Friday, 21 December 2012

Link Party for Newtown

Hello friends!!! Earier this week, I shared a quote about looking for the helpers in the face of a tragedy and today I am participating in a huge link party with other bloggers across Canada and the US to help raise money for the Newtown United Way. It's a small way each one of us can help and show our support for the families of that community.

Kelley at The Grant Life and Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects both host a weekend link party that opens on Thursday afternoon.  This week, they joined forces and also opened up the party to as many co-hosts who want to join to donate $0.05 for each link to the Newtown area's United Way.  The thing is - that's not all.  Some other bloggers heard about it, and also wanted to match 5 cents a link - so for this special party, for every link you add, $1.00 will be donated to the Western Connecticut United Way.  Even more fabulous bloggers offered to help us spread the word by co-hosting today's link party.  So no matter what blog you are visiting when you read this, we all thank you for supporting the party and the cause. Because of how widely hosted this weekend's party is the links you add here will be immediately visible on several blogs! The details are below including who is donating, and what you should link today.

I can't wait to see what all of you are linking up....have a great weekend:)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Blog Hop & Pick your Plum Giveaway....

Are you ready for this? Today's Creative Headquarters Blog Hop is sponsored by none other than Pick Your Plum!
We are so excited to be able to giveaway a $50 Pick Your Plum Grab Box to one of our lucky readers this week {just in time for a little holiday crafting}!
Just look at some of the fantastic products they've offered this past year...
Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below {and good luck}!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Let’s get on to the hopping, shall we? Remember, follow all four hosts plus the honorary co-hosts {there are a few this week}, and pretty please share our button via your blog, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. The more exposure the party gets, the more exposure you get. Plus, you get to meet even more amazing new friends, and that’s truly what it’s all about!
**Note: This is a blog hop, not a link party. Link up your blog homepage using an image such as your blog button, and write your blog name in the “name” field. Links containing projects and individual pages will unfortunately be deleted.
We also wanted to let you know this is also our last CHQ Blog Hop for 2012. We will be taking a short break to enjoy the next few weeks with family and friends this holiday season. Make sure to check back with your co-hosts often as we've got some exciting announcements coming your way in January!
Remember, if you are a new follower, please leave me a comment so I can thank you!


My heart goes out to each and every family affected by the senseless event in Newtown, CT.  I am saddened by this event and at a loss for words.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all. 

My friend Sarah shared this quote on her facebook page and I think that it is an important reminder that even when evil strikes....there are good people in this world.   Thank you Sarah for sharing this.

 "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." -Mister Rogers

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Virtual Cookie Exchange

For some reason, as I site here and think of what to write to introduce this post, the only thing that comes to mind is the cookie monster singing "C is for Cookie".....too much Sesame Street these days?  Perhaps....Too many cookies these days???  NEVER!!  Every Christmas my girlfriends and I take turns hosting a cookie exchange - it's one of my favourite traditions and the fact that every single one of them is an excellent baker is just icing on the cake (or cookie in this case - sorry couldn't resist!) 

This year, one of my BBF's (aka Best Blogger Friends) Meredith from Wait till your Father gets Home asked if I'd like to participate in a Virtual Cookie Exchange!  Ummm, heck ya!!  What a great idea....and a fun way to share one of my favourite Christmas Traditions with all of you!

So without further delay, here are my melt in your mouth, easy peasy, I've already eaten six of these as I type this post, MARSHMELLOW CHOCOLATE SQUARES!! 

These are some of my favourite cookies and I make these every year!   If you are participating in a cookie exchange this year, I highly recommend these since they not only taste great but they freeze really well too:)

Marshmellow Chocolate Squares
1 package chocolate chipits
1 package butterscotch chipis
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 butter or margarine
2 cups mini marshmellows
shredded coconut

-Put all ingredients (except coconut and marshmellows) in a double boiler and melt - make sure you stir often.  Once everything has melted, remove from stove and let it cool.  Once it is cool, add marshmellows (you can also add chopped nuts, but I opted not too!)

-Spread batter into a buttered 9x9 pan.  Sprinkle with shreaded coconut.  Cool in refridgerator.

-ENJOY and prepare yourself to be showered with compliments from all who try one of these squares! 

