Saturday, December 28, 2013

Card Swap

See the beautiful cards I received from my friends at MHH.  I love these guys!









Post Christmas


Well Christmas is over!


Usually the day after Christmas is kind of a let down for many. Including me.  Months of planning and prepping and then just like that it's over.  Well not this year.  Not for me.  I have already started planning for 2014 (God willing I'm around to see it).

Since Thursday I have been making lists and printing new forms for my notebook.  First thing I did was start a 'To Do' list: Gifts recipients/ideas, update address book, plan holiday menus, etc.   So far I made a list of persons whom I want to get gifts for.  Even have a few gift ideas written down. Like for my brother I want to get him a new ratchet set. When he worked on my truck last month I noticed the set he has is so old and rusty.  Although they worked fine, I think he would be happy to have a new set.   I also started a master shopping list which I've already started ticking off items from, like Christmas cards, more ornaments, lights, and such.  Yup, I want to be on top of things next year.  No more dragging my feet.

I even have a menu written up for next year's Christmas Eve family dinner though I think some things may change as the months pass.  It always does.

And for the first time, I did not make it out for Black Friday.  I always go out on that day.  It's the day I find really great gifts for me. Heehee.  There are a few things I want like an Ipod. Yes people, I do not own one. I also want a portable hd tv to keep at work.  A new high memory disk drive. The one I want costs a pretty penny but holds more than I will ever need.  A digital camera as I broke the on/off button to my HP digital camera.  That's what I get for leaving it in my handbag for weeks on end.  I never do that. As well as several other things I want.

What I don't get for myself as birthday gifts in July will go on my Christmas Wish List.

Guess I will end here.  I've had several glasses of Ovebrook Eggnog and I'm feeling mighty jolly.

Enjoy your day!!!




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013



I am so psyched!  I had the day off so I got up early and went gift shopping.  It was so nice and peaceful...not many people in the stores yet.  Plus the fact that it was still a work day for many, helped.  I found a lot of great deals too.  In Macy's I found a nice watch for $10, a pretty sweater for $12, a bath robe (purple - my girlfriend's favorite color) for $14, a men's sweater for $20 and a really nice blouse for a cousin for $5.  Yes I said $5 smackaroonies.  The blouse was originally $19.98.  It had been reduced to $9.99 but when I got to the counter it rung up $4.99.  Talking about a happy camper...

Next I went to Five Below where I picked up several craft kits, games, and a skateboard for the younger family members at $5 each.  When I was done I had only spent a little over $50.

I was done shopping and on my way home by 10:00.  Once home, I wrapped the gifts and placed them under the tree.


I placed my gifts on one side of the tree so that there will be room for family to come place their gifts when they arrive Christmas Eve.  I love when we exchange gifts.  It's always so much fun.


Any who, I just need to pick up 7 more gifts and I will be done.  Considering that I had 30 to get, that's a major accomplishment on my part. LOL

I had also planned to start my baking today but I just could not get motivated.  If I can't start early in the day, it's pretty much not going to happen.  I'm also off tomorrow and don't have any plans to go out, which means I can start first thing.

Tonight I am going to finish making the dvd's for the gang I watch football with, along with a copy of  mixed Christmas CD.  I need to have them finish before this Sunday's game.  I'm also going to add in their gift bags, beaded football necklaces. This is what they look like (click here).  They come in black, purple and gold.  I wanted to get the ones with the Ravens charm but the cost is little out of my league.

Better get started. My Christmas lights just came on which means it will be dark soon.  TTFN!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Only 10 Days Left



Christmas is in ten days.  My annual Christmas Eve family dinner is in nine and I am so behind.  I still have gifts to buy.  The good thing is I do finally have ideas of what I am giving everyone this year.  I'm only working three days this week, yipee!  That will give me time to go out and get my shopping done.  My plan is to go out before daybreak to beat the crowds as I know I am not the only one who has last minute Christmas shopping to do.

Not only do I need to get my gift shopping done, I also need to go grocery shopping for the holiday meal. and I have not done any baking.  In spite of all I have to do, for some reason I feel really calm.

