Holiday Traditions

Monday, November 29, 2010

If this year is anything like last year, it's going to be Christmas before I count to three and I will have missed enjoying all the fun holiday activities I mean to do, but never quite got around to do. The House of 3 Holiday Traditions Kit is a good springboard to planning out all those fun Holiday Traditions I want to do with my kids and it makes creating a Christmas Scrapbook easy peasy.

These are the things I want to do this year:
1) Actually put up Christmas Lights (unlike last year)
2) Decorate my whole house
3) Bake presents for neighbors
4) Create family holiday recipes
5) Donate to a food drive
6) Pick a Christmas Angel to buy presents for
7) Get all our holiday shopping done BEFORE Christmas Eve (unlike the past 5 years Braden I have been together)
8) Play Christmas music all day long
9) learn how to play at least one Christmas song on the piano with my kids
10) Go Christmas Caroling (my favorite thing because I can't sing) & have hot chocolate
11) Do Secret 12 days of Christmas
12) Go to Midnight Mass
13) Watch the Grinch movies with the kids
14) Read them a Christmas book every night
15) Make an advent calendar for the kids to play
16) Write letters to Santa
17) Make Santa cookies
18) Make gingerbread houses & people
19) Watch The Nutcraker
20) Have a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party with the girls
21) Get a real Christmas tree & decorate it with the kids
22) Get mini trees for the kids rooms
23) Do Christmas pictures
24) Send out Christmas cards BEFORE Christmas (are you seeing a pattern?)
25) and last but not least, ENJOY the season this year instead of stressing and missing out on the spirit of the holidays.

Heidi Swapp said on one of the Webshows "Traditions are made by Participation and Enthusiasm" so get up and just do all the fun things you want to do and you'll create your own family traditions!

Christmas Decorating

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's that magical time of the year when all the fun Christmas decorations and lights go up, and I feel so happy my head is spinning. Braden gets really into it too, he's decided on a red & gold theme for out front (what a fruitcake, right?) so he's happily plotting away his light spectacle while I focus on the inside of out house. I made this print for our bookcases inside. I love it because you an keep using it after Christmas, but it's perfect for our Cupcake Tower that will be filled daily for any guests that stop by

Made using the House of 3 Christmas Goodies Brush Set

I've also made another hanging word garland, cut by hand

Also, Jaimee Rose has challenged me to knock off this Pottery Barn loveliness so I'm getting supplies today and giving it a whirl!

Super Shopping Weekend

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Um, did you see this?

Yes. It's true.

And did you see this?

I feel like I've died and gone to digital design heaven. I can't wait to test out all these new hoiday kits!

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Friday, November 26, 2010

Here's what Braden & I are thankful for this holiday season

Thanksgiving Eve

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ok, I don't have a lot of time, but here are some quick holiday recipes that will be making their way onto our Thanksgiving table tomorrow:

The Pioneer Woman's Rosemary Butter Dinner Rolls. I'm actually making a batch of her cinnamon rolls, cutting the dough in half and using the other half for the rolls. Both so good to have for Thanksgiving

Rhonna's Pumpkin Butter to smooth all over those delicious rolls

Fantastic Sausage Stuffing-not to be confused with my Grandma's tried and true stuffing that I love but comes a close second

And Smitten Kitchen's Roasted Sweet Potatoes with all my favorite toppings. I've never been a fan of the sweet potato marshmallow dish, so I think this is a lovely new take on it

Now please excuse me, I have to prepare for tonight's Pie Baking Extravaganza!

Pie Party Pie Crust

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here's the final piece to our pie puzzle- the perfect pie crust! It's an all butter crust because shortening make me gag. You really can't beat the flavor of real butter either and Paula Deen prays to it, so I'm all for it! Smitten Kitchen yet again saves the day with her Pie Crust 102 session, read it for visual directions of this recipe:

This recipe makes 2 crusts, so one double crust pie or 2 single crust pies. If you want to make mini pies, roll out small sized circles and place in a well buttered muffin pan, then fill with your favorite pie fillings! I'm going to make some mini pies for the party and cut out little crust shapes with a mini cookie cutter like this:

Preparing For Thanksgiving

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am in charge of cooking the Thanksgiving Meal this year for our family, and I am so excited to bring back some much loved recipes from last year's Harvest Dinner, as well as try some fantastic new recipes to knock everyone's socks off. If you don't remember last year, here was our menu:

I'm bringing back all these recipes (except regular sized pies this year) and I thought I should share them with you in case you are looking for fun new ways to cook your turkey and a replacement for that green bean casserole that makes me dry heave. Blegh.

I'll be scoping out more recipes today to add to this year's Thanksgiving Feast. I'm thinking pumpkin butter, rosemary dinner rolls, stellar stuffing (without gizzards, gag), ham, and a sweet potato recipe to die for.

