Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Web Finds Wednesday

Been awhile since I've done a Web Finds Wednesday - but trying to get back into my regularly scheduled programming, so here we go!

Twig Reindeer Tutorial - I want to make that!

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Recipe - also want to make that!

Knitted Baby Sweater Pattern - too cute!

4 Easy Punch Recipes for the Holidays - from my favorite Kim Vallee

Local Library With Cool Classes!! - Anyone up for a Winter Landscape watercolor class??

Peppermint Meringue Recipe

Geek Goddess Giveaway - Cool giveaway at Oh,Hey - hope I win!

The many joys of WFYI's third digital channel (20.3)
Cultivating Life
Katie Brown's Workshop

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You Know You're Bored When...

(this wasn't supposed to post last night - must have hit "publish" instead of "save as draft" when the hubby came home and insisted I cease my 8 hour internet coma - oh well)

You know you're bored when you spend a good 2+ hours ironing all your table linens and then decide to photograph and blog about them. Yup, still on vacation...still sleeping in till 10AM and still milling around the house all live-long day.

Monday's highlight - our new digital converter boxes for the TV and finding the signal for all three of WFYI's channels, Tuesday's highlight - ironing table linens!

Starting to have a pretty good stock of table linens now that we actually have a table (didn't have room for one in any of our apartments). Quite a few table clothes, napkins and placemats in various colors - though mainly our standard tans, mochas, and blues (love those beachy colors!). I do have bright red now for the holidays, and a crazy green penguin one with snowflakes, some light pastel greens...and, of course, white.

Here's my latest table setting concoction. Found some sparkly silver pears on sale at Target, as well as sparkly red place mats - the red berry things are from Joann's.

We took down the tree and most our other holiday decor Monday - but I wasn't quite ready to part with some shimmer.

One of My New Year's Resolutions: Cook More!

Feeling a tad bah-humbug after my last post, so hoping to lighten up things a bit with some recipes. Wohoo!

Lately, I've found myself starting to want to cook more and more - and not just frozen pizzas and hamburger helpers of the past. I think it all started when Sarah told me about Kraft's free magazine, Food & Family - I signed myself up and pretty much tore through the first magazine I got this fall. The pages are all wrinkly from constant use! Kraft's recipes were pretty easy and just the thing to ease me into cooking.

Our favorite Food & Family recipes so far are:
Tater-Topped Casserole
Pork Chops with Apples & Stuffing
Stove Top Easy Chicken Bake
Marvelous Mini Meatloaves (American-Style)

Favorite Non-Kraft Recipes:
Easy Shepherd's Pie - I substituted a can of Creamy Mushroom Soup for the Beef Broth
Biscuits & Gravy - Recipe was the on the box of baking mix I picked up at Kroger - can't find the exact recipe online...

Here's what we're going to try this week!
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

What are your favorite EASY recipes? I would love to try them!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rethinking the Holidays

When the holidays aren't fun any more, it's time to rethink our celebration strategy!

So next year - we going to change things up a little. If you want to see us for Christmas - catch a plane to Cancun. We'll be sipping it up in the sun!

Though it is our ultimate goal to spend Christmas 2009 somewhere sandy and warm (as noted)- we will still want to make an effort to get together and spend much needed time with family and friends before or after the actual holiday (unless of course everyone wants to join us in our sun seeking travels - Cancun here we come!!).

Ok, enough of the ranting - now on to the Christmassy things I want to do with family or friends next year - so if that's you - prepare yourselves. :)

Image from Thimbleanna

A Gingerbread House Competition
May sounds rather yesteryear- but mix in the whole family and it spells for fun! Check out the fun results of Thimbleanna's annual family gingerbread competition (includes one x-rated house)!

Making Popcorn & Cranberry Garland
Already started making popcorn and cranberry garland - it was fun and made for a great memory - even if it was just with the husband and the pets. Before too long it will be with little kiddies - maybe another year or two though, so don't get too excited, k?

Watching the Nutcracker at Butler University
An Indianapolis holiday favorite for more than 25 years. Five shows, Dec. 4-7: Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri/Sat at 8 PM, Sat/Sun at 2 PM. Tickets: Clowes Box Office or Ticketmaster. Info: See Web site below or call 317-940-6444. Location: Clowes Memorial Hall, 4602 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, Marion County.

