Saturday, November 26, 2011

O Tannenbaum

[The final product]

I had a blast putting up our Christmas tree last weekend, and Alex was a big help! Over the last four weeks I have been making trips to Hobby Lobby to gather supplies. Like I mentioned before, I watched a YouTube video that showed me how to decorate a Christmas tree, and make it look great, which it didn't turn out to shabby looking, and Alex was thoroughly impressed. 

We started off by touching every single limb on that fake tree. 

Then we unraveled a grapevine wreath, like the one above, around the tree.

I started the initial unraveling outside because it was flaking even transporting around the house. We started at the top of the tree and just wrapped it around and then really pulled it apart. We haphazardly placed it in and around the branches. 

I bought some silver metallic ribbon that is fairly flexible with wire edging, and I was conscious to place it up and down branches as we spiraled down the tree. I didn't want the ribbon to look as if it was just set on the outside of the tree. 

I couldn't find exactly what the decorator used in the YouTube video, but I did find silver floral spray, and used the through out the tree, and it did the same thing. Alex is sporting some behind his ear - he's so bad ass! 

After getting the vine, ribbon, and spray all settled, I started by putting the large ornaments on the bottom branches and work my way up with smaller ones. I tried to get the ornament to hang from the branches, instead of sitting on them. Then I worked in some smaller ornaments into the middle of the tree. There was a lot of maneuvering in between the vine and ribbon to find space and the right look.  

The Final Product

I had so much fun decorating the tree, and definitely will look forward to doing it again next year. It will be sad to take it down; I just won't think about that part. 

[When it came time to put the ornaments on, Alex had enough creativity, so I put him on camera duty.]

 [I love how the vine and ribbon play together.]

When we started decorating, I definitely thought there wasn't a theme to this tree. I was wrong, we like the feel for dark colors, like green, red, silver, gold, and a little of purple. 

I hope everyone enjoys putting up there tree as much as we did! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Cookin'

I had found this pork loin recipe at (of course) and was feeling a bit adventurous. I had planned to cook it on a Sunday night to have ample time. I knew that it was at the limits of my cooking ability and wanted to surprise Alex with my skills. As I started to review the recipe again and pull out the items, I think Alex could see the uncertain look in my eyes and kindly took over. It took about two hours to prep and cook, but well worth it and could be used for any occasion or holiday.

Look at how well Alex tied the pork; this is the part that would have frustrated me the most! We improvised with our own broiler pan. 

Yum, yum, with the perfect taste combination. 

While the pork loin recipe was in the oven for the hour, we decided to whip up a batch of Texas Trash. It was hard to find the almond bark, but after going to three stores, we found it at Albertsons. 

We've got our two batches all mixed together.

Alex slowing melting the almond bark, since it can burn so quickly! 

 The parchment paper is all set-up for quick cooling. 

The batch mixture coated in the almond bark, giving us ample Texas Trash to give to co-workers and devour three bags ourselves... This is why we make it once a year. 

It was nice to enjoy some good cooking and Texas Trash!  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh, Christmas Decorations

It's been a couple of years since I put up Christmas decorations, and I wanted to see what I had for decorations and tree ornaments. So I dragged everything out and took a look, while putting tree ornaments in an ornament box, that I had bought from Target. 

 The few, but a start, of Christmas decorations.

I'm so excited! 

The organization of the wonderful ornament box, with Norman being a good sport. 

I thought these bird ornaments were neat, and Alex picked out two of them. 

All organized and ready for putting up the tree this weekend! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Lights? Check!

It was pretty decent weather on Saturday, so Alex and I put up some Christmas lights on the front bushes, and finally wrapped the iron star that we got from my parents. We're the first house on our block, but I want our neighbors to know we are committed to Christmas joy.

I love how the lights come through our kitchen window! Do you see Norman peaking through the front window?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November, is that you?

I LOVE Christmas! Christmas music, Christmas decorations, Christmas shopping, and spending Christmas with Alex. So, I was so excited when we went to Hobby Lobby the other night to get Christmas decorations, for the 1st time in many years. After we got home, I was blaring Christmas music while watching a YouTube video on how to decorate a Christmas tree, which was very helpful. It showed me how to make the Christmas tree look fuller without having to use a ton of ornaments, instead, using a twig wreath by unwrapping it and wrapping it around the tree. I wanted to set-up the tree right then, Alex said I couldn't... I have to wait until Thanksgiving day... we'll see about that!

This year just feels so good! We already have our parents gifts picked out, and some others as well, mostly from UCG has so many different gifts that are either made by someone or from a recycled source.

I do love Thanksgiving as well! The turkey, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, breads, and the list goes on!