Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorite Project Highlights of 2011

I almost didn't do this post because I've only been blogging for a few months, but I wanted to get in on the fun!  Hopefully next year I'll have a much longer project completion list.  Here are my favorite projects from the recent past:


My New Laundry Room
(Pictures in this post are updated just a tad.)

It was a small change that made a HUGE difference in the look and feel of the room.





I can't wait to start a new year.  I'm working on a list of house goals and have so many thoughts spinning around in my head...I want to do it all at once!  Happy New Year friends!




Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011 Wrap-Up



Well hello friends!  I had planned to take this entire week off while the kids are out of school, but I missed everyone and felt out of the loop!  I hope you had a very meaningful Christmas and time of celebration with your families.  Here's a little recap of our Christmas.


Our church held two Christmas Eve services and Ray preached both of them this year (he's not the regular preaching pastor but fills in occasionally).  After our Christmas Eve service, we hosted both sides of the family for a snacky-appetizer dinner and time to just enjoy being together.  The kids performed a few musical selections of their choice...entertaining to all!

Probably one of Emily's favorite gifts-the day she received it she tried to make it to 100 jumps.  Today, 3 days later, her record was 1,467.  Wow.  Ray & I had to switch off counting.  And, she can now jump with no hands.  Do you think any colleges offer scholarships for pogo jumping?

Approximately 2.7 seconds after opening, Caleb had a pop bottle in the back yard to use as target practice for his new bb gun.  

My present-a total surprise!  It's a beauty and Ray even added a huge basket and bling-bling bell.  Watch out neighborhood, here I come!

We spent today roaming around downtown OKC.  The kids had never been to the OKC National Memorial so we toured the gardens.  There are 168 of these bronze chairs to represent each life lost that dreadful day, which include 19 smaller chairs that you can see a bit of in the background to represent the precious children lost.  Heartwrenching but it makes me so proud of how the people of our great state came together and demonstrated compassion time and time again in the aftermath of the bombing.

There's a lot happening in downtown OKC!  This is the new Devon tower under construction.  It's huge!  That tower next to it is the next tallest building downtown and it used to seem big...now it's dwarfed.

 As of this evening Christmas is all packed up and back in the attic.  Our living space seems so much bigger with it out.  Now in the morning I just have to clean the trail of disaster left behind!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Wishing a Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


The Lord has showered his blessings on our family and I am so grateful for His gracious care for us.  Praise be to God for His indescribable gift (Jesus!) 
this Christmas Season.  

I am so thankful for all of you that visit my blog and share your support.  I'll be back around the first of the year and look forward to sharing more time with you! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Raspberry Chipotle Cream Cheese Dip (& Jib Jab!)



This is one of my favorite go-to appetizers to serve at my home or bring to a party. It could not be easier, and is oh, so good!  If you have a Sam's Club in your area, pick up a bottle of this the next time you are there:


It's on the aisle with the barbeque sauces.  I got hooked on this treat a few years ago, Sam's quit carrying the sauce, I found something similar at a local grocery store, and then they quit carrying it about a year ago!  I truly crave this through the year sometimes, so when I discovered that they had it again (maybe it's seasonal?) I've snatched up 4 bottles.  No sirree, not running out of this stuff anytime soon.  If you invite me to a party you can guess what I'll bring!

By the way, do NOT get this expecting it to be the same...


Blech!  Very barbeque-y.

All you need to do is set out a brick of cream cheese and let it soften, and then liberally pour the sauce over the top.  Wheat thins are the perfect accompaniment to scoop up the dip.  


I hope you try it and enjoy it, it's one of our family's favorites (the adults, anyway!).


On a side note, my kids are hooked on the Jib Jab "Elf Yourself" cards that you can make online.  Here's our most recent.  It's especially amusing to us because even though what each person is doing is totally random in the song, ours turned out perfectly.  Ray really does play the drums and I really did play the bass violin in junior high.  Funny!


Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Go here to make your own.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shop at The Rink

This post is for all of my local friends.  Looking for a unique gift or accent for your home?  Have I got the place for you!  


The Rink Gallery is located on 32nd and Rockwell in Bethany.  It's actually just a few blocks from the house I grew up in and literally used to be an ice skating rink.  I think the old Zamboni is still in there somewhere!  They have divided the space into individual booth areas which have such an interesting mix eclectic, vintage, and antique goods, furniture, and clothing.


My parents rent booth space here.  Mom is the master shopper and Dad is the master fixer/painter/cleaner-upper of whatever she finds.  Here are a few pictures of their booth:

All of the grandchildren call her "Bree."  Her name was going to be "Grammy", but when my son tried to say that it somehow sounded like Bree.  She loved it so much better than Grammy, so the name stuck.


 My dad PAINTED that brick floor-I think it adds such character to their space.


