December 28, 2012

Frankfurter Friday!

Snow, snow, snow...

Our weekend and week have been filled with lots of snow. Friday night we had really bad weather which knocked out our power and made for a really long drive home. I was so glad that I didn't have Max with me because I really needed to just pay attention to the roads.

Christmas with my family was great. Mr.B and I made my Mom a nightstand and she had no idea so I was so excited for her to see it. She loved it and put it to use right away. I'll show ya all the details on here soon. It was just really nice to spend time with family and Mr.B.

We got a ton more snow Wednesday night which made driving a chore yesterday morning. There was a 4' drift behind my car, but Maximus is loving it! You cannot shovel in this house without him trailing you, barking, crying...he insists you throw the snow so he can jump in it or just throw the snow on him - either or he's not picky.

I caught this picture yesterday when he was outside with Mr.B running around and getting stuck on the drift - his little legs are just too short.

The Freckled Redhead - Maximus the Dachshund

Happy Friday!

We appreciate Mother Nature letting us know she still knows what season we're in - but I'm ready for the snow to melt a little because the roads are covered and the ice did not help the matter yesterday.

Who will be out trying to find clearance Christmas deals this weekend?

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

CHRISTMAS!
Enjoy the time spent with your family and cherish all these special moments together – we sure are!

December 21, 2012

Frankfurter Friday!

Phew! It has been a taxing week for me. I just feel like I need a break – and thankfully I’ve got a nice 5 day break coming my way.

I’m headed home this weekend for a little family Christmas time and it’s going to be wonderful. There are 2 new fur babies waiting at my parents house and I can’t wait to meet them. My Mom & Dad got another dog (so that makes 3) a very cute black with a touch of white miniature poodle named Mandy – and my Sister and Bro-Lo finally took the leap into parenthood and they also got a miniature poodle whose name is Rizzo – she is all black. #allblackeverything if no one else feels the urge to say that or thinks of this song when they think of an all black poodle I feel sorry for you (or me) – if you also miss the irony of her name – a black curly haired poodle named Rizzo – I feel sorry for you (yeah, probably just feel sorry for myself). #greaselightening

Max is going to sit this one out and stay home with Mr.B – I feel a little bad because he is going to be lonely, but I just can’t deal. He doesn't ride in the car as much so he gets a little sick and then I’m worried the whole time that he’s not feeling good. On the way home (two and half hours) I had passenger window down so he could get fresh air. I was really struggling – heat on, window down – not doing much for my gas mileage. A little father, son & brother time never hurt anyone so hopefully it’ll be good for everyone involved.

It has been a tough couple of months and I’m just praying that the New Year will be good to my family, friends and I. We could all really use it. I was totally looking up 2013 horoscope forecasts – I got mixed messages from the 30 I looked at. HAHA.

Guess what? Christmas just came early for you because today I decided to InstaDump! For those you who aren’t on Instagram I wanted to share all of the jems that are going on over there. My Instagram is mostly Maximus the Dachshund and Kota the German Shepard, that's their formal names you can just call them Max and Beluga. Don't worry though it's not all pictures of them - I do take pictures of projects so you can see sneak peeks. If you are on Instagram you can follow me here.

The Freckled Redhead - Insta Dump

Happy freaking Friday! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend that isn't filled with crazy last minute shopping.

I know I can’t wait to be with my family and just let the stress of life melt away. We are all obviously still here so take that Mayan calendar. I think it's cool that I can say I lived through the Y2K scare and now the Mayan calendar hype. There is definitely something going on lately - I wish everyone could find the love in their heart to help those that need it, and even those that don’t. I’ll step off my soap box now – Thanks!

December 19, 2012

Cookies!

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup." How can you not love Buddy the elf seriously. I mentioned the other day that we've been doing some baking around here for the Holidays. It doesn't involve the elves four main food groups, but they're still good!

Every year I try to bake several different kinds of cookies so that I can bring them to our families houses and give them to our siblings and friends/neighbor. I don't know what it is this year, but I've left out an ingredient in nearly all the cookies -I'm a total hot mess.

