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It's the last day of 2011.

I'm counting down my top 11 (most read) posts of the year. 
I've been blogging for 10 months and it always amazes me what people want to read. 
Actually, it astonishes me that others WANT to read about the craft happenings in my life. 
For awhile there it was just my mom and mother-in-law reading...
and of course my AH (awesome husband). 

A big thank you to all who DO turn in and read what I'm up to...
AND a big thank you to all my followers.  I appreciate each and every comment. 
Thanks for the encouragement and support!

It's been a fun year.  Here we go!
Starting with post #11 on the list. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that readers were showing this post to their sports-crazed husbands.
I loved reading their comments. 
One reader told me she will never show this to her husband because she would have to make him one.
 By the way, AH loves his tree and hasn't let me take it down....yet!

I'm not quite sure why this post made the countdown...
maybe others could relate to my issue with glasses left out everywhere?!
My junk find was put to good use...we still use it everyday.

A simple Dollar Store baby blanket, beans, ribbon and a cinnamon stick
was all it took to make these pumpkins.  Super fast and easy! 
They sure added some bright color to the Thanksgiving table and an
added bonus--- they smell good.

This was probably one of the most simple gifts I've ever posted on my blog. 
It really doesn't get any easier than this.  Store bought towels on clearance and add a tag and ribbon. 
AH thought my tag saying was clever--my kids didn't get it.

My mom's friend found the Crate & Barrel Driftwood Mirror advertisement in a magazine.  When she suggested I make my own, I thought she was crazy! 
When I later found the perfect base to glue the wood to, I decided to go for it. 
(My mom's friend made one too.)  Many readers, including international readers loved this, however...I'm still not in love.  I look at it and think it looks like something I made in 5th grade.
I might give it away---any takers?  It's heavy!

It's sad to say that this post was an idea taken from another blogger.  I gave her full credit, but it's still crazy that I received so many hits to my site because of this idea. 
Just so you know, I did thank her!
I did come up with the cute 'Sundae' school teacher idea and packaging...
(just pointing out I showed a little bit of creativity here...not much, but a little.)

What started out as my son's summer project (making balloon animals),
turned into these cute bracelets.
They actually take a bit more time, patience and balloons than they seem.
  Just remember to save those popped balloons and do not make balloon animals when Dad is around!

Here's another idea I copied from multiple bloggers...and made it my own. 
My kids LOVED playing with these things!  It was a perfect summer day craft.

This was one of those crafts I've done for years. 
Many, many friends have received cards from me that look like this.
I finally wrote a post on it back in May. 
Imagine my surprise when the Frugal Girls Blog featured it!
I instantly had thousands of people reading how I make cards!  Craziness!

This is my favorite post of 2011.  My friend battling breast cancer asked for some thank you notes.  Making these for her brought me so much joy!  The best part---her treatments and surgery are over and the cancer is GONE!  Praise God!
I need to make her some more!


Ready to see my top post of 2011??  I'm sure it will surprise you,  I'm definitely stumped! 
It's another idea that I borrowed from someone else... 
(I really need to work on my original ideas this year!)

#1  Quick S'mores Gift Idea

Yep, these quick and simple S'more Gifts have received more hits and more pins on Pinterest than any other post I published this year.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised--
how can anyone turn down a chocolatey, gooey s'more?

  In February my little blog will be a year old!
I have a few surprises in store and I'll be sharing MY favorite posts of the year...
so 'stick' with me friends!  (Aww...get it?)


Here's wishing you s'more love as you celebrate the new year!
Happy 2012!

Linking up to: SerenityNow, NaptimeCrafters, IHeartNaptime, BeyondthePicketFence, CraftOManiac,
EmbellishingLife, UncommonlyYours, GunnySack, ReasonstoSkiptheHousework,
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The Christmas decorations are finally packed up...
well, not completely--but we're getting there!

Ready or not, it's time for a New Year's Eve Celebration!

 I decided to keep the 'bling' theme going for the New Year.

Guess what's on the menu? 
(Hint: Fondue pot on the table!)

I whipped up some super-quick New Year's Eve cookies!

I'm almost embarrassed to show you how easy this is.
White icing on chocolate wafer cookies... Done!

I love displaying our family pictures from years past.
That shot was taken 5 years ago!

Check out this little dome my mom gave me for it!

