Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Christmas Breakfast Gift Basket

Who doesn't love breakfast?
With just a few fun and quick-to-put-together items you
can warm the cockles of someone's breakfast-loving heart!

Once upon a Christmas we had a fabulous neighbor
help us out with something a little challenging.
To thank them I put together this breakfast gift basket.

It was pretty simple and fun to do.

I picked up most of the non-food items at HomeGoods or TJMaxx.

Start with some really cute Christmas plates.
There are four in this set packaged in a nice box.
Sorry I didn't take a picture of them alone.

Pile in the goodies.
I've thrown in some maple syrup sporting a Santa hat.

Next add some ready-to-mix pancakes in a mason jar.
I can't remember which recipe I used, this one or this one...
but I'm leaning toward the one that adds butter.
Because butter makes it better, right?  Right.

Just mix up the dry ingredients and add a tag for
the instructions to add the wet ingredients.
If you want to deliver the whole package...
include some milk, eggs, and butter in the basket.

My basket also included a bag of Christmas Cappuccino mix...
perfect for chilly mornings...or evenings...or lazy afternoons!

If you can, add in a jar of homemade jam...this one's peach.

Stick some cute labels to the tops of your mason jars.
Make it festive!

Tuck it all in a basket with some tissue,
or as I have here, a snowflake canvas bin.
Add a fun dish towel - which may or may not ask a dubious question - and
some absolutely necessary red and green striped straws!

And there you have it...
A fun and easy gift you can throw together at almost the last minute.

Now, I just have to ask you...
Have YOU been naughty or nice?

I refuse to answer that question on the
grounds it may tend to incriminate me.

At any rate...
I hope you and your family have a wonderfully magical
Christmas surrounded by love and joy and the peace of the baby born in Bethlehem.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Stenciled Dresser Makeover

In a shocking news release...
I have NOT dropped off the face of the Earth!
But that is a story for another day.

Once upon a time I wrote a little story about a clock.
In the course of that tale you were introduced
to a started, although long neglected, project.

Enter the dejected dresser...

This dresser, or chest of drawers, once belonged to my mom.
While it was the first real furniture she had growing up,
it wasn't particularly pretty, and she had no sentimental attachment to it.

You can see in the picture above that at the time I took this
picture, 4 1/2 years ago, I had already started the redo.
However, that had been another 2+ years before that.
I know, right?

It had these mid mod grooves and sharp, tarnished, and
deformed metal pulls where the knobs are now.
You can see the color of the metal on the top pulls,
although those aren't the same style.
The ones I had already removed were bent hook-like things that
gouged your flesh should you get too close when passing by.

Since it is actually solid wood it made my job a little easier.
I filled all the grooves with wood filler and sanded them smooth.
I also filled the holes for the top pulls so I could drill new holes
for the wood knobs to match the other drawers.

I somehow neglected to take any pictures between the beginning and end.

I painted the bottom with home mixed chalk paint.
This was a sample I had of BM Revere Pewter.

I started out painting the whole thing and didn't like it.
So I sanded the paint off the top and went with stain.
I usually cheat and use the stain/poly mix because I'm lazy efficient.

Once it was painted, I used this adhesive vinyl stencil I ordered from Etsy.
(It doesn't look like that seller is currently active)
It was just what the doctor ordered.


I distressed it ever so lightly around the corners and sealed it with wax.


I used the same stain from the top on the knobs, too...
(which are just basic wood pulls I picked up at Home Depot)
and the finished piece is beautiful.

And now for a few too many pictures...

Here it is in it's home in the guest bedroom...
which I will try to share sometime in the near future...
or before the end of the year at least!

I love this transformation!!!

I hope you'e enjoyed this makeover.
I do have a few other things to share.
I haven't been completely idle in my absence...
just unable and/or unmotivated to write about it.

I hope some of you re still out there!
I've missed  you!

Hope your having a great summer!
See you soon...

