Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guest Day Thursday: A Very Special Guest

Our very favorite Christmas tradition is one that Teri started when she was first married 15 years ago, and Micki and our Mom have both continued with her. We all have a collection of nativities or crèche. We all have little ones and big ones and elaborate ones, and expensive ones……well you get the idea. Mom has approximately 13, Micki has approximately 15 and Teri has close to 30. Here are some pictures of some of our favorites, we can’t include nearly all of them, but we would like to end the year with a reminder of what Christmas is all about.

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Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore

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Lladro (a special gift from Daddy to Mom)

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Fisher Price Little People (even the little ones need a nativity they can use to tell the story)

As we start the New Year, please remember all the blessings that are afforded us by that tiny babe in the stable.

Luke 2:10 & 11

”And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”

What's Cookin Wednesday: Cookie Day

Every year with My (Micki's) sister-in-laws and my mother in law we make tons and tons of cookies to give away and eat. We each bring a kind and we make like 3 kinds. This year Sabrina and I had a miscommunication and brought the same kind. So we had a ton of ginger molasses cookies. lol We also had rice crispie treats, and Teris darling daughter made a no bake cookie, and we had muddy buddy mix and sugar cookies. Then we made Texas sheet cake, Neiman Marcus cookies, peanut blossoms, and Shannon made kalua cake. It is always so much fun!! Teri got a couple of hours before we were done but wouldn't let me take her picture because she had gone to sleep in the car with wet hair and it was craaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzyyyyyyyy!!! I would love to share the recipe for Neiman Marcus cookies which supposedly some lady paid a few hundred dollars for by accident and so she shared it with everyone she knew. They are so delicious!!! The batch makes a ton so we usually make it half at a time to fit in the mixer better.

Neiman Marcus Cookies
2 cups butter
2 tsp soda
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure before blending into fine powder)
1 8 oz herseys bar (we use the symphony bar with the toffee and almonds)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
24 oz chocolate chips
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
3 cups chopped nuts (we use slivered almonds and chop them a little bit more)

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add chocolate chips, herseys bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

Micki doing dishes

Sabrina just finished mixing cookies

Shannon volunteered for the awful job of grating chocolate
Laurel and Trish mixing away :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tadpole Tuesday: Christmas Gifts (Teri)

Remember these soaps that my daughter made for her friends for Christmas? Here’s the completed present:

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The cute box started out looking like this:

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A little Mod Podge and some scrapbook paper and a total transformation:

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Here’s the breakdown:

Box - 50¢ at a local thrift

Mod Podge & scrapbook paper already on hand – free

Soaps – approx 50¢

Cute colored wash rag - 50¢ (came in a package of 8 for $4)

Nail polish kit – $1 in dollar section at Target

Pedicure kit – on clearance for 50¢ in dollar section at Target

Basket - $1 in dollar section at Target.

Grand total: $4 a piece (we made 6) and time and love. Not a bad price for something so cute I don’t think. My daughters friends seemed to love them. My only regret is that we put the paper clear to the top of the box, so when we put the lids back on some of the paper got squished. I guess you just live and learn.

We haven't participated in a linky party in a few weeks, so we are linking up to Finding Fabulous' Frugalicious Friday

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mystery Monday: Our Disappearance and a Feature

Today's mystery:

Where have we been?

I guess we are the only ones who can answer that. We have been enjoying each other's company over the Christmas holiday. It was an unintentional vacation, we meant to post the things we had planned, but life just got busy. It wasn't a priority this week. If you will indulge us, we will post the things we had planned for last week, this week. Sorry if you have to hear about Christmas again after Christmas, but we had some fun things planned. We hope everyone had a fabulous holiday, we did, because we were able to spend it together (the only thing missing was our parents who opted not to join us this year).

We would also like to give a shout out to Mod Podge Amy and thank her for featuring our Noel Blocks on her blog on Christmas Eve. We meant to tell you earlier, but like we said it just didn't happen. If you click
here it will take you to our feature, but please stay and visit her blog, it's awesome!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mystery Monday (tardy again): Christmas Snowman

We are sorry that this post is late......but you know how this time of year is. Time just gets away from you. We have suspended our Christmas traditions until Christmas Eve. Our last one is very special to us and we would love to talk about it on the Eve of Jesus' birth. So today we are featuring our last craft from craft day. Here is our darling little snowman....this is my mother in laws. :) What are some of your cute Christmas crafts? We hope you are having a good holiday season.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feature Friday: Vegas Baby!