Want to see some more baking goodness?  Well, click on the links below to visit my BBF's, once again my mouth is watering at all the goodies these ladies have shared:)  I hope you'll check out some other fabulous cookie recipes to try this holiday season from some very talented bloggers!

Andes Mint Cookies from Artsy Fartsy Mama

Snowman Oreo Truffles from Repeat Crafter Me

Cereal Wreaths from Bear Rabbit Bear

Mocha Cookies from One Artsy Mama

Christmas Mice from Happy Hour Projects

Mars Bars Squares from Becoming Martha

Thin Mint Cookies from Create.Craft.Love

Soft Gingersnaps w/Pumpkin Dipping Sauce from Ladybird Ln

Marshmallow Chocolate Squares from Jessie Street Designs

Peppermint Bark from Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home

Spiced Chocolate Bark from Chase the Star

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dressing for the Holiday Season!

I'm thrilled once again to have my sister here today with another post on fashion trends.  Today, she's sharing with us ideas on how to dress for a small variety of Christmas to you Christine!
Tis the Season

Hello Jessie Street readers!

It's that time of year- eggnog, hot chocolate, christmas music and most importantly holiday get togethers! So to help you get into the spirit and shop a little for yourself I have put together a collage of outfits that may come in handy for any holiday gathering you have this season

First up is a casual Christmas with the family. These fair isle sweaters are everywhere this season and would be perfect for the casual christmas with the family, opening gifts under the tree and chasing the little ones. Add a fun silver cuff bracelet to finish off the look and make it a little bit more polished.

Second would be for a Christmas lunch with your girlfriends. Take your summer dress, add some tights and a chunky boyfriend sweater with ankle booties and you are good to go. To add a little festivity add a funky cocktail ring

And the final ensemble would be ideal for an office Christmas party. Here is an amazing skirt that I am loving from Forever 21 (plus the price point is not to shabby either). For those that don't like to dress in sparkly sweaters or dresses, I think lace is a nice way to add texture but stay elegant and festive at the same time. If you want add some sparkly, add it with your earrings or clutch.

Whatever your plans are this holiday season, have fun, enjoy yourself and drink responsibly - wishing you and your family a safe and happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Let the Decorating BEGIN!!!

Hello are ya?? Is anyone else excited about Christmas decorating, Christmas cards, Christmas baking, Christmas get togethers with friends and family, Christmas carols, Christmas crafting and Christmas shopping - I SURE AM!! Although we aren't putting the tree up until the weekend, I have been adding a few decorations here and there throughout the house...just to get everyone in the Christmas spirit:)

Yesterday, my son and I took a little trip to Fabricland and found these adorable pine cone I know that some of my super crafty friends could whip something like this up in a matter of minutes, but with a price tag of $3 a star (regularly $20 - not kidding, $20!!) and let's be honest here - my limited crafting skills... I couldn't pass it up.

I could have used these stars as is (there was already a sliver ribbon attached to it), but most of my Christmas decorations are red, and I knew that I had some leftover red and white gingham fabric from IKEA that would be perfect.

So, I cut off the silver ribbon from the stars, cut my gingham fabric into stripes, heated up the glue gun and started gluing. This whole project took less than 10 minutes and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Doesn't the red and white gingham add so much more to the star???  I had thought about adding some additional embellishments, but I really like the simplicity of this and think that if I added anything else, it might be TOO much.  I can't wait to share more Christmas decorating, gift ideas and recipes over the next few weeks - Tis' the Season!!! 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner - Blogger Style!

Hello Friends! And welcome to Thanksgiving Dinner - Blogger Style!!!  Even though I celebrated Thanksgiving over a month ago (I'm Canadian!) I was asked to participate in a Virtual Thanksgiving dinner with my BBF's - (aka - Best Blog Friends!!)  In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, I would like to take a minute to acknowledge how incredibly lucky I am to have met these women  - it is one of the greatest things that has come out of this blog for me and I am so honoured call them friends:)

For our Virtual Thanksgiving, I am contributing two easy peasy appetizers.  These apps are not only easy to put together but can be made ahead of time, so you can step away from the kitchen while the turkey and side dishes are cooking and enjoy some time with your guests!

The first appetizer is a cheese tray.  For me, cheese trays are a staple whenever guests come over.  They are great because you can offer a variety of foods that can be found in your fridge and pantry (perfect for unexpected guests), they look impressive and take no time at all to assemble.

