Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
They have gift ideas for everyone from your baby to your nephew to your dad, your neighbor, etc!
For the preschooler who does NOT need another toy (esp a big, plastic one that takes up an entire room: Custom Rubber Stamp. I'm totally ordering this for Big Sis. Given her love of stickers, I think she'd be all over a stamp. And I won't be 'sticker shopping' nonstop.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Heather, be sure to contact Toni at Design Dazzle to collect your prize of $50 to Design Dazzle and $50 to Woobie Wear!
Hope y'all have a blessed Thanksgiving. We're heading to OK tomorrow, so not sure if I'll get a chance to blog during the weekend or not.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Speaking of 'first' ornaments.... most of you will not be surprised to hear that I didn't get G-man a 'baby's first Christmas' ornament last year. And that's because I never found that perfect one.... and I didn't want to settle! (okay, and I ran out of time!) But this year, I've totally found it. I'm ordering the Custom Photo Ornament by kkhoff11. You customize 4 sides of the ornament with pictures and text, and you pick the colors to coordinate to your tree. I love it so much, I'm thinking about getting a matching one for Big Sis!!
The contest at the amazing Design Dazzle ends TODAY at 3pm CST, so please hurry on over there and get your vote on! ;) G-man's nursery is trailing the top nominee, but in a close race for 2nd!! Thanks to all for your votes and support!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Y'all, this is EASY. And so good that I'm asked to bring it to any and every holiday gathering we attend - at work, at church, with friends.... (it's also really good at Easter with ham!)
Here are the 4 (only 4!!!) ingredients:
First, chunk up a package of cream cheese and about 1/2 a stick of butter into a saucepan (seriously, I don't measure things if I don't have to.... and you don't have to with this dish! You like things really cream cheesey? Add more! Not so much a fan of butter? Cut it back)
Stir occasionally until the mixture is melted. The hardest part of this whole recipe is not getting impatient with the melting process....turning up the heat.....then burning the cream cheese!
When all is melted and smooth....and looking like this:
...add the other 2 ingredients. Three 11oz cans of white shoe peg corn (yes, it makes a difference that it's white corn, and no, I don't know why.... just trust me!) And one 4oz can of chopped green chilies. Make sure you drain the corn and the chilies!
Pour it all into your prettiest 2qt baking dish. Or a foil pan. Whichever you prefer. (Just kidding! I just happen to be making this for a daycare Thanksgiving dinner and don't want to worry about getting a dish back!)
Bake at 325 for about 40 min.
You'll know it's done when it's golden brown on top and it's formed a super light crust on top. This is THE perfect complement to the traditional turkey dinner. It's got a kick but it's not so spicy that it'll offend the delicate tastes of Grandma.
Don't forget to vote for me today! Contest ends tomorrow at 3pm CST!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'm still working on my ideas for this year's teacher gifts, but here's a peek at last year's gifts for inspiration, as well as the semi-homemade 'how to!' I had 7 teachers and 3 director/administrators I wanted to appreciate, so 10 total gifts. The recession had begun... so I had to come up with 10 gifts on a budget. But I still wanted big impact, as these teachers had a big impact on our kiddos.
The container: I started at the mecca for semi-homemade budget-friendly greatness... Hobby Lobby. When they advertised glass containers for 50% off, I grabbed 10 cylinders. (I want to say they cost about $2.50ish each.)
The layers: This is where you can go from the semi-homemade to the totally homemade - whatever suits you!
1. Mnm's - My vision was to use red & green Christmas mnm's.... but apparently, I didn't share that part of the vision on my grocery list.... and Mr. Fix-It came home with the regular ones!
2. Brownies - If you've been reading awhile (or if you know me!) you've probably gathered
that I LOVE brownies. That I pretty much make them for every event. (Made some last night for the kids' school Thanksgiving dinner!) I've even gotten pretty good at them over the years, and my brownies draw their fair share of compliments!
So, I made these brownies.... but you could easily buy the brownie bites and use those!
4. Cookies - again, lots of wiggle room here for how time consuming you can go! Me? I bought some bakery cookies - shhhh!
The custom touch: I love personalization and giving gifts that custom touch! Remember the gift tags I made for all our presents last year? I used those for the teacher gifts, too! (This year, I like the "sweet" tag on the top picture!) And I tied it on with.....
....tulle, of course!! It's time to restock the Semi-Homemade tulle supply for the holidays and the new year! I get all my tulle at Nashville Wraps. They have THE best color selection at THE best prices right here. I need red, pink and green for Big Sis's bday gifts & decorating.... shades of blue for Christmas.... orange & black for OSU graduation gifts and bday gifts for my fav alums.... and a rainbow of colors for all the fun kiddie bday gifts! (Their ordering can be a little tricky, but you can email me with any questions. It's so worth it!)
The final touches: I wrapped the whole thing in cellophane (you can buy it in a roll, like wrapping paper!), so the yummy layers could shine thru! I added a personal note to the back of each tag and let Big Sis hand them out to the teachers. They were a huge hit! And at under $6/each... I felt like I was showing my appreciation in a BIG way... even though I wasn't spending big.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here's the cookie cake in action - what a hit with the guys!
The birthday boy gets his fish on with his closest buddies!
Not sure who is cuter - the birthday boy or the baby goat! Love the cowboy hats - each kiddo got to take one home.
And I just love this shop for party favors. I convo'ed Mommys Little Critters last wk on my day off and she instantly started work on some custom Nutcracker soaps for Big Sis's bday party! She has tractors, she has fishys, she has animals. Seriously, I'm not sure there is anything she can't do!
Monday, November 16, 2009
What is a Design Dazzler? de·sign daz·zler: person who dazzles with design and decorating skills
Friday, November 13, 2009
Today I'm home. Sipping pumpkin flavored coffee. Listening to directv's 40s on 40. (I love, love big band & swing.... it's so calming to me and reminds me of my grandparents.) Once or twice a year, I take a day off, send the kids to school..... I use it to recharge, get things done, catch up. And after working around the clock from Apr-Sept...then traveling all of Oct.... there's lots to catch up on around the Semi-Homemade home. Like planning Big Sis's Semi-Homemade birthday party.
I even looked into these ideas, to see what they'd set me back. Turns out the horse drawn carriage would be $400+ (not a huge surprise), and the hayrides (which I thought would be more reasonable) are $500+. So, regardless of damn recession or not... those ideas are out.