Friday, December 24, 2010

North Pole Elves....

Merry Christmas Everybody!!!!!!!!  Sorry I have been on a bit of a hiatus....but "Tis the Season" to be busy!!!  What little time I have had I just haven't been in the coloring and card making mood, KWIM. I almost forgot that I had these too little cuties colored and never posted them. Figured today was the last day that I could do that.

I just LOVE these little guys. Aren't they the cutest bunch of Elves you've eva' seen!!!  Of course they are from Mo Manning, she is an exceptional artist. Mo Manning and Elisabeth Bell are my favorite illustrators. There images just make you smile.

Copic markers
Primsa Color pencils
Martha Punches
Spellbinders Nesti for the circle
Ribbon (stash from Michaels)
Paper - ??

Hard to see in the photos but they are all stickled up. I always seem compelled to add stickles to things. Don't know what it is...just something I do.  You see the present in the one elves hand....fingers crossed I think it may be a Spellbinders Grand.  I am hoping Santa is good to me this year!!! I mean, I sent him direct links of where to purchase it

Now I am off to start cooking for tomorrows dinner. I am making Italian.  So going to start the sauce today, it has to cook all day. Then I will get the stuffed shells ready. I usually do lasagna, but I am changing it up this year. I have a bunch of desserts to make also. Two desserts will go to my moms house for Christmas Eve celebration and then the rest will be at my place for tomorrows dinner. So here is my line-up for dinner:

Stuffed shells
Pasta w/meatballs
Homemade bread
Ricotta Pie
Red Velvet Trifle
Pumpkin Pie
Spin/Artichoke Dip

The only thing missing is Italian Wedding Soup. I always make way to much stuff, so I took that off the rotation this year. However, I will probably make some during the week. It's going to cool off a bit here I will be wanting some warm soup!!

To end, I would like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa brings you everything you need or want. Most of all, enjoy your family and friends today. (and food, you can regret it after! thats my plan)

Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dashing Edwin

Morning all!!!  Sorry to get this posted a bit late. I had a LONG day yesterday and late night. My sis-in-law came over and helped me make cookies all day. We got pretty much everything on the list made with the exception of 2 thing. Which I may make today. Although, looking at it, we have plenty and I truly do not want to see another cookie just yet!!

Today I have for you Dashing through the Snow Edwin.

This weeks sponsor for Paper Sundaes is Simon Says Stamps and they would like for you to CUT IT OUT!  Sentimental Sundays challenge this week is to make a Song inspired card, hence, "Dashing through the Snow". 

Copic Markers
Liquid applique (on the trees)
Bo Bunny papers and CTMH
Sentiment - computer generated
White embossing powder - Around edges of DP

Thanks for looking,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Recipe Share...Almond Crescents

Hello. I love Almonds, I love anything Almond flavored. I just really love almond desserts. So my friend (the same that makes the 20 plus Rum cakes every year) tried a new recipe about 2 years ago using "Baker Almond Filling". She brought them over and they were a hit, even with the hubby and that's saying ALOT!!  So they are going into the cookie rotation this year. Here is the recipe and I believe it's on the back of the jar too!!

Almond Crescents

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 ts almond extract
1 jar Baker Almond Filling
2 cups all purpose flour
Confectioners Sugar

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in almond extract and almond filling until blended. Stir in flour with wooden spoon to make stiff dough. Cover and refrigerate at LEAST 4 HOURS or until dough is no longer sticky.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Dust hands with flour. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into small tapered crescents about 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake 15 mins to 20 mins or until cookies are firm and lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks 1 minute. Remove from baking shets and cool on racks. Dust with confectioners sugar while cookies are still warm. Cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Thats it, they are DELISH, if you like almond anything! 

