Wednesday, December 30, 2009

After Christmas Round-Up

What a great week I've had so far and although I have not performed as a superhero would, I have made some good progress on getting 'back to normal'.   After Christmas, where we were blessed with being able to be together, we celebrated first my birthday and then Mike's.  We have enjoyed the Grandbabes all week and have spent time with the new GB and helping Mom out around the house.  After-Christmas shopping yielded a few things to add to next years decorations.  The girls treated Mike and I to a birthday dinner on Monday night and I made Hamburgers on the grill for Tuesday night.   Yesterday, we went to the cinema to see Avatar, which was actually a pretty good movie. 

I am working today on putting up the remainder of my Christmas decorations...I know a lot of people keep the decorations up until after New Years, but once Christmas is over, I am ready to take them down and get them packed up.  Everything looks a little drab without all the sparkle, so I'm going to have to pull out all my normal tabletop items etc and try to get everything back in order today.   Later today, will be taking Tiff and Braeden to the Dr. for B's check-up and tomorrow, I'll be getting my New Years Eve get together planned out and items picked up to get ready. 

My plan to paint my kitchen cabinets this week has, that is still on the horizon to do. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that all your wishes came true.  I love being off work and living the good deadlines, no's great!!

All the best,

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tutorial - Trinket boxes and Perfect Bows

I was making a cheeseball earlier and was using Walmart brand cream cheese (which by the way is cheaper than Philadelphia brand and I find no diff in taste, etc)...when I noticed the cute size and shape of the box housing the cream cheese.  I like to have a beautifully wrapped present, which means a nice box so that I can get the shape and sharp corners that I want....often, I have smaller items and never enough small boxes.  I took the box apart to get the template

...used the template (the flattened box) to trace the outline on scrapbook cardstock (tip, trace on the wrong side or inside of your box so the lines don't show)....scored the folds where indicated on the template and added glue in the appropriate places

...and wal-lah....a cute box that I can use for my small items.   The template can be used over and over again for any holiday, birthday etc throughout the year.

I found a video that Eddie Ross made on how to tie the perfect bow, so here it is for your edification and enjoyment.

All the best,

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What Are You Doing On Christmas Eve Eve??

I'm about to begin another workday and wanted to get in a quick post first. My week started out on Monday with a day at the hospital and the birth of my 4th GB, Braeden Cole, who will be known to me as B. On Tuesday, it was back to work and creative thinking to be prepared to fit in baby visits daily and finish my baking....two sweet things that must be done. Out of that creative thinking came the realization and I am going to have to pull some very late nighters and early mornings this week, and so I have begun.  Who needs sleep anyway????
I'm thinking that there are a lot of tables across Blogland and probably the whole US of A that look like this right now.  Note the slightly overdone cookies located back left....I might have to eat some of those.

When lunch time rolls around today, I will be making Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies and boxing up my Goodies for a Bake Swap at the New Mommies house tonight. It's a family affair that we do every year, My Mom, Sister and my two Girls...tonight, we are having beef vegetable soup and sweet baby along with assorted sprinkles of my 3 other Grandbabes. Sounds like I'll be on sweet overload before the night is over and without even opening a cookie box.

Hope your day is busy and productive or restful and reflective, depending on how much you have to do today. I'm thinking that a lot of you are also having a cup of this and getting ready for what the day brings, I know that is my mode for today. I just noticed my trusty magnifying glass in the background for those very early mornings where my eyes have not come awake yet and all is fuzzy and the small print is not too clear.....if you are a certain age, you know exactly what I mean....if you don't have one of these handy, get one - they are life savers.

All the best,

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Welcome New Family Member

To understand how wonderous the world can be and how great is God's love, you only have to look at a child. 

On Monday December 21, we welcomed Braeden Cole Shadrick into our loving family.  We were blessed that he is a healthy bouncing baby and that both he and Mom are doing great.  I have had the opportunity to be present during the births of all my Grandbabes, with the exception of Connor who was delivered by C-section.  I am so thankful for these memories and for being right there with my beautiful daughters during such a monumental event....I even got to cut the cord for this birth....go me!!

B. is my little Christmas present and I'm already doing my arm exercises today, so that I have the strength to keep up with all the hugs and kisses that I will be bestowing and receiving from my 4 Grandbabes during the upcoming Holiday weekend.  Please forgive me if you see me this week and have to shield your eyes, but I just can't stop smiling. 
All the best,

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Reindeer Re-do Because Even Rudolph Needs a Makeover Sometimes

I have had these two paper mache reindeer for about 10 years and they were definelty due for a re-do.  I'm joining Susan at BNOTP for Met Monday.  You can visit Susan and checkout the other posts for this week by clicking here

I wanted to give them a marbled look with bronze coloring.  I used 4 differant metallic paints and sponged the paint on randomly until I got the effect I wanted. 

Rudolph and Ralph side by with a new shiny coat of paint

All dolled up with a pretty bow

The boys prancing together

And speaking of makeovers, I have a birthday coming up at the end of the month and have been thinking that I need a makeover....I need a redo.  I was browsing the Internet earlier today and saw some makeovers done by the Today Show.  All of these makeover pictures are of women 50-70 and were some of my favorites.   We all know how easy it is to get caught up with taking care of our families and some of us work outside the home....the years rock on and before you know it, you've kind of gotten a bit worn looking around the edges.  I think Number 5 is probably the one that is the most drastic change.....Which one do you like best?

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

No 5

No 6

All the best,

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Snowman Crunch

Snowman Crunch
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
1/2 cup holiday M&Ms (plain)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup pretzel sticks
1/3 cup crushed Oreo cookies
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 pkg vanilla bark
Holiday sprinkles

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread rice cereal on the parchment paper...this will be your candy base.  Sprinkle M&Ms, peanut butter chips, pretzel sticks, pecans and crushed cookies over top
of rice cereal (reserve some M&Ms and peanut butter chips for garnish).  Melt vanilla bark and pour over mixture, mix together lightly.  Sprinkle top with extra M&Ms, peanut butter chips and holiday sprinkles.  Let cool and harden.  Break into pieces and enjoy.

