Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To Do....

It's almost 4:00 p.m. and my to-do list is seriously daunting.  I've already been to the orthodontist today and taken the kiddos to lunch at First Watch (our fave!!!)...and then I rushed home to quickly pick  up the house, make the beds and get the fire revived.  I've made another batch of Reindeer Munchies and a batch of Peanut Blossoms (they're in the oven right now).  I still have to roll out the sugar cookies and bake them, get my turkey in the brine, and make 2 pans of make-ahead mashed potatoes a la The Pioneer Woman.  Yep, I'm certainly on my way, but...

I still need to clean my bathrooms.  Anytime you're having company, your bathrooms HAVE to be cleaned.

I need to find some clothes, toys, and shoes for a family who lost everything to a fire this past week.  These items need to be donated by tomorrow, so I've got to pull down those tubs and find some things tonight! 

As I said before, I need to get the mashed potatoes made and in the fridge, as well as get the turkey into the brine. 

And of course, I have to make dinner yet!  Sounds like it might be a good night for leftovers or chicken from Der Dutchman!  :)

Luckily, I already have all of my gifts bought and wrapped.  The decorating is finished, the tree looks gorgeous, and my baking is almost complete.  Looking for that silver lining...  :)

Only 3 more sleeps 'til Christmas!  Are YOU ready?!?!

Monday, December 20, 2010


I'm tired. 

There I said it.  Sometimes I am so full of boundless energy, and I can go, go, go, go, go for weeks on end...and then I hit the wall.  I think this past weekend did me in.  The past two weeks have been insane around here for various reasons...taekwondo testing, swimming lessons, Noah being sick, Christmas shopping/baking/wrapping, and to top it off, we had two family Christmases this weekend, out of town...of course.  The weekend was gone before I could blink my eyes...and while it was great to see everyone, last night went much longer than I expected and we still had an hour and a half drive home afterward.  AND it was a school night.  AND my kids had been up until at least 10:00 both nights...couldn't be helped.  So you can just imagine what bedtime was like last night, can't you?  Lots of whining, crying, over-tiredness, and lots of "I don't WANT to go to school tomorrow!!!"

That being said, once they were out...they were OUT.  Same goes for me...but I still feel like I didn't get enough sleep.  I spent the majority of my day today cleaning and catching up on laundry so that tomorrow and Wednesday the kids and I can finish up some holiday baking and wrapping.  I'm making my lists of things that need done and my schedule for the food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (as well as appetizers and snacks in between...)!  I have a plan, and that is the important thing, right? 

How is your holiday prep shaping up?  What do you do to keep in the Spirit of Christmas while dealing with the stress of getting it all done?  I keep my tree lit as much as possible, try to do something 'Christmas-y" every day, and play endless Christmas music.  My favorite is Harry Connick Jr.'s Harry for the Holidays, but I really like my Michael Buble Christmas cd as well. 

I'm going to try to get some pics tonight of the cool little teacher gifts I picked up this year, so I can post tomorrow.  I think you'll love them...I sure do!

Only 5 more sleeps 'til Christmas!!!!  :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Shutterfly, baby!!

Hey folks!  This is the beginning of a few posts I'm going to write on some great gift ideas I'm finding, or have found in the past.  We can all use some good ideas, right?  So why not share them and we can all give gifts that make the people who receive them smile their brightest smile?? 

First up...SHUTTERFLY!!!

You all know I love to take pictures, right?  I mean, I'm pretty sure we've established that by now.  Digital photography is awesome because we can take so many pictures and see them before we print them!  How cool is that?!  Although many people are quick to point out that with digital photography comes the caveat that most people don't print their pictures anymore.  We're all sharing them through our blogs, Facebook, emails, and various other mediums.  And I agree!  I rarely print many pictures anymore because there are so many cool things out there to do with them digitally!  And of all the companies I've used, Shutterfly remains one of my favorites.  They have a great selection, are easy to use, and their customer service is actually helpful! What a concept!  So of course, being that the Christmas season is upon us, I thought I'd share with you why Shutterfly is a favorite of mine at the holidays.

Over the past few years, I've made my Christmas cards on Shutterfly, created a few photobooks, which are ALWAYS a hit (check out this one!), had ornaments made with a favorite picture to give away at Christmastime, designed my own mousepad, and of course, I've also had pictures actually PRINTED!!!  And you know the best part?  Those are just a few of the things you can do at Shutterfly!  A few years ago, my sister 'pirated' some of my favorite pictures I had taken and made them into a photo calendar for me for Christmas.  I loved it!  Check out their designs, peeps!  The grandparents LOVE these.

I've already made my Christmas card for this year too, and I must say, it's a keeper.  I had it done in under 15 minutes, and I do believe it's my best ever!  I'm not going to link to it though, because I don't want to ruin the surprise to all who will be receiving one!  But I AM going to link to Shutterfly's holiday card designs so you can check them out for yourselves!  It's so easy and they look great!  Maybe you've already bought your Christmas cards, or you're one of those awesome scrapbookers who makes her own cards...well, guess what?  You can also create birthday cards and thank you cards on Shutterfly, as well as invitations, blank note cards, address labels, name it, they've got it!

I typically give most of my Shutterfly purchases away, but here are a few photobooks that I made for myself...aren't they cute?
 So head on over to Shutterfly if you're having a hard time buying a gift for someone.  I guarantee you'll feel inspired to make something personal and creative!  I'm giving photobooks, photo tiles, and blank notecards to some special people this Christmas...what will you create?  Leave a comment and let me know...I love to be inspired!
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