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Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Calendar

Wow, December 30th? Really? 2011 seems to have flown by!

I've decided to bring in 2012 with a new linen calendar for our office. Remember this one that I made in *ahem* April of last year... 
Well, I've loved it ever since. But its time for some new dates!


So this year I decided to go with a simple lace pattern at the top and followed the exact same tutorial.
{this is an abbreviated version, check out the full tutorial for all the tips!}

Print out your calendar on transfer paper first.
{make sure to print out the mirror image!}



 Mine are 5x7 this year. 

Then lay the calendar face down on your fabric and iron for 2 minutes.




 Once its cool, trim the edges. Then peel.




Ba-da-bing! 




I attached my months together with a simple black ribbon again and stuck it right back up on my woven bulletin board.




I'm so ready for 2012!
Happy New Year, friends!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

27 Weeks




Gosh time flies! I can't believe its already almost New Years!

Jake is growing like a weed. He's about the size of a large eggplant and weighs in around 2 lbs. Crazy!

I still think that this pregnancy has been pretty easy going thus far {though I only have other people's stories to compare it to}. I forget I'm pregnant a lot. Well, that is, until I bump my belly on something, have to find a sweater to wear, or fall asleep at my desk at 2pm. The other day one of my friends and I were talking about our New Year's plans. I actually said, "I don't think I'll have anything to drink that night. I have to work the next morning." She just fell out laughing and it took me a minute to figure out why. Geeeeez. *sheepish grin*

 I've officially given up on a comfy night's sleep. Whether its Jake's ninja moves or my own weird insomnia, I can't seem to make it more than a couple of hours at a time. Oh well, guess I'll be all practiced up for when he arrives. Also looking into getting one of those special pillows...

Jake must have been on Santa's nice list this year! He was spoiled with tons of Christmas presents and J.B.'s family even threw us an impromptu little shower with loads of gifts. They are so excited to have a little one in the family!

And to answer a few other questions that I get asked pretty regularly....

Nope, still no morning sickness {knock on wood!}
Yes, I'm definitely planning on an epidural.
Nope, no stretch marks yet.
Yes, I still have an "innie". 
No, I haven't had any weird cravings.
Yes, I can't wait until he gets here!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How do you wrap?

Holy countdown, Batman! Only 5 days until Christmas!! It seems to take forever to get here then everything is such a blur.

Luckily, I got all my shopping done early this year {I'm so proud}.

But the wrapping has been a different story. 
I had all these grand plans of creating gorgeous looking presents this year. I've been stashing away ideas for some weeks. Check them out...











I love every single one of these from Style Me Pretty. What gorgeous gifts!











Love.


I've had quite a struggle on my hands. It seems that I've purchased a pretty large volume of presents this year. No one got one big gift, but rather, lots of smaller gifts. This means... lots of gifts to wrap. Like... billions. {slight exaggeration}

Officially decided to do my own version of these initial tags though. I think I'll skip the newspaper print - hate getting the ink everywhere. And though I love love love the look of baker's twine, every time I see it in the store the price tag makes me squirm.

Looks like my version will include brown craft paper, white and red ribbon and lots of initial tags. 
So much to wrap! Wish me luck!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Crafts {day 5}

It's the final day of Christmas Crafts, and I've got a great final line up of projects.

Today is all about decorative Christmas trees!

I've stumbled across some awesome tutorials this season and haven't had a chance to make any of these myself  - as if I could choose one!
So why not share them all?



Paperback Christmas Tree 
{from KaylaAimee}
{full tutorial here!}

Ya'll know how I am about things made from paperback books. This is definitely going on my to-do list this weekend!




Ruffle Christmas Tree
{from Shanty 2 Chic}

{full tutorial here!}

Love this idea. And you can customize it with your own fabric and paint choices. Perfect!




Ok, did anyone else ever see this gorgeous Paper Pine Christmas tree from Anthropologie this year?



I will admit to most definitely scouting it out in my local store a few weeks back {and maybe snapping an inconspicuous picture or two with my iPhone...}.
I just knew I could make a fabulous knock off that didn't cost $48.

Well time got away from me and I'm got all kinds of distracted {look something shiny!}.
Luckily, Dana at The Wonder Forest had her wits about her and whipped up a great tutorial for this!


Anthro-Inspired Paper Pine Tree


{full tutorial here!}


I can't wait to try out a few of these trees to finish decking out my house this year!
Happy Friday!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Crafts {day 4}

Here's the second Christmas cookie recipe I whipped up this year. 
Surprisingly, these really aren't as infectiously sweet as they look.
{don't let all that sugar on top fool you}

But they're pretty delicious, especially if {like us!} red velvet is a cake staple at your house.




Ingredients:
8oz of cream cheese {softened}
1/2 cup butter {melted}
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (18-ounce) box red velvet cake mix
Powdered sugar for rolling/dusting



Preheat oven to 350 degree.
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.



