Thursday, November 30, 2006
And these are the noodles I will use--Fettuccine. I just love pasta:)
After my car battery adventure, I went to the store and bought Tony a new jacket, then off to the grocery store, to stock up on some much needed supplies for my kitchen:) I bought some eggnog, oh, I love that stuff--I buy the lite, and you can not even tell it is lite.
Hope everyone has a nice dinner this Thursday evening!!! xoxox
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Thursday: Turkey Dinner
Friday: Hot Turkey Sandwiches
Saturday: Turkey Quesadillas
Sunday: Turkey and Dumplings
I think I did pretty good with coming up with ideas for all that Turkey..LOL.
Today is Wednesday and it very cold here, brrrrrr.
I have been decorating for Christmas, so everyday my home looks a little more festive. Hopefully this weekend I can talk my husband into puting the lights on the house outside:)
Yesterday my step daughter gave birth to her son--so that makes Kevin and I grandparents :::giggles::::
This is what I am making for dinner tonight--except I am doing a few things different:)
Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken Dip
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
poached and shredded with 2 forks
1 12 oz. bottle Frank's Hot Sauce
2 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese (I only use one)
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 16 0z. bottle of ranch dressing
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar or jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a 13X9X2 baking dish, combine the chicken and bottle of Franks and smooth to an even layer. In a saucepan over mediuim heat combine cream cheese and ranch dressing. Stir until smooth and hot. Pour evenly over the chicken and sprinkle the celery on evenly over it all. Bake 20 mins uncovered then sprinkle on the cheese and bake until just bubbly and melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sturdy scoopers like celery sticks or crn chips, one person suggested just a spoon.
I don't use quite that much Ranch dressing either, and I am going to put over a layer of rice in a casserole dish----I have made this before and my family just loves it.
I am wearing a very warm skirt (Green), it is almost like a sweater skirt, and grey long sleeve cotton shirt.
Well, I have a list of chores to do today also---yesterday was a rather busy day for me, so I was not able to get too much housework done--I was room mom at my daughter's school and Tony had an eye appointment after school----today is more relaxed so I am hoping to wash the kitchen floor, and do a load of laundry-----maybe swish the toilets, etc..I am sure you all do the same when you are home. You all have a very Blessed and Warm Wednesday xoxo
Maybe some baking too--to warm up the kitchen:)))
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The day before Thanksgiving---all my laundry is done--every last stitch of it. I am now going to concentrate on the cooking and keeping the house clean.
This lovely little tree that you see pictured, my daughter made it. This will be my centerpiece on my dining room table.
I will boil my eggs for deviled eggs, make my pumpkin pie and brownies.
This is my bread all ready to be made into stuffing. I layed it out on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven over night--it is nice and stale:)
I wil also make my stuffed mushrooms, macaroni and cheese--I will keep my blog updated as my Thanksgiving adventure continues.
I am also going to post the pretty dress I decided to wear ..LOL---I just love the holidays!!!!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I found this recipe for the stuffing and it is pretty close to the way Grandma taught me--->
Classic White Bread Stuffing
My husband doesn't want breakfast the mornings he goes to work, but when he is home on Sunday, he says that breakfast is one of his favorite things:) I snapped this picture of his breakfast on Sunday---this is actually a more simple breakfast that I made. In the bowl is cheese grits, then scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon and buttered toast. Sometimes I will make pancakes or french toast--and then eggs--sometimes fried, scrambled or an omelette:)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
I also put cookies in tins, some I give away, some I keep for pretty presentations.
These cookie bars also freeze really well, so you can make them now, and have some for Thanksgiving and then some Christmas:)
The recipe is posted in a few posts below this one.
We had bought a Turkey fryer a few years back, and my husband just loves it cooked that way. He injects the turkey with marinade. Last year he injected it with Emeril's seasoning--it was very good and moist. We had 20 people for dinner last year, so we fried one and baked another. Since this year will be smaller, I think we will fry one and I will bake a small ham. The fryer cooks the turkey super quick , if I remember correctly it is something like 5 minutes a pound. I saw some fryers at the grocery store, and they still are pricey, 120.00. The peanut oil to fill it, cost about 30.00. We do have a pump, that pumps the oil back into its container and filters it. So that is how we will cook our Turkey. I will take a picture of it while it is frying and when it is done---it looks so pretty when it is done.
