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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Morning Goodies!

There are a few things that I only eat at certain time of the year. {Like, Chicken and Dressing.  Here in the south we have dressing, not stuffing. And, it's made with cornbread. Oh my lordy it's good.}

Chicken and Dressing at Thanksgiving.

Cinnamon Role Casserole on Christmas morning.

I can't eat those things the rest of the year because I would pack on quite a bit of poundage.

It is ridiculously delicious.

And, here is the absolute best recipe that I have used. It's from the Dishy Decorator.

Cinnamon Role Casserole via The Dishy Decorator

Don't you just want to lick the screen?

Really, I could go on and on about this recipe, but you just have to try it.  It is easy to make and if you like cinnamon, pecans, butter, icing and syrup, it's got ya covered.

It is front and center on my Christmas Morning Menu.

It can't be all sweet and ooey gooey, though.  We will be having Crock Pot Sausage Breakfast Casserole to balance out the menu.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

This one, from Six Sister's Stuff, is yumtastic.  I would not have thought to put the mozzarella cheese in {I usually just use cheddar}, but it makes it so cheesy wonderful.  

That is the extent of my Christmas Morning menu! Woohoo! 

Really what else do you need after a whirlwind of gift opening? Coffee, perhaps.

I will be making a few other items to have throughout the day, but we will not eat breakfast until around 9:30 or 10.  Munchies will fill in the rest of the day.  

I've created printable menu that you can download for free and fill in with your own choices.

Free Christmas Morning Printable

What do you serve to your hungry crowd on Christmas morning?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tips & Tricks: Christmas Recipes

It's time for the Christmas Recipe version of Tips and Tricks!

I know you all are getting your delicious recipes ready and gathering your ingredients.  Maybe you're making a special treat for teachers or friends at work?

We would love for you to share your recipes here!

Here is a rundown of the parties for the rest of the year, as a reminder. Don't miss one!



Don't forget to follow all of our amazing co-hosts, and visit each other's links. It's a great way to discover new blogs and all sorts of great ideas!


Heather - Stringtown HomeFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jessica - Prairie Girl to Southern BelleFacebook/Followgram/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jonell - Like Gramma's HouseFacebook/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Kathleen & Samantha - Fearlessly Creative MammasFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Ursula - Kraft MintPinterest
Denise - Stl MotherhoodFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Followgram
Karissa - A Fresh Start on a BudgetFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Gina - Gina's Craft Corner
Christa - Controlling CrazinessFacebook/Pinterest
Leslie Monroe - Be Simply BetterFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn
Amy - Trip Worth TakingFacebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'
Wendy - A Daily Dose of Del SignoreFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/Bloglovin'/Instagram
Krysta - Krysta Steen.comFacebook/Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter





Anything Goes Section:




Monday, December 16, 2013

More Christmas Printables!

I guess I'm in a printable kind of mood.  I love creating them, and it's such a great way to really personalize your home decor any time of year.

I created two printables that you can use together or individually, based on John 3:16 & 17.

Take a look:


I know these aren't considered traditionally "Christmas" verses, but I believe they are very fitting. 

Aren't we amazingly blessed to be so loved by our Creator?

Click on the images above to DOWNLOAD.

Christmas Card Printable

Merry Week and Half until Christmas Everyone!

Can you believe it? It really IS almost here!

And, if you are like me then, you haven't sent out your Christmas cards yet. Yes, I know. Not very Christmas-y of me, is it?

Since I am so behind, I though maybe a few of you might be, also.

Here is a copy of the card that I will be sending out:


If you would like your own, here is a copy without names for you to download for free.


Just click on the image to download.  

I left plenty of room at the bottom for the names of everyone in your family.

It will print out at 4x6.  If you print it on cardstock you can simply put the addresses on the back with a stamp and drop it in the mail. Easy peasy, and so cute!

Please leave a comment if you download the card and plan to use it! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Family Christmas Printable

Two weeks 'til the kids are out of school and I am off of work for Christmas!

