Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 31 Christmas in July

My I have enjoyed Christmas in July...didn't get everything done but a lot!!! So I will continue to work on Christmas at least several times during the month of August.

Today for me is GREAT PUMPKIN DAY ...I know many of you do this one the 13th but for some reason I never could make the switch...So I will be Boo Bash planning today. I am getting excited. I will design some post card like invitations to give out...then I have plans to make some witch's kitchen jars....picked up some skeleton hands and little skulls at Deals yesterday...they are putting out their fall stuff!!!

Day 30 Christmas in July

Well I am just now adding Day 30....going back to work has sure cut into my fun!!! LOL
NO...I have not lost my mind....I realize that the house above is a Leprechaun House....but someone had mentioned the other day...making one for the elves...or at least making an Elf House for decor....and I thought it was a great I thought I'd show you the little leprechaun house I created but you could easily make it Christmas or Elfish!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 29 Christmas in July

Here's one of the reasons I plan for Christmas....I love to keep the Magic alive in this crazy hectic world today!!!

Day 28 Christmas in July

Day 28.....and time is getting away from me. Here are some links to the Magic Elves stuff from the chat.

Elf Hugs: Printable cards to use with Hershey's hugs

Elf Kisses: Printable cards to use with Hershey's kisses

Hope you enjoy them!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 27 Christmas in July

Today I got a big start on getting my daily routines in place before the big holiday push...I made a lot of for tomorrow's keep it up!!

Not much CIJ stuff other than looking through the notebook and doing two Organizing for Christmas Chats but I still feel good about my progress. Hope you all do also. Remember...a little here and a little there ....what a big difference!!

I''ll try to have a few interesting things for you tomorrow...oh perhaps a nice recipe!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 26 Christmas in July

Day 26....Today I am going to post some links you might find interesting:
Here's a page with some commonly asked questions about elves...sort of cute: HERE
And then we have a different spin on Magic Elves with The Elf Hat tradition.
And then a cute Santa's Workshop site.
And also
Hope you enjoy the sites and have fun on Day 26!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 25 Christmas in July

Today we had two Magic Elves idea chats...lots of creativity flowing. I am more excited than every about putting together a Magic Elf kit for Evan. We will still have our trio visit our house but this year an Elf will arrive at his house also.

The Elve will arrive in a bag....gotta pick up one of those cloth Christmas bags...the elf will also ahve a little fleece blanket I am going to make or maybe a little sleeping bag. They will also bring some other accessories...I'll post more about them later...I am still chatting...LOL.

Also worked on post it note stand today....hope to get a picture up soon!!! I'll be back later to add more here!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 24 Christmas in July

DAY 24...I hear that this evening starts the QVC...Christmas in July...I want to watch a bit of that later tonight as I never have before! I was a bit disappointed in the HSN one so maybe I'll actually find a few things this go round!

When college shopping with Kelsey today and she FINALLY managed to find a comforter bed set that suited her...gosh, everything was either too bright, too faded looking or in some horrid color or pattern!!!! So this week we managed to mark two big items off her list...a cute little red microwave we bought at Target and then the bedding set!! YIPPEE

Not a lot of Christmas getting accomplished here...but hey I also picked up three stocking stuffers so that's awesome...if I keep this up I might eventually finish this project!

As soon as I get the new notebook set up...I'll take some pictures...also want to get pics up of the Post-it note holders and the drink carrier...when I get one finished!!

Really tired...may need to go take a nap....more later!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 23 Christmas in July

My main goal today was to examine several Holiday Cleaning/Prep Plans and try to come to a decision about what to use this year. As always...I like things about both!

And here's my beloved Christmas Countdown...don't know how to survive without this one!!
So I looked at the sites, read some...and about the only thing I really decided was to create a notebook especially for the plan....I have a Christmas Countdown Notebook that houses those six weeks but it also has tons of other stuff too like Christmas Card List etc...that is my lifesaver will remain as is....and then I will create a new one for the cleaning plan/prep one!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 22 Christmas in July

Today is Day 22...and it's Tuesday...which means it's TO DO LIST TUESDAY...what a perfect time to start some lists for the Magic Elves. You can make a list of some escapades the elves can do when they visit or a list of gifts or elf activities. Here are some we have used in the past:
  • They decoarate a miniature tree during the night
  • They make green popcorn (or red)
  • They escape and end up on the front porch
  • They climb ino the branches of our big tree
  • They make cookies and leave a mess
  • They hide in the freezer where it reminds them of the North Pole
  • They read books during the night and leave a picture of themselves doing it
  • They make us breakfast
  • They leave instructions and materials for an art project
  • They turn on Christmas music...really really loud in the morning

Well those are just a few ideas...but you get the make some lists today!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 21 Christmas in July

Day 21....Can you believe it!

