Monday, November 30, 2009

pretzel-tailed turkey treats!

Turkey treats made by Mikayla & Austin
~ Thanksgiving 2009 ~

{Pretzel-Tailed Turkey Treats}
Blessings abound in the Boos household!!

Austin Nicholas
(2 years, 2 months)

Mikayla Lynne
(3 years, 7 months)

Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving features

I'm super excited to share that I was featured today at Tip Junkie for some of last year's Thanksgiving ideas!! Good thing I had my act together last year! It feels like this year's Thanksgiving season has gone by too quickly.

One of the ideas featured was the little turkey treats we made last year.
I'm looking for a fun turkey treat to make this year ON Thanksgiving. Seen any good ideas lately? Do share!

The other idea featured was the silverware settings I created last year for the Thanksgiving table. (Sorry, a repeat from yesterday!) No need to be making anything this year, since I'm not hosting!
There are lots of other fun and inspiring ways to make your Thanksgiving fabulous, so head on over to Tip Junkie to get inspired!

Also, take a minute to stop on by Southern Domestic Goddess to link up your Thanksgiving ideas and pass along the inspiration (and to get inspired, of course!) In fact, this next little project I'm sharing comes straight from someone who had linked up there. Thanks to The Activity Mom for sharing this simple little Thanksgiving card. I love the poem she shared to go with the turkey handprints! I'm a sucker for a good rhyming poem.

{click on picture to view larger}

Happy {early} Thanksgiving Mom & Dad (aka Grammy & Papa)!!
This will be coming in the mail soon...sorry it will be late! I always just seem to be one step behind these days!


How is your crafty Christmas decor coming along? Don't forget to be working on this month's craft challenge! Be ready to share your project sometime during Dec. 3-10...I can't wait to see what you all are working on! I guess that means I should get started, too! For more information on this month's challenge check it out HERE or visit all past monthly craft challenges.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fall decor and more!

Wow! November has just flown by. It seems that the last 2 weeks of being sick here at our house (either me, Ryan, or the kids) has stopped us from participating in some Thanksgiving traditions that we started last year. I've seen some super amazing ideas out there this year, but I never got around to any of them! How sad! And now with Christmas fast approaching, I'm feeling rushed to move onto the next holiday. However, I do have a few {simple} plans for some special Thanksgiving activities this week, so I'll share those hopefully later on. Although it may be after the holiday.

I figured it's still considered the Fall season...for at least another week, so what better time than TODAY to share with you my Fall decor for 2009. (Although I do know many who have already started decorating for Christmas, but I won't mention any names! *wink*)

~ Fall Decor 2009 ~
{click to view larger}

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Last year, we had the pleasure of hosting Thanksgiving at our house! This year we get to give that pleasure to someone else and are traveling to Ryan's parents for Thanskgiving Day. I had a lot of fun with the decorating portion of last year's hosting experience. The food part? Let's just say I'm glad it was a joint effort between 3 families. Our turkey turned out great, but the mashed potatoes? Don't even ask...

Because I never got to share the Thanksgiving table from last year, I thought it would be appropriate to share for any of you getting ready to host your own Thanksgiving this year! I especially like to keep things simple and last year's table wasn't any different.

These were the place settings at each guest's seat.
I did happen to blog about these if you'd like to take a look!

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On Sunday, I held a 4 for $10 Christmas gift giving event.
It was a small group of stampers, but we had lots of fun!
Visit Stuck on Stampin' for more information on
each of the projects we made below.

Friday, November 20, 2009

it's a new challenge...come play along!

Guess who gets these goodies??

Kelli @ Random Thoughts of a Supermom!

Why, you ask?
Kelli was the randomly drawn winner for this month's craft challenge - photo projects! My lovely assistant, Mikayla, was already in bed, so I had to pull the winner out of a hat myself. (I promise it's legit!) Kelli, send me your address at and you'll get your Christmas goodies in the mail very soon!

Thank you everyone who joined the challenge and for the fun photo projects you shared. Go take a peek if you haven't seen them yet.

Now, onto some business...since we (I) postponed the photo project challenge by a week, we're a little behind for the next one, but have no fear because I think you're gonna like this month's craft challenge:

~ Christmas Themed Decor ~

Show me your holiday magic and craft something great for the upcoming season. Since I know that many of you are already crafting away, I think you'll have no problem being ready in 2 weeks! Am I right? We want time to display our hard work in our homes, don't we? Plus, you'll still have the usual one week to link up for a chance to win a little something, so really you'll have until December 10th if you're choosing to procrastinate! *wink*

So, come on back to link up your Christmas themed craft for this month's craft challenge on Thursday, December 3rd. Hope to see you there! And spread the word, will you? I'd love to have 30 participants!! That's my goal for this month. We had 26 participants for the Halloween themed edition, so why not!?

