Friday, November 30, 2007

Little Birdies

I am on a bird kick right now. Why? I don't know because I was never really a bird person. My mother always decorated with white doves at Christmas...on roping, on the branches of the tree and even on the top of our tree. When we were kids we could never undertand why the heck there was a big white bird on top of our tree? Now I look back and realize what a great idea it was. My mother was a great decorator especially at Christmas. I have some of her old doves now but just like to put a few percherd here and there. So maybe that's why I'm liking the birds right now.

I just listed these two in my shop and had such fun making them that I wasn't going to let them go but I can always make more right!?

Has anyone ever seen these candy bars? I always get them at Marshalls. I don't know if Marhalls is everywere or if it's just an east coast thing. But they always have them for every holiday with these vintage images and I think they're great.

I think I am going to make an attempt at an advent calander tonight. I might just make 25 tags and just attach it to something. Nothing like the last minute huh?

I am also thinking about having a giveaway. Who doesn't love a give away? I have a lot of "things" left over or that I'm not using. I will see what I can gather over the weekend. So stay tuned...

Tomorrow I am planning on doing something that is the one thing I do not enjoy doing for Christmas! Taking my kids picture for our Christmas cards. Bless their little hearts because they put up with me making them do it over and over, changing poses, etc. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cookie Exchange...Yae!

Just found out that Scrappy Jessi is hosting a cookie exchange on December 4th! I love baking cookies during the holidays and love getting ideas for more so stay tuned!
I haven't really started Christmas shopping until today. Well, I ordered a few things that came in the mail and we did get my two older sons new bikes last month so I guess I have started. But I haven't actually gone out to shop for Christmas untill today. This year is the first time in 8 years that I have had some free time time with no kiddies. My youngest started pre-school this year so I actually have three days a week where for 2 1/2 hours I can do whatever I want! Of course I have to choose that time wisely but it is amazing how much I can get done in that time. I managed to get to three stores, stop for gas, come home and put the packages up in the attic, shop on-line for a bit and squeeze in a phone call to my sister-in-law! After everyone got home from school, I noticed the three of them hovering around something. Yes, I left one gift out that didn't make it up into the attic! Some kind of game (I don't even remember what it was) that I had to tell them was a gift for their cousin. Now what? You know they will remember and I already got their cousin a gift. Oh well, I guess I have some time think of a story.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Some More Christmas Goodies

I just listed some of these goodies in my shop . I've either made or used these things in the past and wanted to see if anyone else would enjoy them as much as I have.
The wired boxwood I love using to tie up my Christmas gifts! Looks great with sheet music or craft paper. As does the tinsel garland! What I love about this tinsel is that it is already tarnishing!

I got these great vintage milk caps from Joy and used them to make spools! I only have them selling right now in one yard pieces but if you are interested in purchasing more than one yard of either the boxwood or tinsel, let me know...I have lots!
I've also listed some tags and sweet little candy canes that look great tied onto a package!

That's about it! I'm back to doing some much needed house organizing. I spent about $200 on storage bins and containers at Target yesterday. Every year before Christmas I go nuts having to have everything organized before I decorate so it's time to get back to work!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My "Thanksgiving Eve"

I am very fortunate (at least I think so) to live in New York! Well, I actually live pretty much right in the middle of Long Island on the south shore. It only takes us about an hour to get into the city. We decided at the last minute to go and see the Thanksgving Day Parade balloons. What a blast! They start inflating them around 3pm and finish by 10pm. We went out to dinner first, so by the time we got there they were already blown up. It was probably almost as crowded as the actual parade itself but everyone was in such good spirits that it didn't matter! And my kids, they got such a kick out of it that it was well worth it. It is amazing to see all the work and time invested in this parade up close, and the people that work it were all so happy and friendly! The quality of the pictures aren't the greatest but enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Just wanted to wish everyone in blogland a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The best Chocolate Cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought that with the holidays coming I would post this recipe for, what I think, is the best chocolate cake. I just love to bake and have tried a lot of chocolate cake recipes but for the past few years this is the one that I always go back to. It just hits the spot! Not to gooey, just nice and moist. Not too chocolaty (believe it or not), but almost refreshing. If you like amaretto then you will love the hint it gives this cake. If you make it, please let me know what you think!

