Category: Holidays

Gather & Swap: Stir up your favorite recipes and invite your friends to do the same. I think I am doing this in December because it looks fun and is not as cumbersome as a dinner. And I like that you get an assortment of cookies for the holidays without having to do 10 batches! Just think… coffee, cocoa, eggnog and COOKIES! Okay, let’s not forget the wine too! LOL!

Anyhow, here are some tips from online in case people wanted to plan one:

  • Send invitations three to four weeks in advance, before friends’ schedules fill up. On the invitations, be sure to include how many cookies to bring (ask for homemade), specifics on packaging the cookies, and any other special features you plan for the event.
  • Ask each attendee to bring at least three dozen cookies to make sure everyone has plenty of cookies to take home. If you plan to serve some at the party, ask guests to bring an extra dozen or two for a sampling buffet.
  • Make the cookie exchange the entertainment at your gathering, or plan the exchange as a bonus to a caroling, tree-trimming, or sledding party.
  • Serve an assortment of holiday foods and beverages appropriate to the time of day and level of formality you desire. Suggestions: a holiday tea party, an appetizer and drinks soiree, a casual open house, a festive salad luncheon, or a lazy weekend brunch.
  • If kids are invited, plan an activity such as a cookie-decorating contest or story hour, or make sure games are available. Be ready to serve child-friendly foods and beverages.
  • Highlight the stars of the party (the cookies) with pretty serving plates and dishes. Provide cake stands, large parfait glasses, clear-glass bowls, and baskets lined with holiday linens.
  • Send your guests — and their cookies — home in fine style by supplying pretty packages for the cookies. Hand-stamped bags, clear holiday boxes decorated with decals, Chinese-food takeout containers, or inexpensive plastic carryalls garnished with ribbons and bows all make pretty carrying cases.
  • And this tip is my own: Remember those with dietary restrictions and make sure there is an assortment of cookies they can sample too (i.e. diabetics need sugar free, vegans need a cookie using no eggs or milk, and those with Celiacs disease need gluten-free).

Holidays Recipes/Cooking

This year we went out on the town with some friends so we revived some costumes that we had. David wore his Jack Sparrow costume that I made him several years ago and I went as my favorite black raven costume with wings, feather wrist cuffs, a black boa, and fancy black feather lashes. I even put a little bird in my hair. I have a mask on a stick that goes with it for the costume, but did not hold it up for the picture. We had a great Halloween, although passing out candy earlier in the night was a little lame due to rain. I have a TON of candy still at the house… YUCK! Hope everyone’s Halloween was spooktacular!


I know Halloween is tomorrow, but people have been asking about the decorations for this year’s Halloween and I thought I would post a few low cost ideas I used this year. Some are Martha ideas and I have included the links.

The bats I have done in previous years, but the idea was renewed when I saw the idea in Martha’s magazine. I used her template (you can find here) and cut them out of black cardstock, then tied fishing line to them. I tied the other end to paper clips and then hung them in places around the house, like in the doorway shown, above my kitchen sink, and on the lights near the bathroom and in the living room. They are just so cute and wave a little in the breeze.

And these curtains are one of my favs and really set the scene… we also put two in David’s office. Again, these were a Target buy a few years back that I got for 50%… I don’t pay full price for anything because you can find almost everything the day after Halloween at 50% off or you can use a coupon! BUT AGAIN, YOU CAN MAKE THESE SO EASY! I have two options for you… one is a Martha Stewart idea using black garbage bags… yes, GARBAGE BAGS (go here)! You can cut them open or leave them as is for a double layer and just cut strips into them… then pull them and you get interesting, scraggly shapes that mimic these curtains. OR, if you are a sewer (and you really don’t even have to be) you can get black fabric, cut a starting point and then rip up so you get the shreds. You can even use a stapler to make the seam to slide onto your rod (no need to be fancy). You can also go the cheesecloth route which look like spiderwebs or just old ratty fabric, which my mom did (go here for Martha tutorial). Martha even has some made out of black paper/cardstock (go here) and crepe paper (go here)! Seriously, get creative and don’t spend a lot of money. I only got these because they were cheap after the season.

And my monsters on the wall were a bigger hit than I even could have imagined. I have three frames that hang in my dining room with tomato prints (usually)… I decided to cover those up with some monster prints in black and white. I found Frankenstein, Dracula, and a Werewolf online, turned them black and white, and printed them on cardstock to hang in the frames. You can go download them in my FlickR.

I have many more ideas posted on my website, including using bedsheets for tablecloths and furniture covers, buying and tearing cheesecloth and more, so if you are interested go check them out

Creative Holidays Homes

Fathersday09 (219k image)
Let’s all wish our Father’s a Happy Day!

Delaney did a List of the Top 10 reasons she loves her Dad for Father


katemat (79k image)

Materials Needed:
* Zip-Top Sandwich Bag
* Small Red and Green Candies
* Paper
Simply put a handfull of of red and green candies (use holiday M and Ms, jelly beans, ect.) in the zip-top sandwich bag to be the “poop”. If you want a little more variety, add some Christmas colored sprinkles or some edible glitter.
Print out the poem, cut it out, and stapled it to the top of the sandwich bag …

elfpooptag (41k image)

Holidays Recipes/Cooking