Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: Year In Review

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! It's so fun to think about the new year to come, but today I'm looking back at 2012.

This will be quick.  The first half of the year things were still crazy and I wasn't blogging..Soooo, we'll jump in with July.
In July I started sharing my daily themes for the summer. This one was my favorite!  Try It Tuesday. This particular day we tried the ol' Mentos in the Diet Coke trick.  The kiddos loved it!
A favorite from August was Pinned it and Did it: Super Giant Bubbles
yes, that's my finger at the top of the picture

September came and I shared how my daughter's Girly Room Redo was going. Loved it! Still love it! The original link to the picture I totally copied is in that post.  (I already had picked similar paint).
My brother and sister-in-law also were married in September. That was a personal favorite! Photo Friday

In October I got my act together and got a few things organized around here. Some are still organized, some are not. I started with the pantry.
In November I shared my favorite fall decoration/project. Kid-Made Leaf Garland. It was so fun to make and I loved them on the mantle! I always think it's great when you can work your kids into your decor!
And December came quickly and we made my Great Aunt Ruth's hot chocolate. December is filled with so many great thins...but I picked this post because I did something different. I put whipped cream in the mug for the picture. Then I drank it. Amazing. Life-changing. Well, maybe not life-changing, but pretty good! Way better than a marshmallow!
And yes, we did get a better camera on Black Friday. Love it! Now to learn how to make the best use out of it!
I'm so glad to be sharing some fun stuff with all of you! All of you out there in the blog world are great I love getting to know you!
Here's to a great 2013!
We're kicking it off guessed organization post!  So predictable, right? But it feels so good to get things back in order after the holidays. Check back on Jan. 2 for a post on how I organize my stuff in the bathroom!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year's / Winter Wreath

Can you believe that it's just about New Year's?


Today I made and put up our New Year's wreath. I love how it turned out! Just because Christmas is over, doesn't mean we can't have a seasonal wreath! Winter is the season, right?!
I saw this pattern on The Nesting Place sometime last year. I've tried several times to find the post, but haven't so far. Check out her blog anyway, I know you'll be inspired!
So, I made this little chalkboard sign out of the cardboard backing from a scrapbook paper pack. It is simply tied on so I can remove it easily when I am done informing people that it is 2013. I think I'll put an initial with it for the rest of the winter or maybe I'll leave it plain because I'm crazy like that.

Super simple if you want to whip one up.  It is just a straw wreath with these petals of felt. I didn't take step-by-step pics. Sorry. If you have any questions at all about how to make the wreath, or would like me to make you one, I'd love to help you out!  Just ask!
Speaking of 2013, do you make resolutions? Maybe you do One Little Word with Ali Edwards? If you don't know what that is, you simply choose a word, or let one choose you if you're feeling drawn toward something, and let that be your theme for the year. You remember it. You live it. you make it a part of your life. A couple of years ago, my word was SIMPLIFY. Then last year my word was IMPLEMENT. I felt I had started some great things with simplify and needed to carry them out the following year. Make them habit. Hence the word implement. Tonight and tomorrow I'm trying to figure out which direction to take.

What are you all doing for resolutions or goals? I'd love to hear them! Just leave a comment and tell me about it or leave a link to your blog if you've written up a post!
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Debriefing

Back at 'em!  Hope your Christmas was great!  We had a relaxing time at home. Just us.  This was the first time we weren't with my family. I had mixed feelings about it but really, it was the most laid back, relaxing Christmas ever. 
We had plans to go up to Minnesota like we always do, but my Grandma, who has Alzheimer's, was getting over pneumonia and our kiddos were very sick. Grandpa and my mom also decided that it was time to move her into the nursing home. Not what we wanted to see, but necessary. We definitely didn't want to get them sick with whatever we had and complicate things worse. So we stayed.

Instagram: prairiegirltosouthernbelle

On Sunday, (day 5 of fevers) we were running out of some things and I hadn't been out of the house in a LONG TIME! Jason picked up everything on my list including my favorite drink at Starbucks. Thanks, babe!

Like after Thanksgiving, I wanted to do a little debriefing. I'm not sure what will happen next year, but there are some things I wanted to remember so I can be more prepared.  And, please, if you have a tradition that you love, please share!  This is all open right now and I'm looking forward to starting new traditions with our littles!

