Sunday, December 25, 2011


Well after all the planning, shopping, decorating, cooking, wrapping, singing, eating, laughing and's over. 

Christmas was wonderful this year!

This year we had the whole family over for breakfast.  The table scape this year was done in red poinsettias and white access pieces.

I really love having brunch rather then dinner.  It's great to wake up knowing that in a short while everyone will be over.  We will eat a yummy breakfast of homemade waffles, chili Rancheros egg dish, bacon and fresh fruit.

Having breakfast rather then dinner also means, the table doesn't have to be so fancy. 

This year I was able to use the white plates I got last year from the Dollar Tree.  I love these plates!

I also didn't have to use a salad or dessert that means less dishes.

For the centerpiece, I just put a poinsettia plant in my milk glass ice bucket.  I use it for plants and flowers more then I do an ice bucket. 

Next to the poinsettia, I have a darling Dept 56 reindeer that I got as a present several years ago.  Sadly, I broke the other one that went with it.

The napkin rings were made of jingle bells. 

Oh course, I always have my molded butter at every holiday meal.  I had Santa and trees for breakfast.

I took photos of the table before I put the place cards out.  We found these cute ones at the mall and everyone loved them. 

There was a mix of Santa place card holders.
Also, reindeer ones.  Aren't they cute?  I think they would be easy to make too!

After we all ate and were completely stuffed, we went into the living room and opened all the presents.  Santa sure was good to everyone this year!

Santa Paws even came and left the puppies presents.  After all they were very good this year.

Elton loved ripping into his gifts. 

Since Elton is not big on playing with toys very often, Santa Paws brought him several different treats.

Here is Elton hoping he gets to open his present and try a sample...of course he got to enjoy a few.

Zeke loves treats too.  He started to lick his lips as soon as he noticed he got some treats too!

Zeke loves to play fetch.  He would love if you would throw the ball all day for him.  So he really loved getting some new squeaky balls to run after.

After presents were open and those that had other commitments left, those of us that remained, went to the movies.  I was surprised at how crowded it was at the movies. 

We came home and had a turkey dinner and spent hours chatting about life and going down memory lane. 

Right now, everyone has gone home and I'm the only one still up.  Everyone here is sleeping soundly, I'm sure dreaming of the wonderful day they had.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too.  Now it's time to start thinking of those New Years resolutions!


May we never forget the true meaning of Christmas.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.  May God bless you.

The image of the vintage Nativity scene is an actual 3D card you can send out.  If you wish to print off your own click here

Friday, December 23, 2011


Well I made it!  I got all my present bought and wrapped in time for Christmas.  The cookies are baked, given to others and eaten.  Christmas music has been played over and over. 
Parties have been given and attended.

So, I'm set.  Bring on Christmas!!!!!

My last gift I had to worry about was for my nephew.  I had no idea what to get him.  He kept saying he just wanted money.  I hate just giving an envelope with money in it.

Last year he wanted money too.  I ended up giving him but I wrapped up $1, $5, $10 and $20 in crape paper to look like a snowball and he had to unwrap the whole thing to get his full gift. 

He thought it was a lot of  fun. 

This year I had no idea what to do to make it fun.  Then I thought about giving him a little Christmas tree with the ornaments being made out of money.

I just folded $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills into fans and tied them on a little silver tinsel tree I got at Target.

It's going to take him awhile to get this money off.  I think he will have fun with it. 

Do you have any clever ways to give cash to someone for their present?  If so, let me know.  I would love to get some new ideas for next year because I'm sure his wish list will be the

Merry Christmas everyone!  Hope Santa brings you everything your heart desires. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Every year I pick a different theme to wrap my presents.  This year I went with Red, Silver, White and Glitter.  Lots and Lots of glitter!

Have you seen or used this kind of ribbon before?  I've seen it and even bought it before but I hated it.

I had no idea how to use it.  Then I was at the Container Store and they showed me how fun it can be to use.  It's now my all time favorite ribbon!

I don't really like to use those stick on tags.  I like to find pretty ones that match my theme.  We got some really nice ones from Costco this year. 

I also like to use little ornaments to pretty up a package too.  This little glitter reindeer fit in perfect with this years wrapping.  I had some things left over from last year that I was able to use this year. 

This photo didn't come out that great at all.  But, I wanted to show you another favorite ribbon I have this year.  It's a velvet red ribbon with a silver tinsel on the edge.  It has sort of a vintage look to it.

I do like to make pretty bows, add little extras to the packages and make them look as nice as I can. 

However, when I get tired, I just tie a plain bow and I happen to think those packages look just as pretty.

I'm not a stick on bow lover.  In fact, I never even buy those.  I like the big wide ribbon much better.

I still have lots of wrapping to do.  I just wanted to share with you what my presents are going to look like this year.

I can't afford to spend a lot of money on presents this year, but, I can take the time to make them look as nice as I can.

Hope everyone likes them.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


My sweet great niece is almost 11 years old.  When we were at the mall she didn't want to go sit on Santa's lap and have her picture taken.

She said she is to old to believe in Santa.  WHAT!  I quickly explained one can never be to old to believe in Santa.

Well after a bit of a discussion and even a tiny bit of bribery, she agreed to go in for pictures.

As they were getting ready with taking the order and getting paid, I turned and saw Trinity and Santa were having a conversation.  So I started to click away.

I love this picture.  It isn't posed.  It isn't forced.  It's just natural.  No one knew I was taking the picture. 

