Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Best Window Lights Ever

Last year Alan and I went to a Christmas party at the home of one of his colleagues. They had the greatest candle window lights I had ever seen. Batteries, so no cords to plug in and the best part was that they came on automatically as soon as it got dark. Alan, being the amazing guy that he is, came home and ordered some for us. The lights arrived Christmas eve and we kept them in the windows through January. If you are looking for some perfect little lights to jazz up your house for the holidays, check these out. We LOVE all 11 of ours.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gingerbread Men

My card club group got together last Friday for a little Christmas celebration and cookie exchange. I decided to make gingerbread men, because they are my favorite and they are just so darn cute. The cookies turned out quite well, but my camera was acting up. (apparently my memory card was full...) So, I'm going to share some old pictures with you from December 2007.
 Making gingerbread men brings back some very happy/sad memories for me. In 2007 my mom was right in the middle of her battle with Alzheimer's.
  My parent's made their annual trip to Iowa for Thanksgiving and I got my mom and Grace busy making cookies for the upcoming Cookie Swap.
  I remember a lot of laughing and maybe a little frustration on everyone's part. My mom really liked to "help" and always appreciated being needed.
 I'm glad to have so many happy memories and pictures to document all of our special times together.
 We have been missing mom for a long time, but this Christmas we know she's in a better place and she's keeping watch over all of us and smiling.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Kind of Reindeer

 Are these not the cutest beer bottles ever? I decorated two six packs for David and stuck them under the tree. He did not seem as excited about them as I am. What can I tell you. He likes to drink it, I like to decorate it.

This was another Pintrest idea that I borrowed. I think I pinned it back in the summer and have been waiting months to make them. Have I mentioned that I love Pintrest? It's true.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gifts Galore

So if you are related to us and you live in Louisiana, DO NOT READ THIS POST 
I hope I made that clear enough.

We will be visiting family during the holidays. I have to admit that I was kind of drawing a blank about what to give to grown up nieces and a nephew. PINTREST to the rescue. 
What collage age kid doesn't need a Starbucks gift card, candy and a super cute owl coffee cup cozy?
Did you know that a bunch of owls is called a parliament?
It's true. We looked it up. 

 The basket below is for my sister-in-law. A couple of dish towels, dish clothes and a chicken. Oh, there are some chocolates in there too. I'm hoping I've got it covered. I'm not going to show you the gifts for my mother-in-law because I'm pretty sure she ignored the request at the top of this post. Hi Mary Anne! See you soon.

 It's starting to get a little crazy around here. Both kids are home and I still have one more week of work. My dad will arrive on Friday and then the party will really get started. I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be doing, Hopefully I'll have time to pop in with another post or two, but if not I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gifts For My Peeps

Since July I have been busy knitting Turkish Bed Socks. I think I knit 8 pair in total. There was a method to my madness.  I borrowed this cute idea from here. A pair of socks and a bottle of toe nail polish all wrapped up with a tag and a jingle bell. This is what I'm giving to the amazing woman that I work with. They make my job so much more enjoyable. I can't imagine what work would be like without them. I made a couple extra for some other special people in my life too. Now I have to start looking for a fun idea for next year.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Deck the Halls (inside) Part 2

Once again Alan and I were able to find the perfect tree to fit in our only available tree spot. It's not the biggest tree that we have ever had, but it's big enough to hold the most important ornaments we have. My favorites are the ones that the kids made years ago. I think every mom feels that way. Grace and David had the same teacher for first grade, so we are lucky to have the exact same ornaments made by them only 4 years apart. The angels just make me smile. I also love that I got the great idea years ago to put their school pictures into tiny frames. These are scattered all over the tree and also make me smile.

 Everything else is just little snippets of things we have collected through the years. I can't stand to part with any of it. Every decoration has meaning to me and deserves to be displayed. I will admit that some things eventually make their way to decorating the bathrooms, but still they get their opportunity to shine.

