Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year, Friends!

Here at our house, we've put out the welcome mat for 2012...

Happy New Year!

May 2012 be your best year yet!

"...forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before..." Philippians 3:13

Find the clock printables at The Graphics Fairy by clicking here and here. New Years printables are my design. One of my resolutions is to have more printables for you here on the blog in the new year! Y'all hold me to it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Project Highlights of 2011

Wow! I've had a very busy year, as I know many of you have. And one of the things I love most about blogging is being able to chronicle progress & share it with you all. If you don't know my "story" regarding this blog & how it relates to our home, it's simply this: I've used it as public journal to record how it really is possible to furnish an empty house on a very small decorating budget. I still have a long way to go, but I love the process. It's very true that patience is the first requirement, but as many of you have also learned, nothing compares with the satisfaction of doing it yourself. Thanks for joining me on this journey! Wonder what we'll come up with in 2012?

Here are a few favorites from this year...













Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Motivate Yourself to Un-Decorate for Christmas

I was hoping if I wrote that title something would magically come to me, but so far, it's not looking good. Today is the big day around here. What went up must come down. And in my usual soon-after-Christmas style, I'm ready for it to go. Now I'm just waiting for that burst of enthusiasm to hit me so I can get it done quickly and painlessly.

My plan of action is to break the news to the kids when they wake up, & then assign them their specific jobs. Then, I'll turn on some motivational music that will keep us hopping...something akin to the tune from the Wizard of Oz when the witch is riding her bike.

And then I'll make a goal of being done by lunch or soon after, reminding the kids that, this way, we'll have all afternoon to play with our new toys.

I'm telling you all this because you are my official Accountability Team for the day. Feel free to check up on me & remind me to stay focused. I'll post an update to my Facebook page to let you know when we're done.

What's your plan of action for un-decking the halls? As for those of you who are finished...I'm officially jealous. Gotta get busy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to each of you...

May you know the Christ of Christmas every day of the year.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Perfect Gift to Give Yourself

Don't bother asking me what I had for lunch last Tuesday, because heaven knows I can't remember. But ask me what we did for Christmas in 2002 or even 1997 & I can tell you all about it. Not because of my crazy-good memory, but because of my Christmas Journal.

I pack it away with the Christmas decorations each year, then get it out again & look through it each year, remembering Christmases past.

I started writing it the year our son was born and have kept it going every year since. In it, I write a few pages each year, highlighting all the major events that happened from Thanksgiving to New Year's. Everything from parties and plays to who came to visit, where we went, what we gave, & what we got.

It's a gift from me to myself & my family that becomes more valuable with each passing year.

It's just a simple spiral-bound journal, and on the inside cover, I added this little Mary Engelbreit print with a quote from Charles Dickens...

It's a Christmas tradition I'm glad I started so many years ago. If you don't do this already, this would be a great year to start! It's the perfect gift to give yourself. And it's a great gift idea to give to a young couple as well.

What's your favorite yearly Christmas tradition?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yummy, Easy, Peanut Butter Fudge

I love these last few days before Christmas when school gets out, the kids are home, & I have a little time to pull out some recipes for some of our favorite Christmas treats. A few days ago, I got out my recipe file, & out fell this one for Peanut Butter Fudge, so I took that as I sign & cooked up a batch.

I would be happy to give credit to the person who first gave me this recipe, but it's been in my file for years & I can't remember who it was. So, if you're reading this, Person With the Fabulous Fudge Recipe, let me know!

Meanwhile, this is way too good & way too easy not to make, so here it is:

Peanut Butter Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup cream
1 t. vanilla
1 T. margarine
7 oz. jar of marshmallow cream
12 oz. jar of peanut butter

Mix sugar, cream, vanilla and margarine in a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat & add marshmallow cream & peanut butter. Mix well. Pour into 9x13 pan. Cool and slice!

You'll love it! Wrap some up for a treat for the neighbors--- they'll love it, too!

I'm sharing this over at Centsational Girl & TT & J's Cookie Exchange Party. For more yummy treats, check it out!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Make-At-Home Peppermint Mochas

'Tis definitely the season for Peppermint Mochas, and they taste even better when you don't have to fork over $4.10 per cute red cup. Here'a a little concoction I've been making at home, & it's every bit as good as Starbucks' when you drink it from your own favorite mug.

It's just 3 simple ingredients: a packet of hot cocoa, a tablespoon of peppermint syrup (ask your local Starbucks to sell you the bottle--mine sold a full-size bottle to me for around $12), and brewed coffee. If you have a Keurig, use a leftover K-cup in any regular flavor of coffee.

Just pour the packet of hot chocolate into the mug & fill with coffee. For the Keurig, I recycle a used K-cup & run it through a second time on 6 oz. setting. Then, just stir in a tablespoon of the peppermint syrup & top with whipped cream!

You're gonna love it! Eat, drink Peppermint Mochas, & be merry!