Monday, December 31, 2012

TOP 12 PROJECTS OF 2012


How on earth  can 2012 be nearing an end?  This year has truly flown by.  Looking back, I wanted to share my favorite projects from this year with you.

Stump Side Tables- easy, rustic, full of texture, super handy, and practically free!


Painted Built-Ins-painting over the stained wood was one of the best decisions we've made to update the living room.


Laser Level to Cut Straight Fabric-a great tip if you work with wide fabric often.



Botanical Gallery Wall -still love it!




Houndstooth Drapes-the first piece completed for my new dining room plan


The Office-which really includes two other favorite projects too: DIY Drum Shade & Hand Painted Lattice Wall


Colorful Chair-Reupholstered with a Hot Glue Gun!-a chair that I've had forever that I upgraded for my daughter's room


Log Filled Fireplace-this was probably my all time favorite project but alas, was short lived (let's just say the wood brought in too many unwanted guests.  Boo!).  But, I have a plan to make another go of it after this fire season is over!
 

Black Interior Doors-haven't been sorry for a minute that I did this one!


DIY Dining Room Host Chairs-my first real re-upholstery project

Oversized Silhouettes-my first time to participate in a Pinterest Challenge, can't wait for the next one!


Kitchen Chalkboard Wall-the first time I've ever used chalkboard paint...I'm hooked!


I guess it's been a pretty productive year!  I've got plans for many more projects in 2013, hope you'll hang around to check them out!

Linking up with Tatertots & Jello


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


From our family to yours...


Happiest of Holidays!



Always remembering the reason for this season-


Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Luke 2:10-12, 14

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SOUTHWESTERN HAM & TURKEY SANDWICHES


With the holidays just around the corner, today I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you. The first time I had these sandwiches I was at a friend's house for the first play date for our then-3 year and 5 year old kids.  Time has passed and these friends have become very dear to us, and she graciously shared this recipe with me!

These sandwiches are a perfect savory lunch, addition to a soup or salad for a quick dinner, or even a tasty party appetizer.  Please forgive the lighting in the photographs, this was a spur of the moment decision for a post as I fixed them after church the other night.   Don't judge the recipe on the photo quality! :)

Southwestern Ham & Turkey Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pkg. King's Hawaiian Dinner Rolls (must be the sweet-don't get another kind)
Sliced Deli Ham and Turkey 
2 c. shredded cojac cheese

Sauce:
1/2 tsp. chili powder               1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt                           1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. sour cream                   1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1/3 c. chopped green onions



Slice entire package of rolls horizontally in half-sandwich style. Fold open into two halves.  


Spread 1/2 of sauce on one side and 1/2 on the other.  Layer a few ham and turkey slices over the sauce on each side.  Sprinkle both sides with cheese and cook at 350 degrees until cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.




If desired, add olives, tomato, and avocado slices.  If I'm using these for an appetizer, I cut each roll apart and leave them open-faced, like little pizzas.


If they are for a meal, use a spatula to flip one entire side on top of the other.  Then, I've found a serrated bread knife works best to cut each roll apart.



After a busy day of last minute shopping or wrapping gifts, enjoy the warm ooey-gooey goodness of these sandwiches!

The secret to these sandwiches is in the spread and the sweet rolls.  Most of the time my husband and I eat these on our own, so I only use 1/2 the package of rolls and make up the sauce but save 1/2 of it for later.  It keeps well for several days.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!  I'm making loads and loads of Candied Cinnamon Sugar Almonds and Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls!

Monday, December 17, 2012

NEW RUGS AND A BIT OF BLOG HOUSEKEEPING


Hey everyone!  I hope you had a good weekend, but I know in light of Friday's tragedy in Connecticut we are all still feeling sick in the pit of our stomachs.  I pray that the families of those who lost loved ones will feel comfort and know that an entire nation is grieving with, thinking of, and praying for them.

On a much lighter note, when I posted about my new chalkboard wall in the kitchen, I totally forgot that I was going to show you a few shots of my new rugs!  Way back at the beginning of November, I showed you the options I was trying to decide between, and this is the one I chose.


Many of you liked the black quatrefoil-type patterned one, and I really did too.  However,  I wanted something to blend in a little bit more with the jute rug under the table rather than having such a stark contrast.  Also, I've always got my eye out for a new large area rug for the living room, and have in mind something like the black rug for that room.




I am so pleased with the rugs!  They are a nice weight so they are easy to run the vacuum across, and are easy to clean if something gets spilled on them.  And, they hide little crumbs here and there well.   I ordered from Overstock and they really did have a great selection of indoor/outdoor rugs at good prices, and happily my order arrived quickly.  Here is the link for the rugs I ordered if you'd like to look around.  (I have no affiliation with the company, just passing along something I like!)




