Monday, November 28, 2011

'Tis the Season for Decorating

I love Christmas.  My husband wouldn't let me a buy a Christmas tree this year.  We're moving in June.. so the reasoning makes sense.  He also says he doesn't want it because we have kittens.  We're going to have cats for along time, so I'm not letting that be a valid excuse. Anyway, it definitely puts a damper on my favorite parts of Christmas.  (In Scott's defense, he did just let me steal his old tree from his room at his parents.  It's about a foot tall, and was decorated with some sparkly pipe cleaners...).

I love the decorating around Christmas.  I revamped my mom's Christmas tree in high school.  We took away the ornaments made in elementary school (or at least all that she would let us) and added a nice color theme, only white lights, and some silver ribbons.  By the way, ribbons on a tree look gorgeous. I could only find this picture of the tree...from when I got my fancy camera.
 My old college roommate was so into Christmas.  Seriously, I've never seen a family with so many Christmas decorations. By the time she was in college, she already had a 6 foot tree that we eagerly decorated every Christmas.  There were ribbons, ornaments, lights, random Santa Claus decorations, the works.  The Christmas cheer in our apartment was always obvious.

Since I don't have a fancy tree to decorate (except for my lovely 1-footer), I've spent extra time wrapping gifts.  If I'm being totally honest, my favorite part of gift giving is wrapping the gifts.  Of course, I love the smile on the receiving end, but wrapping is so fun! I've decided to share a tutorial on how to get lovely DIY bows.  There are plenty of other tutorials out there for this exact thing, but I'm adding some holiday cheer to my blog.
First, you need scissors, ribbon (I prefer the thicker kind), and a wrapped gift.
Now, wrap the ribbon around the present both "hot dog style" and hamburger style."  I just tapped down my ends, instead of knotting it so that you can add the lovely bow at the end.
Now, cut a ribbon that is about half the width of your original ribbon and about 8 inches long.
Now, you need to circle the ribbon around so that you have about seven or eight layers, depending on how big you want your bow.
This is what it looks like flattened.
Using your scissors, cut two 1/4 inch slits in the center of your layered ribbon, 1 on each side.  Don't cut too deep, or the bow will fall apart.
Secure the layered ribbon with your thin 8-inch long ribbon.  It will sit right at the slits.   I made a double knot.
Tie your bow onto the cross section of your present.  Don't worry, it will cover up the tape at the end.
Now for the lovely bow...
Pull apart the layered ribbon, starting from the inside on each side.  You can move them around to whatever look you desire.
Curl any of the ends so that they blend in with the bow (or use this for any parts that may have fallen out).  
Add the finishing touches... 
And, voila, the final product. :)

To Scott's family, one of these is yours. :)
To my Secret Santa, the other is yours. :)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Long time no see?

What an odd expression.  If you really think about it, why would anyone phrase something like that? Anyway...

I haven't written a blog in a while.  I'm sure you like to hear excuses, so here goes: Conference time.  For a teacher, that means absolutely no life. My school has 100% participation requirement... so you must meet with each parent, regardless of whether they want to meet (because of that last statement, you get a lot of no-shows). Thankfully, I'm nearly done.  I have one that I'm still waiting for, but we'll get it scheduled eventually.

Then, of course, Thanksgiving.  Being married certainly adds to the to-do list when it comes to Thanksgiving dinners.  However, it led to three delicious meals. :)  I also got to do some cooking/baking, which is always fun.  My favorite new addition to the recipe book is a delicious white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.  Delicious... but extremely rich. We got to eat a lovely meal at Scott's grandparents', Thanksgiving at my mom's house with Grandpa and Aunt Rebecca (and Scott kicking butt in Scattergories!), and an additional meal at my Grandma's; where, once again, Scott and my team kicked butt in Guesstures. :) Have I mentioned my family loves board games?

Complete Topic Change...
A while back, we went to a Downhere concert with Scott's parents (and sister).  It was a really good concert, so I figured I'd share some potentially new music. First off, the lead singer, Marc Martel is becoming quite popular with his audition for the Queen Extravaganza.  He has quite the voice.
Go vote here! :) 

Don't worry, he's not famous for singing Queen.   They have many albums that could be featured, but I'll just showcase their well-known Christmas song, "How Many Kings":
I really could do a whole four-page blog with songs that I find worth listening to, but I'll let you explore here.  There's a button up at the top to listen to their music.  Do it.

While you're listening, here are some pictures from the concert!
Photo Credit goes to Scott
VIP Passes 

Let me know what you think! :)