung a few bulbs over the edge.
I added some hanging bulbs from my mantel, and I absolutely love how it turned out!
I also added hanging bulbs from my side window, and used the same bulbs to tie back my curtains.
The beginning to our tree.
Christmas Wishes
Sunday, November 28, 2010

Party a SUCCESS!

Yes, our Thanksgiving dinner party was a success!
We had so much to be thankful for yesterday... especially the great food, and great friends to share it with. We had an amazing dinner... And we should have considering David and I were in the kitchen for two straight days, it seemed. Here is our table setting, and our menu...

 chocolate chess pie... SO SO SO SO SO SO SO GOOOOOOOOOOOD!
 cream cheese stuffed pumpkin muffins with streusel topping
 spinach artichoke stuffed mushrooms
 me and david hard at work...
 our 2010 Thanksgiving picture
 with my holiday mantel :-)
 the stuffed bird
 making the gravy
 all the fixins'
 Stephen... the turkey carver!
We also enjoyed two delicious bottles of wine!
I will speak for us all by saying we were very thankful for this dinner!
Hope everyone had a fabulous thanksgiving!!!

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