Life's great journey is made up of day by day delights.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I've been fa la la la lazy about blogging!

Well not so much "lazy" as insanely busy.....ok, fine. I may have procrastinated a little as well. Just like everyone else this time of year I have been going, going, going so blogging has kind of been put on the back burner of priorities. For that, I apologize.
Buying gifts? Check!
Wrapping gifts? Check!!
Making goodies? Check!!!
Clean house for the holiday? Check!!!!
I am so happy that I can say I am done with everything for the holidays. Now, all that is left to do is work (2 more days),celebrate and enjoy the day with those that I love. I am so excited! And relieved. I admit I kind of love some of the last minute holiday mayhem but it really is nice to know that I can just sit back and take it all in without worrying about what I need to do next.
Yesterday, I finished up the last of my gift wrapping. I really enjoy gift wrapping (a lot) but this year I feel I dropped the bar a little. I didn't have enough time to go all out like I normally do but even still I am quite pleased with the end result. I like LOVE the wrapping paper I got this year. I got it at the all great Hobby Lobby for 50% off which makes it even better in my eyes. It is a lovely red houndstooth pattern that makes me all giddy inside just from the mere sight of it. Feast your eyes on this....

Next I started working on my Christmas goodies! I'm going to tell you right was magical. haha Ok, maybe not but I sooooo love making goodies and listening to Christmas music. Doing that takes me to my happy place. And this year I got to do it in my kitchen, with my cookie sheets, and my oven. I <3 being a newlywed and getting to start these little traditions in my own home thrill me to no end. Yes, I miss being at my parents doing this while my cats would watch in wonder but there is something equally satisfying about doing this as well. It was so fun with the Christmas music turned on and being able to make the cookies while looking out my kitchen window at the winter wonderland before me. I'll be honest...I danced a little. Yep. It happened. Like my arms out, spinning around like I'm a ballerina. What?!? The music moved me. :-)  Of course the dancing took place in between me frantically cleaning the kitchen when I spilled maraschino cherries and their icky juice all over the kitchen counter (which easily stains) and sweeping up m&m's that would roll off the table. Ugh! Anyway, I had a blast and this year I tried a new recipe for Holiday Ribbon Cookies (
Although my cookies don't look perfect, they don't look bad either. Check them out!
These are Holiday Thumbprint Cookies ( I topped some with sugar pearls and some with peppermint sprinkles!

Holly! This is a holiday staple in my family. They are like rice krispy treats only with corn flakes and the green food dye. Traditionally the recipe has one top the holly with red hots but those are hard when you bite down so I have started using mini m&m's. They work out great!

Holiday ribbon cookies (also from Betty Crocker). The layers you see are poppyseed, chocolate walnut, then maraschino cherries (the source of the aforementioned spill.)

Just some of the seemingly endles pretzels I made. I make these every year and they are a huge hit because I use all sorts of toppings to make them more unique. I buy the Andes mints bits and top the pretzels with them. DIVINE. I also use red and green m&m's, peppermint sprinkles, sugar pearls, Heath bar pieces, mini chocolate chops, coconut, nuts and anything else that seems like they might make my pretzels extra special!

Eric and I tried to stay within a certain budget this year and because of that I am giving a lot of my goodies as gifts to family and friends. To make my treats stand out I like to package them with an Anna twist. Here is what I mean....
I got the bells in a pack of 21 for $5 from wWal-Mart, the bags (pk. of 20) for $1 also @ WM, and the ribbon is another great WM find for $1. Inside these bags are cookies, pretzels, Christmas bark, and other various snacks.
These bags are filled with Muddy Buddy chex mix (yum!!!) To spruce them up, I criss-crossed the candy canes on there which I think make them extra festive!

Christmas is almost here! Can you believe it? :-)

What are some traditions you have? What about treats, what are your favorites??

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pulling some skeletons out of the closet.

Yep, that's right!.......well not quite skeletons as much as mounds of clothes! haha But I am definitely putting it all out there and I figure now is as good a time as any to admit my addiction. I'm addicted to.......(sigh)........clothes. THERE! I SAID IT!!!
When I moved into Eric's house once we got married, I tried (key word) to be as organized as possible. I am not a messy person. I'm a little ocd about everything actually. "Clean the house obsessively, color code folders, put things in alphabetical order" kind of ocd. But somehow in the rush of trying to make the house look perfect while loading my belongings into the house and juggling every day life, I became overwhelmed and shoved clothes and shoes in a small, random closet in our bedroom....and really anywhere else I could find room. Slowly but surely the pile of mayhem grew and grew and GREW! This tends to be the pattern in my life when it comes to my clothes, Who knows why! My life is constantly going so I never tried to tackle the problem. I hate starting a project and not finishing it or waiting on it so I just acted like this problem didn't even exist. If people came over and I gave them the "grand tour" I avoided that closet. Not like I will showcase it's just a closet. But now it's a clutter-free closet which makes me feel so much more peaceful in the house. This morning I woke up determind to kill the messy monster and I WON! (Depends on your definition of "won" I suppose....a victory is a victory to me.) I took out all of the summer clothes and the winter clothes still boxed up, all of the shoes, etc. I then did the same to the dresser and the other random closet (our house is full of EXTREMELY random and difficult storage spaces). Now I just need to get those silly spring and summer clothes out of the hall and into the attic. That's where Eric comes into play. I refuse to go into the attic. It's way up high and dark and cold and scary. Who knows what's living in there! I, for one, am not about to find out! Now for pictures......I'm not proud of this....
WARNING! WARNING! The pictures you are about to see exhibit an unmade bed (gasp!), a crazy, messy pile of shirts, skirts, and shoes, and other items that are unknown even to me. BE PREPARED! If shock sets in....well......I warned you. :-)
Top of Clothes Mtn. being carelessly tossed onto unmade bed in a desperate attempt to make order.

