Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I (puffy) HEART After Christmas Sales!!!

I. LOVE. THIS. ELF! If I weren't already married...I'd marry this elf. Is he not the cutest thing ever? My very favorite gift shop that I NEVER actually purchase anything at had a bang up sale the day after Christmas. I was so excited I almost peed my pants. Seriously, I know there's something wrong with me, but it's true. I was giddy. I could hardly keep it under control. Every single thing that I had been drooling over all season was still there and it was half off! And luckily, my dear hubby knows me like the back of his hand. He gave me a wad of cold hard cash to spend for this very purpose (that's what I wanted for Christmas). Am I the only freakazoid who wigs out over Christmas stuff, even when Christmas is already done?

What do you think...elf on the hearth or elf on the mantel?
(tall cone trees = $3 @ Walmart...yippee skippee)

I visited these candle holders several times, but couldn't bring myself to buy them. I am so glad I waited. See how they match the metal presents on my mantel? And no, they are NOT orange, they're bright sparkly glittery red.
(NOTE TO SELF : Maybe you should have spent that wad of cash on a much needed new camera.)

I just about died when I spotted these huge glittery paper mache ornaments. I HAD to have them.

These little santa boots are just too cute. For 50 cents, I couldn't pass them up.

Yes, more ribbon for my ribbon obsession.

The other side says, NAUGHTY. But, I'm stickin' with NICE.

And last, but certainly not least...my much needed new tree skirt. I love the simplicity of it. PRECIOUS.
You like how I used the air hockey table as a backdrop? Btw, we scored that treasure at a thrift store for 25 bucks. It's like new, it's electronic, it works...the kids love it! My 3 year old asks to play air honkey all day long! Oh my, how that child makes me laugh. Life would be so boring without her!
Guess what? I'm not planning on taking my Christmas decor down any time soon. I need a couple more weeks of it. I do this every year. I think I may have a problem. I'm addicted to Christmas. HELP. I do have a good excuse this year though. I'm hosting Book Club here on the 8th and I think it will be much more fun with a festively decorated home. Yeah, I know I'm reaching on that one, but I need an excuse to cover my crazy. So, bear with me. It's gonna look like Christmas vomited all over my house for a teensy bit longer. I'll try not to post anymore pictures of it. I'll try.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tassels RAWK!

I am officially now obsessed with making tassels. These are my very first ones, and I LOVE them. It was hard to give them away as Christmas gifts. I made it easier on myself by giving them to my favorite person in the whole wide world...my Mom! I never know what to get her. What do you get the woman who has everything and pays pennies for her fabulousness??? Well, I'll tell ya...a tassel...the prettiest little thing you'll never need! She oohed and ahhed over it, and I felt like I had succeeded in the gift-giving department! All's well that ends well.

After I made the purse tassel, I started thinking about other things I could use as toppers. Hmmmmm...let me think. Oh, what about all those pears I bought on super deep discount at Target and never could find a use for? PERFECT.

I am chomping at the bit to find time to make some more of these little beauties. Remember all those vintagey figurines I got at Dollar Tree a while back (phone, sewing machine, typewriter)? Guess what they are getting turned into?
Yep, you guessed it...tassels.

TaSsElS RaWk!!!
Hi girls! I just wanted to let everyone know that there is an AWESOME tutorial out there already. I don't think I could do one that would compare...I'm still learning. But, thanks so much for having such confidence in me... ya'll are too sweet! I LOVE my bloggy friends. Seriously, reading all your sweet comments makes my day! Sooooo, if you are really itching to make some of these tassels, here's the scoop. Heather at BeTasseled gives a couple different toots that are very descriptive and extremely easy to follow. Let me know if you give it a try.
Good luck!

I HEART YA'LL ~ Amanda

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Redneck Christmas

One of my all time favorite traditions is taking the kids to see the "redneck" Christmas lights. Don't get me wrong...I mean no offense. I LOVE the redneck Christmas lights. Seriously, it is one of the highlights of the season for me! These pictures do it no justice. It is absolutely amazing. They probably have several acres all decked out. It is not something you just drive by, you MUST get out and walk it. There is a fenced and lighted trail all the way through it, with different hand painted wooden scenes all along the way. I cannot imagine all the time, effort, and love that is put into this display every year. This family has been putting on this magnificent show for the last 18 years. I'm sure it started out small and grew from year to year. There is no charge. They do it out of the kindness of their hearts, because they love doing it. I love that! They are the nicest little old couple you've ever met.

Hands down, this is my FAVORITE part of the whole set up. There is a hand painted ornament with every family member's name and birthday hanging from this tree. I LOVE that!

My little girl was in heaven! She is a little obsessed with Christmas this year. She knows all the carols and corrects us when we sing them wrong. She also likes to make up her own Christmas carols. She cried when we got ready to leave.

It's the little details like this that make the whole thing so special! Are those elves not PRECIOUS?

Only in the south would you see Santa driving a John Deere tractor and pulling a trailer full of toys!

Unfortunately, pictures cannot capture the beauty of these lights. They are a sight to behold... amazing.My oldest couldn't resist jumping in the shot at the last minute.