Since July is roaring past us. Today's tip is simple...I like to, easy, simple, and cute ideas for decor, gifts, and parties. I print them (or tear them out of magazines) and file them in my notebook. They can not be elaborate...the idea is to find simple things. Then when the busy season strikes, I have some quick ideas at my finger tips.

Someone posted this link and I am happy to share it with you here on my blog.

All Things Christmas

It has a bunch of cute and simple check it out! And if you get nothing else accomplished during Christmas in this...gather those cute and simple ideas and get them in your notebook!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 20 Christmas in July

Day 20....more lists to check and gifts to buy!!!
Coming up this week over at the Magical forums of Magical Holiday Home:
We are watching Elf
We are talking about great sites for buying gifts.
We will be having another Christmas in July give away.
We will be hosting another virtual crop/craft day
We will be making our cards.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day 19 Christmas in July

Yo Ho Yo's a pirate's life for me!

I'm taking today off from Christmas in July to get ready for, cook for, and have fun at...Our Annual Summer Bash....Pirate Fest this year's theme and we are the Pirates of Roanoke (our street) setting sail on Roanoke's back tomorrow with Christmas...But for now... ready to walk the plank!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 18 Christmas in July

Looking for a great gift for grandparents? Scrap a Calendar! This shows the July scrapped page and calendar grid. This particular calendar is spiral bound with a grid and a page protector at the top of each month. All you have to do is scrap 12 (12x 12 pages) and slip one in for each month! Kids art work make great items on the calendar too!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 17 Christmas in July

Day 17....and still blogging!

Thought I'd share some gift basket ideas today:

Barbeque Lovers Basket:

  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Brush
  • Tongs
  • Spray bottle
  • Marinade
  • Seasonings
  • Apron
  • Chef's Hat

Breakfast Basket:

  • Pancake Mix
  • Syrup
  • Tea (flavored or herbal)
  • Coffee
  • Flavored Coffee Creamers
  • Canned Ham
  • Bread or Biscuit Mix
  • Recipe Cards with Favorite Recipes
  • Juice Mix

Recipe Basket:

  • Recipe Booklet
  • Recipe Cards
  • Pretty Pens
  • Recipe Box or Photo Album to use
  • Recipe Stickers
  • Pretty Box Dividers
  • Recipe Stamp
  • Apron
  • Pot holders

Card Basket:

  • Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Stickers or Seals
  • Return Address Labels
  • Address Book
  • Book with "Sayings"
  • Several Color Pens or Markers

Night at the Movies Basket:

  • Variety of Gourmet Popcorn
  • Popcorn Seasonings
  • Bottle of Soda
  • 2 Pretty Glasses
  • Video Rental Gift Card
  • Theater Candy (Walmart has it)

College Survival Basket:

  • Pretzels
  • Cheese And Pretzel Packs
  • Popcorn
  • M & Ms
  • Twizzlers
  • Gummy Bears
  • Cheese or Peanut Butter Crackers
  • Nerds
  • Cup of Soup
  • Hot Chocolate Packets
  • Apple Cider Packets
  • Large Mug

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 16 Christmas in July

Here's a picture of Abby's journal that she made at our Winter Craft Sleepover!

Winter Craft Sleepover

Last year the week between Christmas and New Years I hosted a Winter Craft Sleepover for my two Great Nieces...and we made Winter Journals, some door hangers, and a couple other small items. This was a great way to extend the holidays...have to remember the holiday season doesn't end with Chrismtas Day!!

When they arrived we had some snacks, watched a Christmas movie and played around some. Then we worked on crafts. This is a super way to use up some random supplies cause kids use a variety of items and aren't quite as picky as we may be when it comes to art! Then we ordered pizza and watched another movie. Pizza was a nice break after all the holiday fare and so We were planning to play some board games after the movie but they wanted to craft a bit more so we did that instead. Finally I popped in another movie and they crawled into their sleeping bags.

