Category: new camera pix

cozy Christmas

Last night I attended a “Cozy Christmas” women’s event for our church. 

We had a nice evening of fellowship, fun Christmas games and of course all sorts of Christmas goodies & coffee. 

Today, I had lunch & Starbucks with my great friend, Lisa.  It was nice to slow down and enjoy great conversation & time with her. 

I have been working on my December Daily…can’t believe it’s December.  I will be posting some pix from my DD tomorrow.   

my chocolate chip cookie recipe

(Wednesday evening) I was baking some cookies for a Christmas party that is today. 

I didn’t have any holiday M&M’s, so I went with my no-fail chocolate chip cookie recipe. 

I love these cookies!! 

Here’s the recipe:

Chewy Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from an online recipe)


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour OR 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( I use the all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (I usually don’t use real butter, however this time I doubled the recipe and used half real butter and half margarine sticks)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (ok, this is where I go crazy… the more chocolate the better is my theory, so I usually use at least 2 cups of semi-sweet chips PLUS 2 cups of either M&M’s or chocolate chunks, or mini-chips or mint chips…whatever chocolate chips I have on hand)


  1. Preheat oven to 375′.
  2. Combine all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder & baking soda in medium bowl.
  3. Combine butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat until creamy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat until well mixed.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in morsels.
  6. I use the Pampered Chef large scoop to place dough on Pampered Chef Baking Stone, a few inches apart….(my PC stones have never failed me….my cookies never burn…although, you can use an ungreased cookie sheet if you want!)
  7. Bake for 16 minutes on a stone.  Remove from oven and leave them on the stone for 5 minutes, before moving them to the cooling rack.  Cookies will look lgolden brown on the outside and ooey gooey in the middle.  Cookies will continue to bake slightly when left on the stone.  (If you are using a sheet, 10-14 minutes are recommended or until golden brown and cooling for 2 minutes before moving to rack.)

Yield: 1 batch using large scoop = approx 35 cookies

*My recipe is peanut-free.  *Make sure to check your chocolate chip ingredients if this is a concern for you. 

Do you enjoy holiday baking?  I do.  Chilly weather makes me want to bake.  Maybe I should move my treadmill into the kitchen so that as I am eating my cookies I can walk off the calories instantly! lol


whoooo are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that everyone has had a great Thanksgiving, full of lots of delicious food and time spent with loved-ones. 

Well, as you can see above, this is the completed project that I made my lil miss hoot & her hunky hoot friend for. 

Here’s how:

  • First I gathered a few assorted pieces of cardstock.
  • Using my Cricut Expression, “Bags, Tags, Boxes & More” cartridge, I cut a bunch of “popcorn containers” (6 1/2 inches)
  • Using my bone folder stick (or whatever it’s called), I folded all of the sides & flaps.
  • The absolute best way to seal the edges are to use one of these adhesive applicators.  This is the perfect size to run along the edges.
  • After assembling the container, I simply press all of the flaps to make sure that the adhesive has stuck. 
  • Next I cut a length of ribbon to go around the container and then one to use as a handle. 
  • The ribbon that will go around the container, I ran through my sticker-maker.  I find that it is the best adhesive for ribbons. 
  • Using the computer, I printed up this little sentiment to place on the backside.  I wanted to give these to different people in our lives that we are very thankful for.  I wanted to be able to tell them that we are thankful for them.  I simply attached this with double-sided tape.  (I used a cotton-swab to ink around the edges a little.)
  • Using the cute little hoot tags that I had made previously, I attached them to the front.  You can use whatever adhesive you prefer.  I used double-sided tape and a little glue. 
  • I filled the bottom 1/3 with a few Hershey Kisses.  (Because they are yummy & because I needed something to help weight it down and make sure it would stand once I added the homemade chocolate lollipops.)  (Both the Kisses & lollipops are peanut-free.) 
  • I then filled it with crinkled paper, used for gift-bags.  I chose brown so that it would look like a nest…lol…  
  • It’s hard to see in the picture below, but I they are homemade chocolate lollipops, in the shape of owls.  (Very simple to make.) 
  • Here are the owls as they are placed in the container. 
  • Below is the finished chocolate owl bouquet. 

Who are we thankful for?  We’re thankful for YOU! 


meet the hoots


isnt’ she cute? 

meet lil miss hoot! 

and we musn’t forget mr. hunky hoot- 

i love owls!  i sat down with my supplies last night and worked on this project.  now, in this blog post, you won’t see the finished project, but i will show you the steps i used to make lil miss hoot and her hunky friend. 

