Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

The holidays are over- whew!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!  I have been off work for 2 weeks, and it has been blissful...sleeping in, doing lots of cooking, spending time with the family.  Unfortunately, not much time for crafting!  I had a list of things I wanted to do around the house during the time I was off, and that kept me pretty busy.  I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I made a pretty good dent in the to-do list!

We spent Christmas Eve with my husband's sister and her family and had a lovely time.  She has three kids around my kids' ages, so they always have a good time together.  I decided to make some bookmarks for the kids to go along with their Christmas presents.  I had already made one for my husband's oldest niece, which I posted a few months ago, when I first started making the personalized bookmarks.  This is for his younger neice, who is the same age as my daughter.
 I took this photo late at night when the lighting was not very good, so it's hard to see the colors accurately- here's a closeup, so that you can see the pretty plaid paper in the middle layer.
I made one for my husband's nephew also, but I neglected to get a picture of it.  I think he liked it- it's hard to tell with a 7 year old who never stops moving!

We also stopped in to see my husband's step-father, though we missed seeing his step-sister, as she was at work.  I made both of them bookmarks as well:

They both do a lot of bible study, so I think they will get a lot of use out of these.

I promised a Kitchen Creation after I did my holiday baking, so here is my favorite cookie recipe.  It's actually the oatmeal cookie recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (wtih one small change), to which I add a bag of white chocolate chips, and some chopped dried cherries.  I don't know what it is, but the combination of the white chocolate and the cherries is just fantastic!  The only thing I do differently than Betty is I use 1/2 cup of butter instead of 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup of shortening.  Shortening is one of those things I don't keep around as a staple, because I use it so infrequently that it inevitibly goes bad before I can use it all.  The texture is slightly different than it would be if I followed the recipe exactly- they would probably rise more than they do, but the flavor is really good.

White Chocolate Chip, Cherry & Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (I use real, but you could sub margerine)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 bag (regular size) white chocolate chips
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries, depending on taste and how much you like

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix butter with sugars, vanilla and egg.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir into sugar mixture.  Stir in chips and cherries.  Drop by teaspoofuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 10 minutes until light golden brown.

Sorry, no pics of these- we gave away lots to friends and family, and the few we kept for ourselves were gone pretty quickly!

Next on my crafting agenda is another card swap with the PBS Swappers, this one a Thank You card.  I already have an idea for a design, so I just need to block out some time to put it together.  I also have an idea for some notecards that I want to try out.  Awhile back, I found a cute "M" stamp in the dollar bin at Michaels and bought it, thinking I could make something for my daughter Meredith with it.  Since she got lots of nice gifts for Christmas and needs to write some thank you cards, I thought I'd like to make her some monogrammed notecards for that purpose.  So I am going to give that a try soon- I picked out some paper today, and have a basic design in mind.  I just need to find some notecard-sized envelopes, as Michaels does not carry any by themselves, only with cards.  Guess I will be taking a trip to Paper Zone soon!

That's all for now- I have to go get ready to go back to work tomorrow!  Boy is that going to be tough...I could sure get used to the slower pace of life staying home!  Next time, I will have a Kitchen Creation on healthy cooking, since we're all trying to eat healthy after the new year and lose a few pounds, so look for that next week.  Have a great week everyone!


  1. I've had several ideas for bookmarks for friends who are avid readers, but didn't think just plain card stock would hold up well. Do you laminate yours? Or do you "paint" them with a sealer (something like Mod Podge)? How do you make yours stand up to the test of time?

  2. Hi Ruby- my bookmarks are all laminated with .5 mil laminate, so they are very sturdy, not to mention water-proof!