Saturday, December 29, 2012

Clutter Really Bothers Me!

I am truly bothered by clutter. And I am always making lists of closets, drawers or cabinets that I want to clean out.

The most cluttered time of the year in my house is the month of December. It is my birthday and both of my kids also have December birthdays With the addition of the Christmas gifts and decorations my house starts to feel really cluttered.

So sometimes on Christmas evening I start taking down the Christmas decorations and putting gifts away. If I am too tired on Christmas evening I start really early on the 26th. So far I just left out my giant nutcrackers on the fireplace mantel and a basket of Christmas CD's and DVD's.

I was reading an article in the paper today and it basically said if you received a new sweater for Christmas that you should give two sweaters to Goodwill. The same goes for toys, books, and any other gifts. I went through a lot of clothes and kitchen items before the holiday. I was constantly making huge Goodwill bags. But perhaps the one new item delete two similar items is a good way to start removing some holiday clutter.

Thank you so much for reading my blog this past year. Now that I have put everything away I feel refreshed and ready to blog again! Plus I got a new camera for Christmas and I can't wait to take some really great pictures!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mad About Plaid

I love my Spode Christmas Tree China. I recently read somewhere that it is the most popular pattern in the world. Wow! Anyway nothing says Christmas to me like my Christmas Tree china. This year I used a plaid table cloth from Williams Sonoma and it looks wonderful with my Spode china.

Now aren't you mad for plaid? I usually use a Pottery Barn polka dot placemat with my Christmas tree china. But I am just loving this plaid.

Noelle wanted to make ornaments with a music theme for her choir friends at church. So we made some plaid little bell ornaments.

Isn't this cute? It was simple project. You will need:

Holiday themed cookie cutter
Holiday themed wrapping paper
Little bells
Glue gun
Ribbon or string
Holiday sticker

First trace the bell shape onto a piece of cardboard and cut the shape out carefully with sharp scissors. Then trace the bell shape onto some holiday wrapping paper and glue the wrapping paper to the piece of cardboard. Then using a glue gun adhere the little bell and string loop.

Some of the ornaments have holiday flowers and some have little gingerbread men buttons.

These are perfect little ornaments to give to your choir friends. And every time a bell rings means that an Angel has received their wings.

We also wrapped some miniature Hershey bars with plaid wrapping paper and put them in little pretzel bags and tied them with a plaid ribbon for Noelle to give to her friends at work.

Merry Christmas! And God Bless.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Six or Seven Super Easy Holiday Ideas

The first idea is to make Peep lollipops. You will need Holiday Peeps, lollipop sticks, plastic bags and coordinating ribbon. You can buy everything you need at your local craft store. They sell the peeps at Target and grocery stores.

I used the Gingerbread Peeps. They also have Christmas Tree and Snowman peeps. Simply put your Peep on a lollipop stick, place a plastic bag over the Peep and tie with coordinating ribbon.

I also glued a little candy cane onto the ribbon. I bought the little candy canes at Michael's near the little wood section.

Next I filled a bunch of 1 x 8 inch tubes with assorted candy. You can order these 1 x8 inch bags off a variety of websites. I filled them with holiday m&m's, sour cherry candy, yogurt covered raisins and chocolate covered blueberries. I bought all the candy except for the m&m's at Sprouts.

Using the red organic lollipops from Trader Joe's I glued a little wreath on top of the lollipop wrapper.
I bought the little wreaths at Hobby Lobby - they were near the holiday stickers.

I filled some little bags with chocolate covered almonds. I bought the chocolate covered almonds at Trader Joe's. The bags and ribbon are from Michael's and the little bells are from Pier 1 Imports.

I also put some chocolate covered cherries in to little bags. These were so yummy - I ate a few while I was filling the bags. Actually I ate quite a bit of candy while I was working on all of these projects. Then I started to feel a little gross. So I stopped!

My last project was reindeer noses. I filled pretzel bags with a chocolate covered cherry and malt balls. I bought the cherry and malt balls at Sprouts. The ribbon and pretzel bags are from Michael's.

I hope you make one of these fun and easy projects. Be creative.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Easy Party Favors

I made these party favors for a holiday lunch that I am attending today! Of course I will bring my friends an ornament! But I am also bringing a little snack for everyone!

I cannot stay out of the wedding section of Michael's! I had a ton of these little plastic boxes. I think I might have used them when I was teaching a class on the Rosary and I used the boxes to give everyone in the class a little Rosary. Perhaps that is because my favorite Rosary came in a little box like this. And my favorite Rosary is from the Vatican and was blessed by the Pope.

To make this fun and easy party favor you will need:

Small clear plastic boxes
3 types of candy
Coordinating ribbon

Fill each box with candy. I was making these for a holiday lunch - so I filled one box with crushed candy canes (to sprinkle on ice cream or cookies), sour cherry candy and chocolate covered blueberries.

Then I stacked the clear boxes and tied them with a red and white polka dot ribbon. I buy a lot of my Christmas candies at Sprouts, Trader Joe's and of course Target!

This would be a cute party favor for the classroom, sports team or neighbors. Be creative!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Ornament Bead Kits

Today I made some Christmas Ornament Bead Kits. It is such a simple little gift to give to girls that like to craft and bead.

You and your daughter could make these to pass out to friends or teammates. They would also make great party favors.

You will need:

Clear glass ball ornaments
Beading string
Coordinating ribbon

You can buy everything you need at your favorite craft store.


Take the little silver top off the ornament and fill the glass ornament about 3/4 full of the beads.

Use larger beads for younger girls. Also if you are making them for a sports team - find beads in your team colors.

