Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hitting the After Christmas Sales

Although it can be a little bit of letdown after all the fun and festivities of Christmas are over, there is one nice thing about the week after Christmas. That nice thing is the hunt for all the bargains you can find. I was given several giftcards for Christmas, including Michael's and Target. So I decided to see what goodies I could find and here is what I purchased.

Michael's had all these beautiful mercury glass style candleholders for 60% off so I had to grab a few of those. I also purchased several of these berry picks (ok, I bought all that they had) since they were only 16 cents each. I think I ended up buying 25 of them in different colors. They are so pretty I think I will try and use them year round.

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Target was the next destination. I am lucky in that our Michael's and Target are right next to each other.

My first Target find was this lovely wood curl wreath. I had been admiring these wreaths at Target for awhile, but it wasn't until they were marked down to $4.98 that I finally put one in my shopping cart. I managed to pick the very last one off the rack. It is missing a couple curls that are broken off, but they are in the back so they shouldn't be too noticeable.
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I also managed to buy the last one of these glittery bottle brush trees. It was only $3.50. Even though Christmas is over, I had to set him in our hall bathroom for a few days to add just a little bit of festive fun before all the decorations are packed away for next year.

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My final Target Christmas clearance find was this package of ornaments. They were only $3 for 24 ornaments and I loved the different shapes and the red and white colors. I'm still hoping to put up two trees next year so I can have one that is all red and white, but we'll see.

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Has anyone else found any great after Christmas bargains? I also picked up some ribbon and giftwrap, but I didn't think those were exciting enough to photograph and post.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Master Bath Revamp-The Before

I posted yesterday about how we are working on a little mini makeover of our master bathroom. It is not in need of a major overhaul, just a little polishing. We may be moving next year (not sure yet) so we didn't want to do anything too expensive or put a huge amount of time into the project. We simply wanted to work mostly with what we had while changing a few details to make it feel a bit more like a true master bath. Similar to what we did in our hall bath makeover.

One corner of our bedroom is currently the staging area for all the tools and supplies we have purchased and gathered for the project. This gives you a little hint on what's to come.

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But you can't share a room makeover without revealing the crucial "before" shot. I haven't posted photos of my master bathroom before because I really didn't like how it looked. Now I am posting it for the world to see all its boring, blah, plain jane potential.

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On the list of things to fix:

1. Flooring-This is a biggie. The white vinyl flooring is 15 years old and it shows. While I do like white on almost any surface, white floors are not my favorite. They are just not very practical especially with two cats that shed like crazy and love to hang out in the bathroom.

2. The big Hollywood dressing room style light fixture.-This thing has been driving me crazy for awhile. Does anyone look good under those lighting conditions?

3. The orangey oakey vanity-We can't afford to replace it so it's getting a new coat of paint. Hopefully, this paint project will go better than the "purple paint" fiasco I encountered while painting the vanity in the other bathroom.

4. Paint color-I'm over the blue. It's time for something fresh and different

5. Window treatment for the huge window over the bathtub.-In 5 years I have never put a curtain or blinds on that window. It's frosted glass so nobody can see in, but the window itself looks a bit naked.

6. Playing up the gigantic mirror-We don't want to get into ripping out the mirror, so we will work with it and try to dress it up a bit.

7. New bathroom hardware-Our cheapey towel bar is cracked and falling apart. Time for some sparkling new hardware to add the finishing touch.

8. Replace the faucets-The faucets are the cheapest kind you can buy and after 15 years have accumulated a large amount of gross and yuck. One of the handles is turning green, ewwww.

I'll be posting the various progress we make in the coming days and weeks. I hope to get this project wrapped up fairly quickly, but you know how it goes with home improvement.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back to Reality

I'm a little behind on posting today. It's so hard to get back to work and blogging after enjoying several days off. I didn't even turn on my computer for 3 whole days. I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Christmas celebrated with friends and family. (And kitties too!)

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We had some beautiful Christmas weather with snow flurries falling for most of the past three days. As a Midwest girl through and through, I adore snow. It's even better when you don't have to drive to work in it and can just curl up by the fire and watch the flakes fall gracefully to the ground.

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Mr.Delightful surprised me with a Wii gaming system for Christmas. Can you guess what we spent most of weekend doing? This thing is too addictive.

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Don't worry, we did manage to pull ourselves away from the Wii long enough to work on a mini makeover of our master bathroom. Stay tuned for more details on that exciting project.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yummy Gourmet Popcorn

I have one final, last minute Christmas project to share. I found some gourmet popcorn recipes on the wonderful blog, Our Best Bites that I wanted to try. I chose to make the Peppermint Bark Popcorn and the Cinnamon Bun Popcorn to give out to various family members while we attend the five other Christmas celebrations we have in the next three days.

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I won't go through the steps and recipes I used. The ladies on Our Best Bites do a fantastic job of explaining the steps in detail. Which is great for kluzty cooks like me. The recipes were fairly simple although they took a bit of time and left quite a mess in the kitchen. I believe I used every single mixing bowl I own at least once. It also led to an arguement between Mr.Delightful and I about the proper way to drizzle chocolate. I think I won.

I did alter the recipes slightly because I used chocolate almond bark instead of vanilla because I forgot to read the instructions carefully. I think it still tastes good though. Or at least good enough.

