Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recipe Challenge Sunday!

So at about 2am a few nights ago, Instead of sleeping, I had the idea to begin a challenge where we are given an ingredient that we must cook around! Recipes and Pictures to follow, whether it be a failure or a success!

It might help to get those creative juices flowing! I'd love for you to get in on the action too!

So the mystery ingredient for this week is....

ROLO'S!!! Chocolately outside, caramel goodness inside! What will we come up with?!?

And what good is a challenge with out a deadline?? Look for my creations or disasters next Sunday!!

I'd love to include yours too so comment with a link to your blog or let me know what you made and how it went!! If you use someone else's recipe, please be kind and share the link love!


UPDATE: Things don't always go as planned, and unfortunately, this was one of those things! I did make my recipe, pretzels with melted rolo's and it was DELISH!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I dare say..

I think Christmas (If you don't celebrate, please substitute for holiday!) Spirit is actually sneaking up on me!! Despite me even being in 85 degree weather, and with no christmas decor to be seen--isn't it funny how it works sometimes?

If you haven't really got into the Christmas mood yet, I've compiled a little list to help you out. Try one or all of these to make yourself feel good and merry!

1. Remember why/what you loved about the holidays. Think back to your happiest Christmas/Holiday memory. What made this time of year special for you? Write it down. Also, notice what creates that little warm, stirring feeling inside you. Is it the neighbors lit up house? A cozy wintery throw you cuddle into when you read? Is it a nightly cup of cocoa with nutmeg and LOTS of marshmellows? Keep an ongoing account of what you love or enjoy most about this month and the festivities.

2. Create the scene. Decorate your home with fresh evergreen branches if you'd rather not deal with a whole tree, that way you still get the great smell with less mess. You can always add a few ornaments into martini glasses or glass bowls for a untraditional but just as beautiful setting. And don't forget the lighting! Candles are romantic and can create the smell of home baking, minus the smoke alarm. Or if you'd rather not chance the whole "fire" aspect at all, you can get the flameless ones, alot of them look amazingly real nowadays! Or go with Twinkly lights! These come in sooo many varieties. My husband loves the light ropes and i prefer the more traditional but eco friendly LED twinkle lights. Wrap them around the bottom of your glass dining table, hang them from the boring light fixture, tuck them in the bookshelf or put them around your bed!

3. Bake! Give it a try, even if you burn toast, you can buy the pillsbury cutout cookies, just place them on the baking sheet, set the timer and your all set. You can't beat the warmth and smell of fresh baking. If there is no way your going to bake, go into a local bakery and buy your very own piece of homemade heaven.

4. GIVE BACK. This is my absolute favorite holiday tradition. NOT one of my husbands but I'm hoping he'll learn with time. I like to give some of myself to a local non-profit, charity or I find people that I know I can help out either with my talents, my time or money. One year we arranged christmas dinner for 23 families and another year we provided presents for 15 families and their children. Helping others or RAK makes this world seem a little kinder to those that are feeling stomped upon, and makes our individualized society a more community minded.

5. 'Christmas up' your every day! Drink your coffee with some holiday flavored creamer or some egg nog in it (Did you know Silk makes soy milk egg nog??). Use christmas or red/green napkins. Write your office memo's with red/green pen. Add a holiday message to your email signature.

6. Enjoy those things you can ONLY do this time of year. Ok, granted this doesn't work for either of the two places I've lived lately, BUT you get the idea. Go snowboarding, skiing or ice skating. Make snowmen and snow angels. Wear sweaters, scarves and cute cozy caps. Pile into the car in PJ's with cocoa and cruise for christmas lights.

Alot of having JOY is appreciating what we have RIGHT NOW. Go out and 'Make Merry'!


Here's what I've been up to!!
I went to the Stampin Up regional here in Maui and spent a full day noshing, chatting and STAMPING! No kitty or baby to interfere! I spoke to a few women who all had children, and one of which that had FIVE!!! Ages from 4 to 17. The phone calls she recieved while we were stamping (for example, they LOST the 4yr old--apparently it happens all the time!!) I couldn't imagine five children, Jadyn himself drives me up a wall.At least i got some cards and little paper gifties done, plus many new ideas for tons of projects.. Yay!! I'm really thinking I might get into this as a home buisness for some extra $$. Not much mind you, but getting a little kick back to hang out, stamp and have fun! Heck yes!! Plus, I could use the money off of my ever growing supply.


