Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Stair Progress and New Years Inspiration

 



I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, and a safe New Years! I typically spend New Years Eve in pajama's and am asleep by 10:00, ha! And this year, I beat my record: I was in bed before 9:00! However, we had some fun family games before I hit the hay!




This one was by far the kids favorite! So funny watching them dance around and giggling while trying to knock over the water bottles! Such a great way to end the year. 

This year has been so crazy and I know that we were all looking forward to it ending and starting a new (hopefully better) year. I know, for me, so much of my thoughts have been "I can't wait for this year to be over!" And other similar thoughts. 



So, for my upstairs shiplap display board I found a quote that is super meaningful to me this year. I designed it and had my silhouette machine  cut it out. Then, taped it to my shiplap board using painters tape. 




Such a good visual reminder to constantly place my hope in Him! I had the kids put up a New Years resolution up there. I had plans to do a fun craft with them and never got around to it. Story of my life. It's also why I'm just now getting around to posting this and it's already January 6th! Some weeks are harder than others. Winter is especially hard for me, and it's easy to fall into the winter blues big time! So I am determined to keep my eyes focused on Him, make time for laughing and playing with the kids...and exercise. Yeah, I know I just said a bad word ;)  




I also wanted to share a quick update on our staircase. Last spring I posted about how we tried to redo our stairs. I was far from pleased with the results. We spent the ensuing months debating what to do with it. We couldn't decide and it got pushed to the backburner. 

Then, we decided to buy a runner for the stairs and put some leftover flooring that we had on the landing. We got mostly done installing the laminate on the landing. Bought the runner. And then couldn't figure out how to get the stair nose piece to work. Therefore, the project got put on the back burner....again!

Jeremy had two weeks off for Christmas break, so we decided that we he was going to install the runner on the first set of stairs! 




I was very helpful. I took pictures and made encouraging remarks. True story. He couldn't have done it without me. ;) 




I was going for an easy application, so we simply used carpet tape and staples. Hopefully this will hold up to my wild and crazy children!




Still haven't figured out the landing...and the runner wasn't quite long enough to do the second set of stairs (oops!), but we got one thing done! Woot woot! After that's all done I want to add a stair skirt board as well. Maybe we'll be all done a year from now. If we're really motivated. Ha!




I'm so pleased with this runner though! I love it so much that I bought it in an area rug size for the living room. 


I am itching to get in the garage/shop and build some furniture! So hopefully I'll be posting more of that in the near future! I just need to locate my missing motivation. Do any of you have some you can lend me?


Until next time,

Monique

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas Decorations

 

My Mom and I with our day's accomplishment!


How is everyone's December going? I can't believe how fast it's going! It seems like this year went by so slowly, but the holiday season is speeding by. Does anyone else feel that way? We've been doing a lot of baking, watching Christmas movies, and spending good quality time together. 

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I wanted to share the rest of my Christmas decorations with you all! Now that Christmas is less than a week away, I'm finally done decorating. Ha! I felt like I was constantly adding decorations, rearranging and tweaking them. Grab some Christmas cookies and a glass of milk, because this is going to be a long post!




I showed you my Christmas trees in this post, however my kittens just destroyed the branches by climbing in them! I had to take them all apart, and my dear husband bent all of the sagging branches back in place. Since I had to redecorate it, I decided that our living room tree needed a little something more. So I added a different ribbon, and more of it! I LOVE it now! It makes me happy every time I look at it!




You can also see how I decorated my entertainment center. I put my beloved carousel here. This ornament was from my childhood and I just adore it! My kids have always loved turning it on and listening to the music every year. Such good memories. 




I twisted a couple old garlands together and added some cute berry and pinecone picks. Since I removed the dead light strands, I added these lights to them! I love these battery operated lights! I also have another set of them above my mantle.




Over on my entryway table [you can see all the details on my entryway table here], I have this beautiful garland from Costco. My husband surprised me with it and I couldn't love it more. It is the thickest garland I have ever owned, with lots of branches, pinecones and lights. It's seriously so beautiful! It's stunning on it's own, but I just had to dress it up a bit with red ribbon and candy canes! 




On the wall above it, I have these gorgeous paintings that my Mom made for me! Aren't they just the cutest?! I started with the one big painting in the center and then begged hinted to her that adding one on each side would be amazing. She took the hint. :) I love it so much! Thank you Mom!




It really completes this space! Nathan loves to put up the Christmas village every year. I may have to do some thrift store hunting next year for more pieces so he can set up a whole village display!




Our living room is really hard to photograph. I have dark floors and dark furniture, combined with the light streaming through the windows. But it's cozy and comfortable :) 



Speaking of cozy and comfortable, I love all of my Christmas pillows and throws! Perfect for snuggling on the couch and watching all of the Christmas movies!




On my kitchen table I have my centerpiece I made. I was so excited to decorate it with fun Christmas decor! [You can see how I decorated it for Fall here 



This centerpiece has really been a fun way for me to dive into decorating. I've really enjoyed arranging things and trying to figure out what looks good in it. 







Over my shiplap display board I hung a simple garland and my favorite red beaded garland. I added red bows to the two top corners and let them hand down the sides. Hanging this was so easy using command hooks!





