Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hand Blown Glass Ball Display

I began my hand blown glass ball collection with the birth of my first child. I saw a commercial where the couple had hung an enormous amount of green glass balls over the crib and I fell in love. I purchased 5 and hung them over my daughter's crib. I repeated this with my second daughter.

While we lived in a rental town home, during the construction of our current home, I boxed all of the glass balls up and just this week thought of a way to display them. 
During our annual trip to the Outer Banks, NC I went into a glass shop and noticed a glass ball display in the front window. The shop owner took a large branch (they had painted white) and hung the balls from the branches.

I purchased a birch tree branch from Michaels (AND I had a 50% off coupon) and purchased a two pack of curtain brackets. I painted the unfinished brackets white and my husband mounted them on either side of the window over our tub. This set up roughly cost $12 to create. (minus the cost of the glass balls)
Today was a cloudy/rainy day so I have yet to see what the bathroom will look like when the sun shines thru the window and the glass balls. Will let you know how it looks!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Christmas Movie Pics

Less than 12 days before Christmas and plenty of time to sit down and enjoy these holiday favorites. Introduce an oldie to your kids this year. My girls love watching my Christmas favorite White Christmas. What's your favorite?

Christmas Movies

White Christmas
The Grinch who Stole Christmas (cartoon version)
The Polar Express
The Muppets Christmas Carol
Meet Me In St. Louis
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Love Actually
The Holiday
Little Women
Santa Clause
Home Alone (1&2)

Movies that are just shown on TV around this time of year...power of suggestion I guess?

Night at the Museum
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Any James Bond movie (Spike TV's fault)

My Parents Favs.

It's a Wonderful Life
The Bells of St. Mary's
Miracle on 34th Street

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stretching your Christmas Dollar

Every year my church has an Advent Celebration that is geared for the children of the church. There are crafts, singing, a message and caroling followed by hot cocoa and cookies. Last year I was asked to make 100 decorated sugar cookies to go into the goody bag for the kids. I was in the throws of morning sickness at the time and vowed never to do THAT again. Well it's that time of year again and I did not make cookies but 120 chocolate covered candy canes.

My WONDERFUL husband helped me bag and tie the poem I had found to each bag.

Candy Cane Poem

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who's sinless and pure!
"J" is for Jesus My Lord, that's for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Author Unknown

After I tied the last poem on the candy cane bag I thought what a great gift to give from you kitchen. You can buy a box of 12 candy canes for .94 at Walmart and then purchase some Almond Bark and sprinkles. A very inexpensive gift. My kitchen stretches my Christmas dollar like none other.

For both of my daughters school classes I made gingerbread tree ornaments. I used the recipe from
 Martha Stewart with one change to the recipe. Increase the amount of applesauce from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. You really do need the extra moisture. I would also recommend buying your cinnamon in bulk. (i.e. Costco) You need 1 cup for one batch and I made 3 batches and did not think of the bulk idea until after the recipe was made.

I used my Martha Stewart snowflake punch to make 4 snowflakes to throw in with the ornament. My girls loved them and my house smelled wonderful after they were made. NOT eat the gingerbread. There is glue baked in there!

While candy canes were plentiful in my house I made this cake for my husbands birthday. Devils food (Dunkan Hines...there is none better) with 7 minute frosting and crushed candy canes thrown in. If I do say so myself it was quite good!

You may be thinking I would not step another foot into the kitchen until after the holidays are over but there are still gifts to be made. I'm beginning my list of cookies and meringues to make for teachers and friends. If you do not have the time to go all "Martha" on your baked good gifts just hop on over to the bakery at Costco. They have a great selection of Palmiers, Madelines (dip half into a chocolate ganache) Chocolate Peppermint Bark..the list goes on. Stop by Michaels and purchase some of the festive baked good boxes (if you are lucky they may be on sale now) and fill them up. Your gift will be appreciated even if the flour and sugar never left your pantry.