If you go on Pinterest it is cookie over load. There are some nice lists with links to all different recipes here and here. Did I mention there was over load?

Last year I came across a recipe for crinkle cookies through Iowa Girl Eats. They are awesome - not a lot of ingredients (even less when you forget some) and they are yummy!

The Freckled Redhead - Iowa Girl Eats Crinkle Cookies
I used to get Rachel Ray Magazine and one year right around the holidays she had a whole section of cookies. I told my Dad to pick one and I'd make them. He picked rugalach so that year I made homemade delicious rugalach and fell in love.

If you are familiar with The Food Network Magazine they sometimes have inserts in them and one year they had a cookie insert and it had something like 50 different cookies using 5 different dough's as the base for each. So it was in there I found an even easier way to make the tasty rugalach. You can find the recipe here. This was one the only recipes I didn't forget something - and how could I it's so simple!

The Freckled Redhead - Food Network Rugalach Recipe

I also found Martha Stewart's Coconut Bars last year. Which are really similar to a box mix that Eagle Brand's used to sell. These are really simple too - but I overcooked mine this year and had to throw them out and still need to re-do these ones. UGH.

The Freckled Redhead - Martha Stewart Coconut Bar Recipe
I usually make thumbprint cookies because they are my favorite. This year I decided to change it up and was going to make Brown Betty Buttons that I saw in my Food Network cookie insert, but I'm feeling a little defeated and think I'm going to forgo those this year. You can find the recipe here though, if you'd like to give it a shot.

I also wanted to make something different instead of the standard peanut blossom cookies - I found this recipe from Bakerella for peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate. 5 ingredients – so simple – I promise I didn't mess these up.
The Freckled Redhead - Bakerella Perfectly Peanutty
Source
Last but not least – the classic spritz cookie. I have the cookie press from Pampered Chef and it came with a recipe for spritz cookies so that is the one I use and you can find it here. Spritz are one of my favorite cookies – they’re just delicious. I might have forgotten 1 cup of flour (I just realized I typed flower instead of flour - really?) so mine spread a little, but they were still really good.
The Freckled Redhead - Pampered Chef Spritz Cookies
Source
I don’t know what it was this year, but I just wasn't a good Christmas cookie baker. I think it was because I was rushing to get them done and then get to the next thing on my list, and also because I was trying to multi task while I was making them. I would be making dinner and be whipping up a cookie batter at the same time. Next year – I will start sooner and focus!

So lets here it – what is everyone’s favorite cookie for the holidays?

December 17, 2012

Etsy Holiday!

If you haven’t been introduced to Etsy you are seriously missing out. It is basically an online craft fair of wonderfulness.  I have an Etsy, but haven’t done anything with it in a long time and keep telling myself I need too. I make custom invitations and prints and hopefully will get my store up and running again.

Until then – I wanted to share some great finds I've found. The holidays are a great time to help small businesses and find unique one of a kind gifts for everyone on your list. (Just click on the picture to be taken to the item.)

Ornaments make great gifts and it’s a tradition around here for Mr.B and I to get one for each other every year.  These laser cut wooden snowflake ornaments are awesome! Timber Green Woods is the seller and they have a lot of other cool stuff you can see here.

The Freckled Redhead - Etsy Shops
For any of the ladies in your life: Mom, Sister, Best Friend jewelry is a good gift. I absolutely love this bracelet! It is so unique and has so many different textures with the metal filigree and the silk wrap and the two part toggle is so cool. The seller is Happy Go Licky and you can find more great pieces here.

The Freckled Redhead - Etsy Shops
Man’s best friend – dogs. Everyone who has a pet understands the unconditional love so pet artwork always makes a great gift. I love Maximus and think this print is really funny. Going places 2 is the seller and they have all different breeds and styles that you can check out here.