They have a little bit of everything in their booth.  Just look for the brick floor straight down the middle of the building.


A few other spaces throughout the building that I thought were interesting:










Charming memorabilia...


Can't you just see these chairs re-done in a fabulous print?  I like the oval clock on the table, too.


And a few unique items:










I saved the best for last...metal, green, drawers...love!


The Rink is open every day from 10 am-6 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm with live entertainment from 5-7pm, and Sundays from 12-6 pm.
  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Parties and Painting (Last Minute Gift Idea!)



Over the weekend we hosted a lunch for my girlfriends, a dinner for several young couples, and a birthday party for my sister.  I thought we might as well squeeze in as much as possible while the house was clean and looking good!
  
I basically kept the table set and just switched out dishes for each event.  These ornaments served as place cards and a take-home party favor.


The "cupcake stands" were inverted milkglass glasses that I spotted at a thrift store.  They were $2.99 each, but I knew they wouldn't sell for that much so I kept an eye on them until they were marked down.  Yes, I wait for things to be marked down at a thrift store.  I snagged the set of 12 for $9.00. 


The girls sat in the dining room...




and this was the boys' table-I kept it super simple and left the fluff for the girls.
I meant to take pictures with our guests at the party, but I always forget to pull out the camera once people arrive.


Part II-
Several weeks ago my friend Darla and I took a road trip for the day to Dallas-we packed in Ikea, fabric and jewelry warehouses, several Homegoods stores, Anthropologie at Northpark Mall, and dinner at Babe's Chicken (YUM! if you've never been there...I wish I had some right now!)  Anyway, we had a project in mind and found our supplies at Ikea.


Inspired by my friend Pam at Simple Details, we wanted to make some monogrammed door mats for Christmas gifts.  If you haven't been to Pam's blog, check it out!  I love everything about it...she has such impeccable taste and every project she does ends in perfection!  We started blogging about the same time and she was one of my first "blog" friends, and we've since discovered that we have so many things in common.  Visit her site for a full tutorial, but here's a quick run down of what we did.


I enlarged the letter I wanted on the computer and printed it out.  Thankfully, it was a gorgeous, sunny day so we used the window to trace the letter in the center of a piece of posterboard.  


Then, we trimmed the letter out of the middle to make a stencil and centered it on the mat.  Spraying straight down to try and avoid any bleeding, we gave each mat 3 or 4 coats.  Darla used Krylon flat black and I used Walmart glossy.  I think hers turned out a little darker.  I don't know if the flat/glossy was the difference or the brand.


She's going to kill me for putting in this picture, but I have to demonstrate the process, right?  So, I'll say nice things about her so she won't be too mad.  She's the kind of friend everyone needs...an amazing mother, smart business woman, and she truly hungers and thirsts to know the Lord better.  She's my "Upstairs Friend" that I can completely be myself with and I know she will always love and accept me no matter what my house looks like, how my kids act or what stage of life I'm in.  She was my #1 encourager to start this blog and is always kind to express her support.   


After the letter was finished we just eye-balled the border, taped it off and sprayed.  This was a fun project, mainly because I had a great partner and our kids had a blast playing together while we worked.  I made my mats for teacher's gifts and we were really happy with how they turned out. 


It took us maybe 1 1/2 or 2 hours to do all of these from start to finish, not too bad.


The finished product!


How would you wrap a doormat?  This is what I did...


Whew!  I guess that was really two posts in one.  Thanks for hanging in there!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Scripture



1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”


15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Personalized Ornaments





While on vacation I saw some ornaments similar to these in a gift shop and thought "Those would be really easy to make," and they were!  If you need a last minute gift or just a little extra something to accompany a present or even a few more ornaments to fill out your tree, give these a try!  


I purchased a box of glass ornaments and used paint and ribbon that I had on hand.


One trick that I like to use when painting dots is to cut one out of a sponge.  I sponge the dots on (remember sponge painting walls and t-shirts in the 90's?) and then go back and fill them in with a brush.  The sponge gives me somewhat of a template to make the dots uniform and makes the process much quicker since I only have to do a few swipes with the brush to fill it in. 


See my fancy handy-dandy drying rack?  The kids saw them still hanging there in the morning and thought I should leave them.  Maybe that would be a good addition to the decor next year!


My lovely assistant even painted one of her own.


After painting the dots I used a black paint pen and free-handed an initial.  When that dried I went back with a wooden skewer barely dipped in white paint and lightly added the white dots.  Done!




On Monday I'll show you what I did with these.  If you haven't been there and have a few free minutes (or hours!), click over to Nesting Place for the Christmas Tour of Homes.  There's lots of good Christmas inspiration and, don't you just love seeing other people's homes?  I do!  I'm a bit nosy that way!