I love this time of year and I am so looking forward to spending time with my family and friends.  That is the best part of the holiday season to me-making memories.

We have already been to one holiday party and will be going to more coming up in the next couple of weeks. Also, we have family traditions that we will be continuing this year.

Here is our list:


Every year we go out to dinner one night then drive around looking at lights, with a yummy peppermint and chocolate shake to keep us company. It's on the list.

Every year we take a trip to the Boardwalk in Shreveport, Louisiana, to have dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, do a little shopping, and enjoy the activities they have going on.  This year they have free Santa photos at Bass Pro Shop, the Boardwalk Blizzard, and live music. It's on the list.

We WILL watch The Christmas Story every year on Christmas Day. OF course, it's on the list.  

I want to make a point to just have some quiet down time with the boys, so we will definitely have a Family Game Night.  We do this pretty regularly, but with all the busy-ness of the holidays, I want to be certain to make it happen. It's on the list. 

Visiting grandparents, baking, and everything else that is oh so important, is on the list. 

We will check off each one as we go.  

My list may be different from yours, so I created a blank one for you to download and add your own activities. 

I hope you enjoy it, and have a wonderfully blessed Christmas!

Click the image to download!



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tips & Tricks Link Party: Handmade Gifts

It's that time, again, everyone! I love the theme for this week-Handmade Gifts.

In years past, for exchanging gifts with my family, we all made handmade gifts.  There have been some really great ones created by my family.

Here we are playing outdoor Jenga, that was made by my niece and nephew:

Handmade Outdoor Jenga
It could actually be a bit dangerous when it falls over! You better get ready to run!

So, share, with us, your handmade gifts from this year, or years past.  

The most pinned project from the Fall Kids Crafts party was this Tissue Paper Turkey from The REal Housewives of Riverton:

Tissue Paper Turkey 

Thanks for sharing with us, ladies!

Here we go, with this week's fun theme of Handmade Gifts!



Don't forget to follow all of our amazing co-hosts, and visit each other's links. It's a great way to discover new blogs and all sorts of great ideas!


Heather - Stringtown HomeFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jessica - Prairie Girl to Southern BelleFacebook/Followgram/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jonell - Like Gramma's HouseFacebook/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Kathleen & Samantha - Fearlessly Creative MammasFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Ursula - Kraft MintPinterest
Denise - Stl MotherhoodFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Followgram
Karissa - A Fresh Start on a BudgetFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Gina - Gina's Craft Corner
Christa - Controlling CrazinessFacebook/Pinterest
Leslie Monroe - Be Simply BetterFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn
Amy - Trip Worth TakingFacebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'
Wendy - A Daily Dose of Del SignoreFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/Bloglovin'/Instagram
Krysta - Krysta Steen.comFacebook/Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter









Anything Goes:




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Preparations: Recipes for Gifts and Parties

As I'm preparing for Christmas, I am gathering recipes all in one place so that they will be easy to locate when I need them.  Where am I gathering them? Pinterest, of course!

There are lots of recipes that I have used in years past and some new ones that I can't wait to try.

Follow this board to see what recipes I will be using for parties, gifts, and family gatherings:

Follow Amy @ Life Is A Trip Christmas: Recipes for Gifts, Parties, Christmas morning, and Snacks on Pinterest


Gift ideas for Teachers:

Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Sprinkles
Boozy Caramel Fudge
Tex-Mex Brownies
Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Mix

Combine one or more of these yummies and your gift to the teacher will get an A+!

I have made the Candy Cane Hot Chocolate and the Chocolate Covered Pretzels many times in the past few years and they are always a huge hit.

When you combine the words caramel and fudge, you know you've got something good happening!

For the Hostess with the Mostest:

Homemade Caramel Sauce
Carolina Mustard
Fresh Herb Mayonnaise
Spicy Cheddar Straws

Carolina Mustard is a delicious dipping sauce that goes well with sweet potato fries, spread on a burger, or paired with fresh veggies.

