Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Virtual Christmas Tour of My Home

I have seen several blogs of people posting pictures of their houses all decked out for Christmas and I like to see them.  It's like a virtual tour of homes.  I thought I would join in on the fun as well!

We got our house all decorated last night.  The boys had a blast putting ornaments on the tree!  Alyssa LOVED all the pretty, shiny ornaments but at first HATED the idea of having to let go of them and put them on the tree!  She was throwing some bad fits!  But she eventually got the hang of things and started trying to help!  :-)

The fun part will be keeping her from removing the ornaments in the next month!  It might be quite an interesting month!

Now for the tour - enjoy!!

Our nativity scene (and the wreath hanging above is one the kids and I made last year)

My table!!

My centerpieces with a couple of my snowmen :-)

More snowmen - and my lighted potpourri vase)

A view of my 'wall of lighted garland'.  :-)

My pretty mantle with our new stockings!  I just love our new stockings this year!

Each stocking has a monogram pen!  (of course mine and Alyssa have some rhinestone bling on them!)

This is probably my favorite Christmas figurine!  It makes me laugh everytime I see it!  We have had it for years.  What is so funny (at least to me) about it is is the 5 o'clock shadow on Daddy Snowman!  He didn't always have that...but the first year we had him we were burning the tealight that came with it and the smoke from the flame hit the snowman just right!  We now laugh at him every year!  Is he not adorable?!?!

Better watch out - Santa is watching you!!!  :-)

And most of our ornaments have some special meaning associated with them!  It is so neat every year to think of the memories as we are putting the ornaments on the tree!  Of course since we now have kids we have such sweet sweet memories of their first Christmas!

My boys were so little here!  They grow up way too fast!

This poor ornament was one of Aaron's from his first Christmas...we have never gotten a picture put into it! How sad is that!!

Aww - but we did get his picture in this one!!  Look at that beautiful smile!!

And I think it is quite funny!  Seth has quite a few 'Baby's First Christmas' ornaments (of course because he was the first child) but not a single one of them were ornaments to put pictures in!  But this one is still one of my favorites of his!

I hope you enjoyed your tour! :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Basic Pie Crust Recipe

I thought I would share a pie crust recipe that I found!!  (Pictured above is an apple pie I baked this morning...my first attempt at a lattice crust!)

I found this recipe at econobusters.com - an AWESOME website on how to live frugally and smart!

(I have learned though through my experiences with pie crusts - IT PAYS TO HAVE A PASTRY BLENDER!!  For the longest time I did not have one and always tried the two knives method (which is not easy) and my crusts never turned out quite right.  I got one of the pastry blenders (realized that you can get them at Wal-Mart for about $5!!) and what a difference it made!!  My two knives never got to the crumb consistancy that a pastry blender can do!!  It makes a much better, MUCH better crust!

Anyways - that is just my tidbit of advice :-).  Here is the recipe - enjoy!!

The Best Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. cold water
Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don’t overmix. Mix just until the dough sticks together. Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pie crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie sprinkle sugar on top. Crust can be frozen in balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.

(oh and by the way - the pie pictured above is an apple pie.  I used the sugar free apple pie filling (made with Splenda) and sprinkled some extra cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the filling to give it more of a homemade taste!)


Happy Thanksgiving!!

My New Homemade Bread Recipe

If you are anything like me then you love homemade bread!  But if you are anything like me then you shy away from it because of the time required to make it!

I found a very easy no-knead bread recipe that makes BEAUTIFUL bread loaves that are VERY VERY tasty!!  I thought I would share the recipe with you :-)

I got this recipe out of my Cooking Light cookbook!

No-Knead Bread

Prep: 20 minutes
Rise: 50 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

3 pkg dry yeast (about 6 3/4 tsp)
3 3/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
10 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp stick margarine, melted
1 tbsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
cooking spray

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
1. Add flour and next 4 ingredients to yeast mixture, stirring until well blended.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until double in size.  (Press two fingers into dough, if indention remains, the dough has risen enough.)  Spoon dough evenly nito 3 (9x5-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray.  Let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Made Hiccup dolls to match our Night Furys!!!

If you have seen the movie 'How To Train Your Dragon' then you know that one of the things that makes the movie so good is the relationship developed between viking-in-training Hiccup and Toothless, the Night Fury.

If you saw this post then you know that I have made a Toothless plush for my sons and my nephew.  Well, my mom, sister and I decided that they needed a Hiccup to go with them.

I did some research online tutorials for dolls that I could make work (that would be easy too) and decided on this tutorial.

Here are pics of my result!  I was pleased!  I hope the boys love him!

This is also being posted in Watson Family Christmas

Friday, November 19, 2010

A giveaway I am DYING to win!!

