Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has a New Year that is full of health, wealth, love and happiness!

Do you make resolutions? I don't, but I do come up with better ideas on how to do things. Mostly trying to pay off my debt. I'm going to ask my boss to pay me every two weeks, so I have a bigger 'chunk' of money to put towards one of my cards.

I also plan to buy myself an exercise bike. I have the perfect place for it: where my recliner is now. It won't be in anyone's way, and I can pedal while I watch TV. (The kids can have the recliner for the playroom.) I just need to find one with a comfortable seat so I don't kill my back any worse than it is.

BTW, I had a great Christmas. My Christmas Eve party was a hit, and I made way too much food. We had appetizers for lunch for almost a week, LOL!

Mike gave me gift cards that I'll have lots of fun with...especially the $100 one for Joanne's! And the kids gave me a Nintendo DS! My first game is one with lots of card and board games. It's very addictive. Angelina has one, and we were able to play some games with each other. I cashed in a bunch of change at Coinstar for an Amazon gift certificate and have ordered the Personal Chef one and Brain Age. I can use brain exercise as much as I can use physical exercise.

Once again, Happy 2009!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adorable, FREE Christmas Scrapping Kit!

I found the cutest embellishments that are part of a wonderful kit for scrapbooking Christmas pages over at this blog:

I think it was very nice of Karen to make so many downloadable elements for us to enjoy, don't you?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I should be doing other things... finishing my Christmas blouse. But you know how an idea strikes you, and you want to try it right away? That happened to me this morning when I was looking at the tangles of wires around this house, mostly associated with computers. So I made up some wire wrappers (for lack of a better name) from scrap fabric. I've only made 3 so far, since I really do plan on doing legitimate Christmas work today, LOL!
Basically, you cut 3 rectangles: 2 of fabric, one of something cushy (I used a scrap of fleece). Sandwich these together, right sides of the 'good' fabric out, and sew around the edges. Then pink or serge the edgegs. Okay, if you want to do this right, you should cut the rectangles a little more evenly than I did.
I used sticky-back Velcro, which I put on the short end. I wrapped it around the looped-up wire, then pulled off the second backing and stuck it together. I just sort of fudged the measurements, which is how I usually do things. But again, if you want to do it pretty and right, try looping up your wire and taking a rough measurement around it.
Regarding the blouse: I did get the buttons (they look like purple and green crystal) and I have the green thread in the machine and the buttonholer on I'm on my way. This might actually end up being my 2008 Christmas blouse, after all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cranberry Meatballs

Here's the link to the recipe, which I posted a year ago!

BTW, I don't see any reason why you couldn't make these with ground turkey or chicken!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Must Be Santa Monday

My donation to MBSM today is my list of appetizers for my Christmas Eve party:

Cranberry Meatballs--half in freezer. I'm making more this week. The sauce gets made the day before.

Coconut Chicken--again, half in freezer. I decided to make more. I have the chicken cut up already and will do that this week, too.

Cocktail Hot Dogs--in a kind of cranberry sauce. I made the sauce a while back, and I can't tell you what's in it because it's one of those 'throw it together with what you have' sauces, but I tried some on another batch of hot dogs and it was yummy. I just froze the rest and will heat it up with another package of mini dogs--possibly in the crockpot.

Shrimp--this is the one time of year we splurge on the really good stuff from the seafood store (our favorite restaurant, btw--Catfish Annie's.)

Celery Cheese Sticks--basically just cream cheese and shredded cheddar in a celery stick with some nuts on top.

Swedish Meatballs--I need to make another batch, plus the gravy.

Cheese Bites--I also plan to make these this week to freeze them

Nacho Dip

Bacon Wrapped Crackers--just bacon around crackers. Intriguing. I think there's a recipe out there that uses parmesan cheese, too.

I might find a few more things to make. I have no qualms about buying some things from the frozen food section, LOL!

