Archive for December, 2011

  • Menu Plan Jan 1-7

    Date: 2011.12.31 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- We’re getting an overnight date night for our anniversary and we’re eating out!  Thanks Robb and Kristin!

    Monday- Shepherd’s pie

    Tuesday- Mexican casserole

    Wednesday- white chicken chili in the crock pot

    Thursday- broccoli rice casserole

    Friday- pizza roll

    Saturday- pork chops

    I took last week off from menu planning- that was a mistake!  I ended up scratching my head every night at 5 o’clock wondering what to make for dinner.  Or maybe it wasn’t so bad after all, the hubs ended up cooking 3 nights in a row and we ordered pizza one night!  Anyway, back to the routine this week and hopefully better eating.  Although we do still have a lot of cookies… and hot buttered rum… and a Costco size bag of tortilla chips…

  • Happy Anniversary to Us!

    Date: 2011.12.31 | Category: just blabbing, marriage | Response: 0

    Today is our 7th wedding anniversary!  It’s amazing how it feels like forever and like a moment all at the same time.

    What do you think, do we look the same after 7 years?

    I am so thankful for the amazing man I married.  I can truly say that I am married to my best friend.  I love you, honey!  I’m so glad that we’re still laughing together!

    Happy anniversary to us!

  • A love letter to my favorite maternity pants

    Date: 2011.12.30 | Category: just blabbing | Response: 1

    Dear grey maternity pants,

    I love you.  Thank you for being the best pair of maternity pants I own.  Thank you for being free- you know I love a good bargain and since you were hand me downs the price was just right.  Thank you for fitting from the 3rd month straight through to the end and during that horrible post delivery/ pre regular pants phase.  Thank you for never, not once, falling down or slipping out of place.  Thank you for not being so tight I end up with indentations on my baby belly.  Thank you for not leaving any weird bumps or bulges near my belly button.  Thank you for being comfortable to wear during an entire day at work.  Thank you for being figure flattering, not revealing the cellulite on my thighs and even making my butt look nice!  Thank you for being just the right length, it’s so nice not stepping on your hems all day long.

    Thank you grey pants.  I cannot tell you how much you mean to me.  I’ll be sorry when I don’t need you anymore, but I will lovingly pass you on to another pregnant woman.

    Love,
    Melody

  • Nativity Ornaments

    Date: 2011.12.27 | Category: Christmas, crafts, friends, saving money | Response: 0

    I love making handmade ornaments every year for family and friends (and for my tree too!)  It’s a tradition that I started years ago thanks to my friend Heidi- I think that means I’ve done it 13 years in a row now! (Hi Heidi!)

    This year, thanks to Pinterest I had some great ideas rolling around in my brain.  Of course, when I tried to make my first idea it totally flopped.  So back to Pinterest I went where I found this cute ornament and this cute ornament.  I decided to meld the two ideas into my own creation.  I’m allowed creative license, right?  I loved how they came together, and I loved that I only had to buy the wooden balls for the heads, I had the felt and yarn on hand.  Since I made 24 this year I needed them to be inexpensive and fun to put together.  These were perfect.  (It doesn’t hurt that since I’ve been pregnant 3 of the past 5 Christmases I seem to have babies on the brain either!)

    Aren’t they so sweet?  It made me happy to make an ornament this year that honored Jesus on His birthday.

    Happy birthday, Jesus!

  • Merry Christmas!

    Date: 2011.12.25 | Category: Christmas, just blabbing | Response: 0

    I hope that you are enjoying today with your family and loved ones.  I am so thankful for Christmas every year and the chance to reflect on how very much God loves us- that He sent His only Son to live among us and to die on our behalf- that we might spend eternity with Him.  It is my wish that you would feel the abundance of His love today and throughout the coming year.

    Merry Christmas to you,

  • Memorial ornaments

    Date: 2011.12.24 | Category: Christmas, crafts, friends | Response: 0

    Last year after our friend Robb died I received an unexpected gift in the mail from one of my good friends in CA.

    I literally burst into tears when I opened it.  Isn’t it so thoughtful?  I knew right away that I wanted to make similar ornaments for Tricia and the other girls who have walked through this year together for this Christmas.

    I messaged my friend for directions and was able to put 6 of these together easily.  The only problem I encountered was that we don’t have an ink jet printer.  After debating how to get Robb’s information on the fabric I finally settled on Sharpie.  I don’t think it’s quite as nice as the printed version, but it’s what I had.  I am so pleased with how these turned out.  It adds a meaningful touch to each of our trees.

    Here are the directions that I followed-

    Here’s what you’ll need
    -Iron
    -Twine or ribbon
    -Paper hole punch
    -Fabric (Patterned fabric for the heart. Plain fabric the size of a sheet of printer paper)- You can also buy this pre-made it comes in white fabric sheets 8.5 x 11 ready to place in an injet printer. It costs like $10-$15 at Jo anns, but you can usually buy it with a coupon. I just took a scrap piece of plain fabric and applied heat n bond by the yard.
    -Ink Jet Printer (DO NOT use a Laser printer)
    -Cookie cutter or stencil for the shape you desire
    -Pinking shearers or edging scissors
    -Heat n Bond Lite (comes by the yard at fabric store for $1.25)

    Step 1: Lay out 1 yard Patterned fabric and Heat n bond.
    Iron on Heat n bond to the fabric to the non-patterned side.

