DIY New Year Wreath

My door is bare now that I have taken down all my Christmas decorations, so I wanted to make something to hang on my door to replace the Christmas wreath and its not time to hang up Valentines Day decor yet, so I decided to make me a new years wreath using Christmas tinsel and party favors. I usually buy party favors and set them out on new years day for the kids that come over for dinner but that sure can turn in to an annoying sound of clacker and horns, so I'm using them for decoration this time instead.


I started with a foam wreath from the craft store and wrapped and glued until it look right. Then I took two plastic champagne glasses to give it that toasty look.


I got it all from the dollar store but if I would have taken the time to look through my closets, I probably could have found last years left overs. So you could probably make one of these for nearly nothing.


I found the idea from searching new year wreaths on Pinterest. There are so many unique and talented people out there. It just amazes me.

Ive shared this on make-it-yourself-monday at anoriginalbelle

Year End and New Year Planning

Whoosh! I'm behind on my blogging. There is alot I could have blogged about the past few days but I have been busy rushing here and there and everywhere.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I did. I managed to get my shopping done a week early, everything I baked came out delicious, and I racked up on some clothes, a pair Toms, and new pocketbook from St.Nick!

I think I ended up making three batches of Almond Christmas Cookies for family, friends and us, and my daughter made a batch as well. The ones I made for our enjoyment didn't stay in bowl but two days. They are just that good. You can find the recipe in my recipe tab. Along with some of my other holiday favorites.

Now the year has come to an end. I have taken down all my Christmas decorations and getting everything ready for my New Years dinner I do every year with my family. We do not really do anything special on new years eve. We will go out to dinner and then stay in and watch the ball drop on tv while we prepare for next days company. My daughter goes out with her friends to celebrate and we choose to stay grounded, so that we can always be on call in case she needs us. I guess as parents, no matter how old your kids get, you always worry about them. I hoped this would subside as she got older but it only brings on new worries. But of course, that could just be me. The ole worry wart.

I may make me a new years themed wreath for my front door or I may decorate my mantle or paint a new year painting. My mind is full of ideas. Just wondering if Ill have the time.

What is your New Years Plans?

Christmas Through Lens


Finally, after about five years, we went to see Christmas lights. I know, that's a long time, but with our work schedule, our daughters school schedule, shopping, cooking and everything in between, we just never find the time, or if we do find the time, we do not want to sit in the one hour long traffic to see them.

We happened to be lucky enough to live just 8 miles from Christmas Town USA. Unfortunately, this is the lined up traffic I was talking about, therefore, we usually skip this show and go 10 more miles down the road to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens . Here you walk through what looks like a never ending winter wonder land. I would say its about a mile walk. Maybe longer. They also have horse buggy rides (lost that photo) keep reading.

While we were walking through, and after I had taken many pictures, my memory card got an error.  "Blogger nightmare". Lost it all. Once we completed the walk through, I got it back to working. So, we went through it again. Christmas lights are hard to take photos of and of course my camera even lost all my settings so the resolution, size, etc. was all messed up and it was so dark other than the lights, I did the best I could. Here are a few picture I took. Enjoy.

This is the Entrance before you go into the gardens. Inside you will find a gift shop, coffee shop, Santa Claus, live music, and crafts to make!




I took this photo through a door from outside of a teenager talking to Santa.
 
Some of the cute stuff in the gift shop. (cell phone picture, ha)

In the garden there was live music, and a wonderland of lights, a fire pit, tropical hot house, water falls, lighted tunnels, bridges and even some mazes to go through.
 






 
 Art sculptures along the way were fun too!

 
 Children love running through this water tunnel. Barely getting wet.

 
fa la la la la

DIY Grapevine Wreath

I came home the other day to find that my neighbor next door had cleaned out all of his grape vines and left them on the side of the road for trash. The saying goes, "One mans trash is another mans treasure." I will make this statement true.


I came inside and told my husband that I sure wish I knew how to make a grapevine wreath.
I bet I could google it and learn how to make one. Even though he just rolled his eyes, I could tell he didn't really doubt me.
Other than crochet, drawing, painting or cooking, I don't attempt too much of just anything.

The determination kept building inside me as I kept looking out of the windows, seeing the giant bundles of wirey vine just waiting to be made into something beautiful.
So I did googled it and learned in two minutes how to make a grapevine wreath.
I used this video here..


So I gathered up my vines (It kind of took me back to the day where I had to pick my own hickory switch, ha ha, but I wont go there).


Ta Da! I think my first one turned out pretty good. I plan to decorate it for New Years or Valentines Day.

