Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is it 2010 yet?

I'm so behind. I have so much to post, but I've been so busy and exhausted and just barely keeping a cold at bay. Today is my last shift at my seasonal job for this week, then we're having friends over tomorrow night for New Year's Eve, so I'll be back with new posts either Friday or Monday. But, I've been enjoying reading all your blogs!

I'm looking forward to a very quiet, empty-scheduled start to the new year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

We have a winner...

Once again, I used my very scientific method of choosing a winner by writing everyone's name on a scrap of paper (Followers got two), folding and shaking them up, and picking one. I don't generate the number of entries that would require me to use yet, so my Stone Age method works.

And the winner is...

Kim from NewlyWoodwards! And I swear to Baby Jesus it's not because she highlighted me on her blog today, but she did, so check it out! It was purely a coinkydink, and just meant to be.

So Kim, email me a mailing address and I'll get your votives out asap!

And thank you everyone who entered! There will be more.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The trees and other decor

I don't know why it's taken me so long to get around to posting our holiday decor, considering half of it was up long before Thanksgiving, but here goes the tour...

I kept it simplish this year, because we are still so disorganized from our move in October. I can't even find one whole Christmas bin.

Here's our artificial 6ft. tree. I decided to keep it decorated in colors that match our living room, so blues, brown, cream, white, silver.

I did buy some new ornaments this year, since I didn't have enough in that color scheme to cover this tree. This is one of my favorite new ones:

And we were given some beautiful bird ornaments by our friends Karin and Sam that went perfectly on this tree. I think someday I'll do an entire tree of bird ornaments.

Under this tree is where you'll find Bean hanging out and causing trouble. The tree skirt is just a tablecloth wrapped around the bottom, cause I can't even thread a needle let alone sew anything.

Our advent calendar hanging on the entry closet door:

Entry table decor:

Balls, balls everywhere...

Also on the dining table:

Mini tree on the makeshift dining room sideboard:

Part of the mantle:

Pretty beaded garland on the bookshelves:

The main tree, where we put our ornaments that we've collected over the years. Some have been given to us, some we've picked up on our travels, and we also collect Hallmark ornaments...

First married Christmas ornament from last year:

And this is my all-time favorite ornament. I don't know why, it just is. I can't wait to dig this one out every year when we're decorating my parents' tree, and this year my mom insisted I take it home. My little walnut boy...

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed it. I haven't been able to get enough of seeing everyone's tours. I'm linking to

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester


And if you haven't entered my giveaway from yesterday, why the heck not? Click here to enter. Winner will be chosen on Friday morning and posted Friday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My second ever giveaway!

So after several days of rain, we had a clear beautiful day, and Mark and I headed out to do a little Christmas shopping. We went to the big outdoor mall where I have my seasonal job at Crate and Barrel (gotta use that employee discount!).

This is why I haven't made any money at that job:
I'm in Crate all day, and then I come out to have Anthro staring me in the face. I never had a chance.
While the incessant rain lately has made it difficult to get things done, it has brought snow to the local mountains, which is pretty.

We had fun shopping. Maybe too much fun, as we bought more for ourselves than others :/ One of the things we bought for ourselves is a pair of these pretty white stone votive holders from West Elm.
I loved them so much I bought a second pair to share with one of you!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. Followers get an extra entry! I will choose a winner randomly on Friday. Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dare to Deck the Halls!

Dare to DIY

I can't believe it's the second to last week of the Dare to DIY blog party already! For this week, we were to make something decorative for the holidays.

Ripped straight from the pages of the now defunct and sorely missed Domino magazine, I made a card tree thingy. I searched and searched for the inspiration picture online and in my files where I keep magazine tear sheets, but I couldn't find it. If someone knows what I'm talking about, please send me a link. The Domino version was pink, white and black. Anyway, here's mine:

I used a piece of plywood, which we always have laying around from various projects and improvements. It's about 4 feet tall. Stapled on batting and an old linen table cloth that had a few yellow stains on it, which were going to be covered by the cards. Then Mark and I started nailing on holiday cards in a tree shape. Some were cards from this year, some were saved from years passed (past?) because I liked the front of it or it had special messages written inside.

Add a little garland and some small balls at the end, and voila! Christmas card tree that can be brought out year after year and added to. I think I may do something similar with all the photo Christmas cards we get, since I don't usually throw them away, but never know what to do with them after Christmas. I'll incorporate them into the yearly decor!

