Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Recent New Love...

Christmas Placemats

Just like I made my fall placemats, I decided I wanted to make Christmas ones that matched my already purchased runner.  I bought plain cotton fabric (red and ivory) and made sure I had the same colors in craft paint so that I could paint an embellishment (courtesy of my silhouette) on each mat.  Here is the result, I'm in love!

Here's the table runner that I bought last year at the Pomegranate Warehouse sale in Lexington when I was visiting.  Originally, I was thinking about embellishing the mats with a snowflake, but then I decided to try and come up with an embellishment that matched the runner as best as I could.  I made 8 placemats because our table seats 8 and because we had 8 sitting around it last week so 8 were in order!


If you're interested in making your own Christmas Placemats, then go to my table runner tutorial, and make it the exact same way except for using smaller rectangles.  Any questions, feel free to email or comment and I'll help you as best as I can!

 The DIY Show Off

Monday, December 20, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 44

My sister introduced me to this awesome blog earlier last week and I instantly fell in love!  This blog has great ideas for crafts, decorating and just fun stuff to do with kids in general!

Check out these cool cozies that have been hand embroidered.

These pincushions would make a great gift for your sewing friend.

And how cute are these placemats?

I usually stop with three but I can't help myself:
Look at how awesome this bathroom is!
I want her craft room...
As well as this wall in her house (only mine would be filled with Cs)...

Head to House on Hill Road and find more amazing inspirations - they're there!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bon Appetit: Chicken Parmesan

Want an easy and scrumptious recipe for dinner?  Here it is!  Look no further!

What do you need?
-Chicken breasts (thawed if frozen)
-Parmesan cheese (I used the grated kind)
-Spaghetti sauce
-Italian bread crumbs

What do you do?
1. Take your chicken breasts and trim the fat off of them.
2. Melt a stick of butter (good for 4 breasts).
3. Put some Italian bread crumbs in a bowl.
4. Pour some spaghetti sauce into a baking dish.
5. Submerge your chicken breasts in the butter and then into the bread crumbs.
6. Place your chicken breasts into the baking dish and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

7. Take the chicken breasts out and spoon some sauce onto each breast and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of them.

8. Stick back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
9. Remove and enjoy!
We enjoyed ours over a bed of pasta and some zucchini...yum!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Facelift

We're all decked out and ready for Christmas here!

Want to make one of those ornament wreaths?  Here's the link to the blog that I used to make mine!

Please forgive the pile of Christmas gifts needing to be wrapped in the corner!

Eventually that Santa will be in my basement next to our sports theme tree :)

Even the bathroom got a little sprucin' up in honor of Christmas!

I hope you're enjoying your Christmas decorations as much as I am!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Ornaments for 2010

Introducing our 2010 Christmas tree!  
I'm all for pretty, color coordinated trees that look elegant and really bright up a room, but I'm even more for a tree that has fun, multicolored lights adorning it and filled with ornaments that hold special memories from loved ones or fun occasions.  One day, when I have a house, maybe I'll get to have both types of trees - until then, the one multicolored light tree is what we'll have!  Here are our special, 2010 ornaments that called our tree "home" for the first time this year:

This ornament is from our 1st anniversary trip to Lake Geneva, WI.  We bought this hand painted ornament from a small little home decorators store in downtown Lake Geneva.

This ornament was a gift to us from Stephen's Aunt.  It's a beautiful, Lenox porcelain first Christmas ornament that we received  too late last year to put on our tree for 2009, so it made its debut this year!

Last year Stephen and I decided to purchase a different Chicago ornament for every year that we lived together in Chicago.  This is our 2010 Chicago ornament.  To see last years, click here.

These two ornaments found their way into our home after our August cruise to Alaska.  

Last year, Stephen added his new Steelers' Nutcrackers onto our tree.  This year, when we went to Pittsburgh in the beginning of November to visit his Nana, we picked up these little guys!  Eventually, we'll have a basement with a tree that is entirely sports themed with UK, Steelers and {some} IU ornaments all over it.  I know what you're thinking...I will have a lot of trees in my future home :).

This ornament is a memory of our trip to Washington, D.C. in February with our good friends Matt and Amy to visit our other good friend, Ryan.  The cool thing about this trip was that we were able to meet Ryan's girlfriend (now fiance!) for the first time AND it happened to be during the huge record breaking snowstorm that D.C. experienced.  