The table is set and waiting...

Happy New Year!
May 2012 be your best year yet!

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It's time to play with some Christmas gifts around here. 

Look what my daughter opened.  A cupcake maker!

Growing up I had a bright red Easy-Bake Oven. 
It came with tiny pans and individual cake and frosting packets. 
It took soooo long waiting for the heat of the lightbulbs to cook the little cakes...

Fast forward about 30 years and now my daughter has her own cupcake maker from Grandma.
Oh, boy was she excited!

My newly-turned 11 year old decided she wanted no help from me with her new present.
Yay!  I just sat back, took some pictures and only gave a 'few' pointers.
(I'm guessing you know what that means.)

She whipped up a cake mix, poured in the batter and let the machine cook for 6-8 minutes.
Much faster than those Easy-Bake ovens!

Of course it took a few tries to figure out the perfect amount of batter...

and the perfect amount of baking time.

Add a little chocolate frosting and they all tasted delicious!  Aren't they cute?

The best part? 
She shared with her brother!  Love it!

And I just have to share with you this Christmas present from my mom...

An ice, ice baby cube tray.  It will go perfect with this!

And take a look at what has taken over the family room!!!  Yikes!

Wanna come play?

Linking up to: FrugalGirls,
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Free White Elephant Poem

Our church's youth leaders came over for a Christmas gathering the other night.
We all sat down to enjoy a White Elephant Gift Exchange. 
Instead of following the normal 'open a gift or steal a gift' rules, 
we played the 'White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem' version. 

There's not much choosing in this game.
You get what you get according to the rhyme!  Check it out.

First, have all the guests bring a white elephant gift. 
*Be sure to put a few rules on the gifting, by letting the guests know what type of gift they should bring. Think about your crowd, and decide on some guidelines.
Here's some ideas:
-a used gift that no one would want.
-a humorous gift new or used.
-any new gift that costs $25.
-any used gift with a $5. incentive tied to the top ($5. gift card, cash, ornament, etc.)
-any item purchased at a thrift store.
-a new book. (this is a fun idea to do with a book group.)
-a new board game. (great for kids and families.)
-a themed gift basket.
-a new pair of socks.
-an ornament.
-a bottle of wine.

When guests arrive, have an area where the gifts will be--preferably in the center of the circle of people.

Fun twist on the White Elephant Gift exchange....a poem that instructs you what to do.

Next, write numbers on sticky back nametags.  Have each guest draw a number and then peel off the backing and stick the tag on their shirt.  (You'll need the numbers in plain sight.)

Click here to print out the White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

Assign a leader/boss that will read the poem AND enforce the rules!
The leader/boss reads the instructions to the first person.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

1.  Lucky you, you're # 1

You get to start all the fun.

So grab a gift and grab it quick.
Cause you're the one who gets first pick.

After player #1 opens their gift, the leader reads the instructions for player #2.
OR if you rather--no one opens their gift until everyone has a chosen a package.
You choose how to play this game--do what works best with your crowd. 

2. Number 2 you're on the way.

It's time for you to have your say.

Get your gift and when you're done,
Swap it off with number 1.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

The leader keeps reading the instructions before each person opens (or chooses) their gift.
After their gift is open, they must follow the instructions from the leader.

3. Number 3 its plain to see.

It's your turn to pick which gift `twill be.

And when your choosing job is through,
Swap with 1 and then with 2.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

There was a lot of fun swapping going on. 
Sometimes the poem had swapping with numbers,
other times you had to swap with a person wearing red or black or
someone with the darkest hair.
You just never knew...

4. Number 4 must use your head.

So grab a gift that has some red.

If it doesn't suit you to a `T',
You may swap with 2 or 3.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

This White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem goes up to 50 people!  We only had 18 people at our party, so we stopped at #18.  However, we were really lacking a closing poem for our last person...

So, I made one up. 
Use this rhyme on whatever number is your last.

We'll wrap this up nice and neat
Since everyone has had their treat.
You're the last and what a ride...
You can swap your gift with anyone YOU decide.

Click here to print out the White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem.

Merry Christmas!!

Looking for some more games? Try some of these!

Plastic Wrap Party Game

Candy Cane Party Games

LEFT/RIGHT Game for Mother's Day

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Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love's pure light.

   Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.

 Wishing you and your family a silent night and a
very Merry Christmas!

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