About to take a test drive

Alice over at Scott and Alice Family was my secret Apron swap partner for Mommy Holly’s Apron Swap. I received this wonderful package from her yesterday with the cutest apron and these wonderful goodies!

See how cute it is hanging on my kitchen wall? I’m about to take it for a test drive and do my baking for Tuesdays with Dorie. Come back on Tuesday to see what wonderful Valentines dessert we’re making.
I borrowed these pictures from Alice so you could see the whole adorable apron. Alice’s son Riley must be a wonderful young man to model for his mom. Thank you Riley.

She sent a few of my favorite treats like chocolate covered pretzels (super yum salt and chocolate). chocolate covered sunflower seeds which I was a virgin to, Werther’s originals and an adorable Valentines card for me and one to share and pumpkin cookie to go along with the pumpkin soup recipe. From what I see of her blog she is an exquisite paper crafter. Thank you Alice for such a wonderful surprise box!

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Secret Apron Swap Sneak Peek

Over at Mommy Holly there have been secrets being kept, fun secrets. She’s hosting the Amy Butler Apron Swap. Holly and I have agreed that we’re both nuts though. She’s moving and I’m remodeling so we went right down to the wire on this one. This was a secret swap so since I just mailed it yesterday, I’m not going to ruin the surprise for anyone playing. Along with the apron you were to send your secret partner your favorite recipe for the winter, and a nice note to let them know who you are! I sent the recipe for Rib Sticking Winter Soup YUMMY! I hope she likes it all.

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Ornament Swaps & the Secret Santa Shindig partner revealed

The Secret Santa Shindig was hosted by Kori at My Life as a CFers Wife. Christmas Ornament Exchange 2008 was hosted by Smoochiefrog over at In the Mind of a ThirtySomething mom. The 2008 Bloggers Ornament Exchange was hosted by Pampering Beki. The Island Life 2008 Christmas Ornament Exchange was hosted by Kailani at An Island Life. These are the ornaments I sent out:

I’m anxiously awaiting to see what comes my way.

This is what I sent my partner Rachel over at Something to Blog About. A set of hand painted Christmas tree bulbs, poinsettia salt and pepper shakers, hot chocolate mixes, a snowman cookie and tin, hot tea, Santa notes, Santa ornament and a Santa candle.

I received this adorable box from Jessica with lots of chocolate (made hubby SUPER happy) cute crystal candle holders, a little holiday clipboard, the cutest handmade card and an adorable soap basket with a hand knit washcloth and heavenly smelling soaps.
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A Very Vintage Christmas Swap

Heidi over at Foxgloves, Fabric & Folly was our fabulous hostess for A Very Vintage Christmas Swap. My partner was Ann over at Annie Fannie’s Green Acres. Ann sent me this awesome box. She used my love for Snowmen and sent these awesome ornaments and an adorable snowman hand towel. The candle smells heavenly and I really love the heart plaque that she made. It matches my guest room perfectly and looks great in there. Thank you so much Ann. I love it all.

The package I sent Ann was fun to put together. I found these awesome snowflake mugs and filled them with fun hot chocolates and snowman & santa painted cinnamon sticks. To that I added some Mistletoe Mocha Coffee, a snowman cookie, a set of holly salt and pepper shakers, snowman placemats, a cute hot pad, a quilted ornament and a jingle bell tealight tree.

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Headphone giveaway at An Island Life

Go check out the giveaway at An Island Life.

From Brain Nadel’s review: “The sound is nothing short of phenomenal, with balanced low, high and mid-range tones, particularly compared to the typical headsets that most schools provide. Capable of reproducing between 5- and 17,000-hertz, the Audeo earphone’s output is accurate, even at low volume. The big payoff is that kids no longer have to turn up the volume on cheap headsets into the danger zone in order to hear what’s going on.”

Check out Hear the World where you can find more information about hearing including how to protect your child from hearing loss. They even have a simulator where you can experience hearing loss for yourself. This valuable tool will make you realize how important it is take proper care of your ears. Win it!

Audeo has generously donated a Perfect Fit Earphones to one lucky winner! To enter:

  • Stop by Audeo before midnight, Dec 21st and check out these cool earphones.
  • Then go to An Island Life and mention in comments why you want to win this. That’s it!
  • A random winner will be selected and notified on Dec 22nd.
  • The winner will have 3 days to claim their prize.

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1000th Post and the Winners Are…

This is posting as the actual 1000th post a little sooner than I thought, but perfect for the end of the giveaway! Merry Christmas. I loved everyone’s answers. Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

Timestamp: 2008-12-11 15:12:46 UTC

Bloggershopannies said… I would love to win these they are so pretty. I have been blogging myself for a short period of time. You have reached a great point if you have reached 1000… I just posted and forgot what I was doing i was just happy for your for reaching 1000 but christmas for me has meant different things over the years when I was a little girl christmas meant making angels in the snow and waiting to go to grandmas for the biggest christmas eve party ever. As a young mother it was the delight of praying over each christmas present that I wrapped for my 6 children and my excitement to see them so excited christmas morn. Now christmas means all that and more now that I am a grandma and I can buy gifts for my little princess. Oh its begining to look alot like Christmas every where you look….

Timestamp: 2008-12-11 15:16:35 UTC

BloggerShannon H. said… Christmas means being with family and friends and experiencing the magic of the day. Eating lots of food, opening presents (home made or hand made gifts are the best) and signing carols. I miss my parents the most at this time of year but we always talk about them. They are ALWAYS with us.
I know I said 2, but it’s Christmas so let’s do some more.
BloggerKiy said… They are amazingly beautiful! Don’t put my name in your hat, not that I don’t love them (I do!) but we keep moving and things keep getting broken and it would crush me if one of these lovelies didn’t make it. (I have lost too many of my fav’s to moves already). I just wanted to drop a note to say what a pretty tree you have this year. Are you like me? Do you always say “this is our best tree ever”? BUT KIY I believe in eating on the good china and burning the fancy candles so you win anyway!

