Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where to put all those stuffed animals??

My two little boys have so many stuffed animals. I can't seem to find something to put them in that doesn't take a lot of space. Here's what I did.
 We had a couple of beanbags downstairs in the basement that I wanted to use.
 First, I emptied one of the beanbags. I took the foam balls out  of the one beanbag and put them in the other beanbag I wasn't going to use. So one beanbag has stuffed animals and the other has foam balls still in it.
Next I placed all the stuffed animals in the empty beanbag. Zip it up and your done. Now when my kids want to read, they grab a book and sit on there beanbags. I don't have to worry about stuffed animals all over the place or trying to find a spot to put them!!


Elf on the Shelf Naughty Letter

So my kids have had some trouble minding mommy and daddy, so we had Buddy (our elf) bring a letter back from Santa with a warning.

It has worked wonders!!! So if you are doing the Elf on the Shelf and your kids need a sweet reminder, then I hope that you give this a try!

Here is the elf that visits our house!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cinnamon Spiced Pecans

I have a "Clique" of friends - and we get together once a month for dinner. We started our monthly get togethers YEARS ago when my kids were in elementary school, they were all teachers at the school, and I was the PTA Pres. Over the years we have seen each other through the happiest & hardest of times.  Oh how I LOVE these wonderful friends!!!  They are truly the salt of the earth type people, whom I adore!!  We all took a vote this last year & allowed another person to enter the "clique"  Haha  And she is a wonderful cook.  Lastnight she brought us some lovely spiced nuts! 

of course we all wanted to know how to make them, and she was kind enough to give me the recipe... so that is what I am sharing with you today!!  They sound really easy- and I can tell you they are delish!  So cook some up for your Christmas Parties-- they will be a hit!!!   Thanks Shirley!!!

click on the recipe to enlarge it, and as always if you want the file- leave me a message with your email address & I will send it to you!   ~Karen 
Monday, December 10, 2012

Game Time

It's that crazy busy time of the year.... it seems like it takes me a good chunk of the month to get things ready for our family Christmas Eve Party.  Maybe I need to start assigning some things out to the rest of the family, and spread the LOVE around. Haha    I wanted to play this game this year, I had read about how they had wrapped different things up in tape to form a ball- but I thought that might be a little tricky or sticky, so I decided to try using plastic wrap instead.  We'll see how it works!   First I bought all kinds of things..... 

Socks, gum, tissues, nail polish, shaving cream, clippers, popcorn, gluesticks. bandaids, slinky. whoopie cushion, chapstick, binki's ect. there are a few GIRL toys in there... we have NO girls yet, so the little boys will think thats fun! Here is a great bundle that I found on amazon that would work PERFECT for this game!

then just take something, this is a small bottle of lotion- and start wrapping the plastic around it

as I wrapped, I twisted the roll of plastic to help tighten around the object better & get it to form a ball shape better

the plastic broke a few times so I cut it, and put a piece of tape around it in a few places... then started wrapping the plastic wrap around it again.

it gets pretty big, this isn't quite finished, I have 20-25 more things to wrap up... but hopfully you get the idea.  Then On Christmas Eve- we will sit in a circle on the floor and take turns rolling dice trying to get doubles. The person that rolls doubles gets to start unwrapping the ball, and they keep anything they unwrap-- the person next to them starts rolling the dice until they get doubles- then they take the ball and start unwrapping... I think it will be a fun game we can play with the adults and kids together!!  I wish I had played it once to let you know exactly how it works... but you'll just have to check back after Christmas and see.  Here's a tip... get wrapping early!!  ~Karen

Here is a great bundle from amazon that would be perfect for this game!!! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Make your own Buttermilk or Sour Cream

Have you ever needed Buttermilk or Sour Cream- but when you went to the fridge.... you realized you didn't have any?   Yeah I've been there, and it usually happens when I'm making something and need it that very minute!!
Well it's your lucky day.. here's all you need!

Click on the recipe card and it will enlarge it so you can read it better... and as always if you would like the file for the card so you can print it, just leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send it to you.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Peppermint Trees

I was at the dollar store last week and saw these styrofoam cones- and bags of peppermints- so I thought I would try to make peppermint trees. 

 You need one 7 oz. pkg. of mints to do each tree.  Just unwrap each mint and starting at the bottom- glue each mint on with a hot glue gun... when you get to the top stack two on top. 

I glued 1 tree onto a glass candlestick and the other one onto a glass gobblet for the bases, tied ribbon around them & added a little bit of glitter to make them sparkle!!  They were very easy and quick to make-- and look perfect with the rest of my candy jars.
                                                                  ~have fun with them~ Karen
Friday, November 30, 2012

LDS Elf on the Shelf!

