Sunday, November 29, 2009


Dare to DIY

Week 3....we're daring to.....EAT COOKIES!!! I really didn't need a dare to eat cookies...I do that at will....calories schmalories. And when Chocolate Crinkles are involved....well there just is no stopping me. I baked, I took photos, I ate.

These cookies are moist, lofty, melt in your mouth little pieces of chocolate heaven.

Betty Crocker Chocolate Crinkles

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup veggie oil

4 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate (cooled)

2 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Mix granulated sugar, oil, chocolate and vanilla. Mix in eggs one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough, roll around in powdered sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake til firm...10-12 minutes.

Yield 6 dozen.

Be sure to head over to see Kim at the NewlyWoodwards and check out all the YUMMY treats!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Table...Free, Free, Cheap, Cheap

Dare to DIY

Week 2...Let's Party! This week we're "Daring to Entertain".....well....we were planning to entertain, but had a change of plans. The table was already set and my creative juices were flowing, so what the heck, I just kept setting and setting until it was be taken down tomorrow to make way for the CHRISTMAS TIDAL WAVE!! My sweet husband has already put up the "foyer tree" for we have a little holiday overlap in our house right now.

Back to the party!

On a recent trip to the Restore I spotted this little beauty. What is it, you ask? I have no clue. instantly shouted to me "I'M YOUR CENTERPIECE!! PUT ME ON TOP OF THAT GIANT TEETERING PILE YOU'RE ALREADY CARRYING!" Yes, it was a demanding piece of cabinetry or whatever it is, so it got it's way. (and yes, things often shout at me when I'm at the Restore or husband would like me to wear earplugs ;-)

This is what it looked like, AFTER a dusting, PRIOR to a coat of my favorite gloss chocolate brown spray.

And in it's new life as my centerpiece....I think this is what it was meant to be. Worth every penny of the $2 I spent on it. Filled with things from our yard...bittersweet, lilac branches, dried hydrangeas (sprayed gold), Chinese elm, and flowering kale. Gotta love free!!

Darn it....the lighter AND my husband's bike ended up in this shot! But I still like it, so it stays!

Gobble gobble....I have a thing for turkeys this year.

Free, free, cheap, cheap! All the china is hand-me-down or Goodwill. LOVE the crystal...gobbled it all up at Goodwill recently!! 25 cent pumpkins from a "super store". Silverware was a wedding gift. Everything else was gathered in the yard.
See you at the next party!
Check out all the great tablescapes at NewlyWoodwards!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Do It Yourself Thanksgiving Decor

Dare to DIY

It's a blog party! This is my very first and I'm so excited to post my little projects! Thanks to Kim for getting us all motivated to spruce up for Thanksgiving. So here goes....

I'm more of a "before and after"kind of girl....hope you don't mind there are no "in progress" shots...I just plain stink at taking photos mid-process!

The Goodwill Cornucopia
Found this little cutie on a recent Goodwill spree. It was nice, but just not quite right....until a little spray paint saved the day. Excuse the horrendous photo of this one....just never seems to be the right light in our living room.Before...a perfectly respectable cornucopia....but.....

....that's better.

The Window Seat
For over a year our GORGEOUS...DOUBLE GORGEOUS...LOVE THEM SO MUCH I WOULD EAT THEM IF THEY WEREN'T MADE OF WOOD built in bookcases have been finished. Thanks Dad!!!! At one end is a charming little window seat...but the poor thing never got a cushion or even a single pillow...just a heap of little boy toys. Well that all changed my friends!!

Okay, okay...this shot is a little scary. Looks like some kind of fabric crime scene...I can hear the Law and Order theme song right now....anyway, this pile of...of....well stuff turned into this!! And the great thing about being thrifty is it makes a person ingenuitive...or at least that's the one I'm sticking with. I didn't have enough fabric to cover the entire windowseat cushion, so I covered one side in this yummy cream velvet and the other side in a smooth neutral print, so it's REVERSIBLE! YAY!

