Thursday, December 30, 2010


A viewer of Ellens sent this in. It's a great snowman. I can't imagine the time it took??? 

2010 Hallmark Ornaments

I waited a little to long to go to Hallmark to get then pieces that go with our collections, but we did manage to pick up a few at 40% off. There are a few more we'd both like to have, but I'm waiting a bit longer to get the 50-75 % markdowns on the ornaments not as important. Here is what we came home with.

Ever year, we collect many of the retro looking dolls, but her whole Barbie ornament collection started with the yearly Celebrations ornaments. It took two trips to find this one, but we did find it.

Disney's Prep and Landing Elfs were a must have this year. I love their short films!

My daughter and I have been Madame Alexander collectors since we were both babies. This one is also a group that we collect.

Ciara's grandma started the Fairy, Flower Girl collection. Each year they are very different.

Here are the ornaments on our "Wish List", now these are only if we find them for a really good discount. Otherwise, they are a bit beyond our budget.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Went painting today and painted "Punchtini"

Shari and I went to Canvas and Cocktails today to paint one of the Christmas paintings I've been wanting to do all month. The "Partini" was my second choice, to the Whimsical Christmas Trees, but the colors are my favorite and I was never able to match up a date for the trees. I've renamed mine "Punchtini" and absolutely love the retro colors. 

Now I'm going to take the colors from this palette and recreate this Whimsical Christmas Tree painting.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yes, my name is Michelle and I have a paper addiction!

I sometimes wonder...Did my scrapbooking paper addiction come first or my love for wrapping paper? Maybe the fact that my stepmom worked at Hallmark most of her life played in to my love for wrapping beautiful packages. I use to visit my dad and stepmom in Texas and be awe struck every Christmas when all the packages were wrapped in different paper under the tree and all had some kind of wonderful bow. For years I tried to learn how to make those bows and finally in my mid 20's, I figured it out.  This year I chose not to make any of those large bows, mostly because of time, but also because I wanted to use some of the other fun ribbon I had. Here are just a few of my wrapped packages from this year.

With Ciara's help I used up several rolls of paper I've had for years and years. Then I replaced it with 5 or 6 new rolls today. I'll share those later!

Merry Christmas!

It's 12:20am here now, which means Christmas is actually over with, however I had to stop and say goodnight to all. Opening gifts with my daughter and husband this morning was a great time. We always have fun downstairs, next to our Disney tree. It's like having our own little special spot to share each Christmas morning. I was very happy to receive 2 more of the books I really wanted this year. That made my morning. I'll be set for a couple months now in the reading department.

After eating some breakfast we head to the nursing home to visit with Doug's dad. He was awake and alert today and looked much better then he has over the past month. That was nice to see! My husband thanked me for going today with him and that was really touching.

After a short nap, my daughter and I started our dinner in the kitchen. She made some great Irish Soda Bread, while I chopped chicken and veges for our Chicken and Dumplings. When I couldn't find the mix I've used in the passed, I decided last minute I'd have to wing it by hand. Now, I will say that the soup or stew itself was amazing.  Now using the canned biscuits, not so amazing. I trully learned today how important trying out a recipe is, BEFORE serving it for the first time on a holiday. We ended up eating most of them, but in the future I will definitely make my own or use the biscuit mix for a firmer dumpling. Now I also made a berry cobbler for dessert and that got rave reviews. With vanilla ice cream, it really was to die for!

My family finally made it over around 4:30 or 5, so that meant we were getting a pretty late start. That tends to happen at my house on Christmas, but that's fine, it just keeps the day going even longer. Both my friends gave me some amazing gifts, but most importantly they gave me their love and time. I'm so lucky to have such blessed friends. I'm also lucky they care about my daughter so much and that she feels that love and care in return.

Having an 8 year old, a 15 yo and a 21 yo in the house during Christmas, definitely makes for some interesting moments. They all are at a different point in life, but yet all so excited and kid like when it comes to Christmas.

I learned a lot of lessons this year when planning for Christmas. A lot changed in my perspective this year. My daughter definitely had a hard time with some of the changes, but ultimately I think she realizes now that some of those things she thought were important aren't. Being a parent of a teenager has it's moments, but I really am blessed to have such an amazing daughter.  I think I also see my stepson, finally turning into a young adult and that is fun to watch. Listening to him talking about school and his job and finding a place to live and everything that comes with that makes me smile and definitely makes my husband smile.

So Christmas 2010, wasn't perfect, it wasn't routine, it wasn't usual, but it was a great day, a great week and a great month.

