Thursday, December 23, 2010

Semi-Baked Goodness

While hard-core baking from scratch is practically a Holiday requirement, it is a relief to come across some delicious, easy to bake recipes {that don't require much baking}. Both of these recipes main ingredient is the mini pretzel. The first one is a Rolo/Pretzel recipe with the following ingredients:
Mini Pretzel Twists
Walnuts or Pecan Halves
Here's how you do it:
I found it works best to do two at a time. Place two pretzels with one Rolo on each on wax paper and microwave for 13-17 seconds. Immediately press the Rolo down into the pretzel with the nut of your choice.

After I placed them in a container I thought they needed a little extra something...powdered sugar!

I've also heard of a version of this recipe using yogurt covered pretzels. YUM. Another recipe I found was this one...pretzels dipped in white chocolate from an amazing site filled with pages of inspiration - One Charming Party.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fun with Pipe Cleaners

These were so easy to make and they turned out so darn cute. Since it has been raining here longer than we are used to we have been logging in a lot of movie time. These pipe cleaner/chenille stem initials were made during a Shrek marathon. Just twist two colors together and shape into the letters you desire. We will be using these for the Christmas dinner table setting somehow...not too sure, yet.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Handmade Gifts

This year we made Mint Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix for our neighbors. The bottom of the jar is filled with the cocoa mix and topped with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. It has been taste tested and approved with big smiles.
The decorative elements on top are textured red cardstock punched out with a 2" round scallop punch and the peppermint stickers are envelope seals from the dollar bin {I think there are something like 100 per package}.
The labels were designed and set up on 8.5x11, printed on Avery 8.5x11 full sticker sheets and punched out with a 3" round punch.

And, finally, they are sitting in this cute little collapseable picnic basket waiting to be delivered...when the rain lets up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Doheney in December

We like to go camping. And, although I prefer the summer months for this past time, we go every year in December. We usually go to San Elijo or Carlsbad State Beach, but this year was my first time camping in Doheny. There was a huge group of us, and since my cousins and aunt were going to be there we just turned it into our Christmas celebration. We had six sites all together, right on the beach. We also had excellent weather. My favorite kind of winter weather around here - sunny and crisp. Someone brought gingerbread houses & cookies for the kids to decorate {there were 9 little kiddos running around between the ages of 2-6}. Because this was my first time camping at Doheny, and my Mr. had not been since he was a kid, and the camping fees seem like they've doubled since the summer {astronomical!} I thought our site had hook-ups. We got there when it was dark and I hopped out of the trailer with an extension cord in hand ready to plug in. None of the sites at Doheny have hook-ups. I decided instantly that I was going to have a terrible time and my mood was in the dumps {likewise for my Mr.}. But, our girls were having a blast in our dimly-lit, slightly drafty Tin Can of a Trailer and my mood changed instantly. The other campers started to arrive, we lit a fire and good times were had. I was able to capture a couple of scenic shots of our cutie-buns on the sand berm. Beautiful!

I was trying to get this gorgeous shot of our *little love* standing with hundreds of birds flying overhead...and then she sat down.

This is why I was looking for hook-ups. Our Tin Can Trailer is a little bit old and I enjoy modern camping with luxuries like electricity {and occasionally being able to turn the space heater on and off throughout the night}.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Love Notes

I can't wait for my oldest to be a fluid reader...I'm so going to put these in her lunch box {or make some of my own}. There are quite a few to select from. Check it out. From Compendium.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

In a Wonderland

I have loved Alice in Wonderland and all related artwork for years. I have a nice little collection of all things Alice in our curio cabinet that replaced our wedding crystal a while ago. It was just sitting in our attic in some boxes marked ALICE {now, ALICE has been crossed out and replaced with *useless wedding crystal*}. When *the boss* was turning 4 I knew exactly what theme we would do for her birthday party. I wanted to make it whimsical and use real china and table linens. The dishes, cups & saucers were found by scouring thrift and antique stores. All the teapots are from my personal collection the random chairs were borrowed from several people. As a graphic designer you very rarely get to design exactly what you want, the way you want to do it. Because of this, I like to go overboard for my girls' birthday parties.

The large leaves and the Cheshire Cat were made from insulation foam board we purchased at Home Depot. It's affordable and comes in large sheets. I painted it with poster paint and then used sidewalk chalk to draw on them.

 The birthday girl had the biggest, most comfiest chair to sit in.

I think the White Rabbit is fitting for the hostess since they are usually running around confused at parties.

We even had a Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter.

This birthday party was so much fun and my sweet, sweet *Alice* still talks about it 2 years later.
{Unfortunately, our little-love was only 4 months old and slept the whole time}

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Journal {in progress}

I haven't done any scrapbooking since the summer, but I'm feeling motivated these days. The last project I did was A Week in the Life {it's actually still in progress}. I really enjoyed it because it forced me to journal and take pictures everyday for a week and I was hyper-aware of all the little things that go on day-to-day in our lives. I'm inspired to do a knock off of that for Christmas. I got out my *stash* and put everything I could use on the table: cardstock, glitter paper, stickers, gems, ribbon, flocked transparency, journaling cards, red vellum envelopes, glitter chipboard, glitter chipboard letters, doillies, tags, everything!
I plan on using some plain, white scalloped chipboard {which I got in a big pack of various shapes at Lakeshore Learning Stores} for the cover and making a ring book. I can't wait to see what I come up with...