Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have yourself a very Pinterest Christmas

 Pinterest has affected many aspects of my life. It has really affected my decor, especially at Christmas time.

This is my mantle in its entirety.

If you follow my Christmas board on Pinterest, some of these things may look familiar.

I have played with this idea for some time but seeing someone do it on Pinterest just confirms it can be a good look.  We don't drink in our house, so these wine glasses stay hidden in a cupboard.  When I pulled them out of cupboard, I was astonished how dusty they were.  It didn't take long to restore them to their natural beauty.  

Here is the link to the original. 

Then I also liked the idea of hanging ornaments from a rod and hanging the rod from stocking holders.  Since we are doing  "Grinch Christmas" theme and Whoville sits inside a snowflake, I bought these beautiful holders at Hobby Lobby.

Now my rod is not purdy but I will buy a nicer one when I see it on sale.  I have until next Christmas.  Here is the original pin.

I love the bling on the rod.  But I am determined to do this on a tight budget so a nice one will have to wait.  Here is the original one. 

But I am most proud of the wreath. I saw this on Pinterest and fell in love. Sadly, the original post does not have instructions so I had to wing it.  I have taken pictures to write a tutorial but I haven't had the time to do it.  

I used:
8 inch wide tulle
Embroidery circle thingy
2 boxes of dollar store ornaments, about half of a dollar worths of ornaments.
time...since I was starting from scratch...time

Here is the original pin

I then moved into my dining room and started to decorate the table.  Let me just say that my dining room is a work in progress. Well lets face it, my whole house is a work in progress.  But oringally I wanted a Tuscan look but now I am looking for a more tradtional look.  I am saying all this because it is this funky mustard yellow and I wish it was more of a blue/green  like Hazel by Sherwin Williams. Now that I have explained the horrid color, here is the light fixture.

Here is the original pin.

So much nicer than mine but I didn't quite understand the tutorial.  I even had my husband look at it and he didn't either.  So I winged it.  I don't like it just yet but I needed to move on.  Once I get it right, I'll try to explain. I actually have more balls but it just looked wonky.  Here is the original pin.

The next is not Pinterest related.  I bought all this hot pin deco mesh at Hobby Lobby.  Confession, it was the only color left so I bought it.  I also bought some thinner green and patterned ribbon to tone it down.  With so much ribbon, I decided to wrap some columns.  The trees I bought last year at a Michaels after Christmas sale.  I think I paid a little more than a dollar for each and used dollar store decor.

And for the first year, I bought a flocked tree.  I love FLOCKED!!!!  There is a funny story behind getting it home but that is a separate post...let me show a picture of what happened

We were on the top of the Kemah Bridge when this happened.  Nuf said.

But when we got it inside and decorated, we decided it was well worth it.

Again our budget has been used for this Christmas so I used some fluffy stuff I bought last year and it covers the bag and I am going to interpret it as snow. Yeah that is it.  It is a part of my Whoville theme.  

From inside the tree, it is suppose to have the feeling of Whoville.  The flocked limbs are a part of a snow flake.  I can almost see the Grinch, CindyLou and heck, I can even imagine Horton holding it.  Hee Hee

Somewhere I have a picture of my wreath but alas it is lost in folderville...somewhere.  I'll find it and load it when I can.  OH and all the small trees have battery powered lights.  I bought the lights on clearance at  Office Depot. They are poster lights, intended to be used on Science Fair posters.  After science fair, they go on clearance for .84 each.  They normally sell for 7 dollars.  Pretty good, eh?

Now off to look for more projects on Pinterest.  A Pinteresting we go, A Pinteresting we go.  Hi Ho the daireo, the Pinteresting I'll go!


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What a difference a day makes

A view of my daughter's school from my SUV as I pull out of my parking space. Please excuse the poor quality of the picture but I had no intention of taking a picture until I was pulling out of the parking space and turned to my left. When I turned to my left, I saw a different place. The building in front of me no longer just means education, friendship, team building, growth, safety and hope. No, it also means other things also. Fear and innocence lost are some of the first things that come to my mind when I think about what happened last Friday.

