My 3 Monsters: December 2010

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"Because Johnny Depp is Tired of Waiting in Lines" - OR- WHAT THE?!?!

Did you love the movie Inception?  Me, too.  I'm fascinated by dreams.  The hows and the whys of what comes out when we turn off consciousness.  It's downright bizarre sometimes.  Occasionally I can pick out elements and trace them back to their conscious origin. Other times not one thing makes any sense.  Take, for instance, last night.  My dream started out with the BAU {from Criminal Minds . . .} saving Brent and I from a bunch of homeless killers in our house.  Which makes sense since we go to sleep watching Hotch and the gang in re-runs most nights.  But THEN I was riding in a van with my in-laws in a town I don't recognize. A town full of roller coasters.  We rode a roller coaster, went down the exit line and ended up in a Sears store.  Where my best friend {who was not a person I recognize from real life} was selling appliances.  But she did not work there.  No, she was selling said products out of the goodness of her heart.  I repeatedly reminded her that she didn't work there and that we needed to go.  I even told several shoppers to leave her alone, but she was quite popular.  Whatever.  I left without her and met up with my family again.  Brent gave me a wristband to put on and when I questioned him about its purpose he replied, "Because Johnny Depp is tired of waiting in lines."  Yeah, Johnny Depp had joined our merry group and was, apparently, tired of waiting in lines with us regular folk. So he got us all wristbands that would, ummmmm, solve that problem.  I guess.  It's just weird. Plain weird.

But entertaining.

I can hardly wait to go back to sleep tonight.


Merry Christmas to All


Artwork: Kissing the Face of God
by Morgan Weistling
{Word Art by Word Art World -- added by moi}


The Last to Know

Have you heard of The Blog Guidebook? Of course you have.  It's awesome.  There are tips and tricks for bloggers, a listing of hundreds of great blogs organized by subject matter {so it's easy to find new reads that you'll enjoy}, blogging classes, and live-chat blog help.  It's like Mecca for all things bloggy.  They even have super cute posters you can buy.  {I want this one.}
As usual, I'm the last to know about it.  That's alright.  I just found my way there tonight and I have been so impressed!  I have several blogs that I enjoy reading regularly, but NOW I have found a bunch more that I didn't even know were out there.  I may never do housework again for all the time I plan to spend peeping in on people through their blogs.  It's a great resource if you're into blogs {which I am}.  Check it out!


Raw Nerve

I heard this song today while I was dropping Sis off at a friend's house and fidgeting with the car radio. Even though it is super old and not on a station where I would usually linger,  I listened and it made me cry.  And not just swipe away a tiny tear crying.  No, like sit in the car for 5 minutes to collect myself before going in the house crying.  WHY?!  I cry at the drop of a hat these days.  {No, I'm not pregnant . . . I hope.} We've struggled a little bit lately, but I just feel so very blessed.  Our Heavenly Father who knows us and loves us perfectly has sent angels in the form of friends and family to strengthen us.  This may not be our "darkest hour", but it's nice to know that we're not alone. And that is all I have to say about that because I refuse to cry again today.  


FINALLY Feelin' It

{sigh}  I'm back, people!!  Didn't know I was missing?  Hmmmph.  I was missing something, but now it FINALLY feels like Christmas to me.  I don't know what the deal has been this year.  Maybe the weather was too warm (in these parts at least) or maybe I've been in a funk.  Who knows.  It doesn't matter because yesterday was glorious!  It was cold{ish} and rainy.  I finally got some presents wrapped and put under the tree. The things I ordered online Tuesday started arriving.  Today is the last day of school and my kids are downright giddy.  Last Sunday night Sis and I went to the Messiah sing-along. Wednesday night we had a super fun progressive dinner for my Young Women (who, incidentally, loved their pendants).  I'm going to spend today baking roughly 20 dozen sugar cookies for the Christmas party at church and wrapping up (literally and figuratively) some of the gifts on which I've been working.  I'm exhausted.  It's been a long week.  {deeper sigh} Now that's what Christmas is supposed to feel like!  Boo yah!


