Friday, July 24, 2009

My Christmas....Santa Fairy

Well guess what. While in sunny Florida I just happened onto a Christmas shop....LOL...and what did I find? First of all they were having a Christmas in July sale...lol....and everything was 25% off!!! WHOOPEE.

But I found three of the cutest ever elves....now do I really NEED more elves...NOPE...but at 25% off....come on...who could resist. AND I decided to ask about Christmas Fairies...and discovered some Santa Fairies...they were a little pricey but hey....25% off...I had a hard time picking one but I finally did....

I'll get the Santa Fairy and the elves out tomorrow and take some pics to share with you....Gotta LOVE CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Printable Holiday Planners

Just a quick post before heading off to Florida tomorrow. I wanted to give you some links to some printable planners....most have menus, recipes, and checklist included.

Ultimate Holiday Planner

Holiday Dessert Planner

Holiday Potluck Party Planner

These simple planners have tips and other fun things also. So check them out!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Christmas in July Continues

HO HO HO.....it's the most important month of the year...JULY...and time to start thinking about Christmas. Last year I posted daily during July but this year...LIFE.....still I think I've managed to keep some new material up and found some ideas to help keep Christmas simple but special.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas in July fun and getting lots accomplished...and even WITHOUT accomplishing anything....at least we are starting the wheels spinning in our endeavor to have a simple and organized Christmas 2009. Next week I'll be relaxing at the beach and I'm not bothering to code blog posts to publish because I hear people have been having trouble with that...SO while I'm there I'll be dreaming of a white Christmas and maybe even picking up a couple stocking stuffers...LOL

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gift Card Holders

The gift card holder above is created using scrap paper and a bit of ribbon...so use your imagination and jazz up your gift card giving!!



Another cute creation....love the little tab with the 25th stamped on it! Too Cute.

This little cutie is made with felt and buttons...It can be used for gift cards or as an ornament....or BOTH!!

As I wrote about earlier, it's the special little touches that make the holidays fun and make people feel extra special. So don;t just pop that gift card in an envelope. Use one of these nifty ideas from Better Homes and Garden to spice it up!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Simple Christmas Centerpieces

You MUST check out the slide show over at Better Homes and Gardens....it features 40 easy to do Christmas Centerpieces...So FUN...bright and colorful...and best of all using items you may very well already have on hand. The one shown above uses a red them in a silver serving bowl...just gather up ornaments and garland in the color theme of your choice and create a quick simple centerpiece.
This glass vase is filled with gold items...notice the varied sizes which makes the display more interesting.

I'm not a big fan of black but this is a different type of centerpiece. Notice the varied heights of the display adding visual appeal.


This one uses two mini tress and a bowl of apples...as you can see this is set in a French style kitchen using mainly white and red as the color scheme.



This is one of my faves....the simple glass candle stick holders repurposed as a centerpiece...again varied heights......the plain red balls have been decorated with gold glitter paint to spell NOEL...but use your imagination and I'm sure you can think of a variety of Christmas words that might work well....JOY comes to mind!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Holiday Cranberry Chutney

This recipe from allrecipes.com can be used as a great easy holiday gift. Package it in a decorated jar, and give with a box of crackers and cream cheese. Also a nice hostess gift or easy for a potluck party.

INGREDIENTS
1 (12 ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 large cooking apple, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 15-20 minutes or until apple is tender and mixture thickens. Cool completely.
Store in the refrigerator. Serve over cream cheese with crackers or as a condiment with pork, ham or chicken.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Christmas Crackers

Here's a site with step by step directions for making the perfect Christmas Crackers! I bought a few boxes a a couple years ago at the flea market and there were an immediate hit at my annual Christmas party. I've never tried making them before but seriously would like to...I've no doubt this method would wrap them expertly....but knowing me...I'll just use some toilet tissue rolls and wrap them LOL.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Catching Up With Christmas in July


