Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Daily - Days 19 - 25

Just to show I took my photos - holiday chaos and all - though I didn't take any after Christmas Day.  I will take my year-end dinner tradition photos tonight.

Looks like the makings for some kind of house.

Let the baking commence.

Like little soldiers, little vanilla chocolate cherry stuffed soldiers, all in a row.

Girls Night Out @ The Nutcracker

Nine recipes.  Two days of baking.  Two hours to Cookie Exchange.  One bad elf.

Cookie Exchange 2013 - And I don't think all the recipes were here yet. . .sugar cookies are on the table

Beautiful pre-Christmas evening skies

Where are those stinkin' elves when you need them?

If there's glitter it must be Christmas Eve.

Tricks on Christmas???  Aww. . .come on!


Annual stop at the "Halloween House" aka synchronized home/Christmas music.

If you participated in December Daily, please post a link to your photos; I'd love to see them. If you're posting to Instagram, leave your ID.  I'm posting to Instagram (#decemberdaily2013) 

Ho. Ho. Ho.

A Peek At Our Holidays

Okay, these are in reverse order, and it's too big a pain to start over.  Christmas Morning at the top, followed by our Christmas Eve and ending with the Cookie Bakers.  All it translates to is a yummy, warm and festive holiday.

I hope yours was equally jolly.

Happy New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Don't Make Me Count It

Most of the time running Apron Strings is fun.  There are a couple things I will put off until I absolutely have to do them.  One is bookkeeping - not a fan (and yet I sought an Accounting degree in college.)  The other is counting inventory at the end of the year - hate it!

You can help me.  Not so much help me with the counting (though I'd love the help), but rather reduce what I have to count by shopping Apron Strings Year-end Sale.  There are discounts all over the place - some as much as 70%.  Now, add a 10% coupon code and save more. 

Enter YE2013 when you check out to save an additional 10% on your order, on top of whatever savings you already have on your individual items.  Coupon code expires Jan. 2, 2014

Coupon is good for one use only.  Please remember your coupon code as refunds will not be given if you forget it.  Autoship members' orders will ship with their January kits.

Go.  Shop.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Eh, My House, Christmas Goodies and Wrap It Up

My house is relatively clean.  Something I'm sure will end with the start of Christmas Break and the return of the only child who had to go to school today; half-day though it was.  His three siblings are already off. . .of which he is happy to use as a reason for not attending today.  That and how they, "do teach anything anyway!" 

As I was saying, the house is relatively clean but the clutter that comes with this time of year is starting to get to me.  The boxes in the back hall, the wrapping paraphernalia on counter-tops, the scattering of mail and cards on the tables.  Shipping tape and peanuts on the floors.  Then you add the "kids are out of school" clutter:  shoes, coats, socks, backpacks that won't be used for a couple weeks, various cups and plates and whatnot; it's making me crazy. 

I'll have to tidy up before I start my Day O'Baking.  Yep, today I'm doing a large chunk of the baking for the Cookie Exchange I'm hosting on Sunday.  I was going to keep it simple and make my regular Spritz (my faves) and one other recipe; a bar because they go quickly.  And then I found these on Pinterest:
I put all a list together for all the items I don't already have on hand, for all the above recipes, and hit the store.  While there I crossed off the fudge, not because it doesn't sound great, but something had to go.  I'm three recipes into the five above, plus my Spritz - but the kids like doing the Spritz once I've mixed up the dough.  I'll let you know how they turn out.  So far the recipes are quick to put together and look amazing.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some of them.

I'm attending the Nutcracker tonight with my daughter, my mom, two of my sisters, and a niece and I'm excited to officially get in the Christmas mood.  Because we all should have some Christmas Spirit in the air, maybe using this inspiration will help you find your Christmas Cheer.

The color pallet is from the Color Theory board:

And combine the pallet with this sketch I found on Pinterest, that led me to Basic Grey's blog.

I love the three photos on two pages, with room for more photos if you wish.  I love the groupings of embellishments.  Even the banners under the focal photo.  You could easily convert this to a one-pager or even a card.  If you're working on your December Daily(TM) you can scale it down, too.

Remember - your reward for taking time for yourself this week is a kit.  Get your project linked up by Sunday evening to be eligible.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

REMINDER: Shop and Save Now and Later

Just a reminder that by shopping this week at Apron Strings, not only will you save a bundle (like 50%) on past Scrapbook and Card kits, TV Dinners and Paper Packs, but you'll get a $10 gift code to come back and shop and save in January.

So, whether you're shopping for yourself, a family member or a friend, save a little a lot and then come back and save some more.

*Note:  Savings Code will be emailed to you after your order has been received, is good for one use and will expire 1-31-2014.  A minimum order of $35 is required to apply your $10 savings code.  Code cannot be used toward autoshipped kits.    Please enter your code at checkout - refunds will not be given if you forget your coupon code.

December Daily - Day 18

Our little shepherd did awesome.

If you're participating in December Daily, please post a link to your photos; I'd love to see them.  If you're posting to Instagram, leave your ID.  I'm posting to Instagram (#decemberdaily2013)

Ho. Ho. Ho.

One More Checked Off and Wrap It Up

Yesterday was the day of the 5 y.o.'s Christmas program.  I tried to stop the ever-running list in my head for the half hour show.  Santa songs, Jesus songs, Christmas songs, reenactment of the Nativity - so cute.  So sweet.  So funny.  Watching the teachers was highly amusing.  No where will you see the pure joy to be found in the season than in little kids.  It just bubbles out of them.  (Our's is the shepherd in red)

That's one more thing off the list.  Hitting the shopping list tonight with the hubby.  Tomorrow is baking day.  At some point things will need to be wrapped.  On the lookout for orders.  And above all trying to be calm and enjoy the season, like that little elf up there; to see it through his eyes.

