What are you trying to find???

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her Iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 40 : 1-5)

Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts; Yet once a little while and I will shake the heav'ns and the earth, the sea and the dry land: And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come.
(Haggai 2 : 6-7)

The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.
And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
(Malachi 3 :1-3)

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, GOD WITH US.
(Isaiah 7 : 14; Matthew 1 : 23)

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
(Isaiah 40 : 9; Isaiah 60 : 1)

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
(Isaiah 60 : 2-3)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(Isaiah 9 : 2)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9 : 6)

There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.

(Luke 2 : 8-14)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MAKE THIS: Last Minute Gift Idea-- Zipper Bows

Spent my evening working on some last minute projects before Christmas. I am sure you have seen zipper flowers, bows, and details on all kinds of clothes the past couple seasons. These little zipper flowers are super easy to make and a cute embellishment for your clothes, hair, bag, dog... whatever in your life you feel needs some extra pizazz!

I used THIS video tutorial to learn how to make them. I had tried them a couple times before watching the video... and it was not working out. I watched the video and I went... OHHH! I was doing it backwards all along... and THAT is why they were all wonky. Anywho... I know now.

My mom was the one who suggested the little gemstones in middle... which I think is cute. (I used be-jeweled brads that i bought in the scrapbook section of Hobby Lobby, but then was considering how many mis matched pairs of stud earrings I have that I should have used instead... oh well)

Add a pin or a headband or a hairclip to the back... and definitely attach it to the top of a package this Christmas. I am sure your recipient will be quite excited.
Merry Christmas, friends!

Friday, December 17, 2010

MAKE THIS: Christmas cookies!

Hey everyone! One week from today is Christmas eve, can you believe it has approached us so quickly?!?! Do you have your holiday menu pulled together? I am still working on mine.
Have you decided what kind of cookies you are leaving for Santa? Well, if not, here's some help:
Remember the Online Holiday Cookie Exchange we were going to do, and it was going to be a lot of fun? Well, I only had ONE participant. Sooo... even though yooooou chose not to participate, you still get the benefit of one dear participant's labor and secret cookie recipe. You are lucky, because you really don't deserve it, do you?
And I am sharing my favorite cookie recipe too... and I was thinking about actually sharing the secret ingredient this time that I usually leave out when sharing (I'm a selfish hag like that), but I don't know... I haven't decided if you really, REALLY deserve it. I might have to consult with Santa about offenses and lists and get back with you... but while I'm doing that, Enjoy this cookie recipe from my dear friend ERIN and her so-lovably-ornery-it-hurts son, Dawson:

Aunt Debbie's Almond Sugar Cookies

My son Dawson and I getting the ingredients ready.

 Almond Sugar Cookie Dough
1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. almond flavoring
2 TBSP milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg, milk, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Gradually add dry ingredients. (Add an extra splash of milk if dough seems too crumbly after all dry ingredients are added.)
Chill overnight. Roll out dough between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookie shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.
Bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes for thinner cookies, 10 minutes for thicker cookies.

Almond Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 TBSP. Milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond flavoring
2 1/2 TBSP. softened butter

Mix all ingredients together until creamy and smooth. Pipe with frosting tips onto cookies with plain icing and sugar with colored sprinkles.

Yields 4 dozen 2 inch cookies.
Small cookie cutters are great for this recipe. Little bite sized tastes of the almond flavored goodness seem to be just right. :)

Thank you so much, Erin for sharing your cookie recipe! :)
While you were reading that I was chatting with Santa, we have that kind of relationship (You like how I am keeping this going?) And I guess you landed on his NICE list. Some of you BARELY squeaked by. I'm just sayin'...
Soooo... here's my favorite Christmas Cookie EVER. (If you read my old Recipe Blog, you've seen these before. But they are worth the repeat, I promise.) And because I love you, (and because Santa pleaded on your behalf -- though I cannot say his motives we purple selfless, he may or may not be expecting these left for him on Christmas Eve. I'm just sayin'...) I added my additions and secret ingredients this time... You're Welcome.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup butter, cubed at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tblsp honey*

