Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

I can hardly believe that it is already December 24th. This year has flown by for Estevan and I. Just one year ago we had no idea that we would have sold our house, gotten new jobs, and moved clear across the country. 2009 has been one heck of a year for the boy from Michigan and, generally, a run-of-the-mill kind of year for the girl from nowhere in particular.

This Christmas will be the very first year that Estevan hasn't celebrated Noche Buena with his family in East Lansing. It will be just the two of us for this beautiful night before Christmas. I will be making a small meal for us.... steaks, arroz con gandules, and apple cake. We will also be Skyping with the family up North, fun fun!

To all my readers, I wish you love, laughter, and peace. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Like white on rice

I love this white Christmas tree! When I have room enough for two trees I want to make this one and start collecting white and silver bulbs. So gorgeous; found via Habitually Chic.

I have also tracked down this project from its source. It can be found here: Maison21. It's worth a read-through, the man is very funny.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Tree 2009

I'm so excited for Friday! Oh heck, even Thursday will be great and I can't wait. All my wrapping is done, I can finally clear off my wrapping table of paper, tape, ribbon, and tags. The tree is looking very full and so beautiful with all those ribbon be-decked presents (I live for wrapping and ribbon). My favorite wrapping job has to be the present that I put together for my sister-in-law Patty, see the picture below. Can't wait till all the family gets here!

Every year, our tree gets a little more decorated. I still remember our first year with only the cinnamon applesauce stars and a few glass bulbs from Target, we didn't even have a star!

I'm finding it very hard to believe that it was only 5 years ago. It amazes me how much we've done in such a short amount of time.... bought a house, got married, graduated from MSU, sold our house, and moved across the country. SERIOUSLY INCREDIBLE!

Three round tins tied together with a simple ribbon.
Easy way to keep everything together.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh what a day

Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away?! I'm so happy to see Mary and Joseph on the last row of houses going up to the manger.

This day is also special for me because today marks the day of my first official date with Estevan 7 years ago. He drove 4 hours up from MSU to take me out to see a movie during our winter break from school... sure it was only Alpena, MI at the Royal Knight theater, but it was better than eating in the cafeteria at Langdon Hall or going to house parties in East Lansing.

December 19th was also the date that he proposed to me 5 years ago. We had spent a wonderful day together Christmas shopping, going out to dinner, and driving around our neighborhood looking at all the Christmas lights. He proposed to me on one knee in front of our own Christmas tree. So sweet and simple.

I love you honey! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On The First Day of Christmas....

Here are some Etsy finds using my favorite holiday theme. Maybe my true love will give one to me!

This color combination is amazing.
$14 from Spacemoderne

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this holiday card!
$12 (for 8) from Kissandtellcards

Wouldn't it be neat to design all the family
stockings around The 12 Days of Christmas?
$24 from ThreeSocks

Seriously, could you get any cuter?
$6 from Churchmousestudio

Such a pretty necklace!
$30 from Sherrytruitt
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dining Table Makeover

I got my home improvement fix this past week after a nearly half-year hiatus. I can't believe how much I missed mixing paints, digging through the tools, wandering through home improvement stores, and the many subsequent trips back to those same stores for things we forgot which then leads to the cashiers poking fun at you for coming back 3 times in one day. Yeah, it's a good time.

So here's what all that hassle and fun led to...

We started with a salvaged table top, it's sitting on top of our old ratty table in this pic.

We bought all the supplies to turn that top into a full table.
This is a prime example of things we forgot and mistakes we made. Notice that there is no actual color, just a primer and a varnish. Also, that varnish was DISGUSTING! Do not buy spar varnish for going over paint; it will turn it the color of molasses and will smell up your entire house for a week. We ended up priming and painting the whole table again and then finished with a plain old CLEAR polyurethane.

We attached the pine legs, primed and painted, flipped it over continued priming and painting.

And after a few days this is what we came out with.....

