Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh me... Oh my.....

Well, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! That everything went PERFECT for you... just as you planned.... GOOD FOR YOU!!! Way to go!!! I hope you are taking a little break now and just relaxing and enjoying....even if everything didn't quite go as planned... like myself... :(   BUT! It is ok!  I'm getting through it... I'm learning to cope.... I've started making my list already for next year... and I WILL be much better than this year!  The intentions were good... and I started out on a good foot.... but as time went along... life started happening and I didn't plan very well... but this time I am going to! I REALLY am! :)

When I sat down last night and started thinking about "where the time went" and "how did I fall so far behind..."  I went back to look at my calendar... and I was reminded of a "few" things that "took" hold of my life and thus caused a chain reaction that affected my STRESS FREE DECEMBER in the end .....

For starters....

15 bridal showers (8 of which I either helped with or held here at my house)
9 baby showers (5 were here)
4 friend weddings 
4 family weddings 
2 Missionary showers
My daughter turned 8 - so we had a baptism, luncheon and such to do .... 
My son's wedding.... (not counted in the 8 above)
A wedding rehearsal dinner - plan, prep and cook for....
Made all the flower arrangements, invitations and wedding video for the wedding
My Mr. had not just 1 - but 2 heart attacks this year
and not to mention... LIFE.... just everyday things that "POP" up! (Have I mentioned before that I am not a spontaneous person.... at least for "things" so when "things" interrupt my planning... it is really hard for me to stay focused....I'm good at "serving" on spontaneity but not so much for just "things"... (something I need to work on) 
and... I'm sure we have a partridge in a pear tree somewhere around here....  among some other little "unexpected" events....  :)

All of which took place between March and August.... except for the last heart attack that decided to show up during the holidays.... oh! And somewhere in there (in October) we had our 27th wedding anniversary, which just got bi-passed because there was so much going on.... None of which I would trade, change or not do... they just took time... time that I wasn't "thinking" would interfere with my "Stress Free December".... let alone "planned" on... dang spontaneity!

So, when I looked at the calendar... and added in the 40 plus hours a week of work and try to SQUEEZE everything else into the weekend... (which really is just 1 day... 24 hours (if I choose to not sleep)  that's a lot of "squeezing"....) no wonder I ran out of time... :)

SO... I must make a plan... and make it quick... because if I don't my Christmas will never change... so... here I go... I'm making my list... and I'm checking it twice.... maybe thrice... because I just need to know the "MUSTS" and the "WISHES" for next year.... So for now my list is starting with "Things I need to change for next year..."  basically the things that I didn't get to this year and decide what really is important and what is not..... I will be dealing with a high school graduation and a sending off to college this year....which should not interfere with my year too much.... but I'm sure there will be "THINGS" that will just sneak into play.....

One thing I KNOW for sure will be happening....
A friend and I (yes... I have a friend or two! LOL!) 
have decided to meet at least once a month to "prep!" 
We will be working on things that we "NEED" to do...
Like stockings....(have I mentioned my love for stockings??? :))
Neighbor/Friend gifts 
etc.... so, if you want to join us - just let me know! 
Together we will MAKE IT HAPPEN!
We truly will be ENJOYING the SEASON 
and FOCUSING on the REASON for the SEASON
this coming year!

So... anyone have any suggestions, ideas or tips that would help? I'm totally open for suggestions here.... I've got to get a concrete plan by the end of the year..... :)

In the mean time...
This year is going to ROCK!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A few other projects....

Here are just a few other things I have been working on this past year for gifts....

This project I started last January.... thinking I would SURELY be done with it LONG before Christmas... I was crocheting every extra minute I could... I even kept a crocheting bag in my car so when and if (OK! If is OUT of the question :) ) WHEN I would end up at the hospital, I would have something to do... grand total.... 100 hand towels crocheted! (and a few others that I've given away during the year for gifts - but I don't know how many...) For me, these were "RELAXING" to do!  I love crocheting and it is a "no-thinker" project... and heaven knows I need "NO THINKER" projects!

The hardest part for me was sewing on all the buttons ... It's a DANG GOOD THING I have sister-in-laws that LOVE me .... or maybe it's because they just want me to shut up about sewing on buttons.... either way - they were a HUGE help... ok ok... the ONLY reason the towels got buttons - was because of them! THANK YOU!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!! 
There are a lot of towels there....

I made 6 sets like this -
One towel for every month.... 
(a couple are missing Feb. & March, because I couldn't "really" decide if I should do this or not... so I still have a few "IOU's" out there for Feb. & March towels.... As long as my sister-in-laws save me again... (in the button department)  I'm sure I can get them done shortly... :))
 These two I think are my favorite... :) 
I LOVE the fall colors... and gingerbread people!

Then, I got another WILD hair and decided that if I were going to give "dish towels" I needed to have "washing cloths" to go with them... right???? 
So, I started sewing dish cloths... 
I think I'm going to see about getting something for my A.D.D.... 
Seriously! I would have had my Christmas done, had I stopped getting 
WILD hair ideas! And ADDING to my gifts...
Agh! Sometimes I just drive myself CRAZY!

 Then, this was probably one of my most favorite gifts...
Table Runners

 They were so FUN to do and simple too! 
No cutting (maybe just a little) but not much and talk about quick! 
They worked up in about 20-30 minutes - less the hand sewing time... 
Which again... sometimes involved BUTTONS and my hand (and eyes) will just not co-operate in that department ... so frustrating!

