Welcome! My name is Nicole but my friends call me Coley, a cute little boy calls me Momma, and the love of my life calls me honey.
I’m a work at home Mom, birthmom, writer, and photographer, and crafter from the south. I’m a self described mamarazzi and girly girl who loves purses, painted fingernails, funky socks, polka dots, and anything teal.
My son, Noah, is my pride and joy. He's an adorable special needs 16 year old charmer!
Go to the "about me" page to learn more about me and my family!
I hope you all had a great Christmas! Even though I was having problems with my eye, I enjoyed the time spent with my family. The White Christmas was fun and we ended up spending an extra day at my parents house because of it.
Noah's big gift from Santa was a TV and DVD player for his room. He wasn't too excited about it on Christmas mainly because I don't think he understand that it was his. When he finally saw it set up in his room at home, on his new TV stand, he let out a squeal that I am positive they heard in the next city. He has really been enjoying sitting in his bean bag chair in his room watching videos the past few days.
Noah wasn't the only one who was spoiled for Christmas. I received a Silhouette machine (thanks Mom and Dad!) and can't wait to start creating things with it!! In my stocking, Santa put a custom made "You were Made for this Necklace" made by the girls at R House Couture. It's beautiful and so meaningful to me.
Here are just a few pics from Christmas 2010.
Noah's Loot from Santa
Coming in the living room to see what Santa brought
Checking it all out
My brother getting into playing Noah's guitar
Daddy helping Noah open a present
My Mom so excited about a movie Santa put in her stocking
I have lived in the South my entire life and have never experienced a "White Christmas." I've always wanted to though, so much so that experiencing a White Christmas is number 26 on my bucket list.
Number 26 is now accomplished and gets a big huge check mark next to it because today it SNOWED!!! We haven't had a White Christmas in South Carolina since 196 and there were only 3 observances of a White Christmas ever in South Carolina so this has definitely made the record books and been fun to talk about.
There's not a lot of snow, maybe an inch or so. According to local media, one inch of snowfall on the ground constitutes a "White Christmas." All along, I've said as long as there was enough snow for me to build a baby snowman then in my eyes it counted!
I was looking for a simple and easy way to display Christmas cards. In the past I have set them on the mantel, but my Christmas mantel this year and I want to see it and wouldn't be able to do that if I put a bunch of cards up there. So then I thought of the bookshelf and came up with this.....
Took less than 5 minutes. I simply taped some grosgrain ribbon on the bookshelf and used clothespins to hang the cards. Since taking the picture, I've added more ribbon and more cards. That's what I love about it - as your collection of cards grows, just add more ribbon and more clothespins! This would look great on a blank wall too!
Note to self: Straighten the books before you take a picture of the bookshelf next time. ;)
I am adoring our Christmas tree this year. Noah reminds me to turn the lights on every morning when we go into the living room to wait for the school bus. I turn them off after he leaves but turn them back on before he gets home. Sneaky, eh?
Once again our tree is a hodge podge, eclectic mix of ornaments but the thing I love most is that almost every single ornament on the tree has meaning behind it. It was bought for a special reason, given to us by a loved one, created by someone we love, or is on there to commemorate an event in our lives.
Here's close ups of just a few of my favorite ornaments.....
I added red sparkly balls through out the tree. I like the consistency they add to the tree since it is a mix of different colors and types of ornaments.
I opted to not use our angel this year. It just didn't look right but obviously it needed some sort of topper and when I found this red sparkly star I knew it would be the perfect topper.
This is probably one of the easiest fudge recipes ever. I have been making it for the past few years and people always love it and request the recipe and then are shocked at how simple it is! I promise if you give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
What You Need: 1 bag of white chocolate chips 1 container of whipped white/vanilla icing 1-2 TBSP mint extract (depending on how minty you like things) 1 tsp shortening Red Food Coloring About 12 mini candy canes crushed or 4-6 regular sized
How to Make It: 1. Over medium heat begin to melt the white chocolate chips stirring continually. As they begin to melt, add in the entire container of frosting, the shortening, and the mint extract. Continue stirring until it's all melted and combined. 2. Spray a dish with cooking spray and pour the fudge in the dish. Put a couple of drops of the red food coloring in different spots randomly and then use a knife to pull the red food coloring across the white fudge to create a swirly look. 3. Put your candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush them up. (I give this job to Noah sometimes and let him beat them with a wooden spoon. He's the best candy cane crusher I know!) Pour the crushed candy canes on top of the fudge, pop it in the fridge for a few hours and let it set.
So, I had to bring a little Christmas into the kitchen. I adore my built in hutch and it just seemed like the perfect place to swap out the traditional decor and add a little bit of festive decor for the holiday season. Aside from one or two things I made, I just worked with things I already had and kept it small. I do have a few plans for little additions for next year.
Here's how the hutch is normally decorated......
And here's how it looks for Christmas......
I swapped my "S" plate out for this snowflake plate...
It's just a dollar store plate I spray painted blue and glued on a glittery snowflake ornament.
I added my ribbon loopy tree to the hutch. Love that little tree. It's sitting on a little silver tray from the dollar store that I spray painted blue.
I have an ever growing collection of Christmas salt and pepper shakers that I added to the hutch.
I set this little salt and pepper set and on the stove.....
I just love that they sit in the little sleigh.
Last but not least, I put my favorite salt and pepper shakers in the napkin holder on the table. Adorable!