Grab the (yet again) new button and help spread the word!

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Exciting news!
Austin's 2nd birthday "construction themed" party is featured at The Creative Party Place today! You really need to go check out this site if you're looking to do some party planning any time soon! It's filled with so much inspiration!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

simplify the season - part 1

A couple of weeks ago our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Coordinator (and my good friend!!) spoke about holiday traditions and the things we could do as mothers to help bring family together for the holidays...without losing our sanity! She talked about having traditions, but making them simple and meaningful. She had some GREAT things to say, and I even took notes (did you hear that Sarah?) She helped validate the things that I already do to to help simplify the busy Christmas season, but she also reminded me of things that I need to do! It's about making the most of this season without all the stress...enjoying it along the way!

I thought it would be fun through the next month leading up to Christmas to share some of those thoughts of simplicity with you, so today's "Simplify the Season" comes from something Sarah said...

Tip #1 - "It's OK to take short cuts."

She said that if you like to make cookies, think of what part you (or your children) like best. Is it the baking or the decorating? For Mikayla, it's both, but for this momma who knows the list of things she wants to do for the holidays is quite long, I figure that it's the decorating part that is truly the fun part. So, during my last shopping trip I picked up a giant box of sugar cookie mix from Costco. It will save a little on the time to make them from scratch, but we still will enjoy the Christmas activity...I'm just taking a quick shortcut.

My other shortcuts included purchasing a gingerbread mix and refrigerated pie crust. Just thinking ahead, you know! And keeping it simple. (Please note: For those who have a love for baking, you're probably cringing right now, but for me, it's OK that I give up this little piece of holiday stress. It doesn't mean that I won't bake other kinds of goodies (there's still plenty other holiday treats to be made!), it just means that we'll have more fun in the decorating when it comes to frosting sugar cookies and making gingerbread men! And maybe because I bought the pie crust, I might actually make a pie this year!)

What are you going to do this year to simplify the season, so there's more time to think about the reason we celebrate?


On another note: Just look at this poor pathetic face.

We're still battling sickness in our household. I thought we were in the clear, but then Mikayla had another high fever early Wednesday morning. No fevers all day and then both Austin and Mikayla had a fever close to bedtime Wednesday night. There's only so much eye watering, coughing, and nose running a little one can take. It breaks my heart! We're going on one week with the kiddos feeling not so great!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

creative & unique baby gift

Many of my friends are having their 2nd or 3rd (or 4th!!) child. (Hello, baby fever!!) Sometimes it's tricky for me to come up with a unique gift for those who might already have all of the clothes or baby accessories they need. Diapers are always a necessity, but let's face it sometimes it's a lot more fun to give something that is a little more creative than that! And I love giving gifts so the wheels are always turning! Creative gift giving has always been a passion of mine.

A few weeks ago, I attended a baby shower for a friend of mine who had just had her first baby girl, but second child. The invitation said that she had already been blessed with lots and lots of girly baby clothes, so I knew my fun shopping trip for the perfect baby girl outfit was out! So, instead of going towards the practical side in the form of a gift card or diapers (which, don't get me wrong, are ALWAYS great to receive!), I decided to use my creativity and created an 8x10 picture art of her new baby girl that could be used as wall decor for her nursery. I swiped some of the pictures off her blog and thankfully she had also posted some pictures of the nursery, so I knew there were going to be butterflies. And, lucky me, she even included the meaning of her baby girl's name that I decided to include.

Here is the finished piece...

For those of you who don't know, I dabble a little bit in creating photo cards in my "spare time". Since starting my Stampin' Up! business, I haven't done as much with this as in the past, but I still create when I can or when others want me to. In fact, for a very good friend of mine who just had her third, I will be making her new little guy's birth announcements as my gift to her. And, soon, I hope to design our family's Christmas card.

It's always fun to give a gift that comes straight from the creativity of your mind. I figure if I've been given a talent, then I should use it to bless others and not just keep it for myself! This works for me!!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit We Are That Family.


Don't forget...tomorrow is the LAST day to link up your photo project to this month's craft challenge. Now, that I think about it, this post actually fits the challenge! A new challenge will be posted on Friday, so come on back!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

holiday bazaar creativity

Normally, I save sharing about my Stampin' Up! goodies for my Stuck on Stampin' blog, but I just had to share it all here first! Enjoy!!

A couple of Saturdays ago, I participated in my first craft bazaar as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. Not only did I set up my own booth, but I was coordinating all of the other 40+ vendors who would be there. Talk about STRESS!!! (A little reason why I was MIA here in blogland for 2 weeks!) But, I wasn't alone. This was a Holiday Bazaar & Bake Sale Fundraiser for our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, so all of us on the leadership were able to pull together a very successful first year!