It's just a girl having a chat with Santa.

Then they turned and noticed I was there.  So, the conversation stopped and they posed for a picture.

I'm not sure what they were talking about but, Santa was in a jolly mood and kept laughing.

Trinity wouldn't tell anyone what they were talking about and of course Santa wasn't going to spill the beans.

Then, I got tapped on the shoulder.  I was told it was time for them to take their professional photo.  I had to move out of the way.

I'm not sure what happened that night.  But, I think Trinity finally believed me that you really are never to old to sit and have a chat with Santa.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I love to throw parties for my girl scout troop.  So, Christmas time was a perfect reason to throw a party. 

Last year our theme was Gingerbread.  This year I went with Christmas Penguins. 

It wasn't that easy to find cute Christmas Penguin table decor.  So, I went to Etsy.  I found Frog Prince Paperie and lots of cute items to download.

The table was set and looked cute.  I didn't go overboard like I often like to do.  We only had a short time together so I kept it simple.

This guy was our little mascot. 

We ate dinner that we had brought in from a wonderful family owned restaurant.

After eating the girls made some darling ornaments to hang on their tree at home.

The girls in my troop love to do crafts so the ornaments was a lot of fun for them to do.

After crafts they did a gift exchange with each other.

I brought gifts for the girls and put them in these darling felt sacks.  I was going to send them home with the girls but they really wanted to open them up at the party.  Of course, I gave in and let them have them.

The sacks were full of cute little things.  All with the Christmas penguin theme.

For dessert, we had cupcakes, peppermint ice cream and a star shaped sugar cookie.

The girls went home, full, happy and loaded down with gifts. 

It was a fun time and lots of memories were made.  Now I need to decide what next years theme will be.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Growing up I was always told that you had to be good or Santa would bring you nothing but Coal.

Well that was enough to scare any little kid into being good.  So, for years and years, I would be on my best behavior out of fear of getting coal rather then toys from Santa.

Well, the other day, my sister came over and brought me a bag of "coal" saying she thought I was being naughty and Santa asked her to give this to me.

My heart skipped a beat.  What!  Santa really did give coal to naughty girls and boys.

I sat the bag aside.  I didn't want to be reminded that I was not as good as I thought I had been.

Then I thought I should face the music and check out just what this coal is all about. 

Well, I noticed you could unwrap the coal.  So, I did.  Low and behold, it was yummy candy inside. 

So yummy in fact that I'm now going out of my way to be a bit naughty so Santa will bring me more.

I no longer have any fears of getting "coal" for fact, I look forward to it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Every year I do a lot of baking for Christmas.  This year, I got started today.  My sister came over and we spent hours baking cookies and making fudge.  It was so fun.

We made Hershey's Peanut butter Blossoms.  I'm not a fan of anything peanut butter, except peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I don't like peanut butter cookies, peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter candy or anything.

But, my great niece loves peanut butter and asked if we would make these for her so we did.

They are very easy to make.  I just googled Hershey's Peanut Butter Blossoms and got the recipe.  We ended up making several batches.

Chocolate Fudge is something we always make.  It's great to give as gifts.  I like to wrap it up in cute containers and give it to my friends and neighbors.

I love nuts.  So, my fudge always has walnuts in it...unless someone requests that I leave them out.

I use the recipe on the back of Marshmallow Fluff jars.  I use 1 package milk chocolate chips and 1/2 of a bag of semi sweet chips. 

We also made several batches of Snowball cookies.  These are my favorite.  The ones shown have received their first coating of powdered sugar.  They still need the 2nd coat they get once they are completely warm.

I don't know why I never bake these at any other time but Christmas time. 

Do you have certain things you bake only for the Holidays?  I guess by not making them other times of the years it keeps them special for Christmas.

I still will bake lots more before Christmas actual is here.  What are some of your favorite cookies to make?

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Most of you know I'm a Girl Scout leader.  I love it.  I have the best group of girls.  They are all so fun and well behaved.

At our next meeting we are going to have our Christmas party.  Evey year we have a different theme. 

This year our theme is Christmas penguins.  I've been collecting things for this party for a year now.  Last year I already knew what I wanted to do. 

The good thing about planning early is you can stock up and buy things when you find them and you are not out rushing around trying to find stuff. 

The bad thing about planning early was, I now have more girls then I did last year.  So, I had not bought enough.  That meant I was out driving around town trying to find more of things I bought before.

Well, that didn't always work because some of the things were no longer sold in the stores.  I finally had to accept that I could either buy all new items or I could buy other items and the girls could end up with slightly different things.  Which is what I did.

It all started when I was at a thrift store last year and found the Christmas Penguin cookie jar.  I thought that would be a cute start for the table center piece.  Then I found the plates and napkins on line.  They were discontinues so I got a great deal. 

The little toys, candy and note books I found at Michael's this year.  I love the little packs of tissue.

The little stuffed animals came from Target.  The cute slipper socks were a real find at Big Lots.  I should have gotten me a pair.  What was I thinking?

I got the little penguin bowl at the Dollar Tree and the little foil wrapped pigeons at Target.

Every year I get the girls an ornament and write on the back the year and Girl Scouts so they will remember the theme of our party.  I got the ornaments at Michael's also.

The darling little snow globes came from Dollar Tree.  I bought them last year and then I was so lucky that they sold them again this year so I could get all the girls the same one.  I'll use these on the table and they can take them home afterwards.

We will do crafts, have dinner, do a gift exchange and have a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to it.