Orange, Aqua, and Plum!

Ah, I love decorating for the holidays!  The decor in our living room changed this year, so I started over with the ornaments too.  So, bring on the orange, aqua, and plum!
The first thing I bought this year were the orange and plum berry picks.  I knew they matched the pillows on my couch and used them as my inspiration for the ornaments.  The aqua and gold ornaments were reused from last year's tree.  I bought ornaments at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and Shopko.  The bird above is one of my favorites.I had some smaller berry picks too. I cut off all the berries and used them to fill the small glass balls.

The large multi-colored bulbs were a very happy find at Walmart.  I might have screamed.  Or not.  There were no witnesses.
Photographing a tree is not my strong suit.

The glittery plum balls are another favorite.  Half price at Hobby Lobby.  I love the thick wire wrapping at the top.

I grabbed some pearl gemstones from my scrapbook stash and stuck them to these clear glass ornaments.  Simple.  And I like them.
Here's the topper.  It's a styrofoam ball with berries from those picks stuck in it.  Another simple project.  This photo was taken "in progress" so it's not really so bare there on the back.

I haven't been able to get a good picture of the whole tree.  I'll keep trying.  I really need to get in the habit of using my camera again.

I'm late to the party, but I'm linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas tree party.

feeling domestic

So far this weekend: strawberry freezer jam, homemade yogurt, and cinnamon rolls. Yum!

evil chore: MENU

Making a menu is - without a doubt - my least favorite chore. I dread it every week. It may be that I often don't have an appetite or that I am bored with all my current meal ideas... whatever. Making a menu sucks. I tried something new this week. I looked up recipes online and decided to make NEW things this week. Here are the things we're trying out. I'll follow up with reviews at some point.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, Sloppy Joe Spaghetti, Mushroom Chicken, Soft Gingersnaps, and Mexican Style Shredded Pork. We're also making turkey noodle soup to finish off the leftovers from Thanksgiving. Last week I made some new (to me) Crescent Rolls that were pretty good and next week I'm gonna try PW's Cinnamon Rolls (minus the coffee). I will admit that the menu and cooking thing is more fun when I'm trying new things.

Last night, we had the Beef Stroganoff. It was so super easy. I did read the reviews and found some tips for making it even yummier - doubled the soup/water, added sauteed mushrooms at the end, and added some spices. We served it over rice. I am so scared of using the slow cooker. In my mind, cooking something for 8 hours = BURNED! It didn't burn. I'm just paranoid, I guess. The meat was fall-apart-in-your-mouth tender. The sauce was a little thin, but that could be corrected with a little cornstarch next time. I had some leftovers for lunch today and it was AMAZING. The flavors fell in love and married over night. YUM!

I also made the Soft Gingersnaps yesterday. They were FABULOUS. Such an easy recipe. I substituted margarine 'cause that's what we had available - and in my opinion butter make for a good flavor, but a crappy product - it cools and goes crispy. Margarine stays softer. Anyway, I followed the directions exactly (other than cutting it in half) and cooked the first dozen for 8 minutes. Those came out like a regular gingersnap on the outside and soft on the inside. The second batch cooked for 6 minutes and came out nearly perfect. So chewy, so delicious. DROOL. There is still dough in the fridge to make a couple dozen more. Yay!

Tonight, I'm making turky noodle soup. Nothing major, but gotta use up those leftovers. I'm excited for the meals we have planned for the rest of the week.

new goals

I spent a couple hours emptying a large cupboard last weekend so that I had a spot set up to start building food storage. I have a fantastic apartment and a great landlord, but I lack a cold storage room under my porch. LOL.

Frankly, the thought of getting started with storing food is completely overwhelming, but it's something that I've wanted to do for a while. Steph and I asked our parents for the food storage starter kit for Christmas last year, so I've got wheat, rice, beans, and oats. To be honest though, I'd have to be literally starving to eat those beans. LOL I think it's a great starting off point, but I need our storage to be more practical.

What I've decided to do is to stock up on items that we'll use when I find great deals. Today I spent about $15 and I bought 6 cans of tomato soup, 4 cans each of tuna, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, and green beans, 3 cans of diced green chilies, and two bottles of gatorade. Stir that all together and enjoy. j/k

I've got a long way to get where I want this to be, but I'm really so excited. This little tiny dent on this goal makes me happy.

up to something

It really has been a long time since I blogged. I've honestly been jumping back and forth between too-busy-to-post and nothing-blog-worthy-to-write-about. In the past month, we've had two visits from my brother (he's currently deployed and in Texas, soon to be Kuwait), hosted a quilt group meeting, undertaken some large projects (I was commissioned to do some sewing - and we also bought a cabinet to repaint for Stephanie's bedroom). There have been many other little things all squished in there as well.

I like being busy, but I really like downtime so much more. LOL. I'm excited to have this sewing project done so that I can focus more on my own projects.

The pitcture in this post is my first attempt at cutting vinyl on my Silhouette and it was SO MUCH FUN!! I have designed several other things to cut and I'm loving it. That little machine was such a great investment. Honestly, I don't scrapbook as much as I'd like anymore, but I use "Sil" a couple times a week for vinyl and other projects. When I do scrapbook, it's so nice to be able to design exactly what I want and just press that little "cut" button!

On another note: I need a freaking vacation!

win this!

Would you like to win this...

Sweet, right?! Go here to enter a great giveaway!

quilt group

Steph and I are starting a quilt group and we're so excited! This is our first project. It's a square called "dominoes and squares" and I've been in quilt-love with it since I was about 14. I literally made ONE square and have kept it all these years. I also worked out the blocks so that we could use full squares rather than triangles and keep things simpler and more pleasing to the eye.
We have some fun friends in the group. Our first meeting isn't for almost a month and I can't wait to see what fabrics everyone has picked. It'll be so great to see them all come together.
(The quilt pictured was made by Steph and the photos do not do it justice!)