Mini Tin Tiled Magnet Board

Yesterday afternoon I was hidden away in my garage working in a creative frenzy.  I had several projects under way including one that involves some rusty tin tiles for my bathroom.  I'm sure I'll post about that at a latter date. However, right now the spotlight is on this little craft I made using leftovers.  It measures about 7.5" inches square so, it's not a big impact piece.  But, it is a lovely little accent  and is utilitarian beside.  Those two white dots you see are actually magnets.  Thus, it's a mini magnet board.  Let me show you how awesome little magnet boards can be...

You could use it as a picture frame.
Yup, that's my hubby and I in our early years.

It could work over time in your kitchen to hold your current recipe card.
yummy recipe by the way.

It could be used in the bathroom to hold little love notes.

It could be used in the office to hold a to do list, or a grocery list, etc...

Well, you get the picture.  Not only is it lovely but it earns its keep as well.

I had enough materials to make a couple and have posted them in my etsy shop.

Now I have to go grate a pound of cheese by hand for my fondue party tonight.  The good stuff never comes pre-grated.  So sad, but worth the elbow grease.  mmmmmm

Our Christmas Traditions

Christmas is by far the highlight of the year for me.  I stretch it out as long as reasonably possible.  The decorations go up right after Thanksgiving and don't come down till that new years ball has dropped.  Even though its almost behind us, I wanted to share a few of my favorite traditions with you.  They're nothing complicated but they do make us happy and thus are worth repeating.  

Firstly, the card pantry.  Every year I try to get my Christmas cards in the mail right after Thanksgiving to make sure everyone on the list is given our correct address (we move a lot) and a little Christmas card enthusiasm.  I know that postage has gotten expensive and I know that blogging and face book has taken away a lot of need for the traditional card.  But, I STILL LOVE THEM!  Opening my mailbox in December is THE BEST.  It warms my heart to see the sweet notes and smiling pictures of our loved ones.  I'm hanging onto this tradition as long as I can!

Another tradition we love...our Christmas Eve TAMALE FEAST!  They may not pretty, but we love these tasty guys.  Maybe it's because we live 2 hours from the border, or maybe it's because half the US population is now Hispanic, but the stores around here always have lots of Tamales on hand the week before Christmas.  Every year I tell myself I'm going to learn to make them, and every year I just buy them instead.  Hey, I'm not super mom or anything.  Plus, Costco makes some very delicious tamales!

A cute little tradition that came from my husband's family is to have a birthday cake for baby Jesus with our Christmas dinner.  I love how this helps the young crowd remember why we really celebrate Christmas after all and it leads to great conversations during Christmas dinner.  And, I LOVE the way a few cheap candy canes dresses up a simple white cake from a box.  My secret ingredient is a cup of coconut mixed into the butter cream.  YUM!  This cake is never around for long.

And I saved this one for last because I have a fantastic recipe to share.  Every year we have Butterscotch rolls for breakfast.  You have to try these because not only are they a crowd pleaser, but they take just a few minutes to put together.  Here's the famed recipe:

Christmas Morning Goodness (Butterscotch Rolls)

18-24 Rhodes rolls
1 package butterscotch pudding (not instant)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Layer rolls in a well greased bundt pan - don't thaw.  Pour dry pudding mix over rolls.  Melt butter and brown sugar and pour over rolls, then sprinkle with nuts.  Let raise 8 hours to overnight.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (watch closely after about 30 minutes so that they don't burn).



I went a little crazy at the after Christmas sales.  Soooo many good deals.

My number one after Christmas shopping tip is to buy next year's wrapping paper at World Market.  They always mark their wrapping paper down by 75%.  That's a bit better than the 50% off that most stores offer.  And furthermore...their wrapping paper is THE BEST. We're talking big rolls of thick, gorgeous paper.  I get asked every year where I get my cute paper and well, there you have it.

After my little shopping spree.  I came home and picked these from my garden.

I live in THE STRANGEST place.  Seriously, it's almost January and I'm getting bushels of tomatoes.  Last week I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce with them.  Anyone know a good salsa recipe!?  

We believe!

Like many people,I hold my beliefs close to my heart. I believe in all kinds of things.  I believe in God, I believe in families, I believe in my kids, I could go on and on.  When I saw the LDS young Women's theme for 2011, I knew I wanted it displayed in my house.  Here it is in abbreviated form:

This sentiment is like a little daily reminder of those beliefs. Every time I see it, I feel blessed for my beliefs and my hopes.  In case you're getting sentimental the way I did when I first saw this, I am offering the vinyl decal to make your own little reminder in my ETSY shop.  My decal measures 3" tall by 11" wide. It fits perfectly on a 4" by 12" block of wood or tile.  To learn more about what I believe, click here.  I'm so grateful to have these beliefs to hold onto because simply said, life is hard and we all need a little hope!