Cut some stretchy beading string into bracelet and necklace lengths. Push the stretchy string into each ornament and then put the silver top back on to the glass ornament.

If you look closely you can see the clear stretchy string.

After you put the silver top back on the ornament - tie a little bow on the top.

Be creative!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Party Favor Bags

I made these treat bags for Christian to give to his friends. They include the m&m tubes and chocolate coasted candy canes from the previous posts.

I also included some candy cane Pop Rocks! I love Pop Rocks and I think the kids love them also! I bought the candy cane Pop Rocks at Party City.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Candy Canes

From now until after Christmas I am going to try my hardest not to go to any craft stores. This is forcing me to use up supplies from my craft closet (it is currently overflowing).

So I didn't have any white chocolate - but I had green chocolate and white sprinkles. Side note:  I also need to stop buying sprinkles. And I thought the green with white sprinkles would look Christmasy on the candy canes.

To make this project you will need:

Candy canes
Parchment paper
Coordinating melting chocolate tabs
Coordinating sprinkles
Pretzel bags
Thin coordinating ribbon

Slowly and carefully unwrap the candy canes. Lay them out on parchment paper. Melt your chocolate and dip the bottom half of the candy cane into the melted chocolate then lightly sprinkle them with the coordinating sprinkles.

I dipped traditional candy canes and rainbow colored candy canes. They have candy canes in every color of the rainbow. 

Once the chocolate is dry you can package them into the pretzel bags and tie them with a matching ribbon.

I love how these turned out! They would perfect for a holiday party favor or an easy addition to your cookie tray. 

They would also be terrific treats for the classroom or sports team.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Bucket List

I finally decided to post my Winter Bucket List! You will also be able to tell what recipes and crafts I will be posting! or hoping to post!

1. Design and order and send Christmas cards (Done)

2. Get eyelash extensions (Done)

3. Host a small cocktail party

4. Set out and use all Spode Christmas Tree china (Done)

5. Make gingerbread men and ladies

6. Make homemade lip balm (Done)

7. Make homemade peppermint scrub

8. Make little reindeer noses (Done)

9. Make candy cane s'mores

10. Dip candy canes into chocolate (Done)

11. Make Christmas party/holiday party favors for kids (Done)

12. Redecorate Christian's bedroom (Done)

13. Make ornaments from book pages (Done)

14. Refrain from going to Michael's or Hobby Lobby from now until after Christmas. (Done)

Today is December 11th and I am already feeling a little holiday stress. Today I am going to Target and Sprouts. Hopefully this will will my last trip Target until after Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Candy Tubes For the Holidays

I filled some of the tubes with mint m&m's. They only sell the peppermint m&m's at Target.

The bag looks like this!

I buy the tubes in the wedding section at Michael's. Then I glued a piece of polka dot ribbon around the top lid and I glued a little candy cane on top. Both the ribbon and mini candy cane are also from Michael's.

I also made some with the classic Christmas colors red and green. I used the same polka dot ribbon but I glued a wreath on top instead of the candy cane. I bought the mini wreaths at Hobby Lobby - near the stickers.

I love making these little tubes - I have used them for Halloween and Easter candy. I also used them for the baseball team filled with sunflower seeds.

Be creative!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Basketball Tree

I made a basketball tree for my son today! I think it turned out really cute!

I bought the tree at Ralph's yesterday when I was grocery shopping.

It originally looked like this! I covered the holiday foil with basketball scrapbook paper and took off the ornaments and put basketball ornaments and stickers on the tree.

I bought the basketball ornaments at Michael's in the dollar section.

I also added a bunch of basketball stickers to the branches. They have all sorts of sports ornaments. Make your son or daughter a sports themed tree for their room! If you are really crafty they have little baseball, soccer and basketball beads and you can string a garland.

I am short on time but I might make a basketball garland sometime next week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Treats For The College Girls

I bought some really cute nail files in the stocking stuffer area of Michael's.

These are so festive and sweet! But wait! I fixed them up a little and made them look really special.

I taped a piece of polka dot ribbon around the nail file package and added a little red flower.

I bought little packages of flowers also at Michael's. They are so festive especially with the rhinestone in the middle.

I think these came out super cute - and I think the girls will really like them. They would also make wonderful  holiday party favors or stocking stuffers - especially if you add a bottle of nail polish.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Basketball Treats

I made some treats for the basketball team. Popcorn with team colors and some basketball m&m and Reeses pieces tubes.

I put the popcorn bags in a basketball basket.

Our team colors are blue and orange - so I sorted through some bags of m&m's and pulled out the blue and orange and added them to the pre-made popcorn I bought at Trader Joe's.

I usually make my own popcorn with chocolate drizzle. Put I knew I was going to be pressed for time so I bought a few bags of this Kettle Corn.

Once I mixed the Kettle Corn and m&m's - I put a handful of the mixture into little bags. Tied them with an orange ribbon and put them in a basket. So easy!

I also made some m&m and Reese's pieces tubes. I made some with the brown m&m's left over from the popcorn project and the rest with orange and brown Reese's pieces.

The basketball on the top is from a piece of scrapbook paper - I just cut out a few basketballs and taped them to the top of the tube.

These would also make great party favors and you could adapt them to any sport or team color!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pretty Pink Christmas Ornament

Today I made some Pretty Pastel Christmas Ornaments.

I filled the glass ball with some really pretty pastel beads. Then I tied the ornament with a pink sheer ribbon.

This is what the bead kit looked like! Such pretty colors! This would be a pretty ornament for a girlie baby shower or a December birthday party favor.

These clear glass balls are always on sale at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.  Ribbon is also always on sale. Use a coupon for the beads! This is a great project to make with your kids.