Going to Christmas at the Zoo

Marsh Christmas at the Zoo is closed on Christmas Eve & Day and on New Year's Eve. Admission is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for seniors 62+ and youth 2-12. Discount tickets are available at all Central Indiana Marsh and O'Malia's store locations. Or receive $1 off admission by donating a new hat, scarf or gloves to the Julian Center Mitten Tree.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice at the IMA
When: Thursday, Dec 20th 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm (though we may be on our way to our sunny destination by this date)
Where: Lilly House & Greenhouse parking lot
Celebrate the longest night of the year at the IMA with the Winter Solstice celebration. Celebrate two days early (December 22 is the official Winter Solstice) with ice sculpting, performances by Motus Dance Theatre, bonfires, live reindeer and owls and more. Bundle up!

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children in their cozy home through Dec. 24. Children will enjoy riding on the Santa Claus Express train and making crafts to take home, having breakfast with Santa and tea with Mrs. Claus, while adults gaze into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows and reminisce about days gone by. The original Santa Claus Express train, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, will be on display for photos. The entire museum comes alive with holiday merriment including bands and choirs in the Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall and the 92 County Christmas Ornament Tree, plus the Museum Gift Shop becomes Santa’s Workshop for the season, with special nostalgic toys and gift items.

Indy Wine Trail: Holidays @ The Wineries

Get in the Spirit of the Season, enjoy great Indiana wine, and pick up some unique gift ideas, including special Holiday Wines! Travel along the the Indy Wine Trail and enjoy hors d'oeuvres and Holiday treats, and receive a free gift at each winery. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 during the event weekend and are available at any Indy Wine Trail winery. Your ticket is good both Saturday & Sunday at all seven wineries, and includes festive treats, a glass of wine, and a special ornament at each winery! December 5-6, 2009

If anyone is interested in any of the events above - let Matt and I know we'll make it a date for 2009!

Inspiration & Support for Non-Traditional Christmas 2009 Comes From:

Oh, Hey

Pretty Little Things - Cruisin'

My Main Supporter & Co-Conspirator - Matthew

Living Up What's Left of 2008

Made it downtown last night with the husband and our good friends, Tim & Jessie! Ate at one of our favorite spots - PF Chang's and had a celebrity sighting while walking to Conseco Fieldhouse! Doesn't take much to excite us! :)

Watched a Pacer's game compliments of Tim & Jessie! Thanks guys, we had a blast!

Met another side of Jessie - she's a fan alright! I thought she was joking when she asked me if we were going to be loud at the game - hehe! Made the game so much more fun - no joke! Basketball and I aren't best buds - but throw in hilariously fun friends and you got a deal! You two are great friends - here's to more fun times in 09! :)

For another recount of the evening and more pics - visit my husband's blog!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You're It! Photo Meme Fun!

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. Go to your photos folder on your computer. Find the fourth picture in the fourth file and share! Here's mine:

If I go straight to iPhoto and pick the 4th from the top and the 4th from the bottom...and wound up with two pics of Lola!

If I play by the rules and go into my Pictures folder and find the 4th photo in the 4th roll uploaded I get this one from my birthday/wine tasting party last year .

All fun either way!

Play along and link to your post in the comments! And be sure to visit Melly who started it all!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twelve Great Things I Got For Christmas!

1. Smelly Goodness
Lots of Bath & Body Works from my Dad, husband and Mom - scents ranging from Black Amethyst, Mango Mandarin, Vanilla and Shea Cashmere! Even got a candle warmer and lots of smelly goodness from my Mom - the whole house currently smells like cinnabons!

2. Warm Woolies
Lovely new sweaters from my Great Grandma Peggy and my Mom! Even received the coveted sweater dress and a gorgeous necklace to go with it from my brother and sister-in-law, Kirk & Sherie - been wanting one for some time (wearing it now actually)! :)

3. Martha Madness
A new marvelous Crate & Barrel casserole dish from the husband!

Also got lots of other wonderful new things for our kitchen!
  • A new stainless steel crock pot
  • A 32 piece stainless steel knife set
  • Cute Christmas potholders and oven mit
  • Snowflake cookie cutters and gourmet sugar cookie mix
  • A set of crystal champagne flutes
  • A set of regular champagne flutes
  • Margarita mix
  • Pub glasses
  • Beer bread mix
  • Fondue set for two

Now I'm a step closer to Martha Stewart status!

Thank you Matt, Kerry & Sue, Kyle, Holly & Tom, Jessica & Chad, Grandma Peggy, Matt & Laura - and everyone else who got us the things I mentioned above!

