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Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Year's Top 10

Morning everyone!

I was blog hopping this morning and visited the blog of my sweet friend Sarah.  Met Sarah years ago when we were both teaching up at a Scrapbook store in Noblesville, IN.  Miss her!  Anyway, Sarah posted her top ten of the year and I thought I would do the same.  Love looking back at the layouts I have created and the memories they bring back. There are a few that I really love that I can't share right now but I promise to post those as soon as I can. Hope you enjoy this look back too.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Back Home

Happy Tuesday everyone!

We headed home to Wisconsin to visit my parents for Christmas this year. There were so many things to get ready and pack in the car.  
  • Piles and Piles and Piles of Presents-check
  • Suitcases-check
  • Enough car stuff to keep the girls busy for 5 weeks-check
  • Camera-check
  • Memory Card for Camera-NO!!!

I could have cried.  I had it in my camera but had to take some photos of my projects and forgot my card in the computer.  Luckily my brilliant 12 year old decided to bring her camera.  A few of the photos are kind of grainy but so glad to have them.  

We got to spend Friday night with some of our closest college friends and their boys.  We always have such a great time with both of them and we need to make sure that we don't let so much time pass before seeing them again.  I realized while we were together how much I have missed both of them.  Their twin boys are absolutely the best kids.  It has been several years since I saw them and they are just as sweet as the last time we saw them.  

Dinner ended and we weren't ready to say good-bye.  We asked one of the waitresses for a suggestion on a place we could take the kids in Fond Du Lac and she suggested a bowling alley just down the road.  Perfect!

L loved how slippery the bowling alley was in her bowling shoes so she proceeded to spin and spin and spin around the bowling alley.  It looked like so much fun, Jim decided to give it a try.  LOL

Christmas Eve has always meant getting together with my dad's side of the family.  Since we have such a big family they have started getting together in a hall close to many of my uncles and aunts.  Santa made an appearance early in the evening.

He even had gifts for some of the cousins including moi.  He told me I had to smile for the pictures so everyone would have blackmail photos. haha.  I figured I would post it first. LOL

Now today I get to put everything away and get some laundry done but first I have a layout to share with you.  Did this layout before we left last week.  Believe it or not, this was a Christmas gift for my girls from their grandparents last year.  They got certificates to take a hot air balloon ride this last summer.Cool huh?  

I used some of the great Trendsetter papers from Webster's Pages for this layout and the cool hot air balloon was a Webster's Pages digi element.   Love being able to just print and use those any time I want!

I downloaded some goodies from Pink Paislee as well.  The Snow Day kit was WAY too adorable to pass up.  I created my new blog header using the kit and can't wait to create some projects with it in the next couple of weeks!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Have a safe and happy New Years!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time to Breathe

Happy Monday everyone!

Ahhh...that is the sound of me exhaled. LOL  I finally feel like I can finally breathe.  This last week has been a busy one for K (which also means her mama).  Several months ago, she decided to try out for the school play. The play was High School Musical and she has always loved that movie and the music.  She didn't want a big part, just one of the ensemble parts.  And so, she has been practicing after school several days a week for the last couple of months to play the part of one of the "skater dudes".  Both sets of grandparents were able to come see her.  (sorry for the bad photos, we were 40 minutes early and still had to sit quite a ways back). 

 K has been taking piano lessons since September and had her first piano recital on Thursday night. (more bad lighting. Sorry.)

On top of this, she had finals this week.  Three of the tests were on Friday and three more today.  So far she has done well.  I am hoping today goes as well as Friday.  She seemed very confident this morning as I dropped her off.

Keeping with giving you ideas for fast and easy Christmas gift wrap ideas, I have one more to share with you today.

We had a gorgeous photo inspiration at Emma's this week.  I am a sucker for pink red and white together.  :)

Here are my projects I made based on this wonderful photo. You can find the supplies here.

Have you tried these Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares?  Oh man, they are heavenly!!!

I will probably not have a chance to post again before Christmas so I want to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas.  I hope you get to spend time with those that you love.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another busy weekend done

You know, there is a part of me that is so ready for Christmas just so I can relax.  The other side of me is screaming "There is still SO MUCH to do!"

So we hosted a bunch of goofy 5th graders for L's party this weekend.  They were definitely a funny group with A LOT of energy! LOL So when I asked them if I could get their picture, this is what I got. (their thinking pose)

They definitely enjoyed the hot cocoa bar.  We went through A LOT of whip cream.  :)

I have another quick and easy gift wrap idea to share with you today.  I don't know about you, but this time year I get so busy that it is hard to find time to get crafty. These cute little boxes took me only minutes to create which is a definite plus.  As a middle schooler K has 8 teachers that she wants to give gifts to and that can add up to lots of money.  So I found these cute little boxes of Stover's chocolates at Target. I then set out to make them a bit more special. I started by wrapping each one in kraft colored paper.  I then wrapped them in either gold or red ribbon and embellished them with goodies from Creative Charms.

 I used one of the gorgeous red velvet poppies for this gift and a few berries I picked up last year at Hobby Lobby for cheap right after Christmas.

