About Me

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I’m a book-reading, craft-making newlywed living outside Chicago. I love my husband, cooking dinner and especially eating desserts! We love to ride bikes all over town and read books at coffee shops. I also enjoy shopping at JoAnns, drinking wine on the patio and playing with my bunny rabbit Penelope. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment- they really make my day! :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Yarn Wreath

I made a cute Christmas wreath- and it took less than 30 minutes!  Those are my favorite kids of crafts to do.

Gather your supplies: 
Wreath ring
hot glue

Secure the yarn to the wreath with a dab of hot glue. Wrap the yarn around the ring until it covers the entire wreath ring. 

This ornament is from JoAnn's- I just unscrewed the hook at the top. Then hot glue to the ornament to the yarn wreath.

Add  a festive ribbon at the top and voila- a Christmas yarn wreath! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Homemade Hot Cocoa Gift Jar- Guest Post from Katie of JustTenBooks

I'm very excited to have my very first guest post!  Katie from JustTenBooks is one of my childhood friends- we met in way back in 5th grade!  Katie is a children's librarian in Boston and has a blog where she features a top ten list of books about a certain topic.  Books about Google, books written by rappers, young adult books about mermaids and sirens; pretty much any topic!  Katie also accepts topic challenges, like the one I gave her to go along with my football goalposts.  

And most importantly, Katie is a new mom to baby Murphy!  Seriously, how cute are those cheeks?!

 As if she's not busy enough, Katie also had time to make these adorable and tasty hot cocoa jars for some of her neighbors.  She is awesome enough to share her recipe with us!

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Gift Jar: Hot Cocoa

This year my neighbors and friends are lucky.  They are getting gifts of Homemade Hot Cocoa mix in a jar!  This is an easy gift that you can put together assembly line style.  I would have done that, but my little helper is only 5 months old.  He just played with his feet instead.

What you need:

1 pint glass jars
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c.unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. mini chocolate chips
1/4 c. mini marshmellows
a whole lotta holiday spirit

Simply layer the ingredients into the jar and tie a ribbon around the lid.  The tag should read:

"Mix contents in a large bowl.  For each serving, add 1/3 c. cocoa mix to 1 c. boiling water.  Enjoy!"

You can double the recipe for quart sized jars.

Voila!  You're done!  Now you can wow you friends and family with a homemade gift.

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Delicious! Now if only Katie would move back to the midwest and become my neighbor so I could receive one of these yummy gifts...  Make sure to visit her at JustTenBooks soon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Most Delicious App!

Every year I host a dinner for my college girlfriends the first Saturday of December.  Its a great time to get together, share a meal and see a Christmas concert.  I always provide the main meal and others bring food to go along with it.  Well, this year one friend in particular amazed us all with this delicious appetizer!!

I'm afraid this is the only picture I have because I was too busy stuffing my face with brie to deal with the camera.  It's called Brie Cheese Appetizer Recipe, but should be called something with a more cheesy and delectable name.  The recipe can be found here.  Now seriously stop reading this blog and go make this appetizer!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Christmas Decorations

While wedding planning I really wanted to do a candy buffet, but was having a hard time making the financial investment in glass jars.  I ended up finding some affordable ones at Home Goods and I'm so glad I did!  They have come in handy for decorating around the house... and as a home for ThatGuy's pet goldfish.

Okay, back to Christmas decorations inside giant glass jars!

This is a knock off of a decoration we saw at Pottery Barn. I'd show the picture I snapped on my iPhone, but their display looks MUCH better than mine.

Fake snow (with some glitter snow!) with evergreen and cranberry floral picks.

Pinecones from my pinecone walk ontop of fake snow.

Vanilla scented candle on top of real cranberries.  I wasn't sure how long the cranberries would last, but its been a good 3 weeks and they are doing well!

Yay for our candy buffet!!  And yay for reusing things that seem like an outrageous and expensive purchase at the time!

photo credit Katherine Salvatori

Bunny Proofing

During the Christmas season, one of the first things I do when I get home from work (after I put on comfy pants, of course) is to turn on the Christmas lights.  However, last week when I flipped the power strip, only 2/3 of the lights came on!  Here's the reason why:

The Culprit
Penelope Pancakes the Rabbit is cute and all, but she has 4 of the sharpest teeth ever!  And as close as I watch her, she's a rascally rabbit that had too much fun sitting under the Christmas tree chewing on cords when I was in the laundry room.  As a result, we had to bunny-proof the tree. 

My bunny-proof tree

I put the rabbit (really a dog) gate up around the tree.  In an attempt to make it look less ugly, I wrapped a red ribbon through the grate.  Still not the prettiest, but now I can let Penelope run around and not worry about any more cord chewing incidents.