4. Homemade Spiced Chai Mix from my Aunt Linda!
Here's the recipe!

3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened instant tea
3/4 cup vanilla powered nondairy creamer
1-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

In a food processor, combine all dry ingredients; cover and process until powdery. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months!

To prepare 1 serving: Dissolve 3 Tbsp. of mix in 3/4 cup boiling water; stir well. Dollap with whipped cream if desired.

From Taste of Home Magazine
5. Bookworm Fodder
Books to keep me occupied this winter. Matt picked out some really great ones for me including Eat Pray Love and The Woman's Book of Confidence. We also got a great read from my Aunt Linda - The Home Spa Book for Dogs!

7. Wino Whimsy
Tons of cool new wine stuff from everyone! Including some yummy wines from Oliver and Brown County Wineries, cool wine openers, a basketful of wine goodies and two sets of cute wine charms!
Thank you Holly & Tom, Kerry & Sue, Dad, and Tommy & Michelle!

8. Blinds and Curtains!
We used some of the Christmas money we received for a little home improvement! Visited Lowes and picked out blinds for the upstairs and curtains for our bedroom!

9. Shop Vac
Ok, this was my husband's present from his parents - but I am pretty sure I will use it just as much if not more than him! Now I don't have to lug my vacuum out to the garage to sweep out the car! Wohoo!

10. Yummy Goodies
Made it home with plates full of goodies to munch on! The annual fudge and puppy chow mix from Holly, Tom & the kids! This year they added chocolate dipped pretzel sticks - yum! Also got an amazing assortment of baked goods from Cindy - still waiting on the recipes. Hint, hint! :)

11. A Little Glitz
What woman doesn't like getting jewelry for Christmas!? I got a new long silver and pearl necklace and two lovely bracelets!
Thank you Sherie & Mom!

12. Time With Family
Most of all I got to spend time with my family! Made it to each and every Christmas - may not have had much time or energy at each place - but had a great time at each one! Love you all!

(this one is from last year - sorry!!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blinds for 2009!

Had a marvelous Christmas! Will have to post soon about all our goodies and good times!

Spent the day today putting up cordless blinds, a new curtain rod and curtains in our bedroom - had gone about a year and half with those crummy paper blinds - so it was about time we started installing real ones. Poor Matt had a heck of time screwing in the brackets for the blinds - we installed them inside the window frame and he kept running into metal - he ended up drilling through it but I had an unhappy husband on my hands for a while there. (our second trip to Lowes to pick up the longer size of curtains also resulted in a purchase of better drill bits - hopefully that will help on the rest of the windows).

The rest of the house gets regular vinyl blinds, but we wanted the cordless for our bedroom. Would post a pic of the curtains but they are all wrinkly just out of the package.

Hope you all had a great Christmas! Can't wait to read about all about it on your blogs!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sprinkling on The Holiday Cheer

Celebrated Christmas early with our friends and neighbors, the Wades, tonight! Made dinner and opened presents! Finally used my snazzy gold-plated silverware set that my great-grandma had gotten us years back.

Knit One Purl Two

I've been a rather pitiful blogger I know - but I've been busy - I've got good excuses! See the pic above of my wonderful husband sporting a knit hat - I've been chugging out knit items like a small factory! This is my first attempt at a hat - am pretty happy with it! I also made one with a roll brim. Two down - 3 more to go - not to mention the things I wanted to sew! Arg! How many days left to Christmas?!

I think I knit the scarf he's wearing too - it was the first one I ever knit! Been a busy little bee!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Merry Bells Keep Ringing

Sorry for all the Christmas carol post titles - I pretty much have holiday music playing non-stop in my head these last few days! :)

(My dad passing out the presents - check out the cool LCD lights on his tree!)

This weekend we braved the subzero temps and blasts of arctic wintry air and traveled to our hometown to celebrate Christmas a little early. Things are always so hectic with so many places to visit in such little amount of time that we (ok, my Dad) came up with the idea of spreading it out between days. Marvelous idea I tell you, marvelous!

Here's a little proof of the that blistery cold weather I was talking about - roads weren't really slick until we got WAY out in the country, but there were still some mighty forceful wind gusts and it was just plain cold out there!

Had a really great time spending the greater part of the day with my family. Ate some great food, opened some awesome presents and just had a good time being together - we don't do that enough!

And finally a quick pick of my brother, sister and I! Love you guys!