I'm planning another similar Winter Craft Sleepover this year so I need to think of a couple easy craft items that they might enjoy...Can also do a new journal is they are interested. I'll try to have several things for them to choose from. Once I figure them out I'll post the ideas here at the Rudolph Day blog!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 15 Christmas in July

Looking for some quick, easy, and cute stocking stuffer ideas or small gifts...or to tuck into a basket? How about some small packets of bath salts? You could create a whole Bath Spa basket and include three-six different packets of bath salts...these are sooo easy to make your self and inexpensive as well. The one featured above is created with a stamp from a Stampin up set but really you are only limited by your could do cute little pictures that depict the kind of bath if you make Vanilla Milk Shake Bath Salts...include a picture of a little milk shake. Or if you use the Candy Cane Bath Salts include a candy cane picture! You wouldn't be able to layer them red and the bag but a nice pretty red or pink bath salt is attractive in the bag. I would also recommend: Peaches and Cream Bath Salts

Or make your labels all Christmasy: Mrs. Claus's Christmas Eve Salts or The Elves' Peppermint Delight....well you get the idea....plenty of fun to be had with these cute little bath salt packets!! As you can see in the photos the paper is folded over and there is a picture on the front. I didn't get a good photo of the back but it includes a little set of directions for using the bath salts. You could also include a little bath salts poem...if you do the Christmas ones. I might try my hand at writing one and post it a bit later!
PS: We have also made these with a picture of a baby in a bath tub and gave them out as little party favors at a baby shower...I'll try to get a picture of one of those later to share with you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 14 Christmas in July

Day 14....and the focus is is part one of our virtual and organizing the gift closet. So I will be working on that from 8-12 and hopefully make some is sort of a mess right now.

I have three categories of gifts..

  • 24 Days of Christmas gifts. These gifts are given on December 1st in a bag...each is individually wrapped and numbered so they can be opened one each day. Most are smaller gifts...gum, notepad, ornament etc...but just something fun to build up the excitement during the month...LOL This year quite a few of the ones I am giving are crafted items.
  • Stocking all know what these are. Little fun gifts to tuck in the stockings. Last year some of mine ended up being too large for the this year I am working a bit on that aspect!
  • Gifts for Family and Friends...this is the BIG one! I also pick up some little work gifts also so need to access how things are going with all these gifts!

Off to do a couple things so I can give the gifts my full attention here in a short while...if I do really well...I may reward myself with a trip to Target later....maybe the dollar spot will help fill some needs on the Stocking or 24 Days gifts list!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 13 Christmas in July

Today's been sort of a slow day...too many routine things to do. I did work on compiling the recipes and I think this will make the actual party prep a lot easier when the events arrive.

This week I will be mostly working on our Summer Bash...Pirate Fest which is Saturday...maybe get in a couple Christmas just never know around here!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 12 Christmas in July

Day 12!!! Today I'm going to focus on BAKING....I have not made up the DIBS bags yet and today is a good day to work on at least a few sets of those! I am also planning to make some Hidden Treasures cookies to try out a recipe and see how those work out! I might make some of our favorite No Bakes too just to have some snacks for the week!

With the focus on the kitchen and baking today it's a good time also to keep that master ingredients list handy ....I still have not finished compiling it like I wanted the Christmas notebook will hang out with me in the kitchen today as I clean, organize, experiment with cookies, and put together DIBS....I'll add some notes here and there as things pop into my head!

It won't be all fun and games because I will be working around the kitchen cleaning as well but it just "works for me" to focus on one room a day otherwise I find myself running here, there, and everywhere and accomplishing VERY little!