 Anyway, I ended up doing a "SET" of table runners...
One for every month, and a birthday one as well! 
(Only I forgot to take a picture of them BEFORE I wrapped them up and gave them away...
But this is the one for my table... I just love the little Gingerbread people! 
I'm hoping to sit down this weekend and finish my year's worth of table runners... 
Or at least I think they are! 

All you need is 1/4 yard fabric for the "center and 1/2 yard fabric for the back and sides...
so so simple! 
I'm sure I'll be doing some more of these this coming year.... 

Well... that's all these "sleepy" eyes can do today.... 
I'll get the rest loaded and posted before too long...
It is nearly time to get your books ready and start planning 2011 Christmas! 
I'm so SUPER excited.... 

I'm already off to a great start! 
I've got my neighbor gifts all done for 2011! 
(We haven't delivered 2010 yet... but they are going out tomorrow....)

Sneak peak... 

We are making little bags with a "$" sign on them and a tag attached that says 
"Now that Christmas is over, we heard you could use a little extra dough."
And inside the bag is a roll of homemade cookie dough.
This way they can bake them when they want to instead of having so many "treats" hanging around through the holidays that end up getting tossed because you can't possibly eat them all fast enough...AND... I don't have to spend HOURS and HOURS baking COOKIES that never get delivered... :) (Am I the only one that has that problem?)
At least that is the case at our house, except for the past few years.... 
I think that "goody" plates have become a thing of the past... 
BUT- who can't use a "Little extra dough" after Christmas??? 

Well... time for some shut eye... 
Get your books out and...
Let's get ready for 2011!
It is going to be "HEAVEN!".... 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Now... I can finally post....

Sorry it has been a while - and I promised to post the "THINGS" I've been so busily working on these past several months.... but when I went to post them, I realized that if I posted them, it would be giving away my Christmas gifts.... so, I had to keep them tucked neatly away.... safe until now.

One of my most favorite projects was this......
A cute little playhouse that fits over the card table.
It was SOOOO much fun....

 and SOOOOOO much work!


 I even added in their favorite puppies... 
Max and Molly
 And I just LOVED this little mail box,
complete with letters... 

You can find the pattern for this and soooo many more designs at 
MissPrettyPretty on Etsy.... Click here
My advise... I'm thinking it would be soooo worth it to purchase the KIT from her. 
Everything is already cut out and ready to sew...
UNLESS you start your project in plenty of time... and or 
you are a sewer... I am NOT a sewer...
In fact, my philosophy has ALWAYS been...
"If it ain't hot clued... I don't do it"
BUT I did do this!
ALL....BY...MYSELF too!
Sure, it isn't the best "sewing" nor by any means the STRAIGHTEST
BUT HEY! I did  it! I made it all by myself and I was quite happy with the finished product! 

 THEN, I found this absolutely DARLING fleece hat - 
And yep~it is sewn!!!! 
Don't worry, I don't hot glue EVERYTHING! 

 And then, I made SEVERAL of these little scarfs...
Start to finish... about 15 mintues! 
and... not to expensive, especially if you purchase fabric on sale!

well... that's about all I can share tonight...
I'll post some more tomorrow...
They eyes are winning the battle now.

Good night everyone!
Hope your Christmas was all you
DREAMED it would be and then some! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My top 12 day 2....

Another of my FAVORITE things about Christmas .... is CHRISTMAS CARDS! 
I LOVE getting Christmas cards!  Since the first Christmas that we were married, I have saved every Christmas card we have received. (I think...I'm pretty sure...ok, pretty close!)  I box them up every year with our Christmas decor and I just LOVE pulling them out and taping them to the door after we have reminisced.... taken our little stroll down memory lane... I especially love the cards with family pictures :)  It is so fun to see how everyone is growing up! I also date the card on the back - just in case ... and I try to put cards from the same families through the years together ... OH SO FUN!  I just LOVE it!  
One thing that I find very sad is that the cards have dwindled through the years... we use to get a lot of cards... and just the past 5-6 years they are pretty sparse... guess that goes to show you what the economy has done for most of us... so sad... BUT I still love to go back through the years... We have been so very blessed with so many WONDERFUL friends and family! 
Now...I know what you are thinking... "But SHE never sends out cards!".... weeeellllll.... let me explain.... don't get me wrong here - I do cards EVERY year.... but.... they rarely get sent out ... why? Because I am either "broke" or too lazy to go to the post office to get stamps...  or the biggest reason.... I start to "worry" that people don't want to hear from me... that maybe I say something in my "Christmas letter" that might offend or hurt someone...or sound whiny... or be boring.. or stupid... or they might laugh.... oh the torment I put myself through... it takes me MONTHS and MONTHS to get my Christmas letter done - and then months and MONTHS of editing it.... and pretty soon.... it's Valentines.... and it's just TOO LATE to send a Christmas card... so I tuck them away in a drawer... and I open that drawer - like on days like today - and I find 4 years worth of Christmas cards ... sitting there... in envelopes.... addressed...and all that is missing is the stamp.... but they are ready to go - and yet they sit!  AGH! Why do I do that to myself?? WHY!?!?!  Well, after going through my Christmas Cards today - and visiting with such amazing families (via my cards) I'm determined to just "SIGN" my cards and drop them in the mail!  HECK! No-one really cares what we've been up to,  do they? I mean - I LOVE getting CHRISTMAS LETTERS and CARDS! I LOVE reading about my friends and family and all that they have done through the year1 I LOVE IT!  But.... I don't really do much of anything - we're kinda boring... there really isn't much to share, so signed with "LOVE US" should be just great - or is that too "impersonal"...SEE! .... agh....the worries... what to do....I must send them! That's what I'm going to do! just SEND THEM! 
In the mean time.... I just LOVE Christmas cards!  Absolutely LOVE them! So... please.... keep em coming!  :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My top 12 favorites!

