Mmmmm Sausage and Potato Roast

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas.  I am worn out!  Seems like such a huge build up for something that is over so fast.  I am in the process of getting the photos that my brother took and putting them in a slide show to post.  Hopefully later this week.

Since I am so worn out this week I am all about the quick and easy dinners.  I found this recipe via Tip Junkie.  Which then led me to the blog A Few Shortcuts where you can find the orginal recipe along with step by step photos if you want.  But since you are already here I will tell you how I did it!
You will need:
1 lb Italian Sausage (I used mild cause of the kids)
2-3 Potatoes (red would be great but I used Russet)
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
Sweet Onion
Peppers ( I used green & red)
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Rosemary and Basil to taste

Preheat oven to 450
Cut up your potatoes into whatever size you choose
Add strips of peppers, onion, and garlic
Toss with olive oil
Lay out on foil lined cookie sheet
Cut sausage into to bite sized peices and lay out on cookie sheet
Sprinkle with seasonings
Bake for 30 minutes

I served this with garlic bread and it was so easy and so tasty.  The house smelled so good and even my kids ate it all up!


Have a Holly Berry Bracelet and a Little Paper Tree

I have more Christmas themed swap goodies to share.  Two holly berry bracelets.  There are different leaves on each bracelet as I couldn't locate the ones I orginally had (2nd bracelet)  I am actually quite glad I couldn't find them as I like the first one quite a bit more.  As usual I had intended on making one for myself but never got around to it.
 I made a bracelet just like this for a swap in 2008 and had lots of left over beads.  So I made a new one for the 2010 12 Days of Christmas Swap using up all the left over beads.
Here is a paper tree.  I saw a tut for it on Craftster.  It's made from a book!*  I removed the front cover and used an exacto to start cutting out the tree design.  It had to fit into a can for a swap so I didn't glue the sides together.  It is meant to be an ornament.  I was going to add some watercolors to the edges but I really liked it just plain.
*No good books were harmed in the making of this ornament, only a really crappy cheap romance novel


Soap Sacks and I've Been Featured!

First I want to brag a little that I have been featured on The Paisley Cupcake!!!  She featured the Cherry Blossom cookies that I made for Christmas.  Thanks so much I hope they enjoyed the cookies!

Another gift that I made this year for friends and family are soap sacks.  The soap is handmade and was received in a swap on Craftster. The sacks were made with Sugar and Spice cotton yarn.  I triple crocheted the sacks, then added a drawstring on the top.  They are soap and a scrubbie all in one and are washable and reusable!

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Coffee Cozies

I scoured blog land the past year gathering up ideas for the holidays. I wanted to make things for certain friends and family. One of the ideas I found was to make coffee cozies to go around disposable coffee cups. I found the tut here.
The tut advises you to use batting for the inside insulation but I just used craft felt. I also used a 1/4" seam allowance when sewing them up. This allowed them to be a bit longer.

I made up a nice variety and the one that has already been received was liked!

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Happy Birthday to you *sniff sniff*

10 years, a whole decade. Wow it really seems to fly by. I was only 19 and kinda scared. Now I am 29, you are 10 and still kinda scared but for different reasons. 10 years from now I will be 39 you will be 20 and I will hopefully be over the fear......

Exatly 10 years ago I had been a brand new first time mom for about an hour. I was in the recovery room waiting to really get to hold my brand new daughter for the first time. She was getting weighed and cleaned and checked out. 7 lbs 2 oz and just perfect.

After we got home from the hospital there were a lot of sleepless nights. This child never slept!

That first year went by so fast! The next thing I know I have a smiling, walking, talking little girl with a crazy stubborn personality!

What a little trouble maker she was. Getting into everything! She formed her own opinions at a very early age and there was no stopping her! There still isn't!
Everyone always told me that she wasn't cute, she was beautiful with her big blue eyes and gorgeous curly hair.

That super cute smile and little giggle that warms my heart to hear it.

Suddenly you weren't a little girl anymore. I see so much of me in you and I'm glad. I hope you will grow up and continue to be smart and independent even if it means that we will continue to butt heads.

Now you are 10 and on the cusp of being a teenager. I think I am more scared about that than I was 10 years ago waiting for you to be born!

Adia, thank you for the last 10 years. You have helped make my life worth living and I am proud to be your mama. All the sleepness nights were worth it! Through the ups and downs that we have been through to the ones that I am sure we will go through, don't ever forget that I love you and always will.
Happy Birthday Peanut!!!!!


Friday Fix-Fast Gift 3 Hot Chocolate

Mmmm who doesn't love a nice cup of hot chocolate? Stir in some chocolate chips and marshmallows and you have a wonderful treat! You can make your own hot chocolate mix and layer it in a jar to give as a quick gift.

You will need:

2/3 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup Cocoa

Pinch of Salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in an air tight container.

To give as a gift:

Layer the mix with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Add a mini whisk and a cute mug and you are good to go!

Add two tablespoons of mix per mug of hot milk or water.

Easy Peasy!



Stockings are pretty self explanatory. Here are three that I have made in the last two years. They are time consuming since every little sequin and felt piece is sewn on by hand along with all the embroidery. I love the way they turn out but don't do them that often because I get bored working on the same thing for such a long time. I have been making a felt advent calendar for over a year now and have the intentions of making stockings for each of my kids. Ahh maybe next year....
This is the most recent stocking I have made. It was for my partner in the 12 Days of Christmas mini swap.