Friday, December 19, 2008

When The Dog Bites

Hehe! Ah, my clever mind is still going it at with the marvelous post titles! Thought I would use this verse of the song to post a pic of one of my favorite pooches.

Don't look too deep into those chocolate brown eyes - she'll sucker you in! Looks guilty actually, she probably just got done destuffing the new toys we got them for Christmas or picking on the cat.

Warm Woolen Mittens

Half of the reason why I've been missing from blogland lately is all my holiday knitting and crafting. Though I haven't exactly stitched up any mittens lately - I have been chugging out the scarfs and hats...and trying to eek out a few beer cozies (they are harder than they look). As you can see from the pic I've finally bought myself a pair of circular needles! Someone's noggin will be toasty and warm this Christmas!

Another one of the things I am hoping to get done before too long here is a few pairs of my lovely fleece handwarmers - a pair or two that I want to hand out to a few lucky readers of my blog (that is, of course, if I have any left since my recent hiatus).

That's right a giveaway is coming soon!!! My first ever! Eeek! (more details coming soon!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whiskers On Kittens

Don't you just love my two new gorgeous bowls - they are part of my early Christmas present from the hubby - been eying them (and other things) at the antique store lately!

So the first thing I had to do was use them for something grand - like stringing up festive popcorn and cranberry garland! Never done it before, but was quite a hoot. The dogs kept snatching up any stray kernels and cranberries that went haywire in the process and the cat kept ninja attacking the strand.

Definitely bought too much cranberries though - hoping to whip up some cranberry salad with the left overs!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Raindrops on Roses

Views from inside my favorite antique shoppe, A Certain Charm, all decked out for the holidays!

Will have to post a pic of what I am came home with!! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Holidays Are Coming Upon Us

Sorry for the lack of blogging as of lately - just busy...sigh. I will get back soon! Here's a pic of one of our new ornaments we found at World Market - LOVE that place!

The husband and I are officially on vacation for the next 5 days - hoping to spend a little time together and maybe get some Christmas shopping done! Wish us luck! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fleece Projects & a Question!! Ok, two questions!

Have relocated my blogging locale from our living room, which now feels like a freezer, and am now happily blogging away from our 6ft wide bean bag chair in our loft where it is most definitely 20 degrees warmer not to mention more comfy. Not to mention that my new location is now within sight of my sewing machine - I have SO MUCH I need to get done before Christmas! With the husband working all weekend I hope to get a lot done - though a trip to Joann's to restock on fabric, fleece, pom poms and other embellishments may be in order.

Here's my newest obsession - fleece handwarmers. This is my pair, so there is no worries about anyone seeing their Christmas present on my blog. There is a hilarious hat I conjured up to go with it - but will need to get the husband up to help take that pic. (he's still asleep and my hair isn't done yet anyway)

I love the cute little snowflake stitch I put along the cuff - my new sewing machine is amazing!

Here's my fleece hat in the works (for a certain 6-7 year old I know) - will possibly add eyes and a decorative stitch along the brim.

Speaking of hats, I know the kind of hat I want to make but can't find the pattern anywhere. Here's the pics of the hats, anyone have any ideas where I can find it??

I know I just could just wing it by looking at the pic - but I'm not very good at sewing quite yet and need all the help, instructions, tutorials and patterns I can get.

And while I'm at it here's another I want to make - any ideas??

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Web Finds Wednesday

I rarely get much feedback from my Web Finds Wednesday post - I should probably stop doing them, but I love it....and it a kind of archive for myself to keep track of the cool, funny or inspiring things I find out there on the web. So, bear with me for another Web Finds Wednesday!!! (hear the echo??)

Pattern to Knit A Cat Sweater from Craftzine - Cracked me up this morning!

Fellow local blogger, Melly, from the blog Miscellany is suddenly made famous on the popular blog Bakerella for her crafty cupcake endeavors! Check it out and send her congrats - pretty cool!

So, I knit, sew, read, garden, compost, ride the bus - etc - so much dorkiness for one girl...sigh, but it is not enough. I've been itching to learn to cross stitch - no joke. I mean just LOOK at these marvelous patterns from Sublime Stitching. This isn't your Grandma's embroidery we are talking about! Plus, there is a giveaway on Creature Comforts!!

My husband wonders where I get all my crafty ideas from - sadly half the time they are not from my own head - but rather inspirations from marvleously crafty bloggers like Cherry's Jubilee. I love, love, LOVE her Countdown Tree!!