Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy gifts for kids

I know a lot of people who have kids on their shopping lists this year, and all those toys and ridiculously adorable clothes can add up fast, so here are a couple of quick, inexpensive gifts that I made for the kiddos on my list.

Fleece headbands - these are supremely easy; one quick stitch. The only thing that you have to remember is to cut the fleece with the scratch so that they can get it on. After stitching one edge glue on a cute flower and you have the perfect gift for a girl.

Fun fleece scarves - these are so simple that we made them with the 4 year olds in my class. Just cut strips of fleece that are 1 yard by 7 inches, stack three strips on top of each other and see straight down the middle. On each edge make cuts 3 inches apart, from the outside edge to the center stitching, just be careful not to snip your stitches. Shake it out a little and you have a cute scarf.

Now's the time to buy fleece, so while you may have to wait in line at the cutting table, at least you'll get a great deal!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas... Bring it on!

This girl is totally, completely ready for Christmas! House decorated - check. Tree up - check. Gifts bought and wrapped - check. I was massively productive this weekend, which is not something that I always get to say, and I am so excited to spend the month of December relaxing and enjoying, as opposed to the usual stressing and freaking out.

Don't get me wrong, I do still have plenty left to do, and I could give you my to-do list, but given the fact that you probably have a list of your very own, I'm sure you don't need to be stressed out by mine as well. I'd love to hear what you've done this weekend to get ready for Christmas - even if all you did was put away the thanksgiving leftovers, baby steps people!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Starting this holiday off right

I can't think of a better way to celebrate this particular holiday than a pumpkin spice latte with lots of whipped cream. Bring on the calories! Now I've got a parade to watch before we hit the road (can I just say that I'm not impresses with the hosts, really, this was the best CBS could do? I miss the Matt Lauer/Katie Courick days, and yes, I'm a child of the 90s).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Sending you a little happy! Enjoy your turkey!

Time to breathe

Whew. I'm wiped out. Today was awesome and jam packed. It was one of those days that wears you out completely, but you're ok with it because you've gotten so much accomplished.

I was off work today, but my vacation didn't start until I finally sat down to eat dinner at 7:30. The rest of my day was a marathon cooking session - baking cookies, 2 different kinds, frosting cookies, baking sweet potato biscuits, packing everything up, and cleaning the kitchen, like 3 times. I also may have taken a little break to get my nails done, a girls gotta splurge every now and then!

This morning seems like a really long time ago! Here are some pictures of my hard work. I'm off to enjoy my holiday! (And check out the cute lamp I scored for $10! So I did some shopping too, there's always time for shopping).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nothing says thanksgiving like pie!

We asked the kids in my class how we could celebrate thanksgiving in our classroom and their very first response was "eat pie!". What can I say, I have a class full of geniuses. They may only be four years old, but they've got their priorities right!

So last night I made two pies, an apple and a pumpkin. It wasn't until I went to the cupboard to get the can of pumpkin out that I realized I've never made a pumpkin pie before. I guess it makes sense, seeing as I don't particularly like pumpkin pie, but I'm told that my first pumpkin pie ever was good - I don't know, I didn't try it.

I also don't really like pie crust, its dry and boring, so when I discovered cinnamon swirl crust my world changed. Both my apple and pumpkin pies had a cinnamon swirl crust.

I can officially check pies off of my to-bake-for-thanksgiving list, now I jus have to finish my cookies an attempt something new - sweet potato biscuits. I'd love to hear what's on your list!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The process

Making sugar cookies in my house is a week-long event. I could probably get it all done in two days if I had nothing else to do, but life has a tendency to get in the way, so I've broken it down into manageable chunks so that I can get a little accomplished at a time.

Day one (usually the evening before I want to bake the cookies): mix up the dough and refrigerate over night. 30 minutes.

Day two: roll, cut, and bake. After baking I let the cookies cool and then put them into a container that I can put in the freezer. Freezing the cookies lets me return to them whenever it is convenient. I don't have to worry about frosting them before they get stale. 3 hours with clean-up.

Day three: make frosting. This includes actually making the frosting and mixing frosting colors. I prefer to do this the same day that I frost the cookies but it doesn't always work out that way. 1 to 2 hours depending on the number of colors.

Day four: frost and decorate. This is the most time consuming part of the whole process, and it is nearly impossible to say how long this takes because it really depends on how fancy the cookies are going to be, but I can say without a doubt that it never takes less than 4 hours (clean up included).

After the cookies are frosted they take at least one full day to dry. Whew. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Today was frosting and decorating day for my Thanksgiving cookies, and I was so excited to finish these babies, then I ran out of frosting. That RARELY happens, and when it does Its like letting the air out of the balloon. Now I get to find time to make more frosting and decorate more cookies.

Here's a picture of the cookies I've finished for thanksgiving so far - this year I went for a fall theme, so I've got turkeys, pumpkins, apples, pies, squirrels, and acorns. They are super cute if I may say so myself!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wait... Free Starbucks?!

Have you seen this?! This weekend Starbucks is doing but one get one free on their holiday beverages from 2-5pm. Umm yes! I'm in for sure! This is perfect for all of you who will be shopping this weekend. There are some awesome deals out there, but I'm not sure I understand the point of a Pre-Black Friday sale... I'm all for a sale, don't get me wrong, but the whole forgetting the entire holiday of thanksgiving thing rubs me the wrong way.

I may do a little shopping the weekend, but for the most part I will be devoting my weekend to getting into the holiday spirit in other ways. Saturday morning is my hometown's annual holiday parade, and just because I don't live there anymore doesn't mean that I get out of the festivities, ill be there, freezing my butt off with everyone else!