Ta-da! Now all we need to do are two more chairs so that we can finally seat six!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I just made another pumpkin pie and my crust cutters did a beautiful job. I also adjusted the recipe a little... I only used a 1/4 tsp. of ginger, cut down the nutmeg, took out my previous addition of cloves, and added a 1/2 tsp. vanilla based purely on the fact that I thought it smelled good in the mixture. This recipe is a work in progress in an effort to accommodate both my tastes (more spicy) and Estevan's (more traditional). Here's my updated version of The Good Housekeeping recipe for Pilgrim Pumpkin Pie:


1 pie crust

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Prepare pie crust in dish as directed.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In large bowl, with wire whisk, mix all ingredients until well combined.
  • Carefully pour pumpkin filling into pie crust.
  • Bake until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
  • Cook on wire rack at least 1 hour before cutting.
  • Serve with whipped cream.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Java Love

I haven't talked about my little bean lately, so here are some recent pictures that I've taken of my favorite dog...

The treat is right there! Just reach up and grab it...

Java the giraffe.

Dog's may go to heaven, but as far as Java is concerned,
laying on our guest bed between the two of us is heaven enough.
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Apple Pie with Leaf Crust

I tried out my new pie crust cutters last night! I love these little guys from Williams and Sonoma (thank you Auntie!). The cutters worked beautifully, my recipe did not.... this was definitely a terrible first attempt at baking an apple pie. Better luck next time!

Not as pretty as the picture on the box, that's for sure.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Stacked Newspaper Trees

This looks like a very good candidate for my next craft project. I love Martha, find her directions and video here. Pin It Now!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments, oh my!

Years ago, for our first Christmas, I made cinnamon applesauce ornaments. We didn't have many ornaments, just some bulk packaged ones from Target, but these cinnamon ornaments gave our tree a homey feel and the smell was amazing. After a few more Christmases (and one dog), our tree is filling up with beautiful and sentimental ornaments and I've had to say good bye to my cinnamon applesauce ornaments. You may ask, "Why?" and "Why do you mention the dog?". I mention the dog because last Christmas, our first Christmas with Java, we found out that he is deathly allergic to cinnamon. Very traumatic for all of us, but he made it through alright and I won't be tempting fate anymore with a tree full of cinnamon ornaments. So now, all I can do is pass along the recipe for my beloved ornaments, I hope that you enjoy them (and that your dog isn't allergic).


1/2 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce (store bought)

Or you could use equal parts of any amount based on how many you want to make.

Mix together by hand and roll out between two pieces of wax paper, making them about a quarter inch thick.

Using cookie cutters of any shape, gently cut out and place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Poke holes near top using a toothpick.

Bake at 200 degrees F for about 2 hours. Leave out to dry further over night.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009


It's going to snow tomorrow in Houston! They are actually expecting 2-5 inches tomorrow, crazy. This will be the very first time that I'm hoping to NOT have a snow day. I just spent an hour or two making snowballs for the students that I've been teaching for the past week. I stuck a marshmallow on a lollipop stick, dipped them in melted white chocolate (using a spatula to help) and then rolled them in shaved coconut. Really sweet and really delicious!

I gave these to my students a few years back in Michigan in honor of the first snow of the year. Now these are in honor of probably the only snow of the year down here in Texas.

Perfect little individual treats for kids.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Here!

I received my ornament from my swap partner yesterday. I love it! It fits in perfectly with with my other ornaments. Thank you April!

I am so happy with how this ornament exchange went. I will definitely be participating next year!

Close up. Pin It Now!

Family vacations are my fave

Here's some snippets from our trip up to Michigan for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

This is how we made it from Wyandotte all the way to Howell.

Isa made these for the table. So cute!

Titi Myrt made these turkeys with her kindergartners, very interpretive. =)

Bill, Amalia, Missie (with Penny), Myrt, and Lela.

Missie, Myrt, Lela, Lelo Adolfo, and Patty.

Tio Kevin carving the turkey.

A little after dinner conversation.

Detour in St. Joseph. Good to have all the family around.

Meijer run!
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