I'm joining Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Please join her here, to find many tasty recipes this week, just in time for Christmas.
All the best,

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

S'no Table Like a Snowman Table

I'm joining Susan at BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday.  Please click here to see Susan's beautiful tables as well as over 100 other bloggers contributions. 

When you have a Snowman in a canoe, you have to have a tablescape to go with him. 

Rustic holiday dinner plates are just the ticket to match the sporting nature of this Snowman from the great frozen North.

Dinner plates feature differant outdoor lodge inspired scenes edged with a plaid border.

Snowman flatware is Oneida. Salad plates have a berry border and are Bella purchased at Profitts a few years ago.

Snowmen always love to throw around Seasons Greetings

This Snowman is teaching his son how to navigate the great outdoors...see him tucked away close to Dad.

There he is, bundled up against the cold...even Snowmen have to keep toasty.

Snow-neighbors skating on the frozen pond, wave as the canoe floats by.

After the canoe ride, a bucket of snowballs stand ready for more outdoor fun.

Hope you have as much fun during the Holiday Season!!

All the best,

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Letter From Santa

Dear Jammi,
I checked my Naughty or Nice list and found that you were definetly on the Nice list this year.  Great job!  Because you have been so nice, as compared to some previous years, I wanted to take the time from my busy schedule this time of year to respond to your wish list. 

In regards to your blog readers, yes - Ho Ho Ho - I agree that they are a really great bunch and I'll be sure to put something extra special in their stockings this year.  While I cannot promise to give you the 10,000 additional followers you have requested, I'll do my best to inspire as many as possible to come join you in 2010.

I'm sorry to tell you that we are a bit backlogged due to requests from so many other little bloggers, in the 'Give me great creative insight and inspire me to make beautiful items and provide wonderful tutorials' department.  My elves are doing their best to keep up with the high demand, so to be fair, I will be sprinkling these wishes around blogland and they will be granted randomly to all bloggers throughout the year. 

I will place warm and sweet thoughts in the minds of all your readers to inspire them to comment when they visit, so that you will know that they visited and felt that what you wrote was worth their time in responding.  They probably don't realize how important their comments are to you, so I'll be sure and whisper in their ears.

I appreciate your comment on how my red suit highlights the twinkle in my eyes and enhances my physique....and yes, I have been working out lately, thanks for noticing.  Mrs. Claus did not seem to enjoy your thoughtful and accurate commentary as much as I, but it proves what an insightful person you are. 

Santa has to go now because I have lots of work to do and only a few days before Christmas.  Be a good girl and I'll do the best I can to grant you all your bloggy wishes. 

Merry Christmas,
Santa S Claus Esq.

All the best,

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holidays Are A Coming

If I was wearing a Mood Ring right now, it would be the most beautiful blue color....remember Mood Rings...they were as popular as cell phones a few years ago and everyone had one.  A few years ago, mine would have usually shown  up as black (signifying stress).  I am constantly on a life mission to lessen the stress and worry in my life.  It is a constant struggle to stay centered and something that I have to work at every day, but the goal is there and is definetly attainable and I'm much happier as a result...which means that my family is much know that when Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

I manage and control (that's right, control) what I can and I learn to deal with everything else.  I cannot control everything, like the many renovations or home improvements I want to make, but I can realize that I always need something on my plate and that it keeps me happy and fulfilled to try and have a beautiful and welcoming home.  I cannot control the lives of my family, although I still want to...for a Mother, who loves her children this one is very hard because sometime, I think I know best and will always give my advice because I am centered in their lives and they are a part of me...but my Daughters have grown up to make a Mother proud...they are smart and sassy and love their family to a fault.....I don't have to worry about them (but of course I still do...but I can let go of some of those worries).

You might remember that I had a list of things that needed to be done before Christmas and I was 'stressing' over how to get them finished.  I took a step back and realized that I always have a list of things that I want to do - and that want does not always equal need.  For the holidays, I wanted to have my kitchen finished but - I can still cook and serve my Holiday meal and various goodies just fine irregardless of the fact that my cabinets are two differant colors right now.   I can almost guarantee that if I took a poll with my family of whether they wanted a good meal or a beautiful finished kitchen, they would choose a good meal.  We have to realize that when we live our lives allowing things to lead us, we are going to be stressed and unhappy...once we realize what is truly important, it is much easier to  let the rest go.  This does not mean that I'm never stressed.  I still stress over things and some of them are small and really not important things upon reflection.  I just want to give you the gift of knowing that living every day is hard, living a good life every day is harder but with time and effort it is something we can all achieve .... with one simple rule of not letting your environment control you.  Be strong, be reflective and let things go.

I have already finished my decorating, my Christmas shopping and have almost all my presents wrapped.  I have done zero baking, but I am okay with that because I have never really made things ahead and froze them but I am going to give that a try this week. 

One of the joys this year is that I have a new Grandbabe on the way, and Tiffany is scheduled to be induced on Monday 12/21 which means we will have a beautiful little family member addition for Christmas this year.  He has already whispered to me that he doesn't mind that the kitchen is a mess, so there you have confirmation. 

All the best,

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes and Met Monday - Holiday Decorations 2009

I'm joining the Christmas Tour of Homes and Met Monday parties today.  I'm sharing some additional pictures on my Holiday decorations. 

Come in and let's visit for awhile.

Family Room

Breakfast Nook

A gentle reminder...which are you?

To see more of my decorations, click here and here.

All the best,

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