Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year Eve Gold Confetti Glasses

Gold confetti is so popular right now and I thought they would make an inexpensive pair of Target glasses fancy for New Year Eve! It only took a few minutes and a few dollars!

Buy any plain glass drink ware you like. I bought these stemless wine glasses at Target in the dollar spot. You'll also need craft paint of any color, a paintbrush or similar sized object as the handle, and a cookie sheet. 

Turn the cleaned glasses upside down and using the paintbrush handle create confetti along the bottom of the glass. I like the "ombre" effect with lots of dots on the bottom and then spreading them out as you reach up the side of the glass. The spacing, colors and number of dots are your call. Have fun with them!

Place the glasses on the cookie sheet inside a COLD oven. Turn it on to 250 degrees and leave them inside for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. They are now sealed for easy use and cleaning! 

Enjoy your fancy glasses even if you are just serving water on New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Making Spirits Bright

Merry Christmas for our family to yours!

We sent out our Christmas cards in early December which included these lovelies from Erin Condren and a folded box card I loved from Target with this photo inside.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Favorite iPhone Photo Editing App- in time for Christmas!

 I seem to only take pictures with my iPhone anymore. I never pull out my nice camera unless we are on vacation or taking family pictures all together. I am always so jealous of the beautiful iPhone pictures I find on Instagram, Twitter, etc. So, I did a little asking and a little research and have a new favorite app- PicFx. The app costs $1.99.

Here is the straight from the phone/no filter picture I took a few weeks ago.

And, here are just a few of the PicFx filters I played with. There are a TON more!

Love! I also use A Beautiful Mess for text overlays and Diptic for collages.

Any other photography apps I should check out?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fun Gift Giving Game for the Whole Family

Looking for something to do with the relatives after presents are exchanged and food is consumed?

My friend told me about a fun game she plays at the holidays with her extended family and this year we are doing it with a family gathering of 7 adults and 3 kids. 

Bring a handful of wrapped presents for the exchange. It can be whatever price point you are comfortable with. Make one of the gifts clearly the more valuable gift. For us, there is a Target gift card, but everything else is little things under $5.

Bring a two dice, a winter hat, scarf and mittens (not gloves) to the exchange.

Pick a magic number between 1 and 12. Everyone gathers around a table and one by one rolls the set of dice. If you don't roll the magic number, pass the dice to the next person.

Once the magic number is rolled, that person has to put on the hat, scarf and mittens and gets to pick a present to open. They must work quickly because as soon as the magic number is rolled again, everyone must stop and the person in the middle of opening must go back to the table and the new person who just rolled the magic number must put on the hat, scarf, and mittens and quickly try and open the gift before the magic number is rolled again. They can try and open an untouched gift or finish off the one started before them.

Keep playing until all gifts are opened.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quick and Easy Stromboli

I love pizza rolls and calzones and Stromboli so much more than I love pizza. I am not a sauce girl and pizza is often overwhelmed by sauce. I love more bread, cheese and toppings!

So, finding an easy Stromboli to make at home was appealing to me. This recipe from Meals in Minutes cookbook by Gooseberry Patch was quick, easy, and yummy! Plus, it re-heated well for lunchtime leftovers the next day!

Quick and Easy Stromboli
from Meals in Minutes, by Gooseberry Patch

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 eggs separated
2 T oil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
4 oz. package sliced pepperoni
8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
1 T grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Roll out dough onto cookie sheet in long thin rectangle. I just pressed it out using my hands. Mine took up most of the cookie sheet.

In small bowl mix together egg yolks, oil and spices. Spread onto dough evenly covering completely.

Arrange pepperoni, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of spices.

Carefully roll up the dough length wise so that you have a long tube of dough stuffed with the spices, cheese and pepperoni.

Brush the top with egg whites. This will help it turn to a nice golden brown in the oven.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Slice and enjoy with pizza sauce or all alone.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas 2013 Cookie Treat Boxes

I love to bake and show love through baking, so it is no surprise I love making cookie treat boxes this time of year! I spent all day yesterday baking away for my husband to deliver treats to the clients and suppliers he works with. It is always a fun day for me to crank up the music, turn on the oven and bake!