But and it... so the kitchen (with a little cleaning and decluttering) can become my FAVORITE room in the house. Nice and comfy!! Welcoming and Inviting...the center of our home!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 11 Christmas in July

The 11th Day and my true love gave to me.... theme ideas...gathered from here, there, and my imagination!!!
  • A Storybook Christmas...based on Christmas stories and characters
  • Christmas Around the World...make a travel tree and other things.
  • Winter Wonderland: snowmen, snowflakes, ice etc
  • Buttons, Bows and Mistletoe: use them in creative ways
  • Wine Wonderland: wine tasting, decorate tree with corks and wine charms
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: all white and silver
  • Merry Christmas Fiesta: Mexican menu
  • Country Christmas: quilted ornaments, rustic decor etc
  • Victorian Christmas Tea: dainty teacup candles, lace doily, tiny fans and umbrellaS
  • Candy Cane Christmas...decorate with candy canes and red and white,
  • North Pole Workshop: decorate with elves and Santa stuff...maybe use this for a Make and Take Christmas party...with crafts to share..

Love theme parties...and I'm still working on mine for this year!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 10 Christmas in July

Thought I'd share one of the recipes I will be using when we have the Christmas Tea.

Cranberry Tea

1 bottle (32 oz.) cranberry juice
2 cups sugar
1 can (6oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 cup red hot candies
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
In a 3 quart saucepan combine all ingredients...bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove cinnamon and cloves.
To serve...mix one cup concentrate and 2 cups water...heat through. Store concentrate in a covered container in the refriderator. Yields 18 cups (1 1/2 quarts concentrate)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 9 Christmas in July

Yesterday's virtual crop/crafting was fun. I actually got something accomplished!! LOL...we had a small but mighty group and I think posting helped keep us going so we would have something to post about!! I have to look at the Calendar and get our next Christmas in July crop/craft set up...We had some people drop by to read and visit with us even though they weren't able to join in the crop...which was nice too...just like having friends drop by.

We will look at the possibility of doing it once a month if there is interest from the members at MHH. So let me know if it is something you would like to see featured once a month!

Today's CIJ...for me is going to be CALM....(I think) never know around here...but I have quite a bit of "regular" stuff to get accomplished today! So on the list for Christmas:

  • Watch Olive the Other Reindeer...didn't get to it yesterday
  • Read Part One: A Christmas Guest (our CIJ book)

I have tons of other "to dos" but I won't bore you with them...LOL....good luck everyone and I hope you are at least getting a few things done during this glorious month of holiday focus!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 8 Christmas in July

Wow...I always have tons of good intentions but it doesn't always come that like you? Doesn't matter.... I am getting a little done here and there...and that means a little less to do when the busy season gets here!!! Merry Christmas in July...

Here's a little crafty tip...I'm sure some of you already know it...create craft kits...gather the supplies for each craft and place them in zip loc bags or show boxes or whatever works for you...then when you want to work on a project...everything is there right at your finger tips...if you are like me...sometimes before I get back around to working on something..the pieces get scattered like dandelion seeds in the wind...this ensures that you will have what you need WHEN you have those small windows of time to work on it!!

Well for today in case you couldn't already focus is scrapping and many in the works and very few finished!! So I will clean and organize the crop desk and shelves today as well as gather supplies for crafts and projects together!! Then plan on joioning me from 4-8 Central time on the Magical boards of Magical Holiday do some actual work on crafts. I will be posting updates every 30 minutes or so!! Hopefully others will join in!!

More the meantime...keep enjoying the wonderful thoughts of the holiday season!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 7 Christmas in July

Things have been moving along smoothly so far but I hope to get more accomplished this week. Today I will be working on Stocking Stuffers and Craft Items...those will be my main focus...along of course with thousands of other "home" things that have to be dealt with ...LOL...

  • Recipes: I am on the last book from the library and then I can return the three recipe books!!!

  • Baking Plans: I am going to fill in that baking planner today if I have to just make something up....LOL

  • Menus: Making progress here as you can see from yesterday's post...still a few more to get in place however!

  • Stocking Stuffers...this is from yesterday but it did not get accomplished...gather them...and get some sort of order to them or I will end up with a big confusing MESS

  • Craft Items: I want to get my supplies gathered so I can see what else I need to pick up! Ideally putting together some craft kits so I can grab and work as I have some time!

  • Notebook: work on my lists...updating and filling in as I go

Well that's a lot...who knows...this might be my list for the whole week!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day 6 Christmas in July

Well yesterday I sort of hammered out the menus...