*And remember, we are making pies Wednesday! If you want to join us, let me know today so I can have enough ingredients for everyone!

More Recipes for the Pie Party

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Here are the other 3 pies that we will be making on Wednesday. For more details on the Pie Baking Party, go here

Recipe from She Wears Many Hats

Recipe from Martha

Recipe from Paula Deen, my personal idol

Pie Party Recipes

I have a lot of people letting me know they will be out of town on Wednesday and can't make it to the Pie Baking Party, so I'm going to put up the recipes in advance so everyone can bake a long, even if you are in a different state (shout out to Aunt Jenny! Love ya!)

First up is our Autumn Apple Pie Recipe. (FYI I'll share the Pie Crust Recipe last-I'm trying to fine tune a recipe today)

This one is via Smitten Kitchen (who I adore). And for more mouth watering pie recipes visit The Pioneer Woman- it's Pie Week! Woot Woot!

Let's make some Pies Together!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I snagged this idea from the brilliant Jaimee Rose. I figured even if you are not hosting Thanksgiving this year, everyone needs to bring a dessert so why not come together a bake all our holiday pies together?

Here's how it works:

I will have 4 different recipes for Thanksgiving pies printed out so you can take them home and use them for forever
1) Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie
2) Autumn Apple Pie
3) Kentucky Derby Pie (chocolate & pecans)
4) and a Pumpkin Cheesecake

You pick whichever pie you want to make (or you can pick as many as you want-make all 4 if you're up to it!) and you bring the following ingredients for each pie:
1) Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie- one 15oz can of pumpkin puree & one pint of heavy whipping cream

2) Autumn Apple Pie- 3 medium Granny Smith apples and 4 large Macintosh apples (if you can't find Macs, just go all Grannys)

3) Kentucky Derby Pie- 2 cups of pecan halves, a bottle of corn syrup, & a bag of milk chocolate chips

4) Pumpkin Cheesecake- one 15 oz cans of pumpkin, three 8 oz. packages of cream cheese room temperature, & small container of sour cream

In addition to your ingredients, please bring pie pans, a stick of butter, & a mixing bowl! I will supply everything else you will need & we'll of course have drinks & snacks.

Please RSVP to me by Monday, November 22nd so I can make sure I have enough of the other ingredients on Tuesday! This will be so much fun I can't wait! Just leave a comment here or text me at (480) 316-0098 and let me know if you'll be here to bake your heart out!

Sewing Project #1

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I figured my childrens wardrobe should start out with easy stuff, so I borrowed the book I bought Eryn for her birthday a couple years ago, Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I went through the fabric I had in my stash, and I found these fall print florals to make some super quick bloomers for the twinners. This is the same pattern I used for the ruffle butt bloomers I made all the girls for their Halloween witch outfits, but they were sooooo much easier without the butt ruffles. I think total they took me under an hour to finish both pairs. I'm pretty sure that every baby needs a pair of these in every color of the rainbow. They are so easy, and so adorable on little girls. They are perfect under dresses, with shirts & leg warmers, or just by themselves. Pardon me while I go make 20 more pairs.

Please excuse the picture, I forgot my camera at my mom's and only have my iphone to document these little gems.

More Sewing Ideas

Monday, November 15, 2010

Um, have you SEEN Moda Bake Shop? Holy cow, there are so many awesome tutorials on there, from quilts to dresses to table runners. It's a gold mine! I was working and working this weekend on all kinds of sewing projects that I will photograph today and share tutorials later this week. I'm soooo excited to show you what I made! In the meantime, here are my favorite projects from Moda:

I've only made basic patchwork square quilts before but I'm DYING to make a fun patterned quilt, I LOVE the pinwheel one!

Sewing on my mind

Thursday, November 11, 2010

As the weather here in AZ finally turns cooler, I realize my kids have zero warm clothes that fit them. I went to Target the other day and scored some sweet deals, like these

Although I love shopping, I really really want to sew my kids a new wardrobe.

Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings has 24 patterns for mommas & babies. I think the hoodie looks divine, and could be made for all 5 of the kids. And her new fabric line Innocent Crush is delicious.

I want that girl's dress. Hopefully the pattern will make it's way to her shop, but for now I want to make all the other fabulous frocks she made patterns for like these:

Oh, but I'm getting sidetracked. I found this sweet pattern for baby jammies on Magpie patterns. Even sweeter, it is $5 and its a pdf download.

Also from Magpie, the Emily tunic. Love.

Oooh, and this fabulous coat from Oliver & S? I want to make a big size for me! I think each of my kids need their own color. And maybe the girls need ruffles. Or appliques! Appliques like this

And I can't forget Portobello Pixie patterns. I think these ruffle pants would look so cute on Olivia & Penelope.

I have sewing fever, I'll share more tomorrow!