Monday, December 30, 2013

Between Christmas and the New Year

Some Christmas Odds and Ends

Our tree this year.

It's hard to believe that Christmas was almost one week ago. The older I get, the more that it seems that time passes at warp speed. The harder I try to hang on to time, the faster it flies. 

Christmas was fun celebrating with family. Though the period of time I had with my kids was not long enough, we made the most of the time we had. We carried out the traditions we created over the years and as always, there was plenty of fun, food, gifts and late-night laughter to go around. 

Our dog Ellie--her constant movement makes for blurry photos! She loved Christmas, especially opening presents and having everyone home!


A few of my Christmas 2013 Projects

Microwaveable/Freezeable Rice Paks (Heating/Ice Packs) 
Made from Recycled Jeans

These rice packs are folded in half and tied for gift-giving. They are sewn in the middle to channel the rice from flowing to one side. One pant leg will yield two good-sized rice packs. I save tags from other recycled jeans (such as LEVI tags above). Recycle jean pockets for "gift pockets" as shown below.

Gift Pockets
The pockets of jeans can also be recycled! Stuff them with goodies and wrap up a gift card!

Janice Pope 2-Hr Tulip Bag

Another 2 hour Tulip Bag (Janice Pope Pattern) made from corduroy. This turned out so well! It took a bit longer than 2 hours as I added extra pockets and velcro.

This time all pockets have velcro closures. Inside are 2 pockets: one on the front side and the back side.

And don't forget the dogs! 

Purchase some healthy dog treats from the pet store and package them for all your doggie friends. Use cardstock folded in half (use a paper punch to make a festive edge on the cardstock), and make a tag. Tails will wag for sure!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that everyone has a blessed 2014. 

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow Day! Again!

So pretty outside....

Today it is snowing for the second time in just a few days. We got about twelve inches of snow in the first storm. Today's storm was only supposed to deliver about two inches of fluffy white stuff but since we already have a generous two inches, I am assuming we will be getting the higher end of the expected snowfall amount. That's OK. Here is the view out my kitchen window. A beautiful, fresh, white blanket of snow! It was near zero this morning too. Brrrrrrrrrrr!

After running a quick errand to pick up a small cupboard for my kitchen (before the snowstorm arrived) we decided that maybe baking would be the best thing to do today. My daughter who is recently home for the holidays from college, wanted to make gingerbread men.

....only 4 left to bake.


My daughter trying one of her gingerbread with a little eggnog!

My new kitchen cupboard.... fits perfectly!

Still searching for the perfect shelf, pot rack, window treatments (probably valance or swag).

My tree is almost fully decorated.

One of my angels ornaments that I made hanging on my tree.

I still have some handmade ornaments to hang on my tree but other than that my living room is decorated for Christmas. I love to relax by my lit tree at night, drinking a cup of hot tea with my dog Ellie curled up next to me, her head in my peaceful.
 Hope you are warm and cozy wherever you happen to be. I don't believe I will be warm until spring but I sure try! 

"Let it snow!"..........

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Compensating for Holiday Eating

Following several days of eating traditional Thanksgiving foods,(Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, butternut squash, peas, etc and an assortment of desserts) I found myself craving healthier meal choices, so it came as no surprise that while grocery shopping yesterday, I filled my grocery cart with plenty of spring greens, lettuce, fruits, veggies and various nuts.

I have had enough of this:

....and this:

and this:

and this....among other things.

Tonight while my husband is out of town,  I grilled some chicken tenders that were in the fridge for a much needed salad and topped my spring greens and lettuce salad with the grilled chicken seasoned with garlic, along with a sliced bosc pear, a little red onion, some dried cranberries and walnuts and of course a drizzling of blue cheese (yogurt) dressing. It was delicious! Just enough crunch!

I truly love all the foods on our typical Thanksgiving Day menu but all those carbs......and not exactly lowfat either. After two or three days of eating like that I feel like crawling into a cave and hibernating until spring. Please don't wake me....

Since hibernation is not a practical option for me, salads like these help me get back on track.

Time with my family over the Thanksgiving weekend was especially precious this year as we did not have an opportunity to spend time with my two older daughters over the summer or fall as we usually do. Thanksgiving  was the first time we were all together for any length of time. We stayed up late Friday night chatting, laughing and catching up.

We will all be together again on Christmas although my oldest daughter will be leaving during the Christmas Day festivities to spend time with her fiance's family. So, we will just have to make the most of Christmas Eve.

 My three daughters will carry out their traditional "Christmas Eve Sister's Gift Exchange" which is always fun to watch and then they will open their Christmas Eve pajama package which my daughter's fiance very graciously participated in for the first time last year! They will all open pajamas and wear them to bed on Christmas Eve! We have been doing this for years!! It's a family tradition!

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