To me, this view of the school speaks volumes. The flags are at half mast because of the tragedy in Sandy Hook. There is a Sheriff's car parked in a designated parking slot for the Sheriff. There are two of them assigned each day at the school. Their role: to maintain peace on the school grounds. That use to only mean breaking up fights between students, following up on theft within the school and drug use. But something new has been added to their job description: to keep the children safe from any evil entering the school with guns and killing without care.

It has happened before... Columbine comes to mind. But this time they had gone too far. They had taken the lives of our littlest ones. They did it with malice and we still don't know why. And this time, it changed the world.

My daughter went to school yesterday with apprehension. My junior went to school with fear in the back of her mind that she may be shot or see one of her friends shot. Let me repeat that... My junior went to school with fear in the back of her mind that she may be shot or see one of her friends shot. And on that Monday as they sat in History class, they heard yelling in a nearby classroom. They listened intently for laughter or some sign that it was just kids rough housing while their teacher goes down the hallway. When they couldn't make that distinction, her teacher, in a very serious tone, told them to return to their seats and wait for further instruction and then he left the room. He was back in just a few moments and unlike any other time that he leaves the room, he came back to a quiet classroom of 16 and 17 year olds who looked at him for direction. He shook his head and said, "It is too soon, we can't take this so soon."

The yelling was just a group of kids in another classroom and they were goofing off. But as my daughter's classroom heard her teacher say that everything was fine, one girl said, "No joke but I was scared." And that gave everyone else in the class permission to admit to their own fear and uneasiness. My daughter and her classmates are only 16 and 17.

You pray your children will never fear for their lives. You expect broken hearts from teenage love, arguments between friends or a clash with a teacher. But you don't expect your child to sit in a classroom and worry about whether or not they will come home. You and your kids didn't sign up for this and yet here we are. And we are not alone. I spoke to my sister-n-law, in Canada, on the phone today. She said her young stepdaughter was nervous about going to school on Monday. When that young man went in to that school and did what he did. He didn't just take the lives of those 26 and the innocence of those children at Sandy Hook. No, he took the innocence and the sense of safety of children throughout the world as they went to school on Monday.

What a difference a day makes.... Pin It

Sunday, December 9, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Day 8

  Today's Goal:  Get downtown to the Heritage Society's Candlelight Tour.  The Heritage Society maintains the upkeep of several homes from the 1800's that are housed in the middle of downtown Houston. Each Christmas they decorate them, bring in carolers and re-enact several day today scenes in each home. It was very beautiful and the weather was amazing.  I am just going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Day 7

  Remember the tag line on my blog?  Well I am willing to try anything.  I am discovering that teenagers like to do their own thing on Friday nights and well, I had Bible Study Christmas party to attend.

We had sooo much fun! Of course, no Christian function would be complete without some good food. Well, no function in the South would be complete without food. So we ate and then played games.  You've never seen someone's true self until you see them play Cranium.  How old are they?  You will find out based on the Humdingers they either know how to hum or how to guess.  Were they good spellers in school?  Just have them do a few sgnilleps and you'll know.  Are they a drama queen?    One copycat and you will know.  I recommend everyone to play Cranium with some of their closest friends, just not their most competitive could get ugly. Sadly, I am a competitive gamer and I get ugly.  :(

So since I don't have a true 7 Day of is another to do from my Christmas on a budget.

Remember this is to be Cindy Lou Who what is the Nutcracker doing there?    Well he is part of tradition so he stays no matter what.  Each year, we go to the Nutcracker with my father.  This Nut is from the first time.  The rat king's autograph is on the bottom of his left foot.  I won't bother you with the details of why we couldn't get near a Nutcracker.  Little girls dressed in their beautiful gowns, hair tied back perfectly with a bow can act more like Halo 4 soldiers when it comes to trying to get an autograph.  So we went for the Rat King.

The balls are from a huge Christmas decor package from Sam's.  The jar usually has dried rose petals from all the bouquets my husband as given me over the years. But at Christmas time, they are put in a Walmart bag and it is filled with holiday goodies.  The wine glasses are part of the decor from my wedding (also done on a budget...but not as nice...Pinterest didn't exist back then.)  So so easy to do.  Just find some small balls, put them inside the glass and turn upside down.  Top with more balls.  

