Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Craft of the Day

This is another one of my favorites.   Homemade Santa hats from Thrifty Decor Chick.   She shows how to make these adorable hats on a budget.  You can see how here.
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Treat of the Day

This is a favorite treat from last Christmas.  Check out these  Brownie Covered Oreos by Picky-Palate.Com.  These cookies are perfect for your favorite lover of chocolate. YUM!! 
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My New Toy

I received a box on my porch..  Oh I hope it is what I think it is!!!!! 

It is!  I upgraded my small point and shoot that doesnt always have the best photos, for a new one.  While it is  not the top of the line Canon Rebel which I would love to have, it has some new to me features.  I got this the  during Target Black Friday sale.  I bought it online on Thanksgiving Day , without having to wait in a long line in the cold. It was 50% off on sale.    I also  used a $20 gift card,  got another 5% off from my Target card, and should get back 3% from Ebates.    To earn money just from shopping online from Ebates,  click this link here..  

It has higher megapixels and a much better zoom lens. .   I used to have a hard time taking pictures at a distance with my old point and shot.  Now I just have to figure out how to use it. Once I do, I hope you will be able to see the difference in my photos. 
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Last Day for Chilis Coupon

I received notice that today will be the last day of  the free Chilis chips and queso coupon promotion. If you would like some free Chilis chips and queso on your next visit, be sure to pritnt it today. 
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Oh Christmas Tree, How Furry are Your Branches?

Cat sitting in a Christmas tree

This morning  I was sitting down to get on the computer, when I heard a creaking noise.  I look over to see my 12+ pound cat sitting at the top of the tree!  Its not so bad when her 7 1/2 pound sister does it. but I wasn't sure how she wasn't falling out.   I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures.

Cat sitting in a Christmas Tree

There are no ornaments on the trees yet.  This was my old tree that I moved to the front window.  I have not had time to decorate them yet, and I was waiting to see what the cats would do.  We got them as kittens in 2009. This is the third Christmas they have climbed in the Christmas trees.  

Close up of a cat sitting in a Christmas Tree

I LOVE this picture of her. 

The tree after the cat knocked it over

And,  this is how my tree looked a couple of minutes later. She tipped it over, when she was trying to get down.  You can see the fur under the tree.  She is fine, and so is the tree

the tree after the cat knocked it over

Ooops!  I better get out of here!!

Has this happened to anyone else? 
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am a Grandma.. Sort of..

Met my new grandson Jr.  My son is taking a class where he has to take care of an egg baby for the week.  He made it a safe container, a blanket, a chair, a toy and a bottle.  He has to "feed it", "change it" and "play with it", as much as you can do those things with an egg .  If he is going to not be able to be with it for a period of time, he has to hire a babysitter.  He has to take it to and from school the next few days.   Depending on how well he does, and if Jr survives the week will determine his grade.   I have grown attached to Jr., so I hope he makes it through the week. 
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Ornament of the Day

I have some clear  ornaments, so I think I am going to try and make some of these!  I found today's ornament of the day  on the newly updated   These would be a cute gift for a teacher or friend. 
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Treat of the Day

Have you been to the Michaels Crafts website lately?  I love the new and improved set up and all the great new crafts and treats.  I found today's treat of the day on   These super cute Santa cupcakes are designed by Wilton. 
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Its the End of the Month-Print Your Coupons

Its the end of the month already tomorrow. Where did November go?  I swear time is flying by faster and faster as I get older.   The online coupons will be changed and reset on Dec 1st, so be sure to print this months before they are gone.    I plan on heading to the store today or tomorrow, since many insert coupons are expiring as well. 
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Monday, November 28, 2011

What A Day

What a day we had today.    On our very first morning back to school after our 5 day break, I overslept. I woke up at the time I should have been leaving to take my son to school.  Oops!  Not a good way to start the morning.  I was pretty impressed that my son was ready to go in less than 20 minutes and we got to school right as the bell was ringing.   Kara woke up with a bad headache, so instead of adding to the chaos and getting her to the bus in time, I drove her to school about 30 minutes later.   My oldest did not feel well, and didnt even make it to school.  The afternoon did not go so smoothly either.   Kyle's  teacher called to say that he needed to stay after to do work that he did would not do at school.  Kara was supposed to go to a girl scout meeting right after school, but forgot and came home on the bus.   When she got home, we went right back to the school about 45 minutes late.  Today was a fun meeting where they mainly worked on crafts. (Kara was not the only one who forgot to stay at the meeting)   One of the crafts we made were duct tape pouches. 

I took the pictures on my cell phone, since I forgot my camera at home near the computer.   To make a duct tape pouch, start with a zippered baggie.   Using colored duct tape of your choice, lay the duct tape on the baggie.

Keep wrapping the bag with duct tape on both sides.  

Once the bag is totally covered, pick a second color for the accents.

Kar picked a really cool paint splash tape, that coordinated well with the purple. 

The girls had so many fun colors, and original patterns, I told them I would share their work so everyone can see them. 

They also had a blast making fuzzy ball characters.  Give girls pom, poms, glue, googly eyes and hearts and they will be occupied for hours!
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Photo Outtakes

I am not sure what they were doing, but it looks like they were dancing.. LOL!

I was hoping to get my kids Christmas card picture taken today.  Let's just say that didnt happen.  Only two of the  three kids were even willing to participate.  Then we found out that the lighting was all wrong once I took a couple of shots.  I had hoped to take the pictures during the day, but that did not end up  happening either. It was too dark in our family room, so I had to use a flash.  My son started wearing glasses a year ago, and did not want to take them off for the picture. His glassese  pretty much  caused a glare  in every picture.   After a few test shots, I just took some of the kids goofing off, knowing I will have to try again another day..  Maybe then my oldest child will actually be in the picture. 

We tried one without the flash and the lights dimmed.  I liked the glow of the lights, but it was too dark to see the kids faces.  They also look really stiff because they are at the age where they refused to touch each other because they were worried the other  had cooties.. ROFL!!   Hopefully they will grow out of that one of these days. 

Kyle's glasses had a glare, plus he is making a goofy face.  Kara looks cute, but I am not sure what she is doing with her arm. 

Kara trying to pull her brother's glasses off her face, which by the way, he did not allow to  happen. 

When they tried in front of the as of yet undecorated Chrsitmas tree.  As you can see, definitely not a keeper.  I am not sure why it was so out of focus. I do know they were being goofy and having fun. 

Maybe my new camera will arrive quickly, so I can try to use it next time.  I will post the photo when we actually get a keeper.
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Ornament of the Day

Your kids will love making these cute little elf ornaments from  They are made out  only of pipe cleaners, beads and felt.  
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Treat of the Day

These homemade Peppermint Patties from  look really good.  They would be a great addition to your list of cookie recipes, and would be a perfect treat to share with friends. 
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday Paper Coupons

Even though it is a holiday weekend, we can expect a P & G insert in this weeks paper.  See what coupons you are in store for, and if you need to pick up an extra papers. 
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Peppermint Treats

Last year after Christmas, I found these bags of peppermint balls on clearance in the Dollar Spot of Target for only .25 each. I bought several thinking I could do some crafting with them this year.  Tonight I decided to bring out the glue gun and get creative. 

I found a small grapevine wreath in my craft stash.  I wasnt sure at first what I would make with it.  I started gluing on the peppermint balls starting with the outside rim, thinking of the possibilities. 

Once I got the front of the wreath covered in peppermints, I realized that it was the perfect size for a picture frame.   I tied a ribbon around the top of the wreath to make a loop to hang it from.  I also attached a 3 x 5  photo to the back side of the wreath.  Since I have not sealed the candy with varnish yet, tonight I temporarily attched it with tape.  

I also had a stryofoam cone in my stash. It was the perfect size to make a peppermint tree.  I started gluing on the peppermints on row at a time with my glue gun. It went quickly, but I had to stop every so often and open more peppermints.  

I continued gluing until the entire cone was covered.    It did not seem completely finished at this point. 


I glued on 4 red ribbons and tied them together on top in a loose bow.    I am still not 100% sure I am going to keep it this way, but I do like the look.  The peppermint tree with also need to be sealed with varnish to use again year after year.

                        These peppermint crafts could make a nice gift, or just sweeten up your decor.   
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Friday, November 25, 2011

My Special Christmas Tree

Last Christmas, I won the Christmas tree jackpot.  On 90% off day at Target,  I was standing in the Christmas section around 7 pm.  Kara had just finished her dance class, so we decided to stop by and see if there were any last minute deals to be found.   Our cat, Tootsie, had damaged a few of the branches on our old tree by constantly climbing it.  Money was on the tight side, and I knew I could only buy a new one if I could find one deeply discounted.   While I knew that it would be almost unheard of to find a tree for 90% off, I asked for one in  a prayer.  When I prayed I said I  would like a new Christmas tree, and if the Lord wanted me to have one then please allow me to find one.   Well when I got there, there were no trees in sight.   I figured it was not my time to get one. A few minutes later one of the Target employees walked up to me carrying a large box.  He told me that he found a tree that was missed in the backroom, and asked me if I wanted it.  It was a 7 foot flocked fir that was orginally $220, but that day it was only $22!  I said YES, of course I would like it.   I took my new tree home, thanking God for answering my prayer.  

Last night we took it out of the box.  It was a bit thinner  than our last tree, but so much easier to put together.  Our old tree had separate branches, that had to be put in individually.  Each branch had to be sorted, fluffed, and then put in the slots.   This tree I put together in a matter of a couple of minutes, because it came in only three pieces.  It is also a prelight, which our old tree is not.   The only thing that I wish I could change is that it is a white light tree, and I am a colored light girl.  I have a great tip that I am going to share in a future post on how I can have my colored lights.
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Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

I am enjoying leftover turkey pizza, as I write this post..  Yum! It was worth the anticipation.    I am so glad that I found this recipe last year, and I am sure it will become a  yearly tradtion.   I wanted to share another recipe I came across this year, that I am sure we will also want to eat year after year.  

On Wednesday, I bought a tub of Alouette spinach and artichoke cheese dip on sale at Meijer.   I had intitially intended to serve the cheese with crackers, and make a stuffed mushroom recipe that uses stuffing.  When I opened the package, I saw there was a cheesy stuffed recipe on the inside of the label.    It called for only 3 ingredients.    

mushroom caps
Alouette spinach and artichoke cheese
seasoned breadcrumbs

I filled each mushroom cap with a spoonful of the dip.   Once they were all filled I sprinkled the breadcrumbs on top of each one.  I used some Panko breadcrumbs that were white, so they are hard to see in the picture.  I believe almost any kind of breadcrumbs will work for this recipe.    Bake the mushrooms in a 375 degree over for 12-15 minutes.   The combination of the  mushrooms and spinach artichoke flavors was really good together. It was easy to eat several at a time, so you will want to make plenty if you are serving a crowd.  I already have requests to make these again, and since they are so quick and simple, I definitely will.

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