Monday, December 24, 2012

A Gift for the Mail Carrier!!

I did a LOT of my shopping online this year. So my mail carrier had a lot of packages to bring to our house. What better time of year to say thanks and Merry Christmas too!
Nothing fancy here, just a little bag of peppermint covered pretzels, but I hope he (or she) will feel the love! (To be honest I'm regifting it from one of my students!!!)

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Finally, my Christmas Decorations!

Since my Christmas decorations have been up for almost an entire month, and Christmas is just a few days away, I think it's time to share those with you!

Welcome to our house. We put up strands of lights around the top of our house and plan on getting more lights for next Christmas when they all go on clearance!
And our lovely tree:
Photobucket Photobucket 
I found that star on the curb a year and a half ago :)

The Barbie and Kevin ornaments are from my Grandma, how cute, right?

The pickle is a tradition my in-laws introduced me to. Someone hides it on the tree, and whoever finds it first wins a small prize or something. And the gold and silver ornament is from the ornament exchange I participated in. I love it! I forgot to take a picture of the ornament that I sent my partner. 
Photobucket Photobucket 

My husband LOVES nutcrackers. (And doesn't that reflection of the lights on the tree look cool on the picture!)

 And, of course, we have stockings :)

I realized after I uploaded this picture, that I took it from behind. But I got this little village at a thrift store for 10 cents after Christmas a couple of years ago!

Finally, my mom found me this nativity scene and I absolutely love it!! I did break one of the wise men when I was unwrapping it...but he was easily repaired with some super glue! Can't even tell. Next year I need some more decorations for this shelf.

Linking up!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pink Glitter Color Block Shoes

I've had this pink Glitter Blast Glitter Sprayfor a while and decided it was finally time to do something fun with it. So I decided to spray paint some shoes.
Pink Glitter Color Block Shoes
I don't even remember where I got these shoes, but they were old and I didn't like them very much. They had a strap across the top which I cut off (you can see it if you look close, but otherwise not noticeable).

First step: Tape off the top and cover areas of the shoes you don't want to be spray painted. 
Pink Glitter Color Block Shoes - step 1

Second step: Spray paint shoes (after you shake the spray paint for a good two minutes and you're feeling pretty good about that arm work out)
Pink Glitter Color Block Shoes - step 2

Third step: Wait about 20 minute, take the tape off and let dry for 24 hour before you wear them. And that's it! Super easy and super fun.

Pink color block glitter flats 
 Spray Painted Color Block Flats
Spray paint is my favorite! If I do this project again on another pair of shoes, I would put the tape higher up so more of the front is painted, but I think these look nice too :)

You can buy this spray paint usually at any craft store, like Michael's. In my experience, they don't usually go on sale but are around $8 (and you could always use a 40% off coupon!). Or, you can buy them on amazon- some colors are very reasonable! 

(My Christmas decorations have been up for a while and I finally took pictures today, so I hope to get those together to show you all soon!)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

I love this time of year. I love everything Christmas! :) I have also been enjoying doing my ONLINE Christmas shopping. Went to the mall today and didn't even end up getting anything because I didn't want to wait in line...will continue to look for deals with free shipping. ha

Anyway, I did a cookie exchange at work with some of the other teachers and aides. (Whoever first thought of the idea of a cookie exchange deserves a prize, or at least an extra cookie!) I love trying all different kinds of cookies without all the work. Plus, now I have some pretty sweet recipes.

I made chocolate peanut clusters, which, if you read this title, you probably already figured out. They have four different kinds of chocolate in them, so yeah, you're going to love them!

And I made them in the crockpot! Crazy, I know.
chocolate peanut clusters in a crockpot
It's super easy too. Dump everything (as seen in the above picture) in the crockpot, peanuts last. See/print/download my recipe here - I got the recipe card design somewhere and can't find it - if I find it again I'll post a link to the template!
Chocolate peanut clusters recipe

Cook for 3 hours and don't stir it until you are done. That was hard for it's a great time to work on your patience.

Once your 3 hours are up (or close enough) stir and spoon on wax paper. 
Oh, and if you don't have wax paper, empty out your cereal boxes and combine them together or put the cereal in bowls for the next day, and cut up the wax paper bag to use. Totally worked like a charm and I didn't have to make the hubby run to the grocery store for me. And...a greased cookie sheet works...but they are much more difficult to get off.

chocolate peanut clusters
 crockpot chocolate peanut clusters
They were delicious. Everyone loved them! I forgot to take a fancy plated picture for you, so this is what they looked like after I spooned them all out, but I had a lot of compliments that they looked like Fannie Mae chocolate peanut clusters. I love fancy, simple things. Plus, this makes over 100 - so perfect when you need something for a lot of people! What's your favorite Christmas cookie/dessert to share?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wedding Invitation Christmas Ornament

My mom made my husband and I this homemade ornament for our first Christmas as a married couple last year.
Wedding Invitation Homemade Ornament 
What's so special about it? It's our wedding invitation! Really easy to make too. Cut up a wedding invite into small strips, curl them up, and shove them inside a clear ornament. I love mine - I always make people guess what it is!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some exciting updates:

It's been a while, so here's some short updates:

We put our Christmas lights and Christmas tree up last Saturday!

I made my very first turkey on Sunday. All. By. Myself! And it was good too. We had my very pregnant sister-in-law and her husband, and my friend Rita, over for an early Thanksgiving dinner.

