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!