Micki and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a nursing conference in Las Vegas with nurses from around the country. We got to hear this darling lady with her great sense of humor impart her wisdom to us. (Micki is on the left in pink and I am on the right in black).

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We got to see a friend we haven’t seen in about 12 years (thanks again Lisa and Todd for taking us to dinner, especially on such short notice)

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We got to see a lot of cowboys and cowgirls, because the National Finals Rodeo was in town.

We visited this pretty tree on Freemont Street (even if Micki thought we were going to get mugged or propositioned because we were there a little later than we probably should have been).

Las Vegas 05

Now you didn’t think we would actually get together and NOT craft did you? It may sound sad to some of you, but we did craft in our hotel room. Neither one of us are gamblers or drinkers, and who wants to drop that kind of money on a show so close to Christmas? Here we are working on our ornament wreaths (yes I know everyone is making them, ours don’t use the Eddie Ross method), in our pajamas. (note: if you know our mom, please don’t tell her that there are pictures of her grown and married daughters in their pajamas on the internet, she would disown us). We had a lot of fun! We are already planning our next getaway.

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(left to right: Micki, Teri, Micki)

We have to apologize for the poor pictures. Vegas is not known as the city of light, and we are not know for being great picture takers.

Pray for Claire

If you haven't been following the story of Benson & Claire, please click here:

Claire is a spunky little toddler who is going in for a double kidney and liver transplant tonight. Please pray for her!

Guest Day Thursday: Kim’s Winter Frame

Some of my real life friends have said that they don’t know who is blogging when we blog, so we will try and let you know from now on. Teri here. I know I’ve mentioned my book club before, but they really are where a lot of my inspiration has motivation has come from. They are way more than a book club, they are life long friends. Well, this lovely lady and I both used to belong to aforementioned book club, and have both since moved (sad I know). She is amazingly talented and gorgeous to boot! Her name is Kim and she works for Rusty Pickle (they design and sell scrapbook stuff in case you lived under a log, scrapbooking wise anyway). Without further adieu I’ll let her introduce herself. Take it away Kim!

Well, let's see....I am a wife to one fabulous husband, daughter of two patient parents, mom of three unbelievable children, friend to four amazing women, and sister to five memorable siblings. I am a designer for a local scrapbook store & Rusty Pickle, a scrapbook company. I have a passion for creativity and love to tell stories through my photos. I sometimes feel frazzled, but most of the time I am overwhelmed by the blessings in my life.

Snowing Frame

The quote on the frame says:
"Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing."
I know that you probably have memories of shoveling, but don't have much white stuff now!
{This was made with Cosmo Cricket's Jolly Be Golly paper line and all their yummy embellishments! The frame is by Fancy Pants.}

Thanks you Kim! That quote is so true, if you could see my house right now you would agree. If you would like to see more of Kim’s darling projects, you can go here. I hope I will be able to post some more of my talented friends and their projects!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: Grandma’s Ginger Snaps (Teri)

Our grandma used to make the most heavenly ginger snaps. Now, I know a ginger snap is a kind of love it/hate it kind of a cookie. I don’t love most ginger snaps. I find them crunchy (which a cookie shouldn’t be if you ask me), dry and with too much of a bite. These are NOT that cookie. They are moist, soft and mellow. I don’t know what the secret is to the balance, but it is perfect (just ask me I ate enough of them while I was making them). There is something about Christmas that just says ginger snap to me, I make them almost every year. Let us know if you try them and if you liked them, we’d love to hear!

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Grandma’s Ginger Snaps


1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup shortening


1 egg

4 tbsp molasses

Mix Well.


2 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ginger

2 tsp soda

Mix well. roll in balls the size of a walnut and roll in granulated sugar. Place on a cookie sheet, bake 10 – 15 min at 350°.

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I made these and packed them in these cute little buckets with lids that I found at Big Lots for 2/$2. My daughter is in intermediate school, and she is taking them tomorrow to give to her teachers (5 plus her bus driver). It wasn’t an expensive treat, but I love baking, and unfortunately if it stays in my house, I eat it ALL.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For those of you who caught my quick-on-the-trigger early post for Thursday, sorry for the teaser glimpse and then pulling it away. It has been rescheduled to post when it should on Thursday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tadpole Tuesday: Email to Santa (Micki)

My kids and I wrote an email to Santa. It’s a great website! We had fun.

Here’s the link so you can do your own.

Here’s my letter and the response I got :)


Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Micki. I am a girl and I am already 35 years old!! I live in the great city of Whoville. Of course, that's in Utah, United States, but I'll bet you knew that!! This year I've been so good that, well, ok, maybe my halo has been to the repair shop a few times this year.

Santa Claus, some things I might like for Christmas this year are:
- peace on earth;
- friendship for all; and,
- crafting for everyone!!!.

Santa Claus, I almost forgot to say... Santa Claus I almost forgot, I would also like a Rockem' Sockem' Robot Game

Love, Micki

I want a peace on earth for Christmas too.  I think they're really kewl!

#1, Rudolph Way
North Pole, Canada

Whoville, Utah
United States

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas Micki!

Thank you for sending me your email all the way from Whoville! (Make sure to say 'Hi!' to Max from Rudolph when you get a chance!) Did you know that Whoville is one of Mrs. Claus' favourite places? The other thing she really likes is to read all your wonderful emails. As a matter of fact, she was just asking if I had heard from you lately!

Oh! Oh! I think Santa forgot his hat in your letter (*wink*)!My goodness, Micki! Are you fibbing to ol' Santa Claus?!? You can't possibly be 35 years old already! Why it seems like only yesterday that I was leaving presents for a certain little girl and here you are now, practically one of Santa's elves! (*grin*)

Sorry the presents the last little while probably haven't been quite as exciting as they were when you were a little girl but, well, you know how these things go (*wink*). Anyway, Santa's glad to see some of the 'older kids' (not to mention anyone in particular!) still take the time to write. I also hear you've been a sorta good girl. (Of course, you won't mind if I do a little checking, will you? HO!! Ho!! ho!!).

Let's see what you put in your letter for Christmas wishes: 1. peace on earth; 2. friendship for all and; 3. crafting for everyone!!!. May all your Christmas wishes come true!Well, I have something to tell you about your Christmas presents. An elf is working hard on them right now! The elf's name is Clumsy. We really do love Clumsy (he really does make the best presents!) -- I just wish he'd be a little more, well, careful sometimes. I hope you won't be sad Micki if I can't bring you everything you want because Clumsy the Elf really wants you to have a very Merry Christmas!

Well, it's time for Santa Claus to go do his chimney exercises. Up! Down! Up! Down! Have to be in tip-top shape for the big night! Take care Micki and don't forget to come back and visit me here at on Christmas Eve!! And remember... only 10 more sleeps until Christmas!!

Lots of Love,
Santa Claus

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mystery Monday: Christmas Traditions

The first year Micki was dating her husband she came home with him for Thanksgiving. Her husbands mom sent them to Kmart to buy candles for the table. While there she spotted a cute Christmas Teddy Bear. She told her hubby (then boyfriend) about it. She came home before him and when she picked him up at the airport he had the bear for her. So every year since then they have bought a Christmas Bear. This year she switched to Walmart because the bear was cuter! They decided to break the mold and not get a traditional colored one. It's kind of a cheesy tradition, but special to them. They are on their 14th bear. :) They have no idea where they are going to start putting them all. They are getting overrun with bears.
The poor dirty one in the front was their very first and Micki slept with him for quite awhile so he got a little tattered and stained. Oops.

One of our other traditions at the holiday season is that on New Years Eve Mother Goose comes to leave one small gift for the kids every year. When Micki and Teri were little one year Mother Goose left Monchichis (yes that will date us). We got a boy one and a girl one and named them Mon and Chichi. So creative weren't we?
Now for the mystery: What are some of your quirky Holiday traditions?
Edited: We are linking up to Somday Crafts Christmas Traditions party.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

(Another tardy) Guest Day Thursday: Laurel’s Candy Wreath

Micki’s mother-in-law has made the most darling candy wreaths for years for her neighbors. It is so cute!!! And, you get to eat it. She taught us all how to make them at craft day, but hers is the only one finished. You basically tie about a billion candies on and then attach a pair of scissors and let people cut candies off for a treat. I don’t know about you, but I would hate to ruin that gorgeous wreath by taking a piece off! Isn’t it darling?!? It isn’t very expensive either, because you can get the candy cheap, and then the scissors you can get at the dollar store. The rest is just a hanger, newspaper, ribbon and curling ribbon. It is very time consuming, but so worth it, because they turn out so cute! Thanks Laurel for letting us share your wreath!!!


This post will be edited as we join parties to share this darling creation!

BCD Show and tell
Decor Mamma
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: White Chicken Chili (Teri)

Edited: Sorry this is posted so late, we were in Vegas this week, and weren’t able to finish it.

I have a fabulous group of book club friends who have supplied me with a ton of delicious recipes, and they have granted me permission to share them with you (thanks girls!). This is a great cold weather recipe. I know we have shared a few soup type recipes already, but the are so versatile for cold weather.

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White Bean Chicken Chile

(Thanks Angie & congrats!!!)

6 cans Great Northern Beans

2 small onions

4 cans chicken broth (or bullion to make a scant 8 cups)

1/2 tsp chopped garlic

2 cans diced green chilies

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

24 oz. sour cream

3-4 cooked and cubed chicken breasts

Throw all the ingredients into a crock pot except he sour cream and cook all day. 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high, or until you eat it. Add the sour cream the last hour.

Angie’s note: This makes enough to feed an army. I usually only make half for our family and have plenty of leftovers. It’s great for a freezer meal. Just don’t freeze the sour cream.

Teri’s note: I didn’t have cooked chicken, so I threw it in with everything except the beans and cooked it on high for the morning. At lunch I took it out and chopped it and turned it down and added the beans. It was plenty cooked and had great flavor. I don’t love the flavor of green chilies so much, so I dumped them in a strainer and rinsed them, they still gave good flavor without being overwhelming, if you love green chilies just dump them in.

I decided that this week while I was posting my recipe, I would post my first tablescape and join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Here is my table. I have small children, and wanted to make the table kid friendly, so I used my everyday dishes instead of my china. I will list all my patterns, etc. at the end of this post.

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This is a view of the whole table (with my too bright sunshine yellow walls….if I haven’t mentioned it, I rent, so some things I have not yet invested in to change, however we will be repainting).

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My beautiful cupcake tier that my friend made for me for Christmas was my centerpiece.

Here’s the rundown:

Dishes by Corelle called Callaway (inherited from my Grandma)

goblets pattern called Lonchamps

Salt & Pepper shakers by Gibson called Holly Celebration (part of my Christmas dishes)

Water carafe purchased at a garage sale for 25¢

All ornaments purchased at Dollar Tree

Cupcake tier made for me by a friend (thanks!!!)

tea light holders on clearance last year at Pier One I think

tea lights Ikea

napkin rings (square acrylic risers under tea light holders) purchased as a wedding gift at Mervyn’s

Tablecloth on clearance at Walmart last year

We are participating:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tadpole Tuesday: Homemade Soap (Teri)

**If you are one of my daughter’s friends, don’t keep reading unless you want to see part of your Christmas present**

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In an effort to make more homemade Christmas presents, my darling daughter wanted to make something for her friends. When I was blog stalking back in October I found these darling soaps, and knew that it was a craft my daughter could do with just a little help. I also thought that most girls love fun bath products. I found some darling silicone muffin trays in Christmas Tree and Snowflake shapes at Target in their bargain section for $2.50 and some Christmas Tree shaped silicone ice cube trays at Dollar Tree. I think the cute shapes made all the difference. I bought the glycerin soap for molding at Michael’s and used a 40% off coupon. I bought the scents and glitter on clearance at Michael’s. Total for twelve large soaps and twenty small soaps for less than $20, but I will be able to use the molds and glitter for multiple other projects, and the scents for at least one more batch. If you adjust for that I spent about $10. No too bad for that many darling soaps. I will try and give you a short version of how to make these, if you want to know the exact steps go here.

We cute the glycerin into pieces and melted it in the microwave, after it was melted, we added the scent and the glitter.

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Then we filled the trays (just a little note, the glycerin sticks to the sides of the container and the spatula, we just let it cool a little, and melted it again in the microwave and used it. I was apprehensive because of the glitter, but we didn’t have any trouble with it sparking).

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We let them cool undisturbed for about twenty to thirty minutes and then my kids popped them out of the molds.

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I tried to stage them so that you can see how cute they turned out. I wanted some Christmas paper, but I wasn’t at home and wasn’t going to have another chance to take a picture later, so I apologize for the busyness. Don’t you think they are so fun? We will defiantly be making more.

