Outdoor Christmas lighting

I love this idea from Martha Stewart using rope lighting to write messages outside…especially in such a pretty script.

And I can’t tell you how much I love and long for this picture…the stacked firewood, that adorable little red sled, oh, and the SNOW! One day I’ll get my White Christmas…one day :)

Heavenly Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’m finally joining in the Dare to DIY party that Kim’s been hosting for the past few weeks.

This week’s assignment was Dare to….Eat Cookies. Now I think that’s all one we can get on board for, right? :)

Heavenly Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 (11.5 ounce) package semisweet chocolate mega-morsels or chocolate chunks*
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted

- Combine butter and coffee granules in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until butter melts and coffee granuiles dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature (don’t let butter resolidify).

- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

- Combine butter mixture, sugars, egg, and egg yolk in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at lowe speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate mega-morsels and walnuts.

- Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

- Bake at 325 for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool cookies slightly on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

*I used half a bag of regular sized semisweet chocolate chips

Yield: 20 cookies

Source: Southern Living Incredible Cookies

These turned out to be so chewy and delish! I’m sure I’ll be making more of these over the holidays.

Happy baking!!

Tomato cage Christmas tree

Like most of America, we’re really watching our pennies this Christmas. I’ve made a lot of our Christmas gifts and am definitely shopping around for deals. I really wanted a little live or faux prelit tree to sit next to our front door, but after seeing how much those little suckers run ($70 at Lowe’s!), I knew I had to find a cheaper way. You’ve probably seen these tomato cage Christmas trees around the web..here’s my version.

What you need

  • a planter
  • tomato cage
  • 2-3 real or fake garland
  • 1 prelit garland or a small string of lights.

I cut the bottom ring of the tomato cage so it would fit into my planter. It fight tightly, so I didn’t need to secure it. If you want to, you could fill with dirt or styrofoam and secure it that way.

Then you just take your garland and start wrapping it around the cage. I started at the bottom and wrapped up. My garland had wire in it, so I just wrapped branches here and there to secure it to the cage. If you don’t have prelit garland, then wrap your lights around and you’re done!

TA-DA!

Since I had the planter on hand, I only spent $10 total on this little project! It took me around 15 minutes and even the husband was impressed. When he saw my supplies he was weary, but I proved him wrong :)

I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am preparing for Christmas!

Gift idea and freebie!

I love me some Christmas music. I’m a little ashamed to admit I started listening to it full time a couple of weeks ago. It just puts me in such a good mood!

Anyhow, I wanted to put together a little Christmas mix cd to give out on Thanksgiving and to other family and friends. Just a way to kick off the season. I stuck with the classics, so it would appeal to a broad range of people.

I could’ve gone out and bought cd cases, but I wanted to use what I had around the house, so I went with white lunch bags I had left over from our wedding. I dropped the cd in and folded the baggie over into a small little package, then tied them off with twine to look like a present with a tag that said ‘Make the season bright”.

Such an easy way to make a person’s season a little brighter :)

And because I love all of you and want to make YOUR season brigher, I’m offering the ‘Make the Season bright’ tags free for download. Simply click here, download and print! These are sized for a 2″ circular punch. They can be printed on sticker paper or on paper to tie on gifts.

Thankful

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. It was a much needed break for us. It’s been wonderful to see and spend time with our family and our baby murphy. :) We truly have so so much to be thankful for and should recognize how blessed we are year round!

Here are just a few pictures from our day…..


We were tickled silly to see our nephew, Alexander’s hair. It’s so cute!

Mark with our nephew Caleb and niecey Morgan

Me and the kiddos

Our nephews and niece!

Caleb waiting on the grub

Thanksgiving was nearly ruined when the sweet potato casserole hit the floor…but we somehow managed to survive without it :)

My sweet mother in law and her baby Bonnie.

Murphy was so excited to meet the rest of his family!

Happy Deck

I knew when I saw Karla’s deck over at Kim’s, that I had to pull a copy cat! I just love outdoor globe lighting. It sets such a warm, happy atmosphere. And our super dark, uninviting deck could definitely use some happy.

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We didn’t have all the materials laying around like Karla did, so we headed over to Lowe’s and stocked up. We bought 2″x2″ boards, which I painted white. Mark drilled them into the deck. We screwed in a white cup hook at the top and up the lights went. Total cost was around $53. We even sprung for the lights that do lots of cool actions for those times when we want to rave on our porch :)

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Just wanted to share. It was such an easy, quick and inexpensive project that has such a large impact. I love it!

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Book Wreath

This book page wreath by Living with Lindsay is just fantastic. I love it so much!

Tutorial here.

Fall Favors

I helped out on this project a while back for Lowe’s Creative Ideas. You wrap up bulbs and tie on instructions with a piece of jute twine. These are so simple and inexpensive. For full instructions, click here.

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