And lastly...but not leastly...
The Sign
On the very same overly indulgent day that I rescued the cornucopia from Goodwill I just happened to stop at the REStore as was my lucky day folks. (Not according to my husband... some people, sheesh)
This cabinet door CALLED my did....I really mean it. Along with enough other things that I was teetering a big pile all the way to the checkout...including the piece de resistance that I will debut next week....
Back to the task at hand. The door required a little sanding, a little wood putty, some paint and voila!Before
After...LOVE IT!!!! I painted the door with a satin finish...Cove Blue I think it was called...gotta love the paint at the REStore! The "thankful" part was the result of pouring a little of this and a little of that together, letting it dry, then sanding it down a little for a distressed look.

Be sure to head over to visit Kim at NewlyWoodwards to check out all the great projects!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

It's been a few years since I've written. Thought I'd give you a shout out this year...I'm pining, and you're my go to guy for those little treats that I just can't justify acquiring for myself. I mean, you have ALL those elves and everything...this should be easy peasy for you. I would be so thankful and so happy if your sled stopped at my house and you came down the chimney....wait, don't go down the'll just end up stuck in the basement....use the key on the porch.

Have a good month Santa,

Love, Jen

My List to Santa
The Cricut Expression...aka, the Crafter's Holy Grail

Frog Tape....we all have our quirks

Crocheted washclothes....these are awesome and I've used mine up (you've got some crocheting elves, right Santa?)

Chalk Ink Markers....I have an expanding number of cool chalkboards and these are terrific!

The mini circular saw...enough said...oh wait...if you find a palm sander laying around the elves' workshop feel free to toss that in too :-) feet are cold

And finally.....a trip to Michael's, the week after Christmas so I can snatch up all those awesome 90% off deals....and if you could keep away all those gals with the pointy elbows that would be great!!

The cookies will be waiting!!! :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Tooth Fairy

Apparently, with kindergarten, so brings the loose teeth. Just a few short weeks ago Marshall noticed his VERY FIRST loose tooth. Where does the time go? Didn't he just grow those teeth? Alas, with the imminent tooth-losing event threatening to happen at any moment we needed a way to communicate to The Tooth Fairy that a tooth was indeed lost, and hidden under a Official Tooth Fairy Pillow was constructed. A boy tooth for Marshall, a girl tooth for a very sweet classmate who is also about to lose a tooth. There are little pockets on the back of the teeth to keep the "real" tooth safe.

Marshall's question to me....."what does The Tooth Fairy do with all the teeth she collects?" Hmm....might need to Google that one. ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Pillow

Handmade. Is this something most kids know anything about anymore? I've always...ALWAYS (just ask my parents) prided myself on MAKING gifts. There is just something special about the anticipation of awaiting the look on your gift recipient's face when they open a gift that you know you have put careful consideration, time, and love into. Marsh attended a classmate's birthday party this event for him. When we received the invitation I pondered long and hard about what I could MAKE for this little guy's gift. Boys are definitely more difficult than girls, but certainly not impossible.

This pillow is what I landed on. Marsh has one similar to it and enjoys it, so I decided to go ahead and give it a try for this birthday gift. I have to admit I held my breath a little as the birthday boy tore into the bag....hoping (praying) he wouldn't spit in disgust at the thought that Marsh had given him "home decor" on his very important day.

To my delight (and I have to admit, surprise), the pillow seemed to be his favorite gift, as he expressed a heartfelt thank you for it and how it would "go" with his room. The birthday boy's mom even waxed on about how it was handmade and that I'd taken the time to MAKE something for him. I assured her that I enjoyed making his gift and was glad he enjoyed it. In fact I ran into mom out and about today and AGAIN she mentioned how much he loves the pillow and carried it around all night.

Makes you wonder, huh? At our very core, what we want is to know others care for us and that we're worthy of time and energy being spent for our benefit and enjoyment. Sometimes we need to take a step back and think about what will benefit our little ones...more money being spent on plastic from a faraway land or a gift crafted from things we already own, with love and care.

Well, I'm off to make a few more Christmas gifts for the special little guys in my heart.
More photos soon....hopefully my kids don't read my blog ;-)

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