Any self respecting Southerner has a good recipe for Cheddar Straws.  This one has a little bit of heat.  Whip them up and present them in a cute jar with baker's twine and you'll be a star!

Party Starters:

Cherry Pecan Brie
Bacon Cheese Dip
Colby Pepper Jack Dip

Your party will be off to a great start and your friends will think you're a certified chef with any of these tasty treats.

Do you need a few more printable Christmas tags to add to your stash? Click on the image to download.

Christmas Tags from TripWorthTaking
Created with PicMonkey Courtesy of Amy@TripWorthTaking
Add your own flair to these tags using some of the precious Christmas Fonts that I shared last month, and print out on cardstock. A perfect homemade gift to make someone feel special!

*The tags print at 8.5" x 11".

Enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Giveaway! A Value of $500.00!

This is so exciting!
Today, I am co-hosting a huge Black Friday Giveaway with 42 other bloggers!

Could you use an Xbox 360 with Kinect, a Kindle Fire HD, or a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer to help out with your Christmas list?
If you think you would like to try your hand at winning one of these fabulous prizes, enter as many times as you can below.

Good luck!






42 blogs are bringing you an amazing giveaway to get your holiday season underway! We're hoping to make the holiday season easier for one of our lucky readers, $500.00 worth of easier that is! 

The winner will be able to choose from an XBOX 360 Kinect Nike+ Bundle, a Kindle Fire HD 8.9", or a KitchenAid 5 Quart Stand Mixer in the color of your choice! Oh and to top it all off, we're going to give you the difference in an Amazon gift card to make your grand prize total $500.00

For example, if you choose the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" as your prize, it's $229.00. 
$500.00-$229.00=$271 Amazon gift card. 
Amounts based on price at time of shipment.

Sounds like something you'd like to win, right? Well, without further rambling, on to the giveaway! Good luck!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tip & Tricks: Fall Kids Crafts

It's that time, again, and this time we would love for you to link up your fabulous kids crafts!

With the kids being out of school this week, they may have a tendency to get a little bored while everyone else is cooking. With your help and your kids craft tip and tricks, boredom will be busted!



Don't forget to follow all of your hosts.  We all work hard to put this party together and want to be able to stay connected!


Heather - Stringtown HomeFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jessica - Prairie Girl to Southern BelleFacebook/Followgram/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jonell - Like Gramma's HouseFacebook/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Kathleen & Samantha - Fearlessly Creative MammasFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Ursula - Kraft MintPinterest
Denise - Stl MotherhoodFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Followgram
Karissa - A Fresh Start on a BudgetFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Gina - Gina's Craft Corner
Christa - Controlling CrazinessFacebook/Pinterest
Leslie Monroe - Be Simply BetterFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn
Amy - Trip Worth TakingFacebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'
Wendy - A Daily Dose of Del SignoreFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/Bloglovin'/Instagram
Krysta - Krysta Steen.comFacebook/Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter

Get ready to show off your handmade gifts next week!















Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving: Cooking, Eating, and Shopping; Oh My!



Oh. Em. Gee.

I love Thanksgiving so much. And, not just because of the amazing food. Partly because of the amazing food, not completely.  

I love going back to my hometown and spending time with my family.  That is totally the best part.  
The wonderful dressing that my mother makes is the second best part.

Here are the recipes for the dishes that I will be preparing:



I've use this recipe for Broccoli Bacon Salad before and it is just perfect. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.


This Squash Casserole is originally from Southern Living Magazine, so you know it's good.  No doubt about it.  And, it's not really Squash Casserole if it doesn't have Ritz cracker, now is it?

I've already purchased my ingredients and will take them all to my mother's house to make the dishes.  

So, yes, my kitchen will stay clean! ;)

Every year we all say that we don't need to have so much food, but we always have sooo much. It's all so good, too.  I will eat way more than I should, but I will enjoy it.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you bring to the Thanksgiving meal, or that someone else brings? You know there are those dishes that really MAKE the meal, and it wouldn't be complete without it. What is that dish for you? Please share! We all love new recipes to try!