Sometime this week I will share a great Breakfast recipe that you make ahead of time and just pop in the oven while opening presents....then its all ready to eat!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tilda w/Fir - Magnolia-licious Challenge Blog

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!! Omg- South florida is having one of the coldest nights YEARS! I guess I can't complain because we are still able to go outside and get around...unlike some of our neighbors to the north!!  We have had some of the strangest weather in the last 2 years, but to be honest, I have been enjoying the cooler weather. This is the first cold december we have had since I have lived in Florida...kinda feels more Christmasy (sp??),  if ya know what I mean. Anyways, we have an awesome Inspiration challenge for you from Magnolia-licous challenge blog today. I think this is my favorite yet. It's white with a little bit of color and here is what I did:

My card is made using Tilda with Fir, you can pick her up in the Magnolia-licious store. She comes in MINI too....and I just LOVE - LOVE her in MINI too!! I have colored her with Copic markers. I used an embossing folder for the background. Liquid applique on the tree for some snow and flower soft for the ground snow. You can't really tell in the picture but she is all glittered up!  The large snowflake in the background was purchased at, of all places, the Dollar Tree. I rarely go in there but am always pleasently surprised with my finds when I do go!  I went kinda simple on this card. I don't know what it is lately, I am going for simple on alot of cards. I like how it doesn't take away from my precious Tilda, I guess!

Last weeks Color challenge is still going, but due to the upcoming holiday, next weeks challenge has been moved up a week. So you can participate in both challenges. The prize will once again be a $25.00 gift certificate to Diana's Magnolia-licious store. How cool is that!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe Share....

Are you Ready? There is only 11 days and 14 some hours til Christmas!!!!!!!! Yikes. I am finished with my shopping, have been since before thanksgiving, but I am still buying - the downside to finishing up early!

So I am going to share a little recipe that I love to make for Christmas - Ricotta Cookies. Don't go ewwww! lol  They are moist and delicious.  My kids LOVE them. My great-grand parents all came to America from I have alot of Italian in me!  So quite a few of our holiday cookies are Italian cookies, usually made with Anisette. I also make a Ricotta Pie that I just LOVE. If you love Canolli (which I do) you would love the Ricotta Pie. It's delish! I'll share that another day.  Today, you're getting Ricotta Cookies:

Ricotta Cookies

1 cup Butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
16 oz. ricotta cheese
2 ts. vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ts baking powder
1 ts. baking soda

1/2 cup milk
1/2 ts. butter
1/2 ts shortening
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 TB Lemon extract
1/2 cup colored candy sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or use Silicone mats (my preferred way to bake).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add ricotta cheese and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and soda. Stir into the ricotta mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 mins.  Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 5 minutes, remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:  Warm milk, butter and shortening in small pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until solids are melted. Remove from heat and gradually stir in confectioners sugar and lemon extract.  Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and then dip into sprinkles.

Makes about 48

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let it Snow - Paper Sundaes and Senti. Sundays

Good Morning. I have a cute little card for you this beautiful Sunday morning. I hear this beautiful weather isn't going to last for long though! Yikes. We are going to dip back into the low 30's again tonight and my friends up north I hear are going to be getting some kind of a huge snow storm. I am originally from Akron, Ohio (which gets all that lake effect stuff) I have lived in Florida for 13 years now, this is the first time I ever remember us getting cold weather in December. Usually we are still wearing Shorts in December! It's kind of nice, but I had to go out and buy my son Pants lol. He NEVER wears pants and will wear shorts all year round. However, between last years cold winter and this year starting off cold, he has been wearing pants.

Friends and Family from up North are always picking at us saying...50 degrees isn't cold, 40 isn't cold. Thats great weather. But, it is cold when you don't have the appropriate gear (sweaters and jackets, etc) Only so much cold weather attire comes into the local stores and when we get cold snaps like this, you won't find anything after that! Lucky for me, I travel quite a bit to colder climates so I do have a large assortment of sweaters. But alot of my coworkers look silly with all their layers trying to stay warm!

