Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Not only do I have almost all of my Christmas gifts bought, but, I have them wrapped too!

Every year I try to make my presents look different. Sometimes, I will use a theme, such as snowmen. Sometimes, I will use a color theme. Sometimes I put on big fancy bows.

This year I went with a red and apple green theme. I also, thought I would try to do different ways to make the bows pretty. Like this one. It's in the shape of a rose.

Some are just simple bows with an ornament tied to it. That way, the wrapping serves as double duty. It's cute and another little gift.

I love this one. It could even serve as the tag if you only have one person with the initial you use. It also makes a fun sound when the person shakes the gift and helps to disguise what is inside.

While this one is wrapped with the ribbon and an ornament, the way it is placed together makes it look like a fancy ribbon.

Of course some of my presents will have just the normal big bows.

Using little stuffed toys is always cute too.

I like using just two or three colors for my wrapping and then making them all look different by switching up the ribbons and adding the little extras to show the person you care enough to put in the extra effort for them.

Of course, these few presents are just a drop in the bucket from what I have wrapped and ready to go, but I didn't want to give away the surprise on all of them. I know some people in my family read my blog and I want them to have a little surprise when they see their packages.

What about you? What do you do to make your packages special? Do you wrap with a theme or color?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Our table is set and ready for the family to come enjoy Thanksgiving together tomorrow.

I had a whole different tablescape in my mind for this year. However, when I went to put it together it just didn't seem to flow. Even though I'm sure no one but me would notice, I didn't like the way it looked.

So, I changed it all around the last minute. I was going to have the tablescape be acorns, pilgrims and leaves.

The idea started because I bought the little acorn place card holders from Pottery Barn.

I decided to go with the traditional Turkey theme. I got out my new napkin ring holders. That are turkeys.

My turkey plates. I added turkey place cards.

Then for the little favor, I got everyone a chocolate turkey from See's Candy.

I added a few bits of the original tablescape I had in mind too.

I scattered some fall leaves around to bring some color into the tablescape.

I used a few of my pilgrims. Only new ones I bought this year. I'm sad to say, I was so busy this year that I didn't get to the storage to get all my Thanksgiving decorations out.

Other then the tablescape, my house is not decorated for Thanksgiving. On the bright side, that means I can get right into decorating for Christmas though.

I put a big candle holder in the middle of the table. You must have candles, right? It is clear glass with fall leaves and when the candle light flickers through the leaves it's so pretty.

I also added some small pumpkins around the candle.

My dear friend, Claire, gave me these darling turkey salt and pepper shakers when I first met her. How sweet! They look perfect on this tablescape too.

I want to wish all my blog friends a wonderful Thanksgiving and for those of you (like me) that will be heading on Black Friday, I hope you get lots of great deals.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I've linked up to Tablescape Thursday and hope you will stop by there to check out the other wonderful tablescapes.


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today I got to do something that I have been longing to do. Go help build floats for the Rose Parade.

Ever since I've been a little girl, I have watched the Rose Parade on TV every New Years morning. I even went to see it in person one year. But, I've never been to see all the "behind the scenes" action that took place putting these floats together.

I thought you may like to see what takes place too. So, come along with me and I'll show you.

There were actually eleven floats being built by Fiesta Floats. They are only one of the many companies that build floats for the parade.

It was fun to see what the floats are going to look like ahead of time. Then get to see how they put them all together.

They make tiny models of the figures going on the floats out of styrofoam.

This photo shows the figures that represent those going on the float for UNO.

We got to see what is actually under the floats. I knew they had to be able to drive these big floats some how but I wasn't exactly sure what it was under there.

There were people doing all sorts of work. Here you can see they are putting a fine mesh on the forms. It is on here they will attach some of the flowers.

These guys are working on building the forms.

This piece looks like a globe to me. However, I couldn't find a globe on any of the floats, so, I'm not sure what it will turn out to be.

I believe this big face will also be on the UNO float.

We spent hours cutting flowers. Dried flowers. But, not just cutting them up. We had to cut out only the dark part of the flowers. The bright yellow part will be cut by someone else and used in different areas.

I don't think this big turkey is going to be on a float this year. It could be from last year. But, it gave a good idea on how the different colors of a flower would be used.

You can get a better idea on this close up shot.

Thousands and thousands of flowers get cut up and they are all used in different areas on the floats. It is really mind blowing when you see it all in person.

This is the sketch of one of the floats that is sponsored by the City of Duarte. It is called Living the Healthy life.

It shows people enjoying the outdoors, riding a bike, fishing, hiking and camping.

This all that is done on it so far.

Jelly Belly is sponsoring the float called Ronald Regan Centennial Celebration. It shows black and white pictures of Ronald Regan all through the years of his life. A big American Eagle and Flag is on the back.

We got to see many parts of how this float is put together. Here a man is painting one of the pictures to be used.

Rice and seeds will be used to cover the pictures completely.

Here they are gluing on the different shads of seeds and rice.

A copy of President Reagan's signature is cut out and will be covered also.

The American Eagle and Flags are up and painted. They are waiting to be covered soon.

A few of the pictures are finished. They are covered in plastic to keep them protected.

This is going to be the statute of President Regan. I will be excited to see how they bring him to life with petals, seeds and grasses.

Here is how the float looks now. It shows several parts of how the floats come together.

It was so interesting to learn the step by steps that are taken. It is just amazing how every float in this parade is covered 100% in flowers, seeds, grasses and other living plants.

I know I will be watching The Rose Parade much closer this year and I will appreciate all the hundreds of hours people spent to pull this beautiful event together.

What about you? Do you watch the Rose Parade?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Being a Girl Scout Troop Leader can be a lot of work. But, it sure can be a lot of fun too!

I've only been a Troop Leader for about 4 months and we have done so many things.

We have done three community service projects. We handed out water at 9-11 Run for the Hero's 5K, made happy socks for the cats at a rescue place and collected cans of food for the poor.

We made rootbeer floats, caramel apples and apple crisp..

We went to a Science Festival, Camp Scherman, Boo at the Zoo, Wild Animal Park and walked in a parade at the Angle Game.

We made several crafts that include cards, journals and Thanksgiving decorations.

In the next few weeks we will be helping to decorate floats for the Rose Parade that is on New Years Day, going to donate over 100 lbs of pasta, cases of sauce and lots of bread for a restaurant that makes dinner every night for over 100 Motel Kids.

We are going to go serve the dinner to the Motel Kids and hand out stuffed animals and books to all of them.

We are going to go Christmas caroling at the Senior Retirement Home and hand out reindeer that are made out of candy canes to the residents.

Then we will be going to see the Nutcracker Ballet and making Christmas gifts for the parents, having a Christmas party and a movie night without any parents.

My only wish is that the girls are having as much fun as I am and that they will one day look back on these days with fond memories. I know I will.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This year I made some Thanksgiving cards. A little simple way to tell those I love how Thankful I am for them being in my life.

They are all embossed and cut out by hand.

Each card has a little extra something added to it to make it pop. Like this one has steam made out of cotton.

This one is my favorite one. I love the little googly eyes that move around when you tilt the card.

I used to make cards all the time. Then I got tired of it and stopped. Making these reminded me of how much fun they can be.

Hope you enjoyed seeing them.