Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Handmade Holiday Review

The holidays were a smashing success! My handmade gifts were a hit! Here are a few pictures of the children's favorites.

L's fabric dollhouse based on this tutorial.

Dad made here fairy furniture for her handmade wee people:)

Felt food was on the menu at our house Christmas morning. Here are O fav's the ham sandwich and a cake she can decorate. T received a campfire set with roastable marshmallows...were camping out tonight in the TV room and having s'mores brownies.

I wasn't able to photograph all the handmade gifts but here is a list with tutorials:

I look forward to next Christmas and plan on making everybody's gifts by hand! Of course I'll have to start in July instead of December:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Montage

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Crafting

We have not had much time to craft this season. I have been busy making lots of presents for Christmas. Here is a sampling of the few we've accomplished. As you will see I'm a big fan of paint samples...they provide free and colorful cardstock. Love Frugal crafts:)
Paint Sample Snowpeople

Decorating a Christmas Tree with Paint Samples

Gnome Ornaments

Paint Sample Gift Tags

Thumbprint Reindeer

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

First Haircut

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ahoy Matey...

Somedays you wake up and it's just a pirate kind of day.....Today was one of those days. I be captain Mad-Eye Mom and me band of pirates are setting sail for the open seas. Who knows what swashbuckling adventures await us......Take heed and secure yer booty we be coming.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giving Presence

Tis the season for giving. Years ago my husband and I decided to stop exchanging gifts at Christmas. He gives me his most precious gift each and every day...his presence. Time is the ultimate gift, the one that can not be returned or exchanged. The present is just that a in each moment and embrace it's beauty. I do not need a new diamond each year to know my husband loves me, he shows me this through his actions. The mundane rituals of our life are my love tokens.....the kisses at our house do not begin with Kay. He gives me priceless gifts throughout the year...... morning snuggles, folded laundry, quiet time with a book. These selfless acts are quite often more than I deserve and I give thanks to my husband for these small gems. Everyday our time is stolen by work, TV, texting, the Internet...... so let's all give the best gift this year..... ourselves, truly give yourself to your families and loved ones. They couldn't ask for a better gift...except for maybe some of my cookies;)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Memory Monday

This weeks memory is not really just one memory, it more of a collection.

A Baker's Dozen

I really enjoy baking, quite frankly it's a passion of mine. Every December my home is filled with the smells of fresh baked goodies and confections. There is always gingerbread, chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodles, Mexican wedding cookies, chocolate truffles, caramels, linzer torte and of course the buche de noel. But Christmas would not be Christmas without mini-cheesecakes and peanut butter balls. Every year for as long as I can remember my mother has made these two delicious treats. All year we wait for these delights.....they just taste like Christmas. I now make these for my own children. This year I'm sharing with you all these secret family recipes. Enjoy!

Mini Cheesecakes makes 48
9 oz room temperature cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
5 room temperature large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 teasp. vanilla extract
1 pt. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using mini-muffin tins line for 48 cheesecakes. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together 1 cup of sugar and all of the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Next add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Fill each muffin cup with one tablespoon batter. Bake for 15 minutes. While baking combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla with the sour cream. Remove cheesecakes from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Top each cheesecake with 1 teaspoon sour cream mixture and one blueberry. Place bake in oven and bake for five minutes more. Let cool completely before removing from tins and refrigerate. These may be frozen for storage, or will keep for 1 week in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Balls makes a lot:)
18 0z natural peanut butter
1 lb. confectioners sugar
1/4 lb room temperature unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (rice crispies)
2 bags ghardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

Combine peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low until fully incorporated. Add the rice cereal and mix on low until combined. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place in freezer until fully chilled. Meanwhile place a large mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt chocolate chips. Place frozen balls one at a time into chocolate mixture and roll to coat. Place each coated ball onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate after all have been dipped. Store in refrigerator for up to one month.

The Crafty Crow Kids Ornament Swap 2009

We are so excited to be participating in this years annual kids ornament swap from the Crafty Crow. This years theme was fairy tales...we decided to make woodland mushrooms. We had a blast and are all done crafting. Here are our little fungi... Mushrooms are considered to be a good luck symbol. Associated with nature and the beauty of the forest, finding a mushroom is considered to be very lucky and to mean good fortune is at hand. Mushroom ornaments are displayed on Christmas trees in Germany in honor of the people's reverence for nature and in hope of good luck in the New Year. We hope all our recipients love them and have a very lucky 2010:)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of tantrums

Today's forecast calls for rain and possible snow...sounds like the perfect recipe for cranky kids. To combat the winter blues I dove into my mommy tool chest and pulled out some magical clothespins. Five minutes later we were camping in the family room by the light of a glowing Christmas tree....crisis averted. I swear tents are the cure-all. Do you hear neither because miracle of miracles my two older children are quietly watching a movie together in the tent. if only the clothes and dishes could wash themselves.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh Tannenbaum....

The tree is up and the air is filled with the sounds of the season, Christmas will soon be upon us. Tree trimming is serious business in our family. I come from a long line of serious tree trimmers...think dictators:) It all starts with the elusive tree hunt...this can take trips to numerous vendors and hours of deliberation...too fat, to tall, to many gaps. However when we finally find the tree we just know it, it seems to say "hello I've been waiting for you". Step one completed, we move on to the most difficult part of the mission....the lights. For years I did the lights, one might say I was a tad bit obsessive about it. Finally, a few years back I gave up the reins to my dear husband. Wow, decorating the tree is so much more fun now! At long last it is time to put up the ornaments. Whenever I unwrap an ornament it's like I've found a long lost memory. Every year on vacation my parents would let my sister and I pick out one ornament for the tree. When we became adults we were gifted these ornament to don are own trees. We've now purchased ornaments to commemorate the joys of our life...honeymoon, first home, baby's first Christmas. We also continue the tradition with our own children and let them buy one ornament a year for their future trees. One of the most special ornaments for me is my Radko peace cow ornament. In august of 2004 while we were on vacation with my parents, my aunt was undergoing risky lung surgery. As we were about to enter the Christmas Loft to purchase our annual ornament we got a life shattering call. My dear Tia Marcia had passed away. We were shocked and grief stricken as we clung to each other in the parking lot. Needless to say no ornaments were purchased that day. We returned to the cabin to celebrate the life of an extraordinary and beautiful woman. That year's ornament almost didn't happen, but I couldn't let the tradition slip by. On the last day of vacation, on our way out of town, I stopped and bought three ornaments, one for my mother, sister and I. Each year as I place this precious ornament at the center of the tree I remember my dear Tia and give thanks for the legacy she left behind.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Today marks the official start to the holiday countdown. Ever year my mother would give me an advent calendar filled with the most delicious German chocolate. Each morning I would wake up and race down for this small treat. I have continued this tradition with my own children and they are just as excited as I was on those long ago mornings. In addition to the German advent calendar T also has a Lego city advent calendar and O has a Playmobil fairy advent calendar. The children have been impatiently waiting for December 1st and when the day dawned today they were in my room bright and early! Their exuberance is contagious and the joy of Christmas has filled me once again. We will be trimming the tree tonight and attending a Christmas parade. I'm thankful my children are here to help me rediscover the magic of the season.