This year I may finally get my wish for a white Christmas. We got a good amount of snow last weekend. It hung around the entire week.  Then it snowed again last night.  Not as much as last week but enough to make everything look so nice again.

Everythings All Christmasy

Oh the weather outside is frightful. We've had snow for the past two weekends.  But everything inside is so delightful.




  







I made this wreath a few years ago with a grapevine wreath and ribbon bought from #DollarTree.  It usually hangs on the armoire but this year I decided to use it on the front door.



Bought this, this year at the dollar store.  Could not resist.  Isn't it cute?














Finally bought a new tree.  It's nice...tall, yet slender. 












Santa hat chair covers courtesy of #DollarTree.






This centerpiece is just a wreath that I wrapped with berry garland and a couple of pinecones.  Then I added a hurricane lantern in the center. 


Buffet in the dining room.




I just love my kitchen...98% of the decorations come from #DollarTree.



I think this is my favorite tree out of the ten I have.  #DollarTree

I had gingerbread ornaments left so I used them on this little tree which sits on top of the fridge.


Found this tree magnet set in the dollar store.  So cute I just had to get it.  The little gingerbread village and people were also from... you guessed it, the Dollar Tree.  








Guess what's hiding under this little dress?

LOL.  Not sure how long ago I bought this but it only cost me $1.  


This tree sits in the guest bedroom.  

This tree sits in the master bedroom.  I bought these ceramic ornaments from Dollar Tree about 8 or 9 years ago.  I had more than this but over the years many of them broke. 


I even have a tree in the bathroom.  The nutcracker was a gift from my neighbor.  They know how much I love the holidays. LOL


Now that my little palace is all decked out for the holidays, it's time for me to get moving on my annual Christmas Eve family dinner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's The Holiday Season





Yes the holiday season is in full effect!!!

Since Friday I have been decorating my little palace from top to bottom.  Only thing left for me to do is get a new Christmas tree for the living room and all will be complete.

I am working real hard to enjoy this holiday season.  Last year ended on extremely sad circumstances with the loss of loved ones.  But instead of feeling down and walking around depressed, I have decided to celebrate with them, in spirit, by remembering all the great times we've had together.

Last night I turned on the Christmas lights and hung out on the sofa watching Hallmark and ABC Family channels while eating leftover apple pie (wishing I had ice cream to go with it).

Tonight after work I need to finish writing up my Christmas cards and put them in the mail.

I'll post pictures this weekend.


Monday, November 25, 2013

My First Christmas Card



I have this bad habit of not checking my mail box daily.  Not really sure why that started. Probably because it's mostly junk mail.

Anyway today I decided I'd better go empty my mailbox (I know the mailman screams every time he opens that box lol).  Not to my surprise, it was packed with junk mail.  What was surprising was I received my first Christmas card for the year from one of my friends over at Magical Holiday Home, Snowey.  I don't want to open it yet so I have a basket to place it in for now.  After Thanksgiving, when I start decorating for Christmas, the basket will sit on my coffee table.  I have a special day set aside to open all my cards.

So excited.  Thanks Snowey!!!

Gift Idea

Every Sunday since football season began I have been gathering with friends to watch our Ravens.  Over the course of the season we have taken so many pictures of all the good times we have.  Which gave me a great idea!

I thought about a few years ago when I made dvds for family members.  I gathered pictures from all the past Christmas Eve dinners and burned them on dvd to music.  Then at the end of the dvd was the invitation to that years' Christmas Eve dinner.  They were well received.  So that's what I plan to do for my friends...put together a collection of pictures from all the football Sundays so far and burn them on a dvd to music.  And I have the perfect song to use.  It's the Ravens fans' chant song - Oooh, oh-oh-oh, oooh, oh!

First I had to find out the name of the song and who sung it (Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes). I honestly did not know it was a real song. I just thought it was some chant the fans started. It wasn't until we won the superbowl earlier this year and I heard the actual song playing in the background when the City of Baltimore held a huge parade for the team.

