Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tissue Paper Wreath

I have been dying to make a book wreath.  Have you seen it?  Well I didn’t have a book that I was willing to use but what I did have = tissue paper! 
DSC_5492To make your very own tissue paper wreath this is what you need:  glue gun, wreath form, scissors, tissue paper – nice thick stack.
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Cut your tissue paper into squares.  I folded the full sheets in 3rds then cut.  Fold each cut section into 3rds again and voila SQUARES!  I used pinking shears – which I’m sure my Mom would not allow in her house because those are supposed to be fabric scissors ONLY.  But in my house there’s not a lot of sewing going on and I like the jagged edge it provided. Sorry MOM ;-)
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Now just start scrunching you paper pieces into little flower formations.  And get your trusty glue gun going!  Be careful it is HOT!  I worked in small sections doing the the exterior edges first and then filling in the center. I also cut the “center point” of the scrunched tissue paper off for the inside section so there wasn’t as much paper to deal with.
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It went fairly quick.  I’d say about 30-45 minutes.
DSC_5491 I think she would look great against a mirror or over the mantle.  I hung her over a picture in the living room.  I love the softness it adds – a little extra drama for the Christmas season.
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What projects are you working on for your Holiday decor?  I’m almost done with our decorations.  Pictures to come soon!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Wish List

Well its officially Christmas shopping time.  Our family is all about “Christmas Wish Lists.”  We provide a list for each person in the family so we can make sure we're getting you what you want!  I love this concept – although some of my friends think we’re crazy!  “Where’s the surprise?” they say.  I say, “Yay lookie what I got that I wanted but wouldn’t get for myself!”  It’s a win-win for everyone!  So here’s a little compilation of goodies calling my name:

WHITE_180x180_2[1] My ALL TIME favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas.  Yes it’s “old” but I love it.  It’s a wonderful combination of musical, comedy, love story, 50’s glamour – what more could you ask for?  Well… it’s coming to Charlotte in December and I REALLY want to go!  Do you think it would be acceptable to sing along in the theater?  Just checking.


I.love.this.stuff.  Silly to say about hands soap but it automatically puts a smile on my face when I use it.  It’s just something about the geranium scent that is so refreshing!!

51flOSdcMqL._AA115_[1] I know this is going to totally freak some people out but we haven’t watched glee yet.  And I have to say that I am dying to do so!  I don’t know that I need to own this but just the opportunity rent it would good!

812Te90jqML._SL1500_[1] Pioneer Woman have talked about these multiple times (like here and she gave away a pair here.)  Aren’t they the perfect combination of cowgirl – chic!  These are way out of my budget but what would a “wish list” be without some out of reach items?!?!

41cxHudU6dL._SL500_AA300_[1] I can’t believe that I haven’t gotten this yet!  This would be a perfect stocking stuffer.


Uber cute monogram candles.  Candles are such a treat for me.  I love them but very rarely will spend any more on them.  And you really do get what you pay for with candles.  I’m learning about that with lotion too.



This bessie is pret-ty cool!  It’s a heart rate monitor but also a GPS unit that tracks your pace and course.  You can tell what pace you would like to keep (10 minute mile etc) and it tells you to speed up or slow down.  But it has a steep price tag! $350.00 So since I’m not a marathon runner I think I would be fine with this one.



51yEINA3k1L._AA160_[1]Real Simple is one of my all time favorite magazines.  It’s got a little bit of it all – organizing, cooking, decor, fashion.  Joe actually surprised me a couple weeks ago with one from the grocery store – he had a coupon – SCORE!


Now this is probably # 1 on my wish list!  I REALLY would love to have this bessie!  I was actually able to play with it over Thanksgiving – a friend has this exact lens that he uses on his D4000.  It’s super quiet – does awesome in low light situations – and the bokeh is good!  Honey, are you there?  Can you hear me??  I promise I’ve been a good girl this year!

