What were some of your favorite things about 2011? Favourite movies? Books? TV? I love this time of year when magazines, blogs, radio stations do their best/worst lists.

Here are some of my top of 2011 picks:

Parks and Recreation - not a new show but this season is on fire!
American Horror Story
Melissa McCarthy on SNL (Can you Garlic Ranch Blast me Now?) 

watch the skit here!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Help
Crazy Stupid Love
Our Idiot Brother

I didn't include books because I am sure most the book I read this year were not published in 2011 - but everyone should read The Help & The Hunger Games  - and my husband wants everyone to read Ready Player One :)
> Jessi


Our Christmas

I have been taking a little break from the blog, due to the non-stop circus that is Christmas.

I hope you all had a great holiday and Santa was good to you - I know I got spoiled! I got everything off my wish list, it totally benefits me that Clifford & budgets aren't bff's. Oh and the kids had a great day to! Maya said it was the Best Christmas Ever - and I have to agree with her:)

Now on to NYE prep, and maybe finding some time to read on my new kobo and knit on my new interchangeable needles!

small tree space + family of 5 = pretty packed looking tree!

bubble bath is so exciting!

> jessi


Almost Here!

2 more sleeps! I am done all my gifts - and good timing too, because I lost a day to food poisoning. Today 2 out of 3 kids are in school, a perfect day to finish up wrapping. I hope to get pictures of all the handmade gift today, and can post once the surprises won't be spoiled.  

What are your Christmas eve traditions? Those with kids - how do you help the day go by quickly? I feel like tomorrow is going to be the longest day of the year!

Happy Friday and Holiday weekend and safe travels to those who are hitting the road/skies to see family!

> sheep ornament
> bottle brush trees
> pinecone ornament
> Jessi



Forget about Christmas...NYE is also approaching! What are your plans? We have a party to attend this year and am pretty sure it is the perfect excuse to buy something that is covered in sparkles!

> Jessi


Green Christmas

Happy Monday! My lack of recent posts is part due to manic present making part due to nasty hangover ...

How goes the Christmas shopping/crafting? My advent calendar is feeling more like a doomsday clock - staring at me from the shelf reminding of how much I don't have done! I managed to finish my sack boys finally and get a little cross stitch done, all that I have left is to finish is my nearly done stack of dishcloths and 2 dolls ... I can do that right??

As for shopping -I may have to run out and buy Maya one of her presents that hasn't arrived yet - Amazon we are at odds this year... we'll have to see how this affects the future of our relationship.

I am also happy to hear that my card from the winter warmer's recipe swap has made it across the ocean to my blog friend Annika, and so on the ball is she - that she made them and blogged about them already! She making me look bad :)

Make sure you check out Creature Comforts blog for tons of great printable tags!

> Jessi


Paint & Glitter

This Christmas we decided that it was high time the kids joined in the stress of making holiday gifts.. so we sweat shop style set them up with ornaments to paint. They found it more fun then work though..maybe they are to something...Christmas crafting should be fun?!

We used a salt dough recipe found here. I added another 1/2 cup of water, and we probably should have baked them longer... I may throw my painted ones back in to harden them up ( can you do that post paint?)

> Jessi


Jessi & Gwyneth {5}

Yes, I have been neglecting my Gwyneth cookbook, but am trying to get back on the wagon (in my defense I have made the chicken milanese, 3 more times!)

I needed something affordable and not to time consuming to feed 5 kids & 5 adults, so I decided to attempt her wood oven pizza.  I didn't make any changes to the recipe (unless you count the fact that I used my kitchen stove and not a wood burning pizza oven..but I don't :P)  

I did however heat my stone pan in the oven for an hour prior to cooking the pizza. I think it made a difference,  but really I am probably just trying to justify the fact that I had the oven on for an hour with nothing in it.

no shortage of helpers in our house!

> Jessi


Winter Warmer's Recipe Swap

This season I took part in Fiona & Annika's winter warmer recipe swap.

I received my recipe card in the mail on Friday, from Laura. Look how much work she put into it! I know my kids will love this recipe and I love getting a little peek into other's traditions :)

I hope my recipe card is making it's way across the ocean ok :)

> Jessi


Monday & Amazon Fail

Happy Monday! Did ya'll have good weekends? Put a dent in your Christmas to do  list? I actually managed to finish a few things! This week I have a few shopping trips planned, and hopefully cross a lot of things off!

Speaking of shopping, this year I did a BIG Amazon order, and had everything shipped here, as in my experience I have always gotten my parcels in a generic Amazon box. Clifford's "big" present was a waffle maker (something he has wanted - I always said no) so I thought it would be a nice surprise.... well it would have if it hadn't been delivered in a non-amazon box, with a big picture of it on the side - while I was at work and he was home... so surprise! Has this happened to you? I am going to have to start shipping things to other people's houses!

On the bright side we have has an extra month of waffle breakfasts!

> Jessi


Burlap & Lace

Happy Friday :) On a non-Christmas note, I get to be in a wedding soon..well in a year and a half, but we've been busy planning pinning pretty things for it :)  The bride to be is Aminah from Thrifty Gypsies (you may remember her from here  & here).

Here are some of the pretty pins inspiring her rustic/country wedding :)

> source
> source
> source
> source
> source
P.S Check out the Thrifty Gypsies on facebook for a Christmas coupon code!

> Jessi


Christmas times a comin'

Anyone else think December is going by way to fast? I am not as far ahead as I would like to be! I have been busy knittign up a storm - and would love to share it, but the recipient actually reads my blog sometimes so I'll have to wait until after Christmas!

How are your to-do lists going? Are you having to narrow down overly ambitious lists, to more realistic and manageable ones?

> source

> Jessi


Re-Style > Advent Calendar

Clifford has always wanted an advent calendar he could fill with trinkets and chocolate, but never had the time to make one. While garage sailing we found a not so pretty one, but figured for $3 we could paint it and make it pretty :)



> Jessi


Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Maya loves to help bake and cook, so I took a little break from my crazy work week (a downside to working from home, is you can't leave it at the office!) 

We made these super easy and delicious cookies I found on pinterest , and they turned out great :)

> Jessi


Oh Christmas Tree

I mentioned earlier that I caved and put the tree up a week early. For the first few days Lily was constantly re-arranging the ornaments - which cause a lot of breakage, but now she seems over it and the rest of the ornaments can give a sigh of relief :)

This year we got a new tree (I have to have artificial due my allergies) , that is quite a bit bigger than our old one, so I think we may to get a few more things to fill it out. 

Happy TGIF!  

> Jessi
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