Thursday, December 24, 2015

December Daily - Day 24

Snoopy Christmas Cookies!
Time to make Christmas cookies! It's probably hard to tell the scale of these cookies from the picture, but they are 8 inches tall but 4 inches wide - huge! I got the cookie cutter on eBay about 2 years ago and I thought it was a "normal" size cookie cutter. I bid on this one because it was so much less than all the others. I won the bid and was so happy! Then the cutter arrived. What the heck!? It was gigantic. I looked back at all the other cutters and they were 4 inches tall. Then read the description of the one I got. No wonder this one was so much cheaper than the others!! Shame on me for not noticing the size in the description. Scale does not photograph unless you have a ruler or something next to it and it didn't say "x-large" so I thought it was just a standard size. Oh well. Finally after 2 years I got over the disappointment of it all and decided to actually make cookies with this cutter. I have to tell you, big cookies are a pain. My mistake of not reading that description was coming back to haunt me again. They are so fragile due to their size. Normal size cookies are much easier to deal with and not as delicate. First, there is no 8 inch spatula in my house so transferring them to the cookie sheet was a challenge. They wanted to break at the scored spots on the dough (see in photo). I had to do some repair work once they were on the cookie sheet. When you take them out of the oven, it's even more challenging because they will break and there's no way to fix them. Again, a massive spatula would have helped. Half of them broke right out of the oven at those score lines. I had to make a second batch. With the second batch, I just lifted the baked cookies off the cookie sheet on the parchment paper and let them cook right on the parchment they were baked on. It was the only way. Then during decorating, I found out you can only hold these puppies (pardon the pun) at the sides of the dog house. If you hold it at the bottom or.....well, any other place, they will break because they just are not strong enough to bear the weight. I think I made 20 of them and 10 survived. Will not be making these again! But, I do like how they turned out. And it was a learning experience. This is what I learned.

1. Read the description of everything on eBay. 10 times. Then read it again.

2. Big freakin' cookies are a nightmare to make. Don't do it.

3. Spatula size matters.

4. Red food color requires a lot of it or it just looks pink.

5. Buy a box of cute cookies at the store so if you want to give up after half the batch breaks, you can :)

dough on cookie sheet ready to bake
Just out of the oven,


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December Daily - Day 23

My Christmas nails. This is only the second time I've attempted nail stamping and it shows. They look pretty bad, but I'll get better with more practice. It's a Christmas sweater stamping design....I know it's hard to tell since the first and third design are going sideways! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December Daily - Day 22

At the grocery store....

winter white roses

dad loved egg nog
festive springs of pine

Monday, December 21, 2015

December Daily - Day 21

If you think it's cold where you live or you don't like the weather....just be glad you don't live in Oymyakon, Russia! It's considered the coldest place on earth.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December Daily - Day 20

My 5 Top Christmas Songs

1. Christmas Vacation - Mavis Staples
     It has to be by Mavis. There are other versions, but
     none are as good as hers. This is the theme song to
     the movie "Christmas Vacation".

2. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Anne Murray
     I love this song and the way she sings it. The lyrics
     get me right in the heart.

3. Christmas Canon
     One year I played this song on my laptop on repeat for
     about 3 hours....

4. 2000 Miles - The Pretenders
     If you have never heard it, you are missing out.
     There's a live 1995 version on YouTube you have
     to check out. Awesome.

5. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town - Bruce Springsteen
     I'm unable to sing this song in the original style. I have to
     sing it like Bruce does. Have to.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December Daily - Day 19

Apothecary Jars Turned Into Winter Scenes

Things You Will Need:

*Large apothecary or cookie jar
*Camper/trailer ornament
*Miniature flocked pine trees in a few sizes
*Fake snow
*Fake strand of Christmas lights
*Micro LED lights strung on a silver wire (cool tone white)
*White styrofoam block (optional)

Before you start, pour some of the snow in a big bowl and set your ornament in it to see if the snow will support it. If it sinks in, you will need a styrofoam block to put under the ornament to support the weight of it. You might have styrofoam from some old packaging that you can just cut a piece from. I found some at work that I cut a 3 inch tall x 2 inch wide block from.

If using, put the styrofoam block in the bottom of the jar and pour in about 3 inches of snow. Put your ornament in and check for proper placement. Add the trees around being sure to look at it through the front of the jar to see how it looks. If the hook attachment on top of the camper ornament is small enough, you can scatter some fake snow on top of it to hide it. Once you have things arranged the way you want, you can add the micro LED lights in the snow. Then run them up the inside of the jar behind one of the trees and out the top. These lights can be unruly but take your time and it will be worth the effort. Wrap the rest of the strand around the top of the jar on the outside. Use tape in concealed places to hold the stand of lights in place. Now add the fake strand of lights at the top inside of the jar affixing the ends with tape.

