Thursday, December 30, 2010

the gingerbread party 2010

For the past three, maybe even four years, I have hosted a little gingerbread house decorating party for the kids. It started originally as a way to get the neighborhood kids together and have a party "just for them" around the holidays. I just fell in love with the way it all turned out, so I have continued it on, year after year. It is a great way for me to really get "in the spirit!"

*Sorry for the late post on this!*

Anyway.... I usually keep it to a very small group of children since decorating gingerbread with candy and colored icing could get a bit out of control quickly! This year, as in the past, I was so fortunate to have a great group of little ones over! They seemed to enjoy the gingerbread decorating and were very proud of their "masterpieces" once it was all said and done! And, I have to say, my favorite part this year was that we asked everyone to come in their pjs since we had a Friday night party this year! So cute!!!

I am already looking forward to next year's party. PS... I think I will use this blog post as inspiration for next year!!!! Isn't it gorgeous!!???

Monday, December 27, 2010

snowy day...part two

hard to believe....

I think the reports I read said that we (living in the chapel hill area of North Carolina) had not had a white Christmas since the 1940's. So, when the weather forecasters said it might actually happen, I have to admit, I was a bit doubtful. So, Christmas Day came and just as it was ending and almost gone, mother nature pulled through and the snow began to fall! Although it was dark, we were all still glued to watching the window to see if it would stick! Sunday morning we woke to find it did! And, not only did it stick, but it was about SIX or so inches of sticking snow!!!!!! Never thought it would really happen! But, it is beautiful!

So, here are a few photos from snow day - part one.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas 2010....the memories

It is hard to believe that Christmas 2010 is "all wrapped up!" Every year there just seems to be so much prep work and then, in an instant, it is all over. This year, as with the years past, I felt so overwhelmed trying to get "it" all done. But, when the moments are here, I treasure each and every one.

I truly hope that everyone had as magical a holiday as our family did!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry christmas to all

..and to all a good night!

(Our little christmas eve tradition.... bubble bath, bubble beards and santa hats!!)

almost ready....

We are "wrapping" things up at our house.... getting ready for the big day right around the corner!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

one more idea to share

I love the way this little treat turned out! I wanted to do something a bit different than just putting cookies or candy into a jar like I usually do for this preschool teacher, so I took the jar (jars found at Target) and "lined" the inside with old fashioned peppermint sticks standing upright along the edges. Then, in the center I broke up pieces of peppermint bark (homemade or not would be fine!) to fill it in. Voila! On the outside it looks so festive and on the inside, a peppermint tasty treat!

a visit with the jolly fat man

Never would have thought Noah would actually really sit on Santa's lap this year! It ended up being so cute!

There were some serious "wish list" conversations going on here!

working on teacher's gifts and a recipe to share!

(I am a little late with this post!)

What better thing to do on a snow day the week before Christmas than bake cookies!!???

Cameron and I worked really hard to get all of our teacher goodies ready to deliver the last day before the holiday break..... only to have yet another snow day the next day!!!! So, we had LOTS of cookies to eat all by ourselves!!!!

These cookies turned out so pretty this year and so tasty! In case you are not familiar with this recipe, I had to share. About 6 or so years ago, a very good friend served these at her daughter's birthday party and I HAD to know what they were. The recipe is as follows:

Devils Food Cookies

1 box Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake MIx
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

sugar for rolling

mix the first three ingredients. roll into small balls. then roll the balls in sugar. place on cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes on 350 degrees. the cookies will "crackle" slightly on top giving them the "hint" they are ready as well as looking pretty!

So, this is the recipe I have made for years now and the boys love them! However, about 2 months ago, I was craving something sweet and decided to make cookies. But, I did not have the devils food cake mix. Instead, I had milk chocolate. Well, what do you know, it worked and I liked it even better!!!!!!!

So then..... my "wheels" started spinning about cake mixes. I wondered if it worked with the milk chocolate, what about white cake mix, like a sugar cookie??? And, it did work and is delicious!!! Then... my wheels spun even more, and I wondered about doing red velvet for the holidays???? Ok, I did not actually end up trying the red velvet for the holidays, but I am sure it would work too! But, I did take the white cake mix version and made cookies but did not roll them in sugar. Instead I rolled them some gorgeous sugar cookie crystal sugars I found at Home Goods. They turned out so pretty - too pretty to eat! I packaged those up (as seen in the photos!) and those were supposed to be the teacher's treats. However, as I mentioned, they because our treats since there was not school the day before Christmas break. They were yummy!!!!!!!

he's still "hanging" around

So, our elf, Jingle, arrived about 2 weeks ago to keep an "eye" on the little boys in our house! He "hangs" out in some pretty nifty places!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the signs of christmas at our house...

santa... there's still time....

could you add one more thing to my wish list.........?

~Doug and I really need a master bathroom renovation.... can you tell by my wish list?!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a few favorite things...

Well, Oprah had her very last "Oprah's Favorite Things" show a few weeks ago and it was amazing! I actually teared up watching the audience react when they found out they were on that show! It is amazing to see what she shares with the audience as a favorite thing.

While this post may not bring quite the same reaction, I thought I would share a little list of my "favorite" items of 2010. If you are still holiday shopping perhaps this may give you some inspiration!

So cute if you are hosting any kind of holiday party this season. Cupcake toppers! Easy to use and they make such a statement on a homemade or store bought cupcake!

I found these camera straps on Etsy one day and just loved them! Definitely on my Christmas list since we got a new camera earlier this fall. There are several different patterns/designs to choose from.

Ok,I'll be honest, these were on my Christmas list, but I already ordered one! The perfect little way to keep a stylish notepad in your purse or diaper bag!

Everyone is into recycling these days and these bags are a great way to cut down on using plastic or paper bags. And, you can have your monogram put on it!!

I have blogged about these soaps and this company before, but I just had to one more time. I LOVE their products and LOVE their packaging just as much! So, if you just need pretty soaps or lotions to "display" in a powder room, or you want a great eco-friendly soap or lotion for the bath, PiperTate is the place!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my love of paper...

Many of you know, I love paper! I love invitations, announcements, holiday cards, anything related to paper and pretty! I also love quality paper! And, as I have found with a few other Etsy shops, my latest "discovery" is no exception! About a month or so ago, I stumbled upon MonkeyMooMoo. (She also has a "sister" shop called Lemonade Paperie!) I was instantly in love! I ordered a 2011 desktop calendar. I was so surprised at how cute it was in person. She does the cutest little "doodles!" And, her thick luxurious paper could give letterpress a run for it's money!

I so loved the calendar that I contacted her to do some custom calling/gift cards for Noah and Bryson. I was not disappointed!

And, remember our "thankful jar" we created during the Thanksgiving season? Well, I took that concept and adapted it to be a "wish list jar" for Santa and used a holiday tag that MonkeyMooMoo sent with my order. (I am sure she would do these for you if you are interested!).

while I was gone....

So, over the weekend I was at the beach with my dear friend, Julia, checking things off my holiday shopping list and enjoying great shops and restaurants and sunny weather! Meanwhile... back at home, my children were enjoying SNOW! It never snows here in early December! I hated missing seeing the boys' faces when they looked outside! But, I completely enjoyed my girls weekend all the same.

PS.... we still have snow in our backyard!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

i'm off....

I'm off to the beach this weekend for girls shopping weekend!

Hoping to get lots of holiday gifts checked off my list!