We put the treats in tins from Hobby Lobby this year. They are a great inexpensive and quick option. If you plan ahead, check out Garnish or Shop Sweet Lulu. Both have cute packaging items. 

Let's talk about the yummy goodness contained within our tins!

I posted this picture on Instagram and commented this bacon was going into cookies. My friend Kathy proclaimed she trusted my judgment, but this didn't sound good. Kathy, trust me, it is good. Most of the candy recipients are men and men love bacon.

I chopped it up really fine so you wouldn't get a big piece in one bite. Honestly, they are just good chocolate chip cookies and every now and then you taste a little salty. I liked them- something different.

I love the bright red color of these cookies! And, red velvet is always a good nuetral cookie. It isn't really sweet unless you get a white chocolate chip bite in there. These are beautiful colorful and really plump cookies. Plus, it makes a TON!

These bars are the most requested, so they are always in treat boxes. They taste like pecan pie in an easy, non-messy, bar form. I make them often and they always turn out perfect. You can't go wrong with these bars.

I had my first Starbucks Cranberry Bliss bar a few weeks ago and suddenly knew why people love them. The sweet cranberries and the tart cream cheese are perfect together. These cookies are a great copycat of the Starbucks treat. I am submitting them in my Sunday School class' cookie contest Sunday night. If they don't win best tasting, they may win best looking! 

It isn't Christmas without peppermint in it! This bark was easy and tastes delicious. My husband said it will give you "the diabetes". It is really rich, so break the bark into small bite sized pieces.  Mine turned out really gray in color. Next time, I want to add a little red food coloring and not crush my Oreos and peppermints so finely. I think they'd taste and look better with more big chunks.

Happy Holiday Baking!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Tour 2013

Welcome to our home all decked out for Christmas!

My husband pulled out all of my Christmas buckets on the Friday after Thanksgiving and while he decorated outdoors and entertained our daughter, my Mom and I tackled the house. She focused on the Christmas trees and I took down fall and replaced it with a little red and green all over.

Our front porch has a hodge podge of outdoor decor. Our porch is long and skinny so the items are protected from the elements, but can't be too big. I love my shiny green tinsel wreath from Target last year and the JOY sign!

I use lots of red accents in my home which I think always works to my advantage at Christmas time. This red chest houses the small wooden nativity.

Next to it is an old wooden shutter I bought at a yard sale. I painted it black and have used it year round in many different ways. For the Christmas season, it holds the cards we receive. I love seeing all the happy families fill the shutter.

Down the long hall leading into the living room is a new piece of art- the hand print tree made at Abby's 4th birthday party last year. See details on her Merry & Bright party and the tree here

I own so much Christmas decor from 15 years of marriage and decorating. I didn't pull it all out, but tried to put like things together to give some cohesion. I am torn between wanting to get rid of some older things and waiting just a little longer for them to be vintage and cool again. 

The four pieces of art on the red wall where a Pinterest inspired project last year. Get the printables and directions here

Our living room is at the end of the long entry hall. To the left by the windows is our Master bedroom and to the right is the kitchen and formal dining room. This is where we live and where I focused most decorations this year.

The formal dining room is open to the living room and I used reds, lime green, and turquoise in here. I love throwing a little turquoise in with my decor.

One of the few craft projects I did this year was these mason jar snowglobes. I glued bottlebrush trees to the lid, added some fake snow, and closed the lid. Easy, inexpensive, and fun! They are on display on the high bar in my kitchen overlooking the living room.

The living room is a fun mix of reds, plaids, vintage Santas and my snow globe collection. I love how it turned out this year.

And a look at our tree at night, all lit up! This is how I see it most days. I love it. We have an 8 foot tall and skinny tree. I don't think my living room has the perfect sure spot for a tree. We have had it in three different places in 5 years. 

Our cat wanted in this shot! Hi, Jean Grey!

