Well, this month was sort of a low month for me if you’re only judging by the amount of books I read. I went from a whopping 11 books for November to only 2 this month. I blame it on two things: 1) I was a little worn out after Novembers marathon reading & 2) I’ve been spending all my free time packing.
Hero by Alethea Kontis – I read another of Alethea Kontis’ books last month (Enchanted) and really enjoyed it so I thought I’d give this one a try. I really like that way she mixes up about 5 different fairy tales into one story. It’s fun to see how she incorporates them all. The main story line of this one is Sleeping Beauty, only the rolls are reversed – it’s a woman that has to go and rescue the prince. And while the Prince isn’t sleeping, he’s being held captive by an evil witch. Although I enjoyed the story of the Enchanted a little better this one was still a really fun read.
My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White – My sister recommended this one to me and I’m so glad she did. you know how some girls are obsessed with Mr. Darcy, and more specifically Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy? Well the woman in this book is obsessed with the Matthew Macfadyen Mr. Darcy (from the Kiera Knightly Pride & Prejudice). She’s convinced that she could never love a man that wasn’t like him, until her roommate forces her to go on 10 dates with the next guy to ask her out. Then, right as she’s falling for this guy, Matthew Macfdyens “twin” walks into her work one day and stares her down with his haughty superiority before he asks her to lunch. So now what is she supposed to do? She’s finally falling for someone, but the man of her dreams is showing some interest. I really liked this book and even finished it in one night
I live about 15 minutes from the cutest little old town center in the world – St. Charles, MO.
St. Charles is the site of the first state capital for MO, and it’s also where Lewis and Clark Expedition had it’s first and last stops before leaving and coming back into St. Louis. Because of that they’ve preserved the buildings along Main Street and converted them into the most charming little shops in the world. They also have the coolest Christmas tradition ever.
They begin the season the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a parade. During the parade you get to see all 40 of the Christmas characters that they will have roaming the streets for the next few weeks. Among them are Santa’s from different countries, The reindeer flight instructor, Mother Goose, the Ice Queen and Jack Frost and many more. But the best part is that each character has their own “playing card” that they pass out to all the kids when you meet them! They also have bands preforming and all sorts of great holiday things (and they redo the parade every Saturday). It’s super fun. Abi was only able to collect 25 of the 40 so we’ve thought about going back one night to see the lights and collect the rest, but it has been a little bit colder than Abi (or I) want to brave.
So here are our photos from the day, photo dump style. And if you’re ever in the St. Louis area for the holidays you HAVE to check out the Christmas Traditions in St. Charles.
^^Captains Lewis and Clark and their trusty dog Seaman.^^
^^ I love that all the shops have decorated for Christmas! Do you all judge a house on how it will look decorated for Christmas or is that just me? ^^
^^ Lewis & Clark Fife & Drum Corps // Father Christmas // Santa Lucia // WWI Santa ^^
^^ Christmas Angel // MacNicholas // Saint Nicholas // Frontier Santa ^^
^^ Reindeer Flight Instructor // Frontier Santa // Civil War Santa ^^
Hey all! First things first, let’s announce the winner of the North Pole Album Made Easy from We R Memory Keepers.
Congrats Shari!!! You should have received an email from me so please be sure to respond quickly. If I don’t hear from you by Monday I’ll pick a new winner.
And now onto our regularly scheduled programming
It’s that time of month again where I share a few of my favorite posts from around the blogosphere (that I found via pinterest) with you. Today I decided to go with Holiday themed posts. So here they are. A few of my favorites.
3 // Cinnamon Ornaments
I come from a long line of divine cooks. Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me. Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic. ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.
This is probably my favorite holiday cookie. It’s just the right amount of spice and it basically melts in your mouth when you take a bite.
The recipe came from my dads mom and I love that it’s written on her pink stationary from work. She was the Dean of Girls for the Hayward School District (Bay Area of California) during integration and she has some pretty amazing stories to tell. One of my favorites is about a girl that turned in a Home Ec. project the day of graduation so that she would be able to graduate and yelled, “It aint done good, but it’s done did!” That has kind of become our family motto since then – it doesn’t matter if you get it exactly right, just work hard, do your best and finish strong :).
