Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scarf/Necklace Tutorial

This is such a fun project to make for yourself or to give as a Christmas gift!
The fun part about it is the possibilities are endless. You can change the color, mix and match colors, experiment with the sizes of strands you make, make them shorter or longer, use both crocheted and braided strands... you name it! I'd love to see what you come up with!

I began by crocheting individual strands out of yarn.  If you don't feel like crocheting you could also braid individual strands. And if you want to crochet but don't know how then just find a how-to video on Youtube.  There are PLENTY of them! 
 I prefer my scarves to look a little fuller so each one that I have made ranges from 20-30 crocheted strands.
To figure out how long I needed my strands to be I simply kept crocheting and then hanging it around my neck until it was where I wanted it.  That's the beauty of this craft... anything goes!
Once you have the amount of crocheted strands you want, lay all the strands together.
Tie both ends with extra strands of yarn.
It should look something like the picture below.

I then tied both ends together with another piece of yarn.

Crochet (or braid) an extra long strand.
You will use this strand to wrap around the unfinished knot.
I began by tying the strand in a tight know on the left side of the unfinished "mess". 
I wrapped my single crocheted strand tightly around the unfinished ends.
You're basically hiding everything unfinished underneath your single crocheted strand.
Once I had wrapped over the unfinished ends I tied the single crochet strand off and tucked in any loose ends that were sticking out.

Here's what the finished product looked like.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Holiday Recap

OH MY!!!!
There have been Christmas's in the past where the holiday ends and I feel as if I haven't soaked it all in and December 26th comes with me feeling a little sad that it's all over.  
That is definitely not the case this year!  This year I feel like every moment was packed with meaningful activities and lots of quality family time!  


The week leading up to Christmas we...

spent lots of time loving on our sweet little cousin Jake

Went sledding and made snow angels

Drank hot cocoa

Spent lots of time visiting by the fireplace in my parent's family room
(and as you can see the boys spent lots of time playing the Wii ;) )


Christmas Eve was spent having a family Christmas Eve service at home, eating yummy appetizers and watching Christmas movies.

Then it was time for Christmas jammies and off to bed!

We started Christmas morning with stockings!

After our traditional breakfast of cinnamon rolls and grapefruit it was time for a few family pictures before the present opening began.

My mom spent months knitting sock monkeys for the grandkids.  They were SO darling!
Each monkey had its own scarf and stocking hat.

Emma loves to dance with her monkey...

and Colt prefers to ride his like a horse!

After present opening we ate our traditional Christmas dinner of fondue!  
It's one of my favorite traditions!
I was too busy eating and didn't get any pictures of the rest of the day :)

Time to head off of here...

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Can't wait to read and hear all about them from each of you!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joy to the world... the Lord HAS COME!!!

Merry Christmas friends!
Our family is celebrating the birth of Jesus today!  
Hallelujah for the birthday of our King!
Today we celebrate the day our lives changed forever.

"For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
   there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
   and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
   with justice and righteousness
   from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
   will accomplish this."
Isaiah 9:6-7

Happy Birthday to our Saviour!

This is one of my favorite Christmas hymns... click on the link below to listen to it.

Merry Christmas to our friends and family!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Silhouette Tutorial

Good Wednesday evening!
We're curled up over here with a crackling fire, warm cups of coffee and The Christmas Story playing in the background.  
Hard to believe Christmas is only a few days away!  From what the weather man says we might possibly have a white Christmas!!! Crossing my fingers!

Now, just in case you haven't finished up your shopping and are in need of a thoughtful gift to give then I've got just the thing!  I've posted a little tutorial below on how I made the silhouettes of my kids.
I'm sure there are a thousand other ways to make silhouettes... but this is what I found to be the easiest for me!  


The first thing I did was take a picture of the kids' profiles.  I found it was easiest to get a great picture while they were looking out the window at squirrels (while they're watching tv would be a great time too!).  I took the picture as close up as I could.
I then dowloaded the picture onto my computer.  
Once downloaded to my computer I enlarged it by clicking on it.  
I then took a piece of lined paper (simply because it was thin and see-through) and placed it over my computer screen.  Then simply trace over the outside of the profile creating your silhouette!

*Now, this worked great for me because I didn't want huge silhouettes.  I suppose if you wanted a larger or smaller silhouette you could print your picture and then take it to Kinkos (or a print shop) to have them enlarge or make your picture smaller.*

Once I had traced around the kids' profiles I cut them out.