Le Fou

Good news!!!  Riley auditioned for the school's production of Beauty and the Beast and he landed the role of Gaston's sidekick, Le Fou.  We are all BEYOND excited for him.  This was a major leap out of his comfort zone, but he is going to be fantastic.  Doesn't it just figure he'd be the comic relief in the show? {Hello, have you met the boy's father?}It's a good, good day.


It's Not Too Late . . .

. . . to give some hand-made Christmas gifts!!  Every year I really, really want to give meaningful gifts -- things that come straight from my heart and maybe not from the mall.  But I'm a super-procrastinator, so . . . you know . . . usually doesn't happen.  But this year I've come up with a few quick little goodies.  If you are expecting a gift from me this year, please avert your eyes.  Or stop reading.  Whatever. {Love ya' family!!}

My most favorite gift this year are these sweet little blingy gloves I made for several of my nieces (and Sis -- but she opened them today so it's all good.)  I got the idea while blog hopping the other day at It's Toile Good.

All it takes is some hot glue and a bunch of rhinestones, beads and ribbon.  Target has 2-packs of  those little gloves in their Dollar Spot right now.  It was so fun I was up til 1:00 this morning making them.  I think I may need a pair myself!

I was also working on these little gifts for my Young Women into the wee hours of the morning:
The mutual theme for 2011 is the 13 Article of Faith so I incorporated it into a scrabble tile pendant for them.  See how the B is really a 13?  I love these!

I got an e-mail last night from a really nice Young Women leader somewhere in the world whom I have never met asking me if I could create a version of the new mutual theme that they could frame to give to their girls for Christmas. Since I need one to frame for our YW room {and because I was so flattered} I was happy to oblige.
You can download the 5x7 size file here, the 8x10 file here, or the 11x14 file here. {I mean, if you want them.}

Now, if you couldn't tell, I LOVE to digiscrap.  I don't really scrapbook anymore, but I do like to make a cute recipe card now and again. So a few people {including myself, but I'm not sayin' who else} are going to be getting these collections of my favorite easy recipes.
I digiscrapped the recipes {some I found online already done . . .}and had them printed at Costco.  I'm going to connect them all together with a couple of big rings in the top.  I think it's more fun to cook when the recipe is cute.  But that's probably just me, huh?

So, there you have it.  A few of the tricks I have up my sleeve this year.  Now, I'm off to wrap! And link up:

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up     party!


And the Winner Is . . .

According to, the winner of the CSN Stores $35 Giveaway is #12:

(How cute is that picture?!)

Congrats!  I hope that helps you get your new pots and pans or a nice new camera this year.  I will e-mail you with all the details.  Thanks to everyone who entered.  I hope we'll be able to do more of these fun things in the future.  I love to give things away -- especially when it's other people's stuff! 

And now a fun little family Christmas memory (just because it makes me smile!):

Several years ago, before D was in school, we were out running errands when this song (but not this cute version -- the super annoying John Mellencamp version) came on the radio.  I thought nothing of it until little DD piped up from the back seat and said, "Mom, I don't think this song is very appropriate".  And now I chuckle a little bit every time I hear it.  Merry Christmas, folks!


Indulge Me as I Walk Down Memory Lane

{Before you skim over this probably long and dull-to-anyone-but-me post please go enter my $35 CSN Stores giveaway.  Pretty please.  I'm afraid I won't get to give you anymore cool stuff if the response is less than remarkable.  If you have already entered, thanks bunches!  If not, it's not too late.  I'm extending the entry deadline to SUNDAY, DEC. 12th @ MIDNIGHT and I will use to pick a winner first thing MONDAY MORNING.  If you have been hesitant to enter because you know me personally, please enter.  Being my friend is punishment enough, right? won't play favorites and neither will I.  Thanks guys!!}