The only drawback about frying it, is the stuffing has to be cooked seperatly instead of inside the turkey--and yes, I call it stuffing..LOL. I will post my stuffing recipe next--it is my grandma's recipe and it is oh so good--it is white bread stuffing--not cornbread.
Also, when I was in Georgia, my MIL taught me how to make giblet gravy with the boiled eggs in it---that was new to me, but that is how I make it now, and everyone loves it.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I am going to do some baking today. I am going to make a loaf of bread and I am also going to make the Seven Layer Cookie, I know some people call them magic bars---either way, they are very good--and I will fill up some of my Holiday tins with them.
I will also be making in the next week in preperation for Thanksgiving , brownies and a pumpkin pie:)
I will post pictures of all my baking projects, because I just love visuals..LOL.
Here is the recipe for the cookies I will be making today--Magic Bars
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
And then the next picture is with her arm asking what everything is--I am posting these for fun, and also to post what I got today at the Farmer's market. I got a bunch of sweet potatoes for only 2 dollars, yay!!! Also, the Cilantro was only 30 cents, I love cilantro--yummy! Tomatoes were only 77 cents a pound and Alexis informed me after counting them, I got 16. I also got celery, green beans, green leef and iceburg lettuce.
I also bought some egg roll wrappers, and some more won ton wrappers--there are just so many different things you can do with those--and my family just loved the egg rolls, when I made them.
My Grandmother gave me a bag ful of chicken breasts--she doesn't care for them, she likes the dark meat better--so it looks like we will be having chicken again for dinner--well, I will do something different then last night's Balsamic vinegar chicken, which I must say, was very good.
I am still just so happy at the price I got for those sweet potatoes and tomatoes. I just love a happy kitchen:) Have a wonderful Evening--I have to start dinner, it is now almost 4:00 and Kevin just got home--oops--kind of early, but that is okay--I can whip up dinner fast..LOL, especially when my kitchen is well stocked.
My Grandmother needs to go shopping today, so off to the market I will go..LOL. I really LOVE the Farmer's Market!!! It is suppossed to be in the 80's today----in November?? YES:)
What is on your Thanksgiving Day Cooking list?
I will be frying a turkey (maybe a small ham too)
green bean casserole
macaroni and cheese
turnip greens (part of kevin's southern tradition)
Cranberries (of course)
I am not done yet..LOL----> I LOVE TO COOK!!!
Have a Wonderful and Safe Wednesday xoxoxo
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I plan on breastfeeding my baby---bottles are not an option and formula is just not what God had intended for our precious gifts. Breast is best, need I say more:)
This is a picture of Kevin and I one Christmas--I like this picture of us:)
This is my dog...he is just like another child in my home..LOL:) He is 4 pounds and sometimes I think he thinks he is 400....
This is me and my daughter at her Red Ribbon parade..my son was there but he stayed away from the camera..LOL
Today in San Clemente California, is a dark and cold day--I LOVE IT!! I put on a black turtle neck and a grey skirt--I love dressing for winter. (and if you happen to stop by--I would probably have an apron on too)
I am going to make chicken tonight, and found a recipe in one of my magazines, for the very best chicken, they marinade it in balsamic vinegrete--we shall see if it is the *very best chicken*
I also want to post a few links that I just love---I love this site for printables, calendars, to do lists, schedules etc..it is free---Organizedhome.com
I also like this site for printables also---> Debi's site
And of course I can't forget FlyLady
I always thought I was pretty good with computers, but I just can't figure out how to post links on my sidebar:( I would love to add my favorite blogs that I read, but I can't get it to work--there are so many lovely blogs out there, that I love to read----I love to read about how other's keep there home, and what they are cooking--and I absolutely love pictures!!!