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips**
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips**
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the dry goods together into a large bowl. Set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugars, and honey, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the dry goods to the wet works a small amount at the time until well combined. Fold in the rolled oats until thoroughly combined. Add in the dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
Use a 1/3 measuring cup*** to transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Use the floured bottom of a drinking glass to smash the cookies flat. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
When they have slightly cooled, but are still warm, transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack. Enjoy with a big glass of milk
*The Honey is my secret ingredient. You can leave it out and use 1/2 cup of granulated sugar if you want... but you just don't get the same depth of flavor, and the honey is so nice with the crunchy oats... Yum. PLEASE use a good quality honey... I personally like a local wildflower honey I stock up on at the farmers market. Raw honey is the best... but lets not lie when it's just us-- I will put that stuff on/in anything!
**You can play with different variations of chips, keep the basic amounts the same... but if you don't have minis on hand, don't worry about it... If you are not into white (I can't imagine why you wouldn't be, but if you're not...) double up your milk chocolate. This is my FAVORITE combo though.
***You are gonna look at that and go... Huh-uh. That can't be right, that's a huge cookie. But the bulkiness of the cookie batter means it holds up well to it's size. And once you take your first bite of the big cookie... you will be glad it is extra big!
So There you go, kids! Now go put on your aprons and get to work! And next time we have a recipe exchange, consider participating... it makes it more fun for all! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

DO THIS: 12 Days til Christmas!

My Niece Lexi is one of the goofiest, smartest, creative people I know. We are so blessed to have her in our family. She brings energy, excitement, and laughter into all of our lives.
Last night our family was sitting around after dinner when she asked if we could sing Christmas songs. Of course! And my mom sat down at the piano. What do you want to sing?
Lets sing the twelve days of Christmas...
...But lets make up our own!
So we start singing... On the First day of Christmas...

But let me interrupt this story to tell you about my Dad. My dad is a Notorious Giver. haha. The man dearly LOVES to give to people in every way he possibly can. Be it time, service, food, money, or gifts, his greatest joy in life is giving. (And giving ang giving) He loves to give. He loves to spoil his kids and his friends kids... and over the past year or more that Lexi has been with us, she has quickly learned how to use her charms to get in on some of that spoilage herself. And Dale Sass is overjoyed to do so. (How could you not be, though... Lexi is a darling, beautiful, happy, wonderful girl that we can't help fall in love with!) So it goes without saying that if you were penning your own version of a song about someone giving gifts... If you have ever met Dale Sass, you know the logical choice for the giver in the song would be none other than... Dale Sass. So back to our song...
With no further consultation, we all burst into song singing... On the First day of Christmas DALE SASS gave to meeeee... (and then burst into a fit of giggles that we all instinctively inserted my dads name into the song!)
And we went along giggling and arguing and telling stories while composing the song as we went. At one point my Mom started chiding my father for his lack of participation in writing the song. And he came right back with-- I'm participating! I'm giving all these gifts, aren't I?!?! More fits of giggles.
So the last verse of the song went like this:
On the twelfth day of Christmas Dale Sass gave to me....
Twelve Awesome Presents! (she was pleased with the present selection in the song by this point)
Eleven Yankee Candles (My mom had a lovely one burning in the other room we had just been admiring)
Ten Red Roses (because Dad like to send flowers to his girls)
Nine Hippopotamuses (My favorite silly Christmas song!)
Eight Christmas Ornaments (we have a VERY full tree of keepsake ornaments, as everyone in the family gets a new one each year for mom and dad's tree)
Six Power tools (this was Z's addition, as that is his favorite gift from my dad!)
Five GOOOOOOLLDEN Ribbons (because there was a big gold ribbon tied around a package that Lexi had her eye on wanting to open all evening...)
Four Hula Hoops (the gift my mom requested for Christmas that everyone thinks is hilarious!)
Three Seasonal Sweater Vests (an ongoing joke for my sister who is a teacher...)
Two Maggie Dogs (My parents have an obnoxious Maltese named Maggie)
And a Pink Pony in a Purple Tutu (Lexi's creation!)

It was really a lot of fun. We spent a long time giggling while creating this song that is unique to our family. Are you a little jealous? Maybe you should sit down with your family... and be sure to include the silly kiddos... and create a Christmas carol unique to the givers and gifts for your family! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

LOOK AT THIS: Our Christmas Card

Designed and ordered our Christmas Cards from Shutterfly... and I can't wait to get them! 
Cranberry Joy Christmas Card
Make a statement with personalized Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

SEW THIS: Family Stockings

(DON'T FORGET about the Christmas Cookie Exchange! Still need more people to submit recipes, and it will be great!)

