December 27, 2011

Homemade Holiday [Gifts]

This was my first Christmas were I attempted crafty gifts. I think I did pretty well! Here are a few of the goodies I made for my friends and family. Thanks to my amazingly wonderful husband, who surprised me with a "non birthday birthday gift" - a Silhouette goodie making was fabulously changed! XO to that awesome man!!

Etched Glass: I was able to cut directly on contact paper making the template so easy to use.


 Cake Stand


I also made my mom a felt flower wreath for her front door. Go Dawgs!

What fun to give away things I actually made! It is so much more gratifying than store bought gift giving. Beware my may be seeing something similar come your birthday, new baby, new home... :-).

December 11, 2011

Traditional Ornament? What's That?

Every year we host a Turkey Fry for 30+ of our closest friends. We started it in the early years of our marriage and it's just grown and evolved over time. The two constants: fried turkey and the ornament swap.

I created the ornament swap the first year we hosted this shindig and made up the rules as we went that year. I wrapped our gift in the prettiest wrapping I could find and presented it as the "best". Well, that ornament went around the room at least 15 times, being stolen again and again. Our rule, NO OPENING until the very yes, you're swapping and stealing based solely on the wrapping. Genius! We know!

So after all that stealing and the back and forth, it was time to open and reveal our prizes. Our ornament, the "best" one, was a crazy, bright orange glitter ball with orange feathers. HIDEOUS and hilarious at the same time. From that moment on our gig was up and the ornament swap has taken on a life of it's own.

This year, we upped our game and now I'm left to ponder how I will outdo this next year!! Behold...the 2011 Judson proudly (we hope) displayed on the tree of the Rinkers......

(sorry for the poor pic, last minute shot with the phone camera)

December 2, 2011

Baking Sometimes....Equals Failure

You know, there are times when you can make the most delicious desserts and they actually even look good. Then there are times when you don't.

In this case, I didn't. It was great for a laugh though! Enjoy your holiday baking.

November 13, 2011

Quick Tip [Fall]

Want your house to be aromatic and wrap you up in that fall feeling? Simply grab a pack of mulling spices the next time you're in the grocery store. It can typically be found in the produce section. Pour a little (it goes a long way) of the mix into a small pot of water and simmer on the stove. Incredible!!! Try playing a little light classical in the background as you go about your daily puttering. You will never want to leave your house!


October 25, 2011

All Good Things.... [Home Inspection]

Well folks, never underestimate the value of a home inspection. If you use a professional home inspector that knows what he/she is doing, then you'll be grateful for the information you'll glean. We were all set! Our house on the market, a contract on our next house, just waiting for everything to fall into place. Or not.

The "next house" was not perfect, but oh was the lot and the neighborhood. Frankly, the house was fugly, but not beyond beauty with our TLC and big imaginations. However, the home inspection turned up the issue of basement water seepage and an ongoing black mold problem. UGH! Now, mold damage can be repaired and the mold itself cleaned away. What stopped us in our tracks was the dollar signs that starting adding up as we reviewed what steps would have to be taken in an ATTEMPT to stop the seepage.....meaning, lots of money with no guarantee that the problem would be forever solved. Our final's not worth the risk so we walked away. Bummer.

Since we were selling our house because we wanted to buy "that" house there is no longer a need to sell our house. So, off the market it goes! Now I must cruise Pinterest to see what kind of trouble I can stir up since we're staying. TTFN!

October 23, 2011

Open House, Everyone Welcome [Fall]

Thank goodness for the idea of opening your house to anyone who may want to see it in hopes of snagging the perfect buyer. We hosted our first open house today. While the folks that visited may not be ideal buyers {they're really just looking, but not seriously yet} it did give us some satisfaction that YES, there are people looking to buy houses out there.

The bonuses of open house day, the sounds and smells of our house! We simmered a mix of mulling spices, apple slices and cinnamon and had light classical music playing in the background.....if that didn't feel like fall, I don't know what would. One visitor told me as she was leaving, "your home is just so cozy" - maybe we do know what we're doing!

Additionally, the family stayed in the backyard all afternoon just enjoying the fabulous weather. My house has never been cleaner or stayed tidier for such a long period of time since we decided to take on selling it. It is amazing how much more free time I have now that I don't have to spend a good half day or more cleaning and scrubbing on the weekend. Ahhhh......maybe these changes will turn into habits and carry over to the next place. I guess we'll see.

And yes, I think simmering the spices is going to be a regular thing....I mean, why not have your house smell and feel fall cozy all season long?

October 12, 2011

It's Fall Ya'll [Pumpkins & Selling]

Wow! It has been forever since we last posted. It feels like a lifetime. Why so slack you ask? Well, we were sidetracked. In a big way. By a decision to sell our house. YIKES! I'm thinking maybe we're a little nuts. I mean, we have a gorgeous house that we've put 7 years of work into not to mention the money. However, there is another house beckoning for our's actually kind of screaming. So, jump we did!

If you're planning to sell a house and actually do it right, then there is a lot of work required. All those 90% projects come barreling at you all at once and they glare at you from every corner and crevice. It's menacing. Weaker souls would buckle under the pressure. But a DIY'er....we say, "Bring It!". Well, we say that until we're tired and sick of scrubbing, painting, scrutinizing and doing nothing fun at all. We are hopeful that our hard work on the front end will pay off at the back end. Fingers crossed!

I did make time for a quick, fun, crafty project that was totally necessary in the "staging" process. Curb appeal is the first thing to consider when thinking of house hunters. The front of the house has to look good or they are going to keep on driving. My front porch was looking, well, awful. So, I spoofed it up for less than $15 with two pretty orangish mums placed in pots I already had and these cute pumpkins...

780 is our street number, in case you're wondering. I thought it appropriate since I'm trying to make a statement to home buyers (mentally stamp my address on your brain). I just free handed the numbers on a few sheets of scrapbook paper. Of course I had to stick with "imperfection" as you can see from my 7....wasn't thrilled with how that one turned out. Alas, I think overall.....I get an A for effort. I've never done anything like this before. So, I cut out the numbers, then ModPodge'd {yes I just made that an action verb} them to the pumpkins and just for extra safety in the weather Jason painted each entire pumpkin with a sealer, so they are nice and shiny -check that sheen- and weather proof (as it's been raining for four days straight now).

Super simple and my porch looks loved now. I hope to actually get a good picture soon, should the sun come out again.