Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gingerbread House - for Habitat for Humanity

The beginning of our gingerbread house, we took to paper to work out the dimensions and details. Thanks to John for his math minded help, without him our windows might have been out of sorts. Truly, thank you John. Once we had our details down we were off to collect our goodies: mints, gum (lots of gum, Kelly went all over Brenham looking for a certain kind of gum,but she found it), powdered sugar (lots and lots of powered sugar), eggs, food coloring, tic tacs, peppermints,fondant, sprinkles (we sorted out alot of sprinkles, we only needed the green ones and a few red), graham cracker crumbs (makes a great road) and on and on. We had candy EVERYWHERE! Now, the inspiration for our home, can anyone guess? Think about who's house this reminds you of and maybe by the end of this blog you'll have an answer.

For almost two weeks Kelly and I have been working on this gingerbread house. Why, to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Next Monday several gingerbread houses will be auctioned off at an event for Habitat for Humanity at Unity Theater here in Brenham. When we started out, we knew we wanted big, detailed and beautiful, well...What do you think? It's not completely done (in these pictures), but will be tomorrow when we turn it in and I'll post more pictures

The back of our house, so cute. We couldn't be happier with the way it all has turned out. Who would ever believe this is the FIRST time we have done this.

Our gingerbread house is a sweet sugary replica of Mount Vernon, George Washington's home. Google it and see how we did.

This is our children's(mine and Kelly's) gingerbread house they are donating to Habitat for Humanity. Precious!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

LV Champagne Reception

Anyone who knows me knows one thing without a doubt-I am a truely dedicated Louis Vuitton fan, admirer, lover. So, recieving my invitation to the LV Champagne Reception to view the 2009-2010 Winter Collection & handcrafted personalization of Louis Vuitton was Wonderful! Key words on invitation-Champagne & personalization! I'll need a DD to drink Champagne & not worry about driving home. Best part of invite, I can bring a plus one! Anyone interested???? Let me know, it's Dec. 9th, 6-8:30, Galleria.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Christmas Decorations to Inspire

Winter Wonderland, beautiful Christmas decorations in all white. Available at Old Bryan Market Place in downtown Bryan, TX

My son is calling me the Candy Cane Princess, so I couldn't leave this tree & decorations alone. It's a silver metallic tree ( feather type tree). Very cute & whimsical. Again Old Bryan Market Place.

I love RED for Christmas, I'm very tradional in that respect. And as you will see soon, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tons of ornaments!

Another sweet, traditional & red tree. All photos today are from the beautifully decorated Old Bryan Market Place in Bryan, Tx. It's a beauitful place, many unique decorative items, gifts, clothing, it's worth a trip!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Acanthus Bulletin/Message Board

Like promised my giant bulletin board, full of STUFF! Stuff I should have cleaned up before photographing, is what it is!
You can find this online:
Acanthus Message Boards (variety of sizes available)
Currently at Ballards Designs they are having free standard shipping till Dec. 1st and 10% off all orders over $50.00
Check it out.

Thanksgiving Table at the Ranch

Thanksgiving at the Ranch, rustic and very very very casual. Everyone was more into taking it easy this year and getting to the deer stand and even working a nap (or two in).To start decorating I needed burlap, candles, bandanna's, and lots of deer antlers (we are at the ranch).

Turkey plates, I love them. I wish I could use them more.

The whole look. Antlers everywhere, and again casual and relaxed just what we wanted.
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Candy Canes - the best ones!

So the picture is not award winning and might not even grab your attention enough to read about the BEST candy canes, but they are made by BOBS. Now the interesting history of the sweet confection, after World War I in 1918 Lt.Bob McCormack decided he wanted to open a candy manufacturing company. Around 1920 BOBS was the every first to wrap candy in a new transparent paper - cellophane. Then in the 1950s BOBS was the first to use machines to automatically make stick candy. BOBS is the largest producer of candy canes, and the yummiest. Another reason I love BOBS, they have the prettiest candy canes, the colors are always consistent and bright, they never look cheap and do not break when you trying to get them out of the wrapper. You can usually find BOBS anywhere candy canes are sold.

Cute Shoes

These ballet flats are to cute and unbelievably comfy (and I'm not usually one to care it you get comfort so long as you get cute), anyway the other part of these adorable ballet flats are that they are from Switch Flops/Lindsay Phillips. I'm not wild about switch flops(flip flop you can switch the straps on for different colors and looks) but they really did a great job on these basic black shoe. Plus, if your inclined you can switch out the black flower for other options.
To find the Liz Ballet Flat (also available in silver and bronze) go to, they are $64.00.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shiny Bright Ornaments

Shiny Bright

I know the picture looks a little like the Easter bunny is coming to town instead of Santa, but I DO LOVE how the shiny bright ornaments look in the grapevine. My breakfast room is more rustic with a green table made out of reclaimed barn wood and six ladder back chairs, bateas hanging on the wall. The vintage ornaments top it off and look great.

