Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Update

Yay!  I finally have a new computer!  Thank y'all so much for the suggestions.  I really appreciate it!  We were able to pick up a Dell for a really great deal, thanks to the Christmas specials. 

Oh, but it would have been nice to pick up a Mac!  I had one in college ... in fact it was my first computer and I loved it!  One day!  BTW, the first laptop we brought home crashed right away.  My sister is a huge Mac fan and said, "It's a sign ... go get a Mac." :)

We really had a nice Christmas.  We stayed here in town and had everyone over to our house.  Bitty Baby has been sick with a cold for a couple of weeks and she took a turn for the worse on Christmas Eve.  

Right after opening presents Christmas morning, she threw up everywhere.  Big Daddy and I just started laughing hysterically because whatcha going to do?  

I'm so glad my family braved the germs and came anyway!    It was so much fun to be around my girls and my niece and nephew.  Kids make Christmas so much fun!

My sister gave Sister a personalized set of scrubs.  Oh my goodness, they are hysterical!  She had so much fun listening to everyone's heart with the stethoscope.

I think is my favorite pic from the day.  My mom gave Bitty Baby a rocking dog and she loved it!  I just love the look on Sister's face ... so sweet.

The next morning, Bitty Baby did not look well at all and so we brought her to the doctor.  I'm so glad we did!  It ended up that she has a mild case of pneumonia.  After a shot and some antibiotics, she is feeling so much better!  We were supposed to go out of town to visit Big Daddy's family, but it looks like we're staying here for now so little one can get some rest.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!  I've really been trying to soak in the true meaning of Christmas ... our Savior's birth. Every year I say I'm going to slow down and every year, things just get so hectic.  This goal is definitely a work in progress for me!

Now that Christmas is over, I've been thinking a lot about Mary and what she must have been thinking. Being a mom brings a whole new meaning to the Nativity for me.   

This fall, I did Beth Moore's "Jesus the One and Only" study and really enjoyed our time learning more about the birth of Jesus.

I love the verse from Luke's version of the Nativity that talks about what Mary was thinking when the shepherds visited Jesus and spread the news of His birth ...

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

What a sweet verse because Mamas really do ponder so much in their hearts about their little ones.  I think the time right after Christmas is really my favorite because I'm able to quietly ponder the true meaning of season.

On a completely silly note, I have a hair appointment tomorrow and am in the mood for a new do for the New Year!  My hair is naturally wavy and it's gotten so much darker and curlier since I've had my girls. I have to straight iron my hair everyday and I'm thinking about going crazy and going curly.  

I think I'm going to bring this pic tomorrow .... we'll see if I actually go through with it ... ha!

P.S. - Excuse the formatting on this post.  Windows 7 and I are still trying to work out our friendship. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Please help a girl out!

Hi Sweet Blog Friends! I need your help!

My laptop led a good life, but sadly it is no more and died this week.  I've been having trouble with the DC adapter port for a few months now.  And, it decided to take it's last breath ... yes, just a week before Christmas.  Sigh.

Big Daddy and I had agreed not to exchange Christmas presents this year, but it looks like we are giving each other a computer!

There are some great sales going on right now, but the choices are overwhelming. 

I would love to hear what kind of computer you use and why you love it ... or don't!  Oh ... that would be lovely! 

I'm a little bummed and so I'm having Eggnog ... for dinner.  Ha!  I'm breaking my health kick ... but don't worry ... I measured it out with a measuring cup.  Don't diets make people do the weirdest things???  :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes!

Welcome! I'm so excited to participate in the Nester's tour of homes! Yay for Christmas!

The theme of my Christmas decor this year really revolves around one thing ... repurposing! 

I didn't have a big budget to spend on holiday decorations, so I had to dig into my Christmas stash and make the most of what we had already.

Let's start inside!

I'm obsessed with vintage Shiny Brite ornaments. One of my favorite things to pull out at Christmas time are my Grandmother's Shiny Brites ... I just love these lime green and aqua ornaments!

These are glass and I have a toddler.  Not the best combination.  Ha!  So, I just hung them on our breakfast room chandelier. We all get to enjoy them this way!

Here's our front entry. This is pretty much what it looks like all year round.  I like to decorate around what we already have in our home, rather than replace our everyday things.  So, the Christmas things here are pretty subtle.  For me, that makes things more homey! 

I added a couple of vases of holly from our yard and filled this crystal biscuit barrel with cheapy ornaments I bought when I was in college.

I love frugalista finds!  A couple of months ago, I bought this crystal nutcracker and crystal angel for .99 cents each at goodwill.



I tried these in a couple of places, but they just didn't make sense.  I knew I wanted them to be somewhere with plenty of light. So, I put them on a silver tray of crystal decanters that is there year-round and I love them here!  They blend in, but when you do a double-take, you see Christmas!


Here's our Willow Tree nativity that sits in a corner in our dining room. 

Big Daddy gave this to me one Christmas and I just love it!  I'm amazed at how much detail there is in these simple figures. 


Mary with Baby Jesus is my favorite.  Jesus' birth means even more to me now that I'm a mama.


Now, for the living room! 

Here's our babyproof Christmas tree!  Bitty Baby is 19 months old and into everything!  So, instead of pulling out the breakable ornaments and saying "Don't touch" all season long, I decided to simplify and put only non-breakable things on the tree.  The colors of everything are red, green and gold.


The only things I bought new for the tree this year are some red metallic mesh (which I LOVE), lime green glitter snowflakes from Dollar Tree, and supplies to make pinecone ornaments on the cheap.  This was definitely a stress-free tree!


I think decorating the mantle is my favorite thing to dress up every year. 