Tape your thin paper silhouettes to a sturdy piece of cardstock.
Make sure to use lots of tape around the more detailed parts of the silhouette such as facial features.  

Cut your silhouette out once more.  Once you've cut all the way around you can remove the thin paper pattern from the top and discard it or save it for later if you want to make more silhouettes!

Spread a thin layer of glue over the back of your silhouette and place it on top of a thick piece of cardstock.  I then set a few heavy books on top so that my silhouette will dry flat rather than warped from the glue.  

And there you have it!  Easy silhouettes!!!  
Pop them into a frame and you've got instant art that is full of meaning!

Also, I've had a couple other people ask about the wreath above.  
There is a tutorial posted over here at this blog .
I had quickly read through it and when I had gathered my supplies and went back to assemble my wreath our internet was down.  So I kind of winged my wreath when putting it together.  USE the tutorial... it will make your life much easier :)


Have a great evening friends!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Refreshed and a Birthday!

After a nice break from blogging since December 9th I'm feeling refreshed and ready for blogging again!
Does anybody else ever feel that way?  So thanks for hanging in there and waiting for the next post :)
I'm back!


Today is my sweet husband's birthday!!! Happy 28th Birthday Travis!
We've been celebrating his birthday for the past two weeks.  Two weeks ago we celebrated with his family and today on his birthday we celebrated with my family.  Over that two week span he's received a present every day from the kids and me.  Usually his birthday tends to be overlooked since it's so close to Christmas.  So this year I wanted to make sure that it was extra special! :)

His birthday cake was a chocolate fudge cake with pecans and chocolate chunks. SO yummy and moist!
My mom made a delicious supper of french dip, hashbrown casserole and green bean casserole. AHHHH nothing like your mom's cooking! :)  

After supper the boys played the Wii and the girls visited.

Isn't Emma's scarf/necklace fun?!  A few weeks ago at a Christmas party we went to my friend Taren was wearing a similar one that she had purchased on the internet.  It was simply a necklace/scarf made of crocheted strands grouped together.  Taren and I have both made them in the past week and they are so easy and fun to make!  Her sister Melissa made some also by simply braiding strands together.  If you're still needing a Christmas gift to give a girlfriend you should make her one of these!

Modeling our fun necklace/scarves :)
Oh and take a peek past me in the background.  This is my favorite part of my mom's Christmas decorating!  It's a white Christmas tree that my mom uses to hang all of her vintage colored ornaments.  It's so beautiful!

Before bed tonight Emma was making everyone sit in her "beauty parlor" chair.  After pretending to cut their hair she would read a story to each person :)  
Aunt Kaitlin is her beauty parlor customer below. 


Off to go soak my swollen feet in the tub! :)
I'll be back soon with a tutorial of how I made the silhouettes for my living room wall.  My goal is to post it either tomorrow or the next day!  It's the perfect gift idea for any grandma's in your life!  
Nighty night friends!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Hello! Just a quick check in!!!
The weeks counting down to Christmas are hands down my FAVORITE time of the year!
So I've been taking a little break from the usual things (blogging being one of them!) and have been enjoying these weeks with my family!  
We've been driving around looking at Christmas lights, attending Christmas parties, making Christmas cookies, EATING Christmas cookies, making festive crafts, reading new books (I'll share my new favorite soon!), going to bed early (love this!), finishing up present shopping, memorizing Luke 2 with Emma and taking time to reflect on what Christmas is truly about. 

I promise I'll be back in the next week with a fun post!
In the meantime I've posted Luke 2 below.  It gives the full account of Christ's birth.  So amazing!

LUKE 2:1-20
1  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2  (And this taxing was first made when Cyre'ni-us was governor of Syria.)
3  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house and lineage of David,)
5  to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8  ¶ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.
10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men.
15  ¶ And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16  And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rich and Creamy Hot Cocoa

The other night I was in the mood for some really good hot cocoa.  Not the "add hot water and stir" kind.  But a cup of rich, thick, hot cocoa.  I went to the kitchen and this is what I came up with.

Rich and Creamy Hot Cocoa

3 Cups whole milk
1/2 Cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 dashes cinnamon

I added all of the ingredients to my sauces pan and then whisked it over low heat until the chocolate chips had melted. 

Pour into your favorite mug and top with marshmallows or whipped cream!

It was SO thick and creamy!  Almost like liquid chocolate pudding.  This recipe made enough for Travis and me to have a big cup (and there was a little leftover in my saucepan).  So if you have more than 2-3 people you might double the recipe!