Then, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law had their baby on Wednesday! She's adorable and I am such a proud aunt. We got to visit twice in the hospital and we decorated their house with "it's a girl" items to surprise them before they got home. I also bought some little headbands to give to her today! Everyone is healthy and doing great.

Thanksgiving was yummy. Gobble gobble! We were able to spend time with both my husband's extended family and my own which was really nice.

Black Friday - just went to Kohl's to use a $10 off coupon, got a few candles. And then at night, I got an iPhone and a new Chicago-land area phone number! Good-bye 616 number, I will miss you. (The case is from Five Below in case anyone is wondering.)
To go with my new iPhone, I got an instagram account! Follow me HERE!

And after all that excitement, I have nothing left to share with you. :) Hope you are all well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A New Room for our House - We Finally Furnished our Living Room!

Living Room Setup
We just added another room in our house!! Okay, fine, we always had the room but it wasn't being used so it didn't feel much like a room.

The first step was getting rid of the curtains that were left for us. The striped ones were there when we moved in and when we went up to Michigan for the weekend we put up the white ones to give our house a little more privacy. Since the white ones looked crazy, it really gave me motivation to get us new curtains.
Ugly curtains

I was planning on using the same rod, even though I didn't like it much. But then we found a beautiful rod on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond (usually $50 for just $25!) And of course, we used a 20% off coupon (Do you know they never expire? It's true! Save those coupons no matter what the date!) which made the rod $20 - totally worth it. It's so pretty!
Curtain Rod - Bed Bath and Beyond 
 It was so difficult picking out curtains. I think we made an okay choice - but I'm keeping the packages in case we change our minds! They are a little short...and I'm just not sure if it's the look I was going for. But, I do like them. So, I'll leave it up and see if I change my mind! Your advice/input is always welcome! Also, I didn't really want to, but I think we might still want to add blinds. The curtains do give some privacy, but you still can see in.
Blue and Brown Curtains from Bed Bath and Beyond
After putting up the curtains, I spent a while on Craigslist searching for some furniture. We've been looking since we moved in but all of a sudden I was really motivated! We found some beautiful couches just 15 minutes away and were able to convince a friend to pick them up for us in his truck. I so wish I had a truck...but at least I have friends who do! LOVE our couches! They are so comfy and pretty and go well with our curtains! :)
Living Room - Blue and Brown Curtains with Tan Couches
Living Room - Blue and Brown Curtains with Tan Couches

Love the couches, however they are very similar in color to our walls. The couch is in front of the curtains so it looks fine there, but the loveseat looked a little odd in my opinion. I added a blanket over the top of the loveseat and now I think it's perfect!
Loveseat with brown blanket 
Remember this little white end table? Works great right here for now! 
Heirloom White End Table

I brought the bistro set in from outside, and instead of putting in the shed, think it looks pretty cute in this room. At least, until it's time to put up the Christmas tree!!
Indoor bistro set

Also, I picked up this clock at Burlington Coat Factory. Trying to figure out where might be the best place for it...or if it's too big for our little house!
Big Clock - Burlington Coat Factory

And there you have it! I love our new room! The couches are comfortable (I love that you can remove the back cushions too) and our house feels so much bigger because it really seems like we have another room.
Living Room - Blue and Brown Curtains with Tan Couches 
Living Room - Blue and Brown Curtains with Tan Couches

Sunday, November 4, 2012

DIY {No Crease} FOE Hair Ties

Have you heard about the new fold-over elastic, no snag, no crease hair ties? Also known as Emi-Jay hair-ties? Apparently they are the new cool thing. To be honest, I thought they looked weird the first few times I saw them, but it was one of those things that grew on me. Plus, hearing that they don't leave those annoying hair-tie marks in your hair and don't give you ponytail headaches made me want to try them out!

These hair ties are sold at Emi-Jay or Anthropologie (both $12 for 5), or you can make your own!

I choose to make my own (no big surprise there). I was inspired by this tutorial by Simple Medicine that I pinned here. I bought 20 yards - 5/8 inches wide - of fold-over elastic HERE for $12.

I cut the FOE into strips of 9 inches. I choose to make my "tail" on the hair-ties a bit shorter than the Emi-Jay ones. I don't need another little tail in my pony tail :)
The first hair tie I knotted frayed as I was knotted something had to be done about that! I singed the edges of the elastic with the flame of the candle which sealed them perfectly. This was fun, because, well, I like playing with fire. I also thought using glue on the ends would work just as well, if not better...but I didn't try because I was having fun with my candle.

Tie the hair tie like you're tying a water balloon, making the "tail" an appropraite length for you, and Ka-Boom, you have a hair tie!(Or lots of them!!)
These are addicting to make and easy. In two days I used up 17 of my 20 yards (the other 3 yards won't work well for the hair ties, so that's why I didn't use them).

And, of course I had to display them cutely. I had fun matching colors that I felt looked good together. And now I have a hair tie for every outfit :)
Plus, I have to say, I'm impressed. These hair ties truly don't leave creases in my hair and they are so comfortable on my wrist - no digging into my skin! I haven't gotten a headache while using these hair ties yet, but I would only get those occasionally so I can't say anything about that for sure. I never thought I'd be this happy with a hair tie! Try them out if you haven't yet!

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