Here is a new one that I will be trying out. 




I have had Pecan Pie Muffins many times, so using the batter to top off a delicious apple pie mixture sounds like a no brainer!

We will have so many desserts it will be ridiculous.  I'm sure it's the same in many homes across the country.

Will you be going out shopping on Thursday or Friday? I considered it, but now that I have been able to get quite a few early Black Friday deals, I don't really have a need to. Thank goodness!

If you're looking for great deals early, I recommend signing up for daily updates through Passion For Savings. You will be able to stay current on what deals are available each day, and which sales have gone live in stores and online.



I was able to find out that Target had Skylanders Swap Force available online at their Black Friday price yesterday.  You couldn't actually order it, though.  So, I went to the store where they had it at a "sale" price of $49.99. I took it to the checkout and told the lady that it was $37.00 online.  She scanned it and said, "well, it's $49.99 here".  I asked her to call someone and got a Customer Service Manager to look it up and got the deal.  That was a 51% savings off the original price people! Woot!

And, I didn't have to fight the Black Friday crowd to get it.

Several Black Friday sales are going live today, so be sure to check them out.  Also,  you can see in the sidebar all the items that I am shopping for this year!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie



I used to hate Chicken Pot Pie. Now, it is one of my favorite cold weather meals-even though it wasn't cold here this weekend. 

I have a super quick and easy version that turns out great every single time. 

Here is what you will need:

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 small can carrots
1 small can green peas
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder (optional)
Poultry seasoning (optional)
ready made pie crust dough

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Ready made pie crust dough

Prepare your bottom crust according the directions on the package.  Make sure there isn't any air trapped beneath, but don't prick the crust to let it out. Simply readjust the dough to remove the air.

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Combine the canned veggies (don't drain them), chopped onion cubed chicken, melted butter, and canned soup in a bowl and mix.

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Next, add your spices to your own personal taste.  I use about 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper, each; 1/4 tsp of garlic powder; and, a couple of shakes of poultry seasoning.

Mix those together and pour into the pie crust.

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Top with the other crust, pinch off the edges and trim the excess.

Bake in the oven according to the directions on the pie crust package.  Mine said to bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, but it only took about 30 minutes, so be sure to watch and keep your nose in the air for the delicious aroma.  

This is what you should get. Flaky crust and juicy yumminess inside. 


Want a fork full?



The juices from the veggies combine with the juices from the chicken and soup to create a lovely flavor that the whole family will love! 

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tips and Tricks: Thanksgiving Recipes

We're back for another Tips & Tricks and this week the theme is all about the upcoming holiday-Thanksgiving Recipes!

We want to see your best and yummiest recipe creations!

But, first-the most pinned link from last week was:


A cute handmade ornament from STL Motherhood! She, also, has a printable available for download on her site.  Thanks so much for sharing, Denise!


Remember to follow each of your hosts on the social media channel of your choice. There are 13 of co-hosts and your link will appear on all 13 blogs and every single link will be pinned to the featured Pinterest Board! Sweet deal, huh?

So, let's get on with it, shall we?

Heather - Stringtown HomeFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jessica - Prairie Girl to Southern BelleFacebook/Followgram/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Jonell - Like Gramma's HouseFacebook/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Kathleen & Samantha - Fearlessly Creative MammasFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Ursula - Kraft MintPinterest
Denise - Stl MotherhoodFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Followgram
Karissa - A Fresh Start on a BudgetFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin'
Gina - Gina's Craft Corner
Christa - Controlling CrazinessFacebook/Pinterest
Leslie Monroe - Be Simply BetterFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn
Amy - Trip Worth TakingFacebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Bloglovin'
Wendy - A Daily Dose of Del SignoreFacebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/Bloglovin'/Instagram
Krysta - Krysta Steen.comFacebook/Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter






Anything Goes Section:




Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend DIY: Boy's Bedroom Makeover



We had a great weekend! I hope you did, too.  

