Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making My Way Back

I'm back y'all, i'm back y'all! Soooo, I know I've been MIA for a while but I had to get back to all my lovely peeps today! You see, Christmas nearly put me out! Don't get me wrong, I love everything about it but something just had to give. I haven't been to the gym in 3 weeks (yikes) and no matter how hard I tried I could not find any time to write up a post without sacrificing something else. So, I just put it aside for a while keeping in mind that I would come back this week, after all the craziness of the holidays.

I let my girls sleep in today after a crazy night of playing Wii games WAY too late. Okay, I was playing too. Just Dance 3 baby! I can't not join in. I mentioned here once that I love to dance, and you can find me bustin a move just about anywhere so as soon as that game is in I'm up and dancing along. Can't hurt to burn off a few of those (millions) of holiday treats that I have consumed too, right?

Here are a few pics of how we spent the last week. The Wednesday before Christmas I started my baking. I baked and baked and baked.... well, you get the picture. Instead of exchanging gifts with all of our neighbors we started exchanging treats several years ago. I like to try & come up with new things so here are a few of this year's goodies:

I baked mini-loaves of fresh bread to go with the apple butter I made. First time canning and nailed it! 

Most all of the neighbors have dogs so I didn't want them to be left out. I gave some to my own dogs, Ace & Romeo too & they went insane! I think I'll keep this recipe around and start making it regularly.

Oreo balls are so easy & amazing. I made these last year and everyone went gaga over them!

I love biscotti. I always make it. This year it was chocolate chip. Can't go wrong with chocolate chip anything!

And, all bagged up and ready to go:

We had my family over on Christmas Eve & Corey's family on Christmas day. The time flew by so fast I can't believe it's over!

Here is Audrey handing out the gifts:

One of my favorite gifts, boot slippers. I wore them nearly all day on Christmas Day. They are so comfy:

Ella with one of her cute new sweaters:

Shhh, don't tell him I put this picture up, but I couldn't help myself. It's Corey wearing Ella's new scarf. LOL He was showing her how to tie it like a regular tie:

And one more of Audrey wearing one of her favorite gifts. Seriously, she wore this thing for 2 straight days! Santa has good taste, eh. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. We are having a nice relaxing week. Hanging out with friends and planning a small get together for New Year's Eve! So I'm off to Pinterest to go search for dip recipes......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Claiming Me at Bloglovin

Hey guys, I'm just posting to 'claim' my blog over at Bloglovin. Since GFC is going away shortly everyone seems to be scrambling to figure out a different way to follow and be followed so now you can 

So, how are y'alls Saturdays so far? Whatsa happenin hot stuff? I'm sippin on some mocha peppermint flavored coffee:

Then I'm going to start the kids out on starting those ornaments I mentioned a few days ago here. Then, a baby shower, soccer game, and back home to start some homemade apple butter that I plan to can (for the 1st time evah!) :

Source: food.com via Pamela on Pinterest

 and more crocheting, maybe watching Super 8 finally! See ya on the flipside. Whatever that means.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Doin The Happy Dance

It's one thing to decide to sell on Etsy and it's another to actually make a sale. Well, on Sunday I got my 1st sale this week from someone I do not know. I have made 2 other sales before this one but they were from friends. By NO means whatsoever am I discounting those sales. Believe me, friends can be your biggest supporters and I very much appreciate those more than anything. It got me started and gave me confidence in my work. But, for a complete stranger to want what you are selling is a different feeling. It means someone was clicking through, saw it and said, I would like to have THAT, even though they know nothing about you (unless of course you read my blog, then "Hey gurl, thanks") And last night I got two more orders, well, 1 order for 2 more items. It feels amazing to open your e-mail and see that little confirmation that someone thinks your work is as good as you do. Good enough to buy it from you. That, that little idea that sparked into your head, that you just had to get down and make INTO something will be in someone's hands to enjoy. I know it's only a few sales. But it's a start in the right direction. Now, off to package up the order & on to the craft store to go get more supplies while I do the happy dance.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Goings On Around Our Hood

As we get ready for Christmas I have been enjoying life inside as it has been really cold here lately. Well, cold for me. I've lived in Texas all my life so anything below 50 is cold to me. So you can imagine how I feel when it's in the thirties, like it's been all week.

So, anyway, as I sit here in my 42 layers of clothing, I thought I'd share some of the goings on around here and show you what we have been enjoying.