For this cheese tray, I raided my fridge and pulled together an assortment of grapes, old cheddar cheese, olives, mixed nuts, marble cheese, costini and MacLaren's Imperial Sharp Cold Pack cheese.  Then I arranged it on wood cutting board and served it with a  bottle of wine and sparkling water - simple, laid back entertaining at it's best!

The next appetizer is going to knock your socks off - it is DELICIOUS...and I'm warning you... from the moment you serve this, your friends and family will be requesting you to make this at every gathering!   
Hot Cheese Dip

1/2 an onion (chopped)
1 cup Hellmans Mayonaise
1 cup old cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 tsp butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Sautee onions in butter (until translucent) Add mayonaise and cheese.  Heat until cheese is melted.  Trasnfer to a oven safe serving dish (I used a french onion soup bowl).  If you are serving immediately let it cook (uncovered) in the oven for 20 minutes.  If you are serving, cover and refridgerate until ready to cook.
Serve with your favourite crackers.  Enjoy your delicious appetizer and prepare yourself - everyone is going to think that you are an Appetizer Rockstar!!!

Curious to see what else is cookin' in the virtual kitchen?? Well, you're all invited to our dinner, stop by the links below and see what my friends are cooking!  Warning - it will make your mouth water:)

Leaf Placecard Tutorial at One Artsy Mama

Cheeseball Appetizer at Create.Craft.Love (left)
and Hot Cheese Dip and Cracker Tray at Jessie Street Designs (right)

Tips For Cooking a Perfect Turkey at Ladybird Ln. (right)
and Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes at Artsy Fartsy Mama (left)

Save oven space with Repeat Crafter Me's Crock Pot Green Bean Casserole (left)
Cranberry Marshmallow Salad at Happy Hour Projects (center)
Cheddar Tea Biscuits at Becoming Martha (right)

Classic Warm Apple Crisp at Chase the Star (left)
Seven Alive's Favorite Pumpkin Pie (right)

Turkey Cookies at Bear Rabbit Bear Crafts (left)
Pilgrim Hat Cookies at Wait Til Your Father Gets Home (right)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

It's finally happening - NEW FLOORS AND STAIRS!!!

Hello Everyone - Hope that you are having a fabulous weekend:) We've been super busy
preparing our house for new flooring and painted stair railings - I am thrilled!  This has been something that I've wanted to get done since we moved in EIGHT.YEARS.AGO!!!  That's how we roll around here - eight years it's taken....eight long years and I can finally say goodbye to my pink and grey carpet - WHOOOHOOO!

Earlier this week, we recruited the help of my father in-law and our dear friend to help my husband remove the carpet and baseboards in three bedrooms and stairway. It already looks so much better.... We've decided to put laminate hardwood in the bedrooms and carpet on the stairs and hallway.  

After living with bare floors and bare stairs for almost a week, a few days a occured to me that NOW (before the carpet goes in) would be the perfect time to update the oak handrails and spindles on the stairs (pretty quick aren't I!!!) So, I did a little rescheduling of contractors and asked my dad to help me prepare the stairs for painting and patch a few walls - we'll have a newly updated staircase before you know it;)

Here's a little glimpse of what we're working on, stairs will be painted this week and the carpet will be installed by Thursday.  I am thinking of painting the spindles white and hand rails black....what do you think, should I do that or do you have another suggestion for me - I'd love to know!   

Monday, 29 October 2012

Who wants to win something???

Hello Friends, Happy Monday! Today, I want to share with you a fun giveaway that I am participating in. My friend Barbara from Chase the Star is celebrating 500 facebook likes - Whoohooo - way to go Barbara! In honor of this accomplishment, I've donated one of my necklaces to Barbara to giveaway to one of her lucky readers. There are a number of other bloggers that are also contributing to this giveaway and I would be so happy if one of you won!! Over to you Barbara....Good Luck everyone:)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Easy Warm Apple Cider

Earlier this month, I promised more apple today I'm sharing one of the easiest apple cider recipes in the history of time.  I had a batch simmering in the crockpot all afternoon and once the kids went to bed, my husband and I threw on a fire and devoured all the apple cider while catching up on the lastest episodes of Sons of Anachary.  It was the perfect (albeit odd) combination - I highly recommend it!! 