The main dish, as I've posted before, is scungilli and sauce over linguini. I'll pass on the snail, but I make enough appetizers to fill up anyone who doesn't want that. My kids (other than Nicky) and my husband love the stuff.

Do you do a Christmas Party? Any suggestions for make-ahead appetizers?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Doll Dress

Here is Molly (with a bad haircut) in a crocheted dress I made for her. It just needs one more button on the back. The t-shirt is a blue knit with daisy print on it.
Molly is only borrowing the outfit. It is a gift for Angelina's doll, Amanda. Amanda is also getting a crocheted blanket and pillow (lavender) and possibly a nightgown and jacket. I'm not sure I'll have time to finish the latter two, but I'll try.
Last night, I picked up a dowel at Michael's. I'll have Mike drill a hole in it, and cut it shorter, then I'll put some yarn or rat-tail in it, tie on a magnet, and it will become a fishing pole for the little fishing set I made for my nephew. The fish are done. I'll post a picture of the finished gift soon!

The best part of these? Most of my materials were things I already had on hand!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Really Yummy Cookies

I mean, truly melt-in-your-mouth cookies! You've seen several versions of these. They are similar to Mexican Wedding Cakes. Here you go...

Butter Nut Cookies

1 Cup of butter(please don't use margarine--ick!)
1/4 Cup of sugar
2 Cups of flour
1 Tablespoon (yes, that's a Tablespoon) vanilla
1 1/2 Cups of chopped nuts--I like walnuts, but pecans would do if you can swing them
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (Yes, that's 300, not 350.) Cream the butter. Add everything else except the powdered sugar. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut. Put on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes.
Let them cool until you can handle them (they'll still be a little warm) and then roll them in the powdered sugar.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Must Be Santa Monday: CVS Deals

It's that time of the week again, and I hope more people join in! I want to know what you are doing, how you are saving, what you have planned!

My donation today is about a good deal at CVS. Maybe you can snag it, too!

They have a nice Craig MP3 player with this little screen on sale for 24.99--marked down from 39.99. And you get 5 ECBs back!

I happened to have 2 5.98 ECBs, so this is how the deal worked for me:

-15.00 savings
=24.99 sale price
-10.96 ECBs

So I paid less than $15 and have $5 to spend on something else. Nicky's getting the MP3 player as a 'big' gift.

Other deals for ECBs you can use for gifts:

Buy $15 Tide and Duracell (Tide is 12 this week and Duracells are 3, so you only have to buy one of each) and you get back $5 ECBs. Look for mfr. coupons in the most recent P&G circular.

There's a deal on Energizer batteries, too, but I don't have the circular in front of me so you have to look that one up yourself. All I know is I got $10 ECBs back from it, and there is a coupon for the batteries in the Smart Source circular of November 9th.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Must Be Santa Monday

It's time for "Must Be Santa Monday," so join already, will you? Don't tell me you don't have anything to post about Christmas!

When I saw this fabric, I couldn't resist. I had no idea what I planned to do with it, but then it hit me: a friend of mine (she won't see this--she doesn't read blogs) is a big fan of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

So I made her an apron. I had enough fabric left to make one for myself, too, although at the rate I'm going my own will be finished next year, LOL!
The bias binding is candy-cane striped, and I made it myself. Making binding is a pain, but it's so cute when you're done.
The apron is from the book "A is for Apron," and the pattern is "Lemon Meringue," sans pockets. I really do need to make something else from the book, but I like this pattern. It's easy and very flattering--no gathers at the waist!
BTW...the green blouse is my Christmas top, so far.

More news: I cashed in my quarters for an gift card via Coinstar. Can you believe I had over 250 quarters? With some other pocket change, I ended up with about $75. I've ordered a few things, and still have about $25 left to play with later. I took some items out of my cart because the shipping was so high, and stuck with 'eligible for free shipping' items only. I'm danged if I'm going to send someone $22 just to ship a few t-shirts!