The Freckled Redhead - Etsy Shops
This next one is great for the man in your life. They might not know what faux bois is and how fresh to death it is right now, but regardless they will love this wallet because it’s so manly. rntn is the seller and they have a lot of other great leather goods that you can check out here.

The Freckled Redhead - Etsy Shops
I would totally rock this case on my iPad – it is awesome! It’s cork so it gives it protection and its sustainable - you can’t beat that. This would be perfect for any tech lover man or woman. The seller is Corkor and they make pretty much everything out of cork and you can see all of it here.

The Freckled Redhead - Etsy Shops
So there are some of the things I've found on Etsy recently that I thought were pretty awesome. I hope that you if haven’t jumped on the Etsy band wagon you will soon. Buying local and from small businesses really doesn't take much effort and you get unique pieces.

When purchasing from Etsy just remember to check things like how many orders they've sold, what their feedback score is and what people have said in their feedback. If people are saying shipping is slow or they had problems – you probably want to forgo purchasing anything from them – and just so were clear none of these people paid me to peddle their stuff, I found it and liked it.

Do you have a favorite Etsy shop? Share with us in the comments!

December 14, 2012

Frankfurter Friday!

I have a song in my head - and it's the final countdown (you can't say it normal you have to say it like them). After this weekend it is the last weekend before Christmas for me - I am travelling home next weekend to be with my family before the holiday. 

Things are wrapping up nicely around here. See what I did there - HAHA. I'm waiting for a few things to be shipped, finishing touches on some others but for the most part I have everything pretty much done.

It has felt like the longest week ever though. I have felt a little off this week but I'm ready to start making some changes. I know I need to start working out again because winter and winter foods just do something to my body and my body does not like it.

I even was able to squeeze some more cookie baking in this week so that was nice. I've had a few cookie mishaps though that set me back. I should be finished with all my cookies this weekend though. Next week I'll share with you all the different kinds we made. We like to give them to our families and friends/neighbors as little thank you. I mean who doesn't love cookies?


Look at mah mans little face seriously how can you not love it? In the mornings he typically will get up with me after a lot of stretching, moaning and groaning. He goes outside, comes in and waits for his pumpkin treat and usually he retreats back upstairs to go snug with Mr.B. At the beginning of the week every time he'd come into my office with me and whine and jump and make a huge fuss. He's obsessed with getting on my desk. I'll put him up here and he'll walk all around it, sniff everything and then he'll lay down right by the mouse so I have to touch him.

He's too cute to get mad at though. His toys are in a closet in the hall because Kota isn't supposed to have toys, because of his work.(Don't worry he gets toys but its supposed to be a reward when he does.) This week he was slamming on the door with his paws and doing his little yelp. It was funny,cute and annoying all at once. I let him in the closet and him and Kota each went and in and grabbed a little something they wanted to play with - it was really funny. They are two hombre's those two. A funny little fact about them is that they were both born on the exact same day and year. We got Kota when they he was 1 1/2 though- we always say that's why they're so close and thank goodness because Kota doesn't really love other dogs, ever.

Happy Friday and remember - the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

December 12, 2012

Rocking around the Christmas tree.

I showed you our Christmas decorations last week here. Although, I wasn't totally thrilled to be decorating it was fun to make my paper trees that I showed you how to do here. I was so pumped that I couldn't wait to make a tree I saw on Martha Stewart out of pipe cleaners.

You can see the original tutorial from Martha's site here. It wasn't very hard and only took me about an hour - I loosely followed the tutorial and then added my own touch here and there.

To start I cut my piles of pipe cleaners: [2] 1" sticks and [3] 2",3",4",5",6" sticks after you've cut your groups  twist them around each other to make a star.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner TreeI held mine together in the star shape and then grabbed the middle and twisted them. I had a pair of jewelry pliers on hand so I used those to crimp down my twists as I went along.