I've shared this on
sunday-show-off-linky-party at twiggstudios. 
Make-It-Yourself at anoriginalbelle
therusticpig's creatively-tuesday
nifty-thrifty-tuesday linda-coastalcharm
adornedfromabove Blog hop
under-100-linky-party at beyondthepicketfence

Oil Pulling

I found this new thing called "Oil Pulling". Well , its not really a new thing but its new to me because I have never heard of this. So I started doing some research and all I find is positive things about it. Not sure yet if its just another health gimmick or not. I just have to try it and find out for myself.

What is Oil Pulling?
Its a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. oil pulling is capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or asthma.
While scientific evidence is lacking to support any systemic benefits of oil pulling, some studies have suggested that it may reduce oral plaque, halitosis, and gingivitis.

The most obvious result of oil pulling is improved dental health. Teeth become whiter, gums pinker and healthier looking, and breath fresher. That alone makes it worthwhile. What is really remarkable is that the health benefits don't stop there. Many health problems, including those which medical science has yet to find cures for, are also improved or completely cured. Oil pulling has the potential to help with just about any illness or chronic condition.
This information was found on different websites

How to:
While on an empty stomach, just take a tablespoon of  pure oil such as vegetable oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, sesame oil or coconut oil. (Coconut oil seems to be the most preferred. Its thick at first).
Swish for 15 minutes. Do not swallow or gargle.
No need to wear your mouth out doing this, just gently swish up and down and back and forth as you would with mouth wash.
Once your done, spit it out in the toilet. Why toilet? Because the toxins that are removed can be full of bacteria and you wouldn't want to spit this in your sink. But if you do, just do a good cleaning afterwards.
After you spit, rinse with water and brush your teeth as usual.

(source)

My first experience:
I used regular 100%Pure Vegetable oil (same thing I cook with).
I put a tiny little drop of mint flavoring in it. ( I was scared).
I swished for 10 minutes. I could have done it longer but I had to sneeze.
It wasn't bad at all. It didn't feel like oil and became watery quick. I read where that means its working.
When I was done, My mouth actually felt clean, not slimy like I thought it would feel. My teeth shined and looked whiter ( I know. silly but if I thought they looked whiter, then that's OK. Just staying positive.)
Later that afternoon, I noticed that I would every so ofter cough up a little Phlegm. I'm not sick, however, I do suffer from allergies but coughing up Phlegm is not a normal effect for me, so, maybe its toxins? Again. Its probably just my imagination. I have a tendency to experience or see anything Im thinking of.

To find out more, just search "oil pulling" There is a lot of sites on this subject. Some are more interesting and informational than I my post.
Here is the Best article I found online . CLICK HERE .

Now what:
I will try this a couple weeks just to see I notice anything different about my health.
I'm still sketical about this being some kind of gimmick. I can't come seem to grip that all this happens through your mouth. So if you have ever heard about or tried this, I'd love to hear your results.

Pet Paw Stockings

Seems like everyone now days has a dog except for me and I'm OK with that. Really.

People treat there pets like there own children. My sister is one of them. She has two Shiz-Shus and a few cats too.

The other day she sent me a picture of some stockings she said she'd love have.
I'm always looking for a crochet challenge, so I found a free pattern HERE and got to work on them. It took about two hours to do each one. I hate sewing and these required to much needle work for me. That's why I only made one pair. But shes my sister and so it was worth it.

I like the way these Pet Stockings turned out.

 
 
She liked them too. Now all the stocking are hung with care in hopes that St. Nick will soon be there
.


Ive shared this at:
lil-luna-link-party
blog-stalking-thursday at thecraftyblogstalker
Farm-girl-blog-fest at fresh-eggs-daily

Pecan Cookie Balls

Oh my goodness. Yes, I found another great recipe to try and I love it. I am a sucker for anything that requires powder sugar. They are almost as good as my Moms home-made wedding cookies that she makes every Christmas. I said "Almost".

I wanted to make a trial run on these goodie balls just to see how easy and good they were. I give them an A for easy and an A for tastes.


They are also called Christmas Cookies on the Original recipe and I can see why. I bet Santa will love them. Oh and speaking of Santa and cookies, a great way to leave Santa a note with his cookies and milk this year is to just get a Sharpie and write a message right on the plate. It dries fast so it does not come off on any food or fingers. Don't worry moms, The marker will wash off easily with dish detergent later. However, I would not recommend using your really nice china for this little artsy Idea, even though I'm sure it would wash off of that just as easily.