My top 12 are not in any specific order.... other than... just when they "POP" into my head....

One of my most favorite things about Christmas is "STORIES" ... I LOVE to collect stories, especially CHRISTMAS stories... I have a book that I've printed over the years with different stories - some are very short, some are long... but none the less - I just LOVE them! One of these days I'll have to tackle the project of sorting them - that would really save a lot of time... but not right now... Nope! Not gonna happen right now anyway......

This year I decided to take it one more step.....

Have you ever heard "THE PICKLE JAR" story?

I LOVE this story!  I used it a few years back in a Young Women's lesson.... but had forgotten all about it until I received it in a email a few weeks ago... I saved it because I just KNEW it might help me get through the "rough" spots of the holidays....Then... THEN, when I thought I was just about DONE, a IDEA POPPED into my head... and I just couldn't get it out!  So, I started searching... and searching ... and searching... I knew there was a company here in town that sold "glass" jars - but for the LIFE of me I just couldn't remember the name of it.  Then one day a name came to me - I looked it up - and it was located in the area that I remember going to to get jars... I called - "NOPE!"  WRONG STORE!  shoot!  Still searching I eventually found it.... and guess what! THEY HAD JUST WHAT I NEEDED!!!!

Isn't it just CUTE!?!?! 
I found this 1 gallon sized glass pickle jar for $2.39.... 
I added the vinyl and just stuffed it with green tulle for the picture... 
Cut a slit in the top of the metal lid and WAH-LAH!
I have a PICKLE JAR to go with the PICKLE JAR story! 

I just LOVE stories.
This is one of the "ELF BUCKET" treats.... 
It just might show up sooner than later.  :)
Click here for the PICKLE JAR story...
I think you're gonna love it too! 
I just added our own little message at the bottom. 

"It is our prayer, that you will find a way to make
become part of your “gifts” to others in the years to come."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Introducing.... My top 12 Favorites

First of all... I just have to say .....
Doesn't it feel good to have Christmas all wrapped up... ready to be placed under the tree... Doesn't that just "FEEL" better?.... ahhhh.... I'm soooooo happy for all of you !!!

I'm still working on it... but I'll be there soon!

I thought that I would just start off the 1st day of Christmas by taking the next 12 days to jot down my "top 12 favs!" ....I'm sure it is going to be hard to do - because I have so MANY favorites - but... one has got to start somewhere ... so for this year - it will be my favorite 12  things of Christmas.....

So... stay tuned... Tomorrow starts "MY TOP 12 FAVORITES!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Here comes the WRENCH!

YEP! A wrench!
A BIG FAT wrench has been thrown in my plans.....

I'm working on the forgiving part ~ I really am... :)

Saturday, Nov. 20 marked my VERY last SATURDAY (well, actually my ONLY Saturday in 5 weeks) to get the BULK of my CHRISTMAS done.....
I had a LIST (surprise) of what I needed to accomplish THIS Saturday....

Yes - I'm sure it was a little tiny bit overloaded.... 
but I was determined to get most if not all done! 

I ended up staying up until 4:45 am on Saturday morning... (but I'm ok..) I knew that this was NOT going to be a good sign, but I had talked to Mr. and he KNEW what I needed to get done and I asked him to make sure I was up early so I could get my stuff done! 
WELL...... needless to say - he was being a SUPER KIND hubby - and decided that I NEEDED to sleep (I don't know why! I'm FINE!)  So I somewhat woke up about 9:15am...and continued to just lay there in a "non-coherent" state until 9:30 - at which time - I realized I was LATE for the girls Volley Ball tournament..... AND OH MY GOSH! I so did not have time for this! I must get on the road! THINGS TO DO! SO.... I began to "gather" my hoopla so I could get into the shower - which.... as I was just getting ready to get in - the phone rang and it was Elf #1 telling us that Elf #2 wasn't feeling well, and they needed me to come and get her...... agh....I asked Mr. to go get her.... He said "I need to shower"... ahhh HELLO! What do you think "I" am going to do????  I started to the shower then quickly changed my mind because I knew it would take me a good 30 minutes to get in and out and such - and Elf #2 would be FURIOUS!  So, I got out and put something "decent" on to go to the church house to get her. Mr. nearly ran to the shower at this point..... 
I got stuck doing something for the "dogs".... and then couldn't find my car keys .... 
I went back into the bedroom because I didn't hear the water running anymore and found that Mr.was out of the shower and he walked to the edge of the bed - he was complaining that he was "dizzy" and his head was spinning..... after a few minutes he decided to "lay down" - I made sure he was ok - then left to get Ris -  Upon my return - as I was running frantically because time was "ticking" away rapidly - and with this hair of mine it takes HOURS to dry - I knew I was going to be in for a long day... but a long day of wet hair it was going to have to be....
I walked into the bedroom and Todd says "I need a Nitro".... "WHAT!?!?! You said you were dizzy and light headed - you didn't say ANYTHING about your heart!"
Time: 10:15 am
I give him the nitro - make sure he is good - he assures me that he is and I run to the shower! Hurray as quickly as I can and as I'm drying off I hear a faint "Mrs.!"....  At first I thought I was just being paranoid ... so I continued to dry off.... "MRS!".... I poke my head out the bathroom door - he informs me that he needs another NITRO - it is not working...... 
Time: 10:33 am 
I give him another nitro - 
Run back to the bathroom, get dressed and TRY and brush my hair out.... 
Time: 10:45 am 
He calls me again and said, "Maybe you better call 911".... "REALLY????? SERIOUS??????"
"Well, maybe not, let me just change positions"
He moves around, and slides a pillow between his knees.... 
I return to the bathroom to attempt the snarled mane again...
Time: 10:48
"I think we better go to the hospital:".
 "OK....let's go"
He attempts to sit up and falls back down.... "I can't right now.... I'm out of breathe...." 
Ok.... what to do what to do..... 
Time: 10:50
called 911
Time: 11 something..... 
my bedroom is filled with paramedics, firemen, machines, bags of this that and the other 
and 3 minutes later.... stretcher in the hall.... 
Out the door they go... as I stand here with 3 upset girls....and a very wet mane! oh! And no make up either... SCARY!  Poor prarmedics! I do apologize... but at least I "smelt" clean... I hope.... :) 