I also made a few little vintage card ornaments. I printed some images I found online, taped them to cardstock, added glitter (GLITTER!), and hung 'em on the tree. Couldn't be easier.

Cost for both projects: $0. Gotta love that. Now stop by NewlyWoodwards to be inspired by other homemade holiday decor!

Also linking to Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts

and The DIY Show Off

The DIY Show Off

Monday, December 7, 2009

The weekend was...

Decorating the house...

our Christmas party (so fun!)...

freezing rain...

and a cozy fire...

I love this time of year.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dare to Make Homemade Gifts

After completely missing Week 3 of the DIY challenge because I suck at time management, I'm back for Week 4 which is to make a gift for the holidays.

I chose something I had made over a year ago after seeing them on various blogs and Etsy, so again, this is not a new idea, but still adorable. Then I just made a few more for the challenge. It's cakestands!

Go to thrift stores or yard sales and buy (extremely cheaply) candlesticks or vases or egg cups or anything you think is pretty and would make a suitable base, and glue (I find Gorilla Glue works best) a plate on top. Easy squeasy.

It would be cute to give to someone with an actual cake on it, or cookies, or little soaps or anything the recipient might like. Or just as is.

I also made ornaments inspired by (or completely ripped off from) one from Target this year. I bought a set of 9 clear glass ball ornaments from Target, dropped in a sprig of faux greenery and some white iridescent glitter, and tied a little ribbon knot for hanging.

Cute to tie onto packages. I always like including a little extra something on the outside of a gift.

Don't forget to go to NewlyWoodwards and see what all the other ladies have made!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You must make these

I thought I might want to make these for Thanksgiving, so I did a test batch, and Mark and I ate them so fast I didn't even get a picture of them. Trust me, they are delicious! They only take 5 minutes to assemble and 30 minutes in the oven.

Scallion and Cheddar Popovers (makes 8)

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 scallions, chopped

1. Coat 8 cups of a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. In bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In second bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Fold in cheese and scallions.

3. Fill prepared cups about 3/4 full. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. Keep oven closed for full baking time or popovers will deflate.

4. Remove from oven and immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

5. Attempt to eat all 8 until your husband comes in and demands you share.

Recipe via Family Circle.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dare to Entertain

Dare to DIY

The Week 2 challenge of the Dare to DIY blog party over at NewlyWoodwards was to do a table setting.

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I did a Thanksgiving table, but let me be honest here...the actual table won't look much like the following pictures. For one thing, we will be 9 people, not 4, so we tack on a long folding table that is a couple of inches taller than our dining table, and then I have to use a second tablecloth which doesn't match the other. Not exactly glamorous, but it's what we do.

But for my imaginary Thanksgiving table for four, I started knowing I wanted to use these little wicker pumpkins I bought years ago at Michael's after Halloween for 50 cents. Excuse the Bean toes. He's such a camera hog!

I thought they would make cute individual flower arrangements at each place setting. Luckily, a little votive holder fits perfectly inside to hold the water.

I used gold chargers (even though the glare off it from the above pic makes it look white), green dinner plates, white salad plates, bronze-y napkins that match the tablecloth, and cute metal leaf napkin rings that my mom bought us this year. I guess if we were really fancy, we'd have gold flatware to match, but we don't have gold flatware, nor do I foresee buying any ever. So good old silver it was.

For the centerpiece I started with an old round mirror we aren't using that has a goldy-silver frame. On top of it I stacked a set of 3 glass cake stands that I filled with fake leaves, real mini pumpkins and gourds and baby artichokes, pinecones, and votives candles. And I stuck a little glittery brown bird that we had from our wedding on top.

If I were actually using this on Thanksgiving, I would remove it just before eating so everyone could see each other and, most importantly, to make room for food! Nothing gets between us and our stuffing in my family. I would also iron the tablecloth, which I did not do before these pictures, but I will do before Thanksgiving. And if I'm being totally honest, there was one really huge wrinkle that I Photoshopped out. Have I mentioned how lazy I am?
Again for this challenge I used what I had. The only things I bought were the fresh flowers and baby artichokes.

Now go on over to NewlyWoodwards and see the tables created by all the other wonderful ladies!