Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cookies

This sweet older couple down the streets brings us baked good frequently..... The husband does all the baking and cookie decorating...... They are always so pretty so I thought I would post a picture....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cute Wrapping Paper idea!

This idea and the pictures came from my friend Erin:

"........always looking for a way to make our very small budget stretch, and even more, we have such limited space, that I can't store a lot of different things. I have found that if I buy kraft paper at the dollar store I can dress it up for different gifts on different occasions or holidays.
This is how I am wrapping our Christmas gifts this year: squirt acrylic paint on a paper plate, dip a cookie cutter in it and design my own Christmas paper. I decided to go with the more muted look of wraphia to tie them up, and cut out one of the shapes for the tag, and VOILA!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

I made these for Christmas gifts for neighboors....I am going to include a nice quote about Christ and Christmas.

These can also be made with pictures of loved ones..... I used vellum paper but transparencies can also be used with some types of printers.... Hobby Lobby and other craft stores sell clear glass ornament balls. If you need instructions, email me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Deck The Halls

I have started decking the halls of our home....I love Christmas time!!! Here are a few pics for now-- nothing fancy, but it helps it feel like it is actually December!

I also decided to do a little deco in the baby's room-- I found a 6 pack of baby blue ornaments for $3!! Cant beat that!! I also made vintage looking paper Christmas trees from scrapbook paper that matched the baby's room.....(I saw the Christmas tree ideas in Martha Stewart Living)
Although, I must say this years decking had a damper on it as I realized that many artificial lights, garland, deco and trees have lead in un-safe amounts (check your Christmas deco for lead warnings and wash hand after handling those products!!!) with a little curious boy around I have had to place everything so high....needless to say the top half of our tree is all that is decorated until he grasps the concept of "looking with your eyes not your hands!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gift Giving Ideas

Only 42 or so days until Christmas so I thought I would post a list of fun, simple, and cost effective gift ideas. Great for in-laws, grandparents, teachers, friends, neighbors and family members. There are also some ideas your kids could participate in.
  • make homemade bread- deliver once a week for a month
  • using favorite recipes compile a recipe book or box
  • make one dinner a week for a month and deliver it
  • offer baby-sitting time
  • a monthly lunch date with an elderly relative (something as simple as a picnic)
  • a free lesson in a sport, activity, hobby you are good at
  • weed a friends garden
  • offer talents such as photography, financial planning, hairstyling etc
  • offer yourself as a willing cheerful worker for a day
  • put together a photo album
  • make a video of people the gift recipients love....(great for grandparents!)
  • offer to do a chore for a month that a family member dislikes
  • give frequent flyer miles
  • give an experience ( a day of kayaking)
  • donate something in a name of a relative or friend or donate to a charity of their interest
  • give a plant or tree
  • coupon books
  • homemade goodies with recipe
  • photo CD (poor man's digital picture frame)
  • homemade mix music CD (LDS hymns & children's songs can be downloaded for free at, compile Christmas hymns for a festive gift)
  • Ornament
  • Journal
  • personalized calendar (PAF will automatically import birth dates onto a calendar of selected relatives....Microsoft Word has FREE calendar templates)
  • Theme gift basket- (bath, car care, sports, pet lover, movie/family night)
  • Movie Night Box- World Market sells cute "pop corn" boxes- fill box with $5 movie rental certificate, candy, and a packet or microwave popcorn....) This is great for your kids teachers!!
  • record your voice on a tape as you read a book, give the tape and book! Great for busy moms, or a gift from grandparents to kids
  • "I spy bottles" use old plastic bottles- fill with rice and small items for an I spy game (safety pin, dice, buttons, penny, small shaped erasers, marble, etc. Secure lid with gluem attach a list of what can be found in the bottle. This is great for a car ride or plane ride!)
  • If you are a scrapbooker- make gift tags! I got a bunch from a friend last year and I loved them, they came in so handy!!!

Service Based ideas-

  • donate to and help deliver local food bank items
  • salvation army angel tree
  • adopt a family that you know is struggling and become their secret Santa
  • send care packages to missionaries serving from your ward or in your ward
  • offer to babysit so a family with young children can go Christmas Shopping
  • Invite someone who may be alone to dinner with your family
  • visit nursing homes- carol, and read the story of Christ's birth, send cards
  • donate leftover or excess scrapbook & craft items to local children's hospital etc
  • deliver goodies with an invitation to a church Christmas choral firesides
  • invite neighborhood children & their family over to teach them about the nativity through doing a play with the children.

most of these ideas came from an enrichment activity our ward had last week!! Have fun and happy gift giving!!! If any one has any other ones, please post them!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Fall Y'all!