SO.... all of a sudden.... my LIST was changed.... 
Did you see anywhere on there 

Well, I didn't either, so in order to make me feel that I accomplished SOMETHING on THIS my ONLY Saturday.... I just had to make some changes......

I feel much better now! 

Other than the fact that I'm not going to be done "CHRISTMASING" by Nov. 30th.... 
Oh well... it could have been so much worse! 
Feeling very blessed and grateful....
I think we'll just enjoy Thanksgiving and THEN we'll think about Christmas.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Projects underway....  and time is TICKING!!! OH MY! 

 It hasn't ALL been about Christmas ... 
Because you KNOW I love the fall as well! 
So, I had to sneak a couple of "GIRLS CRAFT WEEKENDS" in... 
And here is what we did.... 
I LOVE my "CHUNKY" Punkins! 
They stick around all of October and November.... 
I've had a set for YEARS! And everyone LOVES them - so this year - I cut them out and we "crafted" our PUNKINS.... 

I just LOVE seeing a piece of wood come to life! 

Then... we just HAD to get a bit more FESTIVE and we made the REALLY cute 
"Jingle all the way!" yard signs... again... very simple... 
And then.... I must admit... But PLEASE do not think of me any differently....
I have a "fabric problem" ... and the worse thing about it... 
(insert quiet voice) I do not sew.... 
I just had to have a Holiday pillow.....

Then, we decided to "SNEAK" in another "CRAFT TIME"... 
and we made THIS cute little yard sign!

 I know! I know! This is NOT helping me to accomplish my
TIS THE SEASON stuff.... 

But I'll get there - I promise... 
It sure makes me HAPPY though! 

Monday, November 15, 2010


I just don't know what happened to October.... and here we are half way through November! YIKES!!!!  It is coming so SUPER DEE- DUPER fast!!!! Will someone PLEASE slow down the clock!?!?!? Please.... I beg you.....

As I have reflected on the past 7 or 8 years and how much I have really NOT enjoyed Christmas... It saddens me.  I hope that I have not ruined my children.... I USE to enjoy decorating my house for every month and I USE to look so forward to the Christmas season... but life took a turn about 8 years ago and Mrs. Bah-Hum-Bug was born! I'm not proud of it by any means.... but it is what happened.....But this year.... THIS YEAR! MRS.MARY CHRISTMAS has come back!!! hee hee hee!!!  And I couldn't be more excited....

Yeah - I may not make my goal of being completely done by November 30th .... BUT I'm sure going to give it my best!  And I do know - I WILL NOT SLEEP THROUGH CHRISTMAS MORNING AGAIN!  I do know that I am going to TAKE TIME TO REMEMBER the REASON for the SEASON!  We - WE are going to enjoy the season as a family.... LIKE IT OR NOT!!!! :)  WE WILL!!!

As I look back in the past month or so, I feel like I'm getting nowhere - but when I look at my projects - they have been on going for quite some time... like most of them I started back in January - and a few of them I started a year ago in September... so it has been a long process - and I'm just hoping that the next 2 weeks... (15 days to be exact) I will see some SUPER progress and reach my ultimate goal of sitting back to relax and enjoy the holiday season the way it is intended to be.... at least "intended" for me!  :)  I just can't wait to get back to the "simple" things... the things that mean so much to my children and me too!  I've really missed it the past several years, I was too busy being a  "bah-hum-bug!"  I am just so determined to "enjoy" "relax" and "make the best of this year!".....

Now, I can't post EVERYTHING that has been going on in this "workshop" ... but here are a few glimpses of what I've been up to.....

Just a couple days after Halloween, I was in Wal-mart - and just happened to take a gander down the "close-out" isle... I stumbled across these black and orange bowls... the orange bowls had spiders and black cats on them... definitely Halloween... but the black ones... hmmm... surely  there was SOMETHING I could come up with - I mean come on  - they were 62 cents!  That's a deal!  One must think of something... so I grabbed 8 - (now I'm wishing I would have grabbed more - story of my life....)  anyway - for a few days I racked and racked my brain.... and finally!  Something came!.....Back when Mrs. Mary Christmas lived here the "ELVES" use to pay the kids a visit... every day the month of December... The "ELVES" would leave a "treat" or "activity" for the kids, OR sometimes it was a "note" reminding them that they need to work of being better.... because Mr. Claus was watching them... so thus, the ELF BUCKET" was created.... so so simple!  Just a few vinyl pieces cut and then slapped some "felt sticker" around the bowl... WAH-LAH!  ELF BUCKET!  And... this MRS and her little Elf Helpers will be delivering the "ELF BUCKET" with a treat and instructions to the doorsteps of our married kids .... Each morning, the REAL "ELVES" will deliver a "gift" or "note" to the bucket.... the kids are so excited... they can hardly wait!

