Monday, December 28, 2009

REVEAL: My Designer Secret Santa Swaps

I joined a swap this holiday season, hosted by my friend Jennie!

We had to create in our style: 1 card, 1 tag, 1 ornament, and 1 altered book or album. The tag was the hardest for me, I ended up just making some small sized gift tags. I really hope that my secret santa giftee (Gina) liked what I sent! I really hope she got it already . . . if not, and she is browsing these sites -- then she gets a sneak peek!

My card

My gift tags (using my Holiday Button Bits - Papertrey Ink)

Ornament unwrapped -- just sitting on the desk

Second View of Ornament (wrapped up in a photo cube - thank you Target $1 spot -- I SO want to buy more of these but have not been able to find any)

My altered album -- I had fun making this one!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here is a quick glimpse into our Christmas morning . . . the kids were so excited. Baby E didn't really understand this year . . . maybe next year. It was a lot of fun though! I love being a mommy and getting to experience their joy on Christmas morning.

Coming down the stairs and seeing their stockings

Presents from Santa

Baby E checking out his present from Santa

E and her new Barbie clothes -- YAY for no more naked Barbies!

J with his Lego Racer in his stocking -- I think he was excited!

J putting together his LEGO racer with Dad's help

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Traditions

This year we decided that along with opening Christmas PJ's on Christmas Eve, we would also read the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in the bible. In the past we had tried to do this in the morning and often I found the kids would be way too excited and we would miss the true reason for the season. This worked out perfectly. After our kids got on their PJ's, Daddy read for us. It was peaceful and prepared the kids for bed. I think we will continue this again next year.

Here are some fun pictures of the kids in their matching jammies. It was really really hard to get them all looking, especially with SQUIRMY as a kid. *giggles*


Here is an ornament for you to try. It only takes a few minutes to make, so go ahead and put on some fun Christmas music and play. I found it on this site, complete with a tutorial (Thanks Sarah) that is excellent. Originally, these ornaments were sold at Pottery Barn for like $6 each, but this is a much cheaper way of getting some of these gorgeous ones for your tree.

The first two were easier, for some reason the third one with the satin ribbon was hard to get looking perfect. The middle one I added some gem brads in red for a little extra sparkle. I think it worked well.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MISSION: Play with some snow -- Flagstaff Day Trip

We decided to make a day trip to Flagstaff, AZ to play in the snow. It is one of the coolest things about AZ -- we drive 3 hours North, we are still in AZ, but there is winter weather and pretty mountains.

All the babies dressed warm and in the car waiting while dad buys a sled

Baby E's First Reaction to snow . . . he sat and then wanted to crawl

Coming down the hill -- they look like a huge snowball

E playing in the snow and making a snow angel

J dashing through the snow and crying with cold gloves and hands

Daddy and Little E

Mom, Baby Megan (in my tummy) and Baby E

3 Babies in a sled . . . two cold, one happy . . . after an hour, they were ready to go home. I was not all that surprised by this though since they just had on jeans over thermal jammies. They were warm until they got really wet. We decided to check out Crowley Pit, after the Wing Mountain Snow play and sledding area closed and E made a snowman with her daddy. They I changed all the kids into warm dry clothes while Mic took a trip down the hill. It was a fun trip! I really enjoyed it!

E, Daddy and their first snowman together

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS - Yummy Peppermint Bark

This is like the easiest and yummiest holiday treat! Seriously - if you have 30 minutes, make some for your neighbors! They will love you for it.

Top a ziplock bag with a cute homemade bag topper (seriously easy) and VOILA - you have a sweet homemade gift. The rice crispies cereal make it just perfectly crunchy and not too overwhelmingly sweet like some "barks" tend to be.

Hope you are having a happy holidays so far. My family and I are headed to Northern Arizona to find some snow to play in because it's just not Christmas till you get to make a snow angel and throw a snowball at someone! Merry Christmas!

: Trendy Christmas Mix - The Paper Studio - HobbyLobby, Green Galore (SU!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I've been wanting to create one of these for awhile, and what a perfect excuse -- baking Christmas cookies with my sweet little girlie. I started to get out the stuff to bake, and E reminded me I had not made her apron yet, so we had to work on that first. This is her in her finished apron -- it took about an hour from start to finish to make and I used this pattern to make it: HERE

Here are a couple of pictures of her "breaking it in" while cutting out some gingerbread. I think it turned out really sweet! We had fun baking lots this weekend . . .

Here are some of the treats and cookies we made this year:

Jam Filled Cream Cheese Cookies (Dec 2009 - Everyday Food Magazine)
Peppermint Fudge (Dec 2009 - Everyday Food Magazine)
Sugar Cookies (from frozen dough - yes, I cheat)
Gingerbread (from frozen dough)
Pumpkin Bread Mini Loaves (Krusteaz)

Friday, December 18, 2009

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS - Quilted Holiday Coasters

Here is my finished project all packaged up (set of 6 coasters) and ready to be sent off. I used one of my old Papertrey Ink boxes (the ones the stamps come in), and altered it up to be a coaster holder box. I added my own vanilla crimped paper on the sides to keep the coasters in place.