Little Debbie knock offs

Yesterday my eldest son got into the car after church, bragging that he got 3 Christmas tree shaped brownies in his Primary class (our church's name for children's Sunday school).  Three brownies of the Little Debbie variety and he ate them all up!  I know, disgusting on several levels.  Needless to say, he didn't each much lunch.  But, this left my four year old green with envy.  Never mind that his teacher showered his class that week with three adorable crafts.  When you're a four year old little boy, tummies are very, very important to you.  So, he asked me in a very sweet voice if we could make Christmas tree brownies when we got home.  My thoughts immediately turned to the six dozen cookies and three loaves of banana bread I'd made just days before. Do we really need brownies too!  But, that voice was so sweet and it rarely is used in such a polite way and so, I gave in and said yes.  He had to drag me from my nap to do it.  I said I was so tired, but again he wooed me by saying it wouldn't be hard.  I could just get the ingredients out and he'd put them in and do the rest.  What a sweet boy!  So off to the kitchen aid we went and made one SMALL pan of brownies from scratch.  Lucky for me, there was extra frosting already in the fridge left over from last week's cookie marathon.  And thus, surprisingly, it really wasn't hard at all.  

They turned out pretty cute don't you think?

Peace on Earth Garland tutorial

This little Garland has been adorning my mantel this holiday season.  I wanted to share a tutorial on its creation.

It all began with the lovely tinsel & twig paper collection by The Girls' Paperie
I modge podged swatches of the paper onto 2" square chip board
Each square was then hole punched in the top corners.  
I created some vinyl letters for myself and rubbed them on.  Then, I strung the decorated chip board on some ribbon.
The paper flowers were made using 12 strips of 4" by 1/5" paper.
Each was folded and scotch taped at the end.  Then a little hot glue connected them all at the center.  I glued together a set of six at a time and then connected the two halves.  The centers were pre-made dimensional stickers from the twig and tinsel paper collection. But, you could probably substitute buttons, flowers, etc.
The flowers got a couple of hole-punches too and slid up next to the chipboard.
The whole garland was lite enough to tape up with scotch tape.
Here's to much, much more Peace on Earth!

I just might link up to a couple of these parties:

Christmassy time of the year

I hopped onto Becky Higgins (isn't she the best!) blog for a few minutes this afternoon and got inspired by her family's holiday decor.  I may not be Becky but, I do have some favorite decorations around my house that make me feel merry and bright this time of year.  I wanted to share some of them with you.
An oldy but a goody, I used to sell tons of these stackers at Mckinney Trade days.  I saved on for myself and am glad it's still around.

My impromptu wrapping station came about because I was tired of dragging the gift wrap box out from under the bed every other day.  I love these colors and lots of polka dots!

To remind me what snowflakes look like :)

My sweet SIL gave this sconce to me for my birthday.  I'm looking forward to changing it's topper seasonally.

found this cute guy at a Christmas bazaar a few years ago with my mom.  Now he sits in the kitchen window.

LOVE this idea!  just turn a bell jar upside down, fill with ornaments and then cover the bottom to upright.  My bell jar is from West Elm but, I found it at the outlets for $4!  I know, SERIOUSLY filled with possibilities.

A close up of the Christmas tree.  I couldn't get the lighting right to take one of the whole thing.  It's fairly eclectic but tons of memories in those ornaments.

A new addition this year.  The letters were originally a plain white from Hobby Lobby and I jazzed them up with scrapbooking goodies.

My favorite...our nativity scene!  My mother in Law sent a section of it each year for several years.  I love having a beautiful nativity to remind us each year what we're really celebrating.
Here's a close-up of the garland.  Maybe if I get really on the ball, I'll post a tutorial of this one.  

That's all for now.  There's more, but my dinner is burning.  What are your favorite holiday decorations?

A Wedding and A Monogram

This past weekend I got to take a little trip to spend time with family and attend the wedding of my cousin. 

Here's the happy couple.

Their special day began with a beautiful ceremony here: 

The bride called me a few months ago to ask for my ideas and help with the reception.  Since I'm the vinyl decal queen, that's quickly where my thoughts turned.  I designed the cute couple a monogram and then stuck it everywhere.  Here it is on the chapel doors.
 I wish my pictures were better but the evening reception lighting was all I had to work with.
 Lighting the way to these doors, were a row of lumiares.  I couldn't get enough of the snow.  It's a rare treat for a southern girl like me.

Once inside, a row of bow hung engagement photos greeted the guests.

Then the sweetest little table beckoned guest to pause and jote down a note for the new couple.
Is that not the greatest guest book ever!?
And of course, the monogram popped up again.

And again!
I also used it on the dance floor

 And surrounded it with some scattered snowflakes.  The littlest guests had such a fun time hopping from flake to flake.
 You have to see her cake and it's carraige
 And the milk and cookie buffet
 We made these poof balls the day before out of tissue paper.  An inexpensive touch of softness.

 And last but not least, I couldn't leave the centerpieces out.  They got a monogram treatment of their own. 

And that in a nutshell was my sweet cousins wedding.  Soooo glad I got to be a part of it.