Friday, December 31, 2010

A Little New Year's Giveaway from Me

I thought it would be a fun way to end the year by doing a small, last minute Giveaway for my readers.

I am so grateful (and more than a little surprised) that people stop by my little corner of the web each day to read and share with me. Thank you for a wonderful 2010, and here's to a completely fabulous 2011!!

What's up for grabs today? Just a few cute things I thought you might enjoy...
  • A Sassy and Sophisticated 2011 Calendar
  • Some Sassy and Sophisticated Greeting Cards from my Blessings Unlimited line
  • A Sassy and Sophisticated Day Brightener...cute quotes and/or a Bible verse for each day
  • Cutesy matching tissues for your bag. Just 'cause I liked them so much.
Back of Calendar:

{Some of these items are from my Blessings Unlimited shop, and some are made through DaySpring, the company that owns Blessings Unlimited.}

Here's how you can enter (please leave a separate comment for each entry):

1. (mandatory to enter) Visit my shop and leave me a comment with the name of your favorite item.
2. Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect, or let me know if you are already a Follower. (That means your cute picture shows up over on the sidebar where it says "Followers.")
3. Tweet this Giveaway with a link to this post.
4. Facebook this Giveaway with a link to this post.

Giveaway will be open until Monday evening at 10 pm (ET). Open to U.S. Residents Only.

I hope you have a fabulous New Year's Eve, and a completely wonderful 2011.

See you next year! {wink}

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Well, This Can't Be Good...

Exhibit A:
3 Tupperware Bins of Christmas Goodies.

Perhaps I was a bit overzealous in the treat making department this year?

I suppose I could take one for the team and finish them off. Or, I could save them for company on New Year's Eve.

What to do? What to do?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best *Serenity Now* Projects and Posts of 2010

I always feel a mixture of trepidation and excitement when one year closes and a new year begins--Trepidation over the unknown, and excitement over the possibilities that come with a clean slate.

Sometimes I think I prefer looking backwards before taking a step into the New Year.

Today, I'll be reminiscing with some other bloggers over at Southern HospitalityDomestic Fashionista, and Tatertots and Jello. 2010 wasn't a huge year for me in terms of projects, but I thought I'd share some of my top stuff for those of you who are new readers.
 1. Chalkboard Quote Tray
2. Drop Cloth "Pouf" Drapes
3. Pom Pom Winter Snowflake Banner
4. Non-Pillowcase Pillowcase Dresses
5. Pizza Box Birdie Wreath
6. Pottery Barn Inspired Kids' Table Makeover
7. Ornament Silhouette T-Shirt
8. Cinderella Party on a Budget
9. Simple Rosette Blanket

I know that some of my readers aren't crafty people, so here are a few favorite recipes from this year:

10. Devilishly Good Cupcakes and Icing Tutorial
11. Espresso Training School
12. Easy Chocolate Croissants
13. Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

And these were just plain good:

14. How to Rock the Skinny Jeans Look When You're Not a Size 2
15. Reminds Me of Chippendales
16. Surviving Black Friday Shopping
17. My Manifesto on Blog Parties
18. Eighty Three Percent
19. Customer Service, Where Did You Go?
20. My Totally Rad 80s Birthday Party

So there you have it...20 of my Top Posts from 2010. They might not have received the most comments, but they were my faves.

I've got to sit down and come up with some 2011 goals, both personal and for the blog...will try to get to that this week!

{Have you started your New Year's Resolutions yet?}

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Hurricane

Does anyone else out there feel as if perhaps their home should be classified as a National Disaster Area and maybe FEMA ought to step in at some point?

It's like a glittery, sugary, plastic-filled holiday hurricane hit our house full force.

I didn't even bother taking a photo of the addition because the damage is so extensive. I don't want to scare you.

I'm about to call the governor and ask for some assistance here...some dump trucks, sanitation equipment, and a wrecking ball oughta do it.

I bet you can guess what I'll be doing today. Some major rearranging and decluttering when the girls aren't looking. (I managed to throw out an entire trash bag of used up coloring books, very old crayons, and crumpled stickers yesterday.) Thank God for Verizon's cartoons "On Demand." Max and Ruby were very helpful yesterday.

Signing off from Disaster Zone 2...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Nerd

I have a confession. I am a total Christmas nerd.

In A Christmas Story, the narrator (Ralphie as an adult) says that "the entire kid year" revolves around Christmas, but I could say the same for myself. The lights, the presents, the treats...I'm a sucker for it all.

I think I got less sleep on Christmas Eve than my own kids did! The anticipation of seeing the girls open their gifts had me too worked up to get much shut-eye. T and I stayed up late on Christmas Eve to watch A Christmas Story, but not until after our families went home when our annual Christmas Eve dessert party was over.

Not as many people were able to make it this year, but it was really nice to enjoy some treats together as a family. Natalie *graced* us with her musical stylings on a keyboard that her Uncle Mike was kind enough to give her on her birthday. I think I hate him a little bit now.

The girls were so wound up that I dragged them up the stairs for bed, thinking it was late enough that they might be hard to get out of bed the next morning.

...Not so.


We had an easy breakfast of cinnamon rolls and a mocha for me...simple and delicious!

I don't think we were the only ones who were sad when all the gifts had been unwrapped....

But Christmas wasn't over yet. We made the obligatory trips to my mom's and T's parents' homes, all of whom live in town. It makes for a very long day, but the girls love spending Christmas with everyone. Being the Christmas nerd that I am, I really do like celebrating with both families in their own styles (because you know families all do things differently).