Next time I make it I want to add whipped cream, salt crystals and caramel to the top. 
Have you ever had the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks?! It's delish!
What is your favorite winter drink and if you have a yummy recipe please share!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Forts, decorations, tricks and trees

Good Wednesday evening!  We've spent the better part of this week crafting, playing and relaxing.  I know I said it in the last post (or the one before) but having a dryer has REALLY freed up alot of my time!!! :)
Here's what we've been doing with some of the "clothes-line" time :)

On Monday the kids and I (who are we kidding... capital I) built a fort in the corner of our bedroom.  It's the perfect little nook for them to look out the window and read their books.  This particular morning the kids stayed in their pjs til almost lunchtime. Which if you know me is not something that happens very often around here.  That is a whole other blog post in itself.... that and the fact that I don't wear sweatpants or sweatshirts anymore :) Making a mental note to post about that another day.....

Anyways, the "secret fort" as Emma likes to call it, bought me about 2 hours of extra time on Monday morning to work around the house!  They read books, ate their snacks, looked out the windows and who knows what else for TWO HOURS!!!  I think I need to build "secret forts" up all around my house!


This year I've decided to keep my Christmas decorating fairly simple.
We of course put up our ginormous Christmas tree.  But besides that I only have a few odds and ends up.
One of my favorite parts of having a real tree is using the trimmings to create fresh wreaths and garlands for around my house.  It makes everything smell so fresh!

I hung a simple wreath over our bed with a piece of white fabric.
It's definitely not a fancy or perfect wreath... but I love it!!!

And a silly pregnancy side note:
I have the craziest dreams when I am pregnant.  They're about anything and everything and SO realistic!  About a month ago I was dreaming about these gigantic white ruffled pillows on our living room couches.  In my dream they were as tall as Travis.  When I woke up I couldn't get them out of my head so I made one :)  Not as tall as Travis... a smaller version ;)
I tried to put it on the couch like in my dream but Travis and my sister said it looked a little too foo-foo (aka girly) for the living room.  So off it went to our bed :) Very random story... but now you know all about my ruffled pillow!

The living room....

My younger sister is the queen of wrapping presents.  Everything you see on the dresser is what she has wrapped.  All of my presents are sitting in the closet waiting to be wrapped.  Someday.  :)

About a month ago I made silhouettes of the kids... I love how they turned out!
And I also made a paper wreath out of a book.  What you see is a whole book.  It took up one naptime (roughly 2 hours).  It's not quite as full as I'd like... but I ran out of book to fill it up and didn't have another one to begin to rip apart!

In the kids' room I displayed some of our Christmas/winter books and we put up Emma's little Christmas tree.  The reindeer around the base of the tree are Colt's favorites.  He calls them horses and carries them around the house most of the day!

One of my favorite Christmas decorations to put out is our stockings.
I'm not sure who made Trav's... I'll have to ask his mom!
My mom made mine.
I made Emma's.
And my mom and sister Kaitlin made Colt's!

That's pretty much all of the decorations I have up this year! 
I did decorate the front porch a tad but that's it!

It is kind of nice not having a ton out because I'm ready to get this little house ship shaped up for our arrival in March!!!  One of my big to-do's is to paint our bathroom walls and trim (sorry Travis...)! 


I'm about to admit one of my favorite motherhood "tricks". 
You know those times where you need just like 5 minutes to yourself?  Either to finish sweeping the floor, scrubbing the toilet.... or perhaps you just want to stand in the corner to drink your Dr. Pepper in peace? :)
Well... here's how I get my 5 minutes here and there throughout my day.
When they're hanging on my legs and neeeeeeeeeeeeeding me.  I simply say...

"Go look out the window and see if you can see any squirrels or birds!"

It works every time.

They dash off to the window and stand there looking for at least five minutes :)
And luckily our yard has a plentiful supply of birds and squirrels so sometimes it's even TEN minutes! :)


And to end off this very random and long post... a few pictures of our afternoon.
We had a Christmas tree afternoon.  The kids decorated paper Christmas trees and then we had made cookies that looked like Christmas trees.  I love afternoons like these!

Emma used glitter glue to decorate her tree.  She made lots of little blobs all over it.
If you will look closely you can see little fingers have poked and dragged some of the glitter blobs...

I wonder who that could be....


Time to get off of here! The computer battery is about to die and I'm too lazy to get up to plug it in!
Nighty night and happy Thursday!!!!