Now on to the recipe....Note: I freaked out when the recipe called for 1/2 lb. of butter. I wasn't sure how to sink that in my little brain. It sounds like so much...Well, it kinda is but lets just say 2 sticks of butter. That sounds better.

Here goes:

1/2 lb. butter (2- sticks)softened
4 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Cups self-rising flour
2 Cups finely ground pecans
1 tsp. Vanilla

Cream sugar and butter together, then add the remaining ingredients. Make into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. They do not rise much so make them approximately the size you want.
Bake 375 degree until lightly browned (about 10-12 minutes).

Let them cool a bit, then shake into powder sugar just before serving.

They came out light and fluffy. These cookies are not as sweet as other Christmas cookies but just sweet enough. They will absolutely melt in your mouth.  Enjoy.


This Recipe was featured at: baddgoddess.com for pecan-pe-kahn



Ive shared this at:
sweets-for-saturday at sweet as sugar cookies
sunday-show-off-linky-party at twiggstudios
mealtime-monday-recipe-link-up-party at couponingncooking
creatively-tuesday at the rustic pig
recipes-and-wednesdays at adornedfromabove
made-by-me-60-linky-party-and-features at jaqsstudio
full-plate-thursday at mizhelenscountrycottage
blog-stalking-thursday at thecraftyblogstalker
showcase-your-talent-thursday at whats cooking love
Farm-girl-blog-fest at fresh-eggs-daily

Christmas Sand Dollar

Every Christmas we get together and decorate the tree and as we decorate we ooh and aah at all the different ornaments that go on the tree. We talk about how we remember when we got this one or that one but a few of our ornament consist of sand dollars we find on the beach each summer.

 
My daughter paints a Christmas picture on them and we will keep them wrapped and bring them out every year to put on the tree.
 


This year while getting out the ornaments, we broke two of the sand dollars. My daughter seemed a little disappointed. It was then that I took on a different approach and the opportunity to tell her about the doves inside each sand dollar.

  
 
She was really amazed and at aw when she saw me break up the already broken sand dollars and the doves flew out. She immediately ran to the computer and found the legend of the sand dollar.


The Legend of the Sand Dollar

There's a lovely little legend
that I would like to tell,
of the birth and death of Jesus,
found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely,
you'll see that you find here,
four nail holes and a fifth one,
made by a Roman's spear.
 

On one side the Easter lily,
its center is the star,
that appeared unto the shepherds
and led them from afar.

 



The Christmas Poinsettia
etched on the other side,
reminds us of His birthday,
our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open,
and here you will release,
the five white doves awaiting,
to spread Good Will and Peace.
 

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me,
to help us spread His Gospel,
through all Eternity.


Author Unknown
 
Ive shared this on:

Crochet Frenzie

I have just been on this little crochet frenzy lately. Really, I do it every night! I'm not complaining though. I'm having a good time with it and I amaze myself once I get something completed. I hold it in the air, give it a turn, smile a little, look over at my husband and with a little giggle I say, "look what I did".

It all started last year when I made little baby booties and sold them on EBay. Then I was introduced to Etsy where you make and sale homemade items. I have been a member on Etsy for a while but just recently opened my own Etsy shop. I just took a wild shot in the dark that anyone would want to buy any of my items. But I have had a couple sales and this tickles me. I named my shop "LiLiDi's". Why? Well, LiLi is what my siblings called me when they were little before they could say my name and then my father-in- law started calling me that because it is also one of my screen names. And Di is the first two letters of my middle and last name. I thought it all went together nicely and its easy for me to remember. You can find my shop HERE.

Recently one of my crochet baby hats was noticed by a local photographer in town called Encaptured & Co.. that wanted to buy it for a photo prop and since then, shes kept me pretty busy asking me to make items to use in photo shoots of little babies and even animals. She gives me some ideas and I go with it. You can see some of her work HERE. I am also making some items for my friends.

Here are a couple photo shots from Encapatured and Co. using my crochet creations. You can see these and a few more in my "crochet photo page". If your local, you should definitely look them up. They do great shots and have great prices. Encaptured and Co. will let you choose your interest and they make it memories.



Here are a few other items I made for Photo props along the way.




I have another crochet prop that I made and hope to post later, but for now, I choose not to show it and keep it a surprise until the photographer uses it. I'm hoping it will work out.

UPDATE: It worked perfectly!

 
 
Ive shared this on:
 


Giving Thanks


 
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is hear again already? I love Thanksgiving. I love the smell of food on the stove and in the oven. I love not having to go to work and spend all day with my husband and daughter.
 
