Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Cocktails.....Punch and Pondering.

New year's Eve. Nostalgia...another year has come an gone. Have we met our goals? Are our lives better, the same or do they need improvements or overhauls? Was 2011 a good year? What could I have done differently? No wonder New Year's Eve is emotional, filled with self reflection, new plans and goals. It's a time to ponder over the old and look forward to the new. So, today, I will enjoy my New Year's Eve Decorations, clean up some more of the Christmas fragments that lie about and watch all 2011 top news stories and count-down shows. For now my only goal is to make it to midnight before dosing off. That's life with two small kids.

 I know there will be a toast or two so, here are some cocktail ideas for the big night....maybe you can drowned your sorrows, dance on the table, get romantic, or scheme for the coming year with a little holiday cheer!

 What were her thoughts on New Year's Eve? What were her regrets and goals for a better life? Were they similar to ours today? I bet she had Champagne.

What will I toast, ponder and plan with?? So many choices! How about this beautiful and tasty Cranberry Margarita!

I love the festive look of these "Christmas Sparklers", especially since it's so hard for me to let go of Christmas. Maybe a few of these:

Christmas Sparklers from Yes, please. Check out all their Champagne recipes. Some great Champagne punches as well!!

Champagne recipes....yum!

If you do decide on punch....this is a great idea from a blog last year. The blog gives you step by step detail on how to make the numbers! Fun idea!

How about an ice ring....for your punch or cranberries floating about as well?
This just happened to be an ice "block" I remember not being able to find a bundt cake pan that year....something so festive about oranges and cranberries.

However, my all time favorite "Champagne Cocktail" is the classic French, Kir Royal. Nothing like it.

All my friends know it will be one (if not the only) choice when they come over! Just a little Chambord or Crème De Cassis at the bottom of your flute and an orange twist.......Cheers! I have never met anyone that DOESN'T like it.

Enjoy your evening! And, of course, Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Eve In The Making!

I've started slowly taking down Christmas and mixing in some New Year's fun.
I love my banner from The TomKat Studio. It was so easy to print out. I used photo paper so it was thick and shiny. Love it.

I just used clothes pins, that I sprayed with adhesive spray and sprinkled with Epsom salt, to clip onto a cute black and white ribbon. The clothe-spins look like snow.

 Also from The TomKat Studio, My "new print" I framed...."Time To Drink Champagne And Dance On The Tables." I think they made that just for me. This was also a free printable from The TomKat Studio.  (  It matches my banner and ties everything together. I printed it out on photo paper and it looks fantastic!

Some clocks to accent the print....countdown time!!

More clocks on the mantel....all of which are printed on photo paper...all free printables on line. Google "clock faces" in images. I added glitter to the numbers and or edges, with a Martha Stewart glue pen...those pens are wonderful! That made them more fun and sparkly and isn't that what New Year's Eve is all and sparkly?

More mantel clocks in antique flower frogs. I am so limited as what to put on my mantel. I believe it's about 3" in width. So I am happy with my little clocks.

Okay.....I still have really cute Champagne tags to use....need some pictures of those. Might need to open a bottle of Champagne early just for blog *wink* Here is picture of those from The TomKat Studio:

Aren't they cool?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mini Mincemeat Pies.

I know. I know. About as popular as fruitcake but, really, they are so good! The first time I had them I was a young girl and my Mom's English friend, Pat, brought them to a party. She was my heroine after that.

These were so easy, too. I used pre-made pie dough and a mincemeat filling in a jar. Fresh mincemeat is surly the way to go but, I opted for easy way...but still with home-made look and feel.

Dating back to the 11 Th century, Mincemeat pies are a wonderful holiday tradition. Contrary to popular belief....there is no meat in these pies! It got it's name from it's original use in preserving meat in ancient times. However, today it's a mixture of dried fruits, often spirits, and peel or zest from oranges and the like. The spices and orange fragrances fill your home with the smells of Christmas.

These were as easy as pie.....funny, huh? I used Robertson's Mincemeat for two reasons; it can be found in most grocery stores and it's imported from the UK where mincemeat is well liked.

Roll out pie crust and make small discs a bit bigger than the form. Use cooking spray so they don't stick.

Fill with one teaspoon of your mincemeat.

Add cute garnishes of pie dough if you see fit. I used holly leaves and hearts. Just brush them with an egg wash (beat an egg with about a teaspoon of water). That's it. Then you bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. Easy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Silver Bowls....Silver Bowls.

My husband just rolled his eyes when I showed him my silver bowl from Goodwill. It's beautiful to me. Okay, it has some scuffs on the inside of the bowl....but how cute will be filled with something? Pretty. At $1.99 I am going to be a sucker for silver. I have no choice. So, to prove that I am going to use it, here you go.

First, find a place in my crowded small house.

 My silver bowl. $1.99 Behind it, my $1 wreath from a garage November!!! That was a great find, the garage sale and the wreath! The bowl needs more......

So, I'll fill it with my garage sale candles wrapped in plaid ribbon. Finally a place for those, too. Very simple to make. Now for some greenry.....
We have no fir trees in the yard but, I have rosemary! I love to use it at Christmastime!

Et, Voilà. A little Christmas display all for about $3.50....well, the ribbon was $5. I got that for 50% at Michael's. I have a ton left, though. I like the feel of this. Merry Christmas. Time to light the candles!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mod-Podging Shoe Scuffs!

Well, let's face it; Mod Podge is to the crafter like keys to a piano. You gotta have it. So, going through Lucie's closet today, I debated throwing away these scuffed up boots. I wish I had taken a before picture.....any who...I filled in the scuffs with a black Sharpie, like I always do, and then the idea came to me...........MOD PODGE. It dries shiny and everything. Okay, the boots aren't perfect on close inspection but, they really look good! This just made my day! LOL. It's the little things.

Pretty good.......fine for the monkey bars tomorrow! Give it a try next time!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


More Christmas decorating...

This might be teh only tree we have this year. We'll be going to Vegas again for these decorations are enough. I have the "chalet" Advent calendar here and the book Advent Calendar too. Good little spot.

Nutcrackers. For lack of a better place this year. Maybe next year I'll line them up above the cabinets in the kitchen.

My old tin bucket re-pursed again.

I probably need to pick one style, but it's hard, I love the country look, vintage look, alpine look, modern look.....hopefully they work together in their little areas.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I was tempted to start decorating on Thanksgiving evening but, I was able to hold off and start first thing in the morning on Friday. I am still rearranging and not 100% satisfied. However, I am already enjoying the Christmas lights in the early morning with coffee and in the evening with tea.

The old coal bucket and snowman in the sleigh.

My mini apothecary jars with with snow scenes. I found these little vintage deer in a bag of mixed decorations at Goodwill. I bough the mini trees at Michael's. I am still tempted to bleach them and give them the yellowy-white vintage look...

My hand-crafted tree and ornaments. I had fun making the tree topper. It's great to finally have them "on display"

So much more to do. Enjoy decorating and Merry Christmas!!!!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Garage Sale Christmas Tree

Little sad Christmas tree. I found this at a garage sale in October. Only $1 and I think there is some potential. Besides, I really wanted to try the flocking they sell with the glitter at Michael's. Here is my chance.

What do you think?? Cute up-cycle?

I think it is simple and sweet. Can I decorate yet???

Christmas Projects; Pillsbury Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Mix and Frosting, Nordic Ware Spritz Cookie Press and Icing Set and My Advent House

I am ready for Christmas but, holding off until after Thanksgiving. It's just about killing me. Here are a few of the projects I have waiting.

I have learned the hard way. IF, you see something interesting that you want to try, buy it before they run out. So, I saw these in Target the other day. Pillsbury Chocolate Peppermint Premium Cookie Mix and Peppermint (yum) frosting!!! I hope they will be as good as they look. What calls to me most is....EASY. Now I have them on hand. If I need to make a treat to for an event, school bake sale, or rainy Sunday afternoon with the family....I have it! The box mix comes with the candy cane pieces too.

Just the other day I saw a Pampered Chef version of this on my local "online garage sale" She had only used it once or twice, I think, but wanted $25 for it. So, I was excited to see this at Target for $9.95. It comes with 12 unique shapes. I remember using my mom's as a kid and feeling SO proud that they came out so well. I can't wait to test this out with Lucie. Since I got such a good deal I grabbed the Icing Decorating Set by Nordic Ware as well. My pastry bags bit the dust this year and this should be a great replacement. We'll see....can't wait!!!

I am excited about my "new" Advent Calendar, house. I found this at a garage sale for $5. I thought that was pretty steep, but I am glad I got it. When I got it home I realized that #13 and #24 were missing their door knobs. I went through our collection of beads and was able to find pretty good matches. Thank you, glue gun. On Friday, Veteran's Day, I went shopping with the kids. We got some chocolates for the house at World Market. I love that place. I will have to find some other little goodies as well. Lucas told me that little Harry Potter Lego figures would be a good fit. He's so helpful ;)

Updates on these projects to come!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Candles. Up-Cycling For Christmas.

I get SO MANY candles at garage sales. People get them as gifts, change their color scheme in their homes or just feel like they have too many and don't know what to do with them. For Christmas, or any other holiday, up-cycle your candles! All you need is ribbon, ball pins, scissors, and of course some candles. These I got at a garage sale, of course. I can't bring myself to pay full price for candles any more. I see them every time I am out at garage sales. They are so cheap. I think I paid 25 cents for the large cream candle and the little white one came in set with five other candles for a couple dollars.

This is all you do:

Cut and pin. I loved this plaid cloth ribbon. It was 50% off at Michaels yesterday. I love plaid. They would look great with velvet ribbon, burlap ribbon, you name it!!

There you have it. A two minute (if that) upgrade! Love it! These will look great with lots and lots of pine at Christmastime!!!!