....yeeeeah. That bad.

Closet 2: This picture does not even fully depict what was going on in here. There were clothes and books on the floor, hangers dangerously shooting out ready to stab the unaware eye of yours truly, and purses barely on the shelves.

Attention ladies! This is what hastiness gets you. I can't even identify some of the stuff in this shot. haha

Ah! Sweet order.

What? I love shoes. You didn't even see the shoe rack on the back of my door. Don't judge me. haha

Ok, it may not look like it but this is totally organized! Everything is in it's place. It's driving me crazy that it's not color organized but sometimes I have to let these ocd tendencies rest. Let me tell you, though! I can walk in there now!! And there are no death instruments (hangers) ready to attack!

I can see exactly what I have now. Oh! but only with the flash of the camera. No light in there.....weird house.

Clothes waiting to be hauled up to the attic of scary darkness. Bottom tub is full of shoes alone (flip flops mostly). Yes, I know the clothes are not folded and put away nicely. They are shoved in there. This is the result of a woman crazed and overwhelmed by mayhem everywhere! I'll regret it in the spring but whatever! OUT OF SIGHT,OUT OF MIND! haha

Please tell me I am not the only woman out there that has had this problem! Share your stories with me! :-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas!

It's the time of year again, Folks! and I could not be more excited. I have loved Christmas ever since I was a little girl. Not because of the gifts but because of the meaning, the memories, the family and friends, the goodies, the smells, the decorations-I LOVE IT ALL! My family and I have held the same traditions for years (discuss further in a later post).
When I got married I wasn't quite sure what kind of traditions we would keep or even start. Eric, being a homeowner and bachelor for many years, never had a Christmas tree in his home. He never had decorations...OR ANYTHING! Hard to believe, I know. Let's just say I took care of that. :-)
Love this little bear holding our classic Coca Cola Santa coasters.

Get it? It reads "jingling" and it has bells inside. Got this on sale last year at Pier 1 for a dollar after Christmas! I've said it before and I'll say it again! Buy your Christmas decor after the holidays. They are practically giving that stuff away!

I love, love, love this ornament! I got this a few years ago in Chicago while shopping with some friends. I actually broke it as soon as it got home and nearly cried but thanks to the power of superglue you would never know it even got a crack!

One of my many ornaments I got from Hobby Lobby (<3 that place) for 50% off!

Can't wait till we get a new entertainment center. Notice the cute stockings? Also 50% at Hobby Lobby!

I did this about a week ago. I came home exhausted from working Black Friday but somehow found the energy to decorate for Christmas! Made the hurricane vases for $2 a pop (got the idea from Myra at, the Noel sign was $2 on sale at Wal-Mart kast year, the candles I had, the little red votive holders I got last year at Pier 1 for almost nothing, and the roly-poly Santa I got this past July at a flea market for $5. I love that lil' guy!

My roly-poly Santa!

Still need to do some sprucing up to this and to many areas of the house. Even still, I love this little corner.

Gotta love some good candlelight!

Another great ornament I got while up in Chicago a few years ago. Love!

Center piece for table. Still need to find or make a runner! It's a bit bare....

The plates are from Pier 1 ($1 a piece at last years sale) and the chargers are from Dollar General for a $1 a piece. Can't wait to make some cute napkin holders and really make the table pop!

My dear friend, Amber, got this for me last year along with a Snowman so Eric and I could have some Christmas decorations to start out with. Love her! :-)

My friendly little Snowman from Amber! It looks soooo cool when lit up with a candle inside!

First day of December and we had our first snowfall of the season. MAGICAL!

I bought these cute peppermint looking bowls at Dollar General for $5 for a set of 3 and filled them with fun holiday candy.
My decorations are fun, simple, and inexpensive. I really like them but have to admit that they are lacking some pizazz and creativity. I can't wait to get some ideas and more supplies through the years to make our house look even more special for the holiday season! :-)
I am really looking forward to sharing some more holiday fun with you all and to learn about some traditions you have! MERRY CHRISTMAS!