Saturday, December 25, 2010

The 2010 Christmas Holiday Season

Merry Christmas!
The Christmas holiday came in a flash! Even being 7-8 months pregnant and busy with baby preperations, I manged to squeeze a lot of my favorite holiday activities in this month. Here are a few of my holiday activities....

Handmade Christmas Cards
My girlfriends and I have been making handmade Christmas cards for the nursing home for a few years. We get together for an afternoon and bring out all of our scrapbooking and craft supplies. We cranked out aprox 80 cards this year!

The Cookie Exchange
I hosted my 2nd cookie exchange for 10 of my close friends. We each had to make 6 dozen cookies. I am always nervous to try out new cookie recipes for occasions like this so I stuck to a cookie that's always been a hit, I made the Cranberry Pistachio Mexican Wedding Cake Cookie.
Here is the completed tray of cookies after the exchange. Cookies featured this year were: Peppermint Cocoa Kiss Cookies, Triple Ginger (using crystalized ginger, fresh ginger, and powdered ginger), Red Velvet Cookies, with Cream Cheese Icing, Potato Chip Cookies, Lemon Volcanos, Oatmeal Cinnamon, Butterfinger, Snickerdoodles, Pecan Triangles, and Noels. All so good!
Stocking Stuffers
I have a huge family and a lot of cousins. We usually draw names and do a secret Santa gift exchange, but I also like to give each cousin a little stocking stuffer. This year I have sweet treats packed in paper cones for the guys, and a pair of gloves for the girls. I love how these turned out. Simple cuteness!

Well, I am off to celebrate Christmas with the family. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I am looking forward to sharing another year with my blogger friends!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Easy No Bake Thin Mints

Tis the season for cookie exchanges, office potlucks, and holiday parties. If you're like me, it can mean you are on a baking overload. So I thought I'd share an easy no bake cookie that's always a hit for the holidays (or if you're craving Girl Scout Thin Mints on the off season).

You only two ingredients:

•Ritz Crackers (I like using the "hint if salt" Ritz Crackers)
•2 pkgs of Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips (I have tried Nestle's mint and chocolate swirl morsels and they don't melt as easily)

Yields aprox 64 cookies (about 1/2 box of Ritz Crackers)

On med-low heat, place your baking baking chips in a double boiler for melting. If you don't have a double boiler (like me), add a couple of cups of water to a pot and place a heat resistant mixing bowl in the pot.

Slowly you chocolate will melt and stir until completely smooth.

Once your chocolate is smooth, dip your Ritz Cracker covering both sides in chocolate.

Place cookies on foil, parchment paper, or even freezer paper and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Once cooled, peel each cookie off the foil and redip the top of the cookie in chocolate. I suggest that you peel all the cookies first, then redip.

These cookies cool really quickly and you can easily make and plate them in 30 minutes. They also freeze beautifully and taste great right out if the freezer.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Fabulous Baby Shower!

This weekend my sister, cousin, niece, and closest friends threw me the most fabulous baby shower! I love all of the little details that went into the shower. Here are a few of my favorite pics...

The Ultimate Diaper Cake
The diaper cake was made by my Uncle Ron. He's so amazing! He's also the same uncle who does the upside-down Christmas tree (see the previous post). Can you believe this is the first diaper cake he's made? I love the sock monkey and the G ornament (it lights up). The cake also has little rabbits around it since my baby should be born the year of the rabbit.

The Decorations
The decorations were done by my good friend, Holley. She knew I was sewing these cute elephants and using earth tones in the baby's nursery. She made these cute elephant prints and I just love how she pinned them up on a clothes line with the adorable clothes.

The Sign In Sheet
My friend, Erin, created this clever sign in sheet for the guests. Each guest placed their thumb print on the tree and signed their name. I love how this turned out and will be framing this in the baby's room.

The Cake
My friend Melissa picked out this wonderful vanilla cheesecake cake. Delicious!

The Baby Game
I'm not the biggest fan of baby shower games so my friend, Veronica, came up with the celebrity baby name game. She knows I love my celeb gossip! The craziest name on that list...Pilot Inspektor (really?). It was actually a tough game. Good thing I read US Weekly because I actually won the game!

The Party Favors
My sister made these cute rice krispie treat lollipops that spells out Cora (the baby's name). I love how they set them up in the beautiful bassinet. Thank you Tammy for the beautiful bassinet!

The Hostess With The Mostess
Here I am with the talented ladies who threw this beautiful shower for me. I am truly blessed to have such loving people in my life!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lights, Camera... Action!

A couple of years ago, I posted about my uncle's upside down Asian themed tree.

Sometime back in July or so, a producer came across the picture and contacted me about a show on Extreme Christmas Trees for a cable network. After months of calls and emails between the producers, my uncle, and me, we were selected to be on the show and the camera crew came out last week for filming. Here are a few pics from the day....

Getting the living room ready for interviews

Will and the crew

Getting ready for my interview

The family comes in for the unveiling of the Christmas tree.

We spent 11 hours with the crew and ended the day with a big feast with the with the whole family. It was definitely a great experience that my family will always remember.

The show will air on TLC next year :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sewing: A Simple Way To Hem Your Jeans

Being only 5' 3" there is always a length issue when it comes to buying jeans. Before I learned how to sew I got really creative with "hemming" my jeans. I used safety pins, duct tape, packing tape, or fabric glue. The sad truth is, I was too lazy to get them hemmed. Finally after taking a few sewing classes, I learned how to hem my own jeans. Now mind you, I am not good at sewing. I can do basic things. If you can go a basic forward and back stitch, you can hem your own jeans. Here's how I did it...

Mark your desired length and measure how much you'd like to take off. I am taking 4 inches off this pair.

