Happy New Years Eve!

2011 is coming to a close and 2012 is right around the corner. We had a great Christmas visiting with the family and our first ever Christmas dinner at our house. With 15 people here, everything went surprisingly well and everyone was impressed with how easy we made it look (and it was easy compared to Thanksgiving :P).

I was feeling the after Christmas blues this week. So much preparation for Christmas and then it was done in one day. I have been feeling kind of lost with my projects. I think I am going to crochet something for myself now since I worked so hard on presents for everyone else. I have a few things in mind I would like to make. I also told Mike I was taking requests now if he wanted anything too.

We can get back into some home projects too. We have a long list of ideas that have been put on hold in the midst of the Christmas craziness.

Here is a list of things I want to accomplish in the coming months:
Crochet hooded scarf in cream for me
Scarf, flower hat, and headband in pink for me
Black hat for Mike (design TBD)
Pillows for the guest room
Pillows for the living room
Craft organization
Jewelry organization
Clothes refashions
Jewelry refashions

Now that I've set myself a project goal I am going to work on accomplishing it. I have a ton of crochet projects I have been saving to share because they were Christmas gifts so I will be posting about them this week.

Enjoy your New Year and see you in 2012!

Circle earrings

I made these super easy earrings to go along with the Anthro knockoff necklace I made.

I used what I had leftover from the necklace. I took two sets of three different rings, two jump rings, and two earring hooks. I opened the jump rings and added all the circles and earring hooks and closed the rings. Done! That was easy.

Anthro knock off necklace

I found this amazing tutorial from Flamingo Toes for the Anthropologie Shepard Moon necklace. I had to try and make one of these for myself.

This is the first time I've ever made a necklace from scratch so I had a bit of a learning curve. I had to look up videos on youtube for closing jump rings and making an eye pin. I have to admit I am pretty proud of my accomplishment.

I wanted to show you the supplies I used because I had a tough time finding them. The rings and beads are from Michaels. The rest of the jewelry supplies I had previously got at Joanns. The big rings came in a pack and the smaller ones were on a string. I left the eye pins out of this pic (oops).

I have to admit I had some problems with the rings at first. Every time I picked up the necklace it fell apart. I figured out the culprit were these rings that were in the pack.

The rings had an opening and they wouldn't stay shut. I ended up using two at the top of the strand of rings but I didn't use any as connectors because they didn't work. Despite the hiccups I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I made it nice and long but I can adjust it if I want to wear it shorter.

I made a matching pair or earrings too with the extra rings I had. I'll post those tomorrow. (Update: Here it is)

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

I'm looking forward enjoying my mother in law's amazing Christmas brunch. She puts on a great spread with quiche, french toast, sausage gravy and biscuits, ham , fruit and more. It is a great way to start the Christmas day!

This is the first time we have had Christmas dinner at our house and we are looking forward to be at home an entertaining family. We are making veggie lasagna and shrimp cocktail plus we will be serving the cake balls we made last weekend. Combined with cabbage rolls, ham, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, green salad, bavarian strawberry jello and tiramisu, I think we have a great meal for the 12 other people that are coming over.

Mike and I will also be making espresso martinis and cosmos, combined with white and red wine and beer it should be a great dinner to enjoy with the family.

Enjoy your day today with your family!

Flower and Lace Headbands Tutorial

I made some headbands for my eight year old cousin's birthday this summer. Her 16 year old sister (my other cousin) was really impressed with them so I decided to make some for her Christmas. This is a super easy gift and it took me less than an hour to make all three.

DIY flower headband, DIY lace headband

Here's what you need to make these headbands

Headbands- any kind but plastic will work (the glue gun can melt plastic- it's happened to me before)
fake flowers
roll of lace
pearl beads
hot glue

For the purple flower headband, find some fake flowers with lots of petals. I used a hydrangea.

Pull the petals off of the stem and remove the inside piece. You can discard the inside pieces or save for a future use. I used six petals. Two were bigger than the others.

Cut two small round pieces of felt. You will glue the petals to one piece so it should be small enough that you won't see it under the petals. Take the biggest petal and glue it with the hot glue to the piece of felt.