And that's the little bit of Christmas in the kitchen!
I thought I'd share a few pictures of my Christmas mantel.
Close up of the Left side of the Mantel which features a red glitter tree, custom Christmas subway art, a Santa's belly candle holder, and a "present topiary."
Close up of the present topiary which is just three different boxes I bought at the Dollar Store. They are printed nesting boxes and came together as a set. I covered them with scrapbooking paper, set them on top of one another, and tied a bow. So simple but cute.
Close up of the red glitter tree. A green glitter tree is at the other end of the mantel.
I made it by spray painting a candle holder red and just gluing on black ribbon and a blingy faux belt buckle from the craft store.
A close up of the right side of the mantel
See that green bucket with the candy canes in it there? That was Noah's contribution to the mantel. He bought the candy canes at the school store and wanted something to put them in. I bought the bucket thinking we'd sit it on a side table. He insisted it go on the mantel. How could I resist his cuteness?
I posted that I was making these on Facebook last week and multiple people asked for the recipe so posting it here seemed like the easiest way to share it.
As some of you know, I have an ulcer so I can't eat spicy foods or tomato based foods but I LOVE Mexican foods so I had to get creative and come up with some recipes on my own. This recipe below was made from about 3-4 different recipes plus trial and error. It's not figure friendly so I don't make it super often but it is delicious.
What You'll Need: Chicken (I use 1 package of the pre-cooked chicken made by Tyson.) 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (I know, sounds weird - trust me!) 1 container of sour cream 1 large onion finely chopped 2 tbsp. garlic (I used the minced kind that comes in a jar.) 2 cups of mexican blend cheese 1/4 cup milk cooking spray tortillas (I use flour because J prefers that but you could use corn.)
What You'll Do: 1. Spray a skillet liberally with cooking spray and saute the garlic and onions. 2. Add your chicken to the mixture. (If you are using the Tyson pre-cooked kind, it's already chopped, but I chop it a bit finer before adding it to the skillet.) Turn on low and let it hang out. 3. In another pot, add both cans of mushroom soup on medium heat. Stir in the whole container of sour cream and the milk. (I told you it's not figure friendly.) Let this mixture heat up a little bit. 4. Now add about 1/4 cup of the sour cream/mushroom soup mixture to the pan with the chicken. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese to the skillet as well and combine until the cheese is melted. 5. Spray a cooking dish with cooking spray. Take a tortilla and add a couple of spoonfuls of the chicken mixture to each tortilla. (How much you add to each tortilla will depend on the size of your tortillas but you don't want them too full.) Fold each tortilla closed and place in the baking dish seam side down. Continue this with each tortilla until you have used the entire chicken mixture. 6. Pour all of the sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tortillas. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
Saturday was the annual Women's Christmas Brunch and Craft Fair at my church. Once again, my Mom and I each had tables featuring some of our handmade goodies. I sold many of my paper crafts and gifts while Momma was selling her fleece blankies and scarves. We had a good day and a great time.
I totally forgot about taking pictures until the table was really picked over and messy so I didn't even bother at that point. My best seller was by far the snow bars, which are covered candy bars. I actually increased the price of them this year since the price of candy bars went up. Next year, I need to make like 50 of them. I did take a picture of a single, lonely candy bar......
Shortly after this picture was taken, he found a home.
Last week we got a phone call from Shriner's Hospital saying that Noah's pre-op was coming up and giving us the date and time for the pre-op. If you recall, originally Noah's Scoliosis surgery was going to be in December at Shriner's but Noah's doctor felt that was going to be too far away and that Noah couldn't wait that long and we found a different doctor and had the surgery in May. I had called and cancelled the surgery at Shriner's in June but I guess they didn't get it in all the records or whatever.
Once we got all that straightened out, I laughed for a minute at the irony of the whole phone call and then I said a prayer of thanks. I honestly had forgotten he was supposed to have the surgery in December, so close to Christmas! We would have made the best of it, of course, but I am so thankful that Noah has already had the surgery, is doing so great, looks so great, and we are going into the holiday season rejoicing that, not barely starting his recovery process.
Today, I'm sharing this simple little craft idea that would make a great stocking stuffer for kids, a classroom treat for your kid's classmates, or a small gift for your child's friends.
What you'll need: 12 X 12 Scrapbooking paper Sticky strip tape Ruler Scissors or personal trimmer Pencils (I used 3 pencils per a pack and found the Christmas pencils at the Dollar Tree.) Erasers (I used 1 eraser per a pack and found the Christmas erasers at the Dollar Tree.) Cello bags Regular Tape
What you'll do: 1. Fold your scrapbook paper in half. And then cut it into strips that are about 2 1/2 inches wide. I knew I wanted to include 3 pencils in each little pencil pack so if you wanted to include less or more you'd need to adjust accordingly using the pencils as a guide. 2. Leaving the paper folded, cut at the top (the un-folded part) so that each strip is now about 5 inches tall. 3. Add sticky strip to each of the sides of one part of the strip of paper. This is what it will look like before you peel up the pinkish backing.
4. Now peel off the back and fold your paper together pressing down to avoid any crinkling or bubbles. 5. Add 3 pencils and one coordinating eraser. I put a small piece of sticky strip on to the pencil pack where I wanted the eraser to go to help hold it into place. 6. Put each pencil pack into a cello bag. Fold it over and secure with tape in the back.