Most importantly I'm thankful Heavenly Father has blessed me as he has! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Things that have made me smile on this Christmas Eve!

1. Waking up, knowing tomorrow is the big day. 

2. Receiving a box of Disney ornaments in my advent swap today. 

3. Driving out on Washington and see the line of people at Comfort Dental, waiting to get free dental care. It's a great thing they do every year. 

4. Walking in to K.S. this morning and having a young girl singing a very beautiful Christmas Carol, while she rung the Salvation Army Bell. 

5.  Giving Alice, our wal-mart friend a hug today. 
     ( I had to walk in, while desperately looking to find something, but walked out still not spending any money.. that makes me smile too! Not seeing Alice is the worse thing about not shopping at Wal-Mart)

6. Finding the perfect WHITE flowers for my dinner table tomorrow. Small white roses...they are very pretty! 

7. Picking out another Hoops and YoYo card for Byron. They make us laugh hysterically! 

8. Being able to buy a bag at Safeway to donate to the Salvation Army

9. Putting the last few Christmas gifts under the work tree and filling their stockings with a goody for the last time. 

ALL THIS BEFORE 10AM______________________________________________ 

10. Opening my gift from Elydia. I love the M&M mug she got me, as well as my Pumpkin Spice candle. Two of my favorite things! 

11. Biting into a Lindor Truffle 

12. Having Tammy call me to wish me a Happy Christmas Eve! 

13. Just had a patient surprise me by telling me Merry Christmas at the end of my call. That doesn't happy very often, so it got a HUGE smile. 

14. Opening a card from our retired Dr. Jones. I can't believe he still sends us a card every year, thanking us for our service and tells us how much he loves retirement. He's a great guy! 

15. Getting a hug from my BF! 


16. Coming home to find out my daughter mopped the dining room and kitchen. 

17. Having my husband tell me he's going to clean the bathroom and vacuum the house. 

18. Hurrying to wrap the last few gifts. 

19. Taking a breath and realizing everything is finally ready for the night. 

20. Taking a bubble bath!

21. All the boys downstairs watching Star Wars on the new TV

22. Seeing how happy clackers made my nephews and how unhappy they'll make my BIL and SIL. 

23. Seeing how my MIL liked her Beehive, Stained Glass piece.

24. Taking a bite of my eggnog cheesecake! OH MY!! 

25. Opening new pajamas with Ciara. 

26. Cuddeling on the couch and reading 3 Night Before Christmas Books. (take note: The Rocky Mountain Night Before a little on the violent side...LOL) 

27. Laying in bed with my daughter, tucking her in and saying goodnight. 

28. Finding my husband asleep on the couch. 

29. Coming online to say goodnight to all my real friends, as well as my online friends. 

30. Happy Christmas Eve Everyone!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Worn out after TSO concert!

I think this girl is too pooped out, after the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert, to blog about much of anything. I think I'll share a video with you and say goodnight!

I can't post a direct link to TSO, because of copyright, but here are the links to YouTube. 

Christmas Canon 


Here are some people who are really ambitious and have coordinated their lights to TSO music. WOW!! 

Funny Cartoon Joke!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recipe for Oreo Balls

If you've not had the pleasure of eating an Oreo Ball yet, I suggest you try this 3 ingredient recipe. It's super, super easy, but yet the outcome is amazing! 

Oreo Ball Recipe    
  • 1, 18 oz. package Oreos (store brand works fine!)
  • 1, 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package Wilton’s candy melts (Can also use Chocolate Bark or Semi-Sweet Morsels)

  • Crumble Oreos in a food processor.
  • Mix together crumbled Oreos and cream cheese
  • Chill mixture for at least 30minutes, if not longer. (Can also be frozen in advance)
  • Roll into 1″ ball
  • Melt candy according to package directions.
  • Dip balls and place on wax paper to dry.

Helpful Hint:  I have a medium size food processor, so a full package of Oreos and block of cream cheese will not fit all at once. I would suggest you crumble your Oreos first, then I third my Oreos and cream cheese. Make one batch, put it aside in a bowl and do another batch, until all 3 are made. Once your chocolate is melted, you do need to work fast to avoid the excess chocolate from getting hard again. If that happens, you can microwave it and usually it will soften up again. I prefer my Oreo balls with a milk chocolate coating or a real white chocolate coating. I really didn't care for the white bark. Just remember the colder the mix is, the easier it is to work with. If the mixture is cold enough, you can use tooth picks to dip your balls into the chocolate, if they are softer, you can use a spoon as we did in these photos. The spoon may work better for little ones.

