Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Everything!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. May you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.

In case you've been hiding under a rock and haven't seen/heard this yet... this song from Straight No Chaser is a goody!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bah, Humbug!

It's a gorgeous day outside. I should be taking the pupdog for a walk along the creek... but it's just not going to happen today. I am cleaning like a maniac and hopefully baking up a storm later this afternoon in preparation for my in-laws arriving tomorrow. Sorry Koda, but you will be getting a bath today, YAY! Hmmm, she doesn't seem to be as excited as I am...

Koda says, "Bah! Humbug!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Drunk Monkeys

I'm not sure if this is sad or funny! I found the article "Humans Brought Monkeys to St. Kitts and Inadvertently Turned Them Into Alcoholics" on treehugger and had to share. I'd never heard of, or seen drunk monkeys... until now.

Leaving Your Mark

While moving in and getting settled into our new home, I have been finding these little green beads, or well balls (there isn't a hole through them for stringing) all around the house - inside and out. Pictured to the left are the ones I found in the room we plan to use as a guest room. They were scattered through out the room, closet, and bathroom. Since moving in I'd guess I have picked up, vacuumed up, or raked up at least 50 or more! They have been found in every nook and cranny you can imagine. Lets see... behind the refrigerator, in the basement, in every room and closet, on the staircases, on the back deck, in the flower gardens, and in the landscaping rocks. I wish now that I had not thrown them out, but kept them to see how many I could collect. Though really, it's been much easier to just vacuum them than crawl around on the floor and pick them up.

I have a theory about these little tiny green balls... OK, with the odd yellow or blue ball thrown in here or there. The family that lived here before us had 5 kids, or was it 7... I can't remember but I know the mom was one of 8 because we met her mother. Anyways, my theory is that one or more of the kids was sad to be moving out of this house, and decided to leave something of theirs behind. To leave their mark on this house that was their home for however long... and to annoy the people moving into their house. I have a feeling I will be finding these little guys for years to come (I can almost hear a child snickering). It's a little late in the game, but I have decided to start a collection.

Anyone have any idea what these teeny tiny balls are for?

Monday, December 14, 2009

What's for dinner?!

PIZZA! Tonight I made pizza for dinner and it turned out so yummy (it usually turns out yummy, but tonight it seemed better than usual). I used this Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough recipe (made in the stand mixer) and topped it with caramelized onions, sauteed zucchini, turkey pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese. I was really happy with the dough! It was so easy to make and was not a sticky mess that my other whole wheat dough can be... but this one does have all-purpose flour in it with the whole wheat flour (my other recipe does not).

Oh. So. Good.
I heart my pizza stone!

NOTE: I updated my previous post to include pictures of the ornament wreath I made...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

THE Ornament Wreath

UPDATED! Pictures of my wreath added (scroll down)!

It's beginning to look like Christmas... it's snowing and more is coming over the next few days - YAY! I'm glad we were able to get our Christmas tree yesterday before the snow arrived. It's huge (to me) at 10 feet tall and about 4.5 ft in diameter at the base [Update: It's actually 6ft, my hubby measured and wanted me to set the record straight]. It didn't look huge when we picked it out, funny how that works. The guy at the farm stand in a parking lot was really nice and loaded it in the back of their pick up truck and followed us home. Then helped John lug it inside and put it in the tree stand. Which took a while because it's not very stable. I am so thankful because I don't think we could have managed it on our own... but who knows... we are the couple that moved an elliptical machine from a room upstairs, to the main level, to the basement by ourselves. While the entire time I kept telling John "this is not a good idea" and "this has Darwin Award potential". But we did it and survived... I still have bruise marks but John was unharmed. We haven't been able to decorate the tree yet but hopefully tonight or tomorrow. Anyway, getting back to the topic of this post...

So I've been seeing gorgeous ornament wreaths all over the this one from Thrifty Decor Chick,

And this one on Just a Girl,

They are everywhere really, but those are my favorites. Until I made my own of course! Though I love the warm brown/cream colors, and pastels... I'm such a traditionalist with my Christmas decorations - red and green please! So, you want to see pictures? Like ones of the piles of ornaments, hanger wire half strung, and of the finished wreath?

Too bad. So sorry. I really really want to show you but...

When I tried to download them to my iMac, it told me the memory card files were corrupt and the card needed to be reformatted *cry*. Nevermind that the card had pictures from our old house on it, and ones from my work good-bye lunch and happy hour... My hubby is going to try and save the pictures, my fingers are crossed. I really hope to update this post soon with the pictures! If nothing else, I'll eventually get my hands on my husband's fancy camera and post pictures of it hanging above our mantle.

[Update] So... couldn't save the pictures... :( but here are ones of the mantle with the wreath hanging above. I still haven't figured out a nice way to hide the string. Actually, I kind of forgot about it after my initial attempts didn't work out right.

Anyhoo, the wreath is pretty simple to make though it can be tedious. Here's what you need:
  1. Wire hanger
  2. Hot glue gun with glue sticks that fit into your model of hot glue gun (for example if you get a mini hot glue gun, that means you need the mini size of the sticks - somehow this detail escaped me when I was at the store the first time)...
  3. Pliers
  4. Ornaments - I used about 70 I think... I got them at 50% off at Hobby Lobby when the Dollar Tree failed me.
  5. String and Ribbon to hang the wreath
  1. Shape wire hanger into a ring first, then untwist the hook to open the hanger.
  2. Hot glue ornament toppers to ornaments (trust me, and all who have come before me)
  3. String ornaments onto wire hanger
  4. Re-twist the ends to close the wreath
  5. If you're crafty and gifted, hang wreath with ribbon. If not tie string to hook (that's been closed with pliers) and hang, then try to cover with ribbon
That's it! I do have some useful tips that I got from others or found out the hard way:
  1. If you're like me and hate wire hangers and don't have them in the house, go to a local dry cleaners and ask nicely. I got mine for free :).
  2. Hot glue the ornament topper thingies to the ornaments first.
  3. Use pliers to pull the toppers off the ornaments if they are difficult.
  4. Use pliers to hold the topper while applying hot glue - this saves your fingers from burns that others talked about in their blogs. I thankfully had a burn free experience!
  5. Don't pull too hard on the tops with the pliers - the cheapo ornament top/loop can break easily.
  6. Hot glue the toppers to the ornaments.
  7. Some of the fancier ornaments have toppers with wire hoop thingies that are inserted through them, that have a spring action to stay inside the ornament... figure out a way to hot glue those to the topper too. Because if you don't, when you string your ornaments and they all get clustered together and you're trying to "randomly" arrange them - the hoop can pull out of the topper. This causes the ornament to fall and break into a million little pieces.
  8. Hot glue toppers and topper hoops together and to ornament.
I had a hard time figuring out how hang this sucker to the wall, and how to hide the hook of the hanger all pretty like. You can't use the hook, like I had so naively thought... I was going to hang it with the hanger hook and cover it with ribbon. Sounds simple, but no of course not. I ended up tying string to the hook and using a drywall S-hook. I tried covering the string with ribbon a few times but couldn't get it to look right. So for now, it's just plan string to a hook. Ideas?! This would be easier if I could show you pictures, right? Right.

This post is linked to:

Household uses for Vinegar

Thought these were some useful tips to pass along.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Powered by Wind - Parking Lot Lights!

On my trip back to Hobby Lobby to pick up the correct size glue sticks (another post about that later)... I snapped a couple of pictures of these neat-o parking lot lights that are wind powered! Again, sorry about the low quality...

I know I'm a dork... but these are kewl.