Chocolate Amaretto Cake

1 package plain devils food cake mix

1 package (3.9oz) chocolate instant pudding

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sour cream

4 large eggs

4 tablespoons amaretto (almond liqueur)

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup regular semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12 cup bundt pan with spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess. Set pan aside.

2. Place cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, sour cream, eggs, amaretto, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Increase the speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again, if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chips, making sure they are well distributed. Pour the batter into the pan, smooth it out. Place in the oven.

3. Bake 53-56 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge, invert and cool on a wire rack 20 minutes more.

4. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Inspiration

Ever since I bought those ornaments I've been itching to make my own. So many of the blogs we read are so inspiring and I think that is why creative people love them so. I've been collecting "stuff" for years hoping to use it but not always knowing how. So today I went up in my attic, dug out some of that stuff including some of my own ornaments that I am willing to part with. So far this is what I came up with.

All it took were some tin reflectors (love what Joy did with hers here), spools, tinsel, a pipe cleaner, and the usual ephemera that we all have tons of. They could still use some tweeking but I had a lot of fun making them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Tags

I finally opened my Etsy shop, ACharmingStore and am looking forward to finally showing some of my "goodies". Here is a preview of what I listed today.

Thanks and have a good one!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Some Christmas Goodies

Another nutty weekend! But I did manage to get to one of my favorite antique shops for their Christmas open house. I went with my sister-in-law and on the way disgused how I was NOT going to buy any Christmas decorations because every year I say the same thing..."I have plenty!" Well here is what I walked out with...

Isn't this snowman a flashback to your youth? Well, mine anyway!

I think it's unbelievable how old these ornaments truly look. I also think it wonderful that there are artists that make them knowing how they really bring back sweet memories!

So these are the ornaments that I wasn't going to buy!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Beautiful New Banner!

I can't thank Heather enough! I think that if she could have reached through my monitor and strangled me she just might have and I would not have blamed her! I started off in one direction and ended going in another. But anyone who is thinking about using Heather should know that she has a ton of patience and talent! I truly love how it came out! Thanks again Heather!!!!

I've been so anxious to get going with this blog but life has been nuts lately... I have three boys and thank god all of their fall sports ended this weekend. For now, just my oldest is playing basketball. My sister-in-law lost her dear father last week to a long battle with MS. I wasn't able to make it to any of the services because they would have rather of had me with their two boys and adorable new baby girl so it was a house full of kiddies (which I love)! Also decided to do some shopping last week at the mall. Was very successful with getting a lot of clothes that my boys needed. On the way home I decided to stop at another gap and when I got back in my truck, discovered that it had been broken into and the few hundred dollars worth of clothes were stolen along with my phone, earpiece and ipod. The good news is that when I got home I found the ipod under the seat. They must have dropped it, thank god, because I just got it.

Halloween was a blast! There is house around the corner that is pretty run down but is so appropriate for Halloween because the owner, every year, dresses up like a witch (green makeup and all). She stands on the roof and throws down candy and silly string. It's such a big deal to my kids (and me) that they look so forward to every year.

But now it's a new week, hopefully things are calming down a bit, and I can concentrate on this a little more.

Now lets get to business. What I have really been wanting to do is give a sneak peak at what I love to do. These are some of my goodies that I'm thinking about selling. I've bought but never sold on Etsy yet but now I'm thinking about it. I use to sell alot on Ebay but for some reason it's not as fun anymore.

So, I would love any ideas, opinions or advice that anyone may have! In the meantime, thanks for looking and have a great day!