  • first, i wanted to use my glittermist to make a colorful paper.  as you can see below, i first misted it with “caramel apple” and then with “peppermint stick”.  i thought that both of those colors would be fall-looking. 
  • while this paper dried, i stamped a bunch of little hoot bodies onto a piece of cream paper.  (later i realized, i should have switched that….i should have used the mist paper as the body and cream paper as the belly so that more color would show…oh well.)
  • hoot bodies are stamped with Wise Owl and Wise Owl Bellies
  • bodies stamped first, then wings, then i cut them out. 
  • using my Cricut Expression, i cut out many scalloped & unscalloped circles, different sizes and colors. 
  • on the smaller circles that weren’t scalloped, i then misted those with “caramel apple” mist.  then using a couple different stamp sets and the words “hoot”& “hoo!” i stamped the circles with those words. 
  • next came time for their cute little bellies.  using the paper that we misted at the beginning, i then stamped different bellies.  then cut them out. 
  • once i positioned the belly on the body, i would stamp it’s cute little beak. 
  • glue the belly on.  any basic adhesive will work. 
  • after the belly and beak on done, i used googly eyes, which i glued on.  ( i love the eyes!!! there are stamps that you can use instead if you don’t have any eyes on hand, but i happened to buy a small bag of these at our church garage sale this summer….i just couldn’t resist them!  especially for about 25 cents, i just knew there would be a project for them!!!) 
  • once the glue from your bellies has dried, you can then stamp on their feet…i learned the hard way that you don’t want a little glue seeping out when you apply pressure to your stamp….it’s best for it to dry a few minutes first. 
  • i then started to place the circles together, using different colors. 
  • once i got this far, i realized that my cute little owls were so nice and chunky, but once they are placed on top of the hoot background, you can hardly see the words….so, i had to break free from my habit of “centering” everything and start to play with positioning the owl so that you can read some of the hoots. 
  • as i finished up, i couldn’t resist putting a little bow in “her” hair and making boy & girl owls. 
this is only the first half of my lil owl project.  today i need to finish the other part. 

here’s a little clue about how these lil hoots will be used!!  stay tuned to see the finished project! 


…a few of my favorite days…

These are just a few of my favorite days (pages) so far!! 

Above, I used an old piece of sheet music, misted it with Caramel Apple Mist, to make it look even older.  As a result, the edges always roll up from being damp.  I love that effect!!!  The Santa is a gift tag.  He fit perfectly with the theme of my December Daily. 

On day 3, the Santa is a 3D sticker that I placed inside a frame that I cut using my Cricut Expression. 

If you aren’t familiar with a December Daily, let me explain!  It is a Scrapbook/Journal made PRIOR to December.  The idea was created by Ali Edwards (she is amazing!).  You pre-make a page for each day of December.  That way, when the holidays are underway, and you are stressed by the hustle & bustle, it will be much easier to simply insert a picture from that day, or journal about it. 

Last year was my first time that I participated in creating a DD.  I made one mistake.  I tried to “scrapbook” each page ahead of time.  I used titles and themes for each page.  Yes, they were Christmas-themed, but it made it more difficult, because if the page was themed with “Christmas Lights” and I didn’t end up doing anything on that day of December that had anything to do with lights, then it seemed to mess up my page.  In other words, I detailed it TOO much when I made the page. 

SO, (if that makes sense), this year, I am attempting to remember the “less is more” theory.  That way, when it comes to that particular day of December, I will be able to title the page using what fits. 

If you’ve never tried it…give it a whirl!  You won’t be disappointed! 


december daily 09 intro

I have been working on my December Daily 2009. 

This is just a glimpse of some of the pages that I’ve uploaded. 

The above page is an intro page.  This paper is so pretty that I didn’t want to cover it up!  The bird part actually feels like felt. 

This is a title page.  I used my “snowy embellishments” for most of the page numbers (December Day #). 

I’ve completed my December Daily thru page 15, but I haven’t uploaded all of the pix yet. 

I am hoping to have the entire DD completed in the next day or so.  I need to begin my Christmas cards…amongst other projects, lol. 

Ok. Time for a snack.  Enjoy your evening! 


snowy embellies

I am having so much fun working on my December Daily 2009!!! 

This year, I am going with a vintage snow theme…..I am making some embellishments for it. 

Here are some tips! 

  • Using my Cricut Expression, Accent Essentials cartridge, I cut out a bunch of different sizes of snowflakes and a few frames. 
  • Sometimes, especially on the tiny shapes, the little pieces don’t all come out, so I like to use my needle to push out the little pieces. 

Now, I am usually NOT a glitter person.  I don’t like the mess.  But I am looooooving this Martha Stewart Coarse Crystals!!!  I think that it looks snowy.  I also like the Coarse Crystals because I think it adds a vintage feel to the embellishments. 