Ok, so with all that cold weather talk....I made a "Let it Snow" card. That will probably NEVER happen here in South Florida, but it would be pretty cool to witness!! hehe

This weeks Sentimental Sundays challenge is "Let it Snow" and Paper Sundaes is "Anything but Square" they are being sponsored by be sure to hop over and enter into this weeks challenges!!!

Circle - Spellbinders and creative memories
Snowflake punch - MS
Image - MelJen Digi
Paper  - My Minds Eye and CTMH
Sentiment  - Just Rite

Elephantastic - Winter/Christmas
Bee Crafty - Winter / DIGI

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Noel - Magnolia

*** If you are here looking for the Elisabeth Bell Blog Hop - It is 1 post below this one. Don't forget to leave  comments on all the DT's creations for your chance to win the newest Elisabeth Bell Image ***

Good Morning!  Last night my good friends, Lisette and Sam, came by to stamp with me. We never get a heck of a lot done (we mostly gab and eat! LOL) but I love when they come over. It's great, my little one leaves me alone so I can play because she has somebody to play with (Lisettes girls). We had 5 kids in the house last night, but they were great! Now the time before that, different story. I had invited the MIL to stamp with us, I think she couldn't get out of here fast enough. We told, here numerous times...we swear they usually aren't this loud and rowdy...really.  I don't think she believed us! Needless to say, they were great last night. So we had little interruptions which allowed me to get a full card made! ha!

But not this I did this one after my friends left. I have had the idea for this card since the day I got the Fall Kit, I just never had time to color her. I figured I better get her colored otherwise it will be another year! 

We got a Local Scrapbook Store in the area now...A Scrapbook Store and More. I will be teaching Copic Classes there starting January 6th!! yea!!!  I can't wait.  Anyways, I ran into the store other day and picked up these fabulous Graphic 45 papers. I love Graphic 45. There isn't a heck of a lot to the card. I started adding more embellishments but felt it didn't need it. I had flowers on it...I just liked it more simple. Sometimes more isn't always better. So I opted for a cleaner look. Agree?

I probably won't get much more done today. We are having a family day and going to dinner and to watch the boat parade at the marina with the in-laws. After all that, if it's not to late, we have plans to watch ELF or National Lampoons Christmas Vacation....great family movies! haha  Before I go, I thought I would share a recipe. I haven't been able to in the last few days so thought I would today.

 This is my great-grandmas recipe. My mom has been making these for years and now I do. Alot of people make simliar things and call them snowballs, or wedding cookies...and other names. We called ours Walnut Butter Balls.  There a little different because they have chocolate chips in them and they taste best when they are few days old. It's like the flavors mingle. Also, you will see why they are called BUTTER balls! LOL I swear, if I didn't know better I would have thought Paula Deen created this recipe! LOL

Walnut Butter Balls

7 cups Flour
3 ts. Rum extract
1 ts. Salt
8 ts. Cold water
3 cups Butter
2 – 12 oz. semi-sweet
2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups chopped nuts
2 – 12 oz. semi-sweet choc. chips
1 cup powdered sugar (to roll in)

Sift together flour and salt, set aside. Beat soften butter, gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add rum extract and cold water. Beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix well, shape into balls the size of a small walnut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 mins. While still warm, roll into powdered sugar.

2 sisters- Twas the night b4 christmas
Dutch Dare - Christmas
Spoonful Of Sugar - Christmas
Tuesday Taggers - Christmas
Crazy Challenge- Christmas


Friday, December 10, 2010

Elisabeth Bell Blog Hop

Happy Friday!!!!!!! Yes...I am sooooooo glad that today is friday. I have been counting down the days since Sunday! I just have way to much to do and do not have time to be at work this month! ;-) I am lucky enough to only work part time. I drop my kiddos off for school on my way to work and I am home to pick them up from school. I actually have about 1.5 hrs in between, so I get all my errands ran during that time. I swear, lugging around 2 kids to do errands takes double time. I don't know why, but I swear it does!  It always ends up costing me more money too!!