What's up with the "gangsta" peace sign???

Can you tell I have a couple of pranksters living with me? I don't remember the last picture we took where someone wasn't goofing off. Hey, that's us...that's how we roll!
From our family to yours ~
MeRrY ChRiStMaS Ya'LL!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Teacher Gifts and a Mini Tutorial

My goal to save money and have a "handmade" Christmas, has turned out to be a HUGE pain in my butt! Don't get me wrong, I really don't regret doing it this way...but let me tell ya, it's stressful! Making your gifts is A LOT of work. It is definitely NOT the easy way out. But to be honest, I loved every minute of it. It is so fulfilling to take an ordinary hum drum item and make it beautiful and unique. I think I am finally getting the hang of these clipboards...more or less.

Sorry the pictures are a little out of sequence. I'm tired and don't think I can hold my eyes open for any longer than necessary, so this is what you get! These peppermint sticks dipped in white chocolate are sooooooo yummy with hot chocolate and super easy to make


I remembered half way in to making these that I promised a tutorial, so we are seriously lacking in documentation of the steps...sorry. Basically, I start from the bottom and make my way up. I prefer to use 2 coordinating papers so that my paper piecing at the top around the clip doesn't look hokey. I cut the first 3 pieces and get them adhered. I have found that spray adhesive works the best, especially to prevent bubbling after you mod podge. Also, another helpful tip I've found is to spray your paper and the board for maximum adhesion. (is that a word?)

So now you have worked your way up to the clip with your first three pieces. Now the fun begins!

This is not a precise art. I cut a strip of paper to fit in that space, cut it in half, then trace around the clip onto the paper and cut out the pattern. It is rigged and pieced together, but I don't know that there is any other way to do it. and really, once you get it all fancied up with a big fluffy bow, no one will be able to tell. Now repeat the same process on the back side. I use the same pattern on the back so that it looks uniform. The only difference is that you don't have to worry about that pesky clip...no paper piecing. Now take your fingernail and run it along all the edges with as much pressure as you can stand...you don't want those edges pulling up, secure it good. Now you are ready to seal it with mod podge. I put on the first coat and let it dry, then apply a second coat for good measure. Once that is dry, take a credit card and smooth out any bubbles.

I use about 1 yard of gorgeous ribbon and tie a big ol' bow around the clip. You could also hot glue it on there too...whatever floats your boat. And.....TADA.....you have a beautiful one of a kind, custom clipboard sure to tickle the fancy of any teacher!

Ooooh, oooohh...I forgot one thing. Before you mod podge, you must take care of the corners. If you will notice they are rounded corner and your paper is square. I have a very easy solution for ridding the corners of that teeny bit of excess paper. Take a piece of sandpaper and just sand those edges right off. It works like a charm. It literally cuts it right off...perfectly every time! The bonus is that you get that lovely distressed edge...so cute!

Let me know if you have any questions. I am sure that I left out something important. Like I said...very tired. This explains the spelling errors too. Please forgive and love me anyway.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Party-palooza!

Welcome to my home! Come in and sit for a spell. Isn't it fun to peek into someone else's home for design inspiration while wearing your jammies and eating snacks? I LOVE this!

First off, my front door is NOT purple, it's red. Sometimes I really hate cameras. The pictures never do this stuff justice. I was at a loss as to what to do with my wreath this year. I wanted to do something different and unexpected and fun. As I'm sure you will notice I am having a love affair with this mesh netting stuff. It is AWESOME...I love it and want to marry it (sorry babe). I think the wreath is still missing that extra somethin' special, and I'm sure it will come to me soon what that somethin' is! But until then, this is what you get.

These are just a few of the fabulous parties going on right now. I wish I could survive without sleep. There just isn't enough time in the day for all the blog hopping I would like to do. I was able to narrow it down to a manageable 4, sadly. Go check these parties out if you haven't already. I promise you won't want to stop!

Before the tour starts why don't you grab a few oatmeal cookies. Mmmmmm...I think I need one too. I need to refuel so that I can go to all these swank parties!

Oh mantel...how I love thee so! I have never done whimsical Christmas decorating before this year. It was sooooo much fun and my kids love it! I don't know if I'll ever go back to traditional. Oh, who am I kidding. Of course I will. I change my mind every 6 seconds.

Oh look, more mesh. I just can't get enough! Did I mention that 80% of the stuff on my mantel is from Dollar Tree? Yes ma'am it is! LOVE me some Dollar Tree!!!

Would you look at that! More of that mesh crap on top of my armoire. Are you getting sick of me yet? Oh...p.s. that polka dot ribbon is from Wal-Mart (75 ft. for $6.50). And I am two timing the mesh because I am also having a love affair with this ribbon. Isn't it the cutest? I admired some almost identical at a friend's house recently. She is a wholesale florist and got hers from one of the shops she sells to (very high end, fru-fru). She got hers at a discount for $50. What's that? You just fell off your chair? Tell me about it...CRAZY! The day after she bought her hoody doody ribbon she found this ribbon at Wally World. I know she was sick about it. Live and learn. I'm glad I got to learn from her mistake!