Total cost for ELF BUCKET  about $1.50
Aren't they cute??? :) ( I let the 8yr old elf decorate! She was in HEAVEN!)
The ELVES and I have already made our trips to get most of the "goodies" for the Elf bucket... we just have a few "personal" touches to add.... 

I can hardly wait for those CUTE LIL ELVES! to visit! It's going to be so fun!  

I just LOVE the little reminders of the "REASON for the SEASON!" 


Stay tuned... there will be daily posts coming.... IF I don't fall asleep by accident! 

Good night, 

Friday, November 5, 2010

This could be a WIN for you!!!

Well - it has been a while... but I've been busy... I'm running out of time!  I've found that the past 6 weeks or so - I've considered myself VERY lucky if I have gotten to bed before 3am!  Lately it has been more like 3:30-4:15.... BUT I would rather be doing that NOW instead of next month! I'm so determined to ENJOY the CHRISTMAS season this year! BUT.... let's just call this a BLUNDER based upon my lack of sleep, inability to "research" ... and possibly, YOUR GAIN! :) 

ONE of the many projects I have been working on this past SEVERAL months... and trying to bring the project to a close by months end....  A Family Recipe Book.

I have been working for nearly 18 months on this project and just thought I was so SMART and it was going to be a GREAT gift.... until..... UNTIL I discovered that the 9 books I'm putting together with a total of over 130 (2 sided)  pages of recipes.... was turning into a very COSTY project.... the biggest reason... all of those 130 plus pages need to be placed in "sheet protectors"..... BUT the problem is not the sheet protectors in general ~ it was the SIZE of the sheet protector that was adding up....I made the recipe books to fit a 5.5 x 8.5 size book, paper & sheet protectors..... AND I did NOT price the 5.5x8.5 sheet protectors BEFORE starting this project... My thinking was... it should be close to if not less than the cost of a full size sheet protector of 8.5x11.....Right??? I mean "logically" thinking.... well....  WRONG!!! Oh so WRONG!!! They are at least double and if you don't shop around, almost two and a half times more... SHEESH!!! Who knew!!! SO.... this began the next phase of "rethinking" the project.... I decided it would be more cost effective to print on full size sheets and remake my "menu" pages.... especially for as many as I was doing.... SO... here is where the WIN WIN for you come in to play.... I am now going to offer the 5.5x8.5 Menu Divider pages to any of you who may be interested.... Because, if you are just doing one or two books, it won't be nearly as spendy.... and depending on the number of recipes that you place in your book, well, that will make a great difference ... I tried to "omit" recipes from my book, but every one of the recipes are not only MY favorites, but some family recipes from generations back..... and even some from current generations.... and I was tired of having recipes written on receipts, scratch papers, lunch bags, you name it... I probably have a recipe written on it... yes even napkins! This was project started (as a request from my husband... he hates all my "recipe" cards that are tossed into the drawer)... and then, I decided to make it a goal... (being I'm working on my personal progress goals, along side my girls) ... and in one of my late night conversations with myself, I decided that this would make a great Christmas gift for family members..... So thus was born the "Family Traditions Recipe Book"..... 

I have ALMOST completed all of the 8.5x11 size dividers and this gift is just about to be wrapped and tagged and will be waiting for it's place under the tree!!!  I'm so EXCITED! But, I'll be sure to post a picture of the final product.... what a task this has been!  But a good one!  These are the type of gifts I LOVE to give!

I have 8 6sets of the 5.5 x 8.5 size Menu divider pages (all handmade of course) ... to include the following categories: APPETIZERS, SOUP, SALAD, MAIN DISHES, SIDE DISHES, DESSERTS, COOKIES, CANDY, DRINKS, BREAKFAST, BREAD and CANNING...

I will sell the set of 11 dividers for $10.00 (which includes shipping in the USA). If you want more than 1 set - take a 10% discount... if you want all "8" "6" sets... they are yours for $35.00.   So,  hurry - you know how that HOLIDAY shipping can be..... SEE! this is a WIN for you!!!! So, if you are interested - just shoot me a comment along with your email address - I will then delete your email information and contact you for shipping instructions...
(note:the paper/colors may vary slightly from the pictures on some sets.... I was trying to be "creative"...) 

I'm working on getting everything completed... 
It's so exciting to see this all coming together! 

How are you all doing???? 
Are you ready to ENJOY the season with me??
Oh I sure do hope so!



Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some EXCITING news!!!!!!

I just have to tell you.... I have some of  the most  
in the world!!
and one of those friends...
I'd like to tell you about today!
SHE is just one of those people that you are forever blessed because you have crossed her path.... I'm blessed.  I'm grateful. AND.... I'm just lucky! because I not only crossed her path - but I'm still in her path and feel so blessed everyday.... especially days that I get to talk to her or visit with her by email or pass her in the neighborhood..... you know - she is just one of those people that make you want to be better.... that make you feel important ... that give you strength just being around her....(I just hope I don't wear her out!) .... AND... I just wanted to let her know that I have a great BIG ThanK YoU! for her! Not only for being my friend, example, uplifter, example, leader, etc.... BUT .... She is letting me "borrow" her camera too!.... I feel so giddy! Like a little kid again! I'm so happy!  SO EXCITED! Isn't that just crazy!?!?!  I mean... really, it is a camera - a material thing - something that I can LIVE without... but do you know.....  I have become very "bitter" with my cameras in the past..... BUT, anyway,  we (my camera and I) don't even speak anymore.. because one of us was getting close to using words that have never been uttered.... and it just wasn't worth it... She must have felt the not so good "VIBES".... and was inspired to "intervene!"  LOL!  She recently got a new camera and was so DARN THOUGHTFUL and offered her old one to me... and it works!!!!  and that is one thing my other camera's DID NOT have in common!  I'm so happy!  I've had sooooo many things to document... and haven't been able to do so in a PICTURE form... you've had to use your imagination...(and I'm sure YOURS is much better than MINE!)  - which for me could prove to be SCARY .... in the upcoming future.... SO! BLESS YOU! THANK YOU dear FRIEND!  I'm working on getting this back to you - but in the mean time... I'll take VERY GOOD care of it.... and my memory THANKS you even more!   