So without further delay, here's the recipe:

Half of Jug of Apple Cider
3 Cinnamon sticks
2-3 dashes of Nutmeg

Mix all ingredients in the crockpot and let it heat for 4 hours. 

That's it!  Not only will you be able to enjoy a delicious fall drink, your house is going to smell AH-MAZING!!  Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Easy Fall Vignette:)

Happy Friday and Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my fellow Canadians!!  Today I decided that it was time to start decorating my house for the fall....I've put out fall mums on our porch and a few outdoor decorations, but I hadn't started on the inside yet. 

This year, I've been admiring all the white pumpkins and neutral home decorations for fall that have been popping up in blogland.  Most of my fall decorations are vibrant oranges and reds, so I had to start from scratch...but I didn't want to break the bank doing it.  So, while the girls napped this afternoon, I decided that the foyer would be the perfect place to start.  It's not a big area, so a little will go a long way;)

When I think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is pumpkins!  I remember seeing somewhere that someone made their own pumpkins out of fabric, twine and filing.  So, I headed to my scrap fabric pile and pulled out some cream fabric that I have left over from another project, cut out three different sized circles, stuffed them them with polyfil and secured the top with twine (I used my glue gun to secure it).  Easy, peasy and cute to boot!

Next, I headed outside to find some sticks.  There was no shortage of those in the yard, so I grabbed a handful and put them into a vase that I already had.  This is such an easy and best of all FREE way to decorate your home.  I raided my basement and found the black star and shiny silver pumpkin candle holder.  I think that these three items look great together.

And here it is!!  My Fall/Halloween Vignette!  I love how everythings works so well together and also, didn't cost me a thing!!  I think that I deserve a treat for that...who'd like to join me for a Pumpkin Spice Latte?!  

And another view of the whole area....I purchased the mirror decals from Michael's last year.

Have a great weekend everyone:) 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Apples, Apples and MORE Apples!!

When I was in highschool, one of my part-time jobs was working on an apple orchard. It was a huge apple farm that let people pick there own apples, purchase baked goods and had loads of fun activities to keep the kids entertained and busy. It was a real weekend hotspot for families that lived out of town - mostly families from the city, most locals (who didn't work there) did everything they could to avoid the farm on a weekend.  I'm not sure if my experience at the farm and then later job of baking the pies in the pie factory has something to do with it, but cooking or baking with apples isn't something that I do that often...which seems strange since baking is one of my favourite things to do?!?!

Today, I decided that I would step back in time and bake something with apples in it. And let me tell you, I'm so glad that I did! I found this recipe for Apple Bread on Today's Creative Blog. If you've gone apple picking or (like me) purchased a bag of apples this is a quick and easy little recipe to do.

Doesn't it look delicious and it tastes phenomenal!

And here's another view, just because I like it soooo much!

Since this recipe only needs two apples and because I bought an entire large bag of apples (that's how I roll!)   I'll have to make be trying out more apple recipes and sharing them with you.  Have a happy Monday!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Another Closet Staple - The Chambray Shirt

My monthly guest, Christine is back to share another fashion trend - Chambray shirts.  I, for one, love this staple and look forward to wearing mine once the cooler temps start.  Over to you Christine...

Hello Jessie Street readers, I'm back once again to continue on my theme of "staple pieces" for your closet, I have created a few looks working with the classic Chambray shirt. First, yes you can pull this off at the office, a good way to make it office friendly and professional is with a black pencil skirt and pumps. Second look is for weekend wear, the possibilities are endless. Here I have paired it with a bohemian sandal and fedora to make the look trendy and ultra stylish. And last but not least, the third way to incorporate a chambray top into party wear is to pair it with a sparkly skirt. Once again the rule of contrasting pieces of clothing works here. The casual chambray shirt with the uber- glam skirt. Right now the stores are full of chambray shirts. My favourite is the JCrew Chambray top at $80 but you can find a cheap one at Forever 21 for less than $30. Either way the possibilities are endless and it is sure to be a great piece to have in your closet for years to come!
Chambray Shirt 3 ways


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ready, Set...READ - Month #3

Welcome Back!! I decided to take a little break from the blog this past month to enjoy the last bits of summer before the kids start Kindergarden (gasp!!) and Preschool! We had a great month and I can't remember a summer where we have had such amazing weather!!

