Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Project #1 - Santa Art!

Ok guys. It's the little things in life around here.  I don't always have the funds/time/energy/creativity to do lots of amazing projects like I see across the internet.  I wish.  Oh how I wish!  But I've been trying to be more crafty this holiday season, so I'm going to share those projects here, even the little tiny baby ones.  Don't judge me Crafty McCrafterson.

Christmas Project #1:

Image from The Graphics Fairy (this replaced my Halloween Skull and Thanksgiving retro art in our large living room frame). I just cut him out, and glued onto scrapbook paper, adding a few sticker letters.   I'll say it again, I love free art!!  

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Thankful Table

My mom has quite a talent for decorating.  I've shared photos of my parents' house and my mom's decor on here before, but I just had to share her Thanksgiving table setting.  She reads a lot of the same blogs I do (you guys!) and she was excited to tell me that she "shopped her house" to set everything up.

(if the cupcakes look a little wonky - blame Tony - he iced them...)

Bonus photos of babies on Thanksgiving! 

Ava at Thanksgiving #1 with Tony's family, enjoying her spoon

Lyla dubious about her Thanksgiving meal selection... 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cookies! Dare to DIY

I love me some cookies.  I'm a grown-up Cookie Monster of sorts.  Of course, I'm better at eating them than I am at baking them... but that's to be expected.

Crazy CookieEater
I have a few cookie recipes to share for this week's Dare to DIY at Newlywoodwards.  One I made (with dubious results) and one Tony made (with delicious results).  And there is one that I didn't even make but sounds yummy.  On to the results...

First, a short story - Tony's mom gave us these awesome McCall's cookbooks (from 1979 - ie, hilarious to read! ).  They have some great recipes, most of which call for ingredients that I'm pretty sure have gone extinct. 

 I tried a cookie recipe from the Book of Merry Eating one - Christmas Logs.  I changed it up a little by using festive sugar, and they look kinda funny - but they taste good!  Frankly I think it's just a recipe for making dough you can now buy in a Pillsbury plastic roll... but still.  I felt domestic.

Christmas Logs

And take a look at this photo from the cookbook - daughter helps mommy in the kitchen! (ie -scary)

Next, Tony made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies- and they are yummmmmy.  They come out the consistency of cake almost, but shaped like cookies.  Can't beat that! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe here  - on AllRecipes.

And as a bonus, here's another from McCall's that sounds good, but no promises! 

I can't wait to see what you other domestic divas contribute this week!

Dare to DIY

ps - I'm going to be doing my first giveaway (a DIY crafty one, made by me, so don't get too excited) on Dec 1 - come back then and enter so I'm not embarrassed by lack of response!   :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The last of the colorful leaves:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Year of Thanks

Here's what I've been thankful for this year (in pictures, of course):

January - Happy Dogs:

February - Georgia Snows:

April - Lyla Elaine's Birth:

August - Beach Memories:

September - Mini Vacations (and a husband who lets me pose pictures like this!)

December is not long off, and I'm sure there will be plenty of things then to be thankful for too!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Follow my lead - eat second helpings of mac and cheese! 

ps - let me tell you, it was hard to not pick baby pictures for each month.  I tried to spare you my obsession!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dare To Entertain!

It's week 2 of Kim's Dare to DIY party.  This week is all about showing off your Thanksgiving table.  I have to admit, this week isn't my strong point.  Our house isn't exactly built for entertaining, so we don't do much of it.  Regardless, here's what's sitting on our kitchen table 

It was put together using the shop yo closet method: 

This was definitely a work with what ya got kinda table.  I found this giant cutting board at the thrift store for only $3.  It's from Lands End, is in great shape, and is super heavy and solid.  It doesn't even look like it got much cutting in it's day.  I got super excited when I found it.  So this will be my centerpiece starter.

Next I just added stuff I had around the house.  The idea was natural and festive, but most importantly - free.  I grabbed some glass containers, pumpkins, candles, and vase filler to group together.  Tony says it's crowded, but I kinda like it.  Certainly it would look better with new things, but it was free - you can't beat that. 

Go check out the rest of the entries on Newlywoodwards!  

Dare to DIY

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Simple Pleasures


Let me share a little story.  We had two TCBY's in Knoxville when I was growing up.  Two.  Lucky for that, considering my friends and I would sometimes go two times in one day during the summers (ohh high school metabolism, I miss you...).  We would alternate locations so they wouldn't start recognizing us (they still did).  Tony, as well as our friends Mikey and Kacy, share this same affinity for the country's best yogurt. However, in recent years, TCBYs have become elusive, difficult to find... 

So you can imagine our excitement when we saw our little town of Peachtree City was getting a TCBY.  Turns out, it's not the TCBY of my youth.  New TCBY is fun and modern - and it's DIY ice cream.  You do it all yourself however you want - flavors, toppings, etc -  and they just charge by the ounce.  Dream come true.  This, my friends, is what Simple Pleasures is alllll about.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Tradition of Love

It's a new month, and there's a new feeling in the air.  The holidays are upon us with full force.  Besides the usual onslaught of twinkle lights, toy guides, and maddening traffic, one thing stands out as a hallmark of the season, this end of year wrap-up:  Family.  Holiday traditions, born of childhood memories and nostalgia, are made magical when surrounded by those you love.  In November and December, activities become more about who you are with, that what you do.  Plans are carefully laid for far-flung family members to gather together to share in each other's company.  Meals are shared, gifts are exchanged, requisite family photos are taken - all in the name of good cheer.  

I think back upon all of the holidays of the past - my sisters and I dressed in our finest matching homemade reindeer sweaters - posing patiently for the family card photo.  I remember the Thanksgiving when my mom let us pick a dish we wanted at the dinner, and we feasted on pizza rolls and tacos.  I can still feel the emotions of going around the dinner table on Thanksgiving, each person expressing what they were thankful for - the health of recently sick family, cuddles from the cat, the peace of all being together, the good grades in school, and recently - the little healthy baby growing in my sister's belly.  I remember vividly the year I came home from my freshman year at UGA, and the sense of joy filling inside me, to be sitting at the table, reunited with the family that I thought I was too cool for just the year before.  I remember the year it snowed on Christmas - even in Tennessee.  I still cling relentlessly to following old traditions, reenacting that little piece of childhood that springs to life during this time of year and fills me with hope, longing, and delight.

As I've grown older and gotten married, things have changed, just a little.  I now have two families to call my own, the celebrations multiplied and the happiness expanded and intensified.  We now have two little nieces who are surrounded by love.  This year they will join in old traditions, and will soon enough start some of their own.  We will probably skip the tacos and go for turkey, but one thing remains the same:  I am who I am because of my family.  I'm reminded by their love and support daily, and this season, I'm celebrating it. 

[this ran on 11.11.10 in the newspaper]

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