Tag Archives: Christmas

My Favorite Gifts 2011

I know Christmas isn’t about the gifts, but I scored some pretty sweet stuff this year!

Here are my top 10 gifts that I found under my tree!

10: Diamond cross bracelet because sparkles always fit.

9: Ugg moccasins. They look & feel like slippers, but have a rubber sole like “real shoes”.  Plus, they don’t get funky if you don’t wear socks. I haven’t taken them off!!!  I swear, I even accidentally wore them to the gym!

8: This hoodie from PINK by Victoria’s Secret.  Fab cozies are a must.

7:  New ski pants

via Altrec.com

6: Eye cream and serum from Arbonne.  Smells fantastic, costs too much for me to  splurge on, makes my skin look & feel like a million bucks.

via A Case Of Beauty

5:  A lift ticket for Mount Killington

4: Milk Bar Cookbook!!  Be prepared for those fatkid posts!  (the creator of the Compost Cookie recipe wrote the book!)

3: Black-out curtain liners.  Weird gift? Yes. Not waking up at whatever time the sun does, wonderful.

2: A Kindle!!  I’m super excited about this one because I’ll be doing a ton of traveling in 2012, so this was a perfect gift for those long plane rides and my over-stuffed carry-on bag.

via Amazon.com

1: Slick new Rossignol bindings that match my skis that I got for my birthday!!

Rocco’s stocking was stuffed to the max!  He ripped his stuffed toys to shreds within 3 seconds of my giving them to him! But, he loved all of his treats and toys.

What were your favorite gifts?

Did You Get Another Gift Card You’ll Never Use?

Let’s be real here.  Have you ever gotten a gift card that you know you will never use?  Are you a vegan and somehow ended up with a gift card to Omaha Steaks?  Do you think cleats are something for the kitchen and received a gift card to The Sports Authority? Did you get a gift card to Babies R Us and you don’t even have kids?!  I have discovered the best website for you!

Instead of letting your generous friend’s cash go to waste by letting the gift card sit at the bottom of your purse with old pennies and linty gum,  get on your laptop and check out cardpool.com (I totally sound like I’m selling this! LOL!) I saw it in a magazine and it is awesome. I promise I am not being paid to say this stuff.  Although, if they want to pay me, that would be cool too 🙂

You can trade your lame gift cards for an Amazon gift card of equal or lesser value or up to 92% cash back. You can also buy gift cards at a discounted price (up to 35% off ) !!

Do you re-gift the lame cards you get?  Did you already know about this website?

2011 Holiday House Tour Continued

I figured I’d show you all around our house in all it’s tacky shimmering glory lol!  Here’s what the rest of Casa FSL is looking like these days…

Super Christmas-fied!

I added just a few touches to the kitchen…

The kids got at it before I snapped the picture, but you guys get the point right?  It was a snow globe attempt gone awry!  It looks more like a snow egg… whatev.

Silver reindeer and a rhinestone tree (what else did you expect?!) sittin on top of Simon.

Some snowmen soaps and a couple of silver and glitter votives sit by my sink to keep me happy while I wash the dishes.

Here’s our entryway area looking festive and a bit rustic. Please excuse the weird lighting.  I don’t know what’s up with it.

And a close up on a few little moments…

The gold glitter doesn’t stop there.  It’s in our bathroom also 🙂

And what bathroom is complete without feathers?!

Somebody stop me.  Really.

Our mancave downstairs already had the turquoise thing goin on, so I added some peacock feathers and disco balls to add some holiday jazzy-ness.

Merry Christmas to all of the Finding Silver Linings readers out there!  I hope you are all on the “Nice List” this year!!

xo

Mindy & Mr. FSL

Gingerbread House Making With The Kiddos

Continuing on with yesterday’s gingerbread theme…

It’s becoming a little bit of a tradition around here.  For the past couple of years, we rally up the kids and decorate gingerbread houses.

 

Last year I learned that you need to assemble them about an hour or so before you plan on decorating them because the frosting holding it together needs to harden.  This year I remembered *insert smug grin here* .  It’s a rare thing that I remember something like that people.

Here are a few shots of the night.  Bitten, headless gingerbread men and all.