Be sure to stay tuned.... :) 
It's just the "simple" (but OH SO BIG)  things that make my day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Holiday Baking....

Well, how are the goals coming along?  
Are you on track? 
What can you do to "re-think" the plan if needed?

I am SO determined to just ENJOY December!  DETERMINED! 
Aren't you?

But... I must interrupt my "workshop" progress.... not only does my family THINK that they are going to stave to death.... but it is time to turn to the "bakery" department... It's time to start watching the ads and getting the most with my grocery shopping money this month.  I don't (which I should) plan ahead and "save" some for my "baking frenzy" -but I didin't really think about it until now... SO! Looks like we'll be eating a lot of FOOD STORAGE this next couple months.... :)  Just so I can "enjoy" my baking time! (I wonder how the family "elfs" are going to take to this news... LOL! 
SO... grab your recipe books ladies (and gents-if there are any out there) and let's get some HOLIDAY BAKING underway! 

As I go through my "candy & baking" plan, I'm going to throw in some of my favorite recipes and ideas! Even favorite "CHRISTMAS" meals... so get ready - and let's share - I'd love some new recipes and ideas too!  So, don't be shy - It is the season for giving... and I LOVE LOVE LOVE new recipes! 
(hint hint... wink wink....) 

This is one of my favorites! It was given to my by my cousin... If you like "BIG CHERRY" candy bars... You'll LOVE this one! It is YUMMY!  I'll only have a sample taste this year -(determined to thin the hips this holiday as well!)  and the rest will be shipped away - BUT.... I still enjoy making it and "mmmm" smelling it too!!!!!

Cherry Chocolate Delights
12 oz. pkg milk chocolate chips
12 oz. pkg salted crushed peanuts
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter

Melt together on stove or in a microwave.
Spread half mixture in 9x13 inch greased pan.
Cook in refrigerator.

20 large marshmallows
1 tub cherry frosting

Melt 20 large marshmallows in double boiler.
Add 1 tub of cherry frosting.  Spread on cooled layer of chocolate.  Cool this in refrigerator.  Spread remaining chocolate on top.  Refrigerate and cut into squares.  
**just a side note - the cherry frosting (Betty Crocker/Pillsbury or other brand) is VERY hard to find... I have been DIEING for these yummy little things in the summer - and have YET to find CHERRY frosting any other time then the holidays ... so if you find you ENJOY this yummy treat... you may want to "stock" up on the frosting - for a rainy day.... if you know what I mean.... :) 

While I was looking for my favorite Cherry Chocolate Delights ...
I discovered my second favorite.... NUTS! 
MMMMMM..... I can almost smell them! 

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
1/3 cup butter
2 egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3 cups whole natural almonds
4 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place butter in a 13" X 9" pan; place in oven to melt butter, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg whites with salt until frothy; gradually add sugar, beating to stiff peaks. Gently fold in almonds and cinnamon. Pour almond mixture onto pan; toss with butter. Bake about 40 minutes,tossing every 10 minutes, until almonds are crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store cooled almonds in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Well, happy list making! And be sure to share your favorites as you discover them as well! 

Don't you just LOVE holiday baking??!!??!  

Monday, October 25, 2010


I woke to SNOW! YES SNOW on the ground this morning!  
Oh- it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

It is now LEGAL to play Christmas music - so CRANK it up LADIES!!! 
oh - and men!!!  :) 

I feel like I'm getting somewhere - finally!
I looked back at my list and it is dwindling! YEAH! 
Oh how I wish I had a camera- I'd post some pictures... 
Or wait! Maybe it is best I not have a camera!
It would certainly give away my "SURPRISE GIFTS!"
We surely don't want to SPOIL Christmas for anyone now do we???? 

I've been checking my list 
and reviewing my list 
 and yes! Even re-vamped my list!
BUT for the better! 

I just can't wait to set up the tree and place my wrapped packages underneath it! 
Some of these gifts have been in the "making" process for several months so it is so fun to see them "come to life!" I just can't wait! I'm getting so SUPER excited! 
I surely hope that they are received well....

This past week I was at our local home improvement store picking up so "wood" to create my gifts... 
And I was ever so grateful that they we willing to "cut" my wood for me ... I was having a heck of a time cutting 2" wood with my scroll saw.... agh! I bet I broke about 8 blades.... frustrating!
Anyway- while the kind gentleman was cutting my wood for me another older man asked me what I was doing with all the wood... I simply said "Oh, I'm making Christmas gifts with it."  He looked and seemed a bit puzzled and then said "do you mind me asking just what you are going to do with that wood, to make it a "GIFT?" I mean, I just don't see how you can make gifts with a piece of wood."... So I kindly explained to him what I was making,  He accepted it - then he said "do you mind me asking "why" you would want to make your Christmas gifts, isn't it easier to just "buy" a Christmas gift?"  Well, I was a little taken back by his question, but he seemed rather harmless - just curious - so, I said "Well, of course it is a "little" easier to just run out and buy a gift, but I feel like a homemade gift has more thought and meaning to it. A lot more personal. And... I enjoy making gifts, and for the most part, I think that the people that receive them enjoy getting homemade gifts as well.... (I know my sister-in-laws fight for me to have their name for Christmas...) plus, this way - they can't put a price tag on it - AND... they can't return it!" I kinda chuckled.  Well, he must of liked my answer because after about 3 minutes he said, "well, I think you are a very smart lady! And, that is a great idea.... do you mind if I copy your idea?"....  So I was pretty excited that a younger older man in his late 60's was impressed and willing to "try" and "attempt" homemade Christmas gift.... After my wood was cut, I noticed the older gentleman was purchasing the same wood I had just purchased

Well, I must say - they turned out DARLING!  
I'm so super excited too!
With every gift I get done - I'm more and more excited! 

