sorry, no posts this week

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 | | 4 comments
i'm still dealing with this...

and this...

hope you all had a merry christmas and have a happy new year! see you in 2011!

something useful that came from catholic school!

Friday, December 24, 2010 | | 1 comments

when i was a kid, i went to a catholic school run by nuns.
by the time i was in school, mass was no longer done in latin regularly. but those dear sweet sisters wanted us to sing in latin.
us kids didnt know what we were singing, but we said the words to avoid getting hit. we were in survival mode.
some of it actually sunk in, because a few years back i heard the song 'oh come all ye faithful' being sung in latin on the radio and I SANG ALONG!
my kids thought i was weird singing all this jibberish.
but they think im weird anyhow.
im sharing this version of 'adeste fideled' by good old bing crosby. and if you want to sing along, here are the words!

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte Regem angelorum.
Venite adoremus (ter)
En grege relicto humiles ad cunas,
Vocati pastores approperant,
Et nos ovanti gradu festinemus.
Venite adoremus (ter)
Æterni Parentis splendorem æternum,
Velatum sub carne videbimus,
Deum infantem pannis involutum.
Venite adoremus (ter)
Pro nobis egenum et fœno cubantem
Piis foveamus amplexibus ;
Sic nos amantem quis non redamaret ?
Venite adoremus (ter)

so very christmas thrifty!

Thursday, December 23, 2010 | | 1 comments
as i was working on some christmas projects this year, i wanted to use up all of my old holiday scrapbook paper (so i could buy more and not have guilt!)
and, of course, i ended up with a bunch of weird, small scraps.

with the help of my stampin' up  ornament punch (which is so old, it isn't even in their catalog anymore!), i punched my little heart out.

and made some adorable tags for gifts!
so simple, but i cant tell you how many times i ran to walmart just for tags for christmas gifts (and left with much much more!).
but some quick helpful hints...

yea, you should always check the back of the paper to make sure it will actually work.
if not, you risk using more energy than needed.

happiness comes in 3s!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | | 1 comments
i have 3 friends who work out me with most mornings.
well, actually, i have more than 3 friends who jazzercise with me most mornings, but there are 4 of us who are class managers.
nice title, it just means you get to come early and turn on the heater at 5am.
but when i was out for about 2 months with back issues this fall, i realized how much i loved them
(always knew that) and that i missed seeing them daily.
something about 'girlfriends'...

then one day while at deseret industries i found 3 of these!
each says 'hope, faith, love', and all in the same colors, just different order.
a great all year 'round decoration.
and they were a sweet price for some sweet friends.
and you know they are true friends...they have seen me with my makeup off and still love me!

no peeking!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | | 7 comments
when i was little, my mom hid our christmas stuff in a black garbage in the storage room.
right next to the box with gloves and scarfs.
seriously, how could you NOT look!?
i think i am MUCH better at hiding gifts. and since i buy them all year long, i have to make sure they aren't found when we are looking for easter eggs.
i hide them in my craft room most of the year. the kids call it the 'crap' room, and as you can imagine, they don't go in there much.
but as christmas and birthdays get closer, i move stuff around. and now they are all in my closet.
no, not just sitting out on top of all my discarded clothing and shoes.

this is chris's side of the closet. a mess of jeans, shirts and whatever.
but carefully hidden behind that university of utah sweatshirt is...

a mess.
i don't which is worse...his hanging clothes or this pile of crap.
but, the kids haven't found it yet!
so let me know where you hides your stuff.
it isn't like your kids read this blog, so come on! share your secret!

hey josh-at least the bucket wasn't full of coal!