Continue to glue and stack your petals. If you alternate the orientation of the petals you will get a fuller flower. Finish it off with a rhinestone in the middle to cover up the hole in the center.

Take your head band and find the place you want to place the flower. I tried it on first to the find the right position. Put hot glue all over the felt circle and place the headband in the center

Then place the second felt circle on top to make it look finished and keep the headband in place.

Admire your pretty headband

DIY flower headband

For the blue flower headband I started with these flowers.

I followed all the same steps as the purple flower headband only I used a stretchy headband to glue the flower to.

DIY flower headband

For the lace headband I started with this roll of lace ribbon.

I rolled the lace into a circle and continued rolling until it formed a flower. I did a practice roll first to see how full I wanted the flower before I cut a piece off. As I rolled the lace I glued every so often to keep the lace in the right shape. Once I was done rolling, I glued three pearl beads in the center.

DIY lace headband

Another Christmas gift crossed of the list.

DIY flower headband, DIY lace headband

And I had to try them on myself- for quality control of course :)

I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Christmas Card Display

Our Christmas cards have always ended up on our mantel in past years. Since we decorated our mantel this year we needed to find a better solution for our cards.

We decorated the doorway into our dining room with garland but it felt like it was missing something. This seemed like the perfect place to put our cards.

Christmas Card Display

I bought a pack of clothes pins from Target and clipped the cards to the garland.

Christmas Card Display

Now we have a cute way to display and enjoy our Christmas cards. It was so quick and easy I wish I had thought of it sooner :)

Christmas Card Display

Countdown to Christmas

Woohoo! I am on vacation for the next week. I have so much to do to finish getting ready for Christmas.

Most of my shopping is done but I still have to more gifts to buy. Plus I need to wrap everything. I'm attempting to start before Christmas Eve this year!

The house needs a good cleaning since we are hosting Christmas dinner and there will be a total of 14 people here. We are doing a potluck so we won't be responsible for making all the food. I need to go to the grocery store and pick up ingredients for the veggie lasagna we are making.

I have some crocheted gifts I need to finish. Note to self: start earlier next year!

I want to make a Christmas card display. I have an idea, I just need to follow through with it.

Also on my to do list is to spend time with family and enjoy the holiday season. I have lots of family coming in from out of town, including my sister who is going to college in Idaho. I haven't seen her on forever. Also my other sister who live in the Washington DC area. It will be a sister reunion :)

I should be able to squeeze in a little blogging too. We made cake balls this past weekend and they are so yummy. I will be posting about them this week.

I better get moving and try to cross something off of my list!

Necklace Redo

I bought this  necklace online. I got a great deal and it looked really nice in the picture. Once I received it in the mail and tried it on I felt like it was too bulky and I didn't like how the all the strands were the same size. I still liked the look of the beads so I decided to give it a makeover.

The three strands were being held together with two jump rings. I opened them up and separated everything including the small piece of chain and the clasp. I didn't use the chain but I saved it for a future use.

I wanted to combine the two similar strands to make one longer strand but I felt like it was a little too long so I removed a few beads from each strand.

I combined the two similar strands and added both the long strand and smaller one (that I didn't change) to the jump ring. I added the clasp to one side.

Then I took the small pieces and added on a earring hook to make a matching pair of earrings.

With a couple of quick changes I got two pieces from one and now I actually want to wear it!

Ruffle Flower Scarf

I found this amazing scarf tutorial at Mama Says Sew so I had to make my own.

I used a piece I used a piece of white knit I got a garage sale for 50 cents. I cut two matching pieces to stitch together. If I was going to do this again I would sew the flower on first before ruffling. I didn't want the stitches to show through so that made it really challenging to stitch the flowers on. I used 3 silver pearl beads for the center of the flowers.

I had to practice the ruffles on a piece of scrap knit. I set the machine to a small zig zag stitch and 2nd to last length on my machine. I had to really stretch the material to get a good ruffle.