So whenever we buy these ornaments or when someone gives them to us, I take a fine tipped Sharpie and write on there the dates that we went on the trip or who the ornament was a gift from.  This makes it really fun whenever we bring out the ornaments in the future to help us remember these great memories. Do you guys have a Christmas tradition similar to this?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Pillow Extravaganza III

If you missed my first two Christmas Pillow showcases then click here and here for a refresher.  I had one other pillow that I wanted to make a Christmas cover for, but I wanted to stick with something that was simple and understated.  I had extra green fabric from my "peace", "love" and "joy" pillows.  I also already had some cream buttons from a pillow that I had made previously.  I decided that I would grab some red buttons and just go to work sewing them on the pillow.  Here's the result, hanging out next to one of my ribbon pillows:

and a close up:

And that wraps up my Christmas Pillow Extravaganzas!  I hope they inspired you to make some Christmas covers for your current pillows!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Card Display

Last year I ran into the problem of having Christmas cards that I wanted to display but didn't have a good home for.  This year, I decided to change that by using some ribbon and the utility closet door in our dining room :).  I went to Michaels and picked out 2 different designs of ribbon - one that was really wide (the striped) and one that was thinner (the see-through red).  I then purchased enough to cover the height of my door twice (if you look closely, I should've bought an extra spool of the thinner ribbon because I ran out).  I also purchased little baby clothes pins to use to hold the cards to the ribbon.  I layered 1 long piece of the striped ribbon in back of the thinner, red ribbon so that I could attach the cards to the thinner ribbon.  I used push pins to hold the ribbon into place and viola!  I ended up with a fun, festive way to practically show off my Christmas cards year after year!

a closer look:

I fully intend on bagging these supplies up and pulling them out year after year to showcase my Christmas cards!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 43

Becca over at Blue Cricket design has got some cool stuff going on!  She has tons of different posts that could keep you entertained for a long time.  I love all her original ideas and the fact that she'll often showcase cool projects from other people so you get even more ideas from just one blog!  I highly suggest you go by her blog and check it out!

How incredibly cute is this snowman?

Check out this unique and beautiful lamp!

What about this cute and seemingly easy bucket to make either to give as a gift to someone for Halloween (filled with goodies of course) or to make for a child to carry around while they trick-or-treat.

Head over to Blue Cricket design and check out for yourself all the cool things Becca is up to!

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful....

but the fire is so delightful!

And since we've no place to go....

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What a Great Day!

I finished my semester tonight!

Now only 4 classes and 1 independent study stand in my way of having an M.Ed at the end of my name!
I can't wait to enjoy some free nights and NO CLASSES for a few weeks before I must go again!

On another note, my friend Amy (I hope!) jokingly told me that she wanted to make these this weekend...maybe we'll make them to go on a small tree in the bathroom ;)!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 42

Char is a stay at home mom who is FULL of great ideas and tutorials that could be used to pretty up your house or as a great gift idea for a friend.  I just recently went to her blog and was blown away (and quickly bookmarked) 2 of her most recent projects!

This pillow is one of those eye catching projects she completed.  I'm for sure making this!

This is a great project for all my photography friends out there who need a cute strap to match that new camera!

This is a great gift to make for those laptop friends of yours who could use a stylin' case for their computers!

Head over to Char's place and check out the "crap" (awesome crap if you ask me!) at Crap I've Made that she's made!

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sleepy Sue

We had fun visitors in town for the weekend.  Stephen's younger sister, Cali and her husband, Tony came in on Friday evening and just left about an hour ago.  We had a fun filled adventure that I wish didn't have to come to an end, but alas, like all things, that time is over and now onto school work- wah-wah-waaaaaaaaaah!!!

Here's a little recap - with some pictures to accompany -

They arrived just in time for us to head over to Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo and then off to the Basil Leaf (YUMMY!) for some of our favorite Italian cuisine with some good friends, Drew and Shea.  What a great start to a great weekend!

Here's Stephen enjoying a special treat from the "make your own marshmallow snowman" table in the gorilla house!

On Saturday we woke up early to enjoy some yummy pumpkin bread and pumpkin coffee (if you know anything about us, you know we LOVE pumpkin flavored ANYTHING) before heading off on our adventures.  We went to the Kris Kindel Market to enjoy some fun little shops, but most specifically, their yummy roasted nuts (we went for the cinnamon-sugar pecans - SO GOOD!) and then off to State Street and a little Michigan Avenue action.  Before we headed back to the apartment for the night, we made sure to fulfill Cali's wish of eating at the Walnut Room inside the old Marshall Fields (now Macys).  After dinner we hit up Garretts popcorn and then went back home to light a fire and play Settlers of Catan for the night (it was a first for Tony and Cali - they're hooked like we are!).   

This morning we woke up and went to church and then headed off to the infamous Giradano's Pizza to pick up our large special to take back and enjoy before Cali and Tony headed back home.  Right now Stephen and I are sitting on the couch with all the lights out except for the Christmas Tree and the garland around our mantel watching the Colts play the Cowboys as I sit as a Sleepy Sue wanting nothing more than to take a nap.  However, I'm tortured by the reality of a huge paper due on Tuesday that I have barely even started...it's going to be a long start to my week.  Good thing I'm coming off a fun weekend!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend as well!
(If you're headed to the Windy City for this Holiday Season, be sure you check out my post from last year that talks about fun holiday festivities you can partake in here in the city!)