Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

So December has come and is nearly gone! Christmas came with it. And sadly it has gone too. Here are the pictures that we get to keep to remember our Christmas 2011.
Firstly The last weekend of November found us at the Festival of Trees, a fund raiser for the Primary Children's Hospital in SLC. It is a huge event with so many decorated trees, in every theme you can imagine. Very inspiring! Plus they had gingerbread houses, quilts, wreaths, mantel displays, gift boutiques, and an area for mini trees. My mom and I went and we took Elyssa with us. We were so exhausted by the time we left, but we had a ton of fun.  So that means I had to come home and get our tree up the next day.  We wanted bright colors this year but also some animals. I saw an idea on pinterest that I just knew we needed to make. In early November,we went to our local thrift store and dug through all of the toys to find the little plastic animals. They only charged us $1 for a basket full of them. Then we came home and glittered them and put them away until time to decorate the tree.

 The next thing we did was to make crystal snow flakes. Borax Snow flakes, they were so easy to do and doubled as a science experiment.

  And about that time we had the tree up so we were able to hang them. Our decor is relatively simple and not too involved.

Another idea I found on Pinterest and decided would have sufficient impact with very little work involved. Hanging different lengths of different colored ribbons on our mirror and tying ornaments to them.  And on the same mirror just below the ribbons is my favorite piece.

With our stocking below that. We don't fill our stockings, they are purely for decoration. 
The next weekend My mom and Elyssa and I went to another expo to do some shopping, and just hang out.  We had a lot of fun. and found some nifty, inexpensive gifts. 

Justin and I went to his company Christmas party at the little America Hotel downtown, always a fancy affair, we look forward to having this date night all year. 

 Then there was the night I got to go and take photos for Justin's brother and his family such fun times! 

Then it was on to the cookie baking.... Justin's schedule changed so we had some adjusting to do while he worked nights for a bit. This was the perfect time for me to bake and decorate cookies. Kept me occupied while he was gone in the evenings.

and when it was all said and done I had 10, gallon sized ziplock bags full of cookies. 

Elyssa made a few cookies worth mentioning, 
 Well we have Adam and Eve apparently before the fall...

 And our Chickens made the cut. 

And these cookies I made for a friends who gets to have that long awaited reduction! 
Happy Bra shopping D.A. 

Dixie doodle decided sleeping under the tree was her new favorite thing to do. 

Elyssa made several of these drawings for her brother and aunt and uncle.
Ashton LOVES his!!!  

Christmas Morning, The most beloved gift.....
a rolled up raw hide chewy of course!

And Christmas night, after our movie (Marley and Me)
Time to learn a new song, Deuling banjos. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pear Frangipane

This is a recipe for a pear tart that is pure HEAVEN!
It is simple, has few ingredients and fast!
Using your food processor makes it go really quick.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp. cold butter cut into pieces
2 tbsp. ice water

In a food processor bowl combine, flour and salt. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and pulse until a ball of dough nearly forms. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic, chill 1 hr. (less if flattened)

Preheat oven to 375*F
Roll out dough and place into a 9" tart pan, pressing dough up the sides.  Bake 20 minutes, let cool.

6 tbsp. butter
 2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
3 soft, ripe pears, (peeled, cut into halves lengthwise, and cored)

In food processor bowl combine butter and sugar, process til smooth. Add almonds, flour, cornstarch, pulse to combine.   Next add egg and egg white along with the extracts. Pulse until well blended. Spread frangipane in cooled crust, slice pears and nestle into the frangipane and spread the pears out. but do not separate them.bake 40 minutes or until the frangipane is set, and golden brown.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Easy project makes a great gift!

LOVE, that is it.
ok, well maybe a camera and some kids and some frames. And in about 2-3 hrs you can have a timeless gift ready to go.
 First I printed out some letters on cardstock. I used the letters L-O-V-E. I printed them using the Georgia font, at a 700pt.  They turned out great.

Next I had the grand kids line up and I took the pictures out side in the freezing cold. I had each kid hold each one of the letters. And I took multiple photos, just to make sure I got great ones I could use. So that would mean a minimum of 16, but in reality I took about 120 pics in 10 minutes. (Why was our photo shoot so short? Because it was about 20 degrees outside and we were FREEZING! And Ice crystals were starting to fall out of the sky.)

Then I went in and cropped and edited them. I wanted black and white photos so it was really easy to do. Next I uploaded to Costco.com and had 8x10's printed out. I picked them up added some cute frames and voila! Beautiful, meaningful gift. I was so happy with the way they turned out.

This is an awful picture of the finished product. They look so cute and this photo does not do them justice. 
So, to see the photos how they really appear see them below. 

I was really close to the kids and tried to take shots that were from the waist to the top of the head or a little higher.  Also I wanted to get their personalities to shine through the photos. I did not care if their eyes were not wide open, if they were having a genuine laugh going on.  I was teasing and snapping photos and making the kids laugh as fast as I could. 
 I also looked for interesting backgrounds, knowing we were going to do the photos in black and white, I wanted some visual interest.  Texture!

I think this is a project anyone can do if you have the time to plan ahead and have a few hours. 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

17 years!

Can it be 17 years have gone by?
17 years with my best friend!
17 years of love and joy!
17 years of wedded bliss to my wonderful husband!

Happy Anniversary Justin! I love you, more each day!

Wow, it has been a slow few months on the blog front!

So much to do and so little time to do it.... that has been my motto lately. Our homeschool year has me busy! I don't seem to be able to keep up with the laundry much less the blog. I am going to make a concentrated effort to do the pictures of the month starting in January. I have missed doing that series this year!

Tomorrow I am going to share a project that I created for my mother in law for her birthday. I got the idea from Pinterest. However I did not know how easy it would be. I am thrilled with it and can't wait to share it.

I also want to share a few recipes, the ones that are easy for this time of year.  But that will have to be in the next few days. Tonight I am exhausted!