Sharing here:


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Snowbird Ornament Giveaway from Tree Classics

Hey, folks!
I hope you had a fun and safe Halloween and the only
bad spirits you encountered came from a bottle.

I know it's not quite Thanksgiving,
but it's time to start thinking about Christmas.
Making lists, checking them twice,
figuring out if you've been naughty or nice.

I can't really help with the naughty or nice part,
but I may be able to help with the decorating!

Tree Classics has asked me to help you make your
home into a winter wonderland this Christmas.

Founded in 1976, Tree Classics™ has a long history of
designing the World's Finest Artificial Christmas Trees.
We have since expanded our range of holiday offerings to
include artificial wreaths, garlands, and various accessories.
Our lasting success is a result of our dedication to quality
and personal service that delights customers year after year

I'm partnering with them to give away this
adorable set of Mini Snowbird Ornaments.

The splendor of the outdoors comes alive with
Tree Classics' Assorted Mini Snow-Bird Ornament Set.
These Christmas tree decorations capture the charm of
snowbirds perched on evergreens in the winter.
With a bristly finish & glitter embellishments,
these snowbird ornaments are perfect against the
rich green foliage of a classic Christmas tree.

Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below and
enter to receive these sweet little snowbirds.
The contest runs through 11:59 PM MST on Nov. 11
and is open to U.S. residents only.
For more details, see the terms and conditions below.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Love From Your Mummy: A Halloween Chalkboard Care Package

It's time once again to remember your favorite college students,
far away friends and relatives, and loved ones serving overseas.

Yes, I know I'm a little late. Again.
I was out of town and just got this finished up.
You can pin it for next year. was worth the wait!
It's Love From Your Mummy!!!

A totally awesome Halloween Chalkboard Care Package!
I'm almost more excited about the box than the stuff inside!
But I'm a dork.

I started off painting the inside with black craft paint.
I added orange polka dots with more paint.

Use different coordinating scrapbook paper for the flaps.
On a side note...I love scrapbook paper.
But I don't scrapbook.  So There.

I wanted to make the outside cute, too.
I started off just painting it like the inside.
Then I had a brilliant idea!
Chalkboard, baby!

The cardboard kinda soaks up the paint a little making the surface a little rough.
I knew it would be easy to replicate a chalkboard look even without chalkboard paint.
I did go ahead and rub some chalk over the surface and wipe it
off with a paper towel before painting for more authentic look.

I haphazardly, but precisely (lol), painted my words with white paint.
I didn't want them too perfect, but I wanted them to have nice form.

Then using a sanding block I lightly distressed the entire thing and lightly dusted it off.

The result was a beautiful thing.
Just look.

I did two full sides...

Love from your Mummy
May contain: things that go bump in the night

The other two sides I just filled in with mini chalkboard scenes.

My furry helper approved...

But wait...what about the Halloween treats inside????

I made up a bunch of these adorable Halloween S'mores treat packs.

Each one has 4 graham cracker halves,
2 mini Hershey bars, 2 pumpkin peeps, and one ghost peep.

Mr. Ghost looks a little angry.
Maybe someone ate his I Scream.

Look how cute they are!
I just love them!

What good is a Halloween care package without a good movie.
Sara doesn't like scary movies so I always look for
something a little more on the fun side.

I know she hasn't seen this one...and it's a musical to boot...
Little Shop of Horrors is the perfect choice.

A little trick or treat candy, some decorations,
other random stuff...and you've got yourself
a howlin' good Halloween care package.

Full of Love from your Mummy.

  I hope you've enjoyed this last minute Halloween gift idea.
I know I had way too much fun creating it.

The lady in the mailroom at the college told Sara
she always knows when a box comes in for her.
I always decorate them in some way.
I think she's really going to like this one.

I've got a little giveaway coming up next week so be sure to stop by!

Until then...
beware of those things that go bump in the night.

Scaring up a little fun here:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Outdoor Movie Night

Hey there!
I wanted to share something fun we did recently before
the weather got too cold for you to do it, too!

