Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years DIY... and a GIVEAWAY!!

The hoodlums are more or less still in a toy-coma, so I decided to finalize a few of our New Year's Eve items before the weekend hit... and I was able to squeeze in a post about it like I'd been hoping to do, without taking away from time with them!  (They're pretty much ignoring me anyway.  Ha! Fun new toys!)  Chance are, it will only be the four of us celebrating and eating PF Chang wannabe lettuce wraps (yum!) but I plan to make it FUN no matter what! 
 I'd been skulking around Pinterest, looking for inspiration and here's what I came up with. Numbered glasses.  I used to have ten.  Oops.  I think it would be better if you had ten.  You know... for the countdown's sake?  And of course since we're celebrating with kiddos, this is sparkling cider.  Kids LOVE drinking anything out of a fancy glass.  (Hence the reason I used to have ten.)
 I really wanted some clock face chargers but I couldn't find any in my price range (almost free) so I hit the local Goodwill store and snagged some large cream plates for $2.00.  They had flat edges and though I'd have loved to make a full set of eight, I couldn't find more than four.  Luckily, I found a dollar's worth of four milky-white plates with gilt-leaf designs and they were so cute I decided to intermix them if we do have anyone else join us.  I love that look anyway so it all works out.

I tried two ways of doing this, and I think that your best bet is to print out the numbers you want, then cover the backside thickly, with pencil lead.  Tape that number exactly where you want it to appear on the plate and carefully trace the number (filling it in helps too) by pressing firmly.  After you lift off the paper, there will be a very faint outline of what you traced and colored in. Trace and fill in with a brand new sharpie. (I went through two on this project) Bake at 350 for about a half hour and it should be permanent.

**If you mess up during the sharpie drawing part, use a slightly damp Magic Eraser and it will fix any mistakes.
 **I tried using carbon paper but it didn't work as well with the sharpie.  
 My plan was to layer them with a smaller, clear plate... and I LOVE how it turned out!
 I made two with Roman numerals and two like this. 

 I fell hard over these rock candy swizzle sticks. I found them at Trader Joe's... who incidentally has the best Cinnamon Pear cider- and if you mix in some sparkling mineral water it's delicious, sugar free, kid-friendly "champagne!"  (Not that we call it champagne of course.... because of course we don't encourage underage drinking or whatever... which makes me ask why they ever made candy cigarettes?  Just saying.)
 We made these little crowns.  Every party needs a crown, yes? I cut the basic shape out of brown wrap, and then we used our number stamps and some silver ink to put the 2013 on them.  Quick and easy.
 Don't I have the cutest models in all the land?

 And because all of this festive sparkly fun is happening, I put together a very small (but sweet) little giveaway for you!  Included are some silver and gold dessert plates, some coordinating napkins, a box of rock candy swizzle sticks, 20 gray stripey straws, a teeny white candle, a great sample of lotion that will make your hands feel like silk, and some sparkly little ear bobs.  (I'm sorry they can't be real.)
If you'd like to be entered to win this Sweet Sparkly giveaway... please leave any kind of comment on this post.  And for extra entries, you are welcome to Pin, Instagram, Facebook, blog, or tweet it.  (Just be sure to leave separate comments letting me know you did those things.)

We'll choose a random winner next week after the New Year!

Happy New Year sweet friends!! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I never did it like this before...

Okay I'm going to confess one of my deepest, darkest secrets.  Are you ready?  Come close and I'll whisper it.  I have been known to un-decorate my entire house the night of Christmas. 

Yes.  It has happened.  And yes.  I am slightly ashamed.  But those of you with A-type personalities will completely understand and most likely have done it yourself. 

 That said, it goes completely against my character to let things sit, collecting dust and driving me crazy when the big day is over... But this year I wasn't quite as anxious to dump the tree, and I'm not sure why... I simply went with it.  I wanted the extra decor laying around gone, but mostly because I wanted to clean all the dust (and dog hair) from every surface!  I compromised by leaving up my tree, with only lights and my sweet Names of God garland on it, packing away all the other Christmas items. 
While the hoodlums were in their rooms zoning out with all their new loot, I put up a few New Year's decorations.  I was okay with that because you pretty much leave those out for a week or so.  (Or at least I think you do- I haven't ever put New Year's decorations up because... can I tell you another secret?  I loathe New Years.  Loathe.  It's almost always been kind of a sucky holiday for me.

