December 23, 2010

{ Baking Day }

It was baking day around here yesterday
{Thanks, Traci, for all of your help.}
This is the Cinnamon Bun Popcorn that we made.
The recipe is from Best Bites.
I tripled the it.
It was so easy & so yummy!

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)
1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

Neighbor goodies are done & delivered.
The plan for today is to get all of the wrapping done. {fingers crossed}

I am signing off for the rest of the week to enjoy this time with my family.
But, before I go I want to say thank you to all of you wonderful ladies who left kind comments for me, my sisters & mom about our homes.
It was so much fun to read them all.

Have a Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2010

{ Thank You }

Wow! It was so much fun for me to see everyone's homes decorated for Christmas
Laurel- I love that Christmas scrapbook paper collage. Did you make it?
Mom- Your little tree is so cute. It's good to see your temporary home away from home.
April- That advent must have taken a long time to make. It's so cute.
Katie- Those goodies look sooooo yummy! Did you make them all?
Sheri- Your gingerbread house is way cute, especially with the matching tree.
Bobbi- I love the popsicle stick star your kids made & added to your nativity.
Traci- I so want that cloche with the glittery house.

Thank you all for taking the time to share you places.
They are all so different from each other & that's what makes it so fun.

{ Laurel's Christmas Decor }

Laurel emailed me a few pictures from around her home.
They are so fun!

Laurel's favorite decoration this year is the life-size cutout of her son who is serving a mission for our church in California. We are looking forward to him coming home this February after being gone for two years.

{ Mom's Christmas }

Mom took a few pictures of her Christmas decor & asked me to put them on here for her.
My parents are serving a 2 year mission for our church over in Hawaii.
They are busy working & serving every day.
We miss them so much, but we are also very proud of the work that they are doing.
They are renting a place while they are there.
They left most of their belongings at their home in Utah, including their Christmas decor.
This is the cute little Christmas display that Mom set up.

We miss you Mom & Dad!

December 20, 2010

{ Sorry I'm Running Late, but Merry Christmas! }

Yikes! What a day! I was wondering if I was going to make it. We really didn't do a whole lot by way of decorations this year, but I'll show you what we got...

This is our living room tree. It is more coordinated and formal, and there are elements I really like about this tree. I don't know if you can see in the picture, but this tree has grape vine wrapped around it, as well as an ivy garland that has snowy glitter on the ivy leaves. I think it gives it a "woodsy" feel. it also has some berry picks stiking out to give it some depth.
Here's a close-up of some of the details on the tree. I got inexpensive bird nest, eggs, and moss to make some nests for the tree. The galvanized star thingys came from some strands of lights Target sells in the summer for patios. I picked them up years ago, and while the light strands are long gone, I stick them over the lights on the tree and I love the effect!
This is our family room tree. If it looks familiar, thats because it has a lot of the same ornaments as the rest of the family thanks to years of ornament exchanges. I love this tree, it hold so many memories.
I think this tree topper is adorable. I think I picked it up at Big Lots years ago. You can see the random chaos of the tree, and I love it. The kids play "I Spy" with the Christmas Tree every year.
Here is our dining room table. I got the wreaths on the back of the chairs from Laurel and I love them. I used Command Hooks to hang them up. Command Hooks and I are very good friends. I love those things!
The centerpiece is a big lantern (with a battery powered candle with timer from Costco of course, another favorite) and a cute wreath at the base. Pretty simple.
I found this cute printable Believe banner on a blog somewhere, I wish I could remember where. I thought it was so much fun. I love the word believe at Christmas, because it has so many connotations.
I filled the little greenhouse with pinecones we have collected over the years, and hung mini red ornaments on the rosemary topiary.
My mantel is pretty straight forward this year. One thing about my mantel, I LOVE that there is an outlet behind the picture. That way I don't have to worry about cords hanging down we just used a bunch of extra decorations and stuck them on the mantle.
This was a fun craft we did a couple of years back each side is decorated with christmas craft paper and a number so we can count down to Christmas. My son does this first thing every morning and announces how many days are left.
I adore this ceramic snowman one of my daughters made in Ceramics last year. He makes me smile.
I made this advent with a bunch of friends a few years back. It was a LOT of work. My friends and I got together once a week for a couple of months as we "assembly lined" it. I like that it is Christ centered. (The last ornament you hang up on Christmas Eve is baby Jesus")Here is the table behind my family room couch. I Printed off the pictures, put a nativity in the cloche. Stacked a few Christmas books. The box on top of the books hold the ornaments for the advent calendar.
I think this picture is adorable. Every time I look at it I smile.
I found this great card holder at Tai Pan here in Utah. It was only $17. (Score!) It hold all of the Christmas cards we get. The kids love looking through them.
I think this berry wreath is great. I hung it on the old window I found in a dumpster. Eventually I want a sofa table or shelf under the window for more decorating space.
Love this nativity. I put it on our entry table so it's the first thing you see when you come in. I got it at Costco a few years back.
Here's our banister. It's pretty pathetic. Earlier this month it was fully decorated, but I had to decorate a table for a Christmas dinner at church and I stole all of the decorations off the garland and was too lazy to put them back up. The stockings are a little out of character for my overall decorating. They are loud, and sequined. I love them!
I got them on clearance at Target after Christmas a few years back. I just couldn't resist. Also, they are nice and wide and easy to fill.
The whole neighbor gift thing is getting out of control. It seems like you deliver two million neighbor gifts, then it never fails that you end up getting goodies from twenty other people you didn't plan on. This year, I just put my goodies in a basket by the door. When someone drops off a goodie at our door, we just hand them one of ours. A bit "Ba Humbug" but it sure is easier. This year we went for easy with chocolate dipped pretzels and Oreos. Yum!

