Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have You Been Naughty Or Nice?


This cute little naughty or nice checklist is a quick project that can be used as an ornament, gift card holder, or gift tag (scroll down for directions).

Today's project it brought to you by
our newest sponsor:

Normally I don't accept product sponsorships because I don't want to pimp out the blog just for some free stuff that I wouldn't otherwise write about. This one is different though because it is crafting supplies! Not only that but each month *I* get to choose which supplies I want. That means I can pick stuff for projects that I already had rolling around in my head. 

Alright, back to the project:


I saw these Black Crystal Twist Beads and thought that they would be really cute as "naughty coal". I made this into an ornament but it would also work as a fun gift card or money holder. Stick this to the front of a mini envelope so that it looks like they are getting nothing but coal for Christmas then they open it up and there is the gift card.

Start by printing out the naughty/nice card:


I left the boxes blank so you could check nice and use it as a gift tag if you want. I used a Sharpie to check "naughty" then cut it out and glued it to a piece of red cardstock to add a colorful border and make it sturdier. Then I just used some hot glue to attach the beads and a loop of ribbon on the back to hang it on the tree.



 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

Can you believe that Christmas is only 13 days away? Crazy! 



We are keeping things pretty simple this year. We cut our shopping list short - partly because we are trying to pay off some bills and partly because we hate mandatory gift giving. We prefer giving gifts on random days when we find something awesome and have the money available rather than getting something because the calendar says we should. I would be thrilled if we could completely do away with the gifting part of Christmas and just hang out with our loved ones eating, laughing, and watching Christmas movies while drinking hot cocoa. Anyone with me? :) (Side note: I read this really interesting article the other day about a social experiment on How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us. It's funny and sad at the same time.)

Anyway, we also downsized some of our Christmas decor since this house is smaller and I wanted to keep things colorful and festive without being too cluttered. That would be why you haven't seen many tutorials over here this month. Well, that and I have been focusing more on enjoying time with my guys! I will be back with plenty of projects in January. 


As I mentioned before, our tree is new (found it at Walmart) and I lit it using some tips from BHG. I ended up putting 700 lights on that baby! I love how it glows though and the lights inside the tree twinkle when you walk past. The star and ornaments are the same (both came from Target a few years ago) but I think they pop more against the white tree. The beaded garland was from a tree that we used years ago. The ruffled tree skirt was made from old fabric that I had lying around.


The piano got spruced up a bit as well. My husband's childhood copy of The Night Before Christmas sits in the music stand...


...to the left is a thrift store Rudolph figurine (one of my favorite Christmas movies!), last year's Dear Santa Sign (because I still think it's funny and it adds a pop of color), and an owl candle warmer filled with Sugared Pecan wax cubes that make the house smell all Christmas-y. I can't find the owl on the website anymore but it came from Walmart and was part of the Better Homes & Gardens collection.


The other end of the piano has our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree and the most annoying Snoopy snow globe ever made! It plays music which is kind of cute the first few hundred times you hear it but then it starts to get old.


The opposite living room wall also got decked out with our Shoe Organizer Advent Calendar...


...our $2 Target stockings from a few years ago...


...our Glittery Christmas Banner that has survived the last three Christmases... 


...and our Christmas Story Time Box which is now a cardboard box borrowed from one of the closets with wrapping paper taped to it. I still love having all of the Christmas books in one spot so that we don't have to search all of the shelves trying to find one.


Our Veggie Tale Nativity made its way on to the table next to the couch. The annoyance factor of this one just might trump the Snoopy snow globe. It doesn't get played as often but the song is sung in a squeaky Veggie Tale voice. 


The kitchen has our old Snowman Fridge and the winter village on the buffet. I have seen some really cute homemade villages on Retro Renovation this year and I really wish I had enough time to make my own. I will next year for sure. I also saw some adorable pics on Pinterest of Hot Wheels with tiny trees strapped to the roof. Too stinkin' cute! One of those will also make an appearance in my village next year.

So that is our decor for this year. Do you have all of your decorations up?


 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eggnog Fudge


Two of my favorite holiday treats - eggnog and fudge - together in one recipe?! Shut the front door! This fudge is definitely one of my new Christmas favorites. I hope you like it too.

Eggnog Fudge
adapted from Recipe Girl

Ingredients:
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Salted Butter
3/4 cup Dairy Eggnog
10.5 oz White Chocolate Chips
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg, plus more for the top
7oz jar Marshmallow Creme
1 teaspoon Rum Extract

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil with some hanging over the sides. Butter the foil or lightly coat with cooking spray.

Over medium heat, combine sugar, butter and eggnog in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Continue stirring and boiling for about 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 234F. 

Remove from heat and quickly stir in white chocolate chips and nutmeg. Continue stirring until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add marshmallow cream and rum extract. Stir until well combined. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with additional nutmeg, if desired. Let stand at room temperature until cool.

Once your fudge is completely cool, cut into about 1 1/4" squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 36 Squares.

Additional Notes: 
I only had unsalted butter on hand so I just added a pinch of salt and it worked well.
Some people prefer to refrigerate their fudge. I did some searching and it seems that this is unnecessary for food safety and will actually cause the fudge to dry out faster. 
This fudge freezes well and can be stored in an air tight container in the freezer for several weeks.