Anyway, I know my friends will get a kick out of that.  They can play it over and over and over again when they want to.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Catching Up

Today, I made the decision to spend the entire day in the house.  I have been running rampant since the summer with friends and family. Every weekend (and sometimes weekdays) there has been something going on. I need to get focused or else Christmas this year will be a disaster.  So here I am, sitting at the dining room table, in my pajamas, watching the Hallmark channel and fighting the urge to put up my Christmas decorations. Later I'll going over my Thanksgiving shopping list and maybe pin more holiday decor and food ideas.

My friends over at Magical Holiday Home have been busy following the Christmas Countdown and I need to catch up.

I have all of my lists started: gift ideas, holiday menus, shopping lists, addresses for Christmas cards, etc.  I created and printed an events calendar.  I've gone through my decorations making note of what I need to get or replace.  Even took inventory of the pantry and discarded any expired spices, herbs, and so forth.  Next week I'll hit the grocery store to restock.

For gifts this year I am having difficulty coming up with ideas.  Out of 30 gifts I will be giving, I only have 12...gift cards, couple movie baskets, and something for a cousin of his favorite NFL team.  This is bumming me out. Sure hope things turn around as I don't have much time.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Holiday Grand Plan




It's that time again. Holiday Gran Plan is in full swing.  Week one started with making lists and cleaning off the front porch.

I'm a little behind (big surprise huh - LOL)  The plan started Sept. 1st. While I'm still working on week one, my friends at Magical Holiday Home are starting week two.

Any who. Let me tell you what I've done so far.  I sent out text messages to family and friends earlier today letting them know that I have started planning for this years's Christmas Eve dinner.  Everyone responded within minutes.  I was able to get RSVPs as well as updated address information.  I think my family is more excited than I am.

With that out of the way I started working on other lists: Gifts, Parties/Entertaining, Menus, Freezer Meals and shopping lists.

This year I have 35 gifts to make.  My dilemma now is coming up with gift ideas.  I've given some really great gifts in the last 10 plus years but don't have a clue for this year.  So far I have only come up with 15 gift ideas.  I think I'm losing my touch. hahaha  Hopefully some ideas will come to me.  I'll need to somehow stir up a few conversations about gifts without them knowing that I'm looking for ideas.

After making a list of names and budgeting how much to spend for each person, I then started working on a calendar I created where I plug in all activities I have planned for the next four months.  Tomorrow is my mom's birthday and my brother and I are taking her out to dinner.  Then on the 18th is my brother's birthday and his wife and my mom have been working together to plan a dinner for him.  I have a wedding in October and I am hosting an Autumn Celebration Dinner with a few friends that month.  Also this year I will be hosting Thanksgiving as well as Christmas Eve dinner (This should be fun).  The menu is all planned for Thanksgiving but I still have Christmas Eve and autumns dinner to do. I will talk more about my plans for Thanksgiving on my Harvest blog.

Next I moved on to making a list of freezer meals.  These will come in handy as the holidays get closer, not to mention busy.  There won't be time to create good home cooked meals regularly.  I'm going out later this week to start shopping for some of the ingredients I will need.  My meals will include lasagna, homemade chili (my favorite comfort food during the colder months), chicken enchiladas, chicken & biscuit casserole (another favorite), calzones, meatloaf, chicken & dumplings and pizzas.  The pizzas and lasagna I think will be store bought...making it less meals I'll have to prepare.  This year will be the first time I make chicken & dumplings.  I love it but never made it myself.  I was worried about making chicken enchiladas and storing them in the freezer, but after talking to the ladies at MHH, I learned that I can freeze them.

Tomorrow I hope to finish all of my lists.  In addition to the two menus, I still have my shopping list and goodies list to get started.  I think I may have already started on the shopping list.  I'll have to check my notebook.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

112 Days to Christmas!?




Are my eyes deceiving me?  Is this really true?  Christmas will be here before I know it.

Me thinks me better get it in gear.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finally


I tried to get this posted on Sunday before the Ravens games started but my internet started acting up as it has been very windy.

