A journal

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Friday, December 21, 2012

My Favorite Things 2012

I know you have been waiting with baited breath for my Favorite Things 2012 post.  Well the wait is over..here it is!

13. Game of Thrones - An enthralling series on HBO, infamous for the 6-year-old breastfeeding scene but a great show nonetheless
14. Walking Dead - An AMC series about Zombies and survival.  You cannot start in the middle, a must-see from the beginning
15. A sequined Elbow Patch Sweater.  Saw this on Pinterest and thought it was very cute. Not even sure where you can buy it but mark my words, elbow patches are back, baby!
16. Land's End Starfish Refined Sweatpants - the MOST comfortable sweats out there plus nice enough to wear out of the house.
17. NERDS - yes the classic candy that I have become addicted to since Halloween.
18. The Kindle - I love that it doesn't have too many functions (web browsing is a pain on my older wifi-only version).  When I read, I don't want to have the option to check my email or browse the internet.
19. Canvas prints - Classy-looking and lightweight for easy (and earthquakeproof) decorating. They can be expensive so look out for groupons and the like for discounts at canvaspeople.com or canvasstyle.com.
20. getLoupe.com - a great little program that helped me make this collage easily from my pinterest board. Heart!
(and 21. Pinterest!!  Self-Explanatory!!)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Problem Solver - Hair Tie

If your kids are like mine they are attached to their pacifiers.  I don't know what we would have done without them. They still have the plain old infant pac-ees (Philips Avent Soothie) that they were given in the hospital.

A few months in, we tried some pacifier grips so we could literally attach the pac-ees to the kids because they were always getting lost or falling on the floor.  What a pain. We tried a couple brands of pacifier clips but only one brand had the right kind of connection to connect to the Philips Avent Pacifier and a sturdy metal clip. We found the BooginHead Pacigrip which we LOVE!!  They are so awesome and they have withstood a lot of abuse over the past year.  You'll see from the picture that it has a thin connector that feeds through the small holes of the Soothie.

BooginHead Pacigrip
We also tried the Munchkin Pacifier Grip but we didn't realize until we bought it that there is no way it would connect to the Soothie pacifier.  It has a velcro connector.

Well i didn't want this pacifier grip to go to waste (we have no fewer than 4 pacifiers in rotation at once, what with twins and all)  and so I decided that maybe a simple hair tie would fix the connection problem!

Works like a charm!!!  Brilliant!! LOL

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let's Get Crafty - Reindeer Ornaments

Last night, my galpal Hillary and I had craft night. She wanted to make these cute Reindeer ornaments for her tree and to give a couple as gifts.  Her inspiration was this cutie from Craftelf.

So we took a quick spin over to Michaels and got our supplies for 8 ornaments.  We couldn't find red ball ornaments so we had to get creative and we decided to get some styrofoam balls and wrap them with yarn.  We bought a big skein of red yarn and two packages of 6 4inch styrofoam balls, some black pipe cleaners, brown felt, pop poms and small gold jingle bells as well as some red glitter ribbon.  We also got some googly eyes (in hindsight we should have gotten bigger eyes...)

So basically we (well, Hil) wrapped the balls with yarn.  I cut out the antlers from the felt using the antler pattern from the craftelf website (I had to resize it to make it smaller..) and we hot glued those on. Hil made these cute little corkscrew tufts from the black pipe cleaners by wrapping it around a glue stick and the pinching the ends together to make it round.  We glued one of those between the antlers.  We hotglued jingle bells to the inside of each antler. We strung a jingle bell onto a length of glitter ribbon (getting glitter everywhere, fyi) and tied the ends to make a hanger. That was hotglued behind the antlers.  Then eyes and a pom pom for the nose.  As you can see, we probably should have used larger eyes. But they have a lot of homemade character!!

craft madness

i think i'll call him Felix

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reindeer Gingerbread Cookies

In preparation for a cookie exchange I decided to try my hand at making some gingerbread cookies.  I always see those peanut butter cookies with the hershey's kiss stuck in them and I thought that doing that with gingerbread cookies would make a nice festive holiday cookie.  I found this recipe on the McCormick website and thought I would give it a try.  I found that refrigerating the dough is a must and that 1-1.5 inch dough balls make a nice size cookie as these do not spread very much.  It is also a pain in the butt to unwrap 60 kisses so have your little helpers lend a hand (with a few extra kisses to be lost to little helpers' tummies, no doubt).  With a couple of successful batches under my baking belt, I decided to up the ante and try my hand at reindeer gingerbread cookies (and you know you've seen these all over pinterest!)

Makes 5 dozen or 30 (2 cookie) servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes per batch
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons McCormick® Ginger, Ground Advertisement
1 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground Advertisement
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground Advertisement
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract Advertisement
1/4 cup granulated sugar
60 kiss-shaped candies
1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Immediately press a chocolate candy into center of each cookie. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days. 

For reindeer decorations, have on hand red (for Rudolph) and/or brown (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen..you know, the normals) peanut M and M's, chocolate chips and pretzels for antlers.  You MUST insert the reindeer face decorations while the cookies are hot otherwise they will not adhere to the cookie.    I had a dickens of a time getting the pretzels to stick in and thus half my cookies are antler-less.  I guess they are female reindeer?? The ones that did stick in are pretty fragile and will be a pain to transport intact.  (After a quick google seach, it turns out that both male and female reindeer grow antlers and that most male reindeer actually shed their antlers by December. Only non-pregnant females usually retain their antlers until about April. Interesting)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mod Podge Thumbtacks

When I was tacking up some of the holiday cards to my new holiday card displays that I made in the last post, I realized how boring my thumbtacks are. After a quick (and really, unnecessary) google search, I decided to use modge podge to decorate a bunch of my thumbtacks.  I got out my large hole punch and started ripping up a couple of my Real Simple magazines that were hanging around, looking for interesting shapes and patterns as well as christmas/holiday images.  I also ended up using Joanne's Fabrics and Michael's Crafts circulars. Once I had a few dozen circles (sorted by theme, in a mini muffin tin), I arranged the tacks on a piece of cardboard. I then dabbed a bit of mod podge to the tack, stuck on the circle and brushed a few more layers of mod podge (with my fingers) over the tack to coat.  The result: cute thumbtacks for cheap!!

select image

select image

circle punch

align image in punch


sorted by theme

This craft was shared with:
Whip It Up Wednesday
The Well Crafted Home
Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Super Easy Lightweight Holiday Card Display

Here's a fun and easy tutorial on how to make a lightweight card display on the cheap.

Corrugated Cardboard
glue stick
Fabric ( I found mine cheap in the remnant bin at Joanne's)

1. Cut the cardboard to desired size.  Mine is 8" x15".
2. Wrap cardboard with fabric and tape as if you are wrapping a present.
3. For Tree, cut two felt squares 5" square in light green and dark green.  Fold on the diagonal and cut to produce two triangles of each color. For snowman, find three circles of increasing diameter to use as tracing guides for snowman body circles.
4. Glue stick on the felt shapes.
5. Hang and use pushpins or tacks to hang holiday cards.

 This craft was shared with:



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