So tonight the Digi Bells are having a blog hop with the newest Elisabeth Bell release!!! It is soooooooo cute, you're gunna love it!   If you got here from VICKI'S blog you are on the right track, if not, hop over to JODI'S blog and check out all the DT'S creations......

Here is the order of the blog hop.

So I hope you check out all of the creations and remember to upload your "WINTER" Creation to the Digi Bells Blog via Mr. Linky and there will be one lucky winner for the newest Digi. Don't fret, you have until December 17th to get it post!

Papertrey ink paper
MS Punches - Snowflakes
Just-Rite - Sentiment
Papers ?

Daring Cardmakers- Snow much fun
Digis w/Attitude- Anything Goes
Stamp Challenge - Use a Digi
Digi Tuesday - Baby it's cold outside

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lil' Drummer Boy -Mo Manning

Evening!! Boy, I have been on a role with the cards and my house is proof of it. I have a quick post for you of one of my favorite little images from Mo Manning. He is the little drummer boy and he is just tooooo precious.

He is colored with Copic markers on Papertrey Ink paper. I'm not sure who the patterned papers are from. I even just went to double check and there is no label...strange.  The ribbon is from CTMH and the flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts. I cut out the oval with a spellbinder die.

Cards for Men - Christmas
Oh La La - Inspired by Christmas Song

Thats about all for this little cutie, plus I am beat. Off to bed I go!!!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recipe and a Re-draw (again!!)

A few years ago a customer at work brought in a cookie tray at christmas time. They had these little truffles decorating the top of the cookies. I put one of those little truffles into my mouth and was in AWWWWE. They were SO GOOD. I was like...Susan, what in the world are these and please tell me they are NOT a family recipe and you will share it with me....  She laughed then said, yes of course I will share it with you. You will laugh when you know what they are, and just how easy they are to make!!

OREO TRUFFLES (The greatest thing next to Rum Cake, IMO)

1 package Oreo Cookies, Crushed (divided)
1 - 8 oz. Cream Cheese Softened
1 - Chocolate bark or melting chocolate for candies.

Finely crush your Oreos. Reserve 1/4 cup to sprinkle on tops.  Stir in cream cheese to the rest of the oreos until well blended. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place into freezer or refrigerator so they harden up a bit. makes it easier to dip them into chocolate. Melt your chocolate. Stick a toothpick into the balls and dip into the chocolate. Place on wax paper.  Pull the Toothpick out, use it to cover the hole up with chocolate. Sprinkle tops with reserved Oreo crumbs. Let dry. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Serve. Makes about 48 truffles.

NOTE: During the holidays I tend to sprinkle mine with red and green sprinkles.

They are delicious!!!

Next - I had to do ANOTHER re-draw for the Blog Candy. This time the lucky winner is:

Jan from   

Fingers crossed.......Come On Jan...where are ya??? :-)) Email me at

Have a great day. Remember to check out my 2 previous post from today. One is for the Magnolia-licous Challenge blog and the other is an image by Mo Manning. So cute!


Magnolia-Licous Challenge - Color Challenge

Good Morning and welcome to another Color Challenge from Magnolia-licous!!!!!!!!  This weeks colors are "PINK, BLUE and GREEN".  As always you can get your Magnolia fix in Dianas shop, where you can purchase magnolias, doohickeys and the "NEW" MINI MAGNOLIAS!! I just got mine in....can't wait to play with them. 

Here is my card for this weeks challenge. 
You can find  Tilda with Cowberry Muffin in Diana's shop HERE she is in stock and ready to go!!!!  I colored her using Copic markers. You can't really see in the picture but there is glitter everywhere lol  I just went glitter crazy.  Isn't that felt cupcake tooooo cute? It's from K&Company. The border punch is a martha punch.  I think thats is about all. I hope that you can take part in the challenge with us. Of course Diana has the most fabulous prizes!!! This weeks prize is.......a $25.00 gift certificate to the store!!! Wowzie, that means more tildas!! Merry Christmas to you...Merry Christmas to you!!....hehe

Check out the Challenge Blog HERE  and hope to see you next week (not 2 weeks like usual) for the Color Inspiration Challenge.