Monday, December 20, 2010 | | 2 comments
now this gift i was wrapping but not actually giving. i have a dear friend (holly) that i wrap all of her christmas gifts as a gift to her. she doesn't have the time and i love wrapping, so it works out well!

her 14 year old son wanted cash for christmas. that is all. just cash.

cash isn't fun to wrap.
after thinking about it, i got a fresh $100 bill from the bank (after holly had given me 5, $20 bills. i don't actually PAY for her christmas!) and stuck it in a metal bucket about half way full of water. i rolled the money up and clipped the top (that was not in the water) with a paper clip. after it was frozen solid, i removed the paper clip and filled it up the rest of the way.
then, we made hints all over the house on where he could find his gift. (which was on the back porch so it wouldnt thaw!).

i think holly and i had more fun with this one than he did!

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what are those balls for?

Friday, December 17, 2010 | | 2 comments
when i went to the down town salt lake deseret industries, i found these balls...

and the guy behind me asked me what i was buying those balls for.
(i didn't question the broken crap in his hand, but whatever)
i guess this man never reads my blog.
they were each 50 cents, so quite a deal!
and what did i do with the small one (and some other balls and bells and ornaments?)
top view...
isn't that HUGE bell cool?
i swear as soon as i figure out something to do with the big ones, i will post!

the upside to being sick...

Thursday, December 16, 2010 | | 4 comments
i have been suffering with sinus problems for the past 2 weeks. not the best way to spend december,
but it is better than having strep.
well, until the sinus problems turn into strep.
but there is an upside to this!
my ent dr wrote me a prescription for meds at my last visit because he KNEW i would end up all strep-y again.
today i filled it, and had a coupon for a $10 store gift card from target with a new rx.
so while i was waiting for my drugs, i found these...
and since they were only $9.98 they were practically free!
so thank you strep throat-i got some new shoes!

looking for a cute christmas idea? (because there aren't anyother blogs with good ideas this time of the year!)

i love christmas gifts! i love getting, of course, but i really love giving.
here is a favorite from last year.
these are just 4x4 blocks that have a vinyl nativity scene on them. each side has a different piece of the christmas story. so easy-and inexpensive! check out say it on the wall to order your vinyl! to dress them up, i wrapped them in tulle.
i got these for 2 special friends...1 in tight quarters and 1 who lives way too far away (thanks to her sweet husband mike. i would unfriend him on fb if we were friends because he took her so far away from me!)

i think this would be a great gift for a college student or newly weds in an apartment!
or just because you like someone!

another 'thank you' gift idea

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | | 3 comments
i always thank the ladies that work in the office at my school.
they have 1200 kids (about 700 families) that go there, but they always remember my name!
and so far, we have had really really good teachers, so id like to think it was them taking care of me.
and if not, they just put up with me coming in asking for weird stuff.
(example:can i use the teachers lunchroom's soda machine? i don't want to drive to smiths for a fresca and i really need one.)
last year AND this year, i made them mulling spice gift bags.
of course, i started with fabric bags.
then i added an orange, an apple juice juice box and the following in a plastic baggie

1 T ground cinnamon
1 T ground nutmeg
1 T ground cloves

i attached it with this little card that says...

enjoy the warmth of the holidays while the scent of simmering spices fill your home! slice the orange and simmer them on low in apple juice along with the contents of the spice bag! add a small amount of water each hour to continue the aroma!

and yes, i stole this idea from blue cricket design.

a service family tradition

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | | 4 comments
one of the few things that chris brought to the marriage is peanut brittle.
i have some friends that will love him for that, some that hate him.
the tradition all started with grandma service, who in her kitchen in south salt lake (that was the size of our bathroom) made peanut brittle and butter mints with her sisters at christmas time.
(the photo of grandmas kitchen makes it look bigger than it is! and yes, that was the only window in the kitchen!)
our first christmas together, chris insisted on making peanut brittle at his mom's to hand out for neighbor gifts.
whatever, i was still in the 'kiss up to the in-laws' stage.
(well over that stage now)
it is actually a ton of fun/work. but oh so worth it.