Stamps: Small Casual (Karen Foster Design - Snap Stamps) Paper: Sage Shadow (SU!), Textured Vanilla (Hobby Lobby), Very Vanilla (SU!) Ink: Sage Shadow Classic (SU!) Accessories: Sewing Machine (Singer), sage thread (Coats & Clark), Poinsettia Blossoms (Making Memories - Mistletoe Collection), Pearl brads (The Paper Studio - Hobby Lobby), Paper crimper (Fiskars), Nestabilities Scalloped and plain circle dies (Spellbinders)

Sorry I have been MIA this week . . . been busy having fun with my family, creating, and of course, shopping! I love the hustle and bustle of this time of year. I love having most of my shopping done and being able to browse while everyone else is rushing around frantically. It is fun to me. I know, I am weird.
This is a fun easy project. I worked on these the other night while Michael had to go to the church . . . they only took one night for a set of 6 and were very inexpensive to make (I used a fabric bandana that I got at Hobby Lobby for $0.63 on sale to make all 6 with extra fabric leftover). Here is the link to the instructions from Martha Stewart's site:

Quilted Coaster Set

Off to get J ready for Pajama Friday . . . he is so excited to get to wear his pajamas school. Should be fun! So excited for vacation to begin and for relaxing with my kids, sipping cocoa, and spending time together! I'll be back sometime soon . . . .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: Christmas Cookie Exchange Invitations

I have been wanting to hostess a small scale cookie exchange at my house for a few years, but this year I started planning it in advance so I could make it happen. Flash forward, I got kinda busy, and with only a little over a week left till Christmas, I don't think it will happen this year . . . but I figure I can use the invites as a jump start for next year *giggles*

Sometimes I hate how disorganized I am . . . maybe that will have to be one of my resolutions . . .

INVITES (Made using layout from Mojo Monday blog -- Mojo 111)

Stamps: Holiday Button Bits (Papertrey Ink) Paper: Old Olive (SU!), Wizard Dark (Prism Papers), Eskimo Kisses - Snow Globe (Basic Grey), Solar White Classic Crest (Neenah) Ink: Garden Green Classic Ink (SU!), Encore Ultimate Metallic Bronze (Tsukineko) Accessories: Sewing machine (Singer), white thread (Sulky), Pop Dots, Vintage Buttons - Assorted Colors (Papertrey Ink), Cranberry Crisp Ribbon (Retired SU!), Diamond Stickles (Ranger)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I have a thing for cocoa! M and I like to sit together late at night after the kids are in bed and drink cocoa and just relax.

Here is a way to share a love for cocoa, and a recipe on how to make your own.

All over the jar are rub ons (I got at Michaels last year) and they just add a little shimmer to the jar.


2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
1/8 teaspoon salt

Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended. Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix. Spoon 3-4 teaspoons full into a mug of warm water, mix and top with whipped cream! Enjoy!

I covered the tag with fabric (one side paper) that matched the lid cover. The big bow on the back side holds the tag in place. Such an easy project! Keep nice and warm!!!

Stamps: Christmas Swirls (Skipping Stones Design) Ink: Ultimate Metallic - Gold (Tsuineko) Accessories: Dark Chocolate Swiss Dot Satin ribbon (Papertrey Ink), Sheer Creations Gold Organdy ribbon (Michaels Stores Inc.), EZ Rub On Transfers (Royal & Langnickel), Chocolate Chip Marker (SU!), sewing machine (Singer), white thread (Sulky)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mesa Temple Christmas Lights and Concert Series

I had planned to go to this closer to Christmas on a weekend, but the elders in our ward decided to have pizza and hot cocoa, and who am I to resist yummy stuff. We met Michael after work and drove over and met everyone. It was fun. A great way to spend family night together. We only had one mishap where J ran under the rope lighted area to try and join one of the scenes. *thankfully*

This was at the beginning - J was clearly tired already

Me and my big boy with one of the huge Christmas trees

My beautiful and tired princess E

Daddy and Baby E

Viewing the nativity and baby Jesus

Me and Michael, and the choir that performed

Sunday, December 13, 2009

E's First Movie - "Copper" by Diane M. Dresback (Day 3)

The shoot tonight took us to a train station. E was really excited to go. She is just so funny. She truly believes she is a movie star! When we went to record some sound in a quiet location at the end of the shoot -- we pulled up in the van and she was getting out and she said: "The E has arrived" -- It is adorable and I never want her to lose that star quality!

We all went together so that we could have some more family time together on the weekend on the drive there and back. J and the baby hung out with me in the van for the hour or so that they were filming and Michael went with E to do her stuff. I think she has really grown to love her daddy time as he has helped her out with the movie. I can't believe the shooting is done already and I eagerly await seeing the finished results. What a fun time this has been!

Practicing her lines with film grandpa Michael and getting instructions from Diane

Kimber, E and Michael (chilling out)

Setting up, getting final instructions, etc. . .

In action

Some cute shots of E and her film Grandpa