Um, I put the houses together.  Yeah.  Good thing I didn’t build our house that we live in, that’s all I’m sayin  😉

Here’s my 15 year old cousin’s iPhone, my best girl and my God daughter getting into some frosting action!

Mr. FSL looking exhausted ecstatic about all of this and our niece who actually was! LOL!

My cousin and her sugar induced smile.

Do you have any Christmastime traditions with the kids in your family?  Do you bite the heads off of your gingerbread men first? I wanna know.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I’m going to be honest. I should have posted this on like Thanksgiving. It has looked like Christmas here at Casa FSL for about a month! I couldn’t wait for it this year. Last year we were only living in our home for 2 months and didn’t have tons of decorations. This year, it looks like my house threw up Christmas. Glittery, flashy, silver, white, gold, even disco balls and peacock feathers! Since the halls are decked (and the bathroom, and the kitchen, and the yard…) I figured I’d do a little house tour to let you guys house crash at our place.

We moved all of the furniture out of the front room (formerly the dining room) and our tree lives in there, along with gifts, Rocco’s food & water dish, and two gold reindeer that Rocco goes nose to nose with and growls at is learning to live with.

Put on your shades people, brace yourself for the glitter 😀 .

Here’s our “mantle”. Also known as the weird ledge over our front doorway.

Here’s our other “mantle” also known as the giant Ikea buffet table that weighs a zillion pounds and is not moving until Mindy gets the fireplace that she really wants pigs fly.

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Do you pick a “theme” color for your Christmas decorations? Do you pile it on? Do you keep it minimal?

Stay tuned for more Christmastime at FSL tomorrow!!

Skinny Pizza Dip

Who doesn’t like pizza?  Really though.  I’ve never met a person that doesn’t like pizza. If you don’t, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

Mr. FSL despises anything that is classified as a “dip”.  He thinks all dip is gross.  Especially if there’s any sour cream or cream cheese involved.  He actually makes this odd mock barf noise when those particular ingredients are mentioned out loud.  Not kidding.

I made three different hot dips in my new triple crockpot buffet thing-a-ma-bobber.  I made low fat  turkey taco dip (recipe here) and a full fat bacon and cheese dip (I’ll post that next week 😉 ).  I didn’t tell him what was in the pizza dip and he took it upon himself to test it.  He said verbatim “Woah! You need to make this again!  It’s awesome”.

I’ve eaten pizza dips before.  They are dangerously addicting.  I’m always the girl at the party with sauce around her lips when this stuff is around. Embarrassing.

I got my saucy little paws on the recipe so I can hoover it down without an audience to gross out make it for parties.  I doctored it up to make it lighter so I can eat twice as much.  I switched out the full fat version for low fat.  I don’t choose the non-fat version when it comes to dairy because it tastes weird to me and it tends to have a watery consistency.  Ew.

Here’s how I made it…

2 packages of low fat cream cheese (if you’re like my husband, insert weird belchy noise here)

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

2 cups

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 (16oz) jar of pizza sauce

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper, olives, onion, olives, (whatever “topping” you like on your pizza)

1 Baguette sliced for dipping

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In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and the Italian seasoning.

Spread in the bottom of the crockpot.

Next, sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella and 1/2 of the grated cheese over the cream cheese mixture.

Pour the jar of pizza sauce on top.

Sprinkle the remaining cheeses and any “toppings” on top.

Put the crockpot on high for about an hour, then switch to low heat for 3 hours to serve.

I’m a bad blogger.  I forgot to snap a finished photo.  You’re just going to have to take my fatkid word on this one.  It was demolished in like an hour flat.  All of it.  My husband said it tasted like a cross between bagel bites and pizza rolls.  I though it tasted more like Elio’s Pizza.  Either way, it is something you need to make.

Now.

Go ahead.

I’ll wait 😀

What’s your fave party dip?

DIY Clothespin Christmas Card Display

Last December was our 2nd month in our first (and current) home.  In other words, we had nothing.  This included a place to display our Christmas cards.  This is what I came up with last year since the only things we had hanging on our walls were 2 really big screws.

*Hangs head in embarassment*

I literally didn’t even have thread or twine.  I was too lazy to go buy it, and I ended up using dental floss to hang my Christmas cards…DENTAL FLOSS! Not only was I not ashamed to post about the fact that I used it, I even make an attempt to justify it.  Shameless people, shameless.

