Glitter Color Block Magnets

December's Cara Box theme was "Holiday Sparkle", and when I think sparkle, I think glitter! So glitter I went with, and this was a simple DIY project I included in the package I sent out :)

They were REALLY easy to make! I used my color block magnet tutorial, then I just carefully used a foam brush to "paint" mod podge onto each other, and put coordinating glitter on top :) I only did one color at a time, and let it dry so the colors wouldn't mix! They were a lot of fun to make.. but I will warn you, glitter is always a complete and total mess, so be careful ;)


December Cara Box Swap Reveal!

This was my first time participating in the Cara Box Swap.. and let me just tell you, I was really excited! 
I sent mine to Brooke, so be sure to head over there and see what she got! :)

My package from Ashley arrived on Christmas Eve! I may or may not have run in the house right away to rip it open... Sorry, I was excited :p I've really connected with Ashley and I am so glad I signed up for the Cara Box for December! She's the best :)
Let's start with what I opened first.. her super sweet note, that actually did make me tear up a little bit.. 
And this.. this was definitely so much fun to open! If you've been on my blog for 5 seconds you probably noticed my love for whales! My social media icons on the top left are even whales.. they even spout water if you mouse over them.. But anyway, back on topic, I loved these cards! They were so perfect! And that wrapping paper? So cute! and let me tell you, I'm totally jealous of Ashley's wrapping skills.. I definitely cannot wrap like that! You go girl :)
She even got "crafty" for me! Didn't they turn out great?! Perfect for the empty space in my cubicle! :)
A girl can never have too much nail polish right?!
Ashley also got me a note pad to remember her by because she likes to make lists..
well let's just say I am the same way! So it was perfect :)
She even sent me a note explaining everything! 
Seriously Ashley, everything was awesome! Thank you so much :) You are so sweet and I'm super happy to have been able to connect with you through this :)

I will definitely be signing up for January's Cara Box exchange, you should too! Just click on the button for more info :) Happy Thursday! 

Cara Box


Our Christmas Recap!

We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve because my Dad was going out of town the next day! :p
We got Dad the first and second Home Alone movies!
And a blue-ray player too! 
The Husband got a movie, a video game, and a coupon book from Datevitation!  He's also getting an iphone 5 this weekend :p 
I got candy (of course), a Bath and Body Works gift card, and my favorite, a Sea Shepherd replica ship!
I am pretty dang excited to put it on my desk! Dad also got us gift cards because he rocks :)
I also got a passport holder because my mom and stepdad are taking the husband, me, my little sister, little brother, and his girlfriend on a cruise in March! 
The three of us went out to dinner Christmas Eve, love my Dad :) 
After dinner The Husband and I went to his Grandparents' house to see his Mom's side of the family.
Next year, we're going to be spending Christmas with his Dad and step-mom, I'm excited! 
We got both of our little sisters socks and nail polish, simple but fun! 

My little sister opening her's on Christmas morning at my Mom's. Miss her lots and lots! 
Our Christmas dinner! 


Merry Christmas From Us to You!

Last year for Christmas Cards we just sent out a wedding picture because we had just gotten married.
This year though, we decided to take some Christmas pictures while we were out of town for Thanksgiving.  My little sister took them, and they turned out pretty great :) Here's what we sent out this year:
(I took out some personal stuff I don't really want around on the internet, like where we work..)
{click to enlarge}
Year in Review Newsletter from: Polkaprints Etsy Shop

And just for fun, here are some behind the scene photos!
And my lovely little sister..