After I twisted them I was left with a star that I could adjust to my liking.
I did that for all 6 sizes but I didn't worry to much about the shapes and how straight everything was because I knew I'd be adding a lot more to them and would be able to adjust as I went.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

The next step was making the different branch lengths and having them in piles so I could grab them as I went. The original tutorial says to put [2] 2 1/2" branches on each but I felt like that was too much for me. I did make my branches 2 1/2", 2" and 1 1/2".

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

So instead of doing 4 branches on each I did three and I like how that looked better. I did one of each of the sizes and spaced them out accordingly.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

For the second to smallest size I did 2 branches on each limb that were 1 1/2" and 1" and for the smallest one I did one branch that was 1" of each limb.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

I was impatient so rather than wait for Mr.B to wake up so I could look upstairs in the spot I thought I had some thicker wire I took 3 of the pipe cleaners and twisted them together at the bottom to make my trunk. Then I slid each snowflake on then wrapped all three pipe cleaners around a different branch...and secured it with my pliers.

I need both hands so I couldn't take progress pictures - but in the end I was left with an awesome tree! It's a little wobbly since I didn't use the wire in the middle but I'm totally fine with it. I was trying to think of something I could use for my base and knew I had just the thing. My little pot that I picked up at the thrift store that I told you about here was the perfect size to hold it. I had to wrap an extra pipe cleaner around the base to make it a little thicker so the pot would hold it better.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

 Then I was trying to think of how I would decorate it. I had some ribbon on hand and tried it, but it just felt to big and bulky on my sweet little tree. My ribbon was in my beading container so I decided to see if there was anything in there I could use.

I had some sparkly beads that fit perfectly on each branch and they looked like ornaments. So I slid them on randomly the same way you decorate your tree with ornaments. I had a yellow rose bead that fit perfectly on top and the color made it look like a lit up star.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

 I put my sweet little baby Christmas tree on the windowsill in the kitchen. It looks so cool in the little pot with all its sparkling beads.

The Freckled Redhead - Pipe Cleaner Tree

I had one package of 25 pipe cleaners that were 12" that I got from Hobby Lobby and I had enough - including the extras I used help make my base more sturdy. It was a fun project and would be something easy to do if you had kids.

December 10, 2012

Paper trees

If you live on this planet and have a Pinterest then I’m sure you've seen ‘the paper trees’. I first ones I fell in love with were these from here. Then I saw some other variations here and here.

It’s no secret that I have a potential hoarding problem but only with the good stuff like - craft and home products,not cats or junk.

I collected a bunch of wallpaper books when I worked at Lowe’s because when wallpaper gets discontinued they’d just throw the books out. I just had to have them because I knew they could be used for so many things.

I decided to put some of my wallpaper to use and make some paper trees with them. It was pretty simple and I’ll show you how I did it.

First, I went through all the books I have and pulled out reds, gold and silver tones.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
The second on the right is a brown and the pattern and texture reminded me of bark so I included that one too.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
I started by folding the paper horizontal and pressing down in the middle and then doing the same the vertical way so that I could find the middle of each piece of paper. They weren't all exactly square so this would help me make my circle.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
I made a mark where the lines crossed so that I would know where the center of each piece was – and it was easier than trying to measure each one out.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
I used a flag I had and tied some twine to the end so that I could hold the stick at the center point that I marked out. I tied a pencil to the other side and adjusted it to the right length so that I could make a complete circle all the way around.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
It wasn't the world’s perfect circle – I'll admit – but it gave me the general shape that I needed. I then cut a chunk of out the pie so that I would have a point and could twirl it together.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
Wah-lah! This is what I was left with. I will admit that I expected it to be bigger – especially with the size of the sheets I was using. I realized though that it was because a lot of it was being cut off from making the circle.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
I was able to cut another piece of the ‘pie’ so that I could get 2 out of each circle.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
I made a couple of the small ones. I secured the folds with staples at the back and no one will even see them. I plan on embellishing them eventually with toppers and some garland, but for now as you saw here I left them as is.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
The next morning after I thought about it some more I realized I could make some bigger ones if I just twirled the bigger pieces of paper without making a circle and used the corners as my point.

