Dec 28, 2010

Goodbye Christmas :'(

I can't believe Christmas is over!
December was such a busy month, and now here we are at the end of it.

I feel like I can relax, breath a little now.
Anyone else feel the same?

But I'm always sad to put my Christmas decorations away.  
It means almost another year before I take them out again.
And I {heart} Christmas!

Here are a couple pics of my tree this year:

My kids {especially my 18-month-old!} loved playing in it, around it and with the ornaments!

I spray painted some frames, distressed them and gave them away as Christmas presents. 
Didn't they turn out cute?

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas
and I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Dec 24, 2010

Cranberry Orange Bread - Yum!

This is a super yummy recipe!
I got it from my mom . . . not sure where she got it, though.
She used to make it for neighbors for Christmas.

I made it for just a few friends this year - if there was a quicker way to make it in big quantities, I would have made it for everyone, because it really is good.

And I do have to say that I {love} my ceramic Pampered Chef bread pan.  It makes four mini loaves at the same time - genius!  
And mini loaves are perfect for giving away.

Cranberry Orange Bread
w/ Lemon Glaze

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T shortening
1 T grated orange peel
3/4 c orange juice
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Generously grease and lightly flour a loaf pan (side note:  I sugared my pan, instead of flouring it.  I like to do this with sweet breads.  It adds to the yummy-ness!).

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening (I used my pastry cutter).

Stir in orange juice, egg and orange peel, mixing just until moistened.

Fold in cranberries and nuts.  Spoon into prepared pan(s). 
Another side note - this recipe makes one large loaf or two to three small loaves.

Bake about 60 minutes for a large loaf pan, 40 to 45 minutes for small loaf pans.  Slightly cool and remove from pan.

Lemon Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
2 T butter
1/8 to 1/4 cup lemon juice (I like it a little zesty so I add the 1/4 cup)
Milk (to thin)

Mix powdered sugar, butter and lemon juice.  The original recipe doesn't call for milk, but I like it to be runny like a glaze instead of thick like a frosting.  So I drizzle the milk in and mix, adding more milk until I get the consistency I want.  You'll want it a little runny, but still thick enough that it will stay on the loaf when you put it on, like so:

Oh man, this tangy little treat is SO good!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Let's look at that pic again, shall we?


I used the same bags that I used for the Caramel Pops to put the bread in:

Add a cute little tag and you have yourself a nice little gift to give your neighbors :)
Merry Christmas!!!

Caramel Pops!

Oh man, these are THE BEST!!!
If you love caramel corn, then you will {LOVE} caramel pops!
They are just as tasty (or maybe even more so!), but there are no kernels and no popping is required.

To make this tasty treat, you need to find Corn Pops (or something similar - Cheetos brand makes something similar).  They are basically puffy Cheetos with butter flavor instead of cheese:

The only grocery stores in my town that have this brand are Albertson's and Lin's.  And they always sell out fast so as soon as I see them, I buy a few bags.  'Cuz I really like these.  A lot.

Since I buy the big bags, you just double the recipe that is on the back of the bag.
But I'm going to share the recipe here, just in case you can't find this brand of corn pops.  You could also try this caramel recipe on popcorn.

Here's the recipe for an 8 oz bag (double it if you have a big bag or two 8 oz bags):

Caramel Pops

1 stick butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda

Over medium heat, melt the butter, corn syrup and brown sugar on the stove.  When it gets bubbly around the edges (this usually takes me around 7-10 minutes), remove from heat and add baking soda.  This will help the caramel sauce to "grow" so that it can cover all of the pops.

I mix my pops and caramel sauce in garbage bags, especially since I usually double or quadruple the recipe (I don't have a bowl big enough to mix it together in).  So take two large garbage bags (the one's you buy for your kitchen garbage can) and double bag them.  You don't want to burn your hands and you don't want the caramel sauce to melt through the bag.  Empty the contents of your Corn Pops into the bags.  When the caramel sauce is ready, pour it straight into the bags onto the Corn Pops.  Twist bag shut and shake, shake, shake!

My husband usually does this part, and he usually wears a hot pad (the glove kind) on one hand so he doesn't get burned - that caramel sauce is super hot!