Monday, December 6, 2010

I believe - Holly Fairy

Hello! Quick post for you. I finally got around to coloring up some Mo Manning images. I have been so busy lately, I haven't had a chance. I had forgotten how much I LOVE her stuff. You will be seeing a couple post with her images this week. I have to get the others made into cards! Today I have Holly Fairy.

It was such a GORGEOUS day out today. High of 58, bright blue I thought I would do something different for me and take the photo outside. I stuck it on my wreath...worked ok.

I colored Holly Fairy with Copic markers and did some shading and highlights in Prisma Color pencils. I used liquid glass on the snow globe. The sentiment is from CTMH. The snowflakes are from a MS punch. I added stickles to them. The paper is from the Jovial collection by Basic Grey. I LOVE that paper pack!

Mo's Digital Challenge - Glitz and Glimmer
Karbers Christmas- Digi and Christmas
Sew Many - Red and Green
Dutch Dare-  Christmas

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Anniversary Card - Senti Sundays dT

Good evening you all!! Good grief, I have been just terrible to my commitments the last 2 weeks. All I can say is TIS THE SEASON!  I promise to be back on track...after the Holidays! In case you didn't see my last post, to make up for my lack of crafting, I have decided to post some of my favorite recipes of the season. I love to bake and I especially love to bake this time of year. Funny story, I put out a plea on facebook to all my friends for a little cookie making day....nobody took the bait.!! I have a great baking kitchen too. I have an extremely large island perfect for either laying out the cookies or rolling dough and I have a Convection double oven. No excuses!! haha I told them they needed to "man up" and help me bake. All the excuses came pouring out...I'l burn them...I can't don't want me in your kitchen. Argh lol However, I think I did get a cleaning fairy to do the dishes...and I get to bake. I'm pretty happy with that, because that has got to be the worst part of baking.  You can check out my last post HERE I have a recipe for Rum Cake (delicious and super easy I tell ya!) and some pictures of my Christmas Village...(why I have been sooooo busy the last few weeks)

So on to this week card. I made this super cute and simple card for Sentimental Sundays. I didn't get to participate in Paper Sundaes this week, but hop over to check out this weeks challenge.  The girls did an awesome job as usual.

Isn't that butterfly postage stamp beautiful???? I just love it and I have 3 more simliar to it.  The stamp is from "The Angel Company".  I colored it in with copic markers and then distressed it with brown for a little bit of an aged look.  The papers are from Close to My Heart. The Doily Flowers are from Magnolia.

Thats about all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for a new recipe! ;-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Recipe Share and more...

Hello and happy Friday!!!!  Yes, Friday has finally blessed us.  It's rather chilly here in South Florida (mid 60's today!!!) So grab a cup of Hot Cocoa (my preference hehe) or Coffee and have a nice's a rather long post!!

It's been a crazy, crazy week for me. Normally I get all my Christmas decorations, my Dept 56 village, and my lights up over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but this year I couldn't do that since we were in Sarasota. Sooooo....I have been working my booty off after work all week trying to get things in order. At one point you couldn't walk through my house...yes....I'm serious!  At last though, I have it in somewhat order. Finally!  We still have to do the lights outside, saving that for Saturday. It's dark by the time the hubby gets home during the week.  I love this time of year, but I hate how dark it gets so early!!! This is the ONLY nice time to go for bike rides here....and by the time you get's dark!! It really puts a damper on things!