I needed both hands to make these so I couldn't snap any good progress pictures. I spun them and then rounded the bottom so that it would sit flat. I trimmed and cut as needed and ended up with some taller trees to add to my forest. I secured the folds with some pieces of tape along the fold - again the back won't be seen so nobody knows but me - and you.

The Freckled Redhead - Paper Trees
The larger ones I could obviously only make 1 per sheet of paper but the smaller ones I could easily make 2 per sheet.

I don’t think they will be hard to store because I can just put them inside of each other and stuff the bottom one with tissue paper or grocery pages to they hold their shape.

Next year I want to embellish them a little bit more so I’ll see what I can pick up this year after the Christmas decorations go on clearance.

Our ugly sweater party was a success - it was a close race but Mr.B didn't end up winning for ugliest. There was a lot of food and it was a lot of fun! Hope everyone had a great weekend - 1 more week closer to Christmas and I actually got some of shopping done- woohoo!

December 7, 2012

Frankfurter Friday!

Here we are another week down and 1 week closer to Christmas!

I have a love hate relationship with Christmas. Actually, I wouldn't say we love each other at all. I like Christmas movies, music, cookies and the feeling of Christmas. However, I hate the frantic running around to get presents and stressing whether you got something they'll like or spent enough or too much.

It has been nice to have the Christmas tree lit up at night though, that I will admit. I even made some of my Christmas cookies already and will hopefully get a few more batches done this weekend. Oh yeah, and hopefully I'll get some shopping done.

We have an ugly sweater party to attend Saturday night so that should be fun! I told Mr.B that we probably wouldn't need to go out and get him a sweater he could just use one in his closet. Hearty-har! I've got jokes for days, you have NO idea.

We had to relocate our "storage" basket because of the Christmas tree. Max was loving it - as soon as Mr.B left for work he ran into my office and jumped in there so that he could watch him pull out of the driveway. Every time he's come into my office since - he has to jump in it. Let's not forget he is 2' long and has 2" legs there is nothing graceful about it.


I hope that in my next life - I have it as good as this little guy. The belly rubs, massages, kisses, cuddles, treats, food....you name it! Most days he gets up with me and goes potty and then lays down for a nap. I wish that's all I had to do to deserve a nap. No matter how you look at it he has a great life and I'm just saying I wouldn't mind a day in the life of Maximus!

Happy Friday - I hope you get to nap this weekend!

December 5, 2012

Spreading Christmas Cheer!

We were finally able to get our Christmas tree and other decorations up this weekend! I must say though that Christmas decorating for me is equivalent to what rolling pizza dough is to me – infuriating.

I have a huge problem with wanting everything to be perfect. I get so annoyed when I roll out pizza dough and it shrinks back up or it rips….just thinking about it gives me bone chilling annoyance. I know your thinking, “It’s just pizza dough.” It’s way more than that to me and the same thing goes for holiday decorating.

In the beginning I’m so excited and can’t wait to deck the halls and then 2 seconds into it I’m ready to burn the halls down. It was no different this year – Mr.B turned on the holiday music channel and was rocking around the Christmas tree with Kota and I was ready to sleigh someone. Get it – sleigh. Oh ho ho HA! By the end of it I usually come around and this year was no different. I do think the tree looks cute and so do our other decorations.

Since I can’t sign loud for you all to hear – I’ll spread my Christmas cheer through pictures.

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
I used red satin fabric draped around the base of the tree and put a tree skirt from a couple of years ago over top of that. It is a fake tree because Mr.B is allergic. I’m also allergic, to cleaning the mess of a real tree up, that is.

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
This basket was Mr.B’s Grandma’s and I love it. It is so cute – she had the coolest baskets and we were able to get a bunch and we have them throughout the house.

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
We decided to not put any decorations outside this year. Last year we had lights on the railings, our mini pine tree and garland around the doors.We decided to forgo those this year because we hardly turned them on last year and we don't live in a village or town where people actually get to see them. At night when they're turned on were inside so the coyotes and skunks would be the ones enjoying them.