You all have a Happy Tuesday xoxox
Monday, November 13, 2006
I was reading some local news about my town San Clemente and they had this picture---so this is my town--it is a small little beach town---and I can't even tell you how many times I have walked the length of that pier..LOL. The other day when I was at Walmart, I bought this lotion for my feet---my poor feet get rough in some spots, I usually smother my feet in babyoil at night and then put socks on--I thought I would try this lotion--it works pretty good:)
And now, this is the most important beauty product I have, Ponds lotion for dry skin---my skin can get so dry, so I use this lotion twice a day to keep it looking smooth and not dry--in the morning and then before I go to bed. I did recieve a trial size of Oil of Olay's newest product in the mail, but I have not yet tried it. Ponds is very reasonably priced, and Oil of Olay is rather pricey--so we shall see:)
Over the weekeend, we had Grilled Chicken on Saturday, and on Sunday we had Pork Strips--this morning I took out some ground beef, I am thinking about making a shepard's pie--with a nice crust on the bottom and lots of cheese and then creamy mashed potatoes on top----Kevin laughs when I make meatloaf, he thinks I make that at last resort for not knowing what to make..LOL--so even though meatloaf had crossed my mind--I know my family loves shepard's pie. I will also make a nice green salad and a veggie--maybe green beans tonight. I had a big bowl of spinach last night--YUMMY!!!!
Happy Monday Everyone xoxoxoxox
Friday, November 10, 2006
Good Morning!!! I didn't post yesterday, but I had a very nice day. Early in the morning, I went shopping, I went to Walmart and then to Albertson's. At Albertson's I bought meat and produce. At Walmart I bought toiletries and paper products---I love when I have a well stocked home, it makes it more fun to be a housewife...LOL. Did I say fun? Yes, I love being a wife and mother, I wake up every morning and I can not wait to start the day and cook and clean and make a happy home for my family:) I spent 100.00 at each store, which I think was really good, considering I got a bunch of much needed stuff.
I made my chicken stock that turned out really good. For dinner last night I made lasagna--boy was it good. My son also had a dentist appointment. Today is Friday now, and there is no school --yay!!!!!
It wasn't hot yesterday like it had been, which I am happy about--I love the cooler weather--it makes it more seem like November and not July.
Well enjoy your coffe or tea this morning. I am going to put a load of laundry in the dryer, and I will be back shortly to write about a product I bought yesterday and other fun stuff. Happy Friday Friends xoxoxoxox
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A few years back Michael's had these baskets for 10.00 on sale for 1.99--I bought 5:) I wish I had bought more, because there are so many things you can do with them--I use one for my crocheting--and then I have one in each bedroom for everyones laundry--plus I think they look nice, especially empty..LOL:)
For my casserole last night, I pulled the last bit of chicken off the bones, and then I marinated it in Franks Hot Sauce (A Family Favorite here) and I made some Jasmine rice, in my steamer. When the rice was finished, I put it in a buttered casserole dish, spread the chicken over it and topped it with cheese--it came out wonderful:) I served it with peas and a salad. So today I am on the last day of my chicken adventure--I am now making a stock for later use:)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
One thing on flylady's website that I like are the recipes--and the rubber chicken is a really great idea. I am doing the Rubber Chicken this week--I made baked chicken last night, so tonight I will use the rest of the meat, and tomorrow use the carcass for a stock. I don't follow the recipe for rubber chicken exact, I just use the idea--like tonight, I will probably make some sort of cheesy chicken casserole--I will let you know, what my creative mind comes up with.
Here is the Rubber Chicken from FlyLady:
Leanne Ely's Rubber Chicken Serves 4 for 3 days
1 chicken -- washed and patted dry (get a nice sized one)
1/2 celery rib -- cut in pieces
1 onion -- quartered
1 carrot -- cut in 2" pieces
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Day One: The adventure begins--Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the cavity of the chicken, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place cut up vegetables inside. Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper and a little garlic powder, too, if you like. Cook for about an hour or longer (depending on the size of the bird) till the juices run clear. Let sit a minute and then remove the vegetables. In the meantime, if you were smart, you boiled the neck with some celery, onion and carrot and have that broth, too. To further cut down on the grease from the chicken, you could take the cooking juices and put them in a cup and refrigerate while you make the rest of the meal. This will get rid of a significant amount of chicken fat which will all rise to the top. Make a nice gravy by deglazing the pan with a little water and thicken it up with a flour/water mixture (about a tablespoon should do) Serve your wonderful chicken with Just Like Mama's Mashed Potatoes and lots and lots of veggies. Remember, you want leftover chicken.
Day Two: Let the adventure continue! Take your time and pull every last itty bitty bit of chicken of them bones. You want that chicken skeleton to look like a science project. Toss the chicken in pot with a can of black beans and season with a little cumin, some garlic powder and serve it up with lots of salsa, tortillas, some cheese--whatever turns your key! A great big salad will give you a perfect dinner.
