Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mizzou Tree places Second!!

I entered my Mizzou Christmas tree into a tree contest and we received second place!!  You can see the other winners here.  Thank you to Jonquil at A Whimsical Christmas for hosting this neat event!

Second place wins an adorable box filled with Christmas jewelry handmade by Jonquil herself!  Thank you so much!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

As I sit here at the computer, reflecting on this Christmas season, I can truly say that I believe we celebrated Christmas.  In our new home, the decorations were different, the traditions slightly different, but what made Christmas Christmas was my family.  Having them home, enjoying one another's company, made the holiday special.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve has many traditions, such as Midnight Mass, the Santa Sack and getting our Christmas pajamas.  This Christmas Eve, we are branching out and doing something a bit different, we are doing a dinner and a movie, with all the food based on the movie scenes.  The movie?

The first course comes in the shape of breakfast.  Scrambled eggs on top of rosemary olive oil toast with a side of cinnamon bacon and of course, a tiny mimosa!  These dishes are tapas sized, "small plates" and will allow us to have many dishes throughout the movie.

The next course features meatloaf with mashed potatoes with a glass of "milk" (white Russians for us!).

During the snowball scene we will have vanilla cakepops dipped in white chocolate.

When Ralphie and his brother visit Santa, we will serve mini chocolate chip cookies and grown up chocolate milk (Godiva with a bit of cream to thin it out!)

The last course is Peking Duck on sticky rice served in Chinese take out containers.  Served with slightly warmed sake, this is to celebrate the family eating Chinese when the neighbor dogs ruin their turkey.

We don't know if this will become a tradition, or just a fun way we spent our 2012 Christmas Eve.  Whatever the case, I know we will all enjoy being together.  Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If and/or when...

Your child asks, "Is Santa real?" and you know it is time to answer...

Santa is checking his list...twice....

Here's a little help for explaining it to your little one:

This isn't the original, but you can find it here at

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh What Fun!

My husband and I did so many fun Christmasy things today.  We toured an art museum, then went to see holiday florals on my college campus and ate lunch at a so cute diner...but the most fun was grocery shopping and seeing all this cute things at our grocery store!!

The moral of this story is to be sure and check your local grocery store for fun Christmas goodies!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cookie Exchange

Today I hosted a cookie swap in my new neighborhood.  I didn't know a soul to invite, but found a page on Facebook where the neighbors come together to talk, sell, etc with each other so I took a deep breath and asked if anyone wanted to participate in the swap and I got a few takers!!

Using Facebook made the whole process easier.  First I asked for interested people, then once I knew there was an interest, I created an invite and uploaded it on Facebook.  I created a board on Pinterest for those who said they wanted to participate but didn't have any ideas.  I checked in on the group from time to time.

A couple of days before the swap I cleaned up the house and then I made spritz cookies the night before.  Packaged them up and made a few snacks (I focused on nonsweets) Each swapper brought some to share, so those went on our snack table.

We introduced ourselves and chatted about living in New Town, then tried all the goodies!

We separated the piles and everyone took home a great assortment of cookies!  I know that I want to do it again next year!!

My lovely guests!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Can you believe it??

Christmas is but 29 days away!  How are you doing on your preparations?  I have most of the decorating done, but I still have shopping, baking and cooking left to do.  I still feel that I have plenty of time to do everything I want to do.

My family was fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving in Hawaii.  My daughter had a conference there and we decided to join her.  We had to adjust our Thanksgiving plans with our extended families but it was well worth it!

While we were there, I was able to snap a few good photos of  Hawaiian Christmas decor.  I enjoyed it so I thought you would, too!

You could have knocked me over with a feather on this one.  They planted poinsettias in the ground!

The photo is a bit blurry but the main ornaments are straw hats!

Looks like Santa plays some golf in Hawaii when he's on vacation!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Two months away!

I had the most wonderful thing happen to me... I discovered that my new town loves Christmas as much as I do!

I hear there are Santa parades every weekend and on the 24th there is a Santa send off parade!

I cannot wait to experience this great tradition of Saint Charles.  I am working with the New Town Christmas committee hose tour!  I will be a docent this year.  I have been distributing flyers over town.