Having an elf on the shelf when you have young children is AWESOME! It's a positive reminder to be good! Honestly I think it's a good reminder for everyone. Being that I am a Latter Day Saint, I wanted to tie in the Savior with The Elf on the Shelf this year. To me Christmas is all about the gift that the Savior gave each of us and we are so quick to focus on what the world says Chirstmas is about. I have had a hard time finding a letter from Santa to the kids about the Elf on The Shelf that ties in Jesus so I kinda made my own after reading so many that are out there on the web. Keep in mind that my oldest is 6 so I didn't want to go into too much detail. It's just a sweet and simple letter.

You can read it by clicking on the image...

I got the Santa letterhead from design editor and most of the wording from lily & thistle. The gifts that I always include each year are pajamas and the trendy countdown calendar of the year! This year I got this countdown calendar...

from mama bear gets chatty. We bought the Elf on the Shelf that came with the book! 

I will be posting some of the elf on the shelf ideas that I got from all over! So stay tuned, are elf comes today when my oldest gets home from school!
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chocolate covered orange slices....

I have found a new treat!! Of course it's chocolate covered...  They're these sugared orange slices.  

I have never been a big fan of them plain- like this..... 

But take them and dip them into chocolate and oh my.... they become my new FAVORITE treat!!  Try them and I'll bet you will have a new favorite too!
I wanted to package them up cute & post a picture for you but.... yep- I ate them all before that could happen. :)
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's begining to look like Christmas....

It's my FAVORITE time of the year!!  I like to get everything  done early, so I can set back and just take it all in!!!  So the decorating is done...

The table is set... with the same dishes I have had on the Christmas table for 20 years!  and Amazingly enough with 3 growing boys over the years, not one plate, bowl or cup has been broken!!  

the front door is covered with pictures of Christmases past!!  This is one of my favorite things...the Grand kids love it.

the snowball basket stays up all winter.... perfect for indoor snowball fights!!

and this..... is my JOY!!!

and this is the REASON for all the Joys, Peace and Blessings in my life... how grateful I am for this time of year to reflect on those things that are the most important to me.   I LOVE this time of year!! 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Jars

Oh I love this time of the year!!  I have been getting the house decorated, and today I started putting some candy into my jars!!
Here's a peek at how they turned out!! 

I Love the bubblegum

Merry Christmas!!   ~Karen
Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winter Party

Hi-- hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!  I had some time to go through some old photos, and found the ones of our Winter Party from last year.  So here they are:  Now all we need is some SNOW!!!

Add caption

Let it snow, let it snow let it snow!!  ~Karen
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Rolls

I have amazing- talented friends!!  These are some rolls my friend Julie made and posted on her FB page.  We have known each other since we were 5..... and let me just that is a VERY long time!  She is an amazing cook, and I am so excited to show you what she's making for Thanksgiving. 

Rolls that look like pumpkins!! How festive is that.

Click the  button for the full recipe

I think they are adorable!!! If I was making the rolls this year I would try them... but this year one of my cute Daughter's in law is making the rolls!!  But she's crafty enough she could probably pull this off!!   I LOVE them!!  Thanks Julie, I think you're Amazing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Peppermint Magic

It's that time of year... for Peppermint Magic!!  I love Peppermint, so every December when those candycanes start showing up in the stores- I put them in my food processor and crush them up into this   "Peppermint Magic"

put it into a jar and add it to all kinds of things... hot cocoa, chocolate dipped pretzels, caramel apples, cookies, frosting, cakes- whipping cream is my FAVORITE!!  It's easy and oh so yummy.  Here's the recipe for the Peppermint Magic Cream... we love this in our Hot Cocoa all winter long! ENJOY!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Simmering Sents

I was peeling an orange for breakfast this mornng- and it made me remember something I used to do years ago when the boys were young.  I would put things into a saucepan on the stove & simmer them to make the house smell good!  You can use whatever you have on hand.  This morning I used the orange peel from my orange, added a few drops of Almond & Vanilla extracts and a Cinnamon stick.  Put everything in a saucepan with some water and bring it to a boil, boil it for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to simmer & continue to cook it on the stove for as long as you want... oh the smell is WONDERFUL.  Just keep adding water to it as it boils down, every 1/2 hr or so. I have put it into a sm crock pot before too.  It's great, except when Clair comes in and says umm are you making an apple pie?  LOL  I don't know where he got the apple from- but you can use an apple in it too!!  So get those pans out and start simmering away!!! Your noses will be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

First of all let me say.. I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, But...I thought I would show you some pictures from our last years Christmas Party-- we let the little boys decorate some gingerbread houses...   

 look how cute they turned out. 

I bought some of these wooden houses at Joanns for $1.00 each-

They were great- add some frosting & candy.....

and you have the CUTEST Gingerbread house.

The little boys LOVED making them this way, I will never go back to baking gingerbread- or puting graham crackers on a milk carton again!!

they were so easy & turned out so Cute- they could put 10 lbs of frosting & candy on them & they still stood up!! Try using the wooden houses this year and see if you like it better too!!