Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Best Christmas Surprise EVER!!!

This year for Christmas--My hubby and I decided to give our kids something SPECIAL:

I have to admit--I wanted this little present just as much or more than my kids.  Ok--maybe a lot more.  But it really is a present the WHOLE FAMILY will love for many years.

Some of my other favorite highlights of Christmas 2010:

Of course--Christmas Eve's Re-Enactment of the Nativity.

Mary and and Her Smallish Husband Joseph:

A Shepherd and his Sheep: 

And a Wise Man: 

I was an Angel and thankfully there are no pictures to document it--I was rather stuck in my white pillowcase Angel costume.

Moving on with more favorites:

My little guy was given this awesome gift from his Grandma.

It was an INSTANT HIT with the little Super Hero.

And it gave him the ability to do a lot of Super Hero things:

We did however have a hard time getting him to take it off--AT ALL.

More Favorites:

Kids in their New Christmas Church Clothes: 

Cute boys in matching outfits: 

More Favorites:

And of course spending time with Grandparents:

And Cousins:

And Lastly--but Not Leastly

My Favorite Christmas Decorations that my AWESOME FRIENDS spoiled me with this year.

This Incredible Advent Calendar that my friend Sherron made for me:
(Isn't she Amazingly Creative?  Luv You Sherron!!)

And then this next ADORABLE wreath was made by my good friend April.  I can only imagine how many hours it took her to wind all that felt over those hat pins!  SO CUTE!!
Thank You April!!!

So that is our 2010 Christmas in a nutshell!

I hope everyone's was as happy and memorable as ours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Craigslist Tree AKA Our Grinchy Tree

I would be sad and remiss if the holiday season passed without me showing and telling the story of Our New Christmas Tree.

So here it goes.

For the past 13 years we have always had a real Christmas tree.  We have done pre-cut, but most of the time we have gone to a tree lot and chopped down one ourselves.  We live in the Northwest--and the live trees are just beautiful around here.

But for the last few years our live trees have given me nothing but trouble.  And lots and lots of this:

And we didn't even get our tree early.  Usually we put up our tree around the 10th of December and take it down a day or two after Christmas!!

But still--by the time it is Christmas--the tree is just a dried up twig just barely holding on to its little needles--and if you bump the tree in the slightest or even walk by the tree and create a slight breeze--all the needles come tumbling down!

Now before everybody tells me WHY my trees are dieing--let me just tell you that we have tried EVERYTHING to keep it alive.  We chop it down ourselves--and re cut the bottom when we get home to make sure it will soak up water.  We water it and make sure that it is well hydrated.  We have tried the sprite/sugar water concoction.  We have tried it without the sprite/sugar water concoction. 

Our trees never used to do this--but lately we just couldn't catch a break!  It has been really frustrating!  So last year after I single handedly took down Christmas at our house and had to haul the blasted tree into the back yard--and nearly got pine needle poisoning because of all the pine needles that got stuck into me--I decided enough was enough!

I searched on craigslist and found this tree:
(And the picture just doesn't do it justice--I think it is one of the most beautiful fake guys that I have seen)

It was fully decorated with a billion lights and ornaments--and the lady selling it was asking ONLY $30 but I had to take the whole thing--lights, ornaments and all.

So I asked my friend Tiffany to take me in her truck to go pick it up that night.

So there we are in the pitch black of night, literally stuffing the fully decorated tree into the back of her pickup.  It was Hilarious!!  We felt like the Grinch that stole Christmas--stuffing a fully decorated tree into our getaway sleigh while the rest of Whoville slept!

Then the gal started taking down all her other lights and decorations around her house and handing them to us to take as well.  We made out with several more strands of lights, a few more ornaments, and a blow up Santa for my front yard.  She just wanted to be done with Christmas for the year and not have to put anything away or store it for another year. 

But it seriously felt like we had taken her Last can of Who-Hash as we drove off loaded to the brim with our tailgate scraping the road.

So this year--we put up our new Grinchy Fake Tree--and are LOVING IT!!!

Not only is it beautiful--but it is PINE NEEDLE FREE!!!

No more Pine Needle Poisoning for me!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SO Excited to do Laundry!!