Today, reminisce while you take a moment for yourself.  Use the color pallet below from the Apron Strings Color Theory board.  This simple pallet can be highly effective with its pop of burgundy and pink.  Add that little sparkle of silver and gold and it's a great creation.

Like this card that reflects the colors.  Found on Pinterest it led me to bloGbloM, a foreign blog - not a clue what language that is, but her cards are simple and simply adorable!

Remember, even one completed project gets you entry into the drawing for this week's kit.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shop and Save TWICE

Still have a few stubborn people to cross off your shopping list?  Are they paper crafters, like you?  Pick up a Past ScrapbookCard Kit or TV Dinner for them.  Enroll them in an autoship membership for a kit.  Or maybe pick up a thing or two to tuck under the tree foryou

Shop this week at Apron Strings, and besides scooping up lots of huge savings on everything from Paper Packsto Embellishments, you'll receive a coupon code to come back and save again.  With any order you place this week, you'll get a $10 savings code to shop again in January, 2014.

While you're pulling together a little of this and a little of that for a crafty-friend, sign yourself up for autoship of any of the three monthly kits to get your 2014 paper crafting off to a great start!

*Note:  Savings Code will be emailed to you after your order has been received, is good for one use and will expire 1-31-2014.  A minimum order of $35 is required to apply your $10 savings code.  Code cannot be used toward autoshipped kits.    Please enter your code at checkout - refunds will not be given if you forget your coupon code.

December Daily - Days 13 - 17

Another driver to teach.

Taking the day off and trying to figure out what to do.

Meetin' the man.

Homemade Christmas.

We love the Company Christmas Party!

If you're participating in December Daily, please post a link to your photos; I'd love to see them.  If you're posting to Instagram, leave your ID.  I'm posting to Instagram (#decemberdaily2013)

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Just That Time of the Year and Wrap It Up

No matter my intentions, this time of year just seems to upset the normal order of things; sometimes no matter how much I try to do or be otherwise.  It just happens.

Yesterday, was that kind of day.  Today, may be there as well...shoot the rest of this week.  Forget it . . . it's the rush into Christmas from now on.  

I did manage to get some items ordered - hubby now has presents.  The kids still need to have some shopping done - maybe Thursday, currently my only open afternoon --- no jinxies! --- I can head out and brave the crowds.  I'll need to formulate a plan though, or I'll just be driving all over with a 1,000 things in my head.  And who needs that?

I don't remember all I've done in the last few days.  However, I did take Saturday off and while I'd hoped to do what I wanted, I did some AS work done before I decided to play.  I did some more work on my Project Life TM - two more weeks completed, and one more I started cropping photos for.  I'm pretty sure that puts me almost to June.  I'll take photos, eventually, and share.

This week, like last, offers the incentive of a kit if you do your best to play along.  Only one thing - card, layout, pocket page is all you need to complete and share to be eligible for the drawing.

I love this pallet, found on the Apron Strings Color Theory board. 

And lookie here, that pallet is found in the October Afternoon line in the December Smaller than a Breadbox kit.

If you've got the December kit, use it.  If not, dig out some of the colors from the pallet.  Find wood embellishments, like the floor in the pallet photo.  Or maybe that Nordic pattern on the mittens will remind you that you have that print in a paper?  Or the fun stripes of the scarf.  Look for woven fabric to mimic the knitted items.  There's even a smidge of a basket showing that has that rough texture:  burlap?  distress an item or edge?

Whatever you choose to do, share it by Sunday evening to secure your eligibility.

Happy Wednesday.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Driver, Quick Food and Wrap It Up

Hubby is off doing year-end reviews for the next three or four business days, which means he's super tired and getting home late.  Our 15 y.o. recently completed his driver's training, which means he's ready for his permit.  We tried, yesterday, to get it, but forgot his birth certificate.  So, I took him this morning during his off-block, proper paperwork in hand.  He's now official.  And IT'S official we have two teen drivers.  Crap.

This month started quickly and seems to be picking up speed.  Outside of our twice-weekly meals with the in-laws, my meal planning has been super simple.  I've made these quick, easy and really good French Dips before, and they fit the I-need-something-good-and-fast mold I'm working in these days.  I used Muenster and the broth the blogger mentions is a need-to-make!

I also made this Chicken and Black Bean Casserole that I had pinned, complete with homemade enchilada sauce and rotisserie chicken.  It was good; even better the second day.  If you use your favorite canned sauce, it's fast.  But I don't think I'll make it again.  There wasn't anything seriously wrong - had good flavor.  I probably just wasn't in the mood for it the night I made it, but it's lack of impression on me, means I'll just pass on another showing.

Finally, it's the last Wrap It Up of the week.  You have until Sunday evening to get your projects linked up to be eligible for the weekly drawing.  REMEMBER, the prize is a KIT!

I found this card on, where else, Pinterest and it led me to 24Savvy.com.

I love the mix of the Newsprint with the Kraft and Stripes.  Maybe it draws your eye as well, and you'll translate that to your project.  Maybe it's the punched circle with the sentiment behind.  Maybe it's the stitching.  The buttons. The touch of black.  The pinked edges of the Kraft circles.  Or the circles themselves.  Whatever you choose to add to your card or layout, get it done and up here by Sunday night.

With hubby's crazed schedule for the next few days, we'll be having down time this weekend.  Kit boxes and shipping are past me (be on the lookout members!), so I may take a day for myself before I dig back in to business and Christmas.

Happy Friday,