Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 decorating projects for 2011!

Today Rhoda from Southern Hospitality is hosting a top 10 projects party featuring decorating projects from 2011.  I don't think I did 10 put I do like participating every year so it will be fun to look back and see what I've done this year. 

Let's get started. 

I love, love, love to decorate my hutch in our dining room for every season.  This is from the summer when I had all my milk glass on it.

 I bought this desk table for $10 at a garage sale this summer.  I spray painted it turquoise and use it as my desk.  It's in our living room. 

 This was a quick (and messy!) project.  I put reindeer moss on a wooden monogram.  I really like the way this turned out!

This is another quick project ( I love those) a black and white ribbon wreath!

I got this little cart for $1 at a yard sale. I spray painted it and added our monogram.  I keep it in our kitchen.  The bottom shelf holds our white platters and bowls, the middle shelf holds snacks for Brock and Ava and the top shelf I use for display. 

 I also did a mini bedroom makeover this year.  This is our kids art area where I display pictures and Brock and Ava's artwork.  The large shutter Graig found for me.

I found this little table at a yard sale for $1.  I spray painted it and now Graig uses it as his nightstand. 

For a few years I have wanted a bar area for our house.  I found this bar cart for $8!  I spray painted it black and got new glass for the bottom shelf.  This little bar cart lives in our sunroom. 

Here are my decorating projects from  2009.  Happy Wednesday!

New Years Hutch!

I decided to decorate our hutch for the new year! I got a lot of new fiesta ware from my Dad and his girlfriend Vicki when I visited them for Thanksgiving. She loves to visit thrift and antique stores and she found me a couple of lots of fiesta! I was thrilled when my Dad called and told me the good news.
I also collect milk glass and my mother in law Janice got me the beautiful piece in the middle of the top shelf for Christmas.
My favorite fiesta piece is the red pitcher on the top of my hutch
( fiesta calls it red it's really an orange color)
Here are some pictures of our New Years hutch! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  We hope that you have a wonderful day filled with peace, love and joy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

This morning Brock and I volunteered at our town's annual Christmas dinner for the elderly and needy.  We helped get the 135 take out meals ready.  It was a great experience and we want to help out again next year. 
This afternoon we went to church and Ava danced with the liturgical dancers.  Our service started at 4pm and our church was packed!   It was so nice to see it so full.  We sang a lot of beautiful  Christmas songs and I saw a lot of people we knew so it was a great way to start our Christmas weekend!

Here are some pictures of Ava with the liturgical dancers. 

Ava with her friends Grace and Abby. 

 Here is the whole group. These girls did a great job!  I had most of the little girls in white in my Sunday school class last year.  It was fun to see them again! 

After church we went around and looked at Christmas lights and then we came home and ate dinner and have been relaxing.   We're excited about Christmas tomorrow!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cookie night!!

Like everyone I love the Pioneer Woman's Blog.  Last Christmas she did a post about sugar cookies and  icing.  I tried these cookies for Brock's 8th grade graduation party and they turned out great.  For his party I just made round cookies this time I wanted to try shapes. Her recipe made about 4 dozen cookies it was very simple but the whole baking and icing process took 4 hours.  When I make these again I will bake one night and ice them another night.     

Here is my little helper Ava mixing the icing.  See that new hot pink feather in her hair?  She got that yesterday when she got her hair cut. 

Here are some of the cookies after they were piped with frosting.  This is the part that took the longest.  I'm not sure if it's really necessary so probably won't do this next time or just do some of them this way. 

The best thing I got for cookie decorating were these squeeze bottles at Walmart in their cake decorating section.  They were $2 for two of them.  I just put my icing in these and started decorating! 

I also printed out these  adorable tags from the Crafting Chicks blog

Here are the finished cookies!  We used a variety of sprinkles, colored sugar and different icing tips.  They aren't perfect but I am so proud of how they turned out! 

Here's a close up I think they green and red star is my favorite one!

The best part about these cookies is that they taste SO good!  I  let them dry overnight and this morning I put them on plates so I could give them to our friends and neighbors.  I could eat ALL of these if they stayed in our house!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our week

Monday at lunch I went out with a few other Nutcracker Moms to discuss our hellish wonderful Nutcracker weekend.  We all agreed that the Nutcracker was a great experience for our girls but SO exhausting! We were so tired on Monday that we didn't even take a picture during our lunch!

After lunch on Monday I went to a consignment store in town.  With Christmas a few short days away I told myself I wouldn't buy anything but I found these adorable plates and I couldn't resist them!  The plates came in a box and are in perfect condition!  I just need to find a place to hang them in our house! 
Monday afternoon at work I started feeling sick.  I thought I had strep-I went to the Dr. and thank goodness I don't have it!    Monday night I had big plans for us to make cookies but that didn't happen.  We all came home and took naps.  Here is a picture of Brock sleeping on the couch with Daisy.   

Speaking of Daisy she is sporting a winter vest from Old Navy.  She loves it and we keep her in it all the time. 
Today at lunch Graig and I picked Ava up from school to take her to get pizza  and to look at hamsters.  She has been talking about getting a hamster for months and it's all she wants for Christmas. Here she is holding her hamster. We paid for it today and we are going to pick it up on Christmas Eve.  I think Ava is SO happy that she won't be able to sleep for the next three days! 