3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups dark karo syrup
1 1/3 cups water
cook until softball
then add
4 cups raw spanish peanuts
1/4 cup margarine
stir constantly until it reaches 275
remove from heat and then add
1t baking soda mixed with 1/2 t salt and 2 t water
stir stir stir (this is is where the magic happens! at least, that is what we call it)
pour on margarine coated countertop
use wooden spoon to spread it thin

now, here are some tips that we have learned over the years to help with the brittle making process.
wear an apron and comfy shoes. there is alot of standing and stirring.
(chris's sister mindy)
don't stop for a pizza break. you will never get going again.
always have 2 batches going (if you have counter space). when one is cool enough to pack the other is getting poured. it helps the 14 batches you do go alot faster.
pour the super hot mixture is an 'S' or 'U' pattern while still stirring the hot candy.
it is useful to have some men around for the pouring, but we women folk did just fine this year.
(this is my mother in law linda pouring. she didn't want her face shown.)
use a wooden spoon to pull the brittle thin. this is the key!
let the peanut brittle cool before packing into metal or plastic containers. and don't let moisture get to it!

another helpful hint-don't let holly or summer know that you have peanut brittle in the car. you car will be broken into.

poor crazy aunt trish...

Monday, December 13, 2010 | | 2 comments
my aunt trish is having bunion surgery today.

(this is her and her friend dianna. the 3 of us used to go to bars alot when we were younger.)
it turns out that both of her parents (my nana and pop pop) and my mom had bunions removed.
and after some '', i found that it is genetic.
thankfully, my feet look great and i'm thinking i got my father's feet.
but sad for trish. she is amazing and kind and so very generous to me and my family.
i wanted to send her something, but since i already sent her christmas gift (something really really cute from aunt pegs!), and im running low on funds so close to christmas, i had to get creative.
i asked the family.
chris suggested a bag of funions because they rhyme with bunions
parker wanted to get a book on paul bunion
(also vetoed)
so it was all up to me and kohls. i had a coupon for 15% off so i ran down the street and found some fluffy soft socks.

and i decorated a cardboard tag.
i know a simple gift. but it is the thought that counts-right?
and parker did make a little card for her that featured paul bunion.
he gets his strangeness from his father's side...

need a quick gift idea?!

Friday, December 10, 2010 | | 4 comments
how about these!?
it makes me wish i had sisters!
or that i liked helena enough to send her one. because i would send her b or c.
maybe d.

where can you get one?
(or many?)
aunt peg's of course!
and they are a steal at only $7 each.

ball-y gifts

there are a group of young women in my neighborhood who i always give birthday and christmas gifts to. not all the same girls i went to camp with, just some of them.
this year, in the spirit of thrifty-ness, i came up with a brilliant idea!
one word people...
no one should be surprised.
but these turned out so very cool!
and cheap!
maybe free if you have the items in your stash of crafting/christmas stuff!
i got some christmas balls from the thrift store. these cost $1.

one thing i would do different...spray paint them all white/cream/light color. i had one ball that was painted cream and it was alot easier to work with than the lovely blue ones above.
next, find some tissue paper that you have been hoarding since last january.
pretty, huh?
you can either paper mache or modge podge the tissue to the balls.
i ripped my tissue up. but i guess you can leave it in one piece.
ripping is funner.
i would do half a ball, then put it on the top to dry and work on another. this took a few days as i had been sick. see the one in the front, 1st full ball on the right? that is the cream ball. it only took 1 coat of tissue. the rest took many.
of course, since this is a church group, i wanted to put something on the balls to help them remember the true meaning of christmas. so i printed out this scripture on regular printer paper.

'And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger.'

i just modge podged the scripture on top then gave all the balls a spray of clear coat.
i had some funky rick rack ribbon that i cut and sewed into a circle for the hook.
and here is the finished project!

heart healthy instructor gifts

Thursday, December 9, 2010 | | 5 comments
you all know that i LOVE jazzercise.
and if you attend with me, you know that im not good at it.
yet i wake up at 4.30am most mornings to go.
i always like to give a 'thank you' christmas gift to the instructors. sure they are getting paid to be there, but the class i take is at 5:30am and in the winter, it is REALLY REALLY cold.

last year, i scored some sweet coupons for olive oil, making each bottle practically free!
yes, i could have stocked up on a months worth of oil for my family, but instead i gave each of my instructors a bottle for a christmas gift.

hey-olive oil is good for my heart and so is working out!

did you know you can SPRAY PAINT fabric?! me neither!
but at v& co last year she does a whole post on it!
i mean, really...who wouldn't want this?

