Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Head, Please Stop Spinning

I have so many things to post about and so many things going on lately. My head won't stop spinning! I'm preparing for the big New Years Eve party tomorrow. It's going to be a murder mystery dinner party so I've been on my toes all week getting ready for it, but I'm really excited because I love throwing parties and I think it will be a lot of fun. =]

For now, I leave you with this:

My co-worker ripped both of those phone books in half. With his bare hands. It was very impressive.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Party Time!

My best friend's birthday was last week and we threw her a party on Saturday. Usually for my friend's brithdays, we'll get together and bake them a cake, but I wanted to do something different. I decided on Bakerella's oreo truffles! Here's a pic of the setup right before the party started. You also get a glimpse of my Christmas tablescape. I used one of my scarves as a table runner and simply set out some of my ornaments in my color scheme. But back to the truffles....

I had so much fun making these and they turned out pretty cute.

My friend's favorite color is blue so I picked up some blue candy melts to add some of her favorite color into the mix.

I took ziploc bags and filled them with the extra chocolate/candy melts and then cut a little hole in a corner and used that to drizzle the chocolate over the top of the truffles.

This was the first time I'd ever had these and I thought they tasted delicious. The birthday girl liked them too. =]

And here we all are after filling our bellies with truffles and pizza (and doing the Cha-Cha slide in my kitchen)! Good times!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Curtains For You

Cheesy title? Check.

I finally got curtains up and it completely changes the feel of the house! I mentioned in this post that I had bought these chocolate brown curtain rods at Ikea. I hadn't bought curtains yet because I was still trying to figure out what I wanted. I was thinking I wanted white curtains, but I hadn't made up my mind yet. I also knew I didn't want to spend a lot on them (story of my life). I finally decided I wanted floor-length, white, grommet-top curtains and after looking around and seeing the median price, I was extremely disappointed. Well, my love Target came through for me again! I found white, grommet-top curtains that were floor-length for $27 (and some change) for a pair!! I was so excited. I took them home and washed them and then after drying and hanging them up, I discovered the truth: they were too short!

How could this happen to me? I thought my dream had come true! Oh well, I got over it fast and came up with a solution. I took a seam-ripper and ripped the seams on the bottom of every single one to extend them to their original length and then I took some $2 Stitch-Witchery and added it to the very bottom and steamed it on. After steaming the Stitch-Witchery onto the bottom of the curtains, I ironed them and we put them up -- again.

Here was my setup as I ironed the Stitch-Witchery on.

The whole process was so much easier than I thought it was going to be.

The final product:

So there they are! My floor-length, white, grommet-top curtains at a price I can agree to. Yay!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Christmas Decor

Here's more of what's going on in my beloved casa in honor of Christmas.

I put out this little guy. He doesn't have a name yet. My grandfather got married earlier this year and his new wife made this for me out of beads and paper clips! He's pretty cute.

 Maybe I should call him Frosty...

 I wanted to do something to decorate the stairwell, but I wanted it to be unique. I had some of these little snowflakes leftover from the tree so I thought I would see how they looked on the banisters.

I just untied them and then re-tied them on the banisters and I thought they looked pretty cute.

Festive stairwell!

Festive stairwell from farther away. Ooh. Aah.

Another thing I did was change out my frame. During October I had this little setup going on one of the bookshelves. At Michaels they were having a half off sale of frames and looking in the 8x10 section I found a two pack of the following frame. It was regular priced at $12 so I thought hey $6 is a great deal for that so I snatched them up. When I got the register the two-pack was 2.50(!!!!!!!!). How does that even happen? I got this Halloween scrapbook paper and fit it inside and added my little pumpkin and some candy corn. Halloween ready!

For November I had a fall (and orange?) theme happening. 

And now for winter I have changed it out to this.

It's been so fun decorating the house and getting it ready for Christmas. Can't wait to add some more!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Cookbook!

So a few weeks ago I was at Barnes and Noble and I bought this cookbook on clearance.

I was so excited to dig in and find some new favorite recipes! I love Macaroni and Cheese so when I flipped to this page, I knew I had to make it.

It didn't take too long and it was so tasty. Especially with some fresh bread from the folks at Publix.

Old Fashioned Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used shells)
3 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli during last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and broccoli; return to saucepan.

Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in milk; bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in cheese until melted.