Day Three: The adventure ends--with the skeletal remains finally hitting the stock pot. Throw in the same veggies: onion, carrots and celery, season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder and throw about 3 quarts of water over the top. Cook the daylights out of it and strain. Now make soup or store appropriately. Bet you didn't know one puny chicken had so many meals in it, did you?Remember this is Rubber Chicken, not Miracle Chicken, if you have a big family, you will need to cook more than one chicken to insure leftovers. LOL
Monday, November 06, 2006
Oh, and my rice steamer!!! I love this little steamer. I was watching Martha one day, and she said, every kitchen needs one of these--so I told Kevin, I need a rice steamer, because Martha says so. Kevin's reply was, Julie, you have a pot, lid and water--you have a steamer..LOL. Well as you can see, I got my steamer--it does a lot more then just steam rice too--I use it almost every day, for rice and steaming fresh veggies--yummy!!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I can not believe how fast this pregnancy seems to be going. I am already in my second trimester-whew. I am enjoying every minute of it. I have been thinking what to premake for my family while I am in the hospital. When I am not around I know they are lost in the kitchen, so my hamster wheel is spinning about easy things I know they can prepare and love to eat--like premake the taco meat and freeze it--shred the cheeses and chop all the veggies up so they can ensamble them easy. Bake a chicken and make Chicken and egg noodles, which they love. It will only be gone for a couple days, so I really don't have to go wild..LOL. Also, when I arrive home, I have my everfaithful crockpot to use, and my best and dearest friend close by, who has already said she will be here:)
As for preparing for baby, I already have a diaper bag from Alexis, which is in almost perfect condition. I don't need any bottles or warmers or anything that goes along with that sort of stuff--I am very pro-breastfeeding. I seriously doubt the number of women who say they can't breastfeed is actually acurate, kwim? Okay I will not go there in this post. BUT, breastmilk is the best for baby. I started crocheting an afghan for baby--I started it in yellow, because even though the doctor says it is most likely a boy--I am still not convinced being soo early to tell. I don't need a crib, baby will co-sleep--it helps me too--with sleep--no getting up making bottles, etc--all I have to do is comfortably breastfeed my precious one.
Okay that is all for now on this subject--I have so many ideas to write about, about getting ready for baby, but I still have about 6 months to go, so I won't make a super long post--because, I personally don't like reading novels on blogs either..LOL.
Have A Blessed Sunday xoxox
Mix altogether in large bowl until well blended. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, nuts, candies and mix them in. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until done approx. 7-9 minutes. Cool for a few minutes.
5 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup water
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Arrange sliced apples in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, combine the sugars, flour, and oats; stir in melted butter. Spread mixture over the apples. Pour water evenly over top. Bake in a 375° oven for 30 minutes, until apples are tender and top is nicely browned.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I took Tony to the dentist yesterday for a checkup--everything looked pretty good:) As I was sitting in the waiting room, I was thinking about the Duggars--could you imagine taking 16 children for a checkup..LOL--bless her heart.
I also looked through a magazine, and they suggested putting a Turkey on the dining room table for a decoration for Thanksgiving--A stuffed animal type Turkey--what a cute idea--I have a cute little Turkey too--so I am going to do that. I will take a picture of my cute little turkey.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Create a charming display of teddy bears dressed for the season. Gather together three or more teddy bears and arrange them on a table or on the floor in a corner. Dress the bears with touques, scarves and mittens. Place candy canes in their hands or tie bows around their necks. You can even wrap up some small, empty boxes with Christmas wrapping paper to place in the bears' hands.
Make simply bows from Christmas print ribbon and pin them to your curtains.
Display a collection of nativity scenes from different cultures.
Hang a collection of Christmas stocking on your mantle, a shelf or the wall (even if you don't stuff them). The more the merrier.
Revisit your childhood. Cut snowflakes from white paper and hang them in all of your windows.
Use red and green 3-dimensional fabric paints to trace simple Christmas patterns (like stars, bells, Santas, stockings, etc.) on a white tablecloth.
Buy a clear plastic shower curtain. Use a hot glue gun to attach Christmas decorations to the outside of the curtain. Don't use breakable ornaments - instead, try small wooden or plastic ornaments (remove any hooks), bows, garland, etc.
Dress up your house plants - hang small Christmas ornaments on them.
