Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hozak Farms!

Today was our annual trip to Hozak Farms to find the perfect Christmas tree! Peter and I have gone here with my aunt for the past couple of years. We tried out another place, but just love Hozak so much that it's become our traditional place.

We stopped at Panera on the way to get some lunch and then continued on to the farm. It's about an hour or so drive to get there, but well worth it in our opinion. Each year that we've gone, the location of where you cut your tree is different. Always a great selection and smooth operation though!

Here we are walking down to pick up a saw and hop on the tractor ride.

Cute little wooden bird house with steps on the tree:

It was a good thing that we brought layers because the wind was vicious today!

Peter looks a little crazy with that saw!

We were initially going to get a Douglas Fir, but searched around and didn't find any that jumped out at us.

There were definitely plenty to choose from, though.

Peter looks so cute all bundled up with his scarf and hat on!

Not sure why the saw always makes it into the pictures??

Eventually we made our way across the field to the Canaan Fir and found a few good competitors. After careful deliberation, we decided on a winner! Here's me and Peter in front of the lucky tree that will be coming home with us.

Just a little taller than Peter...perfect! After we get it in the stand, and put the star on top, it'll be just right! I always have a hard time with perspective of the right size of tree. They look small in the field, but aren't that way at all in our little living room!

Us with our 2010 tree:

On the ride back to get the tree shaken and baled, we saw these live goats wondering on these platforms. So weird!

How cute are these little tree carts?

After getting our tree loaded in the car, we stopped by the shop for hot chocolate and browsing. Paula bought us matching ornaments (one for her tree and one for ours) to mark the occasion. I love special ornaments like that!

After getting home, I got out some snacks and we had a great time decorating the tree, watching Christmas movies, and hanging out.

Our "getting the tree" day is one of my favorite of the year - the start to the Christmas season!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Pillow Covers

My sewing machine was out of commission for a couple of weeks, but I finally have it back. First project that I accomplished? Christmas pillow covers!

I had been searching for fabric to make Christmas pillow covers, but I didn't find anything that really jumped out at me. I didn't want to buy Christmas pillows because then I'd have to store them. When I was in Boscov's 2 weeks ago with my mom, I saw these napkins that I loved and thought would be perfect to make a pillow out of!

So I took my two palm tree pillows, the 4 napkins, 2 zippers, and went to work!

And ta-da! Christmas pillow covers. Exactly what I was looking for!

I had 4 napkins so I made two pillows. I could've made 4 and used solid for the backs, but honestly, I didn't think of that until after I was all done. haha

And a hidden zipper! Not bad for my first zipper project!

I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. They're Christmassy, but not overbearing and will match the rest of my decor just perfectly!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday with Friends

Today was a great day full of errands and fun. Peter and I headed to Cranberry to our jeweler to get my engagement ring fixed. One of the prongs had bent out and was catching all everything. I haven't worn my ring in about a week for fear of losing the diamond. I've still been wearing my wedding band, but it feels so weird haha.

After the jewelers, we ran a few more errands, did a bit of Christmas shopping, and headed to a birthday party for a friend from our bible study who was turning the big 3-0. To celebrate, we were all going bowling! I was bummed to not be able to bowl, but didn't want to hurt my hand/arm. It was still a lot of fun from the sidelines though. :)

After bowling, we headed back to Cranberry to pick up my ring. Unfortunately, they weren't able to fix the prong on site and had to send it out. They also had to take my wedding band with it. Major bummer! I'll have to pull out an old ring to wear until I get my wedding rings back.

We had dinner plans with Ben and Kelly at Applebees where we had a great time catching up with them. We also went to Starbucks afterwards to chat more. It was great to see them and chat for a while.

All in all, it was fun and productive day!

Follow-Up to Light Up Night

So apparently all of the cop cars that we saw last night was due to a shooting in Market Square. I couldn't believe it! I guess that people had to stay in lockdown in some stores and there was an eruption of several fights throughout the city. This makes me extra glad to have gone home early!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Light Up Night

Tonight was Pittsburgh's 50th Light Up Night. Peter and I have been going each year for the past few years. We usually go to Palomino for dinner and walk around the city enjoying the lights. This year was different than past years. To begin with, Palomino had closed and we didn't even know it. We were so bummed! We decided to eat at Max & Erma's instead. It wasn't the same as Palomino, but we still enjoyed it. After dinner (and cookies!) we walked around the city.

We saw this guy making ice sculptures. It's so cool and he really had a lot of details in his work!

Here's a snowman he made...

...and a reindeer.

There was a light show that was pretty cool this year.

It was really crowded this year! This was a new tree they had this year. Definitely can tell it's made of LED bulbs!

The tree at the rink. So pretty!

Us near the rink:

These were gingerbread houses made by local schools. So cool!

Here's another ice sculpture we saw:

I always think this corner tree is pretty cool.

Light Up Night was really packed with people this year. I don't know if it's because there was more to do, or because it wasn't that cold out, or what. But it was packed! Peter and I decided to call it a night before the fireworks and headed home around 9 PM. On our way to the parkway, we saw several police cars (regular and undercover) with sirens all speeding in the same direction. We'll have to watch the news tonight or tomorrow to see what that was about!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles

Need I say more than the title? Yum, yum, and more yum! This is definitely a new favorite breakfast treat. The recipe below makes 6 waffles on my waffle maker. I love mine. It stores standing up, the cord wraps around the base, it has a red light/green light for knowing when it's hot and when a waffle is done. So great!


1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
1/2 - 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Stir together the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.
3. Mix until there are no lumps.
4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
5. Add chocolate chips (optional).
6. Fold in the egg whites.
7. Use a ladle and pour into waffle maker.
8. Eat up!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thrifty Finds

I ran into the St. Vincent De Paul thrift store. I left with a lot of glassware! I started to pick up a few things and then quickly realized I needed a basket to carry all of the goodies I found. I filled up the basket and then some before heading to the check out.

Here's my loot. 2 candlesticks and 4 each of 3 different kinds of glasses.

I loved the etched glass details on these. They caught my attention right away. They had 4 so I grabbed them right away. I was hoping to find 8, since that's apparently my magic number with dishes, glasses, etc. I couldn't find anymore, but I did find some plain ones so I got 4 of those to mix & match.

The price for each glass? 39 cents!!

The candlesticks were an expensive 99 cents.

Total for everything? $7.13! Love that! I took off all the price tags, washed them real good, and now they're drying and waiting to be put away.

I also went to Dollar Tree today. Love that store! I found lots of goodies there as well. Red fleece gloves were a great purchase. I bought black ones last week there and they're awesome - and only a dollar! I also got place mats (can also be used as napkins). I got 4 of the red ones and 8 of the blue. Trust me, if they had 8 red ones, I would've gotten them haha. I'll have to check back later for more.

I also got a red candle dish, some nail polish, new ornament hooks, and grey Maybelline eye shadow. Maybelline! For a buck!

I tried the nail polish as soon as I got home. It's nice, but much lighter than I thought it'd be. It's more of a shimmer so I don't think I'll get the color like I wanted. I'll still use it and can apply it over other colors. The eye shadow is great. I thought it would be, but wanted to make sure. :) I can't wait until we get our Christmas tree in a few weeks to try out the ornament hooks. I hope they work out well. I hate the ones we have now. They're just your typical hooks that end up being like twisted paperclips.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holiday Deals

I love finding cheap inexpensive things to decorate my house. I usually buy items off season so they are on clearance. I have a section in one of my china cabinet's that I use to store those random things until I can use them. I do love finding items in season that I can use right away though!

This evening I found a little of both. :)

At Kohls I found some black cloth napkins and red wooden garland.

I had found some garland at Joann a few weeks ago, but it was $19.99. Even at 50% off, it was more than I was willing to spend. The ones at Kohls were originally $5.99, on sale for $2.99, and I had a coupon to make them $2.54 each. So I snagged three packages. I may use them on the tree, but I also have another idea in mind. We'll see...

The napkins were from the Halloween line and were on clearance for a whopping 89 cents. I had a coupon which made them 76 cents each. I immediately thought of some silver napkin rings I got at Target on clearance a few weeks ago. I had returned them thinking they were a little too modern for my dishes, but now I'm doubting myself. Oh well, too late now!

Target has a slew of great ornaments this year. They always have a bunch, but they're not usually my style. Their Birchwood Chalet line is right up my alley! Most are only $1! I splurge on a snowflake for $2. I don't intend to use all of these on my tree, though. I hope my idea for a project works! :) They may even go with the garland from Kohls.

I intend to break apart the $2 snowflake into two snowflakes. This basically makes them each a buck. As you can see, I started breaking it apart before I took a picture!

I can't wait until it's closer to Christmas and I can start some of these projects!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gold napkins with red stickers

I have a problem. I have enough cloth napkins for approximately 95 people to use them simultaneously. What's worse is that my tree killing husband is adamant that cloth napkins are for fancy/special occasions. And since when, I ask, is chinese takeout not a special occasion?? So this leaves me as the only person in our little brick house who uses cloth napkins. Unless, of course, we have guests over and I force them to join my cult. I've actually resorted to using my napkins for lunch at work just to prove my point to Peter that cloth napkins are indeed everyday napkins.

So, incase we have 99 people who may want, or be forced, to use cloth napkins at the same time, I bought 4 more. Sounds reasonable, right?

I think the second part to my aforementioned problem are the red clearance stickers from Target. I may not need, or even want, the item, but as soon as you slap a red sticker on it, it becomes much more enticing. Enter gold napkins.

Yet, somehow, I was wishing they had two packs of them because I always buy in sets of 8 for dining things. You know, just in case.