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!!!

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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!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Make your own Goo Gone

I have used goo gone for a while now- to get the sticky labels off of jars & it works, but it is so stinky... and probably toxic- so when I found this great idea--- I thought I'm going to try it. 

its easy & really works.  Just mix equal amounts of coconut oil and baking soda.  I put the jar of coconut oil in a pan of water on the stove & heat it up until it's liquid- then measure it out and mix the soda into it.  Then when you need it, just scoop a bit out and rub it on- and wash off. 

Here is a brand that we like on amazon
Monday, November 12, 2012

Peppermint Chex-Mix

Hi!! It's been a few days since you've heard from me, I wish I could say it's because I've been away on a SUNNY WARM island!!  But it's just been a busy, crazy week... I want to be done with all my Christmas shopping by the 30th of November- and I'm almost there-  

 A few posts ago I showed you some pictures from our Christmas Party last year, and this was one of the things I said I would share the "how to's" on.  It's our favorite!  Peppermint Chex-mix... so here you go, it's very easy and oh so good!  

I like to embellish it a bit for presentation, so in the recipe when you add the last 1/2 of the peppermint- I also add some red & green sprinkles too. Then when you put it in your serving dish- put a few red & green gum drops & round peppermints on top... and you have a great little treat that says ENJOY!!
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Storing Potatoes

I just went and bought some potatoes & onions from a local farmer-- we stock up on them every winter. Right now they are still in the bags in the garage, but soon I will take them out of the bags and pour them into lrg. plastic milk crates- I like to store them this way because the crates have holes in them to allow air flow & you can stack them 2 or 3 high.  Here is a trick to help keep potatoes from budding- just place a couple of apples in with them- it works like magic!  

Happy Tuesday... if you have any great tips, please share... I would love to post them for others to use!!
Monday, November 5, 2012

Heaven in a cup!!

Have you tried the Steven's Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa Mix? If you haven't- RUN now to the store and get some!  My friend Lisa introduced me to this a week ago & it is soooo YUMMY!

I have a couple of recipes for homemade pumpkin spice drinks, but this is so simple & quick!  Then if you want to step it up a notch...

get you some of these little babies!!  I will be honest, I hadn't tried them before- and the day after Halloween we went shopping for (more candy) - go figure :) but it was 50% off so hey, of course you need it!! LOL anyway my friends told me I had to try these- so I bought a couple of bags.  And you guessed it.... I put a couple into my Pumpkin Spice drink & oh my it was a little bit of heaven.

So wonderful that I decided to put the cocoa mix & the kisses in 2 jars that are very conveniently on my counter... calling my name!!  But I am happy to say that I have limited myself to 1 cup a day!!  So heat you up a cup of water or milk, add the pumpkin spice mix, drop in 1 or 2 pumpkin spice kisses, add a squirt of whipping cream and a sprinkle of nut meg -- sit back and relax!! The only thing that makes it better is to be all cozied up by the fireplace- sipping it with the people you love the most!! I love fall - ENJOY! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

T-Shirt Scarfs

A few weeks ago me and a couple of my friends stopped at the DI to pick up some t-shirts.... let me show you what we made with them!!

first lay your t-shirt out on a cutting board- then with the rotary cutter, cut pieces 1 inch wide.  Please note that we learned the hard way.... the best shirts to get are: large or xtra large- use ones WITHOUT any side seams.

as you can see you will get about 18 pieces per shirt.
Once you have them all cut.... 

take each one and wrap around your thumbs like this...and pull outward, as you pull it tight they will curl up like a rope

you can store them like this on a hanger... and interchange the colors you want to match what you're wearing 

these are the colors we did today, I'm on the look out for a burnt orange & mustard yellow to add for fall. If you look close on the olive green colored one you can see tiny knots... this is what I decided to do with the one shirt that I bought with side seams- the seams don't curl, so I cut the piece where the seam was and then tied it back together with a small double knot.  I like the look of a few of them mixed in. So get a trip to the DI planned soon or better yet, raid your closet & use those old t-shirts to make some cute scarfs.  Then when your husband asks you if you have seen his favorite old shirt you can say-- I'm wearing it doesn't it look great!! LOL