I'm still figuring out what to do for everyone for christmas, I found this victorian addage which will definitely help for when Jadyn gets older to combat that unending materialism, "Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, And something to read." I could see this being especially helpful for if you had more then one child. I really want to raise Jadyn to be more into the traditions then the gifts anyways! Me and Jade finished our christmas cards (such a good hubby! He glued together the snowmen!), so now just to send them out!

So you can see, we took Jadyn to see Santa while we were still in Hawaii. So funny! Santa and Jadyn in their aloha wear, shorts and tshirts! Jadyn was such a good sport. He wasn't exactly happy with being put on Santa's lap but he barely fussed and not a tear! A welcome sight from last years Santa fiasco!

Plus, this year he got a stuffed snow owl from Santa (as part of our picture package) and loves that little guy so! He carries him around saying, "Owl, owl" which sounds like he's in pain, OW! I'm so glad he's attached to it, we were trying to find a replacement for his DVD case obssession. I swear, he's addicted to them! He doesn't even get a 1/2 hour every day but let him see a case, its over. Hopefully his "OW" can fulfill him.
Are you planning on doing any cooking/baking for the holidays?? One of the ladies at the Regional had the cutest little set up with toothpick labels and signs for her dips and the cutest tiny spoons! Really made everything else look like leftovers in comparison!

Presentation really is EVERYTHING.

I adore this website and can't wait to order like mad for this holiday baking/giving season! They have the BEST ideas!! So cute.
What does your christmas planning look like?? Mine thus far, is a scribbled note with crosses, checks and question marks.. Here's a great little DIY to make yours a bit more manageable!

Also, this lovely print your own wrapping paper set.. Now i just need some recycled paper!

Did you make your advent calendar yet? If not here's some last minute cute ideas.. Here and Here

Thats all my lovelies!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting into the holiday spirit!

I don't know what it is about December and Christmas, but the mere thought and my heart gets all snuggly.

I ADORE traditions. Seeing how we are in the process of creating our "own" holidays for our newly formed little family, I love reading about other peoples take on the subject.

Ours are pretty simply still, and not even our own. Christmas Eve at Jade's Grandma's house where we do a gift exchange and play board games. Christmas morning at his parents house, where we cover the floor in crumpled paper from unwrapping the piles of gifts, stockings pillaged first of course. Then the rest of the day is spent lounging, or a movie sneaked in. Then we pile into the car shoved full with stuff and make the trek home to unpack.
Will this year be the same? I can't say. I'd like to make Christmas more about family and love and less about gifts and presents, but it seems an uphill battle. I will tell you, me and Mrs. Bea are doing a handmade holiday so maybe that will combat the materialism a bit.
One thing I'm looking forward to this year is an introduction to the big guy in red. Thats right, Santa. Jadyn is of the age to start believing in magic and I'm so excited to be able to journey with him! I loved Santa, we're still close.
I'm still not quite sure how we'll include some hawaii into our christmas yet, but since its part of our history and in my sons name, we'll do it somehow!

Why don't i give you an idea of how christmas is here in Hawaii?

Mele Kalikimaka is the way to say Merry Christmas. Santa is dressed in his 'aloha' best, with sandals and hawaiian print shirt! You can find him strumming a ukelele or having a cocktail, or dancing with the Mrs.. Carols are played on the ukelele and Santa arrives via canoe, not on a reindeer drawn sleigh. Instead of a fireplace, try a bonfire on the beach, substitute roasted chestnuts for roasted pig.

***I also am learning of other celebrations around Christmas, I even learned of one i hadn't heard of before!

I'm involved in a swap for a "Lucia" gift. Here's what the host told me about it,
"In Sweden Lucia is if not as big as Christmas then rather big :). We eat gingerbread cookies, saffronbread and often give our kids a small gift."

Here's a blog about the holiday. Saffron bread, or Lucia rolls, sound YUMMY.

***Another tradition I love and am getting itchy to make myself, is an advent calendar.
Craft Apple blog has a good little pdf for the numbers to make your own!
Also, she has a link to an advent calendar sew along! I may be joining them soon!

If you aren't so crafty, Elsie has a diy kit you can purchase as well! All pieces included!

****I'm wondering if Jadyn is too little to try one of these?

Blonde Designs blog has it all worked out and a cute PDF to cover your frosting cans. So thoughtful!

Here's a great idea at Family Fun, AND a use for one of those cardboard six pack boxes i have in my recycling! SCORE!

What traditions do you have that you might be willing to share? Will you try something new this year?
I'll pick a comment at random to recieve their very own hawaiian ornament! :o)