Anyway I thought I would share some pictures of my home and job decorated for the holidays. 

The new kitchen


More counter space to do all my food and baking prep.  If you remember, before the kitchen remodel,  I had little to no counter space.










This ended up being my main tree as I just could not find the type of tree I wanted (Actually I waited til the last minute to look for a tree.)  LOL I just had so much going on.





This is the tree in my diningroom.





I had a different idea of how I wanted to dress up my coffee table, but I ended up using one of my Nativity scenes instead.



This is the foyer.  This picture was taken before I added lights to the wreath and the topiarys so that the area is lit at night. (I have an idea to cover that wall with some nice fabric. Just haven't found the right pattern yet.)



The hallway:  Pulled out my trusty dollar store Christmas socks. I've had these socks for about 15 years and they are still in great condition.  Notice the closet doors?  They're new!  No more dingy, ugly metal doors. Yey!




This was one of the crafts I had on my to-do list that I actually got around to completing.  New wreaths for the bedroom windows.



My apologies for the blurry photo. I used my cell phone to take this picture.  My phone used to take very good, clear pictures. Not sure what I did to it to mess it up.  



These are the supplies I used:    4 picture frames, several packs of berry picks, 4 red bows, 6 things of garland and a spool of red ribbon.  I already had the berry picks.  

Before I continue let me say that the picture frames in this second photo were plastic and I with my heavy hands broke them attempting to wrap them with the garland.  So I ended up using some nice wooden frames I got from Walmart. Plus they were larger - I think 8 x 14 - and I love the end result.

All you do is wrap the frames with garland. Because the frames were larger than the original ones, each frame used about 1 1/2 bundle of garland. Next I just attached a bow in the lower right corner and I added  a few of the berry picks around the bow.  The final step was to cut some lengths of ribbon to hang them in the windows.

I got the idea from a picture on Pinterest.  The actual website can be found here. (You will have to scroll way down the page).  As you can see, her's is more involved and looks beautiful.  I sometimes don't have the patience and tend to look for simple, easy and fast, craft projects. Plus when I want my frames back all I have to do is remove the bows and berries and unravel the garland.

As I'm going through my photos I realized that I didn't take many pictures. My mood was up and down this past Christmas thinking about my grandmother.  This was the first Christmas without her.



Now on to work.  This year I decided to decorate the office in the theme of my favorite, hometown  football team, the Baltimore Ravens. So glad I did. WE'RE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!!!,  Singing:  Ooooooh, Oooh - Oooh - Oooh- Ooooh,  Oooh.   Ooooooh, Oooh - Oooh - Oooh- Ooooh,  Oooh.  LOL






The price for sports ornaments were too rich for my blood. So I came up with a solution: make my own ornaments.   I found some images on the internet. Copied, pasted and resized the images then printed them on whole sheets of label paper.  After I cut out the images, I took some purple ornaments I bought at a dollar store and attached the labels.  Voila!  Ravens ornaments. (Note: If you try this, to make them last, you can use decoupage or a mixture of crafter's glue (Elmers) and water as a sealer.)




Using my computer and a program from Wordperfect (Corel Presentations) , I used another Ravens image and created this banner to cover the over-sized board behind my desk. I cut the letters out using heavy card stock paper and taped everything on black and purple wrapping papers I found in the dollar store.





I covered the door to my office with this Ravens wrapping paper.  I had been looking everywhere trying to find rolls of Ravens paper but had no luck. I found this paper online for $10+ (included S & H).  Do you know a week later, I was leaving out of the Kmart behind my job when I saw a box filled with rolls of this paper for $7.99. SMH.



With another roll of wrapping paper, I cover my boss' door.  The paper was long enough but not wide enough so I trimmed it out with some purple metallic garland.


Everyone in the building came to see my office and loved what they saw. I did. So much so that another office decided to decorate in purple too.  See.  




I still have all of my decorations up in the office. Too scared to take them down now that my Ravens are in the superbowl.

Well that's all I have.  Next.  Deciding what I will do to celebrate Rudy Day this Friday.