Turn the LED lights on and you’re done!

Friday, December 18, 2015

December Daily - Day 18

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Games!

1. Fill a Christmas stocking: Hang stockings and divide into teams. Each team has to race to fill their stocking with spoonfuls of wrapped candy using only one of their hands. The stocking cannot be held and if it falls on the floor, that team is disqualified from the race. Each team member should take a turn dumping a spoonful of candy into the stocking. Race time is 3 minutes. Fullest stocking wins.

2. Gift wrap relay: Pick a judge who will not see the race in progress. Set up assembly lines of boxes, scissors, wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape for each team. Each team member has a task: one cuts paper, one wraps, one tapes, one ties ribbon. Neatness counts! Then race to wrap! The judge will come in when it's over and pick the best wrapped gift. Race time is 5 minutes. Teams have to have gift judged in the condition the box is in when time is up

3. Christmas Carol Charades: Write out well known Christmas Carols and put them in a bowl. Have each person act out the carol they choose.

4. Photo booth: Provide silly props and backdrop to take silly photos in front of. These pictures will be looked back on for years to come! An idea for a backdrop to use is a very large disposable table cloth that has a festive print on it. You can often find silly ones that are child themed. Tape it to a wall. If there isn't room in your house, consider doing it outside. A garage door would be perfect. Silly prop ideas would be elf ears, blinking or glittery eyeglasses, santa beard, canes wrapped to look like candy canes, bow ties,  mustaches, hats of all kinds, 2 signs with "naughty" and "nice" written on each one.

5. Two truths and a lie: Each person tells three stories about themselves. Two are true and one is not. Tell them about this a few hours before you play so they can be thinking about it. They should not share their stories with others. With family, this is especially difficult for the truth stories because family knows each other so well. For truths, give them the idea to think back to school, work or things that happened when they were alone. For the lie, tell them to think of things that happened to other people that their family does not know. Also, the stories do not have to be elaborate. Examples:

Truth: I received a random act of kindness - someone taped a $1 bill on a vending machine for the next person.

Truth: I ate a donut and the very last bite had a hair it in. So gross.

Lie: I got so drunk that I forgot to take my pants down before I went pee.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December Daily - Day 17


Hi Santa, it's me...the girl who always imagined you had white glitter sprinkled in your beard. Do you remember me? I'm pretty sure I was on the nice list every year. Well, except maybe that year I flung mud into Mrs. Tompson's kitchen window when I was 10. But in my Defense, it wasn't my idea and we didn't know the window was open. Anyway, I'm hoping my years of good behavior since then have made up for that. I'M writing to ask for a special Christmas wish. this year has been challenging in different ways. I understand that if life was easy, it would not make us into strong capable people. I just know that the new year is going to bring more challenges and possibly conflict. I'm asking that you deliver some of that Christmas magic to my house and those around me so that we can get through it just a bit easier. If that's not possible, THEN maybe a few bottles of that Lambrusco wine I like to help me through the rough patches.

Yours Eternally,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December Daily - Day 16

Have not been having the best week so my wonderful husband surprised me with this :) It's full of chai. Nothing better than a chai latte to make things better.

Monday, December 14, 2015

December Daily - Day 14

Christmas Fact: Christmas trees usually grow for 15 years before they are cut and sold.
Christmas Fact: The oldest tree used in Rockefeller Center was a 10 ton 100 year old Norway spruce. It was
100 feet tall.

Christmas Fact: The US Postal Service delivers roughly 15.8 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve every year.

Christmas Fact:Jingle Bells” was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh”
Christmas Fact: The tallest snowman was 113 feet tall and built in Maine.

Christmas Fact: The first artificial Christmas trees were made out of dyed goose feathers in Germany.

Christmas Fact: All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas
would equal 364 gifts.

Christmas Fact: Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991.

Christmas Fact: Christmas has different meanings around the world; Christmas Eve in Japan is a day to eat fried chicken and strawberry shortcake.

Christmas Fact: Five months into the first World War, troops along the Western front took a Christmas Eve break from fighting to sing carols to one another across the battlefield.

Christmas Fact: According to Celtic and Teutonic legend, mistletoe is magical — it can heal wounds, bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.

Christmas Fact: Coca-Cola was the first company to use Santa Claus in a winter ad.

Christmas Fact: “In the meadow we can build a Snowman, and pretend that he is Parson Brown.” The Parson Brown referred to is the not someone’s first and last name, but rather someone who is a Parson with the last name Brown. A parson was a traveling protestant minister who performed weddings, thus the lyric: “He’ll say are you married?’ We’ll say ‘no man,’ but you can do the job while you’re in town.”

Christmas Fact: A spider web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck in the Ukraine.

