Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grandmother's Jelly Cookies

This is a recipie I found in a Better Homes and Garden Christmas cookie book I purchased several years ago. They were a big hit with the kids when I made them for a kids party once.

1 c butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
3 c all-purpose flower
1 slightly beaten egg white
Finely chopped almonds and/or pearl sugar or granulated sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup currant jelly

Lightly grease cookie sheets; set aside. In large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on med speed for 30 secs. Add sugar, beat well. Beat in egg. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

On lightly floured surface divide dough in half. Roll one half to 1/8 in thickness. Using a star shape cutter, cut into 2 1/2 in shapes. Roll out second half, cut with a 2 in. cookie cutter. Using a 3/4 or 1 in cutter, cut a circle from center of smaller shape star. Continue til all dough is used.

Brush top of 2 in. star shapes with egg white, sprinkle with almonds and/or pearl sugar or granulated sugar. Arrange all shapes on prepared cookie sheets, bake in 375 deg oven for 7 to 9 mins or til bottoms are light brown.

Transfer cookies to wire racks, let cool. Place a small amount of jelly in centers of 2 1/2 in. cookies. Top with 2 in. cookies, sugar side up, and press together, showing jelly in center. Makes 36 to 42 cookies.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Plans for the Foyer

I have a small foyer and it too gets decorated. Just behind the front door there's a full length mirror with two topiary plants on either side. When the holidays arrive I wrap the plants with a strand of clear lights. Sometimes I like to add mini faux berries for a bit of color. From the mirror I hang a large bow. The coat closet gets decorated with a pair of these cute knitted socks.

Next to the front door stands a small side table stationed under a group of family photos. Each year the nativity usually sits on the table, but this year I will display my Christmas village. The village use to sit in a curio in the dining room. I got rid of the curio to make room for a new large buffet/side-table I am getting. From the ceiling I hang pre-lighted garland from the foyer and down the hall but I don't think I will do that this year. I plan to sparingly place tealight candles around the village to give it a nice glow.

Well that's it for the foyer. Up next...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gone On Vacation!

Well today is my last day at work. Tomorrow I shall be at the beach (doing the happy dance). I will still check in every now and then to see what everyone's up to over at MHH. See you all when I get back in a week.
Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Marvalous Craft Idea - Melting Snowmen

You have got to check out these funny and creative ornaments by CandyCanes News. She's a fellow friend from MHH who loves crafting and is a big 'Twilight' fan.

Melted Snowmen Ornies 1

Melted Snowmen Ornies 2

Niiice, huh!

More Decorating - Bathroom

For the past 5 years I have decorated my bathroom with a poinsettia theme. I thought I had pictures that I could show you of my bathroom from last year but I can't find them on my computerThis year will be no different. However I am making some slight changes.

I have a small 12" white tree that I sit on top of the storage cabinet. I usually decorate it with faux berries and poinsettia garland. This year I am replacing the berries with red miniature glass ornaments. The garland will be dressed up a little by spraying gold glitter on the flowers.

The bath linen stays the same, large red towels with green and red novelty towels that spell "NOEL". The rugs are red and plush. So is the lid cover. I made my lid cover more festive by hotgluing poinsettias to it. This was also done on one of my red bath towels.

On the front of the bathroom door I hang a poinsettia wreath. I want to glam that up too by spraying gold glitter on the flowers.

I have a heavy duty red plastic shower curtain which is hung with homemade poinsettia curtain hooks. I cut poinsettias from a floral bush and hot glued them to plain white hooks. I love this curtain, I can wash it in the machine and let it drip dry before putting it away at the end of the holidays. This year though I want to change up with a different curtain...something soft. Although I said I wouldn't be buying anymore decorations this year I really want new curtains in the bathroom. As of yet I'm not sure what I want but I'll know when I see it.

Curtains are one of the easiest things to make. You can use any type of fabric. Just fold over the top edge to make an opening for the shower pole and sew. I'm no seamstress, but I can do that (hahaha). I've even made curtains from bed sheets. I don't like many of the shower curtains I see in stores so if I don't make my own I will buy window curtains/panels.