Thanks for visiting! To see past Christmas tours and my daughter's "sweet" tree, click here. Or, to see everything Christmas including crafts, recipes, homemade gift ideas and more, click here

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cheesy Green Chile Enchiladas

These are one of my favorite meals to make for others- who doesn't love chicken enchiladas with a cheesy, sour cream and green chile sauce? They are easy, fun to make and make a TON!

When I make these enchiladas, I make enough for 3 meals! It is so nice to have frozen homemade dinners ready to pop out and eat on busy nights. This dish makes 12 enchiladas, so you can decide how to divide them up.

Cheesy Green Chile Enchiladas

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I boil mine in water for 15 minutes and shred with the paddle attachment on my Kitchenaid mixer)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup medium picante sauce
1 cup sour cream
flour tortillas
1/4 to 1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350. Place a little chicken broth in the bottom of casserole dish. You can fill a 13x9 dish or three 8x8 dishes.

In large bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, green chiles, 1 cup cheddar cheese, picante sauce, and sour cream. Mix together.

Remove about 1/4 of this mixture and set aside.

Add shredded chicken to large bowl of green chile mixture. Fill flour tortillas individually. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down into casserole dish.

Using small bowl of mixure (the 1/4 you set aside), add 1/4 cup chicken broth and mix well. Scoop/Pour over enchiladas.

Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Ruffle Bib Sweatshirts and Tutorial

I am now on Instagram! Feel free to follow me here and you'll get a sneak peek of projects like this one below. 

I pinned these cute ruffle bib tank tops earlier this summer and was so sad that I never got around to making this before the weather turned cooler. Fast forward to last month when I was complaining that Abby only owns long sleeve t-shirts and has nothing for colder weather... no sweaters, fleece, etc. I told my husband I was going to buy her some cheap sweatshirts and try to make them cute.

The ruffle bib came back into play and they work perfectly to spice up an inexpensive sweatshirt.

I bought two sweatshirts for under $10 each from Old Navy and then dug around in my fabric scrap bin and button bins to find some things that match. Abby will love wearing the pink one because the floral fabric was a scrap from her favorite baby blanket she still likes to snuggle with. Her name is Plexi. :)

The tutorial from Shannon can be found here. She has step by step directions and photos. I did the fabric picking and cutting and my Mom sewed them over the Thanksgiving holiday. She said they took no time at all. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving and Instagram

I am finally posting more to Instagram. I had it and never really used it, but now I am and I love it! Click here to follow me and see all the fun happenings in my happy little world. 

We had a wonderful pretty low key Thanksgiving. Our little family of three hosted my Mother and Mother-in-Law on Thursday for lunch. On Wednesday afternoon while desserts were baking, Abby and I made this little banner for the fireplace. I google searched Thanksgiving images, printed them, she colored them and I backed them with scrapbook paper and hung them on ribbon with clothespins. She gave each picture a name and was happy to give them out after the meal. An easy project and great for any holiday.

To only have five people at the table, we had food for 15! We ate a big lunch and then had leftovers through the weekend. We kept it simple by ordered sliced turkey and ham from a local restaurant, bought Sister Schuberts yummy rolls, and made the rest including cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and Paulina's Sweet Potato Hash

Dessert was my responsibility and I took it seriously! We were given a beautiful apple pie by a friend and I made my favorite Cranberry Salad, Southern Pecan bars, and Mix and Match Mama's pumpkin cake. Abby made sure the cake had plenty of sprinkles :)

 After lunch, Marcus and I went to the Texas Tech/Texas football game. It was cold and we lost, but lots of fun! 

On Friday, we stayed home and in pajamas all day while decorating for Christmas. Abby's excitement as the tubs came out could not be contained. It was precious! I brought out all of my snowglobes which hasn't happened since 2007. I just couldn't do it when she was little and knew they would be broken. I was due at Christmas in 2008, so there was little decor that year. 

I'll be sharing all of my Christmas decorations on the blog soon. For now, I am enjoying the view!

 I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too!