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I packaged the popcorn in cute Christmas treat bags I picked up on sale at Michael's for $1 for a pack of 20. I added a Christmas bandanna I purchased up at Hobby Lobby for 65 cents to the bottom of a basket to provide a festive way to carry them all.

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What do you think? Anyone hungry for some pepperminty or cinnamon carmel popcorn?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Favorite Ornaments

I posted photos of our tree during the Christmas home tour post here. While I said during that post that our tree has a bit of a mix of random ornaments, there are several ornaments that do have sentimental meanings. I thought I would share a few of those favorite ornaments.

First I like to purchase an ornament on all of our vacations. I love lighthouses so I picked up this ornament of the Mackinac Point Light during a trip to Michigan.

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This one I bought this year during our wonderful Colorado trip.

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I also love this little Rudolph ornament that my MIL gave me several years ago. Aren't they the cutest reindeer couple?

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This stuffed cat ornament I have had since I was little. I like that it looks like one of our cats.

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This little reindeer is one of several that a friend and I made while in high school. She is simply made of two clothespins glued together and a face painted on. This is one of the lady reindeer because she has a flower and bow. The boy reindeer look the same, but without the flower and bow.

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While this isn't really a favorite ornament, I thought I would throw in a picture of the ornament I made when I was in first grade, 20 years ago.

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So those are a few of the ornaments that make up the hodge-podge collection we have hanging on our tree. Do you have a mix or ornaments or a pretty collection of matching ornaments? I hope to have two trees someday so that I can have one of each kind.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Wrapping

I will admit that I am not that great at the actual wrapping of the presents as far as covering them in paper. I just can't ever seem to cut the paper in a nice, straight line. I also stuggle to fold and tuck the ends neatly. After so many years of wrapping gifts, I would think I would get the hang of it by now. I really need to watch some of those gift wrapping instruction videos on You Tube.

However, I do manage to a pretty decent job with the ribbons, bows, and other package decorations. I prefer using fabric ribbon as opposed to plastic ribbon or simple gift bows. I try and stock up on ribbon during the after Christmas sales so that I have a good supply of various colors and sizes to make presents look pretty and elegant.

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I also have a fun time adding on dollar store ornaments and decorative floral picks. When I can find cute gift boxes for cheap, like the house shaped box below, I will snap them up.

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How are you at wrapping? Do you get those nice and crisp ends tucked under neatly? Do you like using fabric ribbon? Do you have a cat like mine that likes to pull all the bows off the presents?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kitchen Table Centerpiece

I had this simple arrangement in the center of our kitchen table. The kitchen table needs something small and simple, because it is where we eat all our meals and I don't want something that's too bulky and in the way. I added these berry picks to a votive holder and rested it on a small mirror. However, this arrangement seemed just a little bit too wimpy for the size of the table.

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So I turned it into this. I placed the votive inside this glass bowl I have leftover from our wedding. The bowl makes the whole thing looks larger and more noticable. Plus the bowl should keep the cats little paws out of it. Adding a little bit of fake snow makes it even more festive. The best part it that it took me about 30 seconds to complete.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

DIY Glitter Ornaments

I decided to whip up a few quick and easy decorated ornaments using the plain glass ornaments available at several different craft stores and some scrapbooking stickers. The stickers are by Making Memories. Here's how they turned out.

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I planned on filling them with fake snow, but I ended up running out. I filled up one of the ornaments with curled ribbon, but I ran out that too. I'll have to watch the after Christmas sales to find some goodies to use for filling up the ornaments. For now, they will stay empty. I was happy with how cute the bird stickers looked though.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gift Bows Created From Trash

Do you know that you can recycle old magazines, catalogs, or newspaper ads into gift bows like this?

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I saw the idea online somewhere. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. All you need is an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet ripped from a magazine or other source, brads, a hole punch, and scissors or a paper trimmer. If you have a regular size hole punch, you will need large brads with a top big enough to not pop through the hole. If you have a small hole paper punch(found in the scrapbooking section) you can use smaller sized brads.

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I used a Kohl's jewelry ad for mine. Who doesn't like a bow made out of diamonds? I also used these star brads that I had from my scrapbooking supply.

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First step is to cut the paper into nine strips. Cut across the shorter side so your paper strips are 8-1/2" long. If you have a paper trimmer, this step is super quick. If you have to use scissors, it will take a bit longer.

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Next make a loop at one end by flipping and wrapping the end of the paper around to the back.

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Repeat on the other end, reversing the direction the paper is looped under so it looks like this.

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Carefully punch a hole through the center of the looped paper strip. Add your brad so that the pointy ends stick out the back. The back is what you see in this photo below.

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Keep repeating this step with the remaining paper strips. Move the loops around as you add each layer to create a nice, even bow. It is a bit tricky to hold all the loops on as you add the new layer. You keep adding layers onto the bottom and pushing the first layer towards the top of the brad.

When you are finished the bottom should look like this:

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The top should look like this. You can see the top of my star brad if you look closely in the middle.

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That's all there is to it. You can use any type of paper that you want. I thought it was a clever idea to make bows out of things you might throw away.

Linking up the Shabby Chic Cottage:



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