Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Decor Ideas

I was looking back through pictures from our first Christmas as a married couple and found some other decor ideas I thought I'd share. The first is the top of the entertainment center we had at the time. Along with the ornaments (some on candlestick holders), I used water jelly crystals that were left over from our wedding. Instead of buying the small packets of water jelly crystals at a craft store, I bought them from (interestingly enough, they are much less expensive to purchase as a science experiment rather than decor!)

The next is an ice candle... I remember mom and dad making these when I was little.
I think I used an oatmeal box for this one. I remember seeing dad use a square milk carton too, I liked the square candle. Any container that will hold the wax and then be peeled away would work. Pour melted wax into the bottom and place a wick in the middle (tie the wick to a pencil and lay across the top of the container to keep the wick straight). After it's cool, pour crushed ice into the container. After the ice, pour more melted wax to fill the container. When the wax has cooled completely (and the ice has melted), peel away the container and enjoy your candle.

While I'm sharing pics from the old apartment, here are our thumbprint pics....

...and exhibit A for why I love chalkboard paint... This was an outdated Home Interiors print, but I loved the frame... so I taped it off and sprayed it with chalkboard paint. 

Last thing to share for now... the side table. The base was an old plant stand I painted black. The top was a plain glass table top that I covered with stained glass pieces.

I wish you an inspired Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Cemetery Arrangement

For some reason, it seems like most Christmas cemetery arrangements have big poinsettias or just look generally heavy. They didn't seem fitting for my baby girl, so this is what I decided to do.

I'll need to shift a few things around when I get it to the cemetery, but I'm thinking I like it. :)


Friday, December 2, 2011

'Tis the Season

So, we've started decking the halls, and I just wanted to share some ideas.
Here's the tree: 

A while back, I noticed that one of the trees at work has HUGE leaves.
I picked one up and wanted to find something to do with it.
So I sprayed it gold and tucked it into the Christmas tree...
then I did the same with a few more.

I also sprayed some pine branches with pine cones and tucked in the branches, 
but I haven't added them this year.

I also have several handmade ornaments. These ornaments were made using glue, balloons, hemp cord, and paint (optional). Blow up the balloon (keep it small enough that it still looks round), dip the cord in the glue and wrap around the balloon in a random pattern. Lay it on wax paper to dry. When the cord is entirely dry, pop the balloon and pull out the pieces. If the ornament collapses, just put a new balloon into the ornament and blow it up enough to reshape, then let the air back out and remove. Paint is optional, though I love the metallic paints.


I made this ornament a few years ago. It was just made out of a stiff wire and clay for the head... yeah, that one was sprayed gold too.

I think I want to add some green ornaments now...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Cards and Baby Slings
good deals, including 10 free Christmas cards
Coupon Code: ucover
pay only the $11.95 for S/H for a baby sling.
Coupon Code: seven
pay only S/H for a nursing cover

Short and sweet... just thought I'd share

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Best Brownies Ever...

I recently made a discovery....and it's probably not a good thing. I found THE best brownie recipe I've ever tried, and it is fabulous. Crusty top, fudgy, fudgy middle.... mmm. I think I've lost track of how many times I've made them already. They are great with a good cup of coffee. The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour (

This is one of our long-time favorite fudge brownie recipes. It makes a reliably delicious, moist, fudgy pan of brownies, perfect for that potluck you forgot about till the last minute.
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural or Dutch-process cocoa OR 1/2 cup black cocoa + 1/4 cup natural or Dutch-process cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl in the order in which they're written. Stir, then beat the mixture till smooth.

Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake the brownies in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they're just barely beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let them cool completely before cutting. Yield: about 2 dozen brownies.

The first time I made them, I thought I didn't bake them long enough. They'll still be a bit gooey, but when they cool- oh, wow. I must confess, I used generic cocoa and the flour I had on hand. I loved the recipe because it's all ingredients I generally have available. I even mixed up extra batches of the dry ingredients last time I was mixing, just so I have some ready to mix. Come to think of it, I have one batch left that just needs to be mixed and baked. Uhm... I gotta go now, I have something I need to do...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Things "They" Do...

For Adults with ADHD, Parents of children with ADHD, Mental Health Professionals, and Teachers:     As a therapist, I’m always on the lookout for more resources for my therapeutic toolbox. A while back, I found It’s full of helpful articles dealing with adult ADHD, tips for parenting children with ADHD, tips for school success (good for parents and teachers both), discussions about medication management, and much more. There are forums for discussion and a magazine subscription is available. If you are a parent of a child with ADHD, an adult with ADHD, or a teacher… do check it out.
For Mental Health Professionals     Also, along with the mental health theme of this post, I’d like to share a link for In grad school, I thought about how nice it would be to have tabs for the DSM so I didn’t have to flip back and forth and search for diagnostic criteria. Turns out, someone else had the same idea. Just when I hoped "they" would make such a creation, I learned that "they" do; so I purchased a set of the tabs a while back, and I must say… well worth the $15.45.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coupons, Coupons, Everywhere...

Donna was nice enough to share a link on the previous blog entry for a website that gives coupon codes for online purchases: - Thanks, Donna!

I frequently use Retail Me Not to find coupon codes as well. I've used it many times for Papa John's coupons. (Did you know you could order pizza online or via text?? Oh, how things change! I've never been sure why, but I've always hated being the one to call and place a pizza order... one of my many quirks, I guess.) Retail Me Not also helped me save nearly $100 on an order for therapy toys at work. Check it out! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christmas in.... September?

So, I can now say I've been able to get a pretty good start on my Christmas shopping. For the past several years, I've tried to start my shopping in the spring or summer for several reason. It's easier on the budget. Not only does it spread purchases out over multiple pay periods and give me time to hunt for good deals, it helps me prevent last minute panic purchases because I just have to find something. Having more time for that "something" means I have more time to pick something that suits the gift recipient better. Not every gift I find is just THE perfect one, but i'm more likely to find something that's just right when I start early. One last reason: I enjoy it more. I enjoy searching for just the right gift when I'm not being rushed.... and this year, I could really use some gift giving joy!

A site I've recently found and now stalk... uhm... I mean check regularly is - there are new deals every day (and occasionally every 30 minutes), and the deals are pretty good ones. Go check it out and let me know what you think!