Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Coffee Table Story

Once upon a time a girl fell in love with a coffee table at Goodwill. Her mom thought it was weird though, and told her not to buy it. She went back to Goodwill a few days later and thought about what she could do to it to make it pretty again. Nothing came to mind immediately, and the girl left empty handed, seeking inspiration.

That night the girl went to sleep and had dreams about the coffee table. It was a restless night for the girl, and in the morning she called her best friend to join her on an adventure. The girl was scared when she walked in and didn’t see the coffee table she had literally lost sleep over. She searched all the nooks and crannies of the store.

Resigned, the girl began to leave the store when her best friend got the bright idea to ask one of the employees about the fate of the table. He knew instantly which coffee table she was speaking of, and told her it was actually about to be thrown away. The girl was happy to know that the coffee table could be hers and that she could rescue it from an untimely demise.

After spending just $4 and loading it up in the car, the girl drove her blank slate home. The girl would then cover the wicker coffee table in batting and two coordinating decorator fabrics from Jo-Ann’s and the girl and the coffee table lived happily ever after.

Yours truly,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Handmade Christmas!

A Handmade Christmas!

As much as we love Christmas, and we LOOOVE it, we’re excited it’s over because we finally get to show off all of the awesome handmade things we gave our friends and family this year!

We gave wall art…

"Love is all you need"

(Tutorial coming soon!)

We gave recipe cards…

Recipe Cards
(Set of 10, printed at home on card stock, tied together with a bow)

Feel free to print me out...

We gave craft kits…

Gumball Machine Kit (inspired by See Jane Blog)
Whoopsies! Forgot to take a picture, but the kit contained the following items:
Terracotta Pot from Michaels ($1.19)
Terracotta Planter from Michaels ($0.89)
Glass Bowl from Dollar Tree ($1.00)
Fuzzy Pom Pom Balls from Dollar Tree ($1.00)
- This was in the kit mostly just because they looked like gumballs for when the candy might run out.
Acrylic Paint Set with Paintbrush from Dollar Tree ($1.00)
Bag of Candy (M&M's went into this kit)

We gave cookies…

Super delicious chocolate cookies using this tasty recipe from the Martha Stewart Cookies Book.

Allison made this one!

That is one of Grandma's Buckeyes!

Crescent Cookies made by Grandma!

 Grandma's Molasses Cookies!

Along with apricot and raspberry thumbprints inspired by this recipe also from the Martha Stewart Cookies Book.

 These bars were also a huge hit! Prepare yourself for a workout when you cut these up.

Grandma likes to pack her cookies in tins lined with a lot of plastic wrap to keep cookies nice and fresh. If you want to take the cheaper route, pick up some gift boxes and tissue paper (seasonal or not) and pack cookies in a gift box lined with tissues paper. Tie a bow around it and VOILA!

Did you give or receive anything handmade?

All the best,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


PS: You may print our "Merry Christmas" and get ready for next year :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Collegiate Christmas!

Hosting Christmas gatherings with our friends has become somewhat of a tradition within our circle.

Freshman year we had fun in our finest green and red in the original Rachelsea in the first dorm we lived in. If memory serves us right, we played Sing Star, had fondue, did some sort of gift exchange, and sat close to Rachel’s Christmas palm tree.

Sophomore year, we gathered in the original Chelison in the second dorm we lived in. Of course we had a gift exchange again, ate something, huddled by the fireplace (the kind you pop into a DVD player and watch on TV), and painted ornaments.

 No picture from junior year? Impossible! But true :(

Junior year we had everyone join us at Rachelison! Our first apartment! It was completely decorated for the season and we enjoyed the festivities by indulging in food, another gift exchange, and games.
Too busy having fun to take a nice group shot:(
Recently we enjoyed our last Christmas party as college students by hosting an “Ugly Sweater Dirty Santa Holiday Cheer Potluck.” Yes, it was a mouthful to say but it was a complete blast! We started off by enjoying everyone’s delicious treats and then exchanged gifts, and then played Just Dance 2 until the weeeee hours of the morning. 
Potluck :)
Being the good hostesses that we are, we gave out little stockings filled with candy to our friends before they left as a toke of appreciation for joining us.

We aren’t just going to keep boring you with our sappy memories; we’re actually trying to make a point here.

A College Christmas happens on a budget, so our guests and us don’t go into even more debt. Here’s what we do to keep from going broke.

A)   Decorate using what you’ve got! Don’t buy stuff just for the party – if you do, make sure you can use it during other times of the year as well or for other parties. And if you do buy something, consider your local thrift stores first.
Either from Goodwill or re-purposed!
B)   Plan a potluck! Ask each of your guests to bring a dish, and be sure to tell them what type of dish (appetizer, side dish, dessert, etc.) This will save tons of money for you, the host, and allow for a variety of dishes for your guests to enjoy. 
C)   Host a small gift exchange! Gift exchanges like White Elephant, Dirty Santa, and Secret Santa are so much fun and everyone just needs to bring one gift. Gifts can be silly or useful, but should arrive wrapped so no one can scope out what they are before the gift exchange actually happens. Finally, set a spending limit that you and your guests will be comfortable with. We have jumped around in the $5 to $10 every year.
D)   Have a small parting gift on hand for your guests. Our stockings were a quarter a piece from the thrift store, but were brand new, and the candy was on hand.

We wish you all the best this holiday season and hope you are able to spend with those you love.

Happy Holidays,



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas with the Roomies!

We finally put all of our Christmas decorations up at the apartment and wanted to give you the grand tour!
The eve of our Christmas Party :)

Our faux mantle

We had everything already!

Snowbabies all came from Goodwill

Recycled green bottles with scrap red ribbon.... FREE!

Hello 69 cent cloche cover, pretty on hand decor, and 50 cent plate.

It's snowing from our Chandelier!

We have been so antsy to get these up, but school (as usual) kept us from decorating the apartment. At least we have our priorities in order though and are way ahead of schedule with our school work!

Some furniture rearranging also had to take place so we could fit our Christmas tree back in last years spot. 

Let us know what you think and feel free to share your holiday decor with us :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brrrr It’s Cold Outside!

We live in an area of the country where it is almost always sunny and warm. Until the cold front moved in, that is. All of a sudden we are facing temperatures in the high teens and low twenties and we don’t want to leave the apartment because it is way to chilly outside.

Before you go on and tell us we’re a bunch of wimps, remember the disclaimer WE LIVE IN AN AREA OF THE COUNTRY WHERE IT IS ALMOST ALWAYS WARM. So there – we have the right to whine about this!

However, something fabulous came out of avoiding the outdoors. 

A recipe for hot chocolate that rivals your favorite cup of Starbucks hot cocoa – so delicious, rich, and smooth it is too good not to share.

We discovered this recipe somewhere on the Internet a few years ago, but now it lives on a purple post-it on a bulletin board in our apartment, covered in spillage of course. So if you are the inventor of this recipe and happen to be reading it – please don’t sue us!

    Okay so here it is:

1 cup of Milk + 2 Tablespoons of Milk
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
   4 Teaspoons of Cocoa Powder
  1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
In a saucepan heat 1 cup of milk and whisk continuously to make milk frothy.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine Vanilla extract, Cocoa Powder, Sugar, and 2 Tablespoons of Milk to make a thick "syrup."
Add syrup to milk and stir.
Top with whip cream or mini marshmallows :)

And in case you’re upset that this is not décor related… just make yourself a cup and you’ll be able to forgive us in no time!

Seasons Greetings,



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Beyond The Picket Fence