Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Recap

Hello and Happy (almost) New Year! I hope you all had a nice holiday. I took a little break over Christmas (although I did stay pretty active on Instagram) and it was so nice. Although now I'm really behind on reading blogs.

I wanted to share a few Christmas related things first. I adore picking out my annual Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon...

But sometimes you have to give in to your kids...

Yep, Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrapping paper. ;) 

I didn't make as many desserts for Christmas dinner this year. But I did make sure these made the cut...

We've always called them Sand Tarts, but I've also heard them referred to as snowballs. So yummy!

Logan's favorite present was this...

DJI Mavic Pro Drone

That's a professional grade drone, y'all! To say he loves it is an understatement. And no, we don't usually spend that much on Christmas presents. He got a part time job after school and paid for it himself. Well, with a little help from us. :) He's most excited to use if for filming his movies. These drones provide awesome overhead shots. He can fly it up to four miles away and the video quality is excellent. 

Speaking of Logan, he went out with friends the other day and came home with this little goodie for me...

A cupcake ATM? Yes, please! He got it at Sprinkles. Such a neat idea and it was delicious. If you're not familiar with Sprinkles, click here: for a little demonstration. Just click "how it works" at the top. 

And while we're on the subject of chocolate. I made this little concoction the other day...

It's a tunnel of fudge cake. Yum!!! Click HERE for the recipe. (I used my own homemade frosting instead of their glaze)

It wasn't a hard recipe, but I would definitely called it "involved." At least for this amateur baker. :) I think I counted 7 mixing bowls when I was done. One of the first things you do is melt butter and whisk it with cocoa powder to coat the Bundt pan with like this...

It makes a kind of crunchy layer on the outside and it's really good.

 I don't know how it works, but this cake mysteriously creates a gooey tunnel of fudge in the middle (or more toward the bottom in my case) lol. Here's the finished product...

Did y'all know the creator of the tunnel of fudge cake lived right here in Houston? Her name was Ella Rita Helfrich and she won 2nd place with her tunnel of fudge cake recipe in the Pillsbury bake off in 1966. Her recipe was very well received and everyone wanted to make it. It became the most requested recipe in Pillsbury history. Click HERE for her original recipe. Her recipe uses nuts and they're essential to its success. However, I didn't want nuts this time, which is why I made the other recipe I mentioned from Lemon Sugar

Pillsbury used to make a frosting mix that you could use to make it easier, but stopped manufacturing it a long time ago. That caused an uproar, as you can imagine. I wish they'd bring it back. It was so much easier to make this with a boxed mix. 

Apparently this post has gone all food-related, so I may as well show you a quick snack idea. I actually had this for lunch the other day and it was so good...

It's just Bonne Maman fig preserves with some Babybel cheese on top of a Club cracker. Gosh, that hit the spot. :)

We had a busy holiday season. My oldest son, Dylan, graduated from college right before Christmas too. We had a graduation party for him and I'll share a few pics soon. 

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year! 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DIY Wine Glass Markers

Am I cranking out the posts this month, or what?! I don't think I've posted this much in a long time. I just keep finding things I need to share with y'all. :)

This one is quick and simple. I already shared one way to mark everyone's wine/iced tea glass using ribbon. You can click HERE to see that (as well as my Southern Sweet Tea Recipe.)

I have some wine charms and they worked fine too, but we were always forgetting which one was ours. They were very cute and wine themed, but we were like "Wait, am I the wedge of cheese or the wine barrel?" Or "I think I'm the grapes, but maybe I'm the cork?" Lol! 

Both methods worked well, but I wanted something even easier. Then on The Today Show recently, they showed how to use tiny window clings to mark your glasses. Simple, but I'd have to find a set of clings with lots of really small designs and we'd still have to remember which one was ours, much like the wine charms. This family needs names on the glasses. ;) 

So I got to thinking and I realized I didn't have to use the actual window cling. I could cut out some of the clear blank space around the window clings, peel off the plastic, write everyone's name on it in permanent marker and stick it on the side of the wine glass. Then when we're done, I can just peel the marker off and store it on the original paper it came on.

I'll show you what I'm talking about.

 So first you want to pick a set of window clings that has a lot of blank space around the designs like the white areas in the pic below. See the blank white space in between the designs? I made little arrows pointing to them. That's what you want. 

The white areas are made of the same clear plastic material and will adhere to glass, just like the actual window cling. 

So I just cut out little rectangles like this...

See how the plastic peels right off?

Then I wrote the names on the plastic in permanent marker. I stuck it on a glass to see if it worked, and it did!

I just cut out a section from the window clings to store the markers when not in use like this...

I could have gotten a little fancier with my penmanship. :) 

And that's it! Hope I gave some of you a little idea to use when entertaining this holiday season. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Etsy, Hello Kitty, French Macarons, Purse Tassels and a Tape Measure Just For Me

Boy, that title covers a wide range of topics, doesn't it? Hee hee! I'm all over the place today. :) 

I recently made a couple of Etsy purchases and thought I'd share them with you. 

I've been wanting one of these tassel bracelets from Amanda at Dixie Delights for some time now...

Cute packaging!