(you can tell i made this last fall...nice pumpkins ba!)

i would suggest washing the fabric after the paint drys. the fabric won't be hard and easier to sew.
i just cut the fabric to fit the bottle in and tied it at the top. the fabric i just had laying around, so that was free.
the berries i did pick up at michaels, but they were on sale and topped it off nicely.

when chris saw the bottles on the counter, he asked when i got to pier 1.
and he wasn't even trying!
ah-love that man!
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tie one on!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | | 4 comments
so i got this sweet scarf-y type thing at kohls for $2. i wear it as much as possible (when i'm not rocking my cowgirls hat to blend in with the locals!) it is rayon and tie dyed and my niece britney thought it was awesome.
we have a family friend, dede, that i got this sweet gift for a few months ago.
but her christmas gift needed something to go with it.
so i decided to make my funky friend a scarf thing-y like mine!
i totally scored with a tie dye shirt from walmart for $1! I KNOW!
i originally was looking for tie dye fabric without any luck. but this boys xl shirt is gonna work just as well!
i folded it in half long ways and cut it, then cut strips that were about 6" wide.
then i stitched the strips together into a continuous circle.

and here is dede's! hers is a little brighter than mine, and cotton rather than rayon. but it turned out really well! and for $1!
oh only 47 days left!

shipping gifts

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | | 4 comments
i send alot of gifts to family out of state.
there are problems with this.
1. i cant put nice pretty bows because they get squished.
2. the paper always ends up ripping.
3. i cant use extra boxes to wrap shirts because it cost more.

this year i solved my biggest christmas problem!(well, except for the 'no unlimited funds' issue)

i made fabric bags.
and anyone with a sewing machine can do this-even if you didn't have mrs lane as your home ec teacher for 3 years!

here i am wrapping an iron man watch for one of my nephews in valley forge. seriously,just make sure you have enough fabric to go all the way around and sew.
i did zig-zag all the raw edges to give it a more finished look.

this is for a shirt for my niece jackie. i cut about 6-8" of fabric (width) then i wrapped it around the shirt liked this...

to see how far the end pieces needed to come up to wrap around.

now isn't this a better looking package to get?
and since they are fabric, you can reuse them year after year!

more christmas ideas!

Monday, December 6, 2010 | | 2 comments
ok-another reason why i love thrift stores!
both of these cast iron molds were in their boxes-

totally ok by me!
i am giving one to nate's teacher and one to his reading specialist.
with some muffin mixes
and wrapped all pretty like this...

who wouldnt want to get them?

ps-we are doing holiday postcards this year instead of cards, and i got 100 of them.
so they are going to be note cards too this year!

christmas pranks

Friday, December 3, 2010 | | 7 comments
for my friend holly's christmas gift every year, i wrap her presents.
now don't think 'oh ba, you are the best friend ever for doing that! i never have time!', because this is all she gets from me.
but so worth it, for both of us!
but of course i can't just wrap the gifts all martha stewart-y and be done with it.
that would be so easy.
we wear at least 1 of every gift she gives to a family member...and take photos.
and include the photo in the gift. so it is really like 2 gifts in one!
holly and her kids LOVE seeing what we play with and my kids love being goofy!
here are some photos from past years.

me in my niece britney's sorority shirt.
this is from the very first year of me wearing their stuff. i really really wanted holly's gap puffy vest.
both boys in josh's pj pants

parker with megan's socks.

i can't remember who this book was for, but it was part of the gag.

this funky hat is for shelby.
so this has been going on for 3 or 4 years now.
and yup, i this is a tradition i plan on keeping up!

im linking up to...homebody
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