Stay tuned for pictures... I'll get this figured out SOON!
In the mean time... 
Get your HOLDIAY BAKING hats on!
I'm working on my BAKING grocery list.... 
I'm so afraid I'm going to gain back the 30 pounds I've taken off! 
So... I've decided that I'm going to be "making"...and all the while someone will be receiving my goodies... and it WON'T BE MY HIPS! 

I just LOVE holiday baking! 
SOOOO excited! .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So..... how is it going?

I'm sure you are all aware of the cute little SANTA over to the right..... looking OH! SO JOLLY
Did you see that 1 month, 1 week and 3 days part???? YIKES!!!! I mean YEAHHHHH!!!! Well, I am HAPPY to announce that I'm 100% certain I will NOT be sleeping through Christmas this year.... BUT I am afraid that I WILL be sleeping through HALLOWEEN and possibly THANKSGIVING .... Frankly, I don't mind sleeping through Halloween... Don't get me wrong - I LOVE EVERYTHING about OCTOBER... just not that ONE day... You know the day.... HALLOWEEN day! I don't like the "SCARY-DISGUSTING" creepy, crawly, UGLY stuff.... I don't like having to THINK of COSTUMES for the kids... I don't like WASTING money on CANDY that ends up COSTING me more money!..... such as... sick tummies....sick teeth.... HYPER kids....ORNERY kids (because ONE MR DAD in our home takes it upon himself to "SCAN" the TREATS collected, all the while picking out HIS favorites... which usually end up being THEIR favorites too) and then TEARS become part of the festivities... and I could SO do without the TEARS.... not to mention, WRAPPERS everywhere..... because WHY would we want to walk to the garbage can... we do have a MAID..... somewhere... somewhere out there... there is a MAID!  I'm sure....  it's all just TOO much stress for me.... I LOVE the colors, I LOVE the "CUTE" side of Halloween... you know... "cute decorations... I even LOVE cut costumes... on other people! I LOVE having family and friends over for our CHILI cook off, hot homemade bread sticks, bobbing for apples, ghost for quarters, playing games and of course hot cocoa and donuts....  So...do we really have to "trick-or-treat?"  ... REALLY!?!?!  I really have contemplated just getting a pinata this year, putting in all the candy we (and our friends) would purchase for trick-or-treating,  and let the kids just have at it here.. it would just be..... so....convenient.... easy.... less stressful... HECK - I think it would even be FUN!  :)  BUT  I KNOW they will NEVER go for it... so here I go... doing what I DON'T want to do.. and DREADING every minute of it.... I guess I better start thinking about COSTUMES.....agh. I usually wait until the night before... But this year - I'll be better prepared... maybe... IF I can convince myself to just do it.....

Well that was depressing....
I know I was going somewhere else with this post... I know it was not here, anyway...
Where was I?????

I won't be sleeping through Christmas - or at least I hope I am not...
I've been up nearly every night for the past 3 weeks now until at least 2:30 - and even as late or early as 5:15 am...
I'm pooped! I won't lie... but I've got to keep pressing forward!
I WISH I had a camera... that worked! STUPID CAMERA!
(wink-wink...hint-hint family.... :)) 
I have so far completed a few gifts - and I am so SUPER excited about them!
I wanted to share them with you...
BUT my telling you "what" they are -will just not "do it" for me....
So... be patient with me... I'll get this figured out....
Even if I must BORROW one really soon!!! 
In the mean time....

Have you set your goals for this week?
Have you reviewed your "check" list?
How is the budget looking?

I must confess... I'm pretty good about making lists...
BUT... the actually remembering where the LIST is...
It's sometimes difficult - and all I'm going to say about that is...
I have a "SHADOW" (agh-hem Mr. O) that doesn't think I KNOW what I am doing, so my shadow (man) will pick up such things (like my planner, scriptures, note books) and place them in places that HE- I mean - said SHADOW thinks that they should be placed and when I question the other elves in the shop, I just get "shrugging" of shoulders... so when I questioned about my "cute little note book" several months ago... the shrugging began... not one little elf knew what I was talking about... but I SWEAR - I mean PROMISE you I left it on my desk where it would be easily accessible, easily reviewed, checked and re-written (who doesn't re-write their "lists" a gazillion times ... ) and it has vanished- into complete blizzard air. GONE. NOWHERE.
So, I dug through my old posts to find my list - and I FOUND it!
I must confess - things have not gone as they were "PLANNED" in my little LIST book... but.. I did at least (and am still) making progress - SO, did you keep your list handy?  Have you checked it? 
Here is my list from last January with my monthly goals.
All I can say is "YEP - I have learned to be flexible"
"YEP - I hope that what I have and will continue to accomplish will just be habit for next year, and those things that I did not accomplish will be easier to accomplish next year."
and.... "I'm not out of time yet... and niether are you!"
So come on, get your list
Remove things that are no longer important
re-prioritize the things that are
and let's get ready to really MAKE CHRISTMAS COUNT!
Are you in???