Once you are done shaking, this is what you should have:

Perfectly and evenly coated!

Next, spread out wax paper on your counter (preferably a large space like an island or your dining room table) and pour pops onto the wax paper to cool.
 {We quadrupled the recipe, so we needed our whole island to spread them out on}

The recipe actually calls for you to cook the pops, but I like mine a little gooey, not crunchy.  If you want yours crunchy, you can put them on a jelly roll pan and cook them at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Then lay out on your wax paper to cool.

We gave these out as neighbor gifts.  Everyone always loves them!

I will warn you, once you start eating these, you can't stop!

Dec 22, 2010

Snowflake Vinyl

I bought some snowflake vinyl a few years ago at a vinyl party.
I've kept it, trying to decide what to do with it.
This year, I finally put it to use!

Here are my projects:

Let's start with the tins.
 Here's the vinyl:
And here are the tins before:

Cute, right?  But I wanted to do something different because I have so many of them.

So I used a little primer and some red spray paint.
I put the vinyl snowflakes on the lid and tied some white tulle, along with some festive ribbon around the base.

I love how they turned out!

These would be perfect filled with some goodies for neighbor gifts!

I still had some vinyl snowflakes left, so I decided to do another project!
I got an 8x10 frame at the Dollar Tree.  
Using the same red spray paint I used for the tins, I spray painted the frame.

Then I came up with a fun little printable on Photoshop!
I wanted something colorful and fun - this is what I came up with:

Feel free to download it for yourself!

Then I put the vinyl snowflakes on the inside AND the outside of the glass to give it a little bit of dimension:

Put the frame together with the printable and you have this:

Love how this one turned out, too!

I'm off to wrap some presents - not leaving them all for Christmas Eve like I did last year!

Dec 17, 2010

Free Christmas Printable!

I have a lot of fun Christmas decorations.  
In fact, I {love} my Christmas decorations!

But as I was looking around my house last week, I realized that the only Christ-centered decoration I have is my nativity {which I love}.

So, I decided to make something special that has to do with Christ, the whole reason we even celebrate Christmas.  And I want to share it with you!

If you'd like to download a copy for yourself, take it!  It's yours!  Just right-click the picture to download.
I'd love it if you became a follower, too :)

Here it is in my house, on the wall above my nativity:
I'm planning on downloading this to and making a few copies for Christmas presents.  Of course, I'll be picking up some picture frames at the thrift store to paint and distress.  They will be the perfect fit for this printable :)

PS - Want to enter a CSN Stores giveaway?  Check out my other blog HERE to enter!

The Crafty Gals

My sister-in-law, Mary, has started a cute new blog called The Crafty Gals.

You should check her out!

Plus, she's doing a giveaway!  When she reaches 100 followers, she will give someone a gift card to Hobby Lobby!

So head on over and give her some bloggy love!

Dec 16, 2010

A Winner!

I'm back!  
I haven't done a new post in a week - I was livin' it up in Vegas w/ my hubby! 
No kids, which meant we got to sleep in!  That was the best part :)

So, now that I'm back, it's time to announce the winner of the CSN Stores Giveaway!!!

The winner is:

#25 - Liz

(Winner chosen using

Congrats, Liz!  Contact me and I will get you set up with your prize!

Coming up:
Some last minute Christmas decorations and free printables!

Dec 9, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!!!

I was so excited when CSN Stores contacted me to do a giveaway!!!  Yep, that's right,
CSN Stores is offering one of my lucky readers a $20 promotional code towards any of their online stores!  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish furniture, leather messenger bags, or great cookware!

I've been looking for a white duvet cover for my bedroom.  
This one is so pretty!

And how fun are these red pumps?

I love this quatrefoil rug!

CSN Stores offers such a variety of products, it's a one-stop shopping center - you can buy just about anything you need right there!  Plus, they offer FREE SHIPPING on almost everything.  You can't beat that!