Since I'm feeling better I am hoping to make our Christmas cookies tonight!  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nutcracker 2011!

It has been a looooooooooooong few days in our house because Ava just got finished with her first ever Nutcracker ballet!  This year Ava was a little boy in the party scene.  She was THRILLED in October  when she was chosen to be a kid (at that point she didn't know if she would be a boy or a girl)  and I will never forget her jumping up and down on Main Street when she found out she got the part she wanted. 

Ava had  5 performances over 4 days.  She got to miss two days of school because during the day last Thursday and Friday they did performances for the elementary schools. 

Here is Ava in the middle with some of the other kids. They line the kids up in height order and then they are paired up boy/girl according to height.  Ava was one of the tallest :)  I am SO happy she was a boy because she just had to wear her hair in a bun and she can do that herself.  The girls wore their hair in spiral curls.  Ava has been practicing doing spiral curls in case she gets to be a girl next year.     

Here is Ava with her friend Elizabeth another boy. 

Here is Ava with her partner Rose. 

Ava and me backstage. 

Ava with her BFF Anika who was a soldier. 
Anika (we call her my second daughter) and me.  I love the makeup the soldiers wore.  They looked so cute!
Ava started ballet when she was 3 and at her first ballet recital they paired each 3 year old with an older
girl before the recital. The older girls helped the little girls backstage.   Ava got paired with Amber.  Amber is now in her second year of college and she was an Arabian in the Nutcracker.  This year Ava is going to get to take care of a 3 year old ballerina at the recital.   She has already informed her teacher that she wants Eliza (my friend Sabrina's daughter). 
Ava's friend Maria came to see the show.  These girls were best friends in daycare and took ballet together when they were little. 

It was a fun (and exhausting!) Ava had a great time and is already talking about doing it again next year!    Tonight we are going to make cut out sugar cookies and we're going to go out and look at the Christmas lights.  I love this time of year and I want us to enjoy every minute of it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Craft night!

Tuesday night my friend Allison and I got together to make some cute candy cane vases. While we worked we watched Christmas Vacation (Love that movie!) and ate Chinese food.   This is really an
easy and fun craft project!  These took about 15 minutes to make!  Here is the finished product.

My assistant and constant shadow Ava is holding the empty container that I used. It's an empty cotton candy container from Wal-Mart.  (Allison's idea-brilliant!) I found this in the Christmas candy aisle.   We just cut off the very top so our candy canes would stick out. 
I used 3 boxes of plain candy canes on my vase.   Here is an in progress picture.

Almost finished!

When I was finished I just tied a bow around the center and was done!  These would make easy (and cheap!) gifts for teachers and neighbors.  I spent $9 on this.  The little tree in the vase was $5 from Walmart, the candy canes were $1 per box and the cotton candy was $1. 

Speaking of candy canes here is another project I just finished.  It's a candy cane wreath I made using red and white felt.  This was such an easy project, I love those!  I followed the tutorial from I heart naptime.  For Valentine's Day I am just going to switch out my green ribbon for a pink one. 

 My last day of work for the week is today!  I took tomorrow off to help Ava at the Nutcracker.  She has two performances tomorrow.   One during the day for area schools and one in the evening.  Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Tour 2011

Welcome to our Christmas tour 2011! I have done this tour for 3 years and I love seeing how people decorate for Christmas.  I am always looking for new ideas!  I also love to look back and see what I changed or added over the years.  
 This year I was really late getting our decorations up.  I usually like to put our decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving but this year that didn't happen so I went really went simple with our decorations.  I only bought a couple of new things. 
Let's start in the dining room. 
Our hutch.  I love changing this up for every season!  Right now it's red and green with a little turquoise for Christmas!

I always like to hang ornaments on our chandelier. 

A Christmas countdown made by my talented friend Sabrina.  Inside each tiny envelope is an activity that you can do each day to get ready for Christmas like drinking hot chocolate, going sledding, reading Christmas stories, etc. 

Graig brought home this centerpiece for us.  I love the roses with the fresh pine. 

Here's a little tree in our office.  I put it in front of a side window so you can see it from the street.  I had all clear lights but Brock and Ava love the colored lights so I used all colored lights this year.  I always love having my Christmas trees lit up when we are home. 

Our living room!  This window is over our fireplace. I made the Candy Cane wreath which looks so cheery.

Here's a fun wreath that I made for our living room door last year.  I love the lime, silver and red!

Our sunroom!  The wreath was made by my firiend Sabrina and I made the JOY sign.  I bought little Christmas tree at a craft show.  I use traditional red and green colors in my Christmas decor. 

A little Christmas in our kitchen.  I don't have too much in here but I do love this Christmas plate on top of our fridge. 

And last but not least here's a picture of Ava with Santa!  I was surprised (and happy!) that Ava wanted to get her picture taken with Santa at the mall.  I can't believe how fast our little girl is growing up!

Merry Christmas!!  I always love looking at holiday decorations.  I can't wait to tour the other homes and see everyone's Christmas decorations.