And now, THE POST.  The one you all probably dread.  The sappy, sentimental post that always follows the raising of my Christmas tree.  You may remember last year's post with the accompanying how-to's.  But guys, come on!!!  I've put a little piece of myself into every single item on that tree.  For the past 15 years I have painstakingly created {or purchased when time was at a premium}little lovelies to display.  Every year I have scoured stores to find just the right ornaments to add to my children's collections.  I've agonized over the lights -- three different kinds of white lights because I wanted a variety of shapes and sizes and I wanted it to twinkle randomly, but not be too twinkly.  I've picked up things in July or had brilliant ideas in March and held on to them all year just waiting for Christmas tree time.  So I know you, me dear blog friends, will humor me as I blather on again.  Or at least just look at the pretty, pretty photo collage I made.
1. This is one of Sydney's personal ornaments.  It reminds me of when she was a little girl and I was a young mom who didn't know how to occupy a precocious child for hours on end while dad was at work.  I would take her outside and we would just wander around the grounds of our apartment complex.  She would pick up little leaves or rocks or pine cones and save them for her "collection".  There were days when I thought my head was going to implode from boredom or explode from sheer frustration.  But those walks were sweet salvation.

2.  This is one of the bells my kids received from Santa one of the times we rode the Polar Express up in Winslow, AZ.  It was so much fun riding the train in our pj's, drinking hot cocoa and eating cookies.  And playing in the snow.  Real snow.  Right here in Arizona. 

3.  I talked about these last year so I'll spare you, but there are about a hundred of those felt snowflakes in 20 different designs, all cut by hand.  See?  A little piece of me in everything on that tree.  Blood, sweat and tears, people!

4.  The beaded pipe cleaner snowflakes from Enrichment at church three years ago.  I didn't think I would like them.  I went just to socialize and paid the fifty cents each in advance just to give me a rock solid reason to go. But I LOVE the way they look on my tree, all sparkly amongst all the other more "shabby" stuff.  They look a lot classier on the tree than they do off.

5.  Riley's favorite little ornament from his personal collection.  I can't even remember what it signified.  Maybe nothing.  Who knows, but I love the way he lights up when he sees it every year.  It's like he's running into an old friend.  He plays with it for a bit -- it's mounted on a stick and it sinks in and pops out of a little cone -- and then carefully finds it a prominent place on the tree where it can be seen, but not get attacked by the dog.

6.  Who doesn't need a place to put their Santa letters?!  I's just a silly little thing I picked up at Target, but I'm gonna' be really sad when the day comes that no one wants to put anything inside there.

7.  Just another silly little ornament from Wal- Mart.  They only cost ninety-seven cents each, but my kids love them just as much as their other ornaments that cost (sometimes) much more.  They remind me that it's not how much you are able to spend, but how much you love the person that counts.  I really need that reminder this year.

8.  My glass snow balls.  My yearly reminder to go with the flow.  To let things be what they are and stop trying so hard.  This is one of those "brilliant ideas" that I waited all year to execute.  Only it was prettier in my head.  I bought those clear glass balls at the craft store, put a little thinned out Mod Podge inside and rolled it around til the whole inside was coated and then shook some clear glitter around in there.  It didn't come out looking as sparkly and pretty as I had hoped and the glue took forever to dry and the hangers at the top got kind of rusty because I put them back on too soon.  They almost didn't ever make it on the tree.  Brent talked me into putting them up and, would you believe, I loved them.  The lights on the tree light them up and make them all glowy inside.  Who knew?!

{Halfway done!  Thanks for hangin' in there, folks.}

9.  Baby sock snow men.  I wrote about those last year.  They always remind me of my kiddos when they were wee babes.  *sigh*

10.  Wrote about the scrap angels last year, too, I think.  They remind me of being a newlywed and having nothing but the clothes on our backs (almost).  When we lived in 1/3 of an old house on University Avenue in Provo.  Right across from the old Brigham Young Academy -- before the reno when it was really creepy. All we had were these little angels and some gold ribbon.  It was OK, though, because the only tree we could afford was only three feet tall so we didn't need much.  Those were good days.

11.  More jingle bells. OK, so not everything has significance.  Some things I bought just because they caught my eye at Target.  Or because I needed more red on the tree.  Whatever.