Here are some more Thanksgiving entertaining/decorating ideas. I love the indian corn wrapped together to make an arrangement. You can even pick up indian corn at your local grocery store.
I loved this arrangement so much that I'm going to try and copy it.
Hollow out mini pumpkins for a votive holder.
Glass is beautiful to decorate with. This is a simple glass cake stand filled with pinecones and some fall colored ornaments, with leaves around the brim.

Simple and elegant.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Hey Everyone---- if anyone else wants to post on this blog and currently does not have access as a publisher PLEASE let me know!! Leave a comment and I will add you to the list so you can add pictures and ideas. Everyone is invited to add their ideas!!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

RE: Thanksgiving Decor?

Shenise- in response to your question on your last post, here are a few ideas and pics I found from & Martha Stewart...... Good luck hosting Thanksgiving! (You always do such a great job with things like this so I am sure you will be awesome!! )

I like them because you can use produce (which we buy anyways), fall leaves, vase and simple candles that we all ready own or that could be used for several seasons and occasions.... (this could be done with corn, dry split peas, dry red beans, and dry brown lentils with coordinating candles for a sleek harvest look)
Another pretty decor idea I saw on Martha Stewart (I could not find the picture of the wall length ones but this gives you the idea) was to collect several leaves and glue them to fishing line (glue a leaf on the front and the back making a sandwich) they made several 10 foot strands and hung them from the could do this along a long wall and it gives the illusion of falling leaves! It was so gorgeous!!!
I thought this was supper cute...they staked plates and glasses filled with seasonal produce and then just decorated it with leaves and ribbon...super easy and you could probably find this stuff lying around your home! (In AZ ficus of fruit tree leaves could work for this project)

Painted pumpkinds and Gourds:
(I would use cranberry, dark green, and mustard pearlized paint instead of gold for a more harvest color pallet.....)
OF course, you can not forget the KID table!! I loved loved this idea-- cover their table in a big inexpensive map and make paper boat place cards that kids can sail on the table!!! As a twist you could even place crayons and use blank paper and have them draw a map with their own pilgrimage route and name a country they discover!!)I thought these were super cute favors for the kids!! Felt is pretty cheap and they make fun finger puppets!!

Thanksgiving Decor?

I'm having Thanksgiving at my house for the first time. Any ideas/suggestions for easy, affordable fall decor? Please post ASAP if possible.

Monday, November 3, 2008

haunting sentiments

Card Group was especially fun in October. These are my two favorite cards for the month(I made neither). Refer to this for next year's Halloween sentiments!

Halloween afterthoughts

Just a few easy decorations I had around my house this year.
This skull is now on sale at Pottery Barn

I filled my glass jars with candy and Halloween play dough, next year they will have something else besides candy in them. Too much temptation for all of us. :)

This will look better with more sticks and ornaments next year

Don't look in the background because my dining room was a mess when I took this picture. The idea is to add a little color to your chandelier for the season. This is 1/2 way complete.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Caramel Apples

I LOVE caramel apples!! Last fall a friend of mine, Jen Larsen, from our old ward made these for enrichment and they were to die for.......White chocolate caramel apples!!!! What could be better? I made a bunch to give away to regret- that I did not keep more for myself!! I love these things!!
Tip- if possible make them in someone else kitchen....mine was covered in cinnamon, sugar, chocolate, and of course caramel!!!
Caramel recipe:
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cube butter
1 cup light Karo syrup
  1. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add one can sweetened condensed milk
  3. Boil 10-15 min stirring constantly or until real hard ball
  4. Wait 3-5 minutes the roll apples in caramel(don't dip whole apple, just slightly around making a light coat.
  5. Place apples on a sprayed or lined cookie sheet
  6. Cool completely!
  7. Melt white chocolate and roll caramel apples in white chocolate (I drizzled white chocolate on mine in stead of coating the whole thing---either way is great.)
  8. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture
  9. Return to cookie sheet to cool completely

note- the caramel recipes makes enough to cover 10-12 medium sized apples.

Monday, October 27, 2008

more halloween decor ideas

all these came from!! I love their magazine and website!! so much fun stuff!