This Cinderella stocking was made as a gift for one of my cousins girls.

This was the first stocking I made and it was for the 12 Days of Christmas mini swap in 2008. I think this is actually my favorite of all the stockings.


Advent Calendar

I have seen a ton of these advent calendars made from cookie sheets around the web and wanted to make one of my own. I did a mini version using a small little pan I found at the Dollar Tree. I also used magnetic sheets, Christmas themed paper, vellum, and stamps to create this one. Underneath (why didn't I take a picture??) are little circles of Christmas paper I cut out with my 1 inch punch.
This was made for a partner in the 12 Days of Christmas mini swap and I hope she likes it! I had the best of intentions of making a few more of these on a larger scale for family but it didn't happen this year. Oh well I now have 11 months to get on the ball for next year!


Kids Christmas Crafts

The kids have been crafting! Every year I like for them to make ornaments to give to the grandparents. This year I found an idea on a Tip Junkie Post which led me to a blog called Full of Great Ideas which gives a tut on how to make Five Finger Snowman Ornaments!
You will need:
Plain Christmas Bulbs (plastic is best)
White acrylic paing
Sharpies in various colors
A paper plate and possibly a paint brush
Spread the white paint on the paper plate
I would paint little one's hands or have the bigger kids dip their hands in paint
Have the kids wrap their hand around the bulb to make hand prints. I helped Landon by holding the bulb and setting it in his hand then lifting it out after we made the print.
Set on a cup to dry
Use sharpies to draw on snowman features.

I love how they don't look perfect and will be great keepsakes. As suggested on Full of Great Ideas I wrote each childs name and the date on the bottom where their palm prints are. You can also use a spray sealer if you choose.

The kids also make these foam houses. The kits were at Walmart for only $5 each! I had to help Landon get his roof on but after that they used the included foam stickers to decorate however they wanted. Reusable and a lot less messy than traditional gingerbread houses.


Mmmmmm Cookies

I like to bake and I like to try new things. I am by no means a food blogger and I can't pull off the gorgeous cookies that I have seen around the blogosphere but it's the taste that counts right? This year I am also participating in my very first cookie exchange. For the exchange I tried out a new recipe for Chocolate Drops. These are a rich cookie that taste very much like dark chocolate. This receipe was found in a magazine and also on the box of Bakers Chocolate.

Chocolate Drops
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
GLAZE1 tub frozen cool whip
6 squares semi sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat chocolate and butter in large bowl on high 2 minutesstir until chocolate is melted
add sugar and mix well
blend in eggs and vanilla
add flour mix well
cover and refigerate 1 hour
Shape into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet
bake 8 minutes
Cool completely
Glaze:Place frozen whipped topping and semi sweet chocolate in microwaveable bowl
Microwave on high 1 1/2 minutes until chocolate is melted and mixture is shiny and smooth, stirring after 1 minute.
Let stand until thickened
Spread over cookies
Next I made another new recipe and I think these are one of my new favorites. They were easy to make and taste so good. The kids and my co-workers also gave them two thumbs up. This recipe was from Family Fun Magazine.

Chocolate Crinkles
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl mix together the melted butter, cocoa powder, and sugar
Wisk in eggs and vanilla
In another bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
use a large spoon to slowly add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture
Stir in the chips
refrigerate the the dough for 2 hours
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Form the dough into 1 inch balls and roll them in powdered sugar
bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes
Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet for 5 minutes
them remove to wire rack to cook completely

Last but not least are my personal favorite. My aunt has been making these for years and I started doing them a few years ago to share with friends. My co-workers love these cookies. These are really easy to make also! The dough is very crumbly.

Cherry Blossoms
1 c butter
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp cherry juice
red food colorin
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped & drained maraschino cherries
Hershey kisses

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix butter, sugar, cherry juice, almond extract and food coloring, blend well
Mix in flour and salt
Fold in Cherries
Firm dough into 1 inch balls
Place 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake 8-10 minutes
remove from oven and immediately top with a kiss
refriderage to set

I also cheated and made peanut butter blossoms using premade peanut butter cookie dough then just placed either a kiss or peanut butter cup on top after baking. Tasty and super easy!

I hope you enjoy baking and if you try any of these recipes let me know how you like them.

Adia's 10th Birthday Tea Party

Photos by Lucas Nowel Photography


Friday Fix-Fast Gift 2 Sugar Scrub

This is a Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub. It softens and exfoliates all at the same time. It helps that it smells great and is super quick and easy to make! I will be making these as teachers gifts this year.

I have seen a lot of different receipes for this online. I pretty much made up my own and I didn't measure!

You will need:

1 Container. This can be any glass or plastic container of your choosing

White Cane Sugar

Olive Oil

Lemon Juice


Tea Tree Oil

Essential Oils

Pour the sugar into the container filling it until almost full

Pour in the olive oil and start stirring until blended.

Stir in your lemon juice and tea tree oil (if you are using it) Add enough to get the scent you want.

The oil will push down the sugar so you will have to add more sugar and oil until the container is full. Just add both and stir until the container is full.

Add a ribbon and a pretty tag!

Beware that if used in the shower it can be very slippery!

A variation on the recipe

White Cane Sugar

Brown Sugar

Olive Oil


2 tsp Cinnamon

2 tsp Vanilla

Use equal amounts of the sugar and follow the same directions as above.

Easy Peasy!

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