Tie a red ribbon around a tall, slim drinking glass. Fill the glass with candy canes and display on a shelf or side table.
Fill a small glass bowl or decorative Christmas bowl with small cones and display on end tables, shelves, buffet tables, etc.
Purchase plain green or red place mats and attach Christmas ribbons, bows or small wooden ornaments with a hot glue gun.
For quick ornaments, hang Christmas cookie cutters with ribbon. Hang them on your tree or in a window.
Decorate plain red, white, green or gold candles with 3-dimensional fabric paint. Draw stars, bells, angels, snowmen, etc. If you make a mistake, let the paint dry and peal it off, then start again.
Create a cookie wreath centerpiece for your table. Just arrange Christmas cookies in a wreath shape right on the table cloth. No need to attach them to anything 'cause everyone will want to nibble at them. If you like, place a pillar candle on a small plate in the center of the wreath.
Pile a collection of Christmas books on a side table.
Purchase an inexpensive mail box. Spray paint it red or green. Use craft paints to add simple Christmas shapes (use our patterns), or attach store-bought ornaments with a hot glue gun (make sure your ornaments will be able to stand up to the elements).
If you have a large, bare outside wall, try this simple idea. Cut a Christmas silhouette from a piece of plywood (a silhouette of Santa, a snowman, etc works well). Using screws, attach your silhouette to a short post that you can drive into the ground. You'll want the silhouette to stand right a ground level several feet away from the wall. Position a spot light on the other side of the silhouette so that it will shine on the silhouette and project a large shadow on the wall. We've seen this done with a silhouette of Joseph leading Mary who is sitting on a donkey. It's beautiful.
Wrap indoor Christmas lights around a railing or banister. Secure periodically with tape. Be careful to tape down the electrical cord so that no one trips over it.
Add color to a room with vases of red and white flowers. Use roses, carnations, mums, daisies, etc. Or, float the flowers in large crystal or glass bowls.
Wrap an assortment of medium to large sized boxes with Christmas wrap. Attach ribbons and/or bows. Pile the boxes in a corner from floor to ceiling.
Sew scraps of Christmas print fabric into a patchwork tablecloth. Simply cut your fabric into square pieces and stitch together. Hem the entire cloth. Sew ribbon the edges, if you like. Make smaller cloths to cover end tables, night tables, TV trays, shelving, etc.
Cover an end table or a shelf with white paper. Arrange cut evergreen boughs on to cover the table top. Place tall tapered candles in glass candleholders here and there on the table top. Before lighting candles, be sure that the greenery is not close enough to catch fire.
Use pliers to bend coat hangers into a simple wire-frame tree shape. Wrap a string of outdoor Christmas light around the frame, attaching with electrical tape or duct tape. Stick the decoration in a flower bed or on your front lawn.
Hang mistletoe everywhere. Use false or fresh mistletoe.
Wrap your doors in Christmas wrapping paper and attach large bows make from fabric or purchased at your local craft store.
String a ribbon from one end of a wall to another. Attach the ribbon to the wall (at each corner) with thumbtacks. Clip Christmas cards to the ribbon with clothespins. If the ribbon is too long, the weight of the cards will pull it off the wall, so tack it here and there with more thumbtacks.
Purchase a large glass plate. Paint the underside of the plate with gold craft paint. Dry. Place the plate on a table and fill with several white or off-white pillar candles of varying sizes.
Make basic sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies. Before baking, make a hole toward the top of each cookie using a straw. Bake and cool. String a ribbon through each cookie and hang them on your Christmas tree.
String popcorn, cranberries, cereal, beads, etc. and hang the garlands everywhere.
Make some old-fashioned tree decorations. Wrap nuts with aluminum foil; use a needle and thread to stitch a thread through the foil for hanging. Glue ribbon to pine cones for hanging. String popcorn streamers. Make paper chains. Cut snowflakes from white paper.
Add a few drops of food coloring to white glue. Put the glue into a squeeze bottle or icing piping bag. Draw simple Christmas star outlines on waxed paper. Pipe glue onto the paper, following your drawn outlines. Dry. Peel glue ornaments off of the waxed paper and hang in windows with thread or ribbon.
Cut pictures out of old Christmas cards and create a collage by gluing them onto a piece of poster board. You can frame the poster board if you like or simply hang it on the wall.