This year I want to celebrate with with gusto, looking forward to the promises of a bright, New Year!  Besides, it kind of helped with that blank feeling when it all comes down and feels "over." I call that the holiday blah's.  (When I was a kid we didn't take down our tree until New Year's Day.  Drove me nuts because it felt pointless to me. Ha! Normally I like to put it up the day after Thanksgiving and take it down the day after Christmas.) Next year I may wait a bit longer to put it up.  We'll see.  And I may even decorate in RED and white! Gasp.  I know, right?
And now... my final photo bomb until after New Years Day. 

(Every clock in my house. Ha!)

 (I found these in the scrap booking area of JoAnn's.)
 (Free printable found on one of my favorite sites, here.)

 (Please note Daisy's ball.  Ya try and pick up.... lol)

 Guest quarters... ahhh... so soothing.
 Nap, anyone?

 My man did good this year.  He went to Anthro and bought me a fabulous cookbook that I can't quit looking at because the photography is so spectacular... speaking of photography... he also gifted me with two more vintage cameras for my collection... (And another sweet bloggy friend surprised me and sent the one in the very front! I love it!  I did a happy dance.) I think I can officially call it a collection now that I have more than one!!  Don't they look sweet in my little studio space too? 
 I was hoping to show a really cute clock charger DIY this week, (and I'll still try...) but I probably won't be able to squeeze in another post until the hoodlums are back in school. 

I hope you all have a HAPPY NEW YEAR with plenty of smiles as you gaze backward at the years of the past, and look with great anticipation at the coming year.  Whatever you may face in 2013, I pray that these words will lift your sweet heart and give you a reason to smile at the heavens, expectant for His blessings;

Isaiah 43: 1b-3a
 "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."

He loves you so... (and so do I!!)  Happy New Year sweet friends!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lovely days... (photo bomb sweetness)

 The last few days were spent basking in the sweet spirit of Christmas.  Truly lovely, lovely days.  But I have to be honest, I almost missed it.  There were a few tearful moments early last week, so I had a walk n' talk with one of my besties, Nurse Nicki.  We had a heart to heart about setting a sweet emotional tone for our families despite their challenges, making goals to focus on Jesus, and then we prayed together. Several text messaged reminders over the following days helped to remember the REASON for the season.  I'm pretty sure I would have spent the crazy days leading up to Christmas in a spirit of chaos and frustration, if it hadn't been for that day, as we were hit by a massive financial punch in the face with Adrain's car, a momentarily stressful electrical problem, food in a breaker-tripped freezer melting, a fully house broken dog with sudden bladder issues (and accidents inside) and a few other fun holiday surprises like nasty head colds...

What a gift friendship and accountability are.  Better still, what a gift Jesus coming to earth as a baby was.  So important to focus on THAT, and that alone.  There are so many distractions that compete for our attention and focus, aren't there?

I hadn't busted out my big girl camera in quite some time, (except for my photo-a-days) so as a gift to myself I photographed a ton of things for the days leading up to Christmas.  It was a blast.  Did it just for me... and now I'm photo bombing my blog.  I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed shooting them!!  Merry Christmas!  :)

I'm not leaving commentary on every photo (because that would just be ridiculous) but I have to  say something about this one. Don't you love how my man wraps gifts?  I feel all fluttery just reading them.  He doesn't use a lot or ribbon-y fluff.  They are straight forward... exactly like he is.  Yet flirty.  Very flirty.  Just like he is.  Sigh.  #hecalledmeahotbabe #flatterywillgetyoueverwhere 

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts drizzled with BBQ sauce.  (Bake at 350 about half hour)
Easiest stuffed mushrooms ev-uh.  (Room temp Boursin cheese, whipped a bit then piped into mushrooms and baked at 350 for about 20 minutes.)

I know it's technically kind of over, and I'm packing away many items as I type, (not quite ready to toss the tree out yet) but I want to wish each of you many  Christmas Blessings, from our home to yours....

You mean so much to us!!