More mesh and more dollar store goodies!

Mis-treated candles and dollar store glitter balls (giggle, giggle)

This year I took a different approach to decorating the tree. In the past I have been so uptight about what ornaments go where. I was a HORRIBLE mother and let (made) the kids decorate the side and back with their "special ornaments". They never had a clue that this was a bad thing. Recently I had an epiphany. One day in the not so distant future my babies will not be babies anymore. They won't live in this house forever. They will grow up and have families and lives of their very own. When that time comes, I will miss them terribly. And when it's time to decorate the tree, I feel sure I will want those "special ornaments" front and center. The popsicle stick reindeer, the lightbulb santa, the thumbprint reindeer, the upside down handprint santa, the clothespin reindeer, and all the rest. Those are the ones I will treasure for years to come. Those are the ones that will tug at my heart strings, and bring a tear to my eye. So this year I encouraged them to put their ornaments wherever they wanted. And I am so glad I did. I LOVE my tree. It is reflective of us and who we are. It makes me happy. It reminds me of how unbelievably blessed we truly are. I am so grateful for the privilege of being a mother. I am a blessed woman!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Giveaway Winners!!!

Mandy @ Got 1 + Twins
Sarah @" Thrifty Decor Chick"


Please e-mail me with your mailing address so that I can get these adorable trees in the mail tomorrow!

p.s. Is it freakishly weird that my giveaway consisted of 4 items from the Dollar Tree? I think some people think I'm nutty for giving things away that cost less than the shipping to send them. What do you think? Am I a crazy loon? Whatever, it sure was fun having my first giveaway...I loved it, and I WILL do it again. And it might just be dollar store stuff yet again. But only if it falls into the fabulous category! As my 2 year old would say,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My First Giveaway!!!...Are you Feeling Lucky?

Oooohhhh! I am so excited! I love giveaways...really who doesn't? Even though I NEVER win anything, it's still so much fun. So many of you admired my little felt pom pom trees from none other than Dollar Tree. (I think I should be on their payroll or something for all the endorsements I give them!) Tonight I thought I'd run in there for the 12th time this week and see if they had any left. I was feelin' lucky...and guess what? They had 4...2 white and 2 red. I almost peed! And because I got so many comments about not being able to find any at your Dollar Trees, I wanted to share the wealth with my friends. Soooooo...2 lucky winners will receive a set of two felt trees,one red and one white. All you have to do is leave a comment and you will automatically be entered to win. WAHOO! But we need to get on this asap, seeing as how there's only 12 days till Christmas. Did you hear me? Yep, I said 12 days. It kinda snuck up on me too. I will randomly choose the winners Sunday night at 11:59 and post them at midnight, so that I can get these babies in the mail Monday morning. It is my mission in life to get these cute trees to some deserving people before it's too late to enjoy them.

So hurry...and gOoD LuCk!!!

p.s. If you do not have a blog, please leave me your e-mail so that I can contact you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Award, a Shout Out, & An Update

First off, I need to thank my dear sweet friend Mandi for giving me my very first award! How exciting... I feel so honored and undeserved! I should have posted it days ago, but things have been a little crazy as most of you know. So, Mandi ... please forgive me for taking so long. I love ya girl!

Next, I need to give a HUGE shout out to Joanna at Southern Girl Blog Designs for my new look. Isn't it beautiful? I think she did an amazing job! If any of you need a face lift, she's your girl. Go check out some of her other designs and you'll see what I'm talking about. Thank you so much Joanna!!!

Lastly, I want to thank all of you sweet ladies for lifting my family and me up in prayer these last few days! Truly we have felt each and every one of your fervent prayers. And here is an update on baby Ella. She has made significant progress over the past couple days and they were able to take her off the ventilator. She is still being treated with antibiotics and is responding well. Part of her treatment is "bowel rest" for 14 days. After that they will reintroduce her feedings in very small doses. The surgeon came to check on her yesterday and told my sister that it didn't look like they'd be needing him. MIRACLES! Ella is getting back to her perky, feisty little self. We are so thankful for the many many people who prayed for her...friends, family, strangers, church family,and those who we don't even know of. I am so grateful for a loving God who knows each and every one of us personally, and hears and answers our prayers! What a testimony of the power of prayer and faith this has been. We are truly blessed!

Much Love and Thanks ~ Amanda

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nester's Garland Par-tay!

Yes, I know I'm a little late for the party...but fashionably late, of course! I just couldn't resist joining in on the fun! Nester is hosting another fantabulous party over at her equally fantabulous blog. There are already over 150 ladies linking their beautiful Christmas garlands for our viewing pleasure. I LOVE eye candy!!! So, go check it out...you won't regret it.

Can you tell we're going with a winter wonderland candy theme this year? Lots of glitter and lime green and red...I just can't get enough. Oh, and look...it's my precious little felt tree from the Dollar Tree. I wish I had 46 more of these.

More glitter!

I don't know if I have this mesh stuff figured out yet, but I LOVE IT! It's so much fun to decorate with..all glittery and pouffy...be still my heart!

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