Missed a few days....so thought I'd post some "catch up" thoughts today. I've been thinking a lot about stocking stuffers and items for the 24 Days gifts. Last year I really cut down on the items in stockings and no one seemed to notice at all. So I really want to get this "done" ahead of time...so far I've set two deadlines for that...and it hasn't happened yey...LOL...so the new deadline is the end of August!
The Twenty Four Days of Christmas gifts are another story and more difficult...I think they are about half done. The problem is...just buying random stuff isn't very exciting because if its just "cheap junk" that is going to be tossed aside then whats the point...so I need to seriously look at this and see how to make it more meaningful to the people receiveing them.
Well, one reason I got off track is this week my husband is off work...LOL...its always harder to get stuff done when he's under foot...THEN the week of July 20th I'll be at the beach for five days...soooo sorrry but Christmas in July will be on hold while I enjoy the sun, surf and relax a bit before I go back to work on July 27th.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Christmas Place Cards for the Table

There are dozens and dozens of beautiful placecard holders that you can purchase...but keeping with my SIMPLIFY theme, I went in search of some that could be made. REASON: I'm tired of Organizing, storing, and finding items. My house is out of room for storage...so handmade plaecards can easily be disposed of or some can simply be used as little party favors!!

The one shown above is a sweet little print, cut and put together model from Martha Stewart.


The ones above...pinecones spray painted gold and silver, lovely for a natural or rustic table setting. Or use them plain for Thanksgiving.

So remember, no storage, just make and take, or dispose of after the festivites!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day Three: Flavored Water Bottles

As soon as I saw these over at Angelosity...I fell in love with them...and the possibilites...use Christmas themed paper and you have great little party favors...or a little something special to tuck in a gift basket. You can take a look at the post about them HERE. Perhaps with an Elf theme, they could be used as small gifts from the elves or as part of the 24 Days of Christmas gifts. Oh the possiblities are simply endless!!

Below is a slightly different take on a water bottle from over at Lizzie Anne Designs. I'm envisioning Christmas paper and a tag...not sure what kind of Christmas party I could create to use these but there has to be something AND if not...maybe for my BOO BASH.....using Halloween materials!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day Two: Christmas Planners

Today I'm focusing on my Christmas Notebook and a few files that I use for Christmas Planning...I use a VERY basic (goes along with simplify) three ring binder to house most of my Christmas planning stuff. There are however tons and tons of ideas for fabulous notebooks, folders, planners etc.

Check out Christmas Planners (a site by CEO of Organized Christmas). This site has a wonderful round-up of Christmas planner ideas...each one is beautiful and useful too. i really like the altered spiral notebook featured above because the idea of a brand new notebook for each year is VERY appealing...I could envision it as PLANNER and MEMORY BOOK all rolled up in one...

Then we have one of my faves...Melinda's Notebook Tour...featuring the Holiday Grand Plan...its simple, its organized, it works!!

Here's a very simple, easy to use notebook planner at Training Tons of Sons.
There are soooo many possibilities....BUT I know me...tried and true and simple works best....otherwise I get sooo caught up in creating the "perfect" Christmas planner that I never get any planning done!! See you tomorrow for another tidbit of Christmas planning!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day One: Christmas Planning

Christmas Planning isn't just a topic....it's an attitude! LOL. The truth is every year I always swear to be more organized...and every year in the hustle and bustle of daily life...things get left undone...or unfinished....or even unstarted....and it drives me to distraction...so the first RULE of Christmas Planning 2009.....SIMPLIFY.....I've said it before...but this year....it's time to LIVE it...

During July I will be making lists, organizing my notebook, perhaps even getting those cards made and signed....but one thing that will be in my mind the most is the SPIRIT of the season....not just gifts and good food...but the idea that the loving kindness we show each other is what makes us human....that small things DO matter....in fact maybe even more than the BIG things!

Two practical goals for the month...things that over the long haul will really make a difference!! I plan to finish up all stocking stuffers and 24 Days of Christmas gifts....then I want them tucked away in their shopping sized gift bags, labeled with names and ready for holiday fun...Last year these "little items" caused me more stress than the bigger things...so time to get them finished up. I already have a list started and some things purchased...time to examine and update the list and then make those final buys...!!!

Join me...Christmas Planning is an attitude and it's time to get yours ready for the best Christmas ever!!