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I didn't win "THE" Pumpkins.... and I'm slowly getting over it.... It really would have been a nice way to end a very CRAPPY week.... and an even CRAPPIER day... but oh well... I'm very happy for VINTAGE SANDY... What a LUCKY GAL!  I'm sure she was just a happy punkin today! :)  I'm really happy for her! I really am... just sad for me... so I'm gonna have to sell a kid or two so I can just purchase me some of "THE" Pumpkins! Anyone want to start the bidding?  LOL!!! JUST KIDDING! (kinda... it has been "ONE" of those weeks.... One of those weeks that I'd LOVE to wave my magic wand and "POOF" have toddlers again!  These "tweens" are killin' me .... just this week.... I surely hope that they are getting it out of their system and next week will be much better.... crossin my fingers I am! 

Well... I guess I'll go do some laundry and see if I happen upon some "pay" so I can purchase a set of "THE" Pumpkins... :) 

Congrats Sandy!!! Way to go!!!!

And THANKS to Brenda for giving me something to look forward to this week!  I truly was so excited I just couldn't sleep... but I'm sure I'll sleep fine tonight... if I get there.... 

Oh... I promise to get my head back in the game now... now that "THE" Pumpkins are gone... I'll try and stay focused! I had just a slight lasp... fell into the "HALLOWEEN" spirit... it was a good break... but back to Santas shop I must go..... 

OH! Did you realize it is 44 days left until Christmas counts.... how's the check list coming along????

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't worry.....

Don't give up on me....
It will be coming....
Those gift ideas for the person who has EVERYTHING!

Trust me... I've got SEVERAL on my list! Just trying to get them done - so I can post them - and put up pictures too!

Sleep good tonight everyone!

Guess what tomorrow is......

Come back and see!

Visiting Teacher/Home Teacher gift Ideas....

Snowman Soup!  

1 package of hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey's kisses
15 or so marshmallows
1 candy cane

Poems: (choose one) J
Was told that you've been good
this year, always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near,
You'll need to warm the spirit
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water & sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick.

# 2
When it's so cold that you holler and whoop,
It's time to bring out the snowman soup!
Pour the packet in a mug add marshmallows too
And throw in these kisses that are special just for you.
Now add some hot water and use the cane to stir it.
Sip slowly and soon you'll feel the warm winter spirit!

# 3
When the weather outside is frightful, snowman soup can be delightful.
May it warm your spirit and your soul, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!
When you feel a chill or burrrrr', Use the peppermint stick to stir.
Add hot water and sip it slow, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

# 4
A little cup of cocoa I'm sending your way,
For you to sip and enjoy on some cold and lonely day.
As you sip this cocoa it's warmth will warm your heart,
Just like our friendship warmed mine right from the start.

# 5
Was told you've been real good this year, Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near, You'll need to warm the spirit.
So here's a little snowman soup, complete with stirring stick.
Just add hot water, sip it slow, It's sure to do the trick!

Hot Cocoa Bags
Use two of the Wilton bags. Put the cocoa in the first one and twist tie the top. Cut off the extra where it was twist tied, and then place it inside another bag. Then put in raspberry chips,(or any flavor will work… we quite enjoy the “mint” chips!)  then add marshmallows, and sprinkle with the red & green Christmas tree sprinkles. Before you tie the top of the second bag, add two raspberry candy canes (or again a flavor to go with your chip choice) to use for stir sticks, tied with a ribbon, and add a tag. The tag has a graphic on the outside and opens up to a poem (choose one from above) on the inside.  Put the directions for making the cocoa on the back.


As you sit there sipping your cocoa so hot,
Do you realize the symbols in your hot choc-o-lot?
It's symbols of Christ's birth which we revere
Now sit right back, as I explain ~ to make it clear.
The chocolate represents Jesus' sweetness supreme
As kindness was his forever theme.
Its warmth is like His encircling love
That comes directly from above.
Many small, but one large star
Were also seen from afar
So are the marshmallows so clean and white
Which reminds us of His purity bright.
The candy cane looks like the Shepherd's crook
Those great men who came to take a look
At the newborn babe so sweet and gentle
Whose life would be so fundamental.
The 3 kisses remind us of the 3 wise kings
Who traveled as they heard the angels sing.
And when they arrived they saw a beautiful sight,
Mary kissing her son on that wonderful night.
Now may we remember these wonderful things
As we enjoy what this glorious season brings.
May you feel His warmth each and every day
As you wish others a Merry Christmas as you go along your way!


This little sundae will sure make you warm.
It's a hot cocoa treat in an odd little form.

Just add hot water, or even some milk,
For yummy hot cocoa that's smoother than silk.

Now add your sweets to make it even more dreamy,
Then stir, and stir, and stir until creamy.

Stir with a spoon and enjoy the flavor,
Or stir with a candy stick for something to savor.

Share with a friend, if you dare give it away,
Or save for yourself for a cold winter day!

Tile Quotes
I chose this quote from Pres. Monson in his address to the Sisters at the General Women's Conference in Sept.   You can pretty much do any "quote" "thought" or "saying" on a tile... 
Cut in vinyl and wah-lah! Tiy gave a great gift... and a daily reminder to everyone in their home...

So.... have you decided on YOUR gift for your Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers, those that YOU visit and what about school teachers.... oh my ... my list just keeps getting bigger and bigger.... but it's nearly time to "STOP" adding to that list! Just a couple more days to make adjustments and changes!!!! 

We are at just 47 days til CHRISTMAS REALLY COUNTS!