Buche de Noel

Friday, December 22, 2017 No comments
 I made this cake last year for Christmas.  Instead of retyping the recipe, In case a yule log is on your Christmas list,  I got the original recipe here.  There are a lot of steps, but it really turned out to be easy to follow.  The only changes I made...
I trimmed off both ends so you could see the 'log' and then I put one side at an angle to make it look more like a log with some character.  I ran my knife over the buttercream to make it the typical wood texture, and I ended up with a lot of left over frosting, so next time I'd be more generous with my icing inside.  The icing turns out to be more like a mousse, which is delicious!  I also made some holly leaves and berries out of fondant and I bought a little sugar Santa from a nearby cake store.
Sunday, December 17, 2017 No comments
I'm slowly, kind of sort of, getting my life back together after chaos hit these last few months.  This December I've been doing something called December Daily. Eventually, I'll go into full detail, but for the sake of time right now, I've been videoing the pages.  Here is one of several videos.  
I love it b/c it's a smaller album, and it goes well with my photo a day project (housed on Instagram).  I'm of for two weeks, so my goal is to finish up some projects around the house I started 4 months ago and start updating my blog again.  

Christmas Golden Book Album

Friday, December 15, 2017 No comments
I made this golden book album for a friend of mine.  I did a full video on youtube walking through the whole thing.  You can find it here.  
 I borrowed the photos of her boys sitting with Santa for the last 16 years and made pages with tags she can write on embedded in an book I cut off the binding and rebound after decorating.
 She loves vintage things too, so I think this should be a hit!

December Daily

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 No comments
This year I'm doing something called December Daily  The idea is that you do a page for each day of the month, which goes well with my photo a day.  
I'm going to do some videos on youtube b/c ther are so many 'pulls' and 'flips.' Here are a few phots of the first few pages.  The first day was all about my Christmas cards. 
I made a list of who all I sent cards to this year and I'm going to write who all I get them from on the back so that I can make my list for next year.
Day 2 and 3 involvd a short trip to San Antoni.  I'm not sure I'm done yet, but you ge the idea....and I have the next few weeks to add when the mood strikes.
The 6x8 size and little sleeves a lot f these albums house is throwming me of b/c it really does make it easier...so I keep thinking I need something more.  So far I'm loving it, and if I continue to love it I have enough supplies to scrapbook the next 50 Christmas seasons, so.....there is that.

(Vegan) Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes I like a little sweet potatoes with my marshmallows, so....I wasn't sure what I'd think about this recipe with a pecan topping instead, but I ended up really loving it.  It still had the fun sweet flavor with a little extra kick, and I was able to share left overs with the vegans that attend holiday dinners at my house, so anytime I can share calories is a good thing.
Vegan, or not, this is a keeper!  I just made a few adjustments to the original recipe from meaningfuleats.com
Sweet Potato with Pecan Topping
Ingredients for Filling:  3- 4 large sweet potatoes (enough for 3 c. once mashed), 2/3 c. soy milk, 1/3 c. maple syrup, 1/4 c. melted vegan 'butter' or coconut oil, 1 t. vanilla, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. nutmeg, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 c. apple sauce (I used unsweetend)
Ingredients for Topping:  1 1/4 c. chopped pecans, 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. brown suar, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. vanilla, 1/4 c. vegan 'butter' or coconut oil (solid form)
1.  Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 2 inch chunks.  Place in pan and cover with cold wate.r  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until they are fork tender (about 20 minutes). 
2.  Heat the oven to 350 and oil a 9x13 casserole pan.
3.  Combine the pecans, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cut in vegan butter with fork until the mix has pea size chunks. 
4.  Drain potatoes and mash until smooth.  Use 3 c. and ad soy milk, maple syrup, vegan butter, vanila, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple sauce, and salt.  Whip to combine.
5. Place in pan and top with pecan mix.  BAke for 25-30 minutes until top is brown and bubbling.