Christmas Fact: It is still believed in Britain that eating a mince pie on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas will bring 12 months of happiness.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December Daily - Day 13

We've had our tree up for about a week but today we finally out the garland (beads) and ornaments on it. This is truly one of the most beautiful parts of the holidays....Christmas trees.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December Daily - Day 12

The Hello Kitty Cafe came back to San Diego! Greg took me and we waited for an hour in line for donuts and cookies. Good news is, the donuts are delicious! Have not tried the cookies....they are too pretty to eat!

Friday, December 11, 2015

December Daily - Day 11

Went to Starbucks and tried the holiday flat white - yum! Also saw a cute travel mug I'm adding to my Christmas wish list!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December Daily - Day 10

Enjoy this Christmas word search!

Words to find:


Set a timer and see if you can find all the words in under 1 minute!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Monday, December 07, 2015

December Daily - Day 7

My Mom had a "thing" for stuff animals dressed in clothes. I think it could possibly be something women from her generation like because I've noticed it seems to be a common thing for ladies in her age group. About 15 years ago or so, we found some teddy bears that we both thought were adorable and she said would't it be cute to dress them in Christmas clothes. We made the clothes! I use the term "we" loosely because I can't sew to save my life. They turned out pretty cute. She did an amazing job on the dresses for the bears! I still put it out every year and now it means even more to me since she passed away.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

December Daily - Day 6

Banana Banana Bread

This is by far my favorite banana bread recipe. However, I don't make it very often because it calls for 1 cup of mashed bananas and I don't usually have that many left over. This weekend I happened to have 3 bananas so I made it and now we have banana bread for a morning snack at work :)

  • Banana Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup butter
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
    In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
    Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

December Daily - Day 5

One Sweet Bible

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is not my idea. I saw it on Pintrest. I’ve made some slight changes from the pin I saw so I've detailed the process. The link to the original website where I got the instructions is at the bottom of this page. You will need to go to that website to print the scripture pdf page. Special thanks to my sister Dianne who also provided inspiration for this!


 The things you will need for 1 bible are:

2 Hershey’s Nugget Chocolate Candies
White cardstock
Dark cardstock (I used dark green)
Cord/thin ribbon or embroidery floss/string (red or gold)
Printed pdf on standard printer paper (from link at bottom of page)
*Glue dots (any brand – optional)
Glue Stick (I use Elmer’s Repositionable)
A fast drying glue (such as Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Glue)
“Old Paper” Distress Ink (optional)
Distress Ink blending tool (optional)
Paper trimmer (not pictured)

To start out, if you want the scripture pages to have an old paper look to them, you can use the Distress Ink to color the paper. Using an ink blending tool, pounce the sponge onto the ink pad a few times to load it with ink. Tap it off once lightly onto scratch paper before pouncing the tool over the scriptures a few times. Reload your ink tool and repeat this until you have covered the entire printed area you are going to use. You can go as dark as you want with the ink. I go for a fairly light look to mine so I don’t reload ink and pounce in the same spot more than a few times. If it gets too dark, I think it can tend to look muddy. Of course you can just leave the paper white and not do and of this and it will look just fine. It’s just a preference to what you like best.

Next you will want to cut all your supplies.

Scripture pages: It’s best to use a paper trimmer for this, but if you don’t have one, another option is to use a ruler and an X-Acto knife to cut it or if you have a steady hand, you can do it with scissors. Cut the scripture pages with about ¼ inch border all the way around. I noticed that the candies look like they are exactly the same size, but when I put the same size paper on them, sometimes they fit and sometimes they need to be trimmed. Some wrappers must be looser making then a bit bigger.

Cardstock: The dark cardstock will be 2 3/8 inches long by 1 3/4 inches tall.
The white cardstock will be 2 1/4 long x 1 3/4 tall.

Cord/Ribbon: Cut this about 5 inches long. I would try to avoid using embroidery floss because it frays and can be troublesome. I found some thin red cord and ribbon at a local fabric store that works well. You can look around and see what you’re able to find. If you have embroidery floss on hand or can’t find anything else, you can use a teeny tiny amount of glue at the end of the embroidery floss to keep it from fraying. That will work totally fine.
Now it’s time to put it all together!

*I put glue dots on the bottom of my white cardstock because they are fast and there’s no drying time and no mess. If you want to skip buying an extra adhesive, you can use the fast drying glue here. If using the glue dots, put one on each corner and stick the white cardstock in the middle of the dark cardstock (centered). If you are using the fast drying glue, you’ll use a tiny dot of glue at each corner and one in the middle and do the same thing. Note that if you are going for the old paper look, you would want to pounce some of the old paper ink around the edges of your white cardstock first so it matches your scripture pages.

I also use glue dots on the bottom of my Hershey’s Nuggets. I put a glue dot on each corner of each nugget and one in the middle. Then I sit them glue dot side up until I'm ready to stick them down. If you are using the fast drying glue, you’ll need to work much faster because as the name suggests….it dries fast.

