Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Year in review

Well chickees...this is my 99th post! Holy crap, I'm not kidding. Interesting, because I started this blog in May, and only had about 20 posts in my first four months. Shows you how into this bloggy stuff I got in about...September or so?

For my 100th post I have a very cute (but small) giveaway to give to one of you. Can't wait to show you. It's not really a big deal, just fun. :)

What's with me just DYING to take down Christmas early this year? I usually wait till the 1st or after but I have been chomping at the BIT to get it down this year. What's the deal? I can barely wait to get it up and LOVE it during the season. There is just something about this time of year though too -- the clean, fresh house. I swear I fall it love with our home all over again right after the holidays. It's so cleared out and simple.

So Jules over at The Roost is having a fun New Year's Party that I thought would be fun to join. I put a different spin on it though, and picked the top ten commented posts to highlight here for your pleasure. (Or to help you take a nap, whatever works.)

Heeeeeeeere we GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

No. 4: Big Fat Honkin' Monogram.

No. 2: One of my favorite before and afters.

Well there you go ladies! A year -- well, eight months, in review. I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing and sharing. Here's to another year of fun ideas and tons o' comments!

Happy New Year!!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Cheap gift tags (FREE!)

First of all, thanks for your kind words about my last post. I appreciate hearing from all of you and to know I'm not the only one who feels that way sometimes. I know it is a GOOD thing to be so grateful, but I should try not to worry so much too. :)

So I have seen this idea a couple times in blogland and the first time I saw it, I knew this easy peasy project was just for me. Do you keep your old Christmas cards every year?? I do. Don't have a clue why -- I do the same thing with birthday cards, I can't let go of them.

Well it's like I've kept them all these years JUST for this! All you need is a puncher outer thingy:

(Ignore my banged-up coffee table. I like to call it "rustic" a la The Bub.)

Grab a card:

You may have to do some trimming to get it to fit in the puncher right. I turn mine upside down to see what I'm punching. I do it on the floor too -- much easier to punch. (These things are a work out!!):

Voila!! Instant tags for next year! I even cut out some of the messages inside the cards:

Aren't they just ADORABLE?? Caaaauuute I say! I am dying to get my hands on more cards from this year. I'm trying to be patient and am keeping them up just a couple more days. Argh, I HATE delayed gratification!!

These were some of my favorites:

The puncher was originally about $15, but I got it half off. Otherwise, this is F.R.E.E. chickees! Have fun!
**Edited to add: YES the photo cards make this harder -- I know they are easier people, but come on...I need tags!! BUT I forgot to mention that I took the puncher thingy to some of the cardboard gift boxes that were torn up. (The one's with a design on top.) Those are adorable too!

ALERT!! The puncher thingys are half off at Hob Lob this week! Run, don't walk!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Are you ever waiting?

For the other "shoe" to drop?

I can't tell you how many times a week I have this exact thought in my head. Tonight I thought it again.

How is it possible I could be SO blessed? So lucky? So fortunate?

I have a home I love. Friends that are always there when I need them and a family that loves me and puts up with me no matter what. Most of all: a beautiful, sweet stepdaughter, my incredibly patient and loving husband and my out-of-this-world, I-could-not-love-him-any-more-I-swear, son.

I wonder, what did I do to deserve this? I try to live a good, honest life. I try to be a good friend. I try SO hard to be a good Mom and a good wife. I think I succeed for the most part. But is that enough to deserve this life? I hope so. I pray so.

I have paid some dues. Years 16 through about 22 weren't very fun, to say the least. I was tested and I feel I came through stronger. Maybe I have earned some of this joy that is my life, but my happiness SO exceeds any pain I've ever felt. Can my dues that have been paid be nearly enough to make this all mine for good?

Sorry to get all deep on you. Maybe it's the season, maybe it's the coming new year. Maybe it's that I got to go on a date with my husband tonight. Any time with him is treasured. I am thinking DEEP lately, and just had to get it out. :)

Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy your blessed home and life this evening too.

Friday, 26 December 2008

The Aftermath

First of all, YES! the tree is still standing!! Yahoo!! I usually leave it up through New Year's but wanted to take it down early this year. It is stressing me out. But Hubby thinks it will be fine so up it stays. I really do love long as it stays put. :)

Secondly, before I show you how Christmas blew up in our house, check out the GORG wreath I got today at Tar-jay!

My girlfriend bought one this year and it was GORG on her door. I got it this morning for only $17! But I'm thrifty, so it took some convincing from Sister for me to get it. I am SO glad I did:

Sheesh it's purdy. So did anyone get up before dawn this morning? I've only gotten up that early on purpose maybe four times since my son was born. Two of those times were from the two previous December 26ths! I have to do it though, I must be first to get the deals. BUT it was dead around here this morning -- I could have slept in, darn it!

OK, now onto the PIT that has been our house for the past two days (you can't walk in this room and it looks worse now):

(And much of it had already been thrown away!)

Let's just say we have a VERY lucky and happy two-year-old on our hands. My stepdaughter wanted small expensive things...he got HUGE monstrous toys, like TENTS:

What the heck was I thinking? I was thinking fun-unfinished-basement-play-area. But failed to remember that is is freakin' freezing cold down there right now so not one of us will brave it. The heating company is coming this week because I can stand about one more day of this and then everything needs to find a home. :)

But we had a WONDERFUL few days, and I wouldn't change the mess, the toys, the pile of trash for the world. We are blessed.