I hope you all have a great Christmas!! :) 


Dad's Clam Chowder

Since today is officially the "first day of Winter" I thought I'd share one of my FAVORITE things to eat! It's my first "food" recipe, all of my others have been desserts. Let's just say, I like baking better than cooking.. My dad says it's the OCD coming out in me :p

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know I don't eat seafood. At all. This is the one exception to that! I love clam chowder. But are you ready for the "I'm so picky" part? My dad's clam chowder is the only one I like.. I've tried it at restaurants, but none of them even come close to Dad's! Maybe it's because of his secret ingredient.. and today, he's given me permission to share it! The secret? Sugar! Yep :) 

- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cup potatos, chopped
- 2 (6 oz) minced clams
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 quart Half and Half
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste

For the onion, celery, and potatoes, you can cut them up however small you'd like.. 
It's all just about how you'd like to eat them ;) 
(pictures below!)
Veggie Mix
1. Peel the potatoes
2. Chop the potatoes, onion, and celery
3. Pour veggies into a large saucepan
4. Open cans of clams and pour the juices over the vegetables
5. Fill saucepan with enough water to just cover the veggies
6. Place on high and let it come to a boil.
7. Turn down to medium-high and leave it there for about 15-20 minutes, without a lid
Chowder "Paste"
1. In a separate pot, melt butter on high (We used a dutch oven, but a pot would work too!)
2. Pour flour into melted butter and combine 
3. Quickly pour in the half and half, and combine
      It will thicken as you stir it.. continue to stir it slowly until it's about the thickness of pancake batter.
      Be careful not stop stirring for very long, or it will start to stick to the bottom
      If it seems too thick, that's how it should be, it will get thinner once you add the veggies with the water! 
4. Once it's reached the right thickness, remove from heat

To Finish the Chowder: 
1. Pour veggie mix into the chowder paste
2. Add clams, and mix them in
3. Add sugar and mix well
4. Add salt and pepper to taste

It is soooo good, I love it :) And yes, I will be eating leftovers of this tonight! :)
I hope everyone has a very very Merry Christmas!

(text only)
Items needed:
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cup potatos, chopped
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 quart Half and Half
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Veggie Mix:
1. Peel the potatoes 2. Chop the potatoes, onion, and celery 3. Pour veggies into a large saucepan 4. Open cans of clams and pour the juices over the vegetables 5. Fill saucepan with enough water to just cover the veggies 6. Place on high and let it come to a boil. 7. Turn down to medium-high and leave it there for about 15-20 minutes, without a lid
Chowder "Paste":
1. In a separate pot, melt butter on high (We used a dutch oven, but a pot would work too!) 2. Pour flour into melted butter and combine  3. Quickly pour in the half and half, and combine  4. Once it's reached the right thickness, remove from heat
1. Pour veggie mix into the chowder paste 2. Add clams, and mix them in 3. Add sugar and mix well 4. Add salt and pepper to taste


Glitter Light-bulb Ornaments

I used: 
- Old Christmas lights
- Glitter
- Mod Podge 
(or Elmers glue would probably work too)
- Foam Paint Brushes
- Sealer
- Hemp Rope

Each "ornament" consists of two lights

So I was at Target a couple weeks ago and saw some of these, but they were made out of Styrofoam, and I can't say it was really the kind of quality I wanted, but it did give me a great idea!

What to do:
(pictures below directions!)
1. Use a foam brush to "paint" the Mod Podge onto the light-bulb.
2. Pour glitter all over the light-bulb.. And don't say I didn't warn you that it makes a HUGE mess! 
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 with the second light-bulb.
4. Spray with some kind of sealer. (Optional) 
     I used Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer.. it kind of helped the glitter stay on :p
     I also cut squares in an old box to set the bulbs in so they would stand up straight.. 
5. Cut a piece of hemp rope (or ribbon), and use each end to tie a bow on each ornament, connecting them together. I stumbled across this version on Pinterest, she uses ribbon! :) 
6. Hang your ornament and admire it! 
And the most important step...


"Tangled Lights" Cupcakes

This weekend we had Tanner's little brother and sister over for a sleepover! The Husband and I pre-made some of these chocolate cupcakes because we wanted to decorate with the kids :) The best thing about these cupcakes, sloppy is better :P Super easy to do with kids because it does not have to be perfect! 

I still haven't found a frosting I'm super crazy about, I am really picky. So we just did the easy thing, and bought frosting ;) Then we used a hand mixer to incorporate the icing color into the frosting.. I would have liked for it to be a little darker, but it's okay :) And then we used round sprinkles for our "lights"! 

And our "bite in the cupcake" makes its usual appearance ;) 

Inspiration: iambaker.net