Any time that we do some DIY I have a great time.  You know how it is.  

This weekend the project was less than $100, and we made over a whole room.  

Yes! Less than $100! Crazy, right?

It was maybe more of a mini makeover, but it made a dramatic difference in the younger boy's bedroom.  

Let me refresh your memory on the before sitch:


We had the bunkbed happenin' and they stayed a major mess. They were hard to make up, and they stayed piled with junk all the time.


 

There was just TOO MUCH STUFF to really be able to make the room look neat, and not nearly enough storage. 



Awesome signs were just stuck in corners where they didn't really stand out.



I made the Drop Cloth Cockpit (which the Littlest loved), but it just encourage more piling of junk behind the flap.

So, there were lots of problems that needed to be solved.

1. De-crapify the entire room
2. Make the beds more user friendly for the actual users. The Middle-un is 13 now, and he is tired of climbing up into bed every night.
3. Curtains!
4. Organization after de-crapification.

We were in project mode when we got up on Saturday morning.  Even with grocery shopping and a birthday party on the to-do list, we were determined to get it done. 

And, much to his chagrin, the Littlest had to help out with the de-crapifying. It's mostly his junk anyway, so he should have a say in what stays and what goes (with me having the ultimate authority, of course). He did great! He was ready to donate lots of things that he wasn't ready to let go of just a couple of months ago. We were even able to toss lots of McDonald's toys. Yea!

We would never throw away books, but we are donating a ton of them.  Both of the boys that share this room are readers, so we are always going to need more room for new books.  

Then, we un-stacked the bunk bed for easier access for the Middle-un. He had been saying that it was getting harder and harder to climb up with out waking his brother up. Problem solved.

Since we un-stacked the beds we had to reconfigure their storage in the corner of the room.  There were two corner units that we took out completely, and just shifted the dressers and hutches around.  

Now for the ridiculous number of pictures with more explanations. 

Airplane themed boys room

This is what the beds look like un-stacked.  Notice how the posts on one bed come up higher? I don't really care.  I doubt most people would even notice it!


I kept the same bedding and shifted the plane wall art to the middle of the wall.  We added the C's above each bed with reading lamps mounted beneath.



So far, we have spent $22 dollars on the lamps.  Everything else we already had.


Airplane themed boys room

We moved the map that was thumbtacked to the wall down a bit, and used pine boards to frame it out.  We simply nailed them to the wall, securing the map beneath.

The boards were about $13 at Lowes. 

Total, so far, $35.

Airplane themed boys room


You can see that we moved the propeller to wall with the window, and now you can see the prop from the hallway, which I like. There were no curtains in the room, so I bought a rod and a single flat white sheet at WalMart. I simply ripped the sheet down the middle and hung each half with clips, folding in the rough edge. 

The rod was about $14, and the sheet was $10. Now we are up to a whopping $59!

Airplane themed boys room

We took one of the hutches off and it's now being used between the beds as a stand alone shelf. We moved the dressers to be side by side, and relocated the Charter sign to this wall. Eventually, a small tv will reside where the globe is sitting.

I bought a few more fabric bins (which are empty right now!), they were only $4 each and got 3. 

$59 + $12 = $71

That's the total! 
I know that it's not a complete makeover, but it really makes such a difference in the room.  It feels so much bigger without the everything being so high in the room.  The bunks were up high, and the wall units were massive in the corner.  Now it feels much more spacious and more suitable for older boys.  

We were able to store all the Littlest' Legos in bins that he can slide under his bed. And, now we are working on putting away bins before getting out something else.  

Since we finished, he has spent a lot of time in here.  He loves his reading lamp, and the signs above the beds.  The Middle'un is thrilled that he doesn't have to climb anymore.

Over all, it's a big hit. And, we didn't break the bank or our backs.

Note: The wall color looks absolutely awful in the pictures! It's really not that green. It's more of a khaki color. 

What room do you need to give a good de-crapifying to?

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