You will notice that most of my ideas for decor are not original.  I eat and breathe Pinterest.  You will find most of my ideas for Christmas right HERE. 

More to come.
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Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 6

  I don't know if it was my lack of cooking skills that scared the children away from baking cookies tonight or if it was the homework. In either case, all the kids, including my daughter, did not want to participate in baking cookies.  Bummer, because they really are the best cookies.  I made them last year and my family talked about them for days.

So I thought I would share one of my Christmas projects.  We are changing our Christmas theme this year  We usually do the traditional colors.  My daughter has asked for a Cindy Lou Who Christmas for years.  So this year we were taking the plunge on a budget.

My first project was the mantle.  I wanted to take a quote from The Grinch and have it across the mantle in Grinch green.  So I bought some paint...kidding.  Years ago, while window shopping at Home Depot (it must have been date night), I saw these vinyl wall pops on clearance.  They were on clearance for $2.00 each. So I bought some in each color.  I knew they would come in handy some day...even if that day was 700 days later.

This isn't all of it but you get the idea.  It came in squares and rolls.  I wish I could say I pulled out my Silhouette, found a Grinch font and cut it on my Silhouette.  But I don't have one.  So I pulled out Cricut Expression and my Gypsy and started to design.  I decided one of the fonts on Lyrical Letters would look the closest to a Grinch style font.  If you have never cut vinyl on a Cricut, I find it is best to change the pressure to 3 and let the Gypsy choose the speed.  This will cut the vinyl but not the backing.  Once you cut the letters, pull off the extra vinyl on your mat, so that all that is left are your letters and/or words.  They place your transfer paper over the words.

Trust me, it is worth getting transfer paper to transfer items from the mat to the mantle. I gently rub the paper over my words.  Because my quote was longer than my mat, I cut the transfer paper into word size strips.  Then when I got to the mantle I gently pressed the paper against the mantle until I had all the pieces lined up.  Once they were lined up I pressed the letters onto the mantle.

If I had this to do again, I would have chosen to make the font larger. I think this one is less than 3 inches tall.  It kind of gets lost in the final come later.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 5 Make Fudge

  Today was the first day we baked/cooked something.  I will be the first to admit,  a cook, I am not.  So, I was scared to venture into new recipe territory with children that do not share my DNA.  So I Pinterested fudge recipes and came across at  It seemed easy.

I was familiar with the ingredients:
Cocoa Powder
Vanilla Extract
Marshmellow Cream (ok..this one was new to me)
Evaporated milk
Semi sweet chocolate chips

To my surprise, there is no baking involved, just some melting and pouring.

It was delicious, only it never really "set".  It seemed like really thick frosting, with walnuts.  My daughter sprinkled the nuts...little uneven but great anyway.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 4 Stockings Cancelled

  We had some really bad storms come through last night.  All the kids are new drivers and we decided it wasn't worth their llives to have them drive out in the rain.  But the stockings are huge!  The picture doesn't represent the size very well but each one is about 2-3 feet tall.  And I got them at the dollar store.  Can you believe it?

So we will decorate them while we watch The Grinch that Stole Christmas.  Which is good news because I honestly didn't have enough decor for large stockings.  So I have this weekend to get more items for the stockings.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 3 Letters to Santa

  I was worried about writing letters to Santa.  I wasn't sure if the kids would like it.  Ok, I call them "kids" but they are really  young adults.  So I wasn't sure if this would be considered lame and if it would take more than 5 minutes.  But, to my surprise, they had fun.  They watched Elf on ABC family 25 Days of Christmas...I know I is on our list to do next week.  However, they took a vote and have changed that to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

So they thought long and hard about their lists.  You would think they were writing their last will and testament.  The form I printed out had only a certain amount of lines to write things and they wanted each one to count.  So they colored and doodled around the page, while they thought.  And they discussed Santa and if he was real.  They decided that he was real. Seriously, he is real and they had valid reasons to why he existed.  So, Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He is the spirit of giving that takes over the world the month of December.  The first gift was Christ.  That precious moment when God came down in form of man...the first gift...but not the greatest...that would come later.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 2 Home Alone

Day 2 was a simple day.  The kids watched Home Alone while they did homework.  They started late because they volunteer at Petco for the pet adoption program on Sundays.  Sorry for the blurry picture but I didn't want to disturb them.