As you can see we have boxes to post and presents to wrap, so I need to start getting busy. David will be home on the 15th and Grace may come the 14th. Her last final exam is on the 13th and I think she might be ready for a home cooked meal and to sleep in her own bed with her cat.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Deck the Halls (inside) Part 1

So, everything looks pretty much the same as last year. I made a few changes to the fireplace and mantle, but other than that it's all familiar. I'll have you know that all of the pictures you are about to see got taken twice. I forgot to turn on the tree lights the first time. I'm not sure if it really made a huge difference, but it's all about the presentation, right?

 I'm still trying to find a poinsettia to fit in the iron basket under the wreath. So far every one I've brought home has either been too small, or too tall. I just wanted a little more red up there. I'll keep looking.

 I got the framed prints last year at the Carolina Craftsman's fair the day after Thanksgiving. Both of them together tell the story Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I had been eying them for several years (like 20) and finally decided that they were coming home with me.

So, for practical reasons we choose to burn these fire logs instead of "real" wood. The chimney sweep that cleaned our chimney the first year we moved in recommended that we do so. He said it would keep yucky stuff from building up (my words not his) and since we have such a high, tall chimney we wouldn't need to have it cleaned as often. The problem is that in my opinion, these logs are ugly. We used to keep them in the basement, but that meant that when we wanted to have a fire someone would have to run downstairs and grab a log. It makes more sense to keep them close by. I'm hoping that the cute basket hides some of the ugly. A girl can try.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Can I Fix You a Hot Beverage?

All over Pinterest people are showing off what they call their Hot Cocoa Stations. I'm such a copy cat. Actually I'd like to say that I came up with the idea first, but I guess it's not really an idea until someone pins it on Pinterest.
Here you can see that we have all of the fixings for any type of hot beverage you have a hankering for.
Keeping everything tidy on a cute red snowflake tray is what makes it a "station". Who knew? The tins are filled with peppermint marshmallows and cookies for dipping. I really love the round mettle caddy thing. I think I got it at Hobby Lobby several years ago. It holds the hot chocolate, coffee and tea, along with chocolate covered peppermint stirrers and honey sticks. Oh, and my Dad's favorite instant coffee packs.

Alan's favorite is the Holly Jolly tea from the Fresh Market. He's still working on last years container. Hopefully Santa will put a new one in his stocking this year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Deck The Halls

As promised, the sun did come out yesterday and I ran around like a crazy lady taking pictures of just about everything. Good thing I did, because today - no sun... We probably won't have another sunny day until next week. Oh joy... I guess that doesn't really matter though because I took enough pictures to last a good long while. You are most likely going to be sick and tired of looking at our Christmas house. Sorry... Let's start with the outside and work our way in shall we.

I should have done something about that hose and the white extension cord, and all of the leaves, Oops. We try to keep the front of the house as tasteful as possible. you  know we have an image to uphold.
What you can't see in these pictures are our amazing window candle lights. I think I'll do a whole post on them another day.
 A swag greets us at the back door and even the little out building (shed) got a wreath this year, thanks to Trader Joe's and their great $ 6.99 deals. Can't beat that.
I forgot to take a picture of the deck, but just imagine that it's draped in garland (also from Trader Joe's) and lit with strings of snowflake lights. It might be a little much, but I LOVE it all. Tomorrow I'll show you what I've done with the inside. I know you just can't wait.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Welcome Home Honey ~ Butter

I can't believe that it's already the 5th of December. I know this month is going to fly by and I'm trying so hard to slow it down and appreciate every little minute. We did get our house decorated (mostly) over the weekend while it was 75 degrees. That was pretty strange. Then it started raining. It has been so cloudy and gloomy that I have not been able to take any decent pictures to share with you. I promise to get some posted as soon as possible. Maybe even tomorrow...

Alan had to go out of town to talk at some sciencey meeting Monday and Tuesday, so when he got home last night I tried to show him how much he was missed in the best way I know how. I fixed one of his favorite dinners. (OK, there was a little hugging and kissing too) We had ham, sweet potatoes, biscuits with honey butter and apple crisp for dessert. He was happy and Maggie and I were happy to have him home. This house is way too quite without him.
The sun is going to come out today and I'm going to take a bunch of pictures. I also need to make a post office run, which I'm so looking forward too..... I hope you are all getting into the swing of the season and enjoying every single minute.