So what does this all my crazyiness mean??? Well, no time for stamping! I have just been slammed. Although I have no project to show you, I thought I would share a recipe with you today. Actually, I think I am going to post some of my favorite recipes of the season on days that I do not have a card to post. I will try to do this up until christmas.  All are tried and loved recipes by myself. I am a pretty awesome cook and baker, btw....not to toot my own horn....but I do rock! LOL I have a rather large department at my job and if anybody see's any sweets in our little break room, they will ask who made it....did Tracy? hehe

I'm going to start out with with a Rum Cake recipe. Why? Well because the Holiday Parties are starting and it's great to take with you. So easy, so MOIST and soooooo yummy!

Rum Cake

1 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Yellow Cake Mix (I prefer Dunkin Hines)
1 (3.4 oz) instant yellow pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum (I use Spiced Capt Morgan)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 dark rum

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of your pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Add in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil, and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well, about 2 minutes. Pour batter over chopped nuts in Bundt pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes in preheated oven. While your cake is cooking, mix up your glaze. In a saucepan combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup dark rum.

Once your cake is finished, let sit for 10 mins in pan, then turn out onto serving plate and then back into your bundt pan. (I do this to loosen it up so the glaze soaks in nicely.  Spoon glaze over the cake letting it soak in. You may want to add a little. Let it soak in. Add some more...repeat. After it's all soaked in nicely, invert onto your serving plate. If you have glaze left you can brush the outside of the cake...but not neccessary.

That's it...easy, peasy.

I have a friend who has a recipe that I think is almost exact and she makes 20 or more of these over the holiday season! yikes!  I am not that loved....I will probably make about 5 or so!! I'm actually making one maybe two tonight for a party tomorrow night!

Also, this cake freezes great. I cut in into wedges and wrap each individually and freeze. Comes out just as moist as when you put it in the freezer!

Next....While we were in Sarasota we had our pictures taken on the beach. We have beaches where I am but they are not nearly as nice as the beaches on the gulf side. So we took this opportunity to have my husbands aunt and uncle do pictures...they are photographers. I did the touch ups my self..because we were antsy and didn't want to wait to get the pictures! I still need to work on that!

Oh you see my face.......ok so really I had just put my foot into a bunch of "stickers" or Burrs, whatever you want to call I was feeling the pain...trying to laugh it off! LOL

My babies, oh my gosh, I can't believe how big they are getting!!! My son will be 11 in January and the little one is 6. Time just flys!

Since I am typing, thought I would show you my massive village. maybe it isn't as massive as some peoples, but I think it is! I once belonged to a Dept 56 club with my MIL and Friend. We had just started out collecting and the others were "DIE-HARDS". Let me tell you they were not very nice about it either..ok not all of them were mean....but you know that ol' saying one bad apple....well needless to say I do not belong to that group anymore. One good thing did come of it. We got some awesome ideas for villages. Like...using styrofoam and cutting holes to "drop" the cords...well duh! Seems simple now...but it didn't at first!  Some of these people started their village in Sept...thats how detailed they were! They had different levels and trains.  Mine isn't that fancy, but I think it's nice. Btw, I put up 2 villages one is Christmas in the City and the other is smaller, it's my kids village and is a mixture of North Pole and Elfland...

The river is made out of stryofoam and envirotec. I used a hot knife to make "waves" and then painted it. After it was dry, I poured envirotec on it. It hardens to look like almost like glass. Pretty neat stuff. I also made the brick walls out of styrofoam. 

Central Park....I haven't finished the ice skating rink. Who knows, I may not! lol  I have a skater for it too, but she isn't out and I just don't have it in me to find her at the moment!

Our North Pole Village, it's small..I want more pieces, but then again, I don't. Trying storing things like this all year round in Florida!! We have no basements!!! Not easy to have collections this big.

Our tree...pretty much finished.

Well thats all that I have to show today. I will have a post tomorrow.....with a card!! Yay!!  Look for more yummy family recipes to come this week.

Hugs and Happy Holidays,


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