We hung our outdoor wreath inside because both of our doors have storm doors on them now so it wouldn't quite work out.

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
This little guy is fiber optic and lights up – look out frosty.

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
Anyone else remember these bad boys? My Mom made 2 of these and my sister and I each had one in our rooms during the holidays. I’m missing the star on top but that’s okay.

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
I made a bunch of paper tree’s using some of the wallpaper books I have. I’ll show you next week how I made them it was so easy!

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas
I put a candle in one our mason jars that we use as glasses – and last year I strung some bells onto twine and timed them together. It fit perfectly around the top of the jar!

The Freckled Redhead - Christmas

I’m probably the only person who gets annoyed by Christmas decorating but that is okay – I own it 100%. We have a few other holiday touches around like bows and grapevine wreaths in the front windows. We also have a small table top tree that we decorate and put in our room.

I really wanted to get a real small tree this year so that after we could plant it. Eventually, I will start that tradition.

What is your holiday decorating tradition?



December 3, 2012

It’s raining JEMS!

It's no secret that I love the thrill of finding a JEM within all of the other stuff at consignment shops and thrift stores. I told you about it here - so here are my most recent I would've gone home emptied handed but then I found you - JEMS!

We all know about the lamps I recently found - but I've picked up and received some other goodies in the last couple of months. Let’s get right into it – if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen these next two.

This little ceramic pot is from The Key which is a consignment shop right in town. They have clothes and housewares and pretty much anything you can imagine. I couldn't pass this little guy up and for $2 who could! I was actually in there to see if they had any lamps I could rehab.

The Freckled Redhead
I went to look around one more time to see if there was anything else, because why stop at $2. This shelf caught my eye and I was happy it did. It was $6 and it is awesome.

The Freckled Redhead
It’s very detailed and it isn't very deep which is kind of cool. We haven’t done anything with it yet, but we were thinking about putting it in the mudroom when you walk in as a little spot to put things. I’ll let you know what we end up doing with it though.

The Freckled Redhead
My Mom hooked me up with some awesome birthday presents! This strawberries box is so awesome for so many reasons. It’s old and rustic looking, it fits perfectly on our kitchen cart, and I love strawberries!

The Freckled Redhead
It couldn't fit the d├ęcor and style we have going on anymore than if we made it ourselves. It has awesome metal brackets on the edges that add to the charm and old feel of it.

The Freckled Redhead
I mean check out the paint job on this thing! It looks like its a hundred years old - but it isn't.

The Freckled Redhead
Mr.B really liked this one. The license plate on the front is actually metal and the rest is old and rustic looking. I put a couple of bears in it and put it on our book shelf in the living room.

The Freckled Redhead
My most favorite thing was this Doxie picture! Everyone always laughs about how long Max’s body and his tail are - so this is a perfect representation of him. Small head long body and really long tail. We hung this up in our hallway. I love it because I see it whenever I go into my office or the bathroom.

The Freckled Redhead - Jems
My notebook obsession continues. I couldn't decide between these 2 so I decided to get both. I kept the pink one but still haven’t written anything in it yet. That is kind of my secret. Back when I showed you all of my notebook’s here - half of them aren't even written in!

The Freckled Redhead - JEMS
This one I passed along to my good friend because I loved the quote and at the time I felt like it was exactly the quote she needed in her life. I found both at T.J Maxx which is where I find a lot of my cool notebooks - they're are by Eccolo.

The Freckled Redhead - JEMS

Those are my latest and greatest finds. There is nothing like going to a store and finding a JEM. I get such a rush from it. I especially love going to thrift stores and consignment shops and finding the hidden JEMS they have like my lamps, the shelf and my little teeny tiny pot.

It’s those pieces that make our house into a home and give it character. When someone asks where I got something there is usually a story behind it which makes it that much more fun because then I can relive the find.

Go thrifting lately -What did you find?
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