Home Alone is a tradition in our home.  Christmas doesn't even start until we see these movies.  We consider them a classic and a family tradition. I hope my daughter carries it into her children's lives.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 1 The Elfing

 Sounds sorta creepy doesn't it?  Like the title to a new Horror flick.  But it isn't.  It is the exact opposite.  You do something kind for someone you don't know and ask them to pay it forward.  I had never heard of it before but thanks to world grew a little bigger.  I went to a website and got this:

She has all three printouts that you need.  The idea is that you get a basket and fill it with goodies and three pages.  The first explains that they have been elfed with goodies.  Now it is their turn to share goodies with two of their neighbors, with a copy of explanation and notices to put on their door that they have been elfed.  (So you don't get elfed twice).  Is "elfed" a word?  Well it is now.  So is "elfing".

So we put together baskets with items to make S'mores, hot chocolate, some candy canes and three ornaments.

So the kids made 4 baskets and took them to three different neighborhoods. Drama 1 (Some of the kids didn't want to make the baskets, they only wanted to deliver they are not in the the request of the girls.) They decided to take one to school on Monday to start the Elfing at school with the teachers.  The first Elfing...epic fail, according to my daughter.  They went up to a neighbor's door, put the basket at the front door and ran.  Well they hid behind bushes to see what would happen.  Well another neighbor saw the kids running and hiding (he has motion sensors in his yard because he has had some of his yard decorations stolen in the past) and he yelled at them.  When my daughter went up to him to explain, he just yelled, " I don't care what you are doing, leave them alone, they have small children...stay out of their yard.  BAAAAHUMBUG!!!"  Okay, he didn't add the bahumbug....I did. I saw it happen so I went to his house to explain.  He rolled his eyes and said well it seems like a nice idea. and Bah humbug...

Well they were scared after that time but they went on and delivered two more .  These people were more welcoming and one invited them inside her home to see her Christmas decor.  So I will call them a SUCCESS!

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25 Days of Christmas

  As my daughter gets closer to graduating, the more I think about my last years with her.  It seems like just yesterday I was taking her to her first day of school.  And now, in a blink of an eye, she is a Junior. It doesn't hit me more than when I have to write or say Junior.  You see, to me, she is still just Gabrielle.  She is still my little girl.  So all you new moms, take heed.  When someone says time just flies, believe it.  I use to just smile when I heard those words when my daughter was younger.  But you want to know something?  They are right.  Where did the time go?  Next year she will be a Senior and then off to college.  And when she leaves, this will become her childhood home.  It will no longer be a place of comfort and family and home.  No, it will become a memory that she revisits from time to time for Holidays.  I have 18 months left and I want to make them count.  Oh, how I envy those that read this while their baby naps or are at school.  How I wish I could go get one more glass of water before she goes to bed or carry her to her room.  No, for me, those days are gone.

So this past year, while pinning, I came across several lists of things to do for 25 days in December.  So I decided to try one this year. But with two funerals in two months time, both out of town, I fell behind in my Christmas planning. So I didn't create my list until November 30th.  That's right.  I gave myself less than 24 hours to prepare for this task.

My mission:  To invite as many teenagers as possible to show up at my house everynight for 25 nights.  We would create memories for them and they will learn the true meaning of Christmas...spending time with family and friends, give and do for others.  My goal was to do something in the kitchen, something in the neighborhood and something in the heart each week.  I made 20 invitations in My Digital Studio, a digital scrapbooking software offered by Stampin Up!.   

I printed two per page and printed ten pages.  Eventhough, I only printed twenty, anyone that has one can bring friends.  No one is obligated to come everyday  The days in bold are activities that fall on Saturday and Sunday.  My goal is to share with you each day...the good and the bad.  Wish us luck!

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