Have wrapping done before vacation starts.
Maybe a dance party in the living room? Something silly and fun!
Bake cookies for Santa on christmas eve or day before.
Make up a plate of cookies for Santa and write a note for him
Have a note ready for the kids from our elves, Carol and Dixon.
Christmas Day movie. We went to see Wreck It Ralph. It was fun to get out and do something fun!
Maybe be prepared to make gingerbread houses on Christmas eve? Looks like fun, but we've never made them. Of course, there'd be a glue gun involved. I'm all about easy!
dinner plan: we didn't really have one. It was great, but pretty thrown together.
presents plan:  my man and I really need to figure out  when we want presents to happen. I think they should open them earlier so they can play all day. He thinks they should wait.

Yesterday we (and by we, I mean I) was ready for the kids to get out and do something. We were cooped up with fevers and then a few rainy, cold days so their Daddy took them hiking up on the mountain. They had a blast and ended up being gone for 3 hours! I deep cleaned the bathrooms and started cleaning everything. 
I love our vacation and family time, but the cleaning kind of gets pushed aside.  This was good!
I hope you are still enjoying all the family time!  Have you started taking any decorations down yet?  I haven't but I 'm starting to feel ready.  Not sure when I should start
Check back later today or tomorrow for a New Year's wreath!  I've got my hot glue gun out and ready to roll!
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas To You

I hope your Christmas is filled with wonderful memories, traditions, and the amazing love of our Father!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

I made this for all the kiddos teachers this year. Thanks to the idea room it was so easy!  Click on over there for the recipe and even a cute label to print out!  (I didn't notice that the other night) The only difference in mine is I went the easy way and just used peppermint extract instead of peppermint essential oil that she calls for. I didn't want to make another stop that day.
2 cups sugar
1/4 - 1/3 cup almond oil
few drops of peppermint extract or essential oil
few drops of red food coloring of red juice (like from frozen fruit)
Mix oil and sugar and peppermint until you get a nice soft texture. Not too oily. (We don't want the colored sugar to run into the white in the bottle) Evenly divide the sugar into two bowls. Add coloring to one until you get the shade you like.  Now, using a piece of paper as a funnel, add your first layer to your jar or container. Tap it down so it's nice and flat. (I used the end of the handle of my potato masher) Now add your second layer and tap down. Repeat until the jar is full.
I read up on how long homemade sugar scrubs keep. It says they will last a couple of months and don't need to be refrigerated.  If you want it to last longer, you can add sea salt which is a natural preservative. 
To dress up the bottle, I just punched a circle out of Christmas scrapbook paper and a scalloped one for the label. Adding some Stickles glitter dressed it up a bit. A clear gift bag, some Dove chocolate and a little bakery's twine and we called it good! Make some as a gift or make some for yourself!
So, go check out The Idea Room. She has other scrub recipes too! And lots of great ideas!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Christmas Around Our House

I know it has been up for a while but I'm linking my house tour up to The Inspired Room and Cottage Magpie today. Click on over there and swoon over all the great ideas!  Start pinning for next year or change up some areas around your house now!  It's not too late!

If you have any questions, just ask! I love to answer them!!
Lots of these are Instagram. Find me at prairiegirltosouthernbelle I'd love to follow your photos too!

Epsom salt on the Lego table in the play room. Nothing a broom can't keep up with!  This has kept them busy for hours!  They LOVE it!
Each kiddo has a Nativity scene in their room that they can play with.

My card station. I keep our Christmas cards and letters in here.  The chair is in the corner of my kitchen. If I get a letter from someone that isn't on our list it's easy to get one out to them quickly and add them to our list!

Epsom salt!

Door knocker from my Grandma's house. One of those decorations I can't imagine not being out somewhere at Christmastime!

Love me some chalkboards!  Totally copied the lettering from Sugar Pie Farmhouse
Love you Aunt Ruthie!

Hope your enjoying this wonderful time of year!  Write a comment and add your blog link! I love checking out what you're up to!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Today I'm linking up over at Adventures of D and V for a tree party! There were some seriously beautiful trees!