My knit didn't have a whole lot of stretch lengthways and I realized it part way into sewing. I think it would have worked better if I had the cut the fabric the opposite way. I still like the way it turned out. Now I have a reason to try this again with some stretchier fabric :)

Christmas Tablescapes

I haven't shared out dining room Christmas tablescapes with you yet. We combined a lot of our old decorations in new ways this year. Collecting a ton of Christmas picks on clearance last year really helped to achieve a new look.

Christmas Decorations

We spruced up the top of the dresser by adding a cake plate with a gold plate on top. We put a candle in the middle and placed various pics around the plate and underneath. We also stuck some pics in the wine basket and fake flowers we already had on the dresser to give them a festive look. An ornament on a stand and two antique angels finish of this look.

Christmas Decorations

On the side table we took the vase that used to be on our mantel and added two fake poinsettias and a gold pic for some extra glitter. We placed a fake pine piece in from of it adorned with more gold and red pics.

ornaments in a bowl

We kept the center of the table really simple. We took a crystal bowl and filled it with red and gold ornaments. Place it on top of red glass charger and gold placemat. Then flanked it with crystal candle holders and gold candles.

Red Curry Sauce Recipe

I love Thai food. Red curry is the ultimate Thai dish. Coconut milk and red curry combine into a sweet and spicy sauce that is delicious. I could eat it all the time. After eating red curry in the restaurant, Mike had to try it himself. He based our recipe off of this one.

You can use any meat and veggies you want with the red curry sauce. Pork was on sale at the grocery store so that's what we used this time. Typically we use chicken but beef would also work. We made a double batch of sauce to freeze so we cooked the sauce separately but you can also add the chicken and veggies into the sauce to simmer and really absorb the flavors.

This recipe calls for some items that you may not typically buy: red curry paste, coconut milk and fish sauce.
We bought our red curry paste and fish sauce at our local Asian market. I can also find red curry paste at our local grocery store in the Asian section. We think the one from the Asian market is a little bit spicier. The Asian market kind is on the left and grocery store kind is on the right. Ignore the fact that it is green curry. They have red too.
If the grocery store carries fish sauce it would probably be in the same section. Also coconut milk will be there too. If you can't find fish sauce you can use soy sauce instead


  • 1 can coconut milk - (14-ounce)
  • 1/2 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves - coarsely chopped (we didn't have any basil so we used some pesto. Dried basil could also work)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast, pork or beef - cut in 1" cubes
  • 2 medium bell pepper- sliced 
  • 1 medium zucchini - sliced
  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • Directions:
    In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk and red curry paste*.
    Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Stir and let simmer for 5 more minutes.
    Add basil leaves; remove from heat.
    In a skillet add olive oil. When the oil is hot add the meat. Saute until done. Add bell pepper and zucchini and saute until tender.
    At this point you can add the sauce to the meat and veggies and let simmer for five minutes. Or you can leave it separate.
    Serve meat, veggies and sauce over rice.

    *You may find the curry paste to be very hot. We like a little heat so we typically add 1-2 tablespoons. Taste the sauce and determine if you like the amount of heat and increase by 1/2 tablespoon at a time. You may not notice the spicyness right away, it's a slow heat so be cautious. (If you make it too hot you can add more coconut milk to counteract the heat.)

    Crochet Hooded Scarf

    I have been crocheting up a storm. Christmas is coming and I am giving a lot of crocheted gifts this year. I still have a lot more to make. I really should be crocheting right now instead of blogging :)

    Last year my grandma wrapped a scarf around her head and claimed it was warmer than any of the hats she owned. I saw this pattern on Ravelry (no longer available) and I knew it would be perfect.  Luckily I know she doesn't go on the internet so there is no chance she will see me sharing this before Christmas.

    crochet hooded scarf

    This pattern was really easy to make. It only took me about three days. I used two strands of Caron Simply Soft yarn and a K hook to get the right gage.

    Mike liked it so much he thought I should make one for myself. It is a great alternative to hat when I'm going to work so my hair won't get mushed. I might whip one up for myself (but not until I get all those Christmas presents done first!)

    If I do make another one I would probably add a few extra stitches to make the hood a little bigger. It gets really cold and windy at work.

    Here are my awesome self portraits of me modeling my scarf

    crochet hooded scarf

    crochet hooded scarf

    I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties