- Put things back where they belong
- Group "like" things together for easier organization
- Take the time to do things right the first time
I've decided that I have to make this my goal/resolution for the coming year. I can go for quite a while and stay on track, but then all systems fail and things are in an uproar. While things are pretty well contained right now, it would be a great time to start with a clean slate, so to speak.
A downloadable PDF of instructions for these cute multi-sized lunch bags can be found here. Quick, easy, and a great use of chunks of fabric scraps. Use as gift bags...the ideas are endless!
Photos from bhg.com
I have found so many wonderful ideas on the Better Homes & Gardens website. Last night I was looking through the December issue of the magazine, and they have a few new patterns for tiny cottages. The two pictures above are from the website, and they include a PDF download with the patterns. Find them here.
These would be so cute all through the winter season interspersed with snowmen.
After watching Paula whip up this appetizer, I decided to trudge through lots of rain and sleet to the grocery...we're having a carry in at work Monday, and I've been asked to bring in chili...so I needed my #10 cans of chili hot beans and diced tomatoes...the basis for my "big pot" of chili. I picked up 2 wheels of brie and some more chick peas for hummus. I'm ready!
2 cups drained canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
3 Tbs. tahini
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, plus more, to taste
2 to 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Toasted Garlic Oil
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
6 pita breads
1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chickpeas, tahini, the 3 Tbs. lemon juice, the 2 to 3 Tbs. garlic oil, cayenne pepper and salt. Process until smooth, adding some of the chickpea liquid to loosen the texture. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and more lemon juice, if needed. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface and refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving. Prepare a medium fire in a grill. Grill the pita breads until grill marks appear underneath, about 1 minute. Turn the breads over and continue grilling for about 1 minute more. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Drizzle the hummus with the 1 tsp. garlic oil and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the bowl on a platter and surround with the pita wedges. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
With the weekend upon us, it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the surroundings of our decorated homes. No better way to do this--and to celebrate ourselves--than with a light, refreshing Cosmopolitan! Here's my favorite recipe:
Do you sometimes question yourself as to why you watch news on TV on a pretty regular basis? Lately it seems like there's little "good" news and a preponderance of bad to awful news. Maybe I should just be content and oblivious by hearing the rain and knowing it's raining, and tuning out the wickedness in the world.
On a more positive note--maybe--it's just 2 weeks 'til Christmas Eve. My daughter and I are venturing out Wednesday evening after work to finish our shopping for Gran and Gramps...everything else is wrapped and under the tree. That's a good feeling.
photo from dottie angel
This wreath was found via Artsy Mama's blog (visit her, she's having a 500th post giveaway). Artsy Mama has a very ....hmmm...well...artsy blog. Lots of great ideas and inspiration. The yarn wreath was actually posted here, on Dottie Angel's blog.
photo from purl bee
These little air fresheners...how cute! They could easily turn into ornaments. Instructions can be found here.
For the "Ultimate Handmade Holidays Master Craft List", visit Sew, Mama, Sew. In November, she hosted a month-long homemade crafts tutorial project. There are instructions for making a multitude of gifts. A great site to keep in mind for next year's gifting.
Once again, while wandering around through blogland, I came across a Cookie Exchange at Jessi's blog. The image I used above came as an email from Susan Branch's newsletter. In the email, if you clicked the recipe title within the cookie jar, the recipe popped up. Very cool. I'm including the Christmas Nut Cookie recipe from Christmas from the Heart of the Home, one of my very most favorite holiday books to look through and cook from. Her illustrations are just so charming and just right for the season.
Yesterday the temperature was in the mid-60's; very windy and very rainy. An all-around gloomy day. Late in the afternoon a huge cold front blew through, and the temperatures dropped into the 20's. Brrr...it's supposed to remain cold all week (probably all month and for the rest of the season!!).
I just love this chair decorating idea from Better Homes & Gardens. So simple, so homey, so easy to do. I'm going to cover a couple of pillows with a plaid flannel and put them on 2 chairs flanking the fireplace in the dining room to contrast the black and white toile and plaid on the dining room table.
This evening is the final meeting of my Literature class for the semester. I love school and really enjoy this teacher, but it will be so nice to come home from work at 5 and not rush right off to class. A whole evening has been gained...if I don't squander it.
Don't forget to stop over at The Inspired Room. I visited last evening and the wrapping tutorial had begun. Great creative ideas...and a cool giveaway.
Kohl's was quite the place to be this morning. Fortunately, our town has 2 stores and the one on the westside is an easy in/easy out type of place. All of the ornaments and Christmas items were 65% off...The "mercury glass" kugel-type tealight holder was just $5.00 and the "mercury glass" pedestal was $19.00, reduced from $49.99. It was a must-have to display the glitter cottage. The mercury glass is so heavy...and I love the fact that the pieces can all be used after Christmas. They had so many nostalgic ornaments...reflector type, so many "Old World" knock-offs, all just beautiful. I stuck with just small round ornaments for the bottles since they would fit the scale a bit more. The large ornament to the right of the pedestal is one of my favorites...pinkish mercury glass. A long twist of white garland and little white lights behind everything and the mantel will be officially finished. I purchased a few more mercury glass pieces...all at great discount, but I'll save the finished mantle photos for a later date.
Johnson & Johnson Melt Stress Away products...moisture wash, massaging moisture, and body lotion. Soothing, and a nice, clean fragrance.
Stonewall Farms Republic of Tea Hot Apple Cider Tea Jam. So good on cinnamon scones.
Republic of Tea Hot Apple Cider...delicious on these cooler days. The aroma is wonderful.
Today is a good day to start forcing bulbs for holiday bloom. Narcissus, or paperwhites are truly the easiest and quickest bulbs to force. They grow so fast and bloom so quickly...if only the scent was a bit better! I have groupings of bulbs in various containers; most of the bulbs are anchored by pea-gravel instead of soil. About every 2 weeks, I start a new container so there are continual blooms throughout the holiday season. I noticed several boxes (now reduced in price) at Sam's Club last week...a huge savings over the kits you can buy at Target from their Smith & Hawkin collection.
While catching up on blogfriend visits this morning, I came across this easy (sounding, anyway) ornament project. I really like toile...even though I'm going for the pastel look this Christmas, they would be great package tie-ons, and I'm sure I can find a way to incorporate toile into my holiday decorating...the red and white would be great around Valentine's Day, too.
Here are the directions, as found on the Better Homes & Gardens website:
- A piece of toile pattern trimmed from a dinner napkin and decoupaged onto a basic ball becomes an elegant ornament.
What You Need
Red and white spray paint
Medium-size drinking cups with 3-inch-diameter openings
Flat artist's brush
How to Make It
1. Remove the ornament tops and spray-paint some with red, others with white.
2. To steady the ornaments, place them top side down into the cups.
3. Cut out images from the napkins and lay them right side down into the palm of your hand.
4. Brush a thin coat of decoupage medium on the image, and carefully press it onto the ornament, smoothing wrinkles.
5. Allow ornaments to thoroughly dry in the cups.
6. Replace the painted ornament tops.