Wrap a lampshade with translucent Christmas tissue paper. Put the paper on the outside of the lamp shape, overlapping the edges just a little and tape the edges down on the inside. Be careful that the tissue paper doesn't come too close to the light bulb or it may catch fire.
Replace your fish tank background mural with a piece of Christmas wrapping paper or a collage made out of pictures cut from Christmas cards.
Twist garland or popcorn strings around railings or banisters and secure here and there with tape.
Using a glue gun, glue candy canes, side-by-side (standing on end with their hooks at the top) to the outside of a terra cotta pot. Tie a red ribbon around the pot. Place a small poinsettia inside the pot or fill the pot with wrapped candy.
Tape a doily to the outside of a glass canister or clean glass mayonnaise jar. Spray the outside of the container with artificial snow. Dry. Remove the doily. Fill the container with cookies, candy, ornaments, etc.
Remove your favorite pictures from their frames. Wrap the frames with Christmas wrap and replace the pictures.
Make a gingerbread house. They make wonderful centerpieces or decorations for any table top.
Use scraps of Christmas print fabric to create quick sachets. Place two pieces of fabric right sides together. Pin a paper pattern of a Christmas shape to the fabric (use our basic patterns). Cut the shape out of both layers of fabric. Stitch the fabric layers together all along the edge, leaving a one inch gap. Turn the sachet right side out. Fill the sachet with potpourri. Hand stitch the gap closed. Place your sachets in a basket by the front door so you can hand them to departing guests (meanwhile, they'll fill your entryway with wonderful scent).
Use a child's Christmas pop-up book as a centerpiece. Just open the book up to a desirable picture and place the open book in the center of your table.
Hang a large December wall calendar on your wall. Count down the days to Christmas by gluing a brightly-colored bow on each passing day.
Tie five or six cinnamon sticks into a bundle using red ribbon. Create a bunch of these bundles and display them in a bowl or on a plate. Or, tuck bundles into nooks and crannies on shelves and table. They add a nice scent to your room.
Pull out your old toy trains. Run the track around the perimeter of the Christmas tree.
Paint the inside of a glass white to simulate milk. Display the glass along with a plate full of cookies and a hand-written Santa's wish list. It looks great if you take a bite or two out of one cookies.
For easy Christmas tableware, tie red, green, or gold ribbons to the stems of wine glasses or the handles of cutlery.
To make a decorative cookie plate, glue cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to the edges of a large plate.
Cut pictures from Christmas cards and Christmas wrap. Decoupage the pictures to the inside of a serving tray. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the tray. Once all the pictures are in place, cover the entire inside surface of the tray with one or two more layers of decoupage medium.
Screw small hooks into the ceiling and hang indoor Christmas lights from them.
Print your favorite cookie recipe on Christmas stationary (or print it on a white piece of paper and have it photo copied onto Christmas stationary). Roll each recipe up like a scroll. Tie the scroll with ribbon. Place the scrolls in a basked by your front door so you can give them to departing guests. You could also bake up a batch of cookies. Wrap each cookie separately in plastic wrap and attach one cookie to each scroll with ribbon (string the ribbon through a hole in the plastic wrap).
To add a lot of color to a room quickly, use red or green towels, blankets or even scraps of fabric as throws for your chairs, couch, tables, etc. Large pieces of polar fleece make great, cuddly throws.
Display colored glass ball ornaments or even beads in bowls instead of hanging them on your tree.
Wash and dry half a dozen small jars (it's better if they're all different sizes and shapes). Fill each jar 2/3 full of water and add a couple of drops of red or green food coloring to each jar. Stir. Place one sprig of evergreen in each jar and display the jars in a group on a table or line them up in a row on a shelf or window sill.
Use children's bath crayons (for coloring in the bathtub) to draw Christmas decorations on your mirrors and windows.
Spray paint the outside of large, clean coffee cans with gold, red or green paint and use them as cookie cannisters. Once painted, you can decorate further by using decoupage medium to glue Christmas card cutouts to the cans, or use a hot glue gun to attach small plastic or wooden ornaments, tinsel, garland, whole spices etc.
Using a small brush, paint the tips of pine cones with gold craft paint. Place on a rack or piece of waxed paper to dry. Display cones in bowls or vases or attach a ribbon and hang them on your tree.