Lay the cord/ribbon at the center edge of the of one of the Hershey’s Nuggets being sure to catch it in a glue dot or fast drying glue. Hold the Hershey’s Nuggets together and center them on the white cardstock and press down. If you are using glue dots they will be ready to go to the next step. If you are using the fast drying glue, give them a few minutes to set.

Time to adhere the scripture pages to the top. But before you do any gluing, lay your scripture page on top of the Hershey’s Nuggets to judge if it needs to be trimmed at the top and bottom at all. If it does, trim the slightest amount on both the top and bottom so they are even. Then you should be set. If you’re using glue dots, you might be tempted to use them here because they are so dang handy! Well, don’t! The printer paper is so thin that it will show even the slightest bump under the paper so the glue dots will be lumpy under there. No one wants a lumpy bible. I don’t recommend the fast drying glue either. It will be messy and if you have to reposition the scripture pages, it will be a pain. You don't want to pull out some hair because you’ve gotten to close to finishing and messed it up. You’ll just have to trust me on this. I tell no lies, people. Use the glue stick.

Okay, now that I have properly warned you, coat the back of your scripture pages with your glue stick. Like I said, the slightest lump/bump will show so if your glue stick sheds any big pieces of paste, make sure you remove them so you don’t have any lumps. Now and lay the scripture pages over the top of the Hershey’s Nuggets. Use a toothpick to press down the center of the pages into the grove and position the pages into place. The glue stick stays slick for a minute so you can work it into the right spot. Then put a few very small dots of fast drying glue down the center of the scripture pages and bring your cord over and press it into the glue. Hold for a minute. This is where you only want the fast drying glue. Tempted to use that white school glue? Don’t! It’s water based and will soak into the paper and take forever to dry. It probably won’t even hold down the cord. Reread the part were I warned you about not using the glue stick above….same unhappy crafty experience awaits you if you go down the white school glue path. Set aside to dry for a few minutes.

I made 2 so you could see the old paper ink and one without. I also used the red cord on one and a ribbon on the other.
Happy crafting!

The link the PDF is below at The Mama's Girls blog:

Friday, December 04, 2015

December Daily - Day 4

At home with my sweet Abby. She's such a cutie and I thought I'd share with you. She was laying on the bed enjoying the sun and I just had to snap a picture.

Abby Sunbathing

Thursday, December 03, 2015

December Daily - Day 3

Kitten's Wish List

Greg asked me to make a list and these were a few of the things I asked for. Today I thought I would share with you.

Sam Edelman "Louie" Boots

I actually tried on a pair by Crown Royal at DSW that were similar to these but they were very uncomfortable. I looked around the store and nothing else caught my eye so I tried them back on and almost got them. In the end, I knew I would never be able to stand walking around in them and it would be wasted money. Then I found these. The price tag is hard to take, but they are comfortable and I know they are good quality. Plus, they are just as cute as the uncomfortable ones!

Victoria's Secret Bombshell Perfume

Until last Christmas I had not had used VS perfume in at least 3-4 years. Not sure why. Greg saw a ladies gift guide and it had a VS perfume sampler on it so he got it for me. I have to say, I like every single one of the perfumes in the sampler (there are 10) but this is my favorite. The sample spray vile of Bombshell is almost gone. The notes are purple passion fruit, shangri-la peony and vanilla orchid. Stop in and spray it on a test strip and carry it around for a few minutes and then see what you think.

Chanel Rouge Shine Lipstick in "Boy"

I've never own anything by Chanel because it's ridiculously expensive, but I've lusted after this lipstick for years so I figure if I want it that bad, I should get it. And don't ask me why they call it "Boy"....I have no idea. I just know it's really pretty :)

So hopefully I'm be wearing all 3 of those Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

December Daily - Day 2

I'm decorating my cube this year :) I skipped last year because I was so sick. For the next few weeks the Christmas spirit will be alive and well in my cube.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

December Daily

It's been awhile!

I'm going to try this blogging thing again. We'll see what happens.

To kick it off, I'm doing my version of December Daily. If you don't know what that is, people make these incredible scrapbooks for each day of December and highlight some kind of event of moment from each day. I really wish I could make one, but I just don't have the energy after a long day at work. So I'm going to do this instead!

Today it's time to find your elf name! I suggest you call yourself this all month long. I really wish my elf name was Gingerbread Monkey-Buns....because, I mean....come on, how can you not want that to be your elf name?! But alas, it's Perky Sparkly-Toes. I guess it kinda suits me since I always seem to have glitter on me from some craft project. At least it isn't Perky Pickle-Pants. *Raises eyebrow a bakery!

I got so excited when I saw this! King Arthur Flour has made digital backgrounds that will work in Zoom, Slack, Teams & GoToMeeting! T...