Fabric Garland

Monday, December 04, 2017 No comments
 Last year I made a series of garlands for Good Morning, Texas, but I didn't have enough time to post them all before Christmas.  This was one I put together using some old scraps I cut up into 1 inch by 8 inch pieces and a strand of lights from the dollar store.
I just tied one knot in each piece of fabric along the strand of lights until it was filled up.  I actually used it for Valentine's as well.  Not too shabby for a buck!

Thanksgiving Bible Journal

Friday, December 01, 2017 No comments
I recently saw a tutorial using a napkin on bible pages.  I decided this Thanksgiving to use the napkins from our family dinner.  I cut out the portion of the picture I wanted to use...
     And then I peel off the back of the napkin so it was only one layer.  Sometimes napkins are three ply, so...just something to watch for with napkins.  I then used Gesso and spread it on the page and pressed the napkin down while it was wet and smoothed it out.  I took a paint brush and pressed it down some more.    If you try to apply it to the napkin it may tear the napkin, so this was an easier approach.  The nice thing is that if the napkin is a light enough color you can still see the words below the page.
     This time I journaled about a recent verse my pastor covered from 1 Peter 1:25.  The gist of the sermon was about the everlasting power for the gospel and the history of the bible and all the ways man has tried to destroy it, yet the words remain.  I started reflecting on the fact that a few hundred years ago I had ancestors that cross the ocean to America with these bibles.  Based on the timing of their voyage and what was going on in the countries they left it's highly likely they left for religious reasons.  I don't know all their names, or their stories, but they read these exact words once upon a journey and because of those decisions I sat down for Thanksgiving with my family....and my faith and the mystery and wonder of how God works and how He ties us all together with a bible that points to His son.  It's an overwhelming and comforting truth I can never truly understand or express on this side of heaven.

Dollar Store Ornament Garland

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 No comments
I made this last year for Good Morning, Texas.  I made a loop on each end so it can hang in a swag, but I was lazy and had it lay across the top of my buffet, which was just as pretty....maybe this year she'll make the wall.  .  
 I bought some ornaments at the Dollar Tree. They sell them in all shapes and sizes.  I took about 5 tubes per swag, and I made each swag separate so it wasn't too heavy.  These ornaments are really light, so it's not too heavy, but still.
 I took some wire and twisted the end so I had a loop for hanging.
I also twisted on the first ornament next to that loop and then I just started dropped ornaments down my wire varying the colors until I had this...
I twisted off the other end and now it's ready to hang.  Not too shabby for 5 bucks.

Ranger Cookies

Monday, November 27, 2017 No comments
For the last...well....long time...I've hosted a yearly recipe exchange at my school.  It's started b/c there were a bunch of us that loved pinterest.  SO....a good way to try out 15-20 new recipes is to have each gal baek up a recipe.  Last year, my contribution was Ranger Cookies.  I had these a year ago on a random roadside stop, so I wanted to try them out.  HERE is a free printable (that I took to the cookie exchange).  If you like oatmeal cookies....these take after that with a few more fun surprises thrown in.  

Fall Salad

Friday, November 24, 2017 No comments
I'm clearing my phone of pictures and I found this one of a salad I really loved and want to remember.  I tossed together spinach, apple slices, candied pecans, and white cheddar cheese.  I added some balsamic vinegar for dresshing and it was the perfect comination of salty and sweet.  So, before I say goodbye to fall and all her flavors, I wanted one last memory, so next year I remember I do like more than pumpkin bread & caramel apples when fall rolls around. 

12 Day of Christmas

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 No comments
 I did this once before for my cousin's daughter, and it was a big hit.  I bought a bunch of little crafts at craft stores in the area and I wrapped them each individually (12 crafts to be exact).  I added a tag with a number and the date to each tag (because my goddaughter, who is getting these gift, does not like to wait).  This way she can look forward to opening a gift each day, and she will soon learn they come with a little something for her to do each day. 
Her house should be well decorated by day 12! 