Now she spends about 2 hours a day hopping around the gate seeing if she can get inside.  But she can't- because it's bunny proof!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fun with Word

I have no PhotoShop skills... but I can do some neat things in Word!  For Murphy's Stache Bash I made these personalized tags to wrap around the chocolate mustache party favors.

Open up a Word document and select "Autoshapes," then "Basic shapes" and then "Oval." Draw an oval on your document and then double click to get its properties.

Under the Size options, you can select the size of your oval- thus making it a circle!

Under "Fill Effects" you can do soooo many things to your circle.  For Murphy's tags I used a pattern that looked like an argyle pattern and then selected colors.  But you can also add a picture too! 

After the circle was the correct size, patten and colors, add a text box.  I used my current favorite font, Champagne and Limousines from DaFont. 

I carefully cut the circles out (well... I enlisted the help from some friends!) and punched out a wavy circle in green cardstock.  Then I glued the circles on, punched a small hole and attached the tag with some ribbon!  They turned out pretty cute!

Friday, December 2, 2011

MERRY banner

While pulling out the Christmas decoration box, I asked ThatGuy how we should decorate.  He said "natural" so that's the theme I took to heart.  Now this girl loves glitter and all things shiny, but I suppose in our first Christmas where we decorate together I will give him his way.  Next year, however, all bets are off and the house will be an explosion of tinsel and glam!

I forgot to take pictures of the first couple of steps... sorry.  Using fusible bonding, attach to one side of the burlap.  Cut into triangles and then fuse to the felt.  Cut around the burlap with pinking shears.  I cut out letters in vinyl using my Silhouette and stuck the outline to the burlap triangle.  Then apply your paint.

Peel off the vinyl.  I decided to attach some brass eyelets on either side of the triangle to have a more finished look.  While I was pounding away at my craft table ThatGuy came in to see what I was doing!  I think he was impressed with all the noise my little craft hammer can make. 

I threaded some twine through the eyelets and wrapped the ends around a pinecone.  Then I just attached the banner to the shutters using Scotch tape- easy!

This natural look does look pretty good!  ThatGuy approves and especially likes that I was able to use supplies I already owned.

*Update* My cute banner has been featured at Made in a Day, Happy Hour Projects, SugarBee, JAQS Studio and  on SewChatty's Facebook page!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Murphy's Stache Bash

Last  weekend I co-hosted a Meet the Baby party for this little man. 


In case you couldn't tell by the giant paper mustache on a stick in front of Murphy's face, it was a Stache Bash!!  I've recently become obsessed with mustaches (see here) and think they are hilarious.  And, like any good party planner, I went a little crazy with the theme....

I had a little photo area where people could pose with a mustache on a stick.  Pictures were printed out and put inside a special photo album so Murphy could get to know his Midwestern friends.

ThatGuy and Murphy's Dad

Mustaches as bushy eyebrows!
Write a note to baby Murphy! (please note the cards also have a mustache on them) 
 I also did a Name the Stache game and printed out pictures of famous mustaches.  There are a surprising amount of famous mustaches out there!  My favorites are Salvator Dali and Mario.

Thinking hard about mustaches
To make the game slightly more challenging, I covered up their eyes with giant mustaches

Luckily the party host's house had a great mantle that the photos could lean on. 

Party favors were chocolate mustaches- more on that tomorrow!! 

*Murphy's Stache Bash has been featured on Mine for the Making!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Crafts

Many American families like to watch football on Thanksgiving, but not mine.  Instead of indulging in some television, we CRAFT!  My mom broke out her crafting supplies, I brought things over and my future sister-in-law, B, packed some in her suitcase.  I should have taken a picture of the Thanksgiving-dinner-table-turned-craft-table because we made quite a crafting mess!

Here's our creations:

My felt flower and sweater pin.

B's bluebird ornament


Mom's felt bird ornament

B and my mom are really into embroidering, so they showed me how to do a blanket stitch. Here's a YouTube video demonstrating this easy and versatile stitch.

Update- This post is featured on Between U & Me!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Edible Turkeys

This year for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bring the veggie tray.  I saw a picture of a veggie tray on Facebook that was my inspiration for my veggie turkey:

I served this with my homemade hummus and some people (who were trying to avoid eating anything healthy on Thanksgiving) said it was too cute to eat. I used lettuce, baby carrots, a red pepper, a green pepper and an orange pepper, along with 2 raisins for the eyes and a little celery for the feet.

My super crafty niece made ThatGuy and me this awesome edible turkey for Thanksgiving.  She used a green apple, multi-grain Cheerios, marshmallows and a candy corn.  Now this one really is too cute to eat!!