Timestamp: 2008-12-11 15:23:16 UTC

BloggerGretchen said… What a great gift! Lets see, to me, Christmas means family. It’s not about the goodies under the tree, but a time when I can be with the ones I love. Life is so short and each Christmas I get with family is precious to me. If we only knew which one would be the last, but I guess it’s better not to. How could we stand it?

Everyone please send me your snail mail addresses and I will get these out in the mail!

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~ 1000th Post Giveaway ~ & Christmas Tree Decorating Contest

Christmas Tree decorating contest is hosted by An Island Life

I did some quick calculating this morning and it looks like my 1000th post will be right about Christmas! So in keeping with the Christmas Spirit I’m having a giveaway for hand painted Christmas bulbs. When my cousin Jenn first convinced me to start a blog, I thought I didn’t have anything to say and it would be short lived ~ I guess I was wrong LOL, I seem to have found my voice!

So in keeping with the Christmas spirit I am going to give away sets of hand painted Christmas bulbs. In fact, I’m going to give away 2 sets, 1 for each 500 posts! No two bulbs are alike and every one of them were hand painted by me. When I first started making these it was as gifts. Hubby loved them so much he had me make enough to replace all our old bulbs and it’s always a sweet reminder to put up the tree and remember how much he loved something I did. He decorated the tree almost by himself yesterday and did a fantastic job. We put on the lights and garland together and then I unwrapped the bulbs and put them on hangers while he did all the ladder work.

So to enter and win your own set of bulbs, just leave me a comment telling me what Christmas means to you or a favorite Christmas memory by December 11th.

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Snowflakes and Sparkles Swap

My partner was Elizabeth over at Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

Elizabeth loves snowmen and I found this great AVON light-up snowman, (his beaded legs light up and flash) a hand painted snowman box, a fun snowman cookie tin, a snowman candle and some snowmen ornament twirlers.

Elizabeth also likes vintage ornaments and I found these 3 vintage ornaments: a red silk beaded cameo, a nativity and an angel that my grandma had made. And a vintage quilted one as well as 2 beaded icicle ornaments. I also had these great vintage snowflakes for making her own ornaments.

A while back she admired some lids I had on my blue ball jars full of buttons so I made some of those for her too. I found this adorable silver Christmas tree candle and then some chocolate caramel bars and hot cocoas for those cold winter nights.

Then today I received this great box from Elizabeth.

Inside was so much fun! She picked out some great Christmas fat quarters for me since I’m a quilter and then she wrapped my packages in fabric too – how neat! I’ve been thinking of making a small Christmas quilt as I’ve been reading the Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. There is also some gold wire ribbon that is just begging to be used this year.

Elizabeth sent me some ‘green tags’ which I love and have been making for 30 years. Great minds think alike? LOL Essentially you recycle this year’s Christmas cards into next year’s gift tags. It’s creative, fun and pretty too.

I never told her what they were, but she managed to send 2 of my very favorite candies too, Junior mints and my all time favorite – ribbon candy! As a little girl I would wait all year long for my dad to buy that seasonal ribbon candy and was always sorry when it was gone! Better yet it’s made right near her home.

She sent a this beautiful frame which is awesome as I am in the midst of finishing a family photo case in the stairwell that I hope to use in show and tell soon – perfect timing Elizabeth. The fingertip towels will be awesome with all our holiday guests.

There are also Christmas candles, a CD collection of Christmas songs I can’t wait to hear, a bead craft, a patchwork quilted ornament and a Santa pin. Thank you so much for a fun box!

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~ Home for the Holidays Swap ~

Don’t forget it’s almost time to ship your Home for the Holidays Swap Box!
My partner for the Home for the Holidays swap was Holly from Mommy Holly. For her I made this fun and funky Merry Christmas peppermint garland. To it I added a cute little Hallmark ceramic Christmas tree tray and dip spreader, this glittery (she loves glitter!!) clip on poinsettia, some fun snowmen ornament hangers for her little guy, some Christmas notes, a handmade quilted ornament, a snowman and boot sequin vintage ornaments, a cute little snowman kitchen towel with a cookie cutter and cookie recipe so she and her little boy can have some fun in the kitchen while drinking these cocoa mixes! For him I added in a little Santa doll, a gummy life savers book, a Santa Key and a snowman cookie tin. And of course as Holly says, “I love Reese’s trees… they taste SO much better in that shape hehe!!” so I threw in some of those! I hope she has a fabulous Christmas. I had so much fun making her box for her. What kind of a Christmas box would it be without some candy canes too!

I received this awesome box from Holly yesterday while I was cleaning and decorating. Perfect timing Holly! There was some great purple bead garland, a set of purple Martha Stewart ornaments, some awesome purple (my favorite color) vintage ornaments, a pine candle which works great in my holder (thanks for saving me a trip to get one LOL), a traveling tealight holder that is sooooooooooooooooo cute!, a bar of great English soap, some beautiful note cards that I’ll use as thank you cards for Christmas and some super yummy chocolate covered rice crispy bars that sustained us as we decorated the tree.
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Home for the Holidays Swap Update

Home for the Holidays Christmas Swap at 3 Sides of Crazy

The swap is closed, the partners have been assigned, now it’s time for the fun to begin. We ended up with a perfect number of ladies for swapping so no need for Angel Swappers. Please send your partner a note, check out their blog and above all have some fun for the holidays. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I have begun a Flickr group and hope to see lots of fun pictures in the weeks to come!

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