T's parents had a cozy Christmas waiting for us.


Things at my mom's were much quieter...less people, cavernous house. Good chili and cornbread....

The girls ended the day by watching Toy Story 3 with their cousin Rowan, who was like a tiny TV addict.

We topped the excitement off by running out of gas in my mom's driveway, which is on an incline. And it was snowing. Yaaaay.

But not even that could spoil the day for this Christmas nerd.

Santa was very good to us this in, I got several things on my list. I'll fill you in later...

After I come down from my Christmas high.

{Did you have a wonderful Christmas?}

Friday, December 24, 2010

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry...

...You Better not pout, I'm tellin' you why...
...Santa Claus is comin' to town!

Depending on whether or not two excited little girls can keep me from pulling all my hair out today, I hope he does come tonight. {wink}

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and Happy Birthday to the "Reason for the Season"!

I'll be back after Christmas. Thank you for sharing this beautiful Christmas season with me!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

"The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. 
I got a lotta problems with you people..."
-Frank Costanza

As much as I love the "Festivus" episode of Seinfeld with the airing of grievances and the feats of strength, I'm glad that I celebrate Christmas with my family.

Instead of dragging a metal pole into my house like Frank Costanza, I bring in traditions like baking cookies with my kids, watching Christmas movies, and driving around to look at lights.

Thought it might be fun to share a few from around the 'Burg. You'll have to excuse the bad photos...I was driving, and had to stop to take the pictures from my side of the car each time. This method doesn't ensure for the loveliest shots.

From the "Olde Towne" area of the 'Burg:

The display by the guy who owns one of the local bakeries:

A couple of fun ones on our street:

The Griswolds' House, across the street from us. Michaela Byrd says it looks like a gingerbread house, and it's so fun to see their lights come up:

We have some really amazing lights displays on the other side of the neighborhood, but it was getting late and we didn't have any more time left to drive around.

So I'll leave you with this hilarious clip to show you what Festivus would be like if you decide to celebrate it instead.

I just hope you've been working out so you can win the "feats of strength". I'll be eating Christmas cookies!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Morning Casserole (Make Ahead!)

I don't normally share recipes more than once a week here on the blog, but today's recipe is one that was a staple in my childhood home on Christmas mornings. Growing up, I didn't care much for it, namely because having to sit down and eat it meant time spent waiting to run and see what Santa might have brought me! As an adult, I can appreciate the cheesy deliciousness.

My mom passed the recipe on to her girls, and I have perfected it by adding more cheese, which makes everything better if you ask just about anyone (except, of course for T).

So I hope you'll forgive my unspoken "I don't post recipes more than once a week rule." I thought I'd go ahead and share this one and give you a chance to make one last mad dash to the grocery store this holiday week.

Christmas Morning Casserole

1 to 2 pounds mild sausage
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 to 2 cups cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup

*The Night Before-- Ground and cook sausage. Drain and put in bottom of baking pan. Sprinkle 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs over top. Mix eggs with 1 cup of milk and pour on top. Sprinkled cheddar cheese on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
*The Morning Of-- Mix 1/4 cup milk with mushroom soup and pour on top of casserole. Top with cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic of the casserole just out of the oven, so you'll have to settle for this "leftovers" shot from the next day...just out of the microwave. It doesn't do justice to the perfection that is this casserole, but you get an idea.
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese (Make Ahead) Breakfast Casserole, from Serenity Now

If Mom makes this, I usually bring my friend L's recipe for apple dumplings, but I'm toying with the idea of monkeybread or cinnamon rolls....

{What's your favorite thing to eat on Christmas morning?}

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gift Wrap Love

{When it comes to presents under the tree, how do you roll?}

Are you a packages wrapped in brightly colored paper girl, a gift bag queen, or do you fall somewhere in between the two? I'm a nice blend of both, I think.

I love the look of beautifully coordinated, gift wrapped boxes under the tree, but I'm also realistic enough to know that sometimes placing a present in a bag with some tissue paper is the way to get everything done. I've always tried to coordinate our wrapping paper and gift bags in the past, but never really found "the look" I was searching for.

I scored in the gift wrap department this year!

Michaela Byrd and I happened upon the gift wrap aisle in Hobby Lobby when all of their wrapping stuff, tags, bows, you name it were 50% off. I picked up some super cute things and came home to play.

Houndstooth Pattern? I die!

The best thing about the two reddish papers is that they came with grids printed on the inside. This is heaven for people who are arithmetically challenged and just not good at measuring and/or cutting straight lines.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Because I'm totally talking about myself. 

I love the way everything came together!

I didn't go crazy, because I'd rather watch a Christmas movie with my girls than hole up in the dining room wrapping all day. I just used some packaging ribbon on a few of the gifts, and the rest got the pretty red, silver, or white bows from HL. I went for sticker gift tags that I stuck on the underside of each time for crafting any this year, and this keeps certain 5 year olds from messing with the boxes.

I like how everything looks under the tree so far!

I have to say, I am loving the "wrap it early" strategy. I've had some gifts up in the closet for months, and those got wrapped a week or so ago. Others I've been packing up soon after we come in from shopping. So much less stressful, and it makes the tree even prettier to gaze at when T doesn't have the History Channel blazing on the television. {wink}

Besides their stockings in the other room, Santa will leave the girls' big gifts under the tree, but those don't get wrapped. Isn't Santa nice like that?!

How far along are you with your wrapping?
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