Friday, December 26, 2014

SUPER Simple Organizing Tips To make Decorating NEXT Christmas EASIER...

I hope y'all had a very, MERRY and BLESSED Christmas!

Question:  Are you one of those who can't wait to get the decorations down?
Or are you like me, leave them up till after New Year's........AT LEAST;)

Either way, these tips will help.
I know we all get tired eventually and just want get the house back, and if you're like I used to be, that means you CRAM the stuff in boxes till next year.
Then next year, you open boxes full of STUFF......some of it broken, ripped, stained.........basically ugly and un-useable.

Well here are a few simple tips to help. (common sense, but who has common sense? hahaha)
By taking a day or at least a few hours to do some of these, next year when you drag the Christmas boxes out, you can be a bit more FESTIVE as you deck the halls!

1.  Take a look around your house.  Do you like what you see?  Did your Christmas Decor this year turn out pretty darn cool?  Or AWESOME?  Then here's what you do.  Go around the house and take pictures.  Wide angle, close up......especially if there are smaller items that you had placed "just so".  Load the photos on your computer and create a file or print them out and place the photos in a folder.  Next year, look at the pictures as you decorate.
It seemed my nutcrackers and village houses landed in just the right place this year:)

2.   Packing up........ As you take down your ornaments, get rid of any that are broken or irreparable in any way.  Seriously.  Unless it's a sentimental and/or incredibly valuable ornament from Great Aunt Bee, get rid of it.  Frankly, even if it is, you should probably get rid of it.  Chances are it won't be nearly as sentimental to whoever inherits it as you are.  Just sayin.  And if you didn't use some ornaments.......just know there is a good chance you will never use them.  So throw em out, donate or something:)

3.  Pack carefully.  This is something I NEVER do.  But this year, I will.  I kinda like the ornaments we have now and want to keep them around.  Wrap fragile pieces in tissue paper.  Make dividers using pieces from a cardboard box or even use egg cartons.  You can try packing them in plastic cups.
 Hey, you can stuff tissue in ziplock bags if all else fails.  Use your other towels, artificial snow.......stuff like that, for padding.
My husband bought me Christmas plates this year and you can bet they will be packed up right!

4.  Christmas Lights.  Oh gosh.......the dreaded Christmas lights.   Make sure all lights work and then roll them neatly on cardboard.......pieces or old rolls of paper towel.  Do this for garland and ribbon that came unwound also.

5.  Gift Wrap.........Here's the deal.  We all save crappy bags that should be tossed because they have been used for 5 years.  AND.......we buy rolls of new paper and forget about what we already have.  Go shopping TODAY and buy some half-price bags, bows and paper.  Make an inventory list and keep it on your phone, in your wallet, on the computer.  Anywhere and Everywhere.......just keep it and look at it before you buy more. * * *Extra Tip: If you shop all year long, then WRAP all year long.  Why not.  Just record what you have and who its for.  Important:)
What can I say???  I really liked the rustic touches we added this year to a HUGE white tree, like the plaid and birch gift wrap.  When I saw it on sale for 1/2 off today, I grabbed some for next year:)

6.  Christmas Cooking.........Did something turn out really great this year?  Or really awful?  Did you receive a food gift that you just have to make next year?  Rather than keeping every recipe that sounds good, keep the ones that you know are a SURE THING.  They should be in a special notebook for Holiday Cooking.  Then, when you come across a recipe that might be a keeper, you can place those in there too.  I have the mother load of Christmas cookbooks and guess what.......we eat the same things every year.   Remember.....Simplify!

Alrighty then, I guess that's it from this us.
You, you probably DO have better ideas.  But this is HUGE progress for me and maybe it will also help you.
And next year, when everyone else is freaking out over their Holiday preparations,
we'll be feeling pretty chill.
At least that's the plan:)


Friday, December 5, 2014

MERRY Little Christmas Treats

Hey there....
'tis the Season to be MERRY
and make MERRY treats;)
I'm talking fun, festive, easy, yummy kid-friendly treats!
I looked at my secret and not so secret (Pinterest) places
 and here are a few I want to pass on.......including links when available.
let's get started.......

First up we have "Grinch Kabobs".
 I told you easy, right?
a toothpick, grape, strawberry, banana slice
 and a mini marshmallow is all you need!  Yummmmm.

Rice Krispie Treats.......
Y'all know the recipe is on the box, right?
Just add green food coloring and build a Christmas Tree 

 Red Velvet Santa's Hat Brownies.....
Hmmmm.  What does one say about these except double YUM!!!!!
 (source...Cookies and Cups again:)

Pretzel Presents.......
these are new to me this year.  
Nothing fancy.......just square pretzels, melted chocolate and m & m's.

or how about a Grape Christmas Tree?
Styrofoam cone, toothpicks, grapes and You're done!

 One of my favorites are Powdered Sugar Donut Snowmen,
made with mini donuts.
Soooooo cute and easy!
These are from A Little Tipsy.

In keeping with the donut theme,
mini chocolate donuts, pretzels and red m & m's = Rudolph!!!
source: puertabella

Check this out.........
Strawberries and Bananas!
What a cute after school snack:)

 Last but not least, one of our all time favorites.....Santa Hats!!
We first saw this on a Disney Video and have made them every year since.
Simply use a vanilla wafer as the base and use a dab of whipped cream or frosting to stick the strawberry to it. Decorate your "hat" with frosting or whipped cream again.

Well, there you go!  I DID say easy:)


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