So what’s on your

Wish List

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Falling fast

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving will be here on Thursday and “Fall” will be on it’s way out and Winter on it’s way in.  In honor of the loveliness that Fall is, I thought I would share a few shots of the beauty we’ve seen.  Enjoy!
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So thankful for what God has given us and SO looking forward to Christmas as well!!  I’m already working on my “Wish List” for Christmas!  I’m sure you will want to stay tuned, so you’ll know what to get me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


We had an amazing weekend!  We headed to Charlottesville, VA to see Dave Matthews Band on Saturday.  We had some extra time so we were able to check out a local vineyard / winery while on our way into town.  We went Blenheim Vineyards – which just happens to be owned by Dave Matthew – pure coincidence I’m sure! 
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We picked up a few bottles for home and then headed on into Charlottesville for the concert.  And it was an AMAZING concert – they played for almost 3.5 hours!  The longest we have ever heard DMB play.  This was their last concert for a while, so it was a special night for sure!  Check out what DMB had to say about the concert here.  Pretty cool, huh?!?
And then today we met at my MOM’s for our Family Thanksgiving.  And boy was it a yummy meal!!  Mom went all out with all the goodies that we love!  The turkey was amazing!  Sides galore!  Beautiful tablescape!  And of course lovely company!  Don’t believe me??  Check out how we celebrate Thanksgiving…
Yes we may be a bit cheesy – now you know where I get it!! And of course we had to get our yearly photo together.  What a precious bunch of peeps!
We had an amazing weekend that illustrates how incredibly blessed we are.  I know we don’t say enough but THANK YOU good Lord for a dorky family and all our many many blessings!  I hope y’all have a great Thanksgiving week as well!  What are your plans?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu 2010

I am so excited about Thanksgiving next week!  It ended up that we aren't hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year but that doesn't stop me from wanting to plan a menu.  So I thought I would share some of my favorites for you!

The turkey is the centerpiece for any Thanksgiving meal so you've got to get that right!  I whole heartily believe in brining your turkey.  It creates such moist meat even for white meat! I know it adds a whole other step but it's totally worth it! Alton knows what he's talking about - so I would use his recipe or maybe even Pioneer Woman's recipe.

Now onto the dressing / stuffing.  Now we don't actually stuff our turkey so we call it dressing.  Which is still a weird word for what is in essence a savory bread pudding but I digress...  I love having some little nuggets of goodness in stuffing - mushrooms, craisins, nuts, caramelized onions, etc.  This Fruit and Pecan Stuffing looks super yummy.  And what about this funky twist on the traditional - Bacon and jalapeno Stuffing!?!  Not 100% on that but it would be something to talk about over the table!

For the main starch I'm a mashed potato kinda gal.  Simple & classic.  Potatoes, butter, milk/cream, S&P and done!  Don't get me wrong I love some garlic mashed potatoes or loaded mashed potatoes but on T-Day there's already so much going on for your palate!  And you don't want any flavors messing up the glorious gravy!!  Along with mashed potatoes you must have some sweet potatoes - it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!  I like them so sweet you're not sure if it's dessert for the main course or not!  This looks like a super yummy gooey option! 

But these look good too!  Oh the decisions!

Now to balance out all those starches we must have some veggies. Here are a couple different options:

Brussel sprouts with bacon and more                Corn Pudding     
Oven roasted asparagus simple and delish!       Creamed spinach

What other vegetables do you have? 
Is a Green bean casserole a must on your table - for me it's not my fav.

The accent dishes - cranberry sauce - gravy - and  bread!  In the past few years I have fallen in love with cranberry sauce.  It just makes the perfect bite:  a little turkey, mashed potato/gravy, and cranberry sauce = YUM.  And yes I can get that all on one fork! 

I've made this cranberry sauce twice now and I am planning on bringing it to our family Thanksgiving for my contribution.  I love the ginger and citrus combo.  Try it and let me know what you think!

