Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas.

Oh my gosh people!  There is snow outside!  Not just flurries.  Not just a smattering.  Ground covering, white and fluffy, beautiful snow!  This is the first year that I have had a job where I don't have to drive around in the snow.  But you know what I love more than that?

Homemade Christmas gifts! 

There is something special about receiving a gift and knowing that time was put into it just for you.  I've been keeping a lookout for some great gift ideas to recreate and share with family and friends.  Here are a few of my favorites!

Sallie at Texas Cottage compiled a list, complete with links to the instructions, on how to make ten different Christmas presents in a bottle.  I know that everyone has seen ideas similar to this, but have you ever received one of these gifts?  So much fun.  I have a ton of Mason jars in my cabinet and I can't wait to try some of these!

Source: Texas Cottage

Does anyone read Enjoying the Small Things?  Kelle posted about my favorite idea yet!  She made smores kits with her girls to hand out as gifts.  I love love love this!!!  Who doesn't like smores?!

  If any of you are finding it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit just check out her blog and you'll be singing Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells the rest of the evening!

Pinned Image
Source: Enjoying the Small Things

Another clever craft that I have been working on are these cute little hand warmers.  So easy and inexpensive to make.  I first spotted them on Etsy, but decided to give it a go myself.  All you do is cut out the shapes from felt, fill with rice, and sew them shut.  You place them in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on a chilly day and put them in your pocket!  Love.

Pinned Image
Source: Etsy

These are just three out of about a gazillion that I like.  I've obviously been using Pinterest to keep all of my ideas organized.  Obsessed I tell you.  Obsessed! 

So now that I have ruined Christmas surprises for several of my family and friends I think its time to go drink some cocoa.  :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is Here, Bringing Good Cheer.

I think its safe to say that our first Thanksgiving dinner to ever prepare was a complete success!

Caleb prepared an amazing turkey complete with brine and herb butter rub.

The sides were delicious and I managed to have them all prepared just as the turkey was done resting and ready to be carved.

I was am very thankful to be so fortunate.  

So what now?

The last of the Thanksgiving left overs have been consumed.  The pumpkins in their bottom-rotten glory have been thrown out.  And the Fall decor has rightfully claimed its place in the trunk in the back of my closet until next September.  

Its Christmastime!

The Christmas decorations are up, I'm drinking cocoa daily (part of a well-balanced holiday diet), and I've already watched Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Vacation.  Not to mention the fact that I learned all the words to Carol of the Bells in preparation for the season.  The holiday season is in full swing and I'm ready!

Pictures to come!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


It's been an excellent weekend and with Thanksgiving coming up I have definitely been thinking about how many things I have to be Thankful for.  

 New Friends.

Old Friends.


Cheesecake.  Blogging.  My cat.  A Roof Over My Head.  My job.  Creativity.  Freedom.  Books.  Wine.  Happiness.  Health.  Disney World.  Grandma.  Grandpa.  Ability to Help Others.  The Love of My Life.  Twilight.  Laughter.  My Education.  My Life.  Everyone Who Loves Me.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Chicken and Rice.

Holy Moly!  Thanksgiving is only about a week and a half away and boy have I been busy!

I've been looking for a simple centerpiece for my Thanksgiving table.  I've found some really pretty ideas on Pinterest.  I want to use mostly items that I already own because as I've mentioned I tend to get carried away...

I think this is beautiful.

Source: Therese Jacinto Design

And the only thing that I don't already have are the pine cones.  Luckily I saw several of those in the yard at work today!

Source: Therese Jacinto Design


Source: Therese Jacinto Design

I've also been cooking lots of yummy things.  I know I already mentioned Pinterest once, but let me just say that it might be my favorite thing ever.  I love marking new recipes to try.  Like the recipe I found from Two Peas and Their Pod for chicken and rice soup... so easy.

And delicious!

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Have you done any holiday decorating or tried any new and yummy recipes?  Do share!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey

Now that Halloween is over its time to start thinking about the whirlwind of holidays yet to come.  I'll admit that I have been thinking about Christmas, planning my giftwrap, and have already purchased several gifts, but I don't want to disservice one of the most important holidays of all: Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving. 

While I have been thinking about Christmas, I have also been planning in my head what I consider the perfect Thanksgiving for two.  This year I'm on call until 8 AM the day of and my hubby is working the day after.  So that means we are staying home for Thanksgiving just the two of us (with the possible welcome addition of a friend or two).  That also means that this will be my first year to prepare the Thanksgiving feast all by myself.  I can't make pie and I have never cooked a Turkey.  Or a chicken.  Or a little bitty cornish hen for that matter.


Lets face it people... my biggest fear is spending hours and hours roasting a bird only for it to end up like the infamous turkey from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Source: sodahead.com

There is definitely potential for disaster with my tendency to dream too big, take on too many things at once, and romanticize every holiday and get-together to ever occur.... I'll admit that I have a slight problem.  :)  But I have a goal: Keep it simple.  Simple can be better.  Besides, if I can't pull off cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two do I have any hope as a future mother who will one day be in charge of the holidays and traditions of a whole family?

I can do this.

I've started researching.

Luckily The Food Network can tell you everything that you ever needed to know about preparing and baking a turkey.  So hopefull, my bird will look more like this!

Source: http://arkuncaitisengl1101.blogspot.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-turkeys.html