See that dazzling post by clicking here.

Many things have changed since then, thankfully.  Most for the better.  This year’s Christmas card display also costed me nothing but a few minutes (and I still had my dignity afterward).  I’ve seen this project before and thought it was cute so I gave it a whirl since I had all of the materials.

I had the empty frame that I’ve been hoarding saving for the perfect project. I actually hid this because Mr. FSL wanted to throw it out so many times…shhh!

Next, I swiped a few thumbtacks from our cork board and the spool of jute twine that I used to make this wreath.

I tied a knot at the end of the twine and tacked it into the back.

I spaced the 5 rows pretty evenly, and was ready to display my cards & photos using old clothespins.

I made this the night before our Annual Ugly Sweater Party (which will be recapped next week) so instead of cards, I hung up photos from last year’s party.

When the party was over, I took most of those down and put up our cards.

Free & Easy!

Red Velvet Pudding Shots

I swear I’m not a lush.

Once I find something that is a hit at every party, I try every variation I can think of.  Here’s the latest incarnation of the pudding shot.

Red Velvet.

I was getting ready for our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  Pudding shots were a must.  I had pistachio and I had cookies & cream already mixed and poured.  Ready to roll.  I wanted something festive and all I had was vanilla pudding.  I grabbed this lovely bottle instead of the usual whipped cream vodka.

1 1/4 cups of Devil’s Food Cake flavored vodka

3/4 cup of whole milk

a packet of instant vanilla pudding mix

a lot of red food coloring

a tub of cool whip

Mix it all up!

Pour into squeezable shot cups.

Top with whipped cream & garnish!

Poof! Holiday cheer in a cup!

3 Ingredient Nutella Cookies

If this is not your first time on this blog, I’m guessing that you already know about my Nutella obsession. If it is your first time here, you now know one of my weaknesses.

Even if you are not a Nutella fan, you will probably like these cookies. The hazelnut flavor is not very prominent. Think of it as a cross between a fudge brownie and a good old fashioned chocolate cookie.

I found the recipe ( wait for it ) on Pinterest. Shocking, I know.

Hold on to your seats…

1 cup of Nutella

1 cup of all purpose flour

1 egg

That’s it.

Mix until uniform consistency. I used my hands because it was a pretty thick dough.

I suppose you could spoon these puppies right onto a baking sheet and call it a day. It was almost too easy. I felt guilty. I am weird.

I covered the chocolatey lump of dough with waxed paper and used a rolling pin to make it about 1/2 inch thick. Maybe a hair thinner.

I have been itching to use my new cookie cutters, so I picked one out and cut cut cut.

I sprayed the baking sheet with nonstick spray and laid the cookies out.

Bake them for six minutes on 350. They barely spread out at all, so I put them pretty close together.

I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top for an extra dose of happiness.

There ya have it. The easiest cookie from scratch recipe I know. Enjoy!!

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What’s the easiest cookie recipe you have up your sleeve? Share it here!!

Rocco’s Ugly Sweater Party Dilemma

So, this weekend is our annual ugly sweater party.  See last year’s highlight reel by clicking  here.  If you’re feeling lazy, here is a mini sampler of the fun.

We usually have Rocco sleep at his grandparent’s house.  This year we figured we’d let him in on the action.

Mr. FSL & I went Christmas shopping this past Saturday.  We stopped at good ole Tar-Jay for some wrapping paper , tape, boxes, etc… He grabbed a coffee at the in-house Starbucks.  I stalked the dollar section and found ugly dog sweaters.  If Rock is going to be at the party, he might as well represent.

Sunday morning I wanted to try it on my little pork chop of a Maltese.  He was clearly ecstatic about the sweater selection.

I remembered having a few Christmas things for him stashed away in a closet.

Here are his Christmas Eve PJs. Okay, maybe he need to switch to lo-cal puppy chow these days, but who doesn’t add a little fluff around the holidays?!

Santa Paws hat.

And my personal favorite, the naughty elf.

Big mistake giving him a rawhide toy before our little photo shoot.  He gnaws until it’s gooey.  His mustache is a disaster.  Our apologies for Rock not being photo ready.

I’m having a tough decision.  What should he wear to the 2011 FSL Ugly Sweater Party?