Our tree isn't having its best year. Some of our lights were out when we started decorating so I hung what we had a bit spread out. Since then they keep going out. Right now it looks like we hung them in a striped pattern. And the decorations are simply put up. Not evenly spaced or distributed nicely.

Not my best year.

But I love the tree in the kitchen.  I love the green with the grey of the bucket,  

Instagram photos: find me at prairiegirltosouthernbelle
How's your tree doing this year?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quick Neighbor Gift and Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Toffee

Still need to give something to those great neighbors who always pick up your mail when you are out of town? How about the ones who stop and talk whenever they are out for a walk? Or the ones who watched your little one when your stylist needed to change your appointment and could only fit you in on a day he was home? (True story)

I needed something quick that looked fun.

1 bag of apples
Popsicle sticks
1 big bag of white chocolate chips
Colored sugar

Stick the sticks in the apples and set aside. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler (or a pot of water with a bowl on top). Stir until it is smooth roll the apple in the chocolate and let some of the excess drip off. Then roll in colored sugar. Let it set up in the fridge. Package and start gifting!

If you are going to eat one, let it sit out for about an hour or all the good stuff will just break off. Bummer.
Then I made this. 
Make it tonight. You probably have everything you need. 
1/2 bag of pretzels. Any size, pretzel rods, or none at all.
2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
Dove Dark Chocolate and Almond squares
Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350. Line  a baking dish with foil or parchment. Make sure there is one piece of foil an it is smooth. Lay your pretzels out in a single layer and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until combined. Keep stirring until it's thick an bubbly. Really, let it get really thick.  Pour the caramel over the pretzels and bake 5 minutes. Chop up chocolates and sprinkle over caramel. Bake one more minute, then spread chocolate around with a spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let it set a bit and then place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Remove foil and break into pieces. Keep it in a Ziploc in the back of the freezer...where no one else can find them.

If you liked these recipes or enjoy the blog, leave a comment, share the post!  Follow the blog! Become a Facebook fan! Find me on Instagram! prairiegirltosouthernbelle

And check out the great blogs listed below for some great ideas and tips!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

God's Got This

I am so in love with the little signs my kids leave that show me they are a part of this home.
There are no words to say how much they would be missed.
Always in heels when playing at home.
Full of love. Ideas. Creativity.
 This drawing has been up for 3 years now. My favorite.
We have no idea what God's big plan is. We are in capable of understanding. All we can do is our best to follow Him and rest knowing He has our families in His hands if we just give them to Him. They are His. 
He's got this.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Aunt Ruth's Hot Chocolate Mix

It's a chilly day here in the south!  Perfect for a cup of hot chocolate!
 My Grandma used to make the best hot chocolate mix every winter.  The recipe actually came from my Great-Aunt Ruth and I thought I'd share it with you all today! 
Aunt Ruth's Hot Chocolate Mix
1 lb Nestle's Quick powder (chocolate)
13 c powdered milk
1/2 c powdered sugar
12 oz powdered coffee creamer
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Keep in an airtight container.  Use about 1/3 cup mix with hot water. Stir well! Can use more or less for personal taste. Top with whipped cream and serve.
This recipe can be adjusted. If you like less chocolate, use less chocolate and more creamer.
And I'm totally loving these paper straws. The end.
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent Calendar: It's Not Too Late!

We are having so much fun with our Advent calendar.  I threw it together last week.  I meant to have it ready by Dec 1, but I just didn't. Then we were up in Nashville and it just ended up a few days late.  Oh well. We are still enjoying it!
 I taped some baker's twine to the back of an open frame.  Then I just folded some Project Life grid cards and clipped them up with mini clothes pins from Stampin' Up!
 Thanks to my stash of scrapbooking supplies....from when I had great intentions of being a super scrapbooker...the kids had some fun Christmas stickers to decorate with. I added wrote some fun things on the insides and away we went!  Good stuff! Dance party, decorate cookies, drink hot chocolate and read Polar Express, make a Christmas card for family time activities.
 I wrote the dates on the front of the cards.  (not done yet in picture)

And just for fun, here is Noah on the way home from preschool...

...playing at home...
...and taking a drink.
He loves his Rudolph nose!
Have a great week!
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