Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Explosion!

This past weekend was so fun and busy!  Not only did I have a pageant send off party for a friend, and a baby shower for another friend, AND took a quick Christmas card photo with Lindsey Koch Photography, but out came the Christmas boxes!  I work at a small business that I love, but one of the downfalls is that everyone is required to work on Black Friday, AKA no long Thanksgiving weekend for this girl.

Chimi and Sprinkles at their photo shoot

No worries, however.  That just means I decorate the weekend before Thanksgiving!  Down to the basement I went and began grabbing the five (ahem, and growing) bins of decor.  I absolutely love dragging them upstairs and taking over the entire floor deciding where to put everything.  I usually start with the tree since my collection of ornaments takes a lot of the space.  Since my mom turned me into a Christmas fanatic early, I have been collecting ornaments for decades.  Some of my newest favorite ornaments are the personalized ones that Nate and I get every year!  We got our first one after only six months of dating.  I knew he was a keeper if he supported my Christmas obsession.

Another favorite ornament of Nate's, the Adrian Peterson ornament, next to one of my favorites, the Rockette ornament!

Since I used my old tree topper on my cupcake tree, I started looking for a new tree topper early.  Almost instantly I found the most perfect tree topper that I am pretty sure was made for me!  I have been drooling over this dang thing for almost a month now, and decided I couldn't wait for the sales.  It is mine!

I thought my tree looked so cute, stepped back and took a photo.  Something seemed to be missing.

Then I remembered I bought a cute whimsical spray from Michael's.  Duh!  Such a fun accent on the tree.

I am so happy with how it turned out!

One thing I am not so happy with is my sideboard.  This time of year is the whole reason I wanted one!  I had visions of a cute Christmas scene, houses, fake snow, or something magical happening.  Not so much.  It pretty much became the island of misfit decor that I couldn't  figure out where else to display.  I am in desperate need of the perfect table runner and need to edit the contents on the table.  Rats.  Definitely in progress.

I do love my chair covers, another recent addition to my collection this year.  So fun!

Nate said that our house looks like a Christmas explosion, which I take as a compliment!  Merry Christmas!  I mean, Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cupcake Wreath

Since my Cupcake Tree has become my favorite thing to look at recently, I wanted to add to the little space!    I decided to make another wreath!  Plus, I can't stop making these things so this fed into that new obsession as well.

Started off with the necessities.

I got some deco mesh from Michael's and had some ribbons I also purchased from there.  I used the same purple ribbon that I used on the cupcake tree as well. 

Now that I have made a couple wreaths, I can whip these puppies out so fast!  It isn't perfect, but looks cute in the space.

Sprinks also enjoys the space.  The old ugly couch kind of ruins it but we can pretend it isn't there.

Hooray for pretty things!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Joni's Chicken Chili

Now I am not known for my cooking skills (come on mom - you had to keep all the skills to yourself?) but if I find a recipe that looks yummy, I will make it!  If you want a blog full of amazing recipes, go to Iowa Girl Eats!

I first had Nate's Aunt Joni's chicken chili at the yearly Christmas gathering two years ago and couldn't have enough of it!  Aunt Joni is already one of those people you want to be like and be around - stylish, talented at everything, creative, and ridiculously caring.  So of course she is a master chef as well!  She kindly shared it with me, and we eat it all the time!  It is too good to not share.

Aunt Joni's Creamy White Chili
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 medium onion (we use pre-chopped frozen onions, shameful I know)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbl olive oil
1 can Great Northern Beans - rinsed and drained (you can use more, I am afraid of beans)
1 1/2 can (14.5 oz cans) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz cans) chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese (I added this to her recipe - I add cream cheese to everything.  This is not necessary)

In a large pot saute the chicken, onion, garlic powder in oil.
Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings.  Bring to boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, heavy cream and cream cheese (if you added).  You can either eat right away or put in a crock pot on warm to serve at a party!
Crunch Frito's on top of each bowl.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How I Pack

I will never be great at packing, but I have learned to be OK with that.  I used to pack everything I owned, then would get to my location and somehow have nothing to wear because it was all just random pieces!  In the last few years, I have found photos to inspire me, then I create the outfit off of that photo. I take a picture of it, too, so I don't get to my location and forget what I put with what.  It has worked wonders for vacays and most importantly work trips - where I need to make sure I have a cute outfit to wear!  It just helps get my creativity flowing so I don't have the "I have no clothes" block while packing. 

This also makes me more adventurous with my outfits, pairing things together I normally wouldn't and it usually turns out well!  I wish I had the motivation to do this for the work week...

I just packed for my family vacation to Key West tonight and here are some of my outfits inspiration.  We will see if any get worn, and I still packed 800 t shirts and tank tops, but I feel prepared in case I want to look put together!








Sunday, November 4, 2012

1st Annual Cupcake Tree

I do realize it is only November 4, but I do not mess around with Christmas.  Growing up, my mom made Christmas so magical and I have been obsessed my entire life!  Nate loves Christmas and I think he embraces my love for it, however, he would rather wait a few more weeks before the house becomes a winter wonderland.  So I decided to take baby steps and just do one room that isn't seen that much.

For a while now, I have been wanting to have a smaller tree for my fun, colorful, and whimsical ornaments (which happen to mostly be cupcake ornaments).  I love anything cupcake/sprinkles (hence, my dog Sprinkles!) and just think they are adorable.  Anything with color and whimsy is fabulous in my book, so it makes sense I love them!

Sprinkles on her cupcake bed!
I knew it was time to make this tree happen, so I thought our landing upstairs would be the perfect place for this.  I ran to two of the closest of my favorite holiday stops (Pier 1 and Walmart), pulled out all of our bins of holiday decor to sort through, and began!

I found my PERFECT tree right away at Walmart.  White, multi colored lights, 4' tall, and $25!  Sold.  I also bought sparkly purple polka dot ribbon and a few ornaments from Walmart for the tree.

After sorting through my years and years of holiday decor, I needed a few other things for my tree so I ran to Michael's, Target and Kohl's.  I wasn't about to let this tree sit half decorated!

I hit the cupcake jackpot at Kohl's.  They had a few super cute cupcake/gingerbread type ornaments and a cupcake tree skirt!  Tada!!  My cupcake tree dreams came true!

I also thought this would be the perfect place to have my yarn trees!  Lacking some display space, so they are on the windowsill for now. 

I also pulled out some of my other colorful Christmas items to set on my desk.

So happy to have one little room with Christmas cheer! 

Halloween Pups

We had a blast on Halloween seeing the cute neighbor kids in their costumes!  Sprinkles and Chimi love Halloween because they get to see new friends at the door every couple minutes, however they do not love the costumes that come along with it.  Cracks us up, though!
We put a little cupcake dress on Chimi, and we kept saying she was a Little Girl for Halloween.  One of my friends commented on the photo of them I posted on Facebook and said she dressed as Sprinkles, which I thought was so cute!
Sprinkles doesn't love her bull costume, but it kills us with how funny she is in it!  The little rider always tilts to the side.  Poor Sprinks!  
What do people do for entertainment without pets?