Thursday, December 29, 2011

shopping

So, i got a kindle fire for Christmas. I didn't want it at first, but I love being able to surf the web in front of the TV. Anyways, I got something on the screen today and decided I needed to buy a screen protector. And then when i was on Amazon, I decided to buy some movies that I didn't get for Christmas, and I decided to go shopping for a sleeve for my kindle. I've been perusing etsy, I've also been thinking about making my own. It can't be that hard, right? I'd have to put in some, probably a few layers off quilt batting for protection, and something on the inside that won't scratch the screen. It would be really cool to do something vintge.

What ddo you all think I should do?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gifts

Here are the somewhat exciting things I got for Christmas:
A robe and long winter nightgown.

4 shirts to layer in winter months, plus they'd be great for wearing in summer months too.

A bunch of snowmen, electric toothbrush heads, some art tape, a Hobby Lobby gift card, a necklace and earrings to go with it.

Some poinsettias, an owl, another snowman, and a box of Godiva chocolates.

more snowmen, Sandra Lee Bake Sale Cookbook, and a pad of paper.

I also received a Kindle Fire. As much as I appreciate everything I got, it's nothing I need. My family knows I don't have a lot of money, it'd be nice for them to get me something I need some day. I had a strange dream last night, where I sold my Kindle Fire because I needed the money, funny thing is, I could totally do it, cause I don't have a lot of money.


I think next year, everyone's only getting one or two items from me. I need to stop spending so much. I will say, my mom's and my dad's gifts were the only things that were really expensive. I did most of my shopping at garage sales and thrift stores.


Also, my friend Loretta made me some cool hand soaps, gave me some hot chocolate packets and some tins filled with fun goodies.


How was everyone else's Christmas?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas

Almost. My presents are all bought, wrapped, and under the tree:
My cookies are all made:

For recipes, go here for the Revel Bars (top right hand corner), here for Creamy Peanut Butter Bites, (middle right side), here for Chocolate Mint Creams (bottom right corner), here for the Red Velvet (bottom left corner), here for Mint Chocolate Chip (middle left side), and here for Tri Level Brownies (top left side).

My decorations are all up:

To see more, go here.

Tonight is Christmas Eve, here's what I'll be doing:

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Tour - The Family Room

The last room on our tour.
This is the third of our trees. It's slightly considered the ISU tree because of the hat, and the ISU Santas underneath it. It's also got red and gold beads on it.

This is the floor under the tree.

And here's a bookshelf.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour.


Have a good holiday season everyone.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Venting

So, it's supposed to be the time of giving, and joy and being nice to people right? Someone needs to tell my mother that. She's been on me lately to clean my apartment (it doesn't live up to her standards of clean). I have plenty of walking space (it's actually a lot better lately), and I have lots of piles of stuff everywhere, most likely because I have too much stuff. Anyways, she told me the other day, it was time for me to start keeping it like other people keep their homes. She's saying this having not been in my apartment for a long time, but knowing I'm messy.
I was chatting with some co-workers the other day, and asking why she cared so much. One of my co-workers said it's because I'm her daughter, it sets a bad image for her. We're supposed to be having a carpenter come in and hang a new bathroom door in my apartment (another thing just for her), and she's all about looks and what people think just by looks. This carpenter, has been in my apartment before when it has been much worse, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't really care, and (like my coworker said) has seen a lot worse.
Anywho, I was being nice to my mother tonight (which I should really stop doing, because every time I'm nice to her, she comes back and bites me in the ass), and giving her the movie The Help to borrow, and showing her the cool steampunk charms I got in the mail today (see them here). She brings up the carpenter and how I need to clean my apartment before he comes. I said I cleaned it up for my dad the other day (he's legally blind), and she says that she would gladly come up and take a look at it (this is generally where I get quiet, because no matter what I say, I can never win or get my way in a conversation). Tonight, I said it would never be up to her standards. She asked if it was clean like this pointing to the floor and family room where there are no piles on the floor, because she doesn't buy a lot of stuff or she shoves it all in her craft/junk room and shuts the door, can't even go there in a conversation, she'd have some excuse for that. I of course said no, and again she said I needed to keep my apartment like others do. This morning I was chatting again with coworkers and they said they would take pictures of theirs and send them to me, I told her that and she said bring it on. To which I shut up, took my stuff and left. By the time I got out the door, I was crying, she does such a good job of doing that to me.

I'm not stressed this time of year. I've had all my shopping done and presents wrapped for awhile. I only get stressed when people (like my mom or things at work) happen or say things that I can't control. And, I'm saying to myself now, what I say to myself at work when patrons get too annoying. "And we're smiling, and we're breathing"

Holiday Tour - The Living Room

Lots of pictures today:
This is our second tree, it's the main tree we put up each year. It's a lighted tree and we decorate it with Santa ornaments, as you can see it already has plenty of presents underneath it.

Here's our fireplace. You can see the stockings that my mom made for us many years ago. Each of the brass stocking holders fit what we collect: Santa for my mom, reindeer for my brother and snowman for me. My dad doesn't collect anything Christmas related, so he has a tree.

Here's the floor under the mantle.

Here's a chair next to the Hoosier, it has a cute Santa pillow, along with some holiday socks.

The wall above the chair. The Santa in the chimney stays up year round.

The Hoosier cabinet (this used to be in the kitchen for a number of years).