 Beat in egg, vanilla, and cake mix. 
{yes, this red dough will stain everything, including your hands for a short time}




Cover the dough and stick in the fridge for a couple of hours.
This will firm it up so you can shape the cookies.

Form dough balls with the cookie dough. 
Mine are somewhere between a tablespoon size and a golf ball...
 Then roll the sticky dough ball in a bowl of powdered sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.



{tip: Discovered that the first layer of powdered sugar kind of gets soaked into the dough. So after I finished a tray, I went back and rerolled each of the dough balls again. Worked like a charm.}

Bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will be soft and a bit gooey. 

After they come out of the oven, I like to sprinkle just a bit more powdered sugar on top. 




{hey guys, try not to stick your cookies on top of each other like I apparently did with this batch...}

I think these cookies almost have a moist cake like taste to them. 
Mmmmmmm. Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Crafts {day 3}

Are some of you hosting dinners or parties this year?
We'll have a house full on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents. So amidst my sprucing and cleaning, I've also tried to make some little Christmas nick knacks for the season.

And what's even better... this Christmas craft was 100% free. {!!}



I saw something like this from Martha Stewart last year. I hope I'm remembering it correctly.
{I lost all my precious bookmarks when my laptop crashed last month}

Here's what you need: 
 - hot glue/gun
- evergreen or spruce twig {off your tree!}
 - card stock place cards
 - several sticks that are about the same width {dime size}




I created these on my computer in a simple Microsoft Word Document. 
Tip: Notice that the names aren't centered in the boxes. Since the stick and spruce cover up parts of the page, I adjusted them more toward the top left corner.




J.B. and I walked into the woods behind our house and grabbed some similar looking sticks. Keep an eye on the widths and make sure they're straight-ish. I had him cut the pieces down to four inch lengths. You'll need two sticks for each place card.



 The spruce twig was my biggest dilemma. We have an artificial Christmas tree so I couldn't just snip a little piece off. I dropped by Lowe's to see if they had a tiny little something I could buy that would have some real snippets on it. 
And duh! Lowe's sells real Christmas trees! 
My first thought was to grab a broken piece or two off the ground outside. When I asked the lady if that was okay, she kind of giggled at me. Then told me that when customers buy the trees, they cut them down to size and take off the bad branches for you. They had two huge trash boxes of little limbs just like this! They were so excited for me to grab a little branch out for my project, how funny!




 So once you have your items, just glue them together. First, card to the back stick.
Then glue a little twig on the front right side.




 Then glue the front stick on.




 Sidebar: Does anyone else kind of wonder how to write people's names out on things like this? For example, Alice is my Grama. So to some of us, she's "Grama", but to others she is "Mom" or "Alice".
There will be four "Dads" in the room, three "Moms", two "Gramas". I just decided to play it safe and go with everyone's first name. I think we can all figure that out easily enough.




Anyway, love how these turned out. So glad I banked Martha's picture in my brain!!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Crafts {day 2}



I happen to think that Christmas recipes count as crafts too. 

This year I decided to try some new cookie recipes to munch on during the holiday season. So I whipped up not one, but two sets of Christmas cookies... 
{hey, how often are you pregnant during the yummiest season of the year?}

This recipe turned out great! These simple sugar cookies are perfect with a little touch of chocolate and peppermint. A definite keeper!


Ingredients: 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour {plus little more for rolling the dough} 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup butter, melted 
3/4 cup sugar 
large egg 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
8 ounces semisweet chocolate 
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside.


Use a mixer to beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.



A little at a time, add in the flour mixture.
The dough will be a little stiff. Shape it into a round form and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour.
{you can actually cover it and leave it for a day or two!}




When its firmed up a bit, roll the dough out onto a floured surface.




Cut out your cookies!
Place them onto either a greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.




While the cookies are baking, crush your peppermints. I just threw mine in a ziploc bag and crushed them with a mallet.




When the cookies come out, make sure you give them plenty of time to cool before decorating.
Melt your chocolate and then dip the cookies.




Then sprinkle with peppermint pieces.




After decorating, place the cookies in the fridge for 10-15 minutes so the chocolate will firm up.

Then enjoy!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Crafts {day 1}

First things first, it's time to wrap up the Holiday Giveaway.


Thanks to all of you that entered. I had a great time reading about all the ways that you bring in the Christmas season. I had J.B. do a drawing to determine the winner.


Danielle, I loved your tidbit about being giddy to open all the Christmas decoration boxes. I totally do the same thing! And while I know it must really really stink {understatement of the year} not to have your husband around this holiday season, I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for his service. So send me a note and I'd love to send these goodies right out to you!!

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Are you fully into the Christmas swing now? I definitely am.
And I've got a week full of Christmas crafts coming your way.

Today...

ornaments!

One of my favorite blogs {say YES! to hoboken} is right smack in the middle of doing a ten part tutorial series on decorating plain glass ornaments. I've loved the first five already!!











This blog is always blowing me away with the best of ideas!
For the next five, be sure to tune into say YES! to hoboken.


And swing back by here for some more Christmas fun tomorrow!