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BCD Show and tell
Decor Mamma
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mystery Monday: Christmas Elves & A Rat

For those of you who missed last weeks Mystery Monday, we are posting all about our Christmas traditions every Monday in December. If you missed last weeks post, you can read it here.

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Since our girls were little the Christmas Elves have visited our houses. Our kids each have special pillowcases that have a little pocket that the Elves put a surprise in. I hope you can see the cute little pocket in the picture. Even though they are almost teenagers, they still get just as excited about the Elves. Now that they are bigger, the Elves leave things like lip gloss and nail polish. Their little brothers get things like toy cars and bouncy balls. It starts on the twelfth of December, because the last night that the Elves come is the twenty-third because the stockings get filled on the twenty-fourth.


Ever since Micki’s husband was little, his family has had a “Christmas Rat” under the tree. This is a cute little burlap rat that holds candy. There are specific candies that tradition dictates must fill the the rat, they are, York Peppermint Patties, Rolos, and Reese’s Peanut butter cups. One year Micki and her sister-in-law were sent to get the rat candy, and they bought crunchy Reese’s cups and Hersey’s Kisses instead of Rolos, when they arrived home with the candy they were promptly sent back to the store to purchase the correct candy. They now understand the proper care and feeding of the rat. All of the siblings in Micki’s husband’s family now have their own Christmas Rat to fill. The grandkids think it’s fabulous because they have unrestricted access to candy. Isn’t he cute?

What are some of your unique Christmas traditions?

We have to apologize for the sporadic posts, we are in Lost Wages (aka Las Vegas) for a conference and we have limited (free) internet access. This post will be edited soon to include a picture of the darling Christmas rat.

Edited: We are linking up to Somday Crafts Christmas Traditions party

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Guest Day Friday Featuring Us

Okay, so we were just trying to get both Guest Day Thursday and Feature Friday done in the same post. It’s been a busy week, and this post didn’t get done earlier, so there ya go. We are featuring one of the projects that we did at craft day (click here if you missed that post). We wanted to do a chunky Christmas decoration that was still pretty simple to create (not so sure that chunky and Christmas belong in the same sentence, but it is what it is today). Here are our NOEL blocks. Sorry there are no pictures of the steps, we were just having too much fun to take the time to take pictures of the whole process. It's pretty simple though, cut a 4x4 down to size (or get friendly with the guy at Home Depot and learn his life story while you spend two hours there getting stuff cut, and then he feels so generous, that he doesn't even charge you for all those cuts. But we wouldn't tell anyone that that's what happened, because we wouldn't want to get the nice guy at Home Depot in trouble). Then you paint them your desired color, Mod Podge on some cute paper and apply the vinyl letters. Voile! It was so fun to see how different everyone's turned out depending on the paper they picked.

Micki’s blocks

Noel Blocks Mick

Micki’s other blocks (this set has already been gifted)

Noel Blocks Mic

Teri’s Blocks

Noel Blocks Ter

Our “guests” blocks (really we were all Laurel and Micki’s guests in real life, but lucky for us, in bloggyland they get to be our guests)

Laurel’s blocks (she painted hers after we left, and the burgundy blocks instead of the cream really show off the letters and give the blocks a whole different look, Micki’s were painted this color and then distressed)

Noel Blocks Lau

Sabrina’s blocks

Noel Blocks Sab

Shannon’s blocks

Noel Blocks Shan

Trish’s blocks (Teri so loved the cute little bird that she had to copy, but her bird met with an untimely decapitation and subsequent Mod Podge assisted surgery, that’s all she is admitting to at this time)

Noel Blocks Tri

Rozanna’s blocks

Noel Blocks Roz

Amey’s blocks (had to include the little strip of wall color at the bottom when editing, because it matches the blocks so well)

Noel Blocks Ame

Suzanne’s blocks

Noel Blocks Suz

Jackie’s blocks

Noel Blocks Jac

Sara’s blocks

Noel Blocks Sar

Michelle’s blocks

Noel Blocks Mich

Just an editors note about the pictures. They were taken by different cameras, different photographers and in different lights. I have tried to edit them as much as possible to reflect the creativity of the project.

We hope you have enjoyed our celebration of a simpler side of Christmas decor and crafting. Isn’t it fun how one project can have so many unique looks?

Edited to add parties we are linking up to:

Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple