Gingerbread House ~ 2012

December 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm (Food, Holidays)

Here is 2012’s version of our Gingerbread House– 27 years of making one!  To see last year’s, click here. This year we decided to stick with a red/green/white theme–













Funny story– at first, I set up the gingerbread house in front of the christmas tree to use the light bokeh as a backdrop, but I thought it was too busy.  So I set up a white blanket on the couch and draped it with some white lights.  About halfway through my gingerbread “photo shoot”, my cat decided that the lights looked like a comfy place to nap, so he jumped up and settled in– thankfully, he curled up into a little ball and is blocked by the house in most of the pictures, but I just had to take a few pictures of him when I was done.


I also did end up playing with the lights on my tree– even though Christmas isn’t even here yet, I’m already dreaming of summer!1DSC_6900





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Subway Art

December 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm (General Crafting, Holidays)

Lately, I’ve gotten into creating Subway art – you can buy these here in my Etsy shop.

This is the first one I made– all Jersey Shore towns!


Then I ventured into Photography….


And finally a Christmas one!



I’m thinking next up will be a Disney one– any other ideas?


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Inappropriate Elf on the Shelf

December 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm (Holidays)

When I saw that the hysterical blog Baby Rabies was having an “Inappropriate Elf on the Shelf” contest, the gears started turning in my head– if anyone can come up with something inappropriate, it’s myself and my fiance! When I saw the prizes for first second and third (a Nikon 4/3 camera– that I’ve had my eye on!, an iPad mini and Nintendo 3DS), I practically begged my fiance to come up with something for us to enter. Over the course of the week, I’d get random texts from him with various ideas– which ranged from funny to “50 Shades of Grey” levels of inappropriate. The rules specifically state that you can’t have anything above a PG-13 level, so we went with one of his ideas….a spoof on the song “Call Me Maybe”.
My sister even got in on the fun and came up with these lyrics:
“Hey, I just met you; and oh mylanta; here’s my number; so call me, santa!”

Without further adu, my Elf on the Shelf, sitting in a bathroom stall with some “for a good time, call….” graffiti that he wrote 🙂
Call me, maybe?

And onto the important thing– VOTING!!
Click the link here, scroll down until you see my picture, and click the little “Like?” button below it.
Thanks in advance!!

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Halloween Wrap-Up

November 19, 2012 at 2:03 am (Food, General Crafting, Holidays)

My fiance’s office had a Halloween party where families could bring their kids and let them go trick or treating through the building– everyone was asked to dress up, and we all brought a snack for the party afterward.

I made Witch’s Fingers Chocolate Covered Pretzels– they were so easy!  I melted down green chocolate wafers, dipped some pretzel rods into them, and then pressed a sliced almond onto the end for the fingernail.  They looked freakishly realistic yet totally awesome at the same time!

For our costumes, I wanted to do something awesome, but I had the large problem of not having a sewing matching out in Washington, so whatever we were had to be something that could be “constructed” without sewing.  After much deliberation (and Pinning), I came up with the idea of being Where’s Waldo, and his girlfriend Wenda.  I figured we could go to a thrift store and find red striped shirts (and a denim skirt for me), and at the very least, we could get a white shirt and paint it.  Lo and behold, we hit up a Goodwill one night, and within minutes each had a red striped shirt, a red hat, and I even found the perfect denim skirt.  A trip to Walmart a few nights later got me red stockings and red and white striped socks!  The black glasses were courtesy of the dollar section in Michaels.  All in all, both of our costumes combined cost less than $20 and we were a hit at the party!


We also carved our first pumpkin together.  Nothing major (or elaborate, as I usually do!), but it still turned out cute.

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Melty Snowflake Crayons

December 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm (General Crafting, Holidays)

I love making crayons with silicone molds. Two years ago, I made Easter Egg ones for my students, and this year, I found a great snowflake mold at Christmas Tree Shoppes, and I knew exactly what I’d be giving my students this year for Christmas!

The hardest part is stripping all of the crayons of their little paper clothes:

Just loved how colorful this pile of crayon shards looked 🙂

But the end result was worth it! And the kids loved them!! I gave it to them with a book- Twas the Night Before The Night Before Christmas– a cute story if you ever run across it in the store!

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Gingerbread House *2011*

December 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm (Food, Holidays)

I can’t believe I’m not posting this until Christmas Eve! Better late then never, right?
Here is our 26th (26th?! Can you believe it?) Gingerbread House.
To see the previous 25, Click Here.

This year, we went with a new design- a different roofline than we’ve ever done. It still has our famous rounded bow window and interior lighting though!

The finished product:

We also made a second one, and donated it to my school to be raffled off:

And some detail shots:

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Handmade Ornaments

November 24, 2011 at 11:36 am (General Crafting, Holidays)

I’m getting into the Holiday crafting spirit a bit early this year- but there’s a good reason!
My boyfriend is in the Air Force, and for the past 7 months has been stationed in Afghanistan. He just came home, about a week before his birthday, but unfortunately, “home” still isn’t near me. Thankfully, he had a stopover at an airport about 4 hours from me, so I was able to take some time off of work to go down and meet him at the airport. Since his birthday is right around the corner, I got a move on my crafting to make sure I had it finished in time for me to bring down with me. For his birthday, I decided to make him up a starter box of ornaments (he’s never had his own place before, and therefore has absolutely *no* ornaments/decorations- that’s no way to spend your holiday!). I ended up giving him a mix of homemade and store-bought ornaments, but each ornament had a specific reason.
Without further adu…the ornaments, and the explination of how/why I made them:

#1- “Staching Through the Snow”- I hand painted the mustache and wrote “Staching Through the Snow”, and filled it with glittery “snow”– apparently it’s some Air Force tradition to grow out a mustache when you’re deployed- and it’s been the source of many of my jokes towards him (all in good humor of course!).

#2- Poker- one of his favorite passtimes while away was playing poker (and he even won quite a few tournaments!), so I made him these two ornaments out of wooden blocks, scrapbook paper and Poker scrapbook stickers.

#3- Scrabble- another favorite passtime for him is to play me in Words With Friends, a scrabble app on our iPods.

#4- Giants- he’s a huge Giants fan, so I took a glass circle, and using etching cream, etched the Giants logo onto the glass. After it was done, I rubbed a Sharpie marker over it to “tint” it.

#5- Jersey Shore- we’re both from the good ole Jersey Shore, and he’s mentioned more than once that he misses the beach in the summer, so I took beach sand and shells and filled the ornament with his own little piece of the Jersey Shore. The other ornament is purchased- it just says “Jersey Shore” with a picture of a snowman on the beach.

#6- The Distance Between Us- we know that a long distance relationship is going to be difficult, but we’re ready to tackle it– this ornament has two hearts connected by a line- one heart for me in NJ and one for him in WA.

#7- 27 Reasons for your 27th Birthday- this ornament is filled with 27 little origami stars- each star begins as a strip of paper, and on each strip I wrote one reason why I like him before folding it up. Don’t worry- he’ll know what they say- I also wrote them on a separate sheet of paper to give to him as well!
A picture of the strips of paper before they were folded-

#8- This one was purchased- he’s a huge fan of his alma mater, Rutgers.

#9- Two airplanes- he’s a pilot, so this was a no brainer- one is a red, glittery biplane, and the other is a glass blown airplane-

#10- Air Force star- found this one in a little shop in Lancaster- it was the ornament that gave me the idea for the whole gift!

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Happy (Belated) Halloween!

November 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm (General Crafting, Holidays)

In an attempt to catch up on blog posts, I’m posting my Halloween Pumpkin nearly a month late- oh well- better late than never, right?

I designed the stencil for the pumpkin myself- it’s a vintage camera with billows- it’s hard to see in daylight…

But I loved how it looked at night!

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Wreath of Pinkness- New and Improved!

January 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm (General Crafting, Holidays)

Last year, I made The Wreath of Pinkness , but it was missing something. In my head when I designed the wreath, I knew it needed pink lights to up it to the next level. I am excited to say that I found the perfect lights this year in the midst of Target’s after Christmas sale— they were mini pink LED balls— they fit in perfectly with the overall look of the wreath (you don’t even notice that they’re there when it is unplugged) BUT- plug it in and you have this:

Close up for full effect of epic-ness!

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25 Years of Gingerbread Houses

December 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm (Food, Holidays)

Earlier this month, I wrote about our “silver anniversary” Gingerbread House. (Click the link to see it). That’s right- our family has been making Gingerbread Houses from scratch for over 25 years. To celebrate (or document, really) I made my mom a Shutterfly book with photos of all 25 houses through the years. Since I spent the time to find and scan all these old photos, I figured I’d give them another use and share them here.

1985 was our first house. I was 2, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t help too much with this one.
1985 (1)



And here’s what I looked like in 1986 (and we still have, and display that snowman!) Wish I could say the same for that sweater—wouldn’t it make great felted mittens?
1986 (1)

1987 (2)

And here’s me again in 1987 (this is the last random picture of me- I got tired of scanning pictures REAL fast…)
1987 (3)

1988 was the year my sister was born. Seeing as she was not even 2 months old at Christmas time, we didn’t have time to make a house.

1989 – we had just moved into our new house, hence the unfinshed kitchen counter here.
1989 (1)


Starting in 1990, we began the tradition of inviting another family over to make a second house with us. Here we are with my childhood friend Ashley.
1990 (1)

Some in-progress shots from that year:
1990 (2)


1991 – Ashley came back for another round of house decorating.
1991 (1)

Jenna must have finally been old enough to help:

1992 – Another childhood friend, Alyssa, along with her mother, came to build a house.
1992 (2)

1992 (1)


1993 (1)

1993 (2)

(I love the Alf puzzle next to the house….)



’94 must have been an angry year for me….I have no idea why I’m making this face. On a side note- I love how these pictures tell us so much about our lives—we’ve seen new houses, Alf puzzles, and this picture has my “Marble Club” necklace. I was such a dork. Haha.
1994 (1)

Jenna happily helping

1994 (2)

1995 (1)

1995 (2)


1996 (2)


1996 (1)


1997 (1)

1997 (2)



1998 (1)


1999 (1)

1999 (2)


In the new millenium, we began inviting people over again. We began with my dads cousin Elena. This must have been when I started taking over as family photographer—I’m in a lot less photos, and there’s many more pictures of each house now…

2000 (3)

2000 (2)

2000 (1)

2001 (1)


In 2002, we went to Disney for Christmas. So instead of making our own houses, we got to visit 2 of Disney’s life-sized Gingerbread creations.


2002 (1)

Jenna’s friend Michelle and her family joined us to make a house this year.
2003 (2)

2003 (3)

2003 (4)


2003 (1)


2004 (1)

2004 (2)

In 2005, our relatives came to make a house with us.

2005 (3)

2005 (1)

2005 (2)

A friend from work came with her daughter.

2006 (2)

2006 (1)

2007 (1)


We ran out of holiday time in 2008, so we “cheated” and made a sugar cube igloo. The igloo did light up though! I had also made graham cracker houses with my students that year, and I brought the extra supplies home to make a few more.

2008 (1)

2008 (2)

2008 (3)


2009. In 2009, we must have run out of time once again—so Wilton kit it was!
2009 (1)

2009 (2)


And #25 was completed in 2010.
For “complete coverage” on that house, click here

Where will the next 25 years take us?

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