My son loves photo bombing :)



Over my mantle, I put a large piece of plywood I painted white. My husband cut out the letters on our CNC machine, and I used this adorable wreath as the letter O! I attatched the letters with painters tape so that I can use it again for different seasons! I also put together my garland. I wrapped lights and ribbons around it... 



...and added cute berry picks, pinecones, and red Christmas balls. It was so much cheaper to put one together myself then buying one that already came like this!



I love this cozy spot in the morning! Sitting in front of the fire with my coffee and the pretty lights.




And looking at my adorable snowflake ornaments!




The kids also love sitting here and reading our growing collection of Christmas books!




I put these reindeer and this snowman on the TOP shelf so (fingers crossed) the kittens don't get to them. So far so good!




I added the berry branches that the kittens love to get into, so we'll see if they notice that I put them up there!



I originally had these stems in this farmhouse vase over my sink. That didn't last long. I have been moving them around the house trying to find a place where they can't get to them. 



The kids have been loving this hot cocoa bar that I shared with you in November! It makes my dark kitchen feel a bit more festive too :) 



On our kitchen counter is also where I put our family advent calendar. This is our 9th year using this and it has been such a great tradition with the kids. Aside from when they fight over where the pieces should go.



Now I'm off to sample some of these goodies. Just to make sure they're safe to eat, ya know? :) 

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas tour!

Until next time!

Monique

Friday, December 4, 2020

Grandma's Peanut Butter Candy

 

Grandma's Peanut Butter Candy



Hey hey friends! I have been waiting to share my absolute favorite Christmas dessert recipe with you! This peanut butter candy is not only heavenly, but also near and dear to my heart. This is my Grandma's recipe. As far back as I can remember she used to make this and send it to us every year for Christmas!




My Mom and I have carried on the tradition every year since moving to Idaho. And I swear, every year we make more trays of it than the year before! We bring it to every party and event through the holidays and it's great for gift giving and goodie exchanges. 


Red Ceramic Bakeware 

It's also such a quick and easy dessert to prepare when you're rushed for time. Only 5 ingredients! Butter/margarine, peanut butter, rice crispy cereal, powdered sugar and chocolate chips.


Check out this post to see my Christmas trees


First, microwave the peanut butter and butter.




Give it a good stir.



Toss in the rice crispy cereal! I love this kid. He's always so eager to help me. Unless it's doing the dishes. Just kidding :) 



Add in the powdered sugar. I mix it for as long as I can using the spatula. But eventually you'll need to get in their and get your hands dirty.


Food storage containers

Or let the kids do it...



I never measure the powdered sugar, but just add it until it's not too sticky but not too dry. If you add too much powdered sugar, it will be crumbly when you eat it. Still delicious, but a lot more messy. 



Spread it out into an 13x 9 casserole dish. When I'm making large batches, I'll use the disposable ones. 



Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and then microwave in 20 second intervals until smooth. This part is optional, but I like to drizzle just a tad of vegetable oil into the melted chocolate and stir. It makes the chocolate smoother and helps it set quicker. 



Drizzle that luscious chocolate all over the peanut butter crispy mixture.



Spread it all over and then let it set. You can pop it in the fridge to speed up the process. I actually prefer to eat them chilled. 



Cut it up in pieces...



...and devour!



Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 cups peanut butter

3 cups rice crispy cereal

1 16 oz box powdered sugar

1 12 oz bag of chocolate chips


Instructions

Microwave peanut butter and butter for 3 minutes. Mix.

Add rice crispy cereal and powdered sugar. Mix well with spatula, using hands to finish mixing.

Spread mixture in 9x13 pan. Pat down and make it even.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 45 seconds. Then in 20 second intervals until melted and smooth.

Let stand until chocolate is firm.  You can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process.


Enjoy! I better get up and do the dishes. Unless I can get my son to do it. ;) 

I'll be sharing more Christmas decor soon!

Monique


If you are craving something else: Try my Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies   They're delicious! 

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Tiered Tray Hot Cocoa Bar

 



Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Even though it's been a hard year, there is always something to be thankful for! I'm putting the finishing touches on my Christmas decorations and spending some quality family time. We are watching Noelle all cuddled up on the couch. This sounds like the perfect moment for some hot cocoa!

Speaking of hot cocoa, I have something fun to share! I've seen these tiered trays everywhere and wanted one for a long time. However, after seeing the $50+ price tag, I decided that we had enough scraps to throw one together. 





Sadly, this is the only picture I got of the build process. I really need to get better about remembering to take pictures as we build things! It was a pretty simple and quick project using scraps, wood glue and and a nail gun. Gave it three coats of white paint and it was ready to decorate!





I was so excited to decorate it for Christmas! I decided to make it a hot cocoa bar! The kids are always wanting hot cocoa in the winter. Plus it sure makes for a cute display! I added candy canes, these cute red and green striped straws, and my cute little red truck that my husband made for me!




On the bottom tier is a cute little jar of crushed peppermint, a mug with fun twirly ribbons...




... a container of mini marshmallows, a cinnamon & sugar shaker, and a Noel red beaded garland that I draped around it. I looooove beaded garlands! I already have half a dozen red beaded garlands wrapped around my tree. But every time I see one I can't help but want another one! This one and this one is on my wish list right now! 




I love this so much! Alright signing off to make the kids some hot cocoa and finish watching Noelle!


I'll be back with more Christmas decor soon!

Monique