Although, yes, indeed, it was super stressful with getting everything ready to have a great looking table, in the end I was glad I was able to pull off the projects that I did! My list was MUCH longer than everything that I actually got accomplished, but at one point I decided that I could only do what I could do. I can save the other projects for next year!

My upline and friend, Andrea joined me for the bazaar, which made our table double in size! Overall, it was definitely all worth it as I made a good chunk of money to put back into purchasing more great Stampin' Up! products and continue my love for creating and inspiring others!

Our Booth

Christmas Cards
3 designs in packages of 5
I was so surprised that NONE of them sold! I have 7 packages. Let me know if you're looking for some handmade Christmas cards. *wink* (5 cards for $8 or 2 pkgs. for only $12!)

Reindeer Food
Mikayla helped me make these. Basically it is oatmeal with red and green sprinkles. On top, I included the poem that goes along with it. I don't think many of the bazaar shoppers knew what it was, but I think the kids would get a kick out of leaving this reindeer food on the lawn on Christmas Eve.

Sprinkle on the lawn at night,
The moon will make it sparkle bright.

Santa's reindeer fly and roam,
This will guide them to your home.

Post It Note & Pen Holder

I found this cute tutorial here and had so much fun making these! They really are super easy and would make such great gifts!

Decoupaged Christmas Stars
I had 4 different patterns and colors for these and made 2 of each (I didn't get a picture of each of them separately, but if you look at the table in the above picture, you might be able to catch a glimpse). I sold all 8 of them to my friend! I look forward to seeing how she decides to use them for decoration in her home. I LOVE how they turned out and will definitely be making more of these for Christmas!

Decorative Clothespins & Altered Binder Clips
These are so easy and fun to make! You could whip a bunch of these out with a little bit of Mod Podge and some patterned paper.

Snowman Candy Bar Wrappers
These are mini Hershey candy bars covered to look like snowmen. Another tutorial, I found and knew I had to make a lot of them. 20 to be exact! The tutorial can be found here.

Gift Tags
I just recently purchased an adorable Stampin' Up! die for my Big Shot die cut machine and it makes it so super easy to make gift tags. I can't wait to make up many more of these to add to the packages at Christmas!

Snowman Kisses Tic Tac Covers
LOVED these! These sold really well! Again, the minute I found this tutorial, I just knew I had to make many as I could! The tutorial link uses the large sized Tic Tacs, but Costco only sold the packs of small sized. Maybe I'll make a new tutorial for the small size? Interested?
Inside it says:
He's cute, cuddly & full of good wishes.
He wants to give you these snowman kisses!
Decorative Matchboxes
These were decorated with patterned paper and are the perfect little size for putting money inside or a small little Hershey chocolate.
Snowman Soup
Hidden inside is a package of hot cocoa, mini marshmallows in a clear baggie, Hershey's Kisses and a candy cane. I had an assembly line in making these, so they came together rather quick and easy and turned out so cute!

Click on this next picture to view the poem larger.
There you have it!! I tackled my FIRST ever bazaar! Next time, I think I'll work on getting things tackled way ahead of time and I might enjoy the process a bit more! That might mean I need to say no to coordinating next year's bazaar. We'll see...

For more Tackle it Tuesday, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

friend makin' monday - soup!

Today for Friend Makin' Monday, Amber is asking us to share our favorite recipes of the winter.

When I think winter food...I think soups!
Baking is actually my ultimate favorite thing to do during the winter (holiday goodies!), but I also like to get warmed up with a yummy bowl of soup.

Here are my top two favorites:
(did I mention they are super easy?!)

Taco Soup

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups hot water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can kidney beans
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Brown meat. Drain.
2. Dissolve bouillon cubes in hot water (3 minutes in microwave).
3. Put everything into a crockpot and simmer until heated through.
4. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can green chilies

1. Place chicken broth, cream of chicken, and taco seasoning into crockpot. Whisk together until blended.
2. Place everything else into crockpot and stir.
3. Simmer until heated through.
4. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.



There are still 4 days left to show us your
photo projects for this month's craft challenge!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

featured at the Blog Brew Review

Check it out...
No post for 2 weeks and then BAM 3 posts in 2 days!!
See? I told you I was back! *wink*

I just wanted to give a big thank you to AJ for showcasing my blog at the Blog Brew Review. It's a fairly new blog that reviews other blogs in a simple, but precise way and I'm honored to be featured! Head on over by clicking the button below to see what other blogs you can find to add to your blog list!

Blog Brew Review

it can be something simple

I decided to do a little search through my past photo gift ideas (the ones I actually took pictures of!) and wanted to share these to go along with this month's craft challenge. Making a photo project can actually be something really simple! It is all in the thought that counts and giving a gift that has a picture attached to it somehow is ALWAYS thoughtful!