If you look for me at Christmas Poem

My Aunt Sandy sent this to me today. 
It really is beautiful. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Great... feel good news story!

I seen a great story tonight on NBC news about the Voices of Destiny group in Compton California. I definately thought it was worth sharing.

Here is a video on YouTube of one of their productions.

Here is the entire NBC News story, as seen on the news tonight.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baking Poppyseed bread today and going to a party!

My husband work party is today at a co-workers house. They know I bake, so I volunteered to make dessert. At first I was going to make one of my favorites, the Carrot Cake Cheesecake, but after making Oreo balls yesterday I figured I'd just take those. That was until I woke up and my daughter had eaten half of them off the platter in the fridge. Yes, they were on a nice plate (one we don't usually use) and TIGHTLY wrapped, but somehow she didn't realize I was taking them anywhere. This left me with NOTHING! So I'm taking less Oreo balls and came home to bake some Poppy Seed Bread. So far, it smells good. 

There is a bit of a story behind this recipe. When I was single, Bishop and Sister Easdon were my home teachers. I think it was the last year they visited, before our boundaries were split and they brought me the best loaf of poppy seed bread ever!  It was her mothers recipe and for years they had insisted on keeping it a secret, but then one day, her mother was at the temple and had a prompting to share the recipe. Here's the scripture included in the recipe. 

"And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord's storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church." D & C 82:18

I'd like to share the recipe with you all and I plan on sending Sister Easdon a thank you note. She'll probably wonder after all these years I'm sending her a note, but I think a Thank You is in order for sharing something so special. 

Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/8 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 TBSP poppy seed
1 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients well. Grease two large loaf pans with cooking spray and pour the mixture evenly into the pans. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Glaze while still warm. 


1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat to dissolve sugar. Let bread cool a few minutes. Remove from pans, place on plates. Pour glaze over hot bread. Use spoon to bring glaze up over hot bread until it stays on. Slice when completely cool.  

I just sliced a small piece out for Doug and I from one of the loaves staying home and it's as good as I remember it. Now if I get a thumbs up from my hubby, I'll be very happy. Since he's not a big fan of any dessert or sweet bread really, I'm curious to see what he says. He does love Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, so we'll see. (((And 5 minutes later...I got a "GOOD STUFF"...Yeah!!!)))

Now I'll show you how this works in my household. DD eats all the Oreo balls during the night, comes home from church, does her favorite thing during the holidays; sleep on the couch, looking at the Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music. Then there's the kitchen, in my skirt, stockings, CROCS and apron...SLAVING away. 

Thank goodness this Holiday Junkie enjoys hanging in the kitchen so much. To be honest, listening to Harry Connick Jr and whoever else popped up on the CD player, makes it 10x more fun!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tonight was the night...Jim Brickman!

I've posted videos of Jim Brickman this summer, but his concerts wouldn't be complete without the great singers that tour with him. Anne Cochran is one of those people. They've known each other since High School and tour together all the time. The women is talented and between his piano and her singing, they give me the goosebumps. Many of the songs have personal meanings to me, my family and my friends. Can't help but get a bit teary eyed when I hear them. Tonight we were in the front row and that truly puts you up close and personal with them. Oh...and Mark, the new singer. I've got to look up his last name, but he's a cutie, petutie!

Annie Cochran, released a new Christmas CD this year called "Christmas Wish". You can preview all of the songs at , but here are a two videos of her recording sessions. 

The "Gift" by Jim Brickman is one of his biggest holiday hits. In Denver, it's played on Kosi 101 all the time, but in other areas, check your local light rock station.

Here is Anne singing "The Gift" in a concert.

Peace is also a Christmas release from a few years ago, that's played regularly.

Here is the newest singer, Mark Marsi. He opened with an Italian song that is amazing. You can find his Christmas Cd on his website

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why oh why....did I go to the Online Disney Store?????

I just went and looked at the Disney Store Online for the first time this holiday season. Oh my goodness!! I have to get to the Disney store to get some ornaments. It's the first time in a few years, I've seen so many I want. I have so many Mickey and Minnie's, they really have to be special now. They have some ornaments from the theme park online and they are awesome. Oh..what shall I do?????????

 And look at this yard blow up! 

After 15--17 years with the same Minnie stocking, I haven't used it the last two years. I switched all the other stockings out, but hadn't found the right one for me. Now, this Minnie might be it!