Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It can't possibly be almost 2010

Lots of company, too many parties, lack of sleep, too many laughs, lots of snow, and way too much food...I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Guess who is going to be in my Christmas stocking?

Carter's coming to see Nana for Christmas - the best gift I could wish for:And here's hoping that all of your Christmas wishes come true, too.

The Griswalds.....

I love to drive by houses that have a gazillion lights, blow-ups, animated figures, fake spiral trees, and so on. Our old neighbor's house reminded me of the "Griswald's" and it made me chuckle every time I drove by...however I decorate very simply outside:

This year we have a new home and we put candles in all 16 windows. I have boughs under the candles in the front, wreaths in the back all with simple red bows.

I also have a small porch to decorate where the trees and sled are protected from the wind and snow.
And of course hubby's reindeer (yes, the very same that the kids rearranged on Thanksgiving Day).

I'm ready for the whole clan to arrive, everything is ready - gifts are wrapped, house is clean, dinners are planned and most importantly, the wine is chilled. I may not have the Griswald's decorations, but there have been times I have referred to the family as the "Griswalds" (if you know what I mean!!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Martha's Yule Logs


My favors at the Christmas dinner table are "Jane's snowmen" for the women and I am making "Martha's yule logs" for the men. The yule logs are made from toilet paper tubes and a pre-printed paper design downloaded from Martha's website:
The yule logs are so easy to make and will compliment my dinner dishes (Syracuse China). I only wish I had found this idea earlier so I could have made 16.
I plan on tucking a few treats and a lottery ticket inside.

Jane and Martha are just too clever for me!

I am joining Metamorphosis Monday today. Jump over to Between Naps on the Porch for some other ideas

A Perfect Day...

Central NY is known for gray winters. We all lack Vitamin D because the sun rarely shines from November til spring (and then it's sketchy!).

But TODAY it is beautiful - the sun is shining, there is a bit of snow on the ground, and it is cold and crisp - a perfect winter day.
And I can happily say that the coastal storm missed us. Only a very few snowflakes in the air, glistening with the sun, quite like my Swarovski snowflake tree.
Just a lovely day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quick Monogrammed Ornaments

I got the inspiration for these ornaments from Embellished Bayou. I needed a few little gifts for some coworkers so I bought some clear ornaments, pulled out some green paint, paint markers and ribbon:
I gave the ornaments two coats of green paint and then painted polka dots all over. I used a paint marker to outline the dots - I hung them from pencils to dry:

I then used a black marker to write an initial on each, and added a few more dots and a bow to finish it off:
I packaged them in little gift boxes with shredded krinkled paper.

I went to Goodwill and bought some gold ornaments and dolled them up, too. This was actually much quicker as they already had a base coat of color. I sat in front of the TV and whipped up 6 in no time at all - a very relaxing craft for me to do because I love to doodle!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Minute Gift


Here's a quick idea for a last minute gift:
Buy an inexpensive jar with a flat lid (This one is a Libby jar). Remove the wire stem from a pick and glue it on the lid, adding some ribbon loops or bows - or take the pick apart and glue on pieces to create your own arrangement:
I used a glue gun to adhere:
Wrap a piece of ribbon around the side of the jar and add a loop or bow:


Add some homemade or store bought candy and DONE! It can be made as quickly as reading these directions!

Visit Leigh at Bloggeritaville to link to other Thrifty Thursday participants.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Candy

I would much rather make candy during the holidays than bake cookies. One of my favorites is Peanut Brittle.
For years I made brittle on the stove top until I found this really easy recipe for "10 Minute Peanut Brittle"
And the fun part of making candy is the wrapping and packaging...and of course the "tasting".
10 Minute Peanut Brittle
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lt corn syrup
1/8 t salt
1 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
1 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
Combine sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2 qt bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir in peanuts. Microwave for 5 more minutes, stirring at 2 and 4 minutes. Stir in butter, vanilla and soda quickly and stir. Spread onto a buttered cookie sheet to 1/4" thickness. Cool. Break into pieces. ENJOY!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gift Wrapping Day

Sunday was gift wrapping day...and believe me when I say it lasted all day! This was my kitchen counter around 10:00am (I wont even show you what the floor looked like)
And I wrapped til about 3:00. Christmas music was playing in the background, and a pine candle was burning.

I love a beautifully wrapped present and sometimes I hate to open a gift that is presented so lovely....so here are a few I wrapped:
This one has some linens from the Carribean, rather than a bow (a bookmark to go with the books and a square doily to go with the platter).
A special gift from the Yankee Store in NYC for "hubby":
And a surprise for Ray:
So, a productive day and now I am ready to just sit back and enjoy the holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A busy weekend...

Yes, it is going to be a busy weekend, so this is all I have for now!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Christmas Crate and A Cup of Christmas Tea

One of my favorite decorations is a produce crate that I painted years ago. I got it from the local grocery store FREE ( well a smile and a pleasant disposition helped)....
I painted the crate red, and covered the edges with "snow paint". The letters were painted with stencils and the stickers are from the local stationery store....
I always store "treats or snacks" in the crate. Currently it holds candy treats, but for parties I fill tins, paper bags and cardboard boxes with nuts, crackers and chips.
The crate has some excelsior, greenery and picks inside as a filler:
It sits on my kitchen counter, beside this book:
This is my favorite Christmas story, A Cup of Christmas Tea. If you haven't read it, it's a must, but I warn you, you'll need a tissue!

I am joining Leigh, again, for Thrifty Thursday....hop on over to Tales from Bloggeritaville for some more thrifty ideas! Thanks Leigh!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's getting a little frosty in Central NY

We are expecting our first snowstorm of the season tomorrow morning...I am praying for a snow day from school?So, what do we do with all of our snow? Snowmen are a familiar sight in Central NY during the winter months...what else can you do with LOTS and LOTS of snow? We average about 112" of snow a year, but this year we are hoping for much less.
And as I have said before, the best thing about the snow is SNOW DAYS and I get to stay home from school.
Now and then we welcome snow days that force us to stay in all day...those are good "house cleaning days" and even better if a good movie is on Lifetime and I can snuggle under a blanket with a cup of cocoa!!
But the best snow days are ones that begin with a snowstorm that ends around 9am and the sun comes out...
and we can get out of the house to go out to lunch or to shop.
Even though I don't like the snow, I can't imagine living in a warm climate for Christmas..
How on earth does Santa's sleigh land on a dry, hot roof?

UPDATE 8:00am Wednesday: No snow day....took me twice as long to get to work today...roads are slippery and icy, cars are in the ditches and a bus went off the road, which caused me to be diverted and I had to drive on the unplowed back roads...OK,OK, don't beat me up, the people on the bus were all fine. These are the snow days I despise!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Carolers

I love CAROLLERS! These are one of my many favorite Christmas decorations. These carolers are from Possible Dreams and they are always the first decorations I put out - I don't know why, they just are!
Yesterday we went to Skaneateles, the gateway to the Finger Lakes area. The Dicken's characters sing and entertain as they stroll through the town in and around the shops and restaurants. Here they are in the town gazebo:
And sitting in front of one of the gift shops in town:
And how could I resist sitting with this jolly ol' guy and sharing my Christmas List?
And afterwards we had dinner at the Sherwood Inn, an inn that was built in 1800 and our table had a wonderful view of Skaneateles Lake and the decorated tree at the end of the long pier.
Earlier in the day we went to Mirbeau Spa and I met Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs. They were there promoting their new line of products. My husband was busy "chatting it up" with Richard and I took advantage of another photo "op":
This is one talented lady - if I only had 20% of her creative mind, I would be unstoppable!

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