Thanksgiving is busy for us. I have my side of the family that cooks a meal, and then I have my husbands side of the family that cooks. Me and my husband cook a dish or two to share at each place. We always have to work around our schedule to enjoy the company of both sides. It can be stressful and filling! I stuff myself all day! Everyone has such wonderful food and I can not give it up. 
 
I  hope everyone has a place to enjoy time with the people they love, to share stories with, to laugh with and just be thankful for what the Lord has given you and not worry about the things you do not have. I hope every family can find a place around the table instead of scattered throughout the house watching TV.  I hope talks are full of laughter and not talks of politics, work, or of hard times.
Time with family is precious and does not need to be taken for granted. If you do not have a family, I hope you realize that you are the family and there are friends, churches and shelters that are full of people that will be thankful you come around to share time with.

I'm Thankful for..........
 
The stress of deciding where to have dinner first.
Because, this means I have family that wants to be together.
 
The teenager who is not doing the dishes but watching TV,
Because, this means that she is at home and not on the streets.
 
The cleaning and dusting, the lawn that needs mowed, and the things that need fixing.
Because, this means I have a home.
 
The clothes that are too tight.
Because, this means I have enough to eat.
 
All the complaining I hear about the government.
Because, this means we have freedom of speech.
 
The huge heating bill.
Because, this means I am warm.
 
The piles of laundry
Because, this means I have clothes to wear.
 
The dog that annoys me with its barking all the time.
Because, this means I can hear.
 
For the parking space I have to take at the far end of the parking lot.
Because, this means I am capable of walking and have a car.
 
For the alarm that goes off in the morning.
Because this means I have a job or church to go to.
 
For the sunshine.
Because this means God has given me another day.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!
 

Diamonds and Daggers

"Diamonds and Daggers"

That's the name of the semi-formal that my daughter was in charge of for her sorority. Since she is on the formal chair, she was responsible for the whole venue for a semi formal.

This was a big task for her and a new experience.

She needed some help on a decoration that represented the theme of diamonds and daggers. So, my husband put on his creative hat and created the perfect thing. He went to the local craft store for some foam board to cut out some diamonds and found some daggers in some clearance Halloween supplies at the dollar store. He measured, drew up ideas and cut until it was just right.



 
Once finished, he had created a lovely prop for her to use for photos or decorations.


She ended up using it for a center piece on the food table.


With the buses lined up to go and DJ turning on the sound, the night was ready. It all went well even though they ran out of food. You know how those college kids can eat! She should have doubled the food but she was on a limited budget from the sorority.
She took a few pictures for me to share.

Cupcakes from a local bakery
 

The party room entrance.
 

The food table ready for everyone to come.
 
Every one dancing and having a good time. Well, almost everyone.
 
Yay! Between exams, homework, job, and meetings she did a good job getting this together!
 

She now has to plan for a big formal to be held in the spring. She said there was a lot she learned from doing this and a lot of things she will do different with the next one.

GOOD JOB! WE ARE PROUD OF HER! 

Ear warmer *Pattern*

Ive been doing alot of crocheting latley. Im always experimenting on new things.

The other day I thought I'd make myself something. I dont like hats because they mess up my hair and scarfs are just to restricting to me so I decided to just make me an earwarmer. I added a button to the back of it so I could easily put it on and lift it off without messing up my hair.

I like the way it turned out.


I guessed at making the flower. Later, I decided to add a pearl bead to accent it.



I cant wait for it to get cold enough to wear it. No, wait, I do not want it to get cold but do want to wear this.



Here is the pattern for this ear warmer for those crafters out there wanting to take on another task. If you can't crochet, I will have a couple of these in My Etsy Shop you can purchase.

1.  Chain long enough to fit around your head ( I chained 60 )
2.  SC first 10,  HDC across leaving 10 at the end, SC last 10, chain 1, turn.
3.  Slip stitch 10, HDC across leaving 10, slip stitch in last 10, chain 1 turn
    * REPEAT step 2 and 3 until you have the width you want.

4.  SC around the band making 2 SC in each corner stitch. Finish off.
5   Apply a button and your done.

I actually made a special crochet stitch at one end for a button hole but its not necessary. You can still get a button in there.  You dont even have to add a button. You can just stitch the ends together and make a band. Whatever suits you.

Now add your own bow or flower if you wish.

Ive shared this at:
make-it-yourself-monday at an original belle
nifty-thrifty-tuesday at linda-coastalcharm
lil-luna-link-party
blog-stalking-thursday at thecraftyblogstalker