Maybe because I love stockings so much!

The mantle is still a work in progress!  I am on the hunt for some squatty, gold candles to finish the mantle.  Hopefully, I'll find them before Christmas :)

Big Daddy collects a Christmas village, which he L-O-V-E-S!  He wants to have a gigantic village one day and then invite people over for "the lighting!"  But for now, this spot will have to do!


For a little fun, I wanted to do a tree for our girls.  I thought about getting each of them a little Christmas tree, but it wasn't in the budget this year.  (Although, I might have to pick up a pink one for them after Christmas!) 

I already had an ornament tree, so I bought some super cheap hot pink and lime green mini-ornaments from Wal-Mart. 


This sits in their bathroom and they love it!


That's it for inside, so let's go outside!

This grapevine wreath usually hangs undecorated on the door to our backyard.  But, I added some rustic decorations for Christmas ... and all for $1!


I spotted these jingle bells on a Dollar Tree door hanger and I thought they would work here.  So, I deconstructed the hanger and attached the bells to the wreath using the original twine that came with it.


Then, I just added some holly from our yard to the bottom.


Finally, here's our front door, which ties in with our tree with lots of fun, metallic red mesh! 

Thanks so much for stopping by Little Mama!  I really had fun posting these pics and am really excited about seeing the other posts!  I love to get inspired!

Merry Christmas!!!

To link back to The Nester, click here. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Southern Pecan Bars

Warning!  This recipe is not for the faint of heart!  It calls for lots and lots of B-U-T-T-E-R!  And, that's what makes these Southern Pecan Bars SO good!

Here in the South, nothing says it's the holidays to me and my peeps like pecan pie.  These Southern Pecan Bars take pecan pie to a whole other level!

So here's the recipe:

Southern Pecan Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup salted butter, softened (no subs)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup salted butter (e.g. 10 2/3 TBSP)
3 TBSP heavy whipping cream
3 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Sift flour and powdered sugar. Add butter.

Cut 3/4 cups softened butter into flour and powdered sugar until it resembles coarse meal

Pat mixture on the bottom and 1 1/2 inch up sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. 

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool pan on cooling rack. 

Once crust is cooled, bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream to a boil over medium high heat. 

Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups chopped pecans.

Spread mixture evenly over prepared crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Cool bars completely before cutting. 


I'm too embarrassed to show you the dent we've put in these goodies tonight.  As I was trying to take a pic of the finished proudct, Big Daddy stuck his hand in front of the camera!  Can I just tell you as soon as I took this picture, this cookie was a gone pecan! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Frugalista Find - $6 Vera Bradley gifts!

Need a last minute gift?  Don't want to spend a ton? Well, my sister found this adorable frugalista find!

She heard about these super cute Vera Bradley eyeglass cases for only $6!  (These are $17 regularly).

Everyone may not wear glasses, but we all have a pair of sunglasses, right?

Several patterns are available on the Vera Bradley website.  You can see more selections here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekend Update - yes, we have glitter in our hair

Something very strange happened around here Friday ... it snowed!  We heard stirrings on the news, but didn't think it would actually happen.

But, low and behold ... it did!  We just got a light dusting, but hey, that's a big deal around here!

What's even crazier is that it snowed last year, too.  A BIG snow (at least for this deep South girl!)

Here's a pic of our backyard during God's surprise in 2008

Since it was so cold, we built our first fire of the year.  There's nothing better than a warm fire on a Friday night with the family!

The rest of the weekend was spent decorating for Christmas ... and, of course, chasing after my peeps.  The girls are so excited about the holidays and were amazed each time I opened one of the Christmas storage tubs.  They had so much fun looking through everything.

Not much made it out this year ... I just did the babyproof tree, the mantle, and put out a few other decorations.  I was strong ... I held to my deadline and if it wasn't done by Sunday night, it's going to wait until next year.  That's a pretty big deal considering I'm a recovering perfectionist.  Ha! 

Big Daddy helped Sister put the star on top of the tree and she was so proud of herself! 

A lot of my decorating time was spent "wrastlin" with the ornament wreath I've been working on ... I finally finished, well, sort of ... BTW, scuze my pics ... it was really rainy today, so the lighting was not so lovely

I followed the Eddie Ross tutorial, which basically gives great instructions to thread ornaments on a wire hanger twisted into a circle.  If only it were as easy as it sounds!  I had a couple of snafoos with this thing.  I'm 100% positive it was user error, though.

I bought these gold tone ornaments from Dollar Tree.  I loved the color and I really loved that they were glittery! I was feeling pretty smug since I hot glued all of the caps onto the ornaments like the tutorial recommended.  Then, I just threaded the balls onto the hanger and voila ... until the ornaments starting popping off.

I learned something new ... lots of ornaments have plastic caps ... did not know that!  So, sadly, the plastic part broke when threaded on the hanger wire.  I ended up wrapping these puppies with floral wire at the top and then attaching them to the wreath form.  Whew!

Finally, after help from my Mama and Big Daddy, lots of sweat, and a few prayers, I finished! It's definitely not perfect, but it'll do :)

But, do you see something wrong with this picture?


I planned to hang the wreath here ...

But, the command hook didn't hold it and the wreath fell, twice!  So, now it sits here.

Mama suggested I use it as the centerpiece for Christmas dinner ... maybe with a glass hurricane and a candle? Big Daddy suggested a mega suction cup hook ... now that, I would need to buy!

I can tell you, too, that this sucker has dropped glitter all over the house.  I even found some of the glitter in Bitty Baby's hair while we were at Wal-Mart this week.  So cute!