  • Once the shapes have been cut out and extra pieces removed, using a glue with a nice tip, I simply trace the areas that I want to apply the crystals. 
  • It’s convenient using this little tray to catch all of the extra glitter, then it can be funnelled back into the bottle. 
  • I also discovered, that when you are holding your paper shape in your left hand, the Martha Stewart bottles are FANTASTIC because they have a FLIP-TOP LID!  Hello, you can do that with ONE hand!!!!  I love that! 
So, those are just a few things that I have learned while working on my December Daily…SO much FUN!!!!! 

button wreaths

easy peasy little button wreaths…here’s how!! 

you will need:

  • 2 scalloped circle punches in different sizes
  • small circle punch for the center, or i just used a knife/scissors
  • glitter-mist
  • buttons & thread/floss & needle
  • adhesives (glue/double-sided tape)
  • ribbon
  • hole punch/scissors

all i did:

  1. collected a few Christmas-themed papers/cardstock.  using your punches, cut 2 scalloped circles.
  2. cut a circle in the center.
  3. spray as much or as little glitter-mist on them…allowing them to dry for a few seconds, depending on how much you use.
  4. thread your buttons however you like.  i like my knots to be on top.  it makes it less ‘bumpy’ when gluing them on.
  5. adhere your two wreaths together.  (i used double-sided tape)
  6. glue on your buttons.
  7. punch a small hole for your ribbon.
  8. i strung both ends of the ribbon through to the front of the wreath, so that a little bow could be tied.  you can make your ribbon as long as you want.  i wanted enough ribbon so that it could either be hung on the tree or more-than-likely, used as a gift tag.  (i did put a tiny dot of glue around the front of the hole, to help hold my bow in the position i wanted) 

that’s it!! 

it’s really easy.  you can make them as detailed as you want.  try different papers, buttons, ribbons, the combinations are endless! 


Holiday Planner 2009

time for holiday planning! 

last year, i posted a tutorial for making a simple holiday planner

in years past, i have always preferred altering a notebook. 

this year, i chose to start from scratch.  simply using supplies that i already have on hand. 

for this year’s planner, i used:

  • chipboard mats for my front & back covers and as a divider between Thanksgiving & Christmas
  • bind-it-all, using the red binding
  • bind-it-all corner punch for rounding the corners (love this punch! it can cut through chipboard)
  • cricut expression, using the “beyond birthdays” cartridge
  • “marshmallow mist”
  • ribbon
  • self-adhesive metal closures
  • adhesives (glue, double-sided tape, sticker maker)
  • scrapbook paper (i used scraps of Christmas paper from last year’s projects)
  • Christmas cards that i cut apart
  • notebook paper (i actually cut pages from my past planners that were blank & resized them)
  • stickers (file tabs)
  • Sharpie poster paint pen (white) (love this pen)
  • Sharpie pen (red)
  • envelopes (old white ones i had on hand and craft paper ones for scrapbooking)
  • flower embellishments that i made using paper, flower punch, brads, and misting spray
  • Christmas themed diecuts

in other years, i have added lots of ribbon and dimensional embellishments, but because i like to keep this in my purse, i have learned that the more simple it is, the better it will “survive” the holidays. 

using 1 sheet of red textured cardstock, i sat down with my new cricut cartridge, “beyond birthdays”, and simply cut out as many items that i thought i could use.  i used most of them. 

then, (because i love the marshmallow mist), i simply sprayed them slightly, just to add a little shimmer. 

after that, using my bind-it-all, i punched all of the papers that i had gathered.  (chipboard covers, notebook papers, cards, envelopes etc.) i rounded the 2 corners of the covers.  then bound it all together. 
in my stash, i found these self-adhesive metal closures.  i removed the original black thread, and simply wound red ribbon around them instead. 
then i simply decorated it. 

my planner is divided up into the following sections:

  • Thanksgiving meal planning
  • Christmas cards (this is a new addition to my holiday planner.  not sure how i will list all of the names, i may print out the list and adhere it to the planner.)
  • Christmas Get-togethers (pages for each party/menu/shopping lists etc)
  • Make or Bake (this is for items that i hope to make/bake for friends & neighbors)
  • Sharing Christ’s Love @ Christmas (each year, we choose a way for our family to help those less fortunate)
  • Christmas Shopping Lists (friends/family)
  • Gift List of those items bought
  • Thank You Cards (i think it’s important to send thank you cards.  i’ve tried to teach that to my son.  whether it’s birthday gifts or Christmas or someone has just gone out of their way to be kind, we try to always send thank yous.  i’m not saying we don’t forget or overlook someone sometimes, but it’s always our goal.)  this section is new to my Holiday Planner.  i usually just jot down names on my to-do list, but i thought it would be nice to have it all in the planner.
  • Receipt Envelopes  (occasionally the envelopes over-flow and will need another location at home, but i try to keep most of them in my planner.)

so, that’s my Holiday Planner 2009. 

in the hustle & bustle of the holidays, this is how i try to stay organized!! 

let the shopping begin!