OMG!!  I found this giveaway for a bundle of sewing patterns that I would LOVE to win.  Here is the link to the giveaway!! http://livelearnlove226.blogspot.com/2010/11/christmas-giveaway_12.html#comment-form Go check it out and see if this is not right up my alley!  Especially with everything I have been making for Christmas this year!  I LOVE all of these patterns!!  OMG!  I wish I could win this!  It includes a doll pattern and doll clothes pattern, purse pattern, apron pattern, other plush toy patterns...OMG!  I love them all!!

Wish me luck (I guess you could enter too if you want...but you would be diminishing my chances...do you really want to do that to me?!?! - HA!!!)

And yes I am blogging because I get three extra chances if I blog about the giveaway!!

Oh please let me win!!!

Ok...I will let you get back to your day now!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Toothless plushies!!

OMG!  I can't believe I finally finished this project!

My nephew's favorite movie right now is How To Train A Dragon.  In fact a few weeks ago they came up and brought the movie and we watched it.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the movie.  My boys fell in love with it as well!

So when I found this tutorial to make a Toothless plushie I decided that this needed to be another Christmas present!  This will be my Christmas present to my nephew and I thought to go ahead and make one for each of my boys while I was at it!

This was probably one of the most challenging sewing projects I have done yet!  There were about 25 pattern pieces!!  And some of the steps were difficult to figure out but I did!  And I am glad I stuck with it!

I enlarged the pattern pieces by 200%!!  The final doll is a dimension of 36" from tip of head to tip of tail!  (I found one online for not quite this big for $250!!!)

I can't wait to see their faces on Christmas!  I especially can't wait to see my nephew's reaction when he opens his!!

Here are some pics (they don't do it justice...I am not a good photographer and could not figure out the best way to get photos to show you what these are like!  Yes there are flaws (it is my sewing so there are going to be flaws!) but I still think they are cute!

Oh - and I probably should state I made these with black felt!  Felt is very easy to work with :-) That was a plus for this project!

Here is a full body view - like I said they measure 36" from tip of head to tip of tail.  The wing span is 45"!

Here is a belly shot - sorry it is blurry!

I'm ready for something a wee bit easier! :-)

(I am also posting this is Watson Handmade Christmas)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Doll :-)

I got another doll for Alyssa made for Christmas!!

I got this pattern from a Pioneer Crafts book I found at the library.  The pattern was for a rag doll.  I decided to use some of Alyssa's receiving blankets from when she was a baby to make the doll out of!

I thought it turned out really well.  Every time she would walk in and see me working on it she would start yelling "baby baby" and wanting to hold it...she couldn't figure out why I wouldn't let her (she doesn't grasp the whole wait until Christmas thing - HA!)  But it's good to know that she wants to hold it!  It will be exciting to watch her open it on Christmas!

Here she is next to the book I used for the pattern:

This post was also posted on Watson Handmade Christmas

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Faith Box

Several weeks ago I entered a blog giveaway over at Good Morning Girls for the "My Faith Box".
Here is the description of this awesome resource: "A new resource for parents to guide their child's faith journey and capture spiritual growth keepsakes.  My Faith Box includes a My Faith Box and My Faith Book.  Ideal to help you create an age-specific plan on each birthday and capture memories from special milestones; while giving you resources and ideas for how to be intentional in helping your child know, love and follow Jesus."

Angela decided to give one of these boxes to the total number of 153 people who entered the giveaway! You read that right - everyone who entered the giveaway received one!!!  

Mine arrived in the mail on Saturday!!!   I loved it so much that I am ordering 2 more so that I can have one for each child!!  Not only does this notebook provide away to journal spirtual milestone, special prayers, etc for your child.  It also has some AWESOME ideas to do as a family on regular occasions as well as some neat neat ideas for holidays!  In fact we will be using some of them for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!  I will blog about them when we do them :-)

Also the box is a good heavy-weight box that is perfect for keeping different memorabilia for your children!  I am just in love with this thing and feel so blessed that I was given one!!

Click here to order one for each of your children!  I promise it will be a blessing to you!!  If you are on facebook click here to check out their facebook page.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Cat In The Hat sock puppet

Aaron is in love with the cat in the hat right now!  I thought it would be fun to try to do a sock puppet dressed like the cat in the hat!  Thankfully Aaron spent the afternoon at Granny's this afternoon and I was able to get this made for him!  I can't wait to give this to him on Christmas!!

This is also posted in Watson Handmade Christmas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My First Doll

Yeah!  I just finished making my first doll!!!  (the first of 3 different kind I am planning on making for Alyssa for Christmas.  I found the tutorial for this doll here.

 I loved how her hair turned out!!
 Here is what she looks like without her dress on.
Like I said, I will be making a couple more dolls for Alyssa, along with some other toys for the boys!  It's going to be a fun Christmas :-)

Also posting at Watson Handmade Christmas.
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