Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a double feature

You may be thinking, "Nice work, promising 12 days of Christmas-ness and then only getting out, what?, two or three?" And 2 + 3 isn't even 12. If we were using an addition logic. Which would be crazy.

Well, don't worry. I'm really a pro at playing catch-up. And, besides, we've had Christmas with our little family unit, and we've done Christmas with my husband's side, but my dear parents, brothers, sister-in-law, nephews, and niece are all converging upon our little place for a belated (or rather drawn-out) Christmas celebration mid-January! So, you see, I'm not late. I still have a lot of Christmas-ing left in me! And even though your celebrations are taking on more of a New Year's nature by now, maybe you can still use an idea or two...even if just for next year! Pin it and hide it away til you need it.

My other awesome excuse is that my man and I were working feverishly on a special Christmas project which caused him to hog the computer every evening (read "every blogging opportunity") for the last 2 weeks or so. But it was worth it!

Now that I've explained away my somewhat-broken promise, let's move on, shall we?

Today I discovered that I was double-featured in a friend's blog! She had the fun idea of counting down her top 10 posts of 2011. Well, yours truly just happens to be mentioned in #9 {Christmas Tablescapes}, and the #2 most popular post on her blog for the year {Butterscotch Monkey Bread}.

I am planning to blog on the tablescapes soon, too. But here's a preview photo to wet your whistle.

I call the monkey bread "Sunday Morning Rolls." It's a family recipe that I used for a church event this last fall. Lauren shared my (family's) recipe on her blog and it has seemed to have garnered rave reviews! Or at least a lot of search engine hits.

Thanks, Lauren, for the mentions! Your post was a great idea.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cupcake Tree Stand

Er...tree cupcake stand. Cupcake stand tree, maybe?

Well whatever we settle on, the fact remains that I'm pretty happy to have found a Christmas-y use for it, too!

As a single-function piece - in the vein of rice cookers, apple slicers, and salad spinners - this cupcake stand really shines!

Especially when it's filled with glittery, sparkly balls.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kettle Corn? Easy-peasy.

As I sit here and type, I am munching on some homemade wonderfulness: kettle corn! It's a Christmas miracle.

I thought I could only get it at the fair! Or in the microwave bags. (But since I read an article about microwave popcorn a few weeks ago, I've sworn off the stuff.)

I love kettle corn! Some might call it an unhealthy obsession for the salty-sweet crunch. I call it love.

Here's the simple recipe I followed (after scanning over so many that they ran together in my mind):

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large covered pot. Drop in 3 kernels of corn and once they pop, it's ready!

Stir in 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.

(I heard that if you use brown sugar, it'll be caramel corn! Haven't tried that, yet, tho.)

Put the lid on, grab a couple potholders, and be ready to shake the pot for 3 seconds, then let it sit for 3 seconds. Over and over and over and over... (the shaking keeps it from burning! I didn't lose one kernel and this was my first kettle corn rodeo. Well, I've eaten kettle corn at a rodeo or two before, so that's confusing.)

And when the popping slows down to nothing, your arms are tired, but the popcorn's almost done!

Take it off the heat. Dump it in a big bowl, and sprinkle a little salt before the sugar hardens. Toss and eat! You might have to make more if you want to share. Ha!

This recipe makes roughly 12-14 cups of popped kettle corn.

A really great friend/neighbor/co-worker/teacher gift, too! There are myriads of ways to package it. A few that come to mind:

• a Christmas tin
• a cute Chinese take-out style box
• a cellophane bag tied with striped baker's twine
• a brown paper package...yes, tied up with string!

These are a few of my favorite things!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

put up the tree before my spirit falls again!

Ta-dah! Here's the Harper's tree this year! Same old tree, same old star, same old not-really-a-tree-skirt, and even same old gold ribbon...but the pink and purple and all the {glitter} is new for us. My precious and fun sister-in-law once warned me (when I foolishly wondered if I could just get my girl to love greens and browns and blues?)... she said, "Embrace the pink!"

And we have. Thoroughly.

I wanted to zoom in on this photo and show some up-close festive-ness, but the uploading process wasn't working so well for me today. That post full of photos will be next along with all the details you could possibly handle!

Hooray for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

haul out the holly!

Hey, neighbors and friends! I do apologize for my long absence, but I have decided to blame it on the turkey coma -- even though that's categorically impossible -- and just move on.

I hope you're ready for my own version of 12 days of Christmas! I do plan to blog at least 12 times before December 25th! Of this year. Lest you think I'm creating a loophole for myself.

There is just so much fun stuff to share at this time of year! The crafting, the decorating, the creating, the cooking and baking and partying... My problem of late has been that I've been doing and leaving no time for blogging about it. On my honor, that will change today.

Since we're so far past Thanksgiving, it would be pointless for me to blog anything about the harvest crafts and decor and fun...maybe next year. But I do still have plenty of time until the happiest day of the year to share my fun and beg you to share yours in the comments! I love getting new ideas! So please, do comment if you have a second. 

Since our first Christmas in 2006, we've had a tall fake tree with white lights, and breakable red and green ornaments that adorn it. This year (with an almost-3 year old and a 15 month old), we've opted for the shatterproof switch. And what's more fun at Christmas for little girls than glittery pink shatterproof ornaments?? Not. Much. Although they don't care much about the shatterproof part... they would if they knew. But pink and glitter? Yes, please! I grabbed up a string of colorful lights to add to the all-white-lighted tree, as well. (Plus, after 5 years and at least 5 moves, a couple strings on the tree just won't light up anymore.) And more lights is always better, anyway.

Here's my sweetPea with the new lights. I think she's pretty pleased that they come in color! This is what I feel like inside when I see pretty things, too, BabyGirl. And pretty things at Christmastime are the best pretty of all!

I shall reveal our tree tomorrow!

Have you made any decor changes since last year? Did anyone else eat so much at Thanksgiving that they, too, were in a food coma for a month?

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