Crockpot Cornbread Dressing

Monday, November 20, 2017 No comments
     This photo isn't a beauty, but the dressing was delicious.  I brought this to a potluck last week at work.  There is a group of us that spends the ENTIRE day outside working the turkey trot for each grade level, so last year I started a little friendsgiving for the workers who are ready to gorge by 2 pm.
     I wanted to bring a Thanksgiving dish, but I've been sooooo busy all month, so I looked for something easy to throw together and came up with this dressing.  I combined a few different online dressings, so feel free to add and subtract.
Crockpot Cornbread Dressing
Ingredients:  8 c. of corn bread (I cooked 2 boxes of Jiffy according to directions and then crumbled it up, I also added about 4 pieces of day old white bread), 1 can cream of chicken, 1/2 t. pepper, 11/2 t. sage, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 3 c. chicken broth, 1/4 c. melted butter, 4 eggs, 1 med onion chopped, 1 c. celery (chopped).  
Instructions:  Mix all ingredients.  Place in a crockpot and cook for 4-5 hours on low.  Top should be browning.  

TShirt Quilt

Saturday, November 18, 2017 No comments
 This year for Christmas I made my brother a t shirt quilt.  He had a ton of shirts taking up closet space from sport's team victories and races he's run.  I used a plastic square to cut them all down to the same size. 
 I cut 2 inch strips and sewed them to the sides and then between each row.  This allowed me to be less than perfect.  The reality is I don't have the patience or talent to match up corners, so this is the most forgiving way for me to put together blocks...and it makes the quilt a little longer too. 
I bought some batting and a soft sheet for the back and I took it to a quilter to attach the two pieces together and then added some binding using the same fabric between each square.  Last,  I added some dog hair b/c no project is complete without dog hair. 

Photo a Day

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 No comments

I usually post in advance, but for the first time, I'm behind in blogging. It has been a real bugger of a year.  I have a lot of fun things planned for December, including December Daily, but in the meantime.  One thing I have kept up with is my photo a day on Instagram. Sometimes it's something I did, something I ate, or an ever recurring theme..my dog. I  love her more than a little. This is my second year and the first few months were difficult to remember to post, but in the midst of hard days I love flipping back day by day and seeing so much good and significance in what seems like a year of more of the 'same,' and at points 'hard.' 

Thanksgiving Cards

Monday, November 06, 2017 1 comment
This summer I tried to get ahead on my cards.  I put together theseThankgiving cards using some of my scraps and doodads for my godchildren and their siblings.  I buy big packages of blank cards when they go on sale and then use my scraps and misc stickers and ribbons to try to put together cards for the holidays....when I have the time...which usually means I store up in the summer like a squirrel with her acorns to get me through the winter and all her holidays.

Peppermint Fluff Candle

Friday, November 03, 2017 No comments
Last year I saw some cute little candles inside tin cans at a craft show and I decided it looked like a good DIY project!  
 I bought wick and candle squares at a craft store, and then I saved a can from a meal, used some peppermint essential oil for a scent, and a washer.
 To prevent my can from having a sharp edge I used one of those openers that removes the lid/rim and all.
 I tied the wick to the washer and placed it down at the bottom of the can.  This wouldn't work if the can wasn't metal (fire hazard), but it works for this case and made a nice weight.
 I tied the wick to a straw and placed it across the can in the middle so it would stay (sort of) straight.  The candle wax suggested a double boiler, but I just stuck it in the microwave for about 5 minutes until it was melted.  I dropped in a few drops of essential oil and then poured it into the can.
 It goes in clear, but when it was starting to harden, just to jazz it up, I added some crushed peppermint.
I added a label and then bagged it up with some mints.  I don't think I'll go into the candle making business, but....it was a fun little gift to give a few friends and different from my norm!