Spruce up plain red or green bath towels with Christmas ribbon attached using a hot glue gun or ironed on with fusible web.
Create an easy wall hanging using a piece of sheet music for a Christmas carol. Cut a piece of red poster board a few inches larger than the sheet music and glue the music to the center of the poster board. Use a hot glue gun to glue a small sprig of artificial holly to the top right-hand corner of the sheet music.
Create an inexpensive set of Christmas glassware. Purchase a set of glasses or mugs and paint holly leaves and berries on the outside of each glass or mug using red and green glass paint.
Dress up your dinner table: cover the table with a plain red, green or white tablecloth and sprinkle with red, green or gold cut-outs from your party decorations store. Or, make your own cuts out with specially shaped hole punches and solid colored wrapping paper.
Turn an old blanket chest into a treasure chest. Place the chest on the floor against a wall and open the lid (prop the lid up securely if it's prone to closing by itself). Line the inside of the chest with fiber fill to create the illusion of snow. Drape strings of beads and white indoor Christmas lights over the chest. Fill the chest with wrapped presents or wrapped empty boxes. Sprinkle with gold-wrapped chocolate coins.
Create personalized gingerbread men as place cards for your dining table. Use colored icing to decorate each gingerbread man with a guest's hair color and usual clothing. Using icing to print each person's name across the chest of the gingerbread man.
Paint a terra cotta flower pot gold using craft paint. Let paint dry. Glue on plastic or glass "gems". Let glue dry. Pipe white glue in a circle around the perimeter of each "gem". While the glue is still wet, sprinkle on gold sparkles. Let glue dry. Fill pots with flowers, nuts or candy.
Create an eclectic centerpiece using a large glass plate. Place a collection of containers on the plate. Use small bowls, vases, candle holders, flower pots, clean ash trays, etc. Fill each container with a different type of nut or candy.
Purchase inexpensive plain lampshades for your lamps. Use a hot glue gun to attach fabric bows (in Christmas prints) to the shades.
Trim door frames, window frames and the edges of mirrors with Christmas garland (secure with tape).
Place 1/2 cup of whole cloves on a plate. Apply white glue to the outside of a small terra cotta flower pot. Roll the pot in the cloves so that the outside of the pot is completely covered with cloves. You may have to press more cloves onto the pot in places. Let the glue dry. Tie a red ribbon around the outside of the pot - knot the ribbon. Tie three cinnamon sticks into the ribbon (knot the ribbon around the sticks). Tie the ends of the ribbon into a bow. Use the pot as a flower pot or fill it with potpourri.
Decorate with mittens, gloves, touques and scarves. String jute cord from one end of a room to another and clip knit items to the cord with clothespins.
Purchase small bells from your craft store. Tie each bell to a piece of ribbon between 6" and 18" in length. Gather all of the ribbons together and knot together at the top. Drape the bells over a door knob so that they ring when someone enters or exits.
Poinsettias are a beautiful way to add Christmas color to a room. But don't just stop at one. Create a stunning display using at least six plants - all different sizes. Group them together, larger plants in the back. Tie a large gold fabric ribbon around the whole group of pots. Sprinkle the plants with gold glitter.
Wrap a large empty coffee can in Christmas wrapping paper (leave the top open). Place and the floor, add some water and fill with evergreen branches. This looks wonderful on its own, or you can hang ornaments from the branches.
Replace your usual curtain valence with a large piece of Christmas print fabric, draped over your curtain rod.
Tie bows around door knobs.
Create an easy wreath. Tear Christmas print fabric into strips (or use ribbon, instead). Wrap a styrofoam wreath with the fabric or ribbon. Hang the wreath as is, or hot glue Christmas picks, ornaments, nuts, candies, etc. to it.
Wrap a table in Christmas wrapping paper.
Purchase cork place mats or coasters, Christmas print stamps and red/green/gold stamp pads. Then, stamp shapes onto your coasters and place mats. You can even stamp shapes onto your table cloths and napkins.
Cut pictures of people and objects from Christmas cards. Glue each object to a magnet sheet. Cut the pictures out of the magnet sheet. Stick the magnets to your fridge. Visitors can arrange your magnets into scenes.
Put some color into your bathroom. Display red and green glycerin soaps, bath gels and oils.
Use florist wire to wire Christmas picks to railings, banisters and door knobs.