First, off we have been wearing jackets and decorating our tree. No silly, that's not our tree. It's something I slipped in there. Did I fool you? I'll post up pics of the (real) tree later:

We've been eating yummy food like chicken piccata with fettuccine. Yes, I know what the bowl says but it's not ravioli. I promise:

I've been crocheting like crazy. This one is mine. I know, I know, it sounds selfish but I really almost never keep anything I make and this is my favorite color and I'll be around a LOT of people in the next few weeks with opportunities to take pictures so I thought it would be a good chance to show off the wares. Then, when they are like "who made that fabulous crocheted camera strap cover, I'll be like BAM, I did. and I'll make you one too, sir or madam". 

And I'm working on making a crocheted Nook cover a friend asked me to make in anticipation of getting one for Christmas. Since I've never made one and I could not find the perfect pattern, of course I had to come up with my own. I think I'll be adding a strap & brown button to this one too. Now, I just need to find someone that already owns one to make sure it fits okay as I only went by the specs I found on the interwebs:

I would also LOVE to try my hand at these:

Source: purlbee.com via Pamela on Pinterest

I found the pattern over at The Purl Bee and they look relatively simple to make. I don't know if you can tell but the letters are cross-stitched on and other than that it's really just simple sewing. I figured Ella could do her own. I used to cross-stitch way back in the day and it is pretty easy, especially just a letter like this. I may even have Audrey give it a go. I was thinking they could give them to their teacher's for a teacher gift before they are out on break and if they turn out well we may just make more for friends when we hand out our annual cookie/goodie bags. 

Sigh. So many ideas, so little time. Being as craft-minded as I am I would just love to sit down and make everything for everyone on my list but I know I don't have that much extra time so a few will have to do for now. 

Do you guys make any of your own gifts? What have you done or plan to do?

I'm joining in on the Facebook Hop today. Hi to any newbs that clicked on over from there. Welcome!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finding Time to Unwind

Have you uttered these words lately: 'I'm SO busy'. I keep having to stop myself from saying it because I hate sounding like I'm complaining about my life. In fact, I love my life right now, but there is really just no other way to put it. My life is hectic. Yours probably is too, right? So, I have to find joy in the little things because vacation and summertime is just too far in the future.

So, what do you all do to unwind? Here's a few of my favorites off the top of my head:

1. Flavored coffees. I love the holiday flavored coffees so I have been experimenting with different flavored creamers & coffees from the store. I just bought mocha peppermint today. Sounds Yum!

2. A hot bath. Calgon, take me away. When I was a kid I didn't really get that commercial. A bath was just something you had to do. I so totally get it now. It's gotten cold here the last few weeks and especially today. I just get that chill in my bones and the only thing I can do to get it out is a nice hot bath.

3. Crochet & knit with a movie or catching up on DVR'd programs. Being that my shop features many crocheted items I have to find time to crochet so I may as well enjoy some movies or TV with it, right? Ella has been learning to crochet too (she's my mini-me) so she's usually snuggled up next to me which makes it even better.

4. Playing cards or Wii games with the neighbors. I'm so blessed to know many of my neighbors.We have a nice group that usually involves anywhere from 4 to 12 of us getting together at one of our houses on the weekends. We just hang out and usually play Wii Sports or card games. It doesn't really matter what game, it's just the background to hanging out and enjoying each other's company.

5. Volunteering. I get a lot out of volunteering at the school. My daughters go to a school that has a jump-rope team, a runner's club, a dance club, and a basketball club. Yes, our school's PE teacher is an amazing guy putting together all of these clubs. You can find me there at least a few times a week helping out and I just love interacting with the kids and getting my mind off of the list of things waiting for me at home.

This is a pic of Ella & I nearly a year ago at jump-rope camp.

Your turn....what do you like to do this time of year to relax?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Randomness & Tagging Along

I'm blog hopping today. You should too.

Does that mean I'm one of the cool kids now? I hope so, cuz I love reading all of these lady's blogs.

And now for something completely different, random pictures from the past few days:

The last fruit from my garden (and only tomatoes of the year). oooh, ahhh.

My daughter and her 'toeless socks'. Don't worry, after I realized this was what was left of her favorite pair of Strawberry Shortcake socks I made her throw them out, much to her dismay. Could that really be comfortable? Ah, what we do for fashion. 

I don't know if you will find this as amusing as I did when I found it lying on the coffee table but I'll post it up anyway. Translation: How to love macaroni and cheese. First you get born. Next you try it. Then you LIKE IT! Just in case anyone needed a step by step on loving mac & cheese.

And, just because he could use a few well wishes, the rare appearance of my hubby, Corey. He is starting his first day on a new job today, all decked out in a new suit and everything. He is SO happy to be starting this new job and we are all very much looking forward to this new beginning for him!

Happy pre-Friday everyone!