 After tying a bow on this one I simply attached a Vintage Metal Frame to it. Easy Peasy (as my girls would say)

More clearance berries and a Christmas Twinkle Sticker on this one.

Hope I was able to give you some gift wrap ideas today.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I can't tell you how much it means to me!  Have a wonderful week!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Sounds of Christmas

Because my children were not busy enough, they have both decided that they want to learn an instrument.  K has started piano and will have a recital next week.  L started playing flute through school and they had their band concert last night.  The great news is that the flute players sit in the front row so I could actually get some pictures! Ha!

Two of L's closest friends are also in band so we had to make sure that we got some pictures with them also. I really enjoy L's friends, this one is such a sweetie!  

And when these two are together they make me laugh so hard I am crying.  Their flute wars show they created one afternoon (when they were supposed to be practicing) had me rolling on the floor!

As promised, I have another gift bag idea.  This one is super simple and easy to put together.  The great thing about these kind of gift bags, is that they take little time but add a bit of extra care to the gift you are giving.  

Kraft gift bag
Season's Greetings paper by Echo Park
Lost & Found Christmas tags
Red Polka Dot paper

Have a great weekend everyone!  Check back on Monday for another gift wrap idea.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What a Fun Weekend

Morning everyone!

What a great weekend!  Although it was quite busy, (3 soccer games, 1 gymnastics meet and a Christmas party) it was a lot of fun.  It was L's first meet of the season and she did great.  She got 6th place on her beam routine and 8th on vault.  So very happy she has found a gym that she loves. K had 3 soccer games this weekend, one on Friday night and 2 on Sunday.  I am so amazed at how her game has improved over the last year.  Travel soccer games are so much fun to watch too. Man, they are fast paced!

As for K's party, it was a hit.  What a great group of girls!  I tried to stay close enough to hear what was going on but out of their way (got lots of laundry folded in the laundry room which is conveniently located close to the kitchen LOL) I was so impressed with their conversations. Definitely goofy but all completely positive. Not once did I feel the need to step in and redirect them.  They were loud and silly and quite adorable.

I have a ton of gift boxes, bags and wraps to show you over the next couple of weeks.  The first one is a box I created for Emma's Paperie.

This box was super quick and easy to make. It is the perfect size for cupcakes or Christmas cookies.   I started with one of these boxes. I covered each side with turquoise pattern paper and cut a few strips of  red pattern paper to put around the window.  I added white cardstock at the bottom for snow and added some glitter for sparkle.  Then simply used these stickers to embellish it.

Have a fabulous week everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Party on

Happy Friday everyone!

We have been busy working on getting ready for a Christmas party each of the girls are going to have for their friends.  It has been a bit of added stress during a busy time but I admit that it was my idea.  We did this a few years ago when we lived in Carmel.  I would really like to get to know the girls' friends better and this is the perfect way.  K is quite busy with soccer practices several nights a week, play practice and piano so she really doesn't have a lot of time to have friends over.   I have actually MET all of the girls that are going to be coming to the party (many of them at church-LOVE THAT) but it has been in passing with most of them.  So K's party is tomorrow and L's is next Saturday.  I know her friends a little bit better but it will still be fun to see them in this environment.  You learn a lot about girls when they are in a group, that is for sure!

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the ideas I found with all of you.  The girls and I made small gifts for each of their friends that will be here.  I found this recipe for creating your own lip gloss.  We used the first recipe but tried the last one.  Because it is mostly petroleum jelly, we felt it was too slimy. We actually cut the petroleum jelly back to 1/2 tsp. in the recipe.  You can find the paraffin wax and coconut oil at the grocery store. I found some small containers at Amazon and then we added labels to the top.  

We are also making necklaces out of decorative stones I spray painted white. The girls are then going to paint them to look like peppermint candies. We are going to wrap them and then attach them to a black cord necklace.  I will take a picture as soon as I can.  My sample turned out looking pretty cute.  Then we are going to have a hot cocoa bar (add your own cinnamon candies, marshmallows, sprinkles, etc) while they do a small gift exchange. We end the party with the movie Elf or a game if they want instead.

My sweet friend Audrey is the master of holiday decorating and always shares pictures of her home all decorated for the holidays (and I am not talking JUST Christmas!)  She suggested I take some pictures so I thought I would share a couple with you. Our mantle decked out for the holidays.  I would really love something more Christmas-y  to replace my Greek map during the holidays. Mmmm...may need that to my list. :)

And then there is my table in the entry. That bowl of pine cones provides a wonderful cinnamon smell as you walk into our house.

Of course I can't leave without sharing a project.  If you are not too swamped with Christmas preparations, we would love for you to join us for the newest challenge over at Challenge Me Happy!  You could win a great prize from Artfull Crafts.  Make sure to stop by and check out the awesome color combination Annelie gave us for this challenge and the wonderful layouts by all the other designers.  I have to say I am absolutely thrilled about how this photo of K and my mom turned out.  We were at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago waiting to get into one of the programs when I snapped this photo.  The lighting was terrible and the resulting photo was not great.  There was this awful yellow glow over them.  But thanks to my amazing Adobe Photoshop program I was able to really fix it up.  So here is my layout for the challenge.

Have a wonderful week and thank you so much for stopping by!!!!