Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Hearts And Home Christmas Card
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Ornaments

     My family has a Christmas tradition of making home made ornaments and swapping them instead of presents between families.  Every year I come up with an ornament that features things around the area where we live.  Since, we live in the middle Pinot Noir wine country I decided to use wine corks that I have saved over the years.  It was really simple and turned out wonderful.  I was inspired by a photo on Pinterest.

     Here's all the tools you will need:
* Drill with small bit
* Wine corks
* Thin ribbon
* Different colored beads with large holes
* Crystal charms or tassles
* Darning or beading needle
* Scissors


1.Carefully drill a hole through the center of the cork lengthwise using a small bit drill.
2. Slide one or more decorative beads over the loop of the crystal charm or tassle.
3. Cut approximately 1 foot of ribbon and slip one end into the crystal charm or tassle loop (above the beads) then bring ends of ribbon together.
4. Thread the ribbon (now attached to the crystal charm or tassle) through the darning needle and bring up through the center of the cork then pull till the beads and tassle are in contact with the cork.
5. Slip one or more decorative beads over the ribbon then knot the ribbon several inches up leaving a loop to hang from Christmas tree branch.
6. Cut excess ribbon above the knot and use Fray Check (available at to prevent ribbon from fraying. You may also carefully use a lighter or match to slightly singe the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.
7. Glue the beads to the top and bottom of the cork to ensure they remain centered and in place.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cinnamon M&M's

If you LOVE cinnamon and haven't tried these yummy cinnamony chocolate better go get some before the holiday season is over!! I found mine at Target.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

     This year I added a new tradition and a new addition to our family......Zippy the Elf joined our family on Saint Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th).    Usually for Saint Nicholas Day, Liam sets out his shoes and the next morning he is surprised with little gifts and candy.  But this year, there was a special surprise waiting for him to discover at the end of a ribbon trail.  It was so exciting watching him open this special delivery.  We read the elf's story book and even adopted him online with the name Zippy.  Since then Zippy has been surprising Liam with new hiding spots and little gifts every morning.  It's been so much fun starting this holiday tradition and bringing some fun Christmas spirit in the house.  Here are a few pictures of Zippy caught in action.

Set out his shoes

Saint Nicholas came!

Follow the ribbon trail...

Special Delivery

Elf on the Shelf!
Zippy the Elf

Zippy hiding in the Christmas Trees

Zippy climbing up the shelf to get a gift

Zippy made a mess coloring
Zippy left a message for Liam

Zippy swinging from the fan

Zippy fishing for gummy fish
Zippy Wins!

Zippy racing the other toys...

Zippy added some more decorations
Caught Zippy red handed 

Zippy practicing his typing skills

Zippy having a snack and watching Rudolph 

Zippy chillin' on the mantel

Zippy playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with his friends

Zippy took a shower

Zippy left Liam a Candy Cane Garden Growing Kit

Pouring in the "Magical Dirt"

Planting the "Candy Cane Seeds"
(Peppermint candies)

Sprinkling on the "Candy Cane Fertilizer"
(Christmas sprinkles)

Liam completed his Candy Cane Garden

Zippy waiting for the Candy Canes to grow.....
(They only grow for good behavior)

A Candy Cane grew! A Candy Cane grew!
(Liam must have been a good boy!)

Zippy hanging out on the DVD shelf

Zippy snacking in the pantry

Zippy having a marshmallow snowball fight

Marshmallow snowballs....yum!

Zippy, Rex, & Woody  vs.

Chunk, Sparks, & Twitch

Zippy replaced the stockings with undies

Zippy helped Santa bring Liam's presents
(also Zippy's last day with us before he flew
back to the North Pole till next year)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Top 25 Best Christmas Movies

1. A Christmas Story (1983)
2. It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
4. Scrooged (1988)
5. White Christmas (1954)
6. Elf (2003)
7. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
8. Home Alone (1990)
9. Babes in Toyland (1934)
10. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
11. A Christmas Carol (1951)
12. Holiday Inn (1942)
13. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
14. A Bishop's Wife (1947)
15.  Love Actually (2003)
16. Die Hard (1988)
17. The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
18. The Dead (1987)
19. Bad Santa (2003)
20. The Santa Clause (1994)
21. Gremlins (1984)
22. Joyeux Noel (2006)
23. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
24. We're No Angels (1955)
25. The Polar Express (2004)

** According to Movie Fone **

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas Everyone!
     This time of the year is definitely one of my favorites!  I love the smell of fresh Christmas trees, the sound of Christmas carols, the taste of my mom's famous Ohio Buckeyes, driving around to look at all the twinkling Christmas lights, building gingerbread houses with my little boy, creating homemade Christmas ornaments for family members and wrapping presents for love ones.
     Since living in Colorado, it is a MUST we have a real tree now.  Growing up my family always had fake tree.  Of course nothing is wrong with those, but something about having the fresh pine filling the house is just amazing!  I always look forward to the day we go pick it out.  We've gone to nurseries and chopped one down, we've been to tree lots, but just going to Walmart actually has worked out the best for us.  It's getting it down from the car and into the house which is the toughest part, but well worth it.  I can't wait to get this year's!
     I don't know about you, but I can totally listen to Christmas music all year.  I think it is a combination of warm memories from childhood and recent ones I have shared since being married and having my son that I relate to those songs.  Plus they are just fun to sing to.
     Ohio Buckeyes are one of those treats that mom makes the best and you have to wait all year till Christmas time to get them.  If you have ever tasted them, you know they are well worth the wait.  All you need is one and you will be hooked.  I've tried to make them on my own, but they never taste as good as momma's.  Maybe I will attempt it again one day, till then I'll wait for my package with the delicious chocolate peanut buttery goodness to arrive.
     Last year was the second year in all the year's I've been alive that I have not been home to celebrate the holiday with my family.  We decided since our son is getting older, it was time for us to start some of our own holiday traditions.  So for Christmas Eve we all opened a present that had our new Christmas Pj's.  We changed into them, made some hot cocoa, and drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.  When we got home, we let little man open another gift, which was a board game we could play together.  After the game, we set out Santa's cookies and milk and a carrot for Rudolph.  Then off to bed he goes, so we can wait up for Santa.
     Another fun activity I do with my son is building gingerbread houses.  We have so much decorating the pre-made gingerbread.  I totally cheat and buy one of those gingerbread house kits.  When we finish it makes a beautiful centerpiece on our dining table.
     One of my family's Christmas traditions is making an ornament for each extended family.  We used to draw names and send a gift to that person, but with the family growing larger and larger the idea of doing an ornament exchange popped up.  So since then, every year each family will make a personal ornament and send it to the others.  We look forward to receiving the packages excited to see what kind of ornament awaits us.  As for my ornaments, I usually theme them to fit the area we live in.  Since my hubby is military we move every four years, giving me new ideas for my ornament.  It's a lot of fun, and now that my son is a little older, he likes to help me create it too.  I hope one day when he has a family he will continue this family tradition.  I can't wait to start on this year's ornament.  I found the idea of making it out of old wine corks on Pinterest (one of my favorite sites EVER!)  Since we live in Wine Country I thought this would be a perfect!
     And of course wrapping presents is always fun, especially when we get a family assembly line going.  But I have to admit,  my sister is amazing at wrapping gifts.  Her birthday, anniversary, and Christmas presents are always the best looking ones.  I try, but they never turn out as beautiful as hers.
     As of today, there is ONLY twenty one days left till Santa arrives!  We are definitely counting down the days and look forward to our family holiday traditions.

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