* * * * * * * * * * 

Slowly but surely I'm trying to clean up and streamline my blog layout a bit.  Did you see my new social media buttons over on the side?  I love them!  I purchased them from Natalie's Etsy store, Moxie Tonic, and she included very specific instructions for installation, which were so helpful for this low-tech blogger!  Thanks to the tutorial from Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions (another real-life church friend), I also made a button for the blog, finally!

If you follow me on Facebook, apparently all of my posts may not be showing up in your feed.  This probably applies to any of the business/blog type pages that you have "Liked".  Sarah wrote a great post about why this is happening and how to make sure you are receiving updates from those you have liked (hover over the "liked" button on their page and make sure "show in news feed" is checked).  Also, my adding a link to the status may cause my posts not to show up as often for you, so I will probably start putting the link in the comment section.  

Finally, I try to reply to your comments through e-mail, but if you're a "no-reply blogger", I can't!  I've noticed that several of you who are registered through Google+ are no-replyers.  I saw a good tutorial here on how to make sure your e-mail address is linked to your profile.  Even if you don't use Google+, the last 2 steps in the tutorial show you how to make sure that your profile is set up so that you're not a no-reply blogger.

If you don't follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (my favorite!), I'd love to meet you there!  Lots of times you might get some sneak peeks of what I'm working on.  Just click on one of those fancy new buttons up there. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CHRISTMAS AT THE GRIFFIN'S {2012-PART 3}


Welcome to the third and final installment of our Christmas Home Tour!  Thank you so much for all of your kind comments and sweet words about our home.

The urns filled with tall branches and cut cedar branches have been a staple for the past few years, but I added a few new things to the front porch.


I kept the front door simple and classic, covering a faux evergreen wreath with sprigs of fresh cedar branches.  Last Christmas I showed you via video how I make bows like this if you want to check it out.


I've had this photo from the Pottery Barn catalog ripped out for years and have always wanted to do a similar look with the large hanging ornaments.
 

The mirrored ball and red polka dot (shatterproof) ornaments are from Hobby Lobby, and the gold balls are from Garden Ridge (years ago).  I hope to add one or two more during the after Christmas sales.  This side of the house is fairly protected from the wind, so they don't move around too much.
 

A corner in the kitchen holds a little tree that we're using for our Advent activity this year.  We're working together to make ornaments for it.


I saw this idea for Advent Ornaments on Pinterest from Kojo Designs.  There are 25 ornaments for some of the different Names of God.  She has a great list and good resource links to choose the names you want to use and Bible references to go along with that name.


We are choosing one per day to read and hang on the tree, and talking about what that name means to us.  My friend Denise is doing this too...such a great idea! (She's a fellow minister's wife at my church and a new blogger-go see her front door and entry transformation...amazing differences!)

  
This tree got a fancy base, too.  It's a skinny metal urn that is about waist high, so it works well to fit this little tree into a tight corner.  The tree base is secured in a small bucket of rocks that fits down into the mouth of the urn, and then I covered the base with moss.  Bubble lights were one of my favorite things on our tree when I was growing up, and I added a few strings here.


The big tree in the living room is always a mixture of whatever I like.  I've never done a strict "themed" tree, I don't think I could stick to it!  Anything goes with this one.


This was my first year to play around with deco mesh garland.  With the urn base, my tree is so tall it needed something big on top.  I mixed a huge poofy bow with some of my plaid ribbon, and added the sticks and pheasant feathers again like I did last year to balance out the top a bit. 



Our new Scrabble Tile ornaments add some fun and extra personality-


At the end of January last year I stepped into Pottery Barn and stepped out with 12 of these large metal beauties...for less than a dollar each!  




I included this photo so you could see the ornaments hanging in the window-they are impossible to capture in the daylight!  You can see a closer look here but I love their glitz and glam, and during the day that mirrored ball throws magical sparkles all over the ceiling.

After all of the decorating this little reindeer was all tuckered out...


For the rest of our Christmas Home Tour, click on the following links:


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CHRISTMAS AT THE GRIFFIN'S {2012-PART 2)


Welcome back for part two of our little holiday tour.  Come on in, and I'll show you around the living room.

 
The sofa table holds sparkly trees, a wooden sleigh, and apothecary jars filled with vintage ornaments.


I asked my kids to dig whatever animals looked winter-y out of their stash, and we came up with an elk and a deer.


You had a sneak peek of this tray and the $3 plastic bear sprayed gold here.


Our Christmas Pyramid sitting on a mirror-turned display stand.



Our Nativity from Bethlehem, made out of olive wood was a treasured gift from my husband's parents after they visited the Holy Land.


The built-ins house several other nativities, including a few made by the kids, as well as some fresh greenery and photos from past Christmases.


An oversized glass ornament, inverted in a little mirrored box.


Little Deer got a holiday necklace-




If you missed it, you can see more details on the Mantel here, and Part 1 of the tour here.

Next up, our Christmas Trees and Front Porch.  See you tomorrow!