Sunday, November 29, 2009

smitten

I'm just as smitten with these ornaments as I was the first moment I saw them. [6 years ago]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

feathers

We made these sugar cookies into colorful feathers. [and hearts, just for kicks]
The feathers were for this little turkey and his friends [not pictured].I rolled out brown paper on the table. Drew up some featherless turkeys, and Indians, and pilgrims with non-toxic black crayon. But just to make sure the crayon didn't rub onto the cookies, I put down some clear plastic wrap. Then, we displaced feathers where needed...you know like on Indian head pieces or pilgrim hats or turkey bums.

And since the feathers weren't nearly colorful enough, we frosted them with various colors and amounts of buttercream frosting. The pilgrims and Indians also got large doses of color, where needed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

mayflower

I saw a centerpiece similar to this in the pottery barn kids catalog. Of course, this is my own version with a few modifications... I used a basket instead of an oval metal container. I was really happy to find anything that even remotely resembled a ship, so when I came across this basket at Ross for only $9 I was quite pleased with the find.
Pottery barn's version also had sails the same size with embroidered brown stitching around the edges. I wanted mine to look more like the actual Mayflower, which is why I went with different-sized sails. I would have used square napkins [to make it really simple], but in an effort to save money I just dug into my sewing materials and used an old white sheet.

I may still embroider the edges. I think a simple, elegant script reading 'thankful' in the bottom right corner of the front sail might be the perfect, personal touch to this Thanksgiving centerpiece.

note: I think a centerpiece this large would be a little difficult to converse through at the dinner itself, that is, if your table is full...so I would recommend a smaller version or just displaying it elsewhere [I think displaying it on the front step would be a great way to welcome guests for the holiday].

Thursday, November 19, 2009

gracie.lane.

so i'm at it again...hoping to win something fabulous, that is.

obviously, i haven't won anything...yet...[remember i said i would let you know if i ever did]...but maybe. just maybe. i would be so lucky to display christmas cheer at its comfy-coziest with this giveaway.

p.s. i love marta writes. where this giveaway is taking place. i don't know her personally, but i totally dig her posts. especially the posts about good ol' idaho. love that state. you should go. to idaho. someday.

actually, i was really going to say you should go enter this giveaway. too. for yourself. i would be happy if you won. even if that means i didn't. 'tis the season.

p.p.s. this post is done in true. marta writes. fashion.

p.p.s.s. whatever that post script is supposed to be. i just went back and looked at the fine print. i'm supposed to link to gracie lane. the etsy shop. so you should check that out. after you enter the giveaway. n'kay?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

diapers

...Pampers to be specific.

I love their Gifts to Grow program. With each diaper purchase you make, you get points to earn merchandise. But that's not why I love it, I've never used my points toward merchandise. I love it because Pampers teamed up with Unicef and now I get the opportunity to donate all my points toward vaccines.

1 point=1 vaccine

One box of Pampers alone is 6 points. Do the math...that's 6 vaccines donated to women and children in under-privileged countries through Unicef.

Since they started offering this as part of the program [last year, maybe?], I'm pretty sure I've donated well over 70 vaccines. I, by no means, am bragging...just happy to make a difference somewhere out there...and with diapers even, who would have thought?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

self. portraits.

I'm getting my smokey on. sort of. Okay, my eyes don't look THAT smokey, and they're definitely not as smokey as Dr. Vanna von White [pronounced vite]...but you'll never be able to compare due to undocumentation.

But here I am trying to document my attempts at the smokey eye...which reminds me have you done a self-portrait photo session lately? I think they can be such a riot, as you can clearly see.

[sweet and smokey]

[puckered. you have to do puckered.]
[an amysueiloveyou wink.]

[that last one's for you kimbabwe...because I know you would laugh and laugh, and I can imagine you winking back in similar fashion]

Monday, November 16, 2009

happy

I thought a cloth happy birthday banner would be a fun addition to birthdays to come. I made the "birthday" banner [not pictured] separate, I thought this would give me options when it came to stringing it up. I tried to make it a general neutral banner, so we could just break it out for anyone's birthday. My fabric options are limited here, so this was what I came up with.

The banner was fairly simple to make. Now that I've made one, it would be easy to duplicate and make improvements. I made it so the backside could just be displayed for other special occassions like a welcome home or congrats; I just didn't add letters.

If you do attempt to make your own, the advice I would give you is to make it so it can serve dual occassions; and also to get that perfect isosceles triangle draw it up in word or your publishing program of choice.

Enjoy it for years to come!

Friday, November 13, 2009

apple pie [without the pie]

Once tasting the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's apple pie caramel apple [a few years back], I was sold...for sure on the taste, but not the price. So I decided to set out on my own gourmet caramel apple experiment...but not without research.
[from the 2007 experiment gourmet apples pictured: smores, oreo, white fudge oreo, and apple pie]

Yes, I google...which led me to some great recipes for this experiment. I found a ton of recipes here. And made up some varieties. But the caramel apple pie recipe I found is by far my favorite, I even gifted them one Christmas to friends and neighbors...I like to imagine they were an affordably tasty big hit.

Since this experiment was a couple years back, I don't recall where I found the replicated recipe originally. I did google again, and I found others which are basically the same recipe. But rather than linking, I'll just share the basics here.

Gourmet Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Caramel (I prefer the Concord's Apple Wraps...so, so easy)
Granny Smith Apples
Melted White Chocolate
Cinnamon Sugar mixture (you can mix your own or buy it pre-mixed)1) I just follow the instructions for the caramel wraps.

2) After the caramel apples have cooled slightly, I swirl melted white chocolate around them.

(I did recently see Ms. Martha adding vegetable oil to her melted white chocolate to make it spread easier for some white chocolate suckers, so I think adding oil might make the chocolate easier for dipping rather than spooning and swirling it on...but I haven't tested it yet.)

The white chocolate is NOT going to look perfect, but the cinnamon sugar mixture disguises it. And in the end no one will think twice about it's appearance.

3) Shake or spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture on.

4) Allow to set. Refrigeration helps speed up this process.

5) Once the white chocolate is set (by this I mean, firm), I like to place them in a decorative cupcake holder, wrap them up in cellophane, and tie them all up with a festive ribbon.


The gourmet-ish possibilities are really endless. Try candy bars, candy, trail mix, dried fruit, cookies, and drizzle with chocolate to keep everything in place. But try the apple pie [without the pie].

Thursday, November 12, 2009

tyler

He's all the rage right now.
[round these parts]

Tyler has made quite the impression on my 4 year old daughter. All I've heard since Tuesday is Tyler is the bomb-diggity (in so many words). SJ told me last night before bed that she was going to close her eyes and dream about Tyler.

Looks like Daddy's got some competition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the record

Years ago while visiting my childhood home, I sat on the couch and observed. With a notebook and pen in hand, I started to write down tidbits of conversations I overheard. I'd write down funny things, random things, and things that ended up being funny when taken out of context. I even had some "page-worthy" quotes myself.

This came to be known as the record in my family. The record is too good to keep to myself and my family, so I will be sharing "page-worthy" quotes via this blog.

Introducing.....the record..."like a record, record, record."

"We don't need to own a plane to go snowboarding."
-said by myself to my wonderful husband, Nov. 3rd