I am hosting a cookie exchange at my apartment!  Lots of people wanted to come!  We are up to making eight dozen cookies.  

We are setting up dates for or family gatherings.  Trying to get us all together is proving to be very interesting but we always manage to get it done.  It takes patience, compromise and a good sense of humor to make it work!

I am looking at online Christmas cards.  There are so many cute ones out there!  I am also doing our annual Christmas blog.  We do that instead of a letter. We can say a lot more and have many more photos! 

Keep planning and come back next month!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home for the Holidays

Three months before Christmas!  Living in a new home means strategizing how my old things are going to look in my new place!  I am thinking about my traditions and how they might look in this new place. How does one feel at home in a new place at Christmas???

Friday, August 24, 2012

Creative Christmas Dinner Decorations

Guest post by Erin Levine Christmas is only months away. With a little thrifty planning, you can create some heartfelt centerpieces for your dinner table that will impress your family and friends. Best of all, these ideas for old Christmas cards will have you crafting some innovative decorations that won\'t break the bank.

Turn Christmas cards into gift boxes to place in the center of your dining room table. Halve the card by cutting it along the fold. Take the back half of the card. It is important to cut 1/8″ from one of the long sides, and one of the short sides. This is so that the bottom of the box will be smaller than its lid, allowing them to fit together. Now score the card 1″ from the edge on all sides. Do this with a ruler and a blunt object like a knitting needle. Fold the card along each of the four scored lines. Cut the scored line from the longer edge of the card to where it crosses the scored line along the shorter side. This cut should be about 1 inch long. Do this for each corner. Remember to only cut in from the longer edge of the card. This will create a flap. Fold along each of the scored lines, bending the flaps so that they sit on the inside of the box. Use glue to secure the short sides to the flaps of the longer sides. Repeat the process to create the lid. If your card has writing inside, cover with paper. You may like to use the verse as a little surprise in the bottom of your box. Once you have made one, you will see the potential for these little creations. Square cards work well too.

Boxes can be made to look rather spectacular. Fill the boxes with treats. Attach name tags and use these as festive ways to place guests at your dinner table. Try cutting out shapes from the lids of your boxes and taping cellophane on the underside to create windows. This is also a great way to present handmade chocolates.

Boxes are an ingenious way to personalize Christmas invitations too. Begin by cutting the card in half along the fold line. Place the card face down on the table. Fold the bottom edge up, leaving 2 inches of the card’s back exposed at the top. You can join the sides together in a variety of ways. Try punching small holes and sewing them together with a needle and yarn or ribbon. If you have a sewing machine, decorative stitches create an ornate edge. Fold the top of the pocket over to create a simple envelope. Glue or sew a button onto the pocket. Cut a button hole into the flap to complete the envelope effect.

Christmas cards make great menu or recipe cards which you could add to your table decorations or Christmas invitations. Again, cut the front from a card. Trim the card so that it will slide into the pocket you created earlier. Print out your menu or treasured family recipe so that when cut, it will be about 1/8″ smaller than the card. Attach it to the card by gluing or sewing.

Boxes can be arranged on the table for an interesting centerpiece. Cut out letters from advertising material and glue a letter per box to spell out season greetings. Tumble boxes filled with treats into large glass vases for a lucky dip surprise for guests. Inverted boxes can also be made to resemble little cottages. Use the backs of cards to cut out doors and windows. Don’t forget chimneys and roofs for your boxes too. Draw details onto the white card with a black marker and then glue into place. Santa’s village will quickly appear!

Don’t let your Christmas decorating be stifled due to a lack of cash. Your Christmas table can come to life with handmade items to create a festive atmosphere that will have guests marveling at your talent. So go ahead, have some Christmas fun!

Erin Levine writes articles about fun Christmas craft ideas for, an invitation and Christmas card company based in Alpharetta, Georgia. She loves anything do-it-yourself and can’t wait for Christmastime to roll around!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Some fun for you!

I found this fun, delightful site that you can make wonderful word clouds and it is so addicting!  Here is an example of what you can do!

The words from this blog were taken to make this Tagxedo.  The words that are larger appear most often in the blog.

Go and make one for yourself!