Gravy is an art that I am very thankful my husband has mastered - cause that stuff if like crack!  It's goooooooood!  Like pour it all over your plate good - sop it up with your roll good - make open face sandwiches everyday til it's gone good.  The key components that must be present for a good gravy:  pan drippings, roux, and good stock.  Here's Tyler Florence's version.

For rolls I love me some Parker House rolls and yes we go with the frozen kind.  But if you're feeling adventurous you could try PW's No Kneed Rolls or these Parmesan Rosettes look yummy!

Now on to the sweet stuff!  Granted you may have to wait a couple hours before there's room but it's totally worth it.  A varied selection is also needed - you must please all your guests!

  • We must have something pumpkin flavor and after hearing /reading multiple times this year that people aren't loving pumpkin pie - Paula's Pumpkin Gooey Bars are a perfect substitute.  These things ROCK the party!  Promise!
  • At least one pie is required - and knocking off the chocolate and the pecan in one fell swoop is this Chocolate Pecan pie!  It's another Paula Deen recipe - it must be good.
  • This Italian Cream Cake would be a nice balance to all the richness going on @ the dessert table.
Well there you have it!  Anyone want to run with this menu and let me know what time to bring the wine?!?!  I'm looking forward to my stuffed dilirious -ness. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ready to run…

This past weekend I attempted a 5k – the Dowd YMCA 5k to be exact.  I have been working up to 3 miles for about 2 months now and can officially run the whole thing without stopping.  A success in my eyes!  A friend at work volunteered to run it with me so it was great to have a cohort there! 
And the results:
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Not too bad for my first race in 15+ years.  I haven’t really run since high school.  I was on the cross-country team and the track team. I was much better at cross-country than track – I didn’t like running circles!  My brother and I were actually voted “Most Improved” the first year we ran (my freshman yr and his junior).  So I have to say it feels good to get back out on the road and pound the payment.  I am just praying this ol’ body of mine will be able to keep it up!
And since I love photos in a blog post, I thought I’d share some shots from high school running.  I know you enjoyed seeing all those “blasts from the past” of me and Joe!  So here we go…
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Do you laugh when you look back at yourself?  And why didn’t anyone tell me I had mushroom hair?  Oh wait – I’m pretty sure Joe did tell me that – and he got the silent treatment for at least a day! 
I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.  Hopefully I can shave some time off my mile!  My next long term goal is to train for a 10k – I want to run the Cooper Bridge Run in April!!  Anyone else out there running?   Or are you a speed walker?  Biker?  Do tell…

Monday, November 8, 2010

Time to party?

Are you planning on hosting a Holiday get-together?  I love planning a little party.  And of course the Holidays are a great opportunity to invite peeps over.  There’s all kinds of different events:  cookie swap, cocktails, White Elephant Swap and the list could go on!

So first things first – you are going to have to invite some people over.  You could do the whole e-vite option.  I’m sure there will be even more option in a few weeks. But these are pretty cute:

Fullscreen capture 10272010 93540 PM.bmp images via evite.com

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Then there’s always the print off your own option.  Check out these amazing FREE downloads from downloadandprint.com 

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Anna shares all kinds of beautiful invitations that you download and print on 8-1/2 x 11 and then trim.  

Ok – so you’ve got your theme and you’ve decided on an invite.  Now it’s time for the good stuff= FOOD & DECOR!  I’m a big fan on using the internet to search for recipes.  Some of my favorite food/recipes sites:

Pioneer Woman Paula Deen
Bon App├ętit Tyler Florence
Tasty Kitchen All Recipes

Now for some fun decor inspiration:

4186064341_399b3fbc94[1]ish & chi

4164487960_5a54691f86[1]  4164457492_2061b0dd46[1]

mrs. limestone


Young House Love

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Bower Power

Don’t you just love blogland – all the amazing ideas!!  So are you now officially inspired to pick a date and have a PARTY!?!?!  I know I am.  But how do you only pick one?