I was able to read a ton of books this month and today, I've decided to review the most recent book that I finished...."Before I Go to Sleep" by S.J Watson. Holy cow, it was good and I may or may not have put on a movie for the kids to watch so I could read more;) It's mystery that will having you hanging off every page.

The main character, Christine, wakes up every morning unable to remember anything from her past or present...she doesn't even know where she is. Every single day, her husband, Ben, has to re-tell the tale of who he is and how she lost her memory. Her doctor encourages her to start a journal to help her recall her memory...but the first entry "Do NOT trust Ben" leaves her confused and determined to find out why this was written. This is a true page turner and you won't be able to put it down.

So, tell me, what did you read this month?? Did you do a craft inspired by a book that your read? Kadie from Seven Alive and I want to know. Be sure to link up your review or craft to the party below. Next month, I'm reading "The Pilot's Wife" by Anita Shreve.

 Alright, it's time to link up but before you do, a few housekeeping rules for the party:

1. PLEASE....No spoilers!!!
2. Keep it family friendly
3. Link back to our party in your post
4. Following us would be nice (but not mandatory!)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Ready, Set.....READ!! Month #2

Happy Happy Day!!  It's that time again - Ready, Set....READ!


Today, I'm sharing my review of the book that I read last month....Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

I just finished reading this book on the weekend and I am still thinking about the story and characters - it is a MUST READ!!! 

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has never spoken about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three years old when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in the United States. The only thing Trudy has of her past in Germany is an old family portrait showing her mother Anna, a three year old Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald. Written from the perspective of Anna as a young woman in Germany during WWII and a now adult Trudy who is now a professor of German history, this book tells the story of a heartbreaking and passionate romance, mother-daughter drama and the extreme loss and struggles of WWII.

So, what have you been reading this month....did you do a craft based on a book or what are your kids reading...I'd love to know, so be sure to link it up:)

Only a few housekeeping rules before we get started:

1. PLEASE....No spoilers!!!
2. Keep it family friendly
3. Link back to our party in your post
4. Following us would be nice (but not mandatory!)

One last thing before I sign off...Remember EVERYONE that enters is automatically eligible to win a little prize package that Kadie and I are putting together - WHOOHOO!!  I'm please to announce the winner of our Ready, Set....READ last month is Rachel from Adventures of a DIY Mom!  Congratulations Rachel!  Click below to link up your book or craft this month!  Can't wait to see what you've been reading this month:)

Monday, 23 July 2012

These are a few of my favourite things.....

Hello everyone and a big WELCOME to all the new readers that have added Jessie Street Designs to your reading list!  I'm so flattered and happy to have you here:)

Today, I wanted to start by sharing with you one of my favourite Pinterest finds - An All Natural, Homemade Cleaner!  Holy cow, can I be any more EXCITING?!?!  All kidding aside, I had been looking for a great homemade/natural cleaner to use in our home and was happy to find this simple recipe that contained three ingredients that we all have in our house - Equal parts Water and Vinegar with a few drops of Lavendar Essential Oil.  Doesn't get much easier than that and it cleans really well too!  I also loved the idea of using microfibre cloths on your Swiffer - terrific idea!  Check out Nature's Nuture blog, for this cleaner and other green ideas.

The next thing that I wanted to share with you is a new beauty find that I have been trying out.  Tinted Moisturizer has been around for quite a while now, but I had never tried it before until recently.  As much as I LOVE make-up, I don't like to wear a lot in the summer but like to have a bit of coverage to even out my skin tone.  I decided to try out the Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer and I was pleasantly surprised.  Intially when I put a little on my hands I thought that it was going to be too heavy and come off looking greasy, but after I applied it , it looked smooth and gave me even, full coverage - I was thrilled and have been using it regularly ever since - no breakouts either (which I am occasionally prone too!)  Check out Smashbox for more information on this product and many others!

The last thing that I'm digging is Metabolism Boosting Water.  I don't know if it works, but it tastes great and with these crazy high temperatures we've been having it's super refreshing.  All you do is cut up one cucumber and one lemon and add it to a jug of water with 10-12 mint leaves and you've got yoursef a delicious drink of water!!!

Stay cool and enjoy your week!