What's that? You were looking at my last post about nativities and noticed that FABULOUS little family of stockings? And you were wondering where I came upon such lovely little gems? And you were hoping if I said I made them there would be a tutorial coming so you could make one just like it?!?!

Well... I am so glad you noticed them! I did, in fact, make them. And, because I love you I threw together a quick Tutorial for the big one... and... have compiled some other resources should you like to try your hand at creating some of your own stockings. :)

I cannot lie. I am so excited about these. This is my favorite project I have done in a LONG time. Can you tell by what a goob i am being in this post?
I knew I wanted to make us some new stockings, but wasn't sure what kind. Soooo... I pulled inspiration from several places and I took some fabrics I had on hand that were neutral/coordinating and went for it. (I know you are laughing because i just called Gold lame neutral. :) haha)
Z's was the first one. I wanted it to look fancy... and Z is always concerned that the stuff I make for him is too fancy, and not very manly. So I used the ivory burlap as his base, lined with muslin, with satin details for the toe, heel, and cuff. I used the wrong side of the satin, which was still pretty... just not as shiny (more manly). I had to add a little sparkle, so the hanging loop and his initial are in gold. Just a LITTLE polish for Z. (He liked the Z because he thinks it's similar to the Z in Zildjian, and he's a drummer, so I guess I did good!)
Mine was next. And I am all girl and ruffles, bows, sparkle and shine. The fancier the better. I used shiny ivory satin, lined with muslin, with satin and gold lame ruffles and a gold hanging loop and initial for me as well. My initial is all scroll-y and pretty... and was a pain in my rear to cut out. (I don't have one of those fancy cutting machines, that is all by hand, baby!) I love the way it turned out though. LOVE it.
Before you get all excited about the little stockings on my mantle... NO I am not pregnant! Though people think that's a cute thing to ask me almost daily. sigh. For the record, I am not amused. Anywho... the little stockings are for the Boys:
I decided not to line them, because it was unnecessary work for a stocking that... well, lets be honest, we have dog stockings, but we don't put much in them. They are just for show. So no lining. Charlie's is in ivory satin with a burlap cuff, and gold initial and hanging loop. Winston's is also in ivory satin, just the wrong side so it's less shiny, and a gold edge and Loop, burlap initial. I cut free hand patterns for each of them, because I wanted them to be just a little bit different shape/size. I think they are cute all hanging on our fireplace.

Okay, so this is not obnoxiously long, I am going to put the tutorial after the jump... (but you really want to click it!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

LOOK AT THIS: Nativity Parade

Char, at Crap I've Made is hosting a Nativity parade, and I just HAD to participate.

 I love showing off my Christmas decor, and I especially love my nativities. Actually, I first fell in love with my parent's. They have a huge set that a friend made for them, all white glazed ceramic. It is my favorite. As kids we would always get to set it up and we would pull each piece from it's wrapper and hope that we were the one to get to the baby Jesus of the Angel first. Those were our two favorite pieces. I also really love all the animals my parent's set includes. It's pretty much my favorite nativity EVER.

I have two in my home. My mother gave both of them to me. The first is from the first Christmas I had my own apartment. I wanted a nativity, but didn't have the money to purchase one. My mom saw this one in a book order (she works for a school) and purchased it, because it was cute and made us giggle. It folds into a box-- a GIFT, if you will. It opens to a little clay nativity.
I know it's a little simple, and meant for children, and not PC and all that... but i just think it is so sweet. I love all the little details too...

The hair and the tiny ears and toes... I just love it. The sheep are precious too.

And the very best part, a very white little baby Jesus (ha!)... cozied up in his manger looking oh-so-happy to be here. I am happy he is here too!

I know... it's a little childish, but I just think it is so sweet. I love this little nativity, and I can't wait to share it with my kiddos... you know, someday.

