December 26, 2008

this is going to be a long one

I haven't posted in weeks! With the holidays keeping me extra busy, I just haven't found the time to post.

I have another exciting scrappy related toot to share! I have been invited to be a part of a new challenge blog called Mix It Up! Melanie Blackburn is the owner and she has put together a stellar group of talent! Each week we will showcase our interpretation of different challenges better known as "Mixers" and as a bonus our sketch designer Day will provide you with an inspiring sketch to help kick start your creativity. We currently have a just for fun challenge going on until January which is when we will be getting into the full swing of things! A surprise is in store for all who play along in January and will be sharing this information soon! In the mean time, come check us out and I really hope you find some great inspiration and are able to play along!!!

Now on to what has kept me busy!
I made my grandma's sugar cookies and my cranberry caramel date bars (see the post below). For the sugar cookies I decided to try just using a powdered sugar icing because I didn't have any meringue powder. Bad mistake and lots of frustration. I learned a good lesson...always go with the meringue powder recipe. It holds it shape better and gives it the look I like. I also learned not to use off brand powdered sugar. It's really not the same! Thanks Mom for saving the day and helping me get them all iced!
On December 20th we hosted my Dad's side of the family for our annual Christmas get together. It was a bit of work getting the house cleaned and decorated so it would look good enough to please me and then organizing what food to have and getting it all prepared. I asked everybody to bring something so it was a lot less work. Teresa brought her traditional sausage cups...total yum and fudge. Jenny brought a fruit tray and brie. Christina brought green beans and a veggie tray. We provided ham, but not just any old ham! We used the Nigela Cherry Coke Ham recipe. I don't like ham, but I love this stuff! The cherry coke does something special to ham!!! I also made olive tapenade and hummus. We had sooo much food! It was a wonderful day visiting with my Dad's side of the family. We were all sad that Tony wasn't able to attend, but hopefully he will be getting better soon!
Also on December 20th we became the proud owners/parents of a horse!!! We decided to buy Woody and DH is so very happy! Elated and thrilled actually! His dream has finally come true! He has a horse of his own!
The week leading up to Christmas went by in a blur it seems. Finishing up last minute touches on homemade/handmade gifts and cards. I really hope next year I can be more ahead of the game with this sort of thing so I can enjoy Christmas time a bit more. I really enjoyed making most of my gifts. I made quite a few Christmas ornaments for my family inspired by all the stryofoam ball ones I've seen this year. I used scrap paper and punches and finished them off with a coating of spray adhesive and dazzling diamonds glitter by Stampin' Up!. I created a mini album for DH using Teresa Collins Crush line (my final CMK DT project) and a wall hanging for my sister. And my Mom finally got a wedding photo of me and DH! I made cards for everyone too! I would love to say I was super creative with the cards, but I found a nice set of them on Splitcoast created by Laura Fredrickson.
I had all the supplies to make these, so it made things a bit easier and less stressful just to copy the bottom left hand corner one and the top right corner one. I of course tweaked a few things and used a Martha Stewart punch to created the edges on the bottom left hand one, I didn't do all the pop dottie stuff and left off the bling and such. Less time and money and everyone still loved them!

Christmas Eve I worked, but DH and I went to Midnight Mass. The Bishop was here and so therefore we had all the bells and smells to go with it! It was so beautiful and really helped me focus on what this season is all about! It seems to me that every year I don't really get into the Christmas spirit until Christmas day. It's all so busy and crazy beforehand, but once Christmas day arrives I feel like I can finally sit down and focus on the true meaning of Christmas!

Christmas day DH and I slept in finally waking up at 9 AM! We woke to glorious sunshine! And it stayed gorgeous all day long! We exchanged our gifts. I gave DH his mini album which he loved and I got the Daisy XL Paper Shaper punch by EK Success! Love it!!! (Today we are going to get the rest of our gift...a new dishwasher!!!!) Danny then went to ride Woody for a bit and I got ready to go over to my Mom's for lunch and to exchange gifts. I arrived just after my sister and her family. To my niece's surprise Santa left a bag on my Mom's front porch full of toys for them. Santa used to do this for my Mom when she was a child and she thought it would be a good tradition to start up again for them. It was a huge hit! It was a wonderful day of visiting and spending time with family including Todd and Connie. Mom out did herself with a wonderful meal for dinner consisting of a scrumptious seafood casserole, homemade rolls, her wonderfully yummy salad and brocolli. Dessert consisted of a chocolate birthday cake for Jesus and cheesecake!
All in all, Christmas was very different for my family this year. We all cut back on gifts. Drastically. As in no gifts with my dad's side or my DH's family and very, very few with my mom's. But it was actually really nice. I felt like we were all able to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas and not just on how many presents we gave or received. I am actually able to remember all of my gifts...the punch from DH, a bottle of wine from my Dad, a set of new Christmas towels from Christina, four 5 piece flatware settings of our wedding pattern from my sister and Mom and Clyde, hand made flannel pajamas from my Mom, a pair of scrappy scissors and a cookie dough scooper. And I love each and everyone of them. The PJ's were wonderful last night to snuggle in as I went to sleep and they are still nice and snuggly as I sit and write this post! Now if I just had some Starbuck's!!!

Merry Christmas to all of you!
And may the peace and joy of Christmas be with you and your family throughout this holiday season!

3 comments:

  1. looks like a lot of great holiday fun! Happy Holidays!

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  2. Hi Juliana! Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! Love all the photos you shared. everyone looks so happy! I think it's awesome that you cut back on your gifts all around this year. We did the same. So glad hubby got his horse!
    I'm off to check out your new DT site! Congrats!

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  3. Wow, sounds like you had a great Christmas! Can't wait to see what you create with that punch!

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Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa

HUGS!!!
JULIANA