I'm getting off topic so I'll stop here. .


Not happy with the ornaments you see in stores? Are the ones you do like too expensive for your budget? Well here's an idea, make your own ornaments. If you're looking for something fun to do for Rudy Day here's a few suggestions:

How about snowmen ornaments mad out of styrofoam. They can be hung on the tree or grouped together on a table.

And what about these lovely ornaments also made with styrofoam.

Or what about golden angles. I especially like this idea. You could even make a large one and use as a tree topper or several in various sizes to sit on the mantle.

Now here's a sweet idea. Non-Edible Cinnamon Ornaments! Although you can't eat them, they are sure to make your home smell wonderful.

If you have the time this coming Rudy Day, why not give one of these a try.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Soda Bottle Labels

I got this idea from my bestfriend. Labels for 2 liter soda bottles. (I didn't have any bottles around so I had to use a candy jar) What a fun, festive what to dress up a plain old bottle, jar or whatever your heart desires.
I made 10 different labels, each will have a family photo added. I just need to find the right photos.

Holiday Labels - Part 2

I don't know what happened. The link to my lables is no longer working. Anyway, after hours of trying to figure out what's wrong I gave up and came up with another solution. Here it is:

I borrowed a candy jar from my boss' office. (hahaha) The photo is of the bailiffs. A great bunch of guys.

And here's the rest:

As I said in the previous post, I need to go through pictures and choose which ones I would like to use.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Crab Stuffing

1 bx corn muffin mix
4-8 tablespoons butter
1 lb crab meat
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups of chopped onions
dried parsley (if you use fresh parsley it's 1/4 - 1/2 cup; minced)
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
1 cup chicken stock (I like to use the stock from the turkey)
2 large eggs, well beaten (optional)

Prepare mix then bake in oven according to instructions on box .

Meanwhile in a skillet melt butter, add celery and onions and sautee until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the spices.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Add drained crab meat. Toss well until the stuffing is moist, but not packed together.

Stir in the stock and eggs, re-moisten and adjust spices as necessary.

Cooked in casserole dish at 350 until heated through with a crust on the outsides, 25 to 40 min.

I like to stuff my turkey with the dressing at least a 1/2 hour - 45 min before it's time for the turkey to be removed from the oven so that the stuffing gets some of the juices which really makes it taste 'o so good.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Homemade Labels

The other day I spent some time printing labels for my upcoming birthday bash. It was an idea my bestfriend sugggested. She thought it would be cool to add personal labels to 2 liter soda bottles. So I made 10, each with a different picture of me.

I thought this would be a great idea to do at Christmas too. Here's what I have so far. Now I just need to go through what seems like millions of photos on my home computer and select which family photos I want to use. The first label has a sample. It is a picture of the bailiffs in the courthouse where I work.

I used whole sheet label paper (8 1/2 x 11), making 2 labels per sheet (I wanted them large). Next I'll cut the sheets in half, remove the brand label from 2 liter bottle(optional) and apply my personal label. And then I'm done!

Unfortunately I don't have any 2 liter bottles on hand to show the end result.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baked Crab Rangoo

I lovvvve seafood! I can eat crabs, shrimp, fish(trout) and lobster on a regular basis if I could afford it. Last year (or maybe the year before that) I was hunting for something different using crabmeat to add to my holiday menu when I came across this recipe in KraftFoods magazine.

1 can crab meat (I prefer lump)
4 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
24 Won ton wrappers

Preheat oven to 350 deg.
Spray a 24 cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray, then place 1 won ton wrapper in each cup. Allow edges of wrappers to extend above sides of cups.
Fill won tons with mixture.
Bake in oven 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through.
Serve warm. Garnish with chopped green onions (optional).