Gratitude Brunch in November:

Cheesy Bacon Muffins
Egg and Bacon Casserole
Fruit Cup Parfaits
Coffee and Hot Chocolate
Orange Blush (signature drink)

Christmas Tea in Early December (I hope)

Cranberry Tea (hot)
________ Tea (hot)...need to pick this yet
Iced Tea of some fruity variety

Orange Ginger Fruit Dip with Fresh Fruit
Cucumber Sandwiches
Snowballs (cookies)
Christmas Cheese Ball and Crackers

I'll hopefully be back later today with an update of today's projects.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 5 Christmas in July

The focus for today is organizing and getting a grip on the Gratitude Brunch and the Christmas Tea I am planning. This means...dates (tentative), menus and theme ideas. I also need to do the DIBS shopping list as we are going to the discount grocery store AND I need a craft list also....dear me...that's a lot but if I can manage it at least I will have the things I need to do stuff in the coming week!!

I do recommend the salad recipe from yesterday and HERE it is...this would make a nice additon to a buffet table or Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner...nice and tasty and a bit different too!

Bacon Swiss Tossed Salad

1/2 cup mayo (honestly I would use 3/4 cup..the half just wasn't enough but I might have had too much lettuce.
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
6 cups mixed salad greens
1 medium red onion sliced...I would family didn't like the larger chunks of onion
1 package (10 ounce) frozen peas (thawed)
8 ounces sliced swiss cheese (julienned)
1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled (I used two packs of bacon bits..Oscar Mayer)

In a small bowl combine the mayo sugar, salt and pepper. In a large bowl layer a third of the salad greens, a third of the mayo mixture and then onion, peas and cheese. Repeat the layers twice cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving add the bacon and toss. Yield 6-8 servings.

PS: I would resist the urge to use shredded swiss because I really think the strips added a nice touch to the time if I have more time I will use real bacon and see how that affects it BUT overall it was very good and I got lots of compliments on it!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 4 Christmas in July

Happy Independence Day....all my USA friends!

Not sure how much Christmas will get accomplished today what with all the thing I will be doing is trying one of the new's called Bacon Swiss Tossed Salad and sounds yummy...I'll let you know how it turns out. this came from one of the Christmas Cookbooks I checked out from the library. It might make a nice addition to a buffet or as part of a Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner.

I may spend some time..."listening" today for some hints or ideas of gifts for family members and jot them down in my little notebook so I won't forget. Gift giving is so much easier if you have a couple of ideas for possible gifts!!

Hope everyone is enjoying Christmas in July as much as I am. Won't have time until LATE tonight to check the othe Rudolph Day blogs...there's just so many wonderful inspiring things on them!!!

Day 3 Christmas in July

Day 3 pointed out to me just how life can upset our best laid plans. I had to go into work and interview for a new assistant principal so I got very little accomplished other than looking at a few recipes!!

Over at Magical Holiday Home members are all making a little progress here and there...It's wonderful....a little is better than none!! I need to get to Walmart and get my wire for the angel project...a bit worried about this one because as CC pointed look simple and hard at the same time!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 2 of Christmas in July

Happy Day Two!!! I'd like to start us off this morning with a really yummy recipe. This can be used to make several cheeseballs for a party or buffet table or to make several as gifts.

Christmas Cheese Balls

4 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 can (2 1/4 oz.) chopped ripe olives (drained)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Minced fresh parsley, chopped pecans, and paprika

In a small mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and the cheddar cheese together. Stir in the pecans, milk, olives, garlic and salt. Divide into thirds. Roll each into a ball. Roll one ball in parsley and one in nuts. Sprinkle the third one with paprika. Cover and refrigerate. Remove 15 minutes before serving!

Today I will be working more on recipes and menus. I hope to get back to you a bit later with another recipe or two!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 1 of Christmas in July

Today is the first day of our month long Christmas in July celebration at Magical Holiday Home. A couple of our members are going to try updating their Rudolph Day blogs daily during July...ummm...and you know me....I can't resist. Actually I started my Christmas in July early (yesterday) watching the 1988 movie Scrooged...for some reason I love that movie. The ending with the little guy up in the booth with a shot gun (reminds me of Elmer Fudd off Bugs Bunny) and Dave Murray giving his speech about how we should be like we are at Christmas ALL year long. That reminds me of the members of Magical Holiday Home and the other year round sites...Christmas isn't a's a attitude!!! So for July....let my daily attitude be one of kindness, love, hope, and high spirit!! Hope yours is too!!!