12.  I bought these cute little "Believe" stars at a craft shop in Layton, UT while shopping on Black Friday with Brent's mom and all my sister-in-laws.  They remind me how lucky I am to have two families who love me and to have a husband who is what he is because of those ladies.  {Thanks Ann!}

13.  My most recent addition to the tree -- book page ornaments.  Made from all the discarded pages of the books I used to make items for my Etsy shop.  Because one should never be wasteful.  I'm not kidding.  I've always been a repurpose-er, but I've really learned this year to make do on less.  To use everything and waste nothing.  Or something.  Whatever.

14.  Love these little candles I picked up years ago at Gardener's Village in Utah.  We had so much fun going to the annual Moonlight Madness sale with almost all of the Gregson family.  Shaunie won a quilt that night.  Someone should have told me that someday I would have a nine foot Christmas tree and I should buy more than six of those candles.

15.  These are the tin stars I bought in the BYU bookstore a couple of years ago in July.  They were on clearance from the 4th of July, but a red star is a red star.  They were cheap and I knew they would look fantastic.  It's always good to be thinking ahead!

16.  These little Santas were the bought in desperation one year when I had three toddlers (basically) and going to the store was a major trial.  I needed new ornaments.  I didn't have the energy to make them.  My kids were starting to freak out so I just grabbed three of whatever was close and made a run for the cash registers.  I hope these will always remind my children of how haggard I was when they were young.  And then when they're all grown and successful, they'll gift me generously to make up for it.  But the Santas are kind of cute anyway.  I got pretty lucky on that one.

Phew!  You made it.  I wish I could give you all $35 just for reading all of that sap.  Merry Christmas everyone!!


Oh Holy WOW!! A Super Giveaway Just in time for Christmas!!

This is the big league, folks, not just a schmaltsy little giveaway from my Etsy shop or a template to download.  No.  This is super fun!!  Recently I was approached by CSN Stores about doing a giveaway on my blog and, of course, I jumped at the chance because I just put up my Christmas tree and I feel all give-y inside. I was fairly familiar with CSN Stores before, but now I'm downright hooked!  They sell almost everything you could almost ever want.  They have over 200 online stores where you will find anything from chandeliers:
{LOVE this one for my master bathroom -- only $65}
to hot little Mary Jane pumps. 
{I'm swooning here}  But this is not about me.  It's about you.  {Get back to your give-y place, Aim.} I may have been sick this year, but I saw all the Black Friday deals and I know that some of you are going to be needing tv stands for flat screens soon!  CSN Stores has a plethora of affordable options.  And you know you don't want to be going to the mall right now.  Finish your Christmas shopping right at home in your jammies. *sigh*  I’m so happy to be able to help one of my bloggy friends out by offering a $35 gift certificate for CSN Stores. Need a Le Creuset cast iron pan for that foodie on your list? A new family game to play on Christmas Eve (maybe that's just us)? Some black patent Mary Jane pumps for your favorite blogger? No?  OK.  This gift code goes a long way to covering the cost.  Here's how to enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what you hope to find under your tree this year.  Because I'm nosy like that. (one entry)
  2. Blog about this giveaway. (one additional entry -- leave a second comment)
That's it!  Easy peasy!  get your entries in by Thursday (Dec. 9th) at midnight. I'll use to pick a winner on Friday morning (December 10th) so you'll have a little bit of time to use your prize.  Contest open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Good luck!!!  I'm so excited for y'all!

Even the Dog is Feeling Festive

I made some really cute cupcakes not long ago.
They had edible gold glitter and sugar pearls on top.
I tied each one with black and gold ribbons.
They were super fancy.
I left the extras sitting on the table.
Where Cassie could reach them.
And eat them.
A whole tray full.
Ribbons and all.
Later all her doodoos were tied up in pretty gold ribbons.
Merry Christmas!


OK, OK . . . I'm Done!

{Avoiding my house work, that is.}  Here's one more template:
Download the file here.  Have a great day!

Find a few more templates to download in this previous post.  And this one.  I'm linking up here:


Join  us Saturdays at for the  weekend      wrap    up           party!

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