Simple Simmering Potpourri

I'm a  self-proclaimed scent-a-holic!  I love a good smelling home.  Don't we all?  I'm not much for floral and perfume-y scents; baked goods and spices are more my speed. 
*I'll add, I'm blessed/cursed with a "super-smeller" (my nose).  I can smell foul odors from across the room and overpowering scents give me a headache.*

This time of year is a scent-a-holic's dream come true!

I'm all about Scentsy.  Some of my favorite "flavors" (as I like to call them) are: Clove & Cinnamon, Mochadoodle, Honey Pear Cider, Cozy Fireside, Pumpkin Roll, Sticky Cinnamon Bun, and Central Park Pralines.

My #1 go to Christmas scent is Aromatique's: The Smell of Christmas.  I douse my pine cones, Christmas tree, and pine clippings with it several times a month.  Just perfect.

Candles, Scentsy, and sprays are great, but there are times when I just want something au naturale
If you have an orange, some cloves, cinnamon sticks, and some bay leaves, you have just what's needed for a wonderful simmering spice.   Trust me.  Your house will thank you!

Ingredients and Instructions:
  • A small simmering pot
  • A few bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
  • I typically just put a whole orange in the pot, but sliced orange or orange peels are just as good. 
  • Poking cloves in the orange has a two-fold effect:  1)the juices from the orange seep out and 2) it looks beautiful.  You can get as creative as you want with your clove design:

Isn't this beautiful?
My thoughts: Looks stunning, but...
Ain't nobody got time for that!

I'm tempted to fill a bowl with orange and clove pomanders for my Christmas party. Simply beautiful.

Place all of the ingredients in your pot, cover them with water, and simmer.  Add water whenever it gets too low.  My pot of spices usually lasts two days before I throw it out. 

{scratch and sniff}

Simple and it smells fantastic!


25 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Before I get to the Elf on the Shelf ideas, I feel obligated, for whatever reason, to put 'this' out there...

It seems some folks (at least the circles I find myself in) get all up in arms about Elf on the Shelf and Santa. Did you know the letters in Santa can be rearranged to spell Satan? Gasp! It's not enough to say, "To each his own." Like everyone else, we have an opinion, too. I've shared our "position" on Santa and the elf HERE. Everyone feels the need to explain themselves--myself included. You're judged if you do [Santa] and you're judged if you don't.  It's silly.  Everyone just needs to CHILL!

This concludes the end of my little rant--for now.  

25 Elf on the Shelf Ideas 

1:  dry-erase mustaches on kids' photos

2: sunbathing with Barbie

3: snow angel in flour

4: a friendly game of Candyland with the cast of Toy Story

5:  drawings for the kids

6: preparing breakfast

7: photocopying fun

8: snowball fight with Barnie

9: birthday decorating

10: gumdrop messages

11. paper chain Christmas countdown

12:  bringing the "ugliest" ornament to the front of the tree

13: snowflakes with Q-tips

14: hiding in the stuffed animals

15: replacing the stockings with socks

16: making a marshmallow snowman

17: shaving

18: cuddling up with a good book

19: turning the milk a nice shade of holiday green
20: getting all "dolled" up
21: wrapping up some unfinished projects

22:  feeding the "dogs"
23:  giving the gift of a new ornament
24: fishing for Goldfish crackers
25: marshmallow message


We plan on breaking out "Bernard" at the first of December.  I'm sure we will use some of the same ideas, but hopefully we can get creative and come up with some new ones.  I'm sure to post them so stay tuned!


from mirror to chalkboard

I promised a craft post...

Years and years ago, my grandmother gave me one of her old mirrors.  I think it was gold, I painted it brown (because everything was painted brown in 2003), and hung it above our bed.

Eventually, I updated the mirror a little with another coat of paint.  This time, I went with a metallic satin nickel.  

But along with everyone on pinterest, I'm in love with chalkboards, chalkboard art, typography, etc.  The wheels of change started to turn and I decided to transform the mirror once again.  This time it would reflect thoughts, art, typography, etc.

First, I dismantled the mirror.  I sprayed the frame a risky coat of cream. I decided to paint the back of the mirror instead of the mirror itself in case I decide to change it back later.

I gave the back of the mirror a quick coat of black spray primer/paint.

Next, I sprayed the mirror with several coats of chalkboard spray paint.

I searched images of chalkboard art because I lack creativitiy.

love simplistic chalk art most of all

so pretty.

I googled the pros and cons of chalk pens and regular chalk.  Several bloggers suggested using the tried and true Crayloa white chalk over the pens.  I went with the chalk, but I'm thinking the pens may have been a better choice for me (more precise).
You should know that I'm not an artist and I don't have pretty handwriting.  This project left me a tad frustrated.

I wanted to draw something semi-permanent on my board.  Not gonna lie, I'm a little disappointed, but I fought off the urge to erase a ton of times.  I like my branches, but my "H" is crooked along with a few other add-ons.  It'll change eventually, but it'll do for now.

 There you have it--a mirror turned transformed into a chalkboard.

Linking up: Craft Dictator 


Five on Friday

Time changes for babies are the devil!  After almost 7 days of being a little "off", Joy is finally adjusting to the change.  The big girls--well, we had to put a digital clock in their room and order them not to come out until the clock read SEVEN-ZERO-ZERO.  So far, it's working!

fussy Joyful
I know there are haters out there of early Christmas decorating *bah-humbug*, but to each his own!  I am a huge fan of Christmas decor!  Last year, my father-n-law purchased me a gorgeous flocked tree after Christmas.  It was all I could do to wait until after Halloween to put it up!  It's stunning!

a sneak peek
My big girls share my love for all things Christmas!  They helped decorate their pink, candy tree!

happy little Christmas elves
I winterized my milk glass collection with painted pine cones. 

Joyful is half a year old!  Can't believe how fast she's growing and changing.  She's almost sitting up on her own and she is getting up on her knees and rocking back and forth like she's about to take off!

After a month of blogging every.single.day., I've had a few days off.  It's been nice.  I should be back next week with some home updates, a crock-pot recipe, and a craft!  Stay tuned.