Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Top 10 for 2010

When I started this carnival ride I had no idea I'd enjoy it so much and neglect my household chores so frequently. 

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Here are a few of your favorite things that I did in between laundry this year.

My Top Ten

Chicken Fajita Chowder







#3 Kitchen Progress (update coming soon!)



Happy New Year, everyone! 

2011 is going to be the best yet!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Free Printable: Kids' Fill-In-The-Blank Thank-You Notes

I am still recovering from a sleep-deprived perfect Christmas. It really was one of the best ever.

This was our first year to host Christmas Eve, and the first year our oldest was completely "into" Santa,  Christmas lights, decorating cookies... what joy!


But I will say this,

Why didn't my husband start assembling the swing set/fort/rock wall/ slide BEFORE Christmas Eve?!

Oh mercy.

This old girl can't "do" all-nighters anymore.


Here's a little project I whipped up to keep the kids busy while you recover, too.

If your little ones are just learning to write or if they have a hard time with knowing what to say in a thank-you note, a fill-in-the-blank approach will get their brains a-going.

Easy Thank-You's for the Kiddos

Happy New Year (2011 already... wowza!),

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last-Minute Gift Idea: Merri-mints Printable

The holidays are tons of fun, but can also be H-E-C-T-I-C (at least in my crazy house)!

Can I get an Amen?

Here's a fun print-and-take-the-cred project that I whipped up for an easy last-minute somethin-somethin to give.

How cute would this be to leave in the mailbox for the mailman?

They're Ice Breakers mints--all gussied up.


1. Print and cut out.


2. Peel off the label (try not to tear it) and put it aside. You'll need it in a little bit.


3.  Stick the label on your template and trace the slits so you can open the mints later. Now cut where you traced.


4. Glue the new label on. I didn't Mod-Podge, but you might want to.



Everyone will think you're so clever!

And you are!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last-Minute Husband Gift: 12 Dates of Christmas Printable

It happened...

We said we wouldn't let it, but it snuck up on us.

It started with, "Christmas is really for the kids."

And then, "You don't have to get me anything. We bought a house this year. That's a really big present."

Followed by, "Think about how far that money could go at Lowe's on new molding!"


I, for one, am not standing idly by.

This is what my sugar dumpling sweetie pie (are you reading this, honey?... no peeking 'til Christmas) is getting this year.

A Year of Date Nights

 Isn't this idea awesome!?

I totally wish I could take all the cred, but I found the idea here.

And the hubs will be so thrilled that we can still get his molding.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmases Past and Present

How quickly life changes!

Three years ago...


My oldest son was my only, and that hair of mine... yeesh. I wonder why we didn't let the husbands in on this one?



We've added another boy to the mix. How can the baby in the top picture be such a little man now?


This little baby is now wearing the same "My First Christmas" jammies that were once his brother's.

Father Time needs to back off.

PS: The hubs and I went to a crazy Christmas sweater party. He took the prize.

PSS: Yes, our TV is 57 years old.

PSSS: Yes, it's in the fireplace... someday, maybe, just maybe, it won't be.

Until then,


Monday, December 20, 2010

A Year of Sugar Scrubs - 24 Original Recipes

I am now offering a beautiful brand-new eBook, A Year of Sugar Scrubs, 24 Original Recipes for Hand and Foot Scrubs. 

It is organized by month and is loaded with delicious (never before seen) scrub recipes, like Caramel Frappe, Pina Colada, S'mores and more! I've also designed printable gift cards that you can fill out for gift-giving. Each recipe can be easily whipped up in your kitchen with common ingredients. I know you'll love it!

sugar scrub book cover

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My oldest son and I whipped up sugar scrubs for the kids' Bible class teachers (I measured, he poured and stirred). We had a lot of fun "cooking."


Those ladies dedicate so much time and creativity (and patience, ahem) every week.

I thought they deserved a little pampering.


I keep a jar in the shower and use about a tablespoon on my feet and hands every few days.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Movie Night Gift Part 2: Printable Popcorn Bags

If you missed yesterday's recipe for yu-hummy 
candy cane popcorn bark, click here.


Now let's wrap that stuff up.

1. Print my popcorn bags (below).

2. Cut along the dotted lines.


3. Fold A to C on both sides so B is folded in.


4. Tape the D sides together to create the back.

5. Tape the panels together on the bottom.


I trimmed the top with fancy scissors (is there an actual name for those?) and added a movie ticket and a tag.


What a sweet little gift for a friend!

Linked to: Sisters Stuff

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Movie Night Gift Part 1: Candy Cane Popcorn Bark

Here's a cute gift idea.

Make some yummy candy cane popcorn bark and deliver it in a Christmasy popcorn bag. 

If you're extra sweet, throw in a movie ticket and get a good Girls Night Out in the works.

(to be scheduled once the holidays are over, of course... wink)


This stuff is ridiculously easy, but so good.


Melt one entire package (16 oz.) of vanilla flavored almond bark. Stir in a popped bag of popcorn (I like salted), picked free of any kernels, 6 crushed candy canes and 1/2 t. peppermint extract. 


Spread on a greased cookie sheet and let cool. Break apart when hard.

Hide it from your husband and the kids, er, I mean, share with loved ones.

Linked to: Fingerprints on the Fridge, Sisters Stuff, Finding Fabulous, Sugar Bee Craft Edition

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our New Tradition: The Orange Tree

picking oranges in the backyard on a beautiful day


Since moving in October, we've been anxiously waiting for our tree full of green fruit to ripen.


These were going to be for neighbor gifts, but...


I regret to inform you that these oranges are now numbered in the single digits.

(Actually, no regrets here.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mexican Crescent Wreath Appetizer

This. Is. So. Yummy.


We eat a big ol' Mexi-feast (almost) every Christmas Eve and this appetizer has become a family favorite.

The wreath is made from crescent rolls, topped with a yummy Mexican spread, and decked out with chopped avocados, tomatoes, black olives and grated cheese.


To make the wreath, open 2 cans of crescent rolls and flatten them out using a rolling pin.



Slice the ends off, then cut each log into 16 strips.


Place a dish or glass upside-down on an ungreased cookie sheet and lay the strips in a wreath-shape around it.

Remove the glass and bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.


Cool completely, then add the spread (recipe below) and top with cheese and veggies.


In a mixer, combine a block of cream cheese (at room temperature) with 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 2 T. taco seasoning.

Topping Options:
grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocados, sliced black olives, chopped green onions, jalepenos

It's a crowd-pleaser! Feliz Navidad!


Linked To: seven thirty-three, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Sisters Stuff, Finding Fabulous