Add sauce to pasta and broccoli; stir until blended.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My First Wreath Attempt!

Ok, so here's how it went down. I wanted a wreath, but had no idea what kind... Well, I went to Michael's one day and outside they had a clearance pile of wreaths!!! How does that happen!! They were plain old artificial wreaths, but I was pleased and I snagged one for $2. I was hoping to attach some ornaments to it and maybe some ribbon. I picked up some clearance ornaments in green and white and called it a day.

I didn't have a way to get it on the door, so I ended up going to Walmart looking for a wreath hanger and found 1 silver one among all the gold ones (gold is not my thing) and it was only $2. Can't beat that with a stick! (What does that mean anyway?) So I finally was able to hang up the wreath and Christmas-ify the front door. =]

I love how it turned out and of course, I had to use green (my favorite color).

I love seeing that wreath when I come in after work each day. It makes me happy. Has anyone else made their own wreath? How did you do it?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Halls are Mostly Decked

I have been decorating the house for my first Christmas in this house and it's been a lot of fun. The thing I've been particularly excited about is the tree. I almost put it up before Thanksgiving, but I managed to hold back.... Here's the deal. I went out a few days after Christmas last year searching high and low for good prices on Christmas items. I was still living with my mom and so I had no Christmas items at all. I was starting from scratch and I wanted a deal!

Enter Target. I got my Christmas tree there on clearance for $30. I'll take it. Well, as you would expect it was not that awesome, but it did the trick.

The tree skirt was on clearance for $5. I think I got it from Hobby Lobby. So, I put the tree up and then my good friend Matt informed me that his mom and step-dad had given him a new, pre-lit Christmas tree so he was getting rid of his old one. He wanted to know if I would like it. You don't have to ask me twice. I took it and moved the old one upstairs. =] The new-old tree is gorgeous and had such a fun time decorating it! Too bad my pictures didn't come out well.

The star is silver and was on clearance at Wal-Mart last year. The ornaments are all from Target and were on clearance last year as well. I told you -- I needed some deals! I love how the tree turned out though, with all the different colors together.

So excited for Christmas! Yay!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Holiday Season

Phew! It's been busy busy busy/go go go around here. Thanksgiving was so much fun, but I have a lot of family so it becomes kind of an ordeal to organize everyone/everything. So now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm thinking about Christmas decorations. Let's take a look shall we?

So if I actually had a room like this, this would be pretty cool to do, huh?!

I think it's very festive and beautiful. Subdued, but still beautiful. I could never pull this off at my place, but it sure is nice to look at!

Now this is one totally fits in my house. I loooove that wreath and the way the presents are color coordinated with the decor of the house. The ornaments are a little big for my taste, but the overall feel of the room is what I'm going for in my house.

I'll have all of these lanterns please. How cute!

My house does not look anything like this, but I love this picture! So Christmas-y and cozy. I would love to come in for some hot chocolate! =]

 And this last one, so cozy!

Ah, Christmas. I love this time of year!

All pictures from Google.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chi Alpha

This past weekend, starting on Friday afternoon, I participated in a youth group retreat with my church called Chi Alpha. I've been volunteering with them since January and it has been an extremely rewarding experience. I was so excited to go on this trip and it did not disappoint. For those of you who don't know, Chi Alpha means Christ first.

We went to a church about an hour away and we stayed there in the gym. Obviously this is where worship was held. The two rooms across the way are where the boys stayed and the girls stayed in two rooms behind where I took the picture.

We started out by playing the new XKINECT!!! Or however you spell it. It was actually really cool. If you haven't heard of it, it's similar to the Wii, but you don't have to hold anything. You just move and it picks up on your movements.

Me and my fellow group leader Meaghan. I love her!

After our first worship session, the craziness started.... We had a food relay. There were 3 rounds. The first round we had 3 tins filled with pudding and gummy worms and we had to either use our elbows to get gummy worms out of the pudding or stick our face in to get out gummy worms. Whichever team got out the most gummy worms in a certain amount of time won. The next round we had to mix a huge thing of root beer and ice cream and drink it the fastest.

It was crazy and we all had brain freezes by the end of it.

After that we had to eat pumpkin pie the fastest. It was intense.

The church also had this game room next to the gym: a pool table, two foosball tables, an air hockey table and a ping pong table. Niiice!!

And finally, me and my amazing sister!

We had an amazing time! Chi Alpha!