Here is our front door. I found the wreath a few years back at Lowes. The "We Believe" banner was found at a little store in St George, Utah. That all we really did for outdoor decorations this year. It snowed early this year, and I wasn't ready to risk my Sweet Hubby's neck just to have lights on the house.
Although, what yard would be complete without an inflatable Santa and Reindeer. These thing are not really my thing, but nothing beats seeing my son get sooo excited about Santa and giving him hugs and high fives. He love this thing, so he comes out every year.
Phew! Merry Christmas!

{ Christmas is coming!!! }

I love Christmas! The boys are getting old enough to really have a good time and understand the stories and origin of Christmas. They have really gotten into the spirit this year and have helped with Christmas candy, wrapping gifts, picking out gifts to give to other children who need them, and even help me clean around the house! Our decorations are minimal this year but we love them!

The first and best attraction in my opinion, the tree! (of course mom Teel's moose head on the wall helps) :) Every year we get a new ornament to put on the tree along with most the others that we've collected through the years from the Teel ornament exchange! I love Christmas, did I mention that?!

The boys stockings...I'm still working on Troy's and mine. Next year there will be another one to fill...probably full of formula and diapers but it will be fun!

Favorite Christmas pillow, goes on the couch every December!

I don't have much kitchen counter space but what I do have is decorated with Christmas candy until the holidays are over! Love it, shouldn't but I do!

Of course you can't forget the Rudolph decorations! These are the boys favorites!

These are to help the boys count down until Christmas day until I get into gear and sew an advent calender! They enjoyed making them and tearing one off every day so far though!

Well, there is much more but having been a little under the weather this year I didn't get everything out. Either way we are having a blast this holiday and the boys can't wait to open presents! Happy Holidays everyone!!!

{ Sheri's Cozy Christmas Decor }

I love Christmas! Decorations, Music, Goodies, Friends, and Family.
Here are a few of my decorations.

This hutch didn't change too much.  I just added a couple of things to make it more festive.  I hung a boxwood wreath on the door and put all our Christmas card on the door with magnets.

I love the sign I found at Home Goods years ago. I use the greenery above to hide the wire hanger.  I take out my red dutch oven to give a little more color.

I need to write something on my little chalkboard.  I made this out of an old frame that I just had in my garage.  I painted it white and sanded it.  I cut a board to the right size and painted it with about 5 coats of chalkboard paint.  I got these cute glass jars at Farmhouse Wares.  I got the deer at Target and used a few bottle brush trees and fake snow.  They remind me of snow globes.  I really like how they turned out.

A close up of my cute sign.

Two of my girlfriends gave me this gingerbread house for my birthday.  You would never know that it isn't real.  I love that I can use it every year.

This is an advent that Jamie and I made one year.  I happen to have it open to my birthday! ( You can find a more detailed description in this post.)

I love the old fashioned bottle brush wreath.  I usually don't like pink and blue for Christmas, but I love the vintage feel this gives to my kitchen window.  I especially love the little fence in my window sill.  I found this after Christmas for 70% off at a little boutique.

My paperwhites are planted every year.  I am happy that they stayed upright to bloom.  Usually I need to tie them up tight because they get huge.  In fact now they are so big they are up inside the light.

I decided to consolidate all my Santas this year in this niche above my piano.  I'm not sure what to do with it the rest of the year yet.

I love our Christmas tree.  The ornaments are ones the kids have made over the years along with lots from my sisters.  We used to do an ornament exchange, so we got about 8 new ornaments a year.  I love that most of them bring back good memories.

Here is our main nativity.  This belonged to my hubby's grandparents.  I think of them whenever I put it up.  I had to glue on a wise man head this year, but I will have it forever.

Cute Christmas pillows.

All the stockings are hung waiting for Santa to appear.  My youngest daughter added a tiny one for our dogs.

I really like anything that reminds me of a cabin or the woods.  Here is my Christmas cabin that someday I really want to own!

I like to decorate all the rooms just a little bit for the holidays.  My room I do a little bit more.  I got the duvet at IKEA.  I think it was around $29.  The pillow in the middle I made out of a table runner from Roberts Crafts in Utah.  I just opened one end and stuck some pillow forms in.  I love it!!!!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!