Sunday is devoted to frosting thanksgiving sugar cookies, and I have some really cute designs planned for this year. I am so looking forward to hanging out in my sweats and getting frosting everywhere!

I hope your weekend is just as festive, I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today's duds

Today I finally got to wear the cute cute cute sweater that I scored outlet shopping last week - leopard print cardigan, need I say more? I paired it with teal for a little color. This is my favorite kind of outfit, one that is super easy, but looks like it was hard to pull off.

At the moment I've got comfy clothes on, I'm headed out to see the latest installment of Twilight! Don't judge me. I'm actually one of those people who read the books, when they first came out, you know, before they started making the movies. I'm also trying to prove that I'm still young and fun by catching the midnight showing and still dragging myself to work in the morning. I am willing to push my way through a sea of screaming teenagers (and their mothers) to enjoy a good (if not a but far fetched) love story!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peace of mind

For the first time in a week I can finally say that I am perfectly healthy! I am so happy to be through my little health scare, and my trip to the cardiologist yesterday completely erased all of my fears. This morning I am enjoying the gorgeous view of the frosty field and totally looking forward to the holidays!

I have a huge appreciation now for anyone who is facing severe health problems, I understand just how terrifying it can be!

Monday, November 12, 2012


I had a ton of fun shopping with my very best friend this weekend and I am so proud to be able to say that I have to buy one more gift card and then my Christmas shopping will be completely done!!!!

That is huge for me! So, since my shopping is done I've talked myself into taking on a bunch if Christmas projects. I bought material yesterday to make a new tree skirt, which has been a goal of mine - to have a handmade tree skirt.

While we were shopping, ok while we were eating dinner we saw a woman wearing the cutest scarf, and the more that I checked out her scarf - I tried really hard to be subtle - the more I was convince that I could make one myself, so I did! Now I have three more to finish before Christmas!

Let me tell you this was the easiest scarf to make. As long as you can crochet a single chain, you can complete this scarf. I made a super long chain, wrapped it in a loop 24 times, and then wrapped one section with a single strand of yarn (like you would wrap a wreath form with yarn). I think for the next one I will do it a little thicker, but I love how cute it is and I will definitely be making one for myself too!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Because it couldn't be that easy...

On Wednesday I got a prescription for my nasty cold/sinus infection/I'm not really sure what it was, and I thought I was home free. Ha, that's almost comical. Try the opposite of home free-I don't even know what that would be-I woke up Thursday morning with stabbing pain in my chest, and as someone who has a family history of heart disease, I don't mess around with that stuff.

I spent Thursday morning at the ER, where they found absolutely nothing wrong with me, and the rest of the day hanging out in the cozy little spot on my couch that you see pictured below. Let me tell you, scary business! I'm convinced it was a funky reaction to the prescription, that, or the bug that I had messes up your chest.

I went back to work today, but clearly it hasn't worked itself out because its only my lunch break and I am not only exhausted, but I'm still trying to catch my breath. I would much rather be in the couch! I am so ready to be done with this!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sick day

I hate hate hate having to call in sick, but its days like today when I really appreciate that I am able to do so. I have been feeling crummy for a week, so I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor because I have an important date with my best friend and the outlet mall this weekend and I NEED to get better!

So now I get to spend the rest of the weekend on the couch finishing a Christmas project for a friend, one I should've finished a couple of years ago...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

I voted this morning, bright and early. We have a bit of a ritual in our house, my husband and I go to the polls together, which means I get up early so we can make it before her has to be to work. This morning the place was packed! Our polling location is never this busy, not even when there is a hotly contested school district levy (which happens fairly often around here). This getting up early does have one perk, it allows me time to stop for breakfast before work, so I've created my own little tradition. On election morning I get McDonalds for breakfast. Nothing says I love America like the Golden Arches, am I right?!

This sounds fairly insignificant, but you have to understand that this particular splurge is something that or me is usually reserved for one other morning in the entire year - which also happens to be in November - Black Friday!

Here's to Election Day, I hope everything goes smoothly!

Monday, November 5, 2012

How I celebrated Halloween

Halloween is one of those holidays that make me really appreciate my job. I don't have children of my own, but I get to do the fun stuff with the kids in my class. But after celebrating all day, I go home, and its almost as if the holiday doesn't exist.

We live in the middle of nowhere, so we don't get trick or treaters. I decided it was time to figure out a way to celebrate, even if it was a small celebration.

This was my evening; apple cider wine spritzers (yum!), and ghost pizza (pepperoni pizza with slices of provolone cheese cut with a ghost cookie cutter). The best part is that it was Halloween, so calories didn't count :)

It's winter

The calendar may still say fall, but I am officially welcoming the first cold of the season. This, paired with the fact that the temperature outside dictates the need for gloves and scarves, means that it is winter in my book.

I'm trying to get through the day with lots of cold medicine and coffee so that I an enjoy my mom's retirement dinner tonight! Hope your Friday is great, I am looking forward to my last completely free weekend until next January! I will be sleeping in and hanging out in sweats, just 4 more hours!

Weekend review

I had the most productive weekend! I think it was the combination of cold medicine and caffeine...

I finished a ton of Christmas gifts, which of course I can't share because some of the recipients read my cute little blog. I also finally finished the table runner that I started for my mom - before Halloween. That dang binding, and the whole hand stitching part just takes time.

It is super cute, but I needed to get the full effect, so I set my whole table up for thanksgiving. Of course I am not actually hosting thanksgiving because my house is teeny. So I thought I would share sine photos of my thanksgiving table, or rather, what my table would look like if I were hosting thanksgiving.

All of the pieces that you see on my table are pieces that I already owned, don't go out and buy new stuff that you'll only use one day a year!