So--The last couple months have been...well they have been difficult.  As I mentioned before, my father in law passed away on Nov 15th.  We also got into a 30 or so car pile up in a freaky snow storm coming home from his burial.  And also--by coincidence--my washing machine died the same day that he did. 

We surveyed the situation and did a little shopping and decided to buy a whole new matching set.  But the BUMMER of it all was that it couldn't be delivered until DECEMBER 15th!!!!!

That meant that we were a WHOLE MONTH without a working washing machine!!!! 

Have I ever mentioned that we have 4 CHILDREN?!!

But--with the help of NUMEROUS friends and also my Mom doing many loads of laundry for me (THANK YOU EVERYBODY!!!)--we got thru the month.

And now we traded in these old babies:
(And yes--you will notice that my laundry room is also my garage--so don't mind all the extra cans of paint and other miscellaneous items in the picture. )

Old Knobs and Controls:

For THESE new Babies:
(They are LG Front Loaders from Home Depot)

They are HUGE capacity, Energy efficient, Sleek, Beautiful and MINE!

New Fancy Knobs, buttons and Digital LCD Screen:

AND a sweet little elf purchased us the Pedastal drawers that go underneath for our early Christmas gift!

The drawers are SO wonderful and ROOMY!!!  Since we don't have a linen closet in our little house--I have chosen to use the storage for the kids sheets.  And now I have SO MUCH MORE ROOM in the bathroom cupboards!!

AND I still have one whole drawer that I haven't even filled yet!

Even though the timing was AWFUL and I don't look forward to getting my credit card statement next month--I REALLY LOVE THEM!!  And doing my laundry has never been so much fun or made me quite so happy!

Merry Christmas to us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Oreo Pops

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything new.  I have been stock piling a whole bunch of projects and pictures and just haven't had the time to blog about any of them. 

So with no further ado--I bring you one of the fun projects my family and I did this year for our Friend and Teacher Gifts.

I fell in LOVE with THESE OREO POPS over at HOW DOES SHE... and have made several different kinds of them.  And decided that they would be fun to do for some simple Christmas Gifts. 

So we stuck a sucker stick in some melted almond bark and opened up the oreos and placed the stick between the two layers and then sandwiched them back together.

After letting the almond bark harden up so the stick is secure--we dipped them in different colors of melted almond bark and then started decorating.

**And just a side note--if you have never used almond bark--it is AWESOME!!!  That stuff can be melted and re-melted and re-re-melted and always comes out with a perfect consistency.  I have worked a lot with regular chocolate and it is SO TEMPERAMENTAL!!!  This stuff isn't as great a quality--but for jobs like this one--it is the PERFECT thing to use.  LOVE IT!!**

OK--back to the decorating.

These are just some of the ones we came up with:


More Sprinkles:

Some cute faces:

I drew Rudolph's face with an edible pen.

Then we cut up some floral foam and stuck it in the bottom of some cute containers and covered it with some fun paper stuff (what is that stuff called anyways?).  And then we arranged the pops in a little arrangement.

These are the ones we gave the kids teachers:

These are the ones we gave our friends and neighbours: 

You can see the wrapped ones in the background--since I forgot to take a picture of them all wrapped up!

I just fell in love with making these guys--and again--the possibilities for these are endless.  You may just see me making more of these for Valentines or Easter or Birthdays or ANYTIME!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Not So Thrifty Confession

Ok--This post is to confess--to bare my soul to all of you.  I profess to be "thrifty" and for the most part, I really and truly am.  It's not too hard for me to be thrifty as I am a gal with pretty simple tastes. I am really not a connoisseur of anything. I like the cheapy knock off brand of root beer just as well as the expensive stuff in the fancy bottles. And this is true for just about any and all things that I own. And I would much rather buy something used and fix it up then get something new--if it meant I got a good deal on it.

So its true--I am thrifty...about 95% of the time.  But then there is the other 5%. 

There are times when the bargain basement knock-off will just not do.  Sometimes it does pay to spend the big buckaroos and get the great quality that often accompanies the GREAT BIG PRICE TAG.  (And just as a side note--most of the time my sister Michelle is the one that introduces me to the awesome big ticket items that I simply must have--my husband calls her my dealer.  So thanks Michelle!)