I made it once and they were well received. I doubled the recipe for a large group. Also I only used the green onions as a topping.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Decor Plans - Balcony

While sitting on the boardwalk in Atlantic City Saturday I got to thinking about decorating my balcony for the holidays. Every year I hang clear lights mixed with garland along the rail with a small wreath in the center. Then along the rooftop I hang clear icicle lights. Last year I switched to multi-color lights and I loved it and plan to use them again this year. It's a nice change as I've been using the clear lights for the last eight years. I'm sure I'll go back to the clear lights again when I'm ready to revert.

Earlier this year I decorated this 43" wreath for the balcony. It will replace the smaller one I had been using which to be honest has seen better days.

The wreath was on clearance for $8 at Michaels. The ornaments (by Martha Stewart - also clearance), I bought at KMart dirt cheap. The ribbon and picks were also bought at Michaels. In all the total project was $18.

As for the rest of the area. I will have a small tree sitting in a corner on top of a small table. The decorations are similar to the new wreath with glittered deer and pine cone ornaments added. I like to hang two very large red velvet bows at the windows on either side of the patio doors. I also have clear lights framing the patio windows. My little bistro table is covered with a vinyl Christmas tablecloth. I like it to look festive out their for my guests who like to take smoke breaks.

More to come.


Well it's been a very long time since I've posted here. The holidays were an absolute joy for me last year. I'm hoping that this year will be another success. With that said, here's what is going on for this year. Last month for Rudy day I spent the day reorganizing the closet which houses all my Christmas decorations...sorting and getting rid of things I no longer wanted or were just worn out and no longer useable.

For the remainder of this year my plans are to spend each Rudy Day crafting. So far I have several easy-to-make craft ideas that will make great gifts for family and friends. More may be added if time allows for them.

Teacup candles
Altered Jars
Advent calendar

Over at MHH and OC members are celebrating Christmas In July. We're doing everything from watching holiday movies to crafts to sharing recipe ideas. During CIJ, I am just working out plans to make Christmas relaxing and as stress free as possible. Be sure to check out my other Christmas blog, "Love of Christmas" and watch my progress.

Also stop back here later this month when I hope to show you pictures of my current craft project: Advent Calendar.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Everyone's In The Spirit

If you look over to the left side of my blog I have updated my list of friends from Magical Holiday Home who also prepare for the holiday season all year. Hope you hop over to take a peak. These ladies are awesome. I have learned and continue to learn a lot from them. They are so helpful and encouraging to oneanother.

Keep checking back regularly as you will see this list grow, and grow and grow and....

Happy CIJ - July 10th

Well it's Friday and I for one am glad. It's been a very long week.

I've been working on my menu for our Christmas Eve family gathering. Every year I try to serve something different from the previoys year. I never do turkey because my family is usually good and sick of it from the Thanksgiving holiday. (LOL!)
So here's what I've decided on:
  • Saucey country ribs (I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I will use beef ribs instead of pork though.)
  • Honey baked spiral ham
  • Wingette platter (three different flavors)
  • Collard greens
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Deviled eggs
  • Cesar salad
  • Seafood salad
  • Potato salad
  • Fresh baked rolls
  • BLT dip (A recipe I got from Cathymac, a fellow MHHer)
  • Baked crab rangoo
  • Holiday cake shaped like a snowman
  • Homemade cookies
  • Oreo Balls
My best friend doesn't know it yet but she is going to do my snowman cake (LOL!) She's been taking baking lessons and is doing very well.
Last night while playing on the computer, I had an idea. This years invitations will be in the form of a CD/DVD. My plan is to put together a slideshow of photos from past Christmases set to a Christmas song. Then at the end of the slideshow will be the information inviting them to this year’s Christmas Eve dinner. I think that everyone will enjoy getting the cd. Plus they will have the memories. I’m pretty excited about this myself. Now I just need to decide on a clever label for the cover. TTFN!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great Finds

I'm back from Walmart. Boy I tell you what, these retailers are not playing. Walmart has several isles of back-to-school supplies and the parents were stocking up, getting their kids ready.

