Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

WHEWW! I made it! I officially put my craft table away this afternoon, until after the holiday (which means Saturday!). I hope all of my hard work and crafting is appreciated by all, I know way to be selfish!

Merry Christmas to all, I hope that we all remember the reason we celebrate this time of year, and take time to remember Christ and His birth.

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Food Gifts

Food gifts are a great way to keep costs down during the holidays. I sent these yummy candied almonds to the kids teachers, and to my hubby's co-workers. I had the jars here at home too, and I got the almonds as a gift from my in-laws, so the whole thing just cost me my time.

Here's the recipe for these delish almonds!

Candied Almonds

2 egg whites (at room temp)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 tspn vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter melted then cooled to room temp
1- 1 1/2 lbs nuts

I used almonds for this recipe and I used about 5 cups of almonds and it was perfect.

beat egg whites until they have soft peaks when beater is lifted from bowl. Beat in brown sugar 1/4 cup at a time, vanilla, and cinnamon until stiff peaks form, and they are glossy. Slowly fold in melted butter. Fold in nuts until well coated. Pour nuts out onto ungreased jelly roll pan (or a cookie sheet for those of us out there that didn't know it was the same thing!). Bake at 275 for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes to keep the nuts separate.

As they cool stir them also to keep them separate. Make 2 batchescuz you're gonna want to eat a whole one yourself!

Oh and crafting tip #507... Spray paint does not come off of skin like regular craft paint, it stays on for DAYS!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Tis the season for gift exchanges!

The closer we get to Christmas it seems the more parties and gift exchanges we are involved in. Sure mostly they have a $5 limit on them, that's not so bad, right? Well times that by 4-5 gift exchanges and it can really add up. So last night my daughter and I rummaged through my craft room for a project for her gift exchange at church. She was actually really excited to make a gift and she thinks she may try and get this one back for herself tonight. Here is what she came up with:

Yes, another project from a block of wood, but they sure are cute.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

17 Teachers and no $$$

Yes, I said 17 teachers. My son goes to preschool at our local High School. His class is taught by high school students supervised by a teacher. There are 17 "Big Kids" that teach, so when it comes to teacher Christmas gifts it can get a little overwhelming. So this year I decided I needed something quick, easy, and CHA-EEP!

Here's what I came up with:

Basically just clothes pins that I embellished. I've seen these lots on other blogs, but it never dawned on me how inexpensive they would be. I had the clothes pins, buttons, and paper at home. I added a magnet on the back for their lockers, which I had to purchase, but they only cost me $2! So for a grand total of $2 and 1 hour I had 17 teacher gifts.

You can really go all out on these and embellish the bee-geebers out of them. I went simple because really a high school locker is no place to keep really nice things... unless they are iPods, cell phones, MP3 players, etc!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Use those coupons in the mail

I don't know if it's just me, or my neighborhood, but a few times during the year we get great coupons in the mail. I'm not talking 50 cents off if you buy 2 of something, I'm talking $10 off a $10 purchase. In my opinion that is a great opportunity for some Freegifting!

We have a tradition of sorts in our household, each new baby for their first Christmas gets a Hallmark ornament. It's one that has the date and baby's first Christmas somewhere on it. This new baby is no exception, but I was choking on having to fork out the $12-$15 for only one ornament. Lucky me this week I got a Kohl's gift card in the mail one of those $10 off a $10 purchase, so this little gem only cost me $2.50!!!

Can you say BARGAIN!!??

Friday, December 4, 2009

So Cute and Cheap I Almost Wet My Pants!

Wednesday I was visiting my most favoritest thrift shop in town. I go about once a week just to check things out. You really never know what you will find there. I confess I used to be a thrift-store-snob, meaning I would NOT shop in one if you paid me $$$. Now I must confess that I'm a bit of an thrift shop "enthusiast", to put it mildly. While I was browsing the isles I happened upon a really cute antique window for $4.99. Let me just say that is a bargain! I bought an antique window at a local salvage warehouse a few years ago and paid $25 and I thought that was a bargain. The window at the thrift store had some really ugly flowers painted in the panes but I knew they could be scraped off really easily. I didn't buy the window right away, I was a little nervous about what my hubby would say since I already have an antique window, and really who needs two... ME! Well hubby did not really care about how many windows I bring home, so I fretted about it ALL NIGHT. I was sure the minute I left the thrift store 100's of people stormed it looking for that exact same kind of window. Lucky for me it was hidden in the back among all of the ugly art work and frames, cuz it was still there in the morning. I scooped it up and shoved (I mean placed it gently) it in the back of my mini-van (yes I drive one when you have as many kids as I do there are not a lot of choices out there) and took it home. My 5 year old was in the back fretting the whole time about it having spiders, and he was sad when I told him I was scraping the pain off, he really liked the ugly flowers.

Scrapping off the paint took about 15 minutes and now it has a wonderful home on my mantle. I'm not the best at decorating and accessorizing so I know it needs a little something and I'm sure one of these days on another trip to the thrift store I will find just the perfect thing!



notice I didn't show the whole fireplace since all my sewing crap is still blocking the view!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do you have a gift closet?

Well Ok maybe mine is not a whole closet but it's slowly starting to take over my clothes closet. I am getting into the habit of picking things up on clearance and storing them away for the future. It really comes in handy when you have a baby shower to attend, or a birthday party, just head to your gift stash and find something great.

I find things all over. I'm not a huge fan of Wally World (you know the store I mean) but you can find really great deals on things there. Sometimes they even mark their clothes down to $1, and you cannot make it for that price. I also like to shop the craft stores for their clearance items and have a few things that I can throw together in a jiffy.

Today I was a WW and found backpacks for $1, they are cute and girly and I don't know who they will go to yet but they are headed for the closet as I type. The other day I found cute beaded butterfly trim at the fabric store on clearance for $.25 a yard, YES 25 CENTS! I bought it all.

It is very important to go through your gift stash occasionally it can get quite messy!


Found this link today to American Greetings where you can create a photo calendar, a photo book, cards, or get a gift card for FA-REE! I made a calendar this morning for my parents and I didn't even pay for shipping! Happy gift giving! Hurry though it's for today only and they are only giving away 20,000!!!!