1)  Become a public follower of Loving Every Second!  {1 entry}

2)  Go to CSN Stores and tell me what item you would choose {1 entry}

3)  Grab a Loving Every Second Button and put it on your blog {1 entry}

4)  Put a link on Facebook about the giveaway {1 entry}

5)  Blog about this giveaway and include the link in your comment {2 entries}

Please leave a comment for each entry.  You have until midnight on Wednesday, December 15th to enter.  
I will announce the winner on Thursday, December 16th and he/she will have 48 hours to contact me.  If I do not hear from the winner within that 48 hour period, a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!!!

Dec 8, 2010

Blog button!

I finally made a blog button!

I used this tutorial from Vintage Wanna Bee to make it and it was a piece of cake.
So grab one if you'd like!  I'd love for you to share the bloggy love :)

Just copy and paste the code below the button:


Dec 6, 2010

Apricot-Glazed Rosemary BBQ Chicken

How many times have you gone out to eat, just to be disappointed by what you ordered?  I often think that I could make my food better at home.

Well, a few weeks ago, my husband and I went out to dinner.  I ordered the Apricot Glazed Chicken 'cuz it sounded really yummy.  I'm one of those people who loves sweet and savory things together.  

I got my dinner and was totally disappointed.  I knew I could make it WAY better myself!

So I did!

I added a few extras to mine, though.  Really the only thing the Apricot Chicken that I ordered had on it was apricot jam, which is why it was so disappointing.

Here's my recipe:

Apricot-Glazed Rosemary BBQ Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 15.5 oz jar Smucker’s Low Sugar Apricot Preserves {I used almost a whole jar}
2-3 Tbsp Barbecue sauce {use your favorite or whatever is in your fridge}
½ tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary {or about 1 tsp dried rosemary}
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

I used low sugar jam because we try to cut out sugar wherever we can at our house.  And I love this Smucker's Low Sugar Apricot Preserves.  I can't even tell it's low sugar and it's really yummy!  But, I've only found it at Walmart - just a little FYI for you:

So here's what you do:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   
In a bowl, combine apricot preserves, barbecue sauce, onion powder, garlic salt, rosemary and onions.  Set aside.   

Make sure your chicken is trimmed.  There's nothing worse than biting into a piece of chicken that hasn't been trimmed.  Cut each chicken breast into three parts, like so:
  {I decided to do this after it was all ready to go in the oven.  I wanted the chicken to cook faster so I took the breasts out and cut them up}

Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil (it will make the clean-up so fast and easy!!!  I do this with lots of dishes) and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Arrange your chicken in the bottom of the pan.  Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides:
 {This pic obviously taken before I decided to cut the breasts up}

  Spoon the glaze mixture over the chicken:

 Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.  And, voila!

It looks and smells delish!

Serve with a couple sides of veggies, or even over rice.  I served mine with a baked potato and roasted brussels sprouts {I had some from my Bountiful Basket - they had been sitting in my fridge for a week or two and I finally decided I wouldn't be scared of them!  And you know what?  I actually liked them!  I tried this recipe.  I also think they would be really yummy with a little fresh lemon juice}:

 I think I will make this in the crock pot next time.  Just add all ingredients and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours.  You wouldn't need to cut the breasts into three parts if you did it that way.  I'm a sucker for super easy slow cooker recipes {feel free to share any of your favorites with me!}.

And a close-up:

Try it!  You won't be disappointed!

Dec 1, 2010

Christmas Card Wall Hanger

I have been wanting a Christmas card holder forEVER!

I've seen some super cute ones, but I'm not willing to pay the prices for them.
I decided that this Christmas would be the one that I would get my Christmas card holder!!!

Since I didn't want to pay the big bucks, that meant that I needed to make one.  And this one was SO super easy!

I got a Christmas wall plaque that my mom gave me a few years ago for Christmas:

I got some twine and cut five pieces different lengths {I didn't want them all the same length}:

Then I hot-glued them onto the back of the wall plaque:

And here she is!

So easy {have I told you I LOVE easy projects?} and so cute!

I clipped the cards on with clothes pins {I had some on hand}

I don't have any Christmas cards yet, so I improvised :)

I can't wait to fill this bad-boy up!

Oh, and want to know how much this project cost me?  
I had everything on-hand, so it was FREE!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...