~ Bookmark ~
Handmade for Father's Day
with the Top 1o Reasons I Love My Dad

~ Shadow Box ~
To add a little something to it,
I used a rub-on on the outside of the glass,
along with a heart sticker embellishment.
This was a gift for my mom for Mother's Day/birthday.

~ DIY Coffee Mug ~
Ryan got this coffee mug for his first Christmas as a Daddy.
I found one of those mugs that you can slip the pictures in.
I used scrapbook paper and just cut out the pictures of his little girl.

See? Something simple, but these are all still considered being crafty!

Now, it's your turn! Help us get ideas for those extra special Christmas gifts. Show us what you've got and go link up HERE!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

where did the week go?!

This past week has gone by in a blur! After last weekend's Holiday Bazaar (I promise that pictures will come soon!), I was beginning to feel like I was going to "crash and burn", but I was still running on adrenaline because we had our monthly MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting still to come on the Monday morning following the bazaar. You might say I was in denial that I was getting sick!

After my MOPS meeting, we had a fun lunch at Chevy's with my very good friend Kara and her family who were up for a quick visit...

Ally, Mikayla, Chloe, & Austin

By Monday afternoon I wasn't feeling good AT ALL and lazed around for the rest of the day on the couch. The kids had free reign of the house and my wonderful husband was so good to take care of them the minute he walked through the door. I bet it was a sight to see with cushions off the couch, and toys everywhere! I spent the rest of the night in bed.

Tuesday, I woke up with what I thought was a little more energy and the kids and I ended up heading to the library for story time and to check out some new books and movies. The rest of the day, I felt OK, having energy one minute and then the next minute having no energy at all. But I wasn't about to miss out on the Girls' Night with my college friends we had already rescheduled once, so I made sure I was well medicated before I had a night out with the girls (however, looking back at the pictures, I should have been a bit more concerned with the way I looked before heading out the door!)

In past years we've drawn names and then gotten a gift for whoever's birthday we had drawn. This year, we decided to do something different. To celebrate our birthdays from the past year, we decided to all go out together for dinner and dessert! We headed to Bridgeport Plaza and had dinner at Pastini's and followed up the fun with some dessert at Whole Foods Market, where we each got individual desserts. Triple Mousse cake for me...yum! We had so many laughs and these girls will ALWAYS be there for me through the joys and trials.

On Wednesday...actually I don't even remember anything that happened on Wednesday. Except, again, my children were allowed to have free reign of the house since I was now feeling worse than I had the day before!

"Look what we did, Mom!"

I was beginning to feel a bit better by Thursday, so I was able to get a few things done around the house. One of the much needed things that needed to get done was grocery shopping! I think I've been putting this off for 2 weeks poor family!! So, I used this opportunity to clean out the refrigerator and freezer and organize the pantry. I also did some coupon cutting and wrote up a grocery list for a GIANT-sized shopping trip to Costco and Winco Thursday night. Which, by the way, I wanted desperately to put off again since I still wasn't feeling up to par, but I suffered through it and now we have a stocked fridge and pantry!

My bare refrigerator...

...and freezer!
Friday morning we headed to Mikayla's dance class. I think it was the first time I had actually put make up on in the last 3 days, or even got out of the house before 9:30. I was feeling OK, but my eyes were watering a bit and I was still coughing. Seriously, why am I not over being sick yet!? By noon I noticed that Mikayla was starting to go down hill quickly and she had an extremely high fever by 2:00 in the afternoon. My poor sweet girl, I hate watching her go through this! She ended up falling asleep on the floor next to me on the couch around 4:00 but was still ready for bed by 8:00, her normal bedtime.

And now, it's Saturday and again the day was lazed away. My poor sweet girl slept on the floor in our bedroom last night and at some point early this morning her fever was up to 103.9! With medication, some TLC, and LOTS of sleep, she is starting to show signs of coming out of the fever fog. She doesn't seem to have an appetite, but thank goodness we're not having to deal with the stomach flu!

And in the FIVE hours it took me to write this (Can we say distractions!? I started writing this post at 2:00 PM and it's now 7:00 PM), Austin has now come down with a fever and Ryan is beginning to show signs of a cough and the aches, which is how it started for me.

So, it looks like Sunday is going to be another lazy day...although this momma might actually be feeling up to the challenge. With just a leftover cough, I think I might be back in action!

There you have it...a week with not much to show for it (other than some fun times with friends and that's always worth it!) Maybe next week I'll get a little more accomplished?

~ Wow, did I really blog about all that? Man, I must be desperate to do something other than lay on the couch.


Don't forget you still have 5 more days to link up a photo project for this month's craft challenge. Thank you to those who have already joined us...I'm loving what I see! Come link up your photo project gift ideas by this Thursday. That's plenty of time, right!?

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