We hosted an outdoor movie party and it was a blast!
Even if we did get rained

It's so fun and easier than you think!
We used a cheap shower curtain for our screen and clamped it to the back fence.
I only wish I'd gotten one a bit bigger or maybe two.

We asked guests to bring camp chairs and/or blankets...
but we had some available also.

I researched inexpensive projectors with USB
connections and chose this one I found on Amazon.
I won't be the next destination for the Sundance film festival,
 but for $58 it works pretty great!

It does have its own speakers but we hooked up
some computer speakers we had along with a spare woofer,
 and it sounded awesome!

We just connected it to our laptop to play the DVD.

Once you've taken care of all the tech's time for food!
Always make sure you have plenty of tasty treats,
but keeping it simple means no stress eats!

In trying to keep with the movie night theme we had corn dogs,
single size candy, and of course, POPCORN!

I think Sara and I made popcorn for almost 2 hours straight in the air popper. Oooof.

I found the NOW SHOWING chalkboard on Amazon,
along with the character concession cutouts and the popcorn bags.
You can find a lot of those things at Hobby Lobby, too.

To add to the fun and let guests participate in the movie choice,
we included a URL to a SurveyMonkey questionnaire.
Invitees were able to vote for their favorite of 3 movies and
let us know what their favorite movie night snack is.

It made it easy to pick a movie everyone would enjoy,
and make sure we had good treats.

Let me say...The Princess Bride in the backyard is so awesome.
As I said, we did get rained out about half way through.
It hadn't rained in our area for WEEKS!!!

Families with young kids went on home...
everyone else helped get the equipment out of the rain
and we finished the movie inside.

Even with the was totally worth it and so much fun!

I apologize for the dark pictures.
It's not easy to snap pics in the dark ;)
I hope you decide to make a movie night...
even if you have to do it next year.
I think we're starting a new family tradition!

Till next time...

Rolling out the red carpet here:

Crafts a la Mode
AKA Design

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Easy Yummy Crockpot Chicken Soup

I think I see fall coming!

That means time for sweaters and cozy bonfires and changing leaves...and SOUP!

Don't get me wrong...I'm NOT ready for what comes after fall...ugh.
For now let's just stick to soup.

Once upon a time I posted about my world famous chicken soup...
I've been meaning to revisit seriously is super good...
you just have to add a little more broth to make it soupier.

This is a variation of that recipe that you can do in the crockpot.
What's not to love about that?

This time I used fresh cut carrots and onions...
well...because that's what I had.
It was worth it and I'd do it again.

I did still throw in a packet of Knorr vegetable soup mix.
It just adds a little oomph.

You need a BUNCH of chicken broth.
A bunch.
Oh...and chicken.
Put it all in your crockpot with some seasonings...

After the chicken is completely cooked, you could take it
out and let it cool and tear it up or cut it into bite-sized pieces...
or you could use a handy-dandy mix 'n masher and just tear it up right in the pot.
Yup. Much easier.


When you've decided it's just about ready,
throw in a couple cups of noodles and let them cook.

Then you're ready to enjoy some seriously good chicken soup.

Totally Yummy, Seriously Easy Crockpot Chicken Soup
  • 3 large boneless skinless breasts, about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced and diced
  • 5 - 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I use the jar kind and used a tbsp or so...I like garlic)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 packet dry Knorr vegetable recipe mix
  • 1 square Knorr Caldo de Pollo bouillon
  • 8 cups (64 oz) chicken broth
  • about 1 tsp salt, and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups egg noodles (I used the old fashioned style) or 1 cup rice

  1. Place chicken breasts in crock pot.  Top with chopped onions and carrots.  Add garlic, olive oil, and spices.
  2. Pour in chicken broth. Stir in soup mix.  Add salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low about 8 hours until the chicken is cooked and the veggies are soft.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, shred in the pot or remove and cut up.
  5. Add noodles (or rice) and cook until soft then turn off heat to prevent mushy noodles.

Relish the cooler weather.
Make some soup.
Enjoy it immensely.
You're welcome.