After leaving Walmart I stopped in my favorite store, Dollar Tree. I hit the jackpot for storage items. I picked up several canvas storage cubes for my dresser drawers and closet shelves. I couldn't belive it. They also had the over-the-door storage unit which I should have bought but didn't think I needed it. Now that I'm back home I could use it to hold craft supplies. So I'll be going back but not today. It is hot as the dickens outside and will be this way for at least into next week. I will venture out again tomorrow morning when it's more bearable.

CIJ - July 9th

The weather has been extremely cool the last two mornings/nights. One would think it's fall instead of summer. With these cool temps I'm feeling more anxious for the holidays to get here. The weather also has me thinking about hosting breakfast in early December. I would get to have my family altogether twice in one month instead of the one time (which is Christmas Eve).

Here's The Plan

Decide on a date
Create guest list
Create and print invitations
Decide on a menu
Come up with some cute 'favors' for guests to take home

I will keep you posted.

And The Winner Is...

Me! That's right I won the weekly giveaway over at printerdevil's blog "Christmas Memories In My Heart". Boy was I surprised 2:00 am this morning when I checked in over at MHH. That was when I finally got a chance to catch up on what everyone over there was doing before going to sleep. I was up printing t-shirt iron-ons (among other things) to attach to a plain white shower curtain in preparation for my Birthday Bash coming up the end of this month. I won a cute silver sleigh basket filled with bath and body items. I can't wait to receive it, but I won't open it til Christmas, so in my huge Christmas stocking it will go.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Light Construction

You're probably wondering what's going on with my blog. I'm tinkering around with the colors in an attempt to make it look festive. Many of my fellow MHHers have the most beautiful blogs. I'll keep at it until it's perfect.

Decorating - Front Door Area

I live in an apartment but that doesn't stop me from decorating outside my front door. (Hahaha). I always cover my door with metallic wrapping paper made especially for doors. I get them at KMart. Unfortunately they only come in gold, green, or red. One roll covers the entire door. Last year was the first time I covered the door with the green paper and I think it's the color I'll use from now on (I usually use red). I really loved how the wreath looked against the green. For my wreath I took a pre-lit wreath I got on clearance at Big Lots and added red birds and a few ornaments. For an added touch I'm adding a nice red plaid bow to it.

I usually just drape lights around the door with some holly, but this year it will be several types of garland. On clearance last year at Michael's and AC Moore I bought pine garland, berry garland, pine cone garland and gold twig picks and put them altogether to make it really thick and luscious.
Instead of the 4ft lighted wire tree sitting outside my door I am going to sit my little red rocking chair out there and fill it with a few Christmas bears holding a Happy Holidays! sign or a book. I usually dress up the stair bannister too with lights and holly...will be adding garland to that.
More to come so stay tune.

Happy July 6th - CIJ

I have been so busy, I haven't had a chance to post.

Since my last post I have been spending a lot of time updating my holiday planner. Here's a few things I've been working on.

1. Planning Room by Room decorations. So far I only have my kitchen, the livingroom, the outside of my apartment and the bathroom planned. I'm hoping to get a new dining table before Thanksgiving so the diningroom will be the last area to sort out. There's still the bedrooms, hallway and balcony to cover.

2. Printed out new lists. Christmas Eve dinner menu, gift list, shopping list, gift closet list, budget, craft list.

3. Watched holiday movies.
Progress so far is looking good. Will give more detail in next post.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hello Everyone! Long Time No Hear!

Wow I can't believe it's been six months since my last post.

Today is July 1st and the start of Christmas in July over at Organized Christmas and Magical Holiday Home. My goals for this month are to get as much planning done as I can to make things easier for me once the holiday season falls upon us. So far I've gone through my decorations, throwing out or donating stuff I no longer use or are too worn-out. I've also been watching a lot of holiday movies. What's becoming my favorite Christmas movie is "Deck the Halls" with Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick (sp?). I love all the snow and how the whole town is decorated with lights and such. Very warming.

My plans for today are to check my craft supplies and list so that I can get started on a few home made gifts. I'm not the greatest crafter so I make things that are fairly easy and that I know will be appreciated by the recipients.

Well that's about it for now. I will try and stop here daily to tell what's going on with me and my holiday plans. Happy Holidays!