Cuff you jeans up 1/2 the length you plan to take off, and measure it starting at the bottom of the hem. You don't want to include the hem because you will not be taking that off. Notice that I measured 2 inches below the hem. Make sure your seams are lined up properly and pin your cuff all the way around.

Time to sew! Sew a simple stitch right under the hem all the way around the cuff. It doesn't matter what color thread you use since you won't even see your stitch. Don't forget to take out the pins as you sew along and backstitch at the begining and end to lock in your stitch.

If you look closely, you can see my stitch right under the hem. I used a cream colored thread.

Fold the cuff under and press at the hem with a hot iron. You can choose to keep the cuff underneath as is if you plan to let out the hem. Or you can cut the excess cuff. If cutting, cut right under the stitch you just sewed. Be careful not to cut your stitch and iron the hem to ensure that it stays flat. Here's how it looks...

You've now hemmed your jeans but got to keep the original hem. BTW, I meant to wear taller shoes in this pic, but ended up grabbing my flats. Oh well...

I hope this lesson was useful!

Have a great day!!!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Making Over Mom

I have a wonderful mother in law who is so sweet and loving. Recently she has been invited to her first Ball! She is so excited and nervous at the same time. For the most part, my mother in law has kept her look very simple. She has long, long hair that she usually keeps neatly in a bun/ponytail.and she doesn't wear make-up. With the grand ball coming up, she decided it was time to freshen up her look. She didn't know where to start, so she turned to me for help. This is my mother in law's transformation in 2 days....

She looks amazing and I am so excited for her. I know she is going to have an amazing time!

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 Halloween Costumes: The Simpsons

This past weekend we had our 5th Annual Halloween Bash. Earlier in the year, I decided The Simpsoms would be a fun costume to do. It's all about getting that cartoon effect right? Here's how I did it...

Marge's signature necklace was easy to make. I bought wooden craft beads and red craft paint with my Michael's 40% coupons. I had some string and a clasp already. Once I painted the beads, I stranded them and atached clasp I had from an old broken necklace. Viola...a really cute and inexpensive necklace!
I wrapped the poster board around my head and made a templete. I made sure to cut around the ears and had a good fit, but not too tight. I also made sure I would be able to clear doorways :-) I used packing tape to seal the top on the cylinder.

Once the templete was done, I glued aprox 300 cotton balls to the poster board. I layered more cotton balls on top to give the hair more shape. Once the glue was dry, I "colored" my hair with blue spray paint. Lastly, I glued my craft cap to the inside of the posterboard. This allowed the hair piece to fit comfortably on my head and give it support.
My husband worked on our cartoon eyes. He cut the ping pong ball in half and drilled holes into the center of each half so we'd be able to see. He also drilled small holes on the sides so he can run wire though to make frames. We fitted the wire around our face and ears to create frames. We decided to put them on frames because it was easy to them the eyes on and off through out the night. I gave Marge lash extentions by cutting small strips of black construction paper and taped them on to the top of her eyes.
I found my lime green dress at The Salvation Army for $2.50. It was actually a long skirt and I just used it as a dress. I couldn't believe how I lucked out on finding it. Here is look put together.

Homer was pretty easy to do. I sprayed Will's hair with the yellow hairspray and covered his face with yellow face paint (except for the beard area). Once her was yellow, I added the wig cap and then sprayed the wig cap with yellow hairspray to give him more of a bald effect. Lastly I used pipe cleaners for Homer's few strands of hair. Here is Will's look....

Happy Halloween everyone!
Have a great week! I can't wait to see your costumes this year!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I <3 October!

The weather is finally getting cooler. Is it weird that I think 84 degrees is cool? We get excited anytime the temperture drops below 90 and the fall clothes finally come out. My friends and I sometimes swap out clothes when we grow in/out of them. I picked up the fab dress from my friend, Holley. It's got a beautiful stained glass pattern and it's perfect maternity wear for me. I threw on the navy cardi and belt just to give it a little something extra. It's definitely is one of my favorite outfits for fall.

So Halloween is right around the corner and I am in full costume creating mode. I've got a budget of $25 for both Will and I. I love the challenge of putting together a fab costume on a budget. I must admit though, last years costume will be tough to beat (esp since I only spent $12).
I'll be working on my costume all weekend long. I can't wait to show you what it is. What are you going to be for Halloween???

Here's the link to last year's look:

Will had me cracking up while shopping. I guess he's getting into that Halloween spirit!

Have a great weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something To Smile About

After 14 months, the braces are finally off! It was all done so quickly today. It took less than an hour to take them off and my retainer was ready for pick up by late afternoon. The retainer is so different than what I remember the first time around. When I got my braces off back in high school, I got a top retainer which was removable. My bottom teeth had a permanent retainer bonded to the inner part of my lower teeth. This time around, I have top and bottom removable retainers. The best part about them is that they are invisible! Can you tell I have them on?


Apparently I like to wear yellow on my orthodontist days :D

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

22 Weeks

Please excuse the mess behind me. My sister gave us a ton of baby stuff and we are trying to sort through it. Our future baby's room isn't quite cleaned out yet, so all the stuff is sitting in my living room.

Today's simple outfit is a mixture of maternity wear and regular clothes.
•Black cowl neck - GapMaternity
•Fuisha plaid skirt - Express (gotta love those elastic waistband skirts)
•Steve Madden flats - DSW

Here is the baby bump at 22 weeks

This past weekend Will and I went up to Dallas to visit friends and family. It was a whirlwind trip, but I'm so glad we got to visit with everyone. Our little boo-boo got her first wardrobe pieces (gifted from her Aunt Rachel). Look how precious this is...

She got a cute little pink jacket and absolutely adorable Mary Jane socks. I can't wait fir her to wear them.

Hope everyone has a fab day!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone