Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas decorations

Since Christmas is only 4 days away (!!!) I thought I would share our Christmas decorations! My mom has a lot of decorations and loves to decorate for Christmas. Our house definitely looks festive and it's sad when we have to take everything down!
There will be no more posts for the rest of the week, so I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Five for Friday

Hello and welcome to my Five for Friday! I am linking up with Cup of Tea , Della Devoted Bright on a Budget and Coffee With Caitlin!

1. My birthday was earlier this week and my mom bought these pretty flowers for me! Apparently, one of the problems with having a December birthday is the stores only carry Christmas flowers. Oh well, they definitely are pretty though!
And my birthday cake. I baked and frosted it, then my mom decorated it. It was a chocolate cake with an Oreo cream filling which was really good!

2. Hannah and I decorated our gingerbread house earlier this week. We do one every year and we enjoyed decorating this one! Although we had some trouble coming up with ideas on how to decorate it! I think it turned out pretty good though!
3. My brother went to a French bakery yesterday and brought home some treats for us. I have no idea what they actually are, but they sure looked pretty and tasted really good! 
4. I shared a fun DIY project on Monday. You should check it out here!

5.  We bought Star Wars tickets! We're pretty excited! We waited too long and won't get to see it on opening day, but we will get to see the new movie on Monday! We've spent the week rewatching all of the movies so we'll be prepared for Monday! Is anyone else excited to see it?
Have a great week! It's only a week until Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Harry Potter Happy Christmas garland

So I haven't posted a DIY project in quite a while, and when I stumbled across this tutorial, I knew I had to make it!

While looking through their instructions though, I thought it was crazy that they wanted you to hand write the letters. Yeah. Like that is going to turn out right! And theirs looked tacky because they traced the letters on the wrong side of the paper so you could see all of the pencil lines! So I thought I would make up my own tutorial AND I made you these nifty printable letters using this free font!

This is what you'll need...
-Thick scrapbooking paper (I thought the gold was pretty! But you could really use whatever you like.)
-String
-Scissors
-Mini clothes pins (I bought those at Walmart for just a couple of dollars. They were with the scrapbooking stuff)
-Letters
Start off by printing out the letters. I'd recommend using cardstock paper because it's thicker and easier to cut out and trace.
 I did end up needing the third piece of paper, I didn't realize until after I took this picture that I was short one "S". 

Just make sure when you trace the letters, that they're backwards, because you want the glitter side to have the letters facing the correct way.
Cut out all of your letters.
Then hang them up with the clothes pins! Super simple and fun! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Five for Friday

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a Five for Friday, but I actually have a few things to post today! I hope you all had a great week! I am linking up with Cup of Tea , Della Devoted Bright on a Budget and Coffee With Caitlin!

1. My friend came over Wednesday night and we broke out our baking stuff and baked some Christmas treats while watching Star Wars (Episode IV in case you're wondering ;) )

We had so much fun and baked a lot of stuff! Cake pops (which neither of us had made in a long time!) As well as gingerbread men and sugar cookies!
2. So, funny story: about a month ago, I came across a Christmas ornament I had bought when we were in Germany. I remember thinking that I needed to be sure to put it somewhere I would remember, so I would be sure to put it out at Christmas. Fast forward a month and I can't find the darn thing anywhere! I searched my entire room multiple times and could not find it. I was so annoyed considering I distinctly remember thinking when I put it away that I HAD to put it somewhere I would remember, and of course wherever I put it was somewhere I couldn't remember! 

So randomly the other night I remembered another Christmas decoration I had bought wanted to put out, and, behind that, I finally found the ornament! It was just so frustrating but I'm glad I finally found it!
3. Yesterday was a big mail day for me! I received the last of the things I ordered in the mail yesterday; meaning I finally got my Christmas shopping done! All I have left is to wrap them! 
4. It's always a good day when you get new things to read!
 5. We went shopping last week and my mom had some Gap cash to spend. She was almost to the dollar amount but couldn't find anything else to get, so I got a new scarf ;) I'm not really a scarf person, but this one had such pretty colors and is SO soft that I couldn't pass it up! And it does get pretty cold here (it gets down into the single digits here) so a scarf is definitely useful!
Hope you all have a great weekend! Do you have any fun or exciting weekend plans? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quick and easy taco soup

Taco soup is one of my favorite easy dinner recipes! It's pretty much just dump stuff in, simmer, and you're done!
Easy taco soup
Easy taco soup
Easy taco soup
Easy taco soup
Easy taco soup
Easy taco soup
Easy taco soup

About 1 pound of ground beef (we buy the organic ground beef from Costco, which comes in a 1 1/3 pound package)
2 cans of black beans, drained
2 cans of kidney beans, drained
1 bottle of vegetable or tomato juice
1 bag frozen corn
2-4 cans of tomato sauce*
1 package (or about 3 tablespoons) of taco seasoning
1 medium sized onion
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil

toppings: sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, & grated cheese

*depending on how much meat you use, you may want the soup thinned out some. I have also added a jar of salsa, or even a cup or two of chicken or beef broth, depending on what I have in the fridge. 

1. Cook ground beef in a skillet until browned.

2. While the meat is cooking, dice the onion (or just put it through a food processor like I usually do.) And mince the garlic.

3. In your stock pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until slightly translucent. 

4. Once the ground beef is done, drain any excess fat if needed and and dump the meat into the stock pot. Then add the drained beans, vegetable or tomato juice, frozen corn, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning.

5. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. 

6. Top with sour cream, crushed corn chips, or cheese and enjoy!

Soup is so easy to make and it's great to have as leftovers during the week when you want a quick lunch or dinner!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas tag!

I saw this Christmas tag over on the What the Elle blog and thought it would be fun to do!
1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie/s?
I haven't really watched a ton of Christmas movies, but I would definitely have to say Elf! We watch it every year!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We open our presents on Christmas morning. I never could understand people who opened all of their presents on Christmas Eve! We used to open one on Christmas Eve, but now that we're older and don't get as many presents, we do them all on Christmas morning.

3. Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?

Maybe not one I'd call a 'favorite', but last Christmas was pretty fun! My brother had been studying in France, and Christmas break was the first time we had gotten to see him in a few months; and my dad was also home for Christmas (with his job he can't always be home for Christmas.) so it was fun to have them both there! And we started a new tradition of opening Christmas crackers at dinner; which was really fun! There's some Scottish on my dad's side of the family, and some English on my mom's, so it made sense to start doing Christmas crackers! And honestly, considering they only cost a few dollars to make, they were one of the most fun things we did!

4. Favorite festive food?
Definitely Nanaimo bars. So so good!

5. Favorite Christmas gift?

There isn't anything that is standing out in my mind right now. I'll probably think of something great once I post this!

6. Favorite Christmas scent?
Probably the scent of the Christmas tree. We always have a real tree, and it always smells so good!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Yep! Every Christmas Eve we eat snacks/finger foods and watch Christmas movies. We'll usually have a random assortment of foods like cheese and crackers, little pigs in a blanket, chips and dip, as well as whatever Christmas treats we've made like nanaimo bars, fudge, and/or sugar cookies.

8. What tops your tree?
An angel my mom has had for as long as I can remember.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I honestly can't think of anything. I never asked for anything crazy, wild, or extravagant!

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
Probably just being with my family. We never get to see any of our extended family over the holidays, so it's usually always just the five of us. I always like seeing my family open the presents I've bought them and seeing their reactions. 
Feel free to copy the questions and fill this out for yourself! Let me know if you fill it out, I'd love to see other people's answers!