More shiny brights on top of vintage sterling candle holders. I still have so much to do, and Christmas will be here in a flash. I wish the cold weather was here!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bake Sale / Holiday Treat

Bake Sale or Holiday Treat

I like to cook and bake, but I don't always have the time to pull off amazing meals or desserts and sometimes even I need Betty Crocker's help and Pilsbury to! One of those occasions was recently when my daughter cheer squad was having a Bake Sale. Now, I may not always have time to make 25 baked goods from scratch, but I have time to make them over the top (decorated & adorable that is). From the picture you can see I started with numerous baking mixes but I did add some extras into the mixes and of course decorated up the end results.
Almost two dozen eggs later, and more than 20 pans and I'm one step closer to Bake Sales Bliss

While the banana bread, pumpkin/cranberry bread, gingerbread, pound cake and others were cooling, I was off to make the tags (to lure our Bake Sale buyers) and get the ribbon ready.

Everything has cooled and time to add a sugary topping and nutty crunch. Under time restraints, the easiest way to add decorative icing - Buy pre-made icing (Betty Crocker or Pilsbury) in Vanilla (not cream cheese or whipped) or chocolate. Put about half of the tub in a bowl and microwave about 10-15 seconds. Stir up, it should be thinned enough to put in a squeeze bottle. Then drizzle back and forth on top of dessert (in this case different dessert breads). You can wait a few minutes then alternate icing (in a different squeeze bottle) and top with nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, peppermint pieces, etc....

Add tag and ribbon and done! Precious, and not just for a school bake sale, great for the holidays.

The end, it took almost all day! The results were yummy (to the tummy & eyes), the bake sale did GREAT.

Christmas Front Door

Started working on the front door, adding a little Christmas cheer. greenery, berries, grapevine, and some great green,zebra, and gold ribbon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Berries

The table in the library, big branches full of red berries, with ribbon run in and out. The plates are on top of grapevine wreaths, and I love precious Christmas candy, so Ho, Ho, Ho Santa is sitting on top of the napkin. I bought 25 of these foil covered chocolate Santa's, they will be in a antique wooden bowl I have until a Christmas party I am having and then they will grace every ones plate. They are traditional, fun, and shiny.

Christmas Flowers & Candy

Just got back from Walgreen and HEB, which I can not go to HEB without getting flowers. And the giant candy canes I came across at Walgreen, Fun! Like the HUGE bulletin board in the back of the photo (5foot x 7 foot), nice and full of stuff (looks super tacky in the photo). I'll post a picture of it later, it's kind of like our life - Full of things to do, things we want, reminders, accomplishments, great memories.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Cards Are Here!

These are my new calling cards, mommy cards, blog cards, whatever you'd like to call them go ahead, but they are Adorable! We all should have them, no more writing your number, email, or blog on a tacky old receipt or scrap of paper. What style.

Kid Cooking - Sugar Topped Marshmallows

These may sound odd, but they are yummy and my children love eating them and making them, which takes 5 minutes. Plus you can top with sprinkles in any colors so it's easy to make work for any holiday, party, whatever!
You need: Big bag of Marshmallows, a square of White Chocolate almond bark, and colored sprinkles (your choice of color) and wax paper

Melt chocolate in microwave for 30 second intervals, should only take about 50-55 seconds to melt, but do not put in microwave for 50 second, it will BURN and be Yucky. Microwave 30 seconds, stir, microwave a little longer, stir, and will be ready to use. Dip marshmallow into chocolate and using another marshmallow wipe off excess,you now have 2 marshmallows ready to dip. Dip in colored sprinkles of your choice.

After you have dipped the marshmallow into sprinkles, place on wax paper to let chocolate harden, store in an air tight container.

It's a great party snack and so cute and yummy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still Decking the Halls....

Okay we all know I am not a photographer, I do my best, but you can see the best is not always good enough. Anyway, this is the entry to my home, The Santa framed art is hanging by a ribbon in front of a huge mirror. I used lots of apples, berries, deer horns and grapevine, and worked in the old world Santa's I've had forever. the garland does have white lights worked into it, but if you think this photo is bad, take the picture with the lights on. Before all is said and done a Christmas tree will be gracing the entry also, decorated entirely of old world pine cone ornaments. So the entry kind of has a more earthy feel for Christmas.

Holiday Collections

Mercury Glass - LOVE IT!!!! Oh how it sparkles and screams Happy Holidays. This is just a preview of what is to come. Keep checking back for the end results.

I adore these tacky little sequin boxes and anytime I can find one I grab it up. So if anyone comes across any let me know (I love all shapes and sizes for the holidays), my tacky little collection needs to grow.

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole, tonight's dinner, quick, easy, and a family favorite, so much so I get sick of making it. It's not exciting, but practical and yummy.

What you will need: a pound or a pound in a half of hamburger meat (your choice, depends on how meaty you want it. I didn't take a picture of the meat because meat is yucky to look at),onions to saute about a cup, two boxes of jiffy cornbread mix (plus ingredients called for on box, eggs and milk), shredded cheese and a can of corn, extra to top off Mexican cornbread, salsa and sour cream.

Cook hamburger meat and saute onions, while they are cooking mix one box of Jiffy according to directions and pour into the bottom of baking pan and cook on 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Once hamburger meat has cook and onions are done, mix together and pour on top of cornbread bread (after it has baked for 5 minutes).

Then add the corn (drain the juice).

Top with shredded cheese

Mix the second box of jiffy cornbread according to directions and pour over cheese and bake, 400 degrees, for about 15 to 20 minutes, you can tell when it's done, or check with a toothpick you don't want it to be googy on the inside.
Cool a little, and serve. Great topped with sour cream and salsa.