Make a snowman. Better yet, make a whole snow family or even a whole snow village!
Wrap your front door in plain white paper and decorate with a large bow. Place red and green pens by the front door and have guest sign the door as they leave your home.
Cut pictures from Christmas cards and pin them to your curtains or bedspread.
Purchase inexpensive white bathroom accessories (soap dish, toothbrush holder, garbage can, etc.). Paint holly leaves and red berries on the accessories using craft paints. Or, use a hot glue gun to attach bows, sequins, beads, buttons, etc.
Create an red and green display in your kitchen using a collection standard food items. Jars of olives, sun dried tomatoes, pickles, red peppers, cans with red or green labels.
Quick wreath: Use a glue gun to attach nuts or wrapped candies to a styrofoam wreath. Attach a large red ribbon.
Paint nuts gold with craft paint (use a variety of nuts of different shape). Line a large bowl or basket with Christmas greenery (artificial or real), fill the bowl wit oranges, apples and the gold nuts. Add a large red bow.
Display a large collection of photos from Christmases past. This makes a sensational conversation piece. Use a collection of odd frames or create frames using colored cardboard or craft foam. Instead of displaying each picture individually, you can create a collage. Use a large piece of red craft foam. Cut photos into interesting shapes (just cut around what's important in the photos). Glue the photos to the foam, overlapping them and leaving a 1" - 2" border of red foam showing. Cut holly leaves from green craft foam. Glue three leaves to each corner of the red foam frame. Cut small circles from left-over red foam (these are the holly berries). Glue them next to the holly leaves.
Make a Christmas bedspread. Trim the edges of a large piece of red polar fleece with pinking shears. Stitch a collection of mittens to one side of the fleece.
Put a Christmas screen saver on your computer.
Paint Christmas stars or bells on the outside of your bathtub or on your shower curtain using washable children's soap crayons.
Place a plate full of wrapped Christmas baking by the front door as parting gifts for guests.
Remove your mugs from their cup hooks and hang Christmas ornaments in their place. You can do the same thing with spoon racks or key racks.
Shred colored paper and use it to line a basket. Fill the basket with red and green scented votive candles.
Make a fresh flower garland using red carnations. You'll need a few dozen carnations. Cut the stems off just below the bud. String a length of double thread on a needle (make the thread as long as the garland you want to make). String the buds together by pushing the needle through the bud and out the top of the flower. Tie the ends of the garland together, if you wish. This garland should be stored in the fridge.
Decorate with giant cookies. Mix up your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread cookie recipe. Roll out the dough. Instead of cutting into small cookies, cut out one tree shaped cookie using a knife. Don't bother using a pattern. A hand-cut shape has more charm. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake. Cool. Cover with icing made of confectioner's sugar, green food coloring and water (no butter). While the icing is still wet, decorate your tree with peppermint candies, M & M's, jujubes, etc. Let the icing set. Your giant cookie can be displayed on a plate or you can wrap up a box in colored foil wrap and glue your cookie to the front of the box with dollops of icing. The box can be displayed lying down or standing on end.
Make simple Christmas puppets. Cut Santas, angels, snowmen, etc. from old Christmas cards. Paint craft stick red or green. Attach one cut-out to each stick using tape. The kids can play with these or, you can display them in a vase or a bowl. Just fill the vase or bowl with beads, nuts, candies, etc. and stick the puppets' sticks into the bowl.
Wrap your plant pots in red or green foil wrap. You don't even have to remove the plants first.
Create a display by your front door with unused boots. Assemble a group of boots and fill them with wrapped gifts or empty boxes.
Purchase an inexpensive glass vase (or better yet, three or four vases). "Paint" the vase with white glue and roll in red or green sparkles. Use the vase to display a large collection of white or red carnations.
To create an easy Christmas card display, purchase a large red bow that has a vertical ribbon attached. Hang the bow and ribbon and pin Christmas cards to the ribbon, starting near the top.
Paint fruit such as apples and pears with egg white and roll in gold sparkles. Air dry on a rack and display in a basket along with nuts.
Cows, I love cows. I have been collecting cows for many years. I have always wanted to live on a farm and have my very own cows..LOL. There is just something about the country life, that seems so peaceful, and cows to me repersent that to me. How funny do you think it would be for me to have a cow on the beach? I did find a picture of a cow on a surfboard, and I framed it--it is cute:)