My other nativity I received last year as a Christmas gift. I tried desperately to find one like my parent's, but seeing as how theirs was custom made... no luck. I like the fact that theirs is neutrally colored. That works well for me because I change my decor frequently :)

This is the willow tree set... and it's just the 'starter set' nativity. But you've got all the important people... Jesus, Mom and Dad, and animals. And a Shepherd, who is... awkwardly sized in comparison. Not sure if Mary and Joseph are hulking figures, or if the Shepherd is just an especially petite man... either way, there it is. It's simple, so I put some green and lights and sparkly things behind it...
I like how it looks lit up.
This one sits on my tiny mantle... I was going to put it out on the buffet... then remembered that the buffet is a ginormous piece of furniture and my set is very small. So it went on the mantle.

I like it there though, it seems... intimate. Which is kind of what I guess the event it represents was like. You know, as well as being crazy, dirty, loud, smelly, and kind of the weirdest thing that had ever happened to any of the original participants... definitely not elaborately dressed and visits from kings and one or two well behaved animals that we like to put in our nativities...
Be that as it may, Nativities are a lovely tradition, and a wonderful reminder of what we are celebrating this season! Thanks for letting me share mine... And Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

LET'S TRY THIS: Online Holiday Cookie Exchange

(Soooo... I know I don't have a TON of followers here, but I thought I would try something and see if ya'll would participate with me, Come on! It's Christmas!)

 It's the holiday time, and we always have holiday parties to attend. I never like to show up empty handed, but I always wonder if my friends are tired of the same cookies every time. See I have a fabulous Christmas cookie recipe... but i have to be honest. I am getting a little bored with it.

Do YOU have a go-to cookie recipe, or a family favorite, or something that your friends always request the recipe for? You wanna have a recipe exchange? (If your answer is no, will you participate just to make me happier anyway?)

Here's how we'll do it, in two easy steps:
STEP 1: Email your favorite holiday cookie recipe (and a picture of your cookies/sweets if you have one) to onesassyhousewife@gmail.com Be sure to include your name, and blog if you want a link back! Please submit this by MIDNIGHT on Sunday Dec 12. (That's right, starting now you only have 5 days to accomplish this!)
STEP 2: Check back next week on Monday, Dec 13th for Holiday cookie recipes from bloggy friends! Hopefully we'll have lots of participation and inspiration! :)

Are you excited? I get excited about cookies! I am super excited, right now, looking at those yummy PICTURES of cookies... or maybe I'm hungry... hmmm...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

LOOK AT THIS: A Christmas shopping trip

This weekend I am in IL visiting my dear friend and college roommate. We spent our day yesterday shopping... and it was the perfect Christmas-y shopping trip ever. There was just enough chill in the air to make your cheeks tingle when you entered a warm festive store... but not so cold out that strolling down the sparkly lit tree-lined street was uncomfortable. We walked in and out of quaint shops and boutiques while sipping egg nog lattes... and hit some of the biggies too...
Like Pottery Barn, where I spent my time lusting over festive and cozy stuff like this

I love these ornaments made from sheet music... I would LOVE to see some made with music from The Messiah. Had I found such ornaments in the store, I am pretty sure I would have lost it right then and there.

This made me squeal a little with excitement

I also really love this happy holidays banner as a garland for the tree... mmm... pretty...

Then we headed into another Lust-worthy store. William Sonoma where I found these lovely things:

If I had several of these, I wouldn't need ornaments on my tree, just ribbon and some lovely copper Christmas cookie cutters. Happiness. And while we are on the topic of copper loveliness:
Try not to drool on your computer keyboard. We also found these for B's nerd big brother:
hahaha, LOVE IT.

Sooooome... other things? This adorable pet boutique called Two Bostons:
They had a full pet bakery with precious Christmas and Hanukkah cookies for your four legged friends. I wish I would have taken pictures, SO CUTE. I also found these that I really wanted to get for the boys:
Their Dad would have been so proud. :)
And last but not least, we visited my girlfriend Ann Taylor, and while I can only afford her beautiful clothes when they are on super ultra clearance in the outlets... I did find a little something in the store that I decided needed to find it's way into my BFF's stocking this Christmas...

Ann Taylor Possibilities fragrance is our new favorite. Apparently B felt the same way about this item as I did, because we each left the store with one in our bag, told each other Merry Christmas, and toasted our eggnog lattes to another Christmas present checked off the list! :)
I didn't think I could honestly dip any further into Christmas charm and Spirit, until I woke up this morning to a fresh coat of thick sparkling white snow on the ground. Contented sigh.