So I am going to share with you one of those 5% times that I just splurged BIG TIME--and have never regretted it for a second!

And to be completely honest--I STILL searched high and low--and found the BEST DEAL EVER on this little item.  The regular price was $240.  And I got it for $125 (which included shipping charges from Florida).  So even when I splurge--I still am not content until I get the BEST DEAL POSSIBLE!

What could possibly be so wonderful that made a frugal gal like me splurge so much?


Now at this point some of you must think I am off my rocker to spend so much on a hair styling tool.  I know--because that is EXACTLY what I thought when my sister told me her friend bought one!  What kind of idiot would spend THAT KIND OF MONEY on a hair styling tool you could buy at Walmart for $25?

But then my sister showed me what a professional straightener could DO to my hair--and I ordered one that same week!  I'm not kidding--they really are THAT good!  It not only straightens--but it curls, waves, and adds body to my hair.  And the best part is that it LASTS FOR DAYS!!  This is the thing that sold me on it--I have hair that won't hold a curl for 5 seconds let alone a whole day or more.  The curls and waves that I get with this baby last FOREVER!!!!  (That is if you can not wash your hair that long--I pretty much wash every other day--but the curls would last longer if I didn't wash them out!)

So here is a little demo of just ONE of the many different hair styles I can do with my GHD.  This one is my personal favorite.

Here I am with my hair just air dried out of the shower (and no make up on--don't know what I was thinking using this as my before picture):

Add a little of this:
(Another splurge:  Thermal Active Setting Spray that makes my hair SUPER SHINY--and helps hold the style extra long)

After a little work my hair is super wavy and has lots of body.

From the back:

And just to prove that it looks just as good the next day:

Day #2--I didn't even brush it or anything. 
This is just as it looks when I woke up in the morning.

The back:  Still looking good!

And I recently went a little blonder--thanks to the help of my sister Michelle!  So I'm adding a couple pictures with the new blonde tresses.

My GHD makes me and my hair very happy and I think it was worth every last penny I spent on it!

So there.  End of Confession.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dollar Store Ornament Wreath

Sorry--It has been FOREVER since I posted!
We have had a rough few weeks as of late.  My Father in Law passed away a few weeks ago--so I haven't had the time, nor did I feel like posting.  But we are doing better and I did just complete a fun project with a friend the other day that I am IN LOVE WITH!  So I thought I would share it.

It is nothing new to blogger land.  In fact you have probably seen them EVERYWHERE.

I got my ideas from HERE, HERE and HERE.

So I went to the dollar store and picked up some round plastic ornaments.  Then my awesome friend Tiffany and I hot glued all the tops onto the ornaments so they wouldn't pop off during construction.

Here's Tiff wielding her gun:

And of course I didn't remember to take any other pictures of us assembling the wreath--I was just too darn excited about how it was coming together.  But the gist of it is that you unwind a wire coat hanger--or find some thicker gauge wire and shape it into a  circle.  Then you string the ornaments onto the wire. 
You just keep adding ornaments and try and cluster them how you like them by rotating them around the wire.  It is important to do the positioning of them while you go as they get much harder to move when they are all sandwiched together.

You finish stringing them till you have the desired size you want.  Then you twist the ends of the wire together at the top and add a bow and a loop for hanging.

And this is what it will look like: 

I hung it on the side of my entry way and then decided I really wanted it on my door.  So I went and bought a wreath hanger and so then it looked like this:

But then--our door decided it didn't like the door hanger and wouldn't close properly.  So then I went to the store and bought some knifty little suction cup hooks that I could put on my glass window to hang the wreath.

So now it looks like this: 

And as a bonus--my door now closes!

And by hanging it on the door--I was able to do a little more decorating. 
Do you remember this little tree from HERE?

Well--I think it looks SO CUTE all deocrated with some more dollar store ornaments.

All the ornaments and ribbon and everything cost me about $8 at the dollar store.  And it was such a quick and easy project to do.  Honestly--the hardest part of the whole project was finding a wire coat hanger!  So if anyone has any wire coat hangers hanging around--I may be able to make some more of these babies! 

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