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Showing posts from November, 2012

Starting To "Wrap" Gifts

I do not like to wrap gifts. And it shows, when I do. I am really, really bad at it! So I really love cute boxes and bags... especially for the ruffle scarves. We are letting them peek out the top, like they are the tissue paper/bag filler. Cant get any easier than that!

This is the dining room tree - and Dan's favorite artificial tree.  It is a series of wreaths, attached by chains, to a center pole, making is SO easy to store and put together.  :-)  The paper ornaments we made as a family a few years back, from a kit.  They used to be on our "main" living room tree, but this year I gave them their own tree. 

Decorative Pie Crusts

From Martha Stewart:
Some of mine -  apple, cherry, three berry, mincemeat
Caramel Apple, Three Berry

From Pampered Chef:

Fun and Unique Pie Crusts
How to make Decorative Holiday Pie Crusts


Braided Edge (A) Use for a single-crust pie. Make enough pastry for a double crust. Line a 9-in. pie plate with the bottom pastry and trim pastry even with edge of pie plate. Roll remaining pastry into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut twelve 1/4-in.-wide strips; gently braid three strips. Brush edge of crust with water; place braid on edge and press lightly to secure. Repeat with remaining strips, attaching additional braids until entire edge is covered. Cover with foil to protect edges from overbrowning.


Checkerboard Edge (B)

Trim crust flush with the edge of the pie plate. If using a glass pie plate, tr…

Comparing Sashay Style yarns for Scarves

2013 Update: I found the Sashay Arctic yarn on sale for $3.50 at Michaels.  I thought this might make a good winter scarf for me..  it took 4 skeins!  I think if I did this again I'd do just 3 stitches across instead of 5, and then 3 would be enough.  My daughter thinks this is "a bit much", and I don't love it as much as I had hoped..  but it does look nice with my winter coat, so I'll see how I feel about it once it's actually cold here.
(Yarn price comparisons and coupons at the bottom of this post) (the afghan folded under them is child sized, my own crochet pattern, with wool ease quick and thick yarn.  By "my own pattern" I mean I am not good at all at following instructions, I would rather just make things up as I go along.  This is not perfect, I must have miscounted one of the rows..  but overall it is cute and I like it.  I put a ruffle around the edges, and a flower in the middle..)

This is the video I started with, to learn how:
How to Knit…

Planning A Mystery Party

For our daughters 16th birthday, she chose to have a joint party with one of her best friends who also turns 16 this year.  They chose to do a Murder Mystery party.  Cool!  Dan and I have been wanting to do one of these for years, we figured trying it out on teenagers first would be a great idea.  

We looked at several options, and the girls ended up choosing Murder At Doom Mansion, from  I loved that it was an instant download, no need to pay shipping, or wait for anything to be mailed to us.  I simply downloaded the files, then uploaded them to so that both of us moms could access them for this party.  We stored all the files for this party - invites, charactar lists, etc, in - party planning from the cloud.  :-)  This particular party is themed for teenagers specifically.

Setting Up For The Party:
I thought the party was lacking in a real time line.  There is not one included in our download, but I did…

Some great tips for taking meals to others- magazine has a great article this month on taking meals to families, lots of great tips in there!  Some quick ideas from the article:-take premade pizza crust, sauce, and cheese (I'd add some toppings and a salad....)
- take groceries.  Cereal, peanut butter, milk and bread might be even more appreciated than a casserole, if grocery shopping is the last thing on their mind.
- use disposable aluminum pans, so no one has to worry about clean up/getting the dishes back
-call before visiting, ask if they have time for a 15 minute visit.