The floor under the Hoosier cabinet. There's another Santa spool here, and a rubber duckie Santa.

One of our round tables in the room (the tree is sitting on the other one). There's another nesting Santa here, as well as a driftwood Santa.

Here's the loveseat, with a collection of Santa pins on a pillow.

Another look at the tree.

Another table.

Another table. All the tables match in this room.


Tune in tomorrow for the family room.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Tour - The Dining Room

Short post today.
This is our dining room table. You can see Santa S&P shakers, as well as a box train. This is a little desk in the corner, on it are 2 sets of nesting Santas. There's also a Santa on a table underneath it.

Tune in tomorrow for the living room.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Tour

I love reading and seeing everyone else's decorated homes, so I decided to show you mine (or my parents, as I've already showed you mine). Here is our house from the outside. Notice no snow, we're in between snow falls right now. I live on the 3rd floor.
You can see our garland on the front porch. My mother collects Santas, so most of the decorations inside will be Santas.

Here is a look in from the front door, there is garland on the staircase and on the French doors to the left. You can also see a big Santa infront of our bench, and the first of the 3 trees we have up.

Here is a table mounted on the wall, to the right of the front door. You can see the Coca Cola Santa music box, and the set of Santa spools.

This is right under the above table. The bear is there all year round, but gets dressed up in the hat and cape for Christmas. The mouse dances and sings when you press his foot.

This is the stairway. Again, you can see the garland, as well as a bunch of paper Santas.

This is the bottom of the tall Santa and his friends.

This is our bench, it's built into the wall. The purple Santa, is a Mardi Gras Santa from New Orleans.

This is a shelf mounted above our radiator.

Tune in tomorrow for the dining room. I will be doing one room a day, so I have 3 more days to do.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Last Week

I'm not entirely sure I'd make these again. I had a heck of a time with the batter. After I mixed it up, it was not dough, and very dry, so I added and egg, then it became batter and very sticky, so I added flour, that was better, but still sticky, so I added butter (to make it greasy). By that time I was just ready to give up. As you can see in the picture some of the cookies are spiky, because the dough was sticking to my hands.

Red Velvet Cookies
1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon red food color
1 egg
3/4 cup to 1 cup Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup chopped nuts.

1. Mix cookie mix, cocoa, butter, sour cream, food color and egg in bowl until soft dough forms.

2. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet

3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 9 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely about 15 minutes.

4. Frost cooled cookies with frosting. Sprinkle with nuts.


I know it says to frost, but I am still freezing mine, so they're not frosted in the picture, but I did frost one to try, it was delicious.

So, that's the end of my Holiday Baking, I will post one last post to show all the cookies/bars together with links to their recipes.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I don't read so well

Or maybe even not at all. I picked up a copy of Taste of Home magazine in November, and there was this offer to get something for $10, plus a free copy of the magazine. So, I sent my money in and wondered why I kept getting envelopes about renewing my subscription. I ignored them. Today, this was waiting in my mailbox:
I haven't really looked at it, but I'm excited to. I'm not too bummed about not getting a subscription, I really don't like the new look/style of their magazine. I think this was a better deal anyway, I LOVE their books.

This was also waiting in my mailbox today:

Some fun gifts from Donna of Brynwood Needleworks. I sent her a package a few weeks ago, read about it here. I love how she collects acorns, so when I saw an ornament in a shop, I had to get it for her, along with some other things. I love how she addressed my package to The Frog Palace (my other blog and my Etsy shop).

I've always wanted one of her ATC's as well, it's actually kind of funny I got it today (more on that later).


Thank you Donna.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Charlie Brown Button Christmas Tree

I put in the top bid for this button tree at a local fundraiser. It's so cute. My boss called it the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, I realized it does kind of look like it, but sparklier and with buttons.
This is the ribbon 'tinsel'

I tried to get some close-ups of some of the ornaments, but they're a little blurry. This one is at the top of the tree, it's layered with a big white button as the background.

This one has a round button/bead on top, and then the others are stacked.

This one has two stacked buttons.

This one has three round buttons/beads shaped kind of like a clump of grapes.

This one has stacked buttons on top, and then a clump underneath.


I love this addition to my home, it might actually stay up all year long.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Week Five

Chocolate Mint Creams
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pastel cream mint kisses

1. In a small bowl stir together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and water. Cook and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Add chocolate; cook and stir until chocolate is melted. Pour mixture into a large bowl; cool for 10 minutes.

2. Using a wooden spoon, stir the egg into chocolate mixture. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Immediately place a mint kiss on top of each cookie. Bake about 2 minutes more or until edges are set.

5. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool until melted mints are firm. Makes about 48 cookies.


I ended up using Hershey's Candy Cane kisses, I also didn't chill my dough, I felt it was easy to handle after mixing everything up.

Next week will be my last week, as I was making these to share with my aunt who I will be seeing on the 17th, and to share with my coworkers at the library, I decided to take them to a holiday party that will be happening on the 13th.

More buttons

Yesterday and today, the local antique mall is having they're final push to get people to buy things with up to 75% off, I figured I had to see if there were any great deals. Here's what I found:
Lots more buttons.

A bunch of crocheted pieces, some jewelry, a silver spoon and a ceramic lady.

Last week

On our way home from Chicago, we stopped off at a Hobby Lobby, but unlike some other stores I feel all Hobby Lobby's have the same stuf...