Hope you had a great holiday! I'm going keep taking some time to check in with many of your sites and will be back soon. And I am ITCHIN' to get back to my molding projects -- I'm going through withdrawal! I have a few projects in mind I cannot wait to get started on.

Oh, and remember to keep in mind how you organize things in your home so you can share them with us on the 12th!! We are going to DECLUTTER and ORGANIZE ladies!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The tree that would not STAND UP.

I figured you wouldn't believe it if I didn't show you...

Notice anything different??

No?? How about now?:

No, I'm not kidding, this tree is falling over again. I noticed it while I lounged on the couch out there the other night. Yeah...relaxing...imagine that. Later that night, I kind of wiggled it and it ALMOST FELL OVER AGAIN. Hubby was asleep, Sister was asleep, so there I was with my drill and drywall anchors at midnight, drilling holes in the wall to keep this bleeping thing up till Christmas!

Whew. Hubby swears "It will be fine." I swear to you, if it falls again, I. Will. Lose. It.

Anyhoo...I wanted to show you some of my favorite decorations that I hadn't shown you yet. There are more, but you'll just have to wait till next year. :) Warning: Picture overload!!

My favorite Santa. He watches over the countdown. Can you even believe Christmas is here?!:

Of course I have to dress up the brass knobs. (ugh.) I made these years ago and it was so easy -- a few extra sprigs of garland, a few berries and an ornament twisted together:
More GORG magnolias:

My second cookie jar...this one was brand new at Goodwill for $5:

Yippee! I love this boot! (Rebecca, do you recognize it?):

Even the lamps don't escape me...buwuwahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!:
I used rub on snowflakes for the mirror. $1.50 on sale, and I'll keep them up through the winter:
The scrolly mirror holds our cards every year:

Dollar store snowflakes that hang in the windows:

I adore these little birds!! So much so, I paid full price of $3 for them at Target!! I'm eyeing them for Friday -- but there's only a few left...I'll knock you out of the way if you go for 'em. Not kidding.

ACK! Tell me these are not CAAAUUUTE!! They were $1.99 each at Kirkland's!:

More glass things for me to put stuff in...this is a cake stand and dome (yes it's a stand, weird how it looks like it's sitting on the island!) and I stuffed it with goodies:

I also hang ornaments from the windows:

I took some advice from Amanda and wrapped my candles with ribbon.
Guess where I got the ribbon? From Amanda!! I won her Dollar Tree trees and I love them!! Ahhh! And she made me a little notebook! Seriously, she rocks!! (Tag!) (By the way, I want a ton more. If any of you see them, let me know and I will pay you for them and shipping!!)

And finally, we are ready for Santa...just need to make the cookies. I searched for a Santa's cookie plate for almost two months. Found this at our state museum of all places, half off, last weekend!:
The carafe was free from the cookie exchange. Enough said:

I'm off to wrap a million presents!! I'm going to take a few days off to visit your sites and catch up. Like always, if you'd like me to visit and I haven't, let me know!
Merry, merry, merry Christmas to you!
I hope you have a blessed holiday and a wonderful new year.
I appreciate you all so very much.
P.S. Say a prayer for my tree. :)

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Make your home glow with Christmas

I'm running out of time to show you some fun stuff, so this post will be a slew of pictures, bam, bam BAM!!! Ahhhhh!!

First of all, I had to show you another Goodwill project. (Don't worry, I still have MORE.) I got these little square boards for .49 each, got the letters on sale, had the paper and glitter, so this was waaaay less than $10. I. LOVE. IT.

So here we go, a tour of our home and the way it glows at Christmas...
If you have a bell jar or cloche, stick Christmasy type things in with some lights, and there. you. go. (This thing is way cool -- wish this pic did it justice.)

Again, with the flash, this does not really show the GORGeousness. I throw my extra poinsettias in here with some garland and lights.

The candles from the mantle are now nestled in some snow to make the TV look Christmasyier. Word? Huh. OK.

This scrolly iron thingy I can't get looking how I want any other time of the year...but with some greenery and pics, just love it:

Long ago I spray painted my pears with gold and then a light coat of gold glitter spray. It always does the trick.

Do you know what I am SOOOO over? My blinds. Would you like to know how much we spent on them when we moved in?? (Well, really, it wasn't that bad because I got them for 40 percent off at Penney's, but STILL.) Now I want more of the wooden roman shades everywhere instead. GREAT.

We got these candles as a gift for our wedding, and I absolutely adore them. They are so fun to dress up for the holidays. I use little styrofoam balls, some ribbon and a few berry pics and they are ready for Christmas!

Do you light your candles? I don't, not the "holiday" ones anyway. I've found PERFECT candles to go with my decor and they are only lit for pictures. :) Plus, we have fat kitties with big fluffy tails. Not a good combo.

I got this church to remember the year we got married (today is our anniversary!! MUWAH MY LOVE!!):

Wanna know how the greenery doesn't go POOF from the candles?

Awww yeah baby, LED candles. Get some!! They even flicker.

I'll be back at least one more time before Christmas. Are you done wrapping?
But I actually enjoy wrapping, and after tomorrow, I'll be completely done shopping and can wrap to my heart's content in the evenings. I look forward to it.