    Step 2: Remove heat n bond backing. Then Iron to another 1 yard of fabric (its like making a grilled cheese sandwich)
    The pattern fabric should be facing out on both sides and the heat n bond should be in the middle.

    Step 3: Cut out a piece of plain fabric and cut out the same size of Heat n bond lite the size of printer paper. Then Iron
    BUT LEAVE THE PAPER BACKING ON. This is how it will feed through the printer and the printer will detect it like a piece of paper.
    I suggest making 3-5 of these sheets of paper b/c sometimes it gets jammed or inked in the printer b/c the fabric soaks up loose ink.

    Step 4: Personalize. In Word, I use the settings for return address labels. Simply select font, color and center. Put fabric with paper backing on in the printer. Print

    Step 5: Cut out the printed labels.

    Step 6: Trace and cut out the hearts.

    Step 7. Iron on the lables to the hearts.

    Step 8: Paper hole punch a heart.

    Step 9: Tie ribbon or twine. (I added a dab of hot glue to keep the bow in place)

    Thanks Tash- you’re the best.

  • Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

    Date: 2011.12.23 | Category: giveaway! | Response: 0

    Hooray!  Jodi, you won the new book by Money Saving Mom!  I’ll get your copy to you as soon as I can!  Congratulations!

  • One year later

    Date: 2011.12.23 | Category: friends | Response: 1

    One year ago today our dear friend Robb died unexpectedly.  It’s been a long, hard, beautiful year.  I have developed the most amazing friendships of my life.  I have learned what it really means to “live life together”.  I have struggled with questions of why and why not.  I have grown deeper in my faith.

    All this to say, we miss you Robb.  You would be so proud of your wife and sons.  You would be so proud of the community that has sprung up to their aid.  It has been a privilege to walk alongside Tricia and the boys this year.  I miss you, and I am so thankful to know that I will see you again someday.

    Our kids together last year, just days before Robb died

    Our kids together last weekend

  • Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

    Date: 2011.12.22 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    I love snickerdoodles.  Even with their obvious lack of chocolate, they still manage to rank right up there as one of my favorite cookies.  A few months ago I got a coupon to try this new Land O’ Lakes Cinnamon Sugar spread for free, but my grocery store only started stocking it a few weeks ago.  I picked one up and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but then I remembered that they had also sent me some recipes.  When I noticed that one of the recipes was for snickerdoodle sandwich cookies I knew that was the one.  Of course, living here at altitude I am constantly frustrated in my baking attempts, so I decided to swap out my girlfriend Tricia‘s snickerdoodle recipe for the cookie- I knew that it was a proven winner at our elevation.  Here’s what I ended up making.  Twice.  Because the first time I ran out of cookies within three days.  So I made a second batch and doubled it.  And immediately froze most of them.  We’ll see how long they last!

    Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

    1/2 C margarine (I used the Cinnamon Sugar spread)
    1/2 C shortening
    3/4 C brown sugar
    3/4 C white sugar
    2 eggs
    2 3/4 C flour
    2 tsp cream of tartar
    1 tsp soda
    1/4 tsp salt

    2 T sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon (for coating)

    Cream together margarine, shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, and eggs.  Add flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt.  Shape into balls (since these will be turned into sandwich cookies I made them pretty small) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2″ apart and slightly flatten with your fingertips.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 350- you want the centers to be slightly undercooked- do not overbake!  They come out puffy and then flatten and crackle as they cool.

    2 1/2 C powdered sugar
    1/4 C Land O’ Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread
    1 tsp vanilla
    1-2 TBS milk
    (I threw in the unused cinnamon sugar mixture from rolling the cookies too!)

    Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Beat at low speed until creamy, adding enough milk to reach desired consistency- you will want the frosting to be slightly thick.

    Spread frosting on bottom side of cookie and top with another cookie of similar size.  Repeat until you run out of frosting or cookies!

    This is the size I rolled my cookies- I have no idea what to compare it to.  It’s smaller than a golf ball.  Maybe 1 1/2 inches across?

    JT was the official cinnamon/sugar roller- he probably rolled 4 trays worth of cookies for me before wearing out!

    If making sandwich cookies it really helps to slightly flatten them before baking!

    They come out of the oven slightly puffy and not yet browned at all.

    As they cool the tops start to crackle- this tray was just perfect!

    See how beautiful these turned out?

    This picture is from my first batch- I didn’t start flattening them out until the very end, it made for some wobbly cookies!

    yum!

  • Christmas Jewelry

    Date: 2011.12.21 | Category: Christmas, crafts | Response: 1

    I went on a jewelry making bender this Christmas.  Several months ago I got hooked on glass lampwork beads when I went in to use a groupon at a local bead store.  I ended up making myself a Christmas cluster necklace, a bracelet and a pair of earrings.  I had enough beads left over to make several extra pair of earrings.  So fun!

    See the little snowmen and the Santa hat and the other fun details?

    This is the set I made for myself.  Then I started making extra earrings!

    How cute are those little striped “scarves” I made with the peppermint stick beads?

    Oh, I love these little hats!

    I also bought myself this cute little pendant which I just strung on a chain I already had.  So cute, and I can wear it with either side out, depending on my outfit!

    So that was my jewelry making this season.  I love all of them!

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