Friday, December 19, 2008

all martha'd out

Well, not really. I love this time of year and I love love love all the homemade goodness that can go along with it. I get a little carried away and the only problem is, I try to do everything; finding new ideas and taking on new projects or recipes almost every day of December. All the way through till New Years actually.

The good thing is, I don't get burnt out, I don't get tired of creating, I don't dread getting these things done... I just run out of time.
I'd like December to be 62 days long.

For now, however, I think I've completed everything I had on my list. I'm sure I'll come across more things in the next week (and I still have a whole New Years Day dinner to plan! yay!!), but for now I think I'm done.
Final round of Christmas cards mailed out... check!
Teacher/busdriver gift goodies packaged and delivered... check!
Neighborhood treats... delivered or planned for next week.... check!
Presents wrapped.... check!
Meals planned for the next week.... check!
Grocery shopping done.... check!
Kitchen full of snacks and baked goodies... check!

All that's left to do today is to get back to some regular housekeeping... I need to get the kid's rooms tidied up and the rest of our laundry put away and I need to clear out the guest room (that's been our gift central)(with Santa presents still hidden in there) because my parents are arriving this evening.
I must say I'm kind of looking forward to sitting here with nothing to do. Without feeling like there's some project I need to work on or something I'm needing to get done.

I made a "breakfast cake" this morning. Yes, it's called cake, but it's healthy! Well, if you don't mind the cup of butter. But the rest is all health, I promise! And oh you guys, this is soooo good! I'm not sure how I ever stumbled across this recipe, but I am so glad I did. You should definitely make it over any kind of winter break you have. Make it for your family... it's so warm and comfy and wholesome and YUMMY! And my house now smells so good!

On the subject of Martha...
thought I'd post more details on what we did for teacher/neighbor gifts this year. I know it's always hard to come up with ideas for teachers and sometimes for the neighborhood you just want to get away from the typical plate of cookies and fudge. So just in case anyone's searching for the future (including for last minute this week!) here's what we did this year:

For Savannah's teacher:
We made up some gourmet carmel apples... we stuck a popsicle stick in a great big yummy apple, melted caramels and dipped the apple in the yummy gooeyness (open the freezer and hold it in the cold air for a minute to set the caramel). Then they were dipped in melted chocolate. You should set the chocolate too at that point, but I didn't and then when we drizzled the white chocolate it ran down and melted everything underneath. Anyway, after the chocolate, we melted a couple squares of white chocolate and just drizzled that on. (Note: five year olds don't drizzle that prettily, so if you're going for looks here, drizzle it yourself!) Then we sprinkled away!

I think that's a pretty fancy way to do 'an apple for the teacher'!

We boxed it up in an adorable large chinese take-out type box
(I originally planned on boxing two -one to share with hubby or whoever- and two apples fit in the box when I first tried it, but after coating and wrapping them, they didn't both fit so we had to go with just one). We added miniature Christmas candy bars to the box and Savannah picked out a heart ornament to go along with it.

For the Bus drivers:
(we get to know our drop-off bus driver well, as it's only the half day kindergartners on her bus and I have to go out to meet them at the driveway and she's a chatty one!)
We mixed up some hot chocolate mix and put it in a cute little jar...

(We added mini chocolate chips on top too...)

and printed off the "instructions" to label...

And of course if you have homemade cocoa, you have to have homemade marshmallows! I've always been interested, but a tad intimidated by the thought of homemade marshmallows, but (after three I-must-really-have-blonde-roots attempts) turns out it's really easy! And they are so yummy! Not sure I'll go back to packaged marshmallows in this lifetime.

Anyway, we wrapped up a handfull of marshmallows (with fun sprinkles!) and the jar of cocoa for the busdrivers.

I also had enough left that we made up plates for a few of the neighbors...

Other neighbors (kids) are getting cute little tubs of homemade playdough with mini cookie cutters that I already had tons of on hand from last year...

(thanks for that fabulous idea Holly! My kids loved it!!)

and this weekend we're making a few stacks of cookies like this for the remaining friends on our street.
(from a cake mix!)
(and this pic makes me smile with our pink peach kitchen countertops from our old house!)

Okay. That's it. The kitchen is closed. The projects are done. I'm ready to sit back and relax and wait for Christmas to get here...
Sawyer says each and every day since we've had our Christmas tree up,
"Is it Christmas Day at our house yet or still just ChristmasTime?"

Can you even believe Christmas is less than a week away!!


Mom said...

Nothing I like better than "relaxing" at your house. Let it SNOW!See you soon.XOXOXOXO

Heather S. said...

Love the hot cocoa idea in the little jar - so cute!! My mom used to make hot cocoa mix all the time - we never had store bought! My dad went through a phase a couple years ago where he was making marshmallows all the time!! You have been busy!!
I have been totally lazy this year - since I am supposed to somewhat limit my sugar intake right now, I didn't want to be tempted.

Nicole said...

I'm jealous of all your gift ideas!!! I haven't even gotten around to the boring ol' plate of cookies for our neighbors.

I'll have to stuff these ideas away for next year and maybe if I start doing this stuff around Halloween time I'll get it done before Dec. 25!!! HAHA!

Nicole said...

P.S. don't get me started on what a grinch I felt like yesterday at work... I didn't get a thing for anyone at work!!

Denise said...

Holy moly woman! You are amazing! Wanna come to my house? I haven't done a single bit of baking for the holidays this year. You are awesome!

patty said...

I have been curious about homemade marshmallows too. Is it really easy or easy for a professional like yourself

Christy said...

you are amazing!! Great gift ideas-- I might be stealing some of those in the future!

Christina said...

Love all your Christmas creations. Everyone is going to be so blessed by all your heartfelt homemade gifts.

Kim said...

I want to be like you with all the fun creations but I am pregnant and lazy.. Everything looks wonderful! You got skills!!!

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