I chose the pink and couldn't be more pleased! Great quality, fast shipping and a wonderful staple to add to my wardrobe. 

I love it!

Next up, I got this darling necklace from Wild Flower Whimsy GA 

That's hand embroidered, y'all! 

Again, look at the cute packaging! 

The quality is amazing and I've already gotten so many compliments on it! Wonderful attention to detail and oh so pretty.

Okay, so moving on. This tape measure should have made it onto my FAVORITE THINGS list. It's from The Container Store and sells for $29.99

Isn't this neat? As you pull out the tape measure, a digital display tells you exactly how long something is. My hubby always rolls his eyes when we're measuring something because when he asks me how long something measures, I usually respond like this:

"It's one line past the number 4." He has to then translate it. Ha ha! If I had this, I could just say "It's four and one sixteenths." This is kind of pricey, but if you have someone who doesn't properly read a tape measure (like me) this would probably be worth it for your sanity. P.S. I actually do know how to read a tape measure, but enjoy teasing my hubby. ;) 

Speaking of Favorite Things, I saw the cutest tassels on someone's favorite things list recently. I've been wanting a pink one to put on my purse. I excitedly clicked on the link for them and they were $50!!! What?! No way I was paying that for a little purse tassel. So on a recent trip to Walmart, I spied these...

$4.88, y'all.  Now THAT'S more my style (and budget) 

I removed the card holder and snapped it on my purse strap...

Pink and red/orange are one of my favorite color combos. Love it!

Do y'all know how expensive French macarons are? In the Houston area they're about $5 each. If you're local to the Bay Area, this place is fantastic. "Donuts, Kolaches and Tacos" is located in League City and they sell quality French macarons (yes, they actually come from France) for $2.19 each and they gave me two free ones, along with some donut holes and a couple of other goodies. The owner, Peter, is the nicest guy and very welcoming.

My son knows my love for all things Hello Kitty, so he picked up this hot chocolate mix for me at World Market...

It actually turns the hot chocolate pink and as you can see, I enjoyed it with my macarons. This would make such a cute stocking stuffer. :) 

Well, that's it for now. Y'all have a great day!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Home Tour Video Part 2

As promised, I'm back with the second part of my Christmas Home Tour video. This one will include the breakfast room and kitchen, along with some inexpensive decorating ideas for Christmas. I hope you get some ideas for your own home. 

Here are some links to my latest posts, if you missed anything:

For my Christmas Home Tour, click HERE

For my Christmas Tablescape, click HERE

For my Favorite Things Post, click HERE

 Part 1 of my Christmas Home Tour Video, click HERE

I hope you enjoy it!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Home Tour Video Part 1

I posted this video on YouTube, but thought I'd share it here too. This video includes my dining room, foyer and living room. I'll post another video soon that shows the breakfast room and kitchen, along with some diy tips for inexpensive Christmas decor. :)

If you missed it, here are the links to my latest posts:

For my Christmas Home Tour, click HERE

For my Favorite Things Post, click HERE

For my Christmas Tablescape Post, click HERE

Hope you enjoy the video!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 Christmas Home Tour

I'm back today with my Christmas Home Tour. I hope you enjoy the pics! :) If you missed my Christmas Tablescape post, click HERE and if you missed my Favorite Things post, click HERE

If you follow along on IG, you heard about the lights debacle with this tree below... I very reluctantly agreed to let the boys put colored lights on this tree, as we were running low on white lights. So they decorated it with the colored lights and ornaments. Well, I hated it. They were LED lights and they had this weird Star Trek-ish glow. I couldn't stand it, so the next day I took all the colored lights off, along with the ornaments. Then I went to the store and picked up a dozen boxes of white lights, came home, redecorated it with my new white lights and put all the ornaments back on. Whew! Lol! 

The new lights I bought are LED as well, but they don't give off that weird lazer-like glow like the last ones did. I also got the "warm white" color as opposed to the "cool white." I find that the cool white has a blue-ish tint and I wasn't a fan. 

Here's the dining room tree...

With a topper that reminds me of Dr. Seuss...

christmas home tour

My diy "Joy" sign in the foyer...

A sweet trio of reindeer...

I added a little Christmas cheer to the guest bath...

Love this Christmas Blessings sign...

I think my boys were about 1 1/2 and 6 1/2 years old in that pic!

My homemade mesh wreath and garland...

My "chalkboard" sign made from a dollar spot gift bag last year...

This Rudolph pillow hasn't made an appearance in years, and I thought it was time for him to shine again. :) 

I just had to show a close up of these little characters...

Don't they look kind of "Old World-ish?" They're actually from Dollar Tree...shhh. :) 

And surprise! They open up to fit a little gift inside! 

Ah...the button tree. One of my favorites...

The peppermint and gingerbread tree in the kitchen...

I even found ribbon with peppermints and gingerbread men on it. :) The "skirt" is just a couple of yards of fabric (adorned with gingerbread men and peppermint, of course) wrapped around the base. 

I tied this ribbon to my canisters last year and decided to do it again. Makes baking a little more fun. :) 

My Christmas tree cookie jar and notice Holly Joaquin sleeping on the back of the sofa. Lol!

And that's the tour for 2016! Thanks for stopping by!


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