Sift these five ingredients:
2 scant cups flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
Add to that:
1 cup sugar
1 unbeaten egg
3/4 cup shortening
4 tbsp molasses
Mix well. Fill end of teaspoon or roll in ball the size of a walnut and drop in 1/2 cup sugar.
Bake on ungreased tin at 350* for 10 minutes (or shorter – check after 5).
Sometimes I’m a little bit of a Grinch around Christmas time. It’s just all those decorations (gasp!). It’s not that I have anything against the decorations parsay. In fact, I LOVE Christmas decorations and have a TON of them (just ask my husband. he’s had to move them cross country about 5 times and is never very happy about it ). It’s more that I hate putting them up and then having to take them right back down. You see, I refuse to decorate before Thanksgiving and for the last 6 or so years we’ve always gone to stay with family for the week of Christmas. Which means I put everything up, get to look at it for about 14 days, go on vacation and look at other people’s decor, then come home and take mine all right back down. It just seems like a lot of work for 14 days worth of enjoyment, is all I’m saying.
But this year is a little different. I realized I didn’t need to get out EVERYTHING. I could just get out a very few of my favorites (ie – the tree and family ornaments, our stockings and the reindeer my mom painted). It was so liberating to have everything out and looking fantastic in under an hour!
Then I realized something. It looked so…plain. But I didn’t want to go out to the garage and get everything else out. So what did I do? I opened up my fabric stash to see what I had on hand. And this simple holiday bow bunting is what I came up with.
First, let me list the simple supplies for you:
(If you don’t have a die cutting tool you can use a pattern for a bow like this one from Oliver +S.)
First you roll, or cut out your bow pieces. I had a piece of 72″ red felt that was about 8 inches wide and that gave me about 24 bows.
Next just assemble the bow with the hot glue and let the glue set for a bit. Then you’ll have a little pile of the cutest bows you ever did see
Now all you have to do is string them together. It is so easy. Really, just thread your needle with a looong piece of thread then just sort of chain stitch them together. But remember to leave a space between the bows (if you want, of course). I also stitched a little knot on the back of each bow so gravity wouldn’t take over and move their position on the strand.
I used some red thread since that is what I had on hand, but now I wish I had used something with a little more width and stability because the bows like to turn and flip so the pretty “face” of the bow is rarely facing forward. Maybe a wire ribbon with a little more width would have been better. I’ll have to fix it for next year.
Once that’s done just go ahead and hang it up wherever you’d like! I tried it on both my tree and on the TV surround.
But now for what you’ve all been waiting for right? The giveaway! Well, We R Memory Keepers would like to gift to one of you lucky readers their North Pole Album Made Easy kit.
I can’t wait to try my hand at these Albums Made Easy starting with the new year. I’ve tried a few different scrapbooking styles throughout the years but I’ve never really stuck with it. This way, though, seems like something I could jive with. All I have to do is print the picture and stick it in a pocket with some cute little cards and it will still look fantastic? Sign me up!
This giveaway includes:
North Pole Journaling cards- includes 100 double sided journaling cards
Sheet Protectors- Includes 10 sheets
The giveaway will be open until Dec. 12, 2013 at 9 pm central time and the winner will be announced on the 14th. So enter soon and let all your friends know to enter too!
If you’d rather just purchase the We R Albums Made Easy and not try your luck (the Lifestyle Crafts Knotty die kit, or any other Lifestyle Crafts/WeRMemory Keepers products for that matter you can use the code MISSYDEAR and get 20% off your purchase anytime (that’s great if you’ve got any crafty people on your Christmas list this year ).
Disclosure: I am a studio member for LifeStyle Crafts/We R Memory Keepers. I receive products of my choosing in exchange for tutorials and projects shared on MissyDear.