Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cookies and Cocktails

The cookie exchange was a hit! It was a ton of fun to say the least. There were some yummy appetizers and cookie themed cocktails to get things started. Then we played a fun game molding play-doh into the shape of various Christmas words while teams tried to guess. Which is even more fun than it sounds when you get a bunch of women together and give us a drink.

Here’s a look at the cookie table before we all started to divvy up the sweets.

Here’s the cookie tray I put together after I came home. I think it looks pretty nice. These are just a few of them. There are plenty more that are still wrapped up.

Here’s the cocktail menu from the party. You could have a Gingerbread Mantini, a Frosty or an Oatmeal Cookie.

You can see the “frosty” drink sitting there next to the menu.

I put the Gingerbread Mantini together the other night for hubby and me.

1 oz vodka
1 oz hazelnut liqueur
½ oz butterscotch schnapps
a splash of dark rum
fill glass w/ ginger ale (3-4 oz)
Garnish with a gingerbread man cookie

If I don't get back to blog-land, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Holiday!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Trade ya some cookies

It’s that time of year where kitchens are filled with the smell of baking cookies. Or so I hear. I didn’t grow up with the tradition of baking cookies for the holidays. I’ve never really been much a baker either. I’m sure my Uncle would love to tell you the story of the first time I tried to bake some cookies for him. Maybe that experience had something to do with me not really enjoying the task of baking.

Now that I’ve entered the land of Mommyville my kids are asking to bake cookies for Santa. I hear other Moms talking about the cookies they are making so I’m attempting to shift gears a bit. I have the supplies all lined up to do some special Santa baking this weekend. I’ll also be attending a cookie exchange.

It’s similar to the soup swap I did last winter. I’ve participated in a cookie exchange before and it’s really the best way to get a beautiful tray of cookies with out having to do all the work your self. Depends on how many people are in the exchange group. Usually 8 to 12 other people. So you pick one cookie to make and you bake enough of that one cookie recipe so that each person gets 10 to 12 of those cookies. The others in the exchange all do the same with different recipes. After you all trade off you end up with several dozen cookies all yummy and looking so festive on your holiday table.

When I first mentioned the cookie exchange to my Canadian friend Mary, she fired back an e-mail with tons of great recipes. (Thanks girly!) I’ll be trying some of those with the kiddos. Another friend (knowing my lack of confidence in this area) also made a recipe suggestion. (Thanks Nancy!)

This year I made thumbprints. Raspberry with white chocolate drizzled on top.

I think they look pretty good, I hope they taste good too. Now if I can just get my Christmas cards in the mail I might start to feel accomplished.
What do you do to get ready for the season?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lost but not Forgotten

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten you or how to create a blog post. As many of us do this time of year I have gotten caught up in the day-to-day and trying to get it all done.

I finally pulled out all my favorite decorations and it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas around here. I promise not to take so long in getting my next blog post up and in the mean time I’m going to try and check in with you all and leave a comment or two.

I hope you are all doing well. Keep the holiday madness/stress to a minimum.
‘tis the season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


First off I want to thank everyone for your kind words and your jewelry orders during this year’s open house. Greatly appreciated!!!

I also want to thank you for visiting this blog, leaving your comments and building our virtual world friendships. I have fun writing this blog and reading your feedback. It’s been fun getting to know some of you.

I wan t to wish you all a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving.

Here’s to you…

It’s a Pumpkin Martini.

I started searching for recepies weeks ago but couldn’t come up with one I liked. There are several out there and they’re all just a little different. Some call for cream other say rum. Most all of them say vodka but they want you to use pumpkin flavored vodka or to get pumpkin syrup. Both are very hard to find. I even stopped at Starbuck’s to see if they would sell me some Pumpkin syrup. They have it for their drinks but that is one flavor they don’t sell. (What???) Ok whatever.

Here’s what I came up with and it seems to be pretty good. (Hubby and I had one last night)

While you get your ingredients, chill your glass with some ice water.

2 oz vodka
1 oz of Pumpkin flavored eggnog (or pumpkin pie coffee creamer)
t. Brown sugar
½ t. Pumpkin pie spice

Pour everything into a shaker.
Dump water out of glass. Dip your finger into some eggnog and run it around the rim of the glass. In a dish sprinkle some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and rim your glass. Shake the drink and pour it into you glass. Garnish with some nutmeg or a cinnamon stick.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Shopping for Jewelry

Here are just a few pointers to think about when you are considering jewelry as a gift.

Once you’ve checked your list and you know whom you’re buying for think about what you may have seen that person wearing in the past. Don’t go too far off the beaten path. If you only see this person in tiny earring or basic colors this may not be the person who would love the extra long, bright orange, dangling earrings. Stay with colors you know they like and will wear as well as a style that is similar to what you have seen them in already.

Some women have their favorite pieces and that is what they wear on a daily basis. They might enjoy something like a zipper pull to add a splash of color to their jacket or purse.

Any jewelry makes a great gift all on it’s own or you could pair it with a top or sweater. If you are doing this you have two different directions you could go. One is to stay in the same color pallet. So if you are giving a beige sweater as a gift you could choose jewelry that is in the brown family.

Or you could go with jewelry that makes a statement. Turquoise earring with a white or brown top can be very eye-catching.

This green necklace looks good with same colored top...

...or it gives an added punch to this teal sweater.

Something with several colors can work with a variety of shirts….

This long multi colored necklace can be worn long or wrapped and worn as a double layer shorter necklace. See how it seems to change with different tops.

If you’re still at a loss I like these simple malachite earrings. They are a dark gray metallic color and will go nicely with any outfit. This is what I put on when I don’t have something to match what I’m wearing.

If you want to go with earring but can’t make up your mind
It’s a gift that keeps coming.
You can order 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
I will send a different pair
of earrings to the recipient each month.
(E-mail me for prices)

Check out more ideas on my website or see the “open house” post.

Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


For the past several years I have hosted an Open House for my jewelry business. Last year I became very sick, stayed sick for some time and I needed to cancel my usual open house. This year I thought I would try an on-line Open House.

For the next several days, take a look around and browse for some holiday gifts or maybe get yourself something new for the season. You can look here or over at my website. There the showcase page will show you items that are in limited supply or one-of-a-kind. The catalog page shows items that you can custom order in the color/style of your choice. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

This post shows some of my new designs and some of my best sellers as well as my favorite items. I’ll be posting some other info this week to help you shop for your jewelry so check back. You can place an order via e-mail. Payments are made via Pay Pal with an invoice sent from you to my e-mail address. (rebecca.designs@hotmail.com).

In the mean time think about who might be on your list…
Mom, Grandma, Sister, brother’s girlfriend, teacher, babysitter, secret Santa at work, I even have a few gifts just for him. (I'll post those soon!)

Most of what you’ll see is made with supplies I keep on hand but some things may need to be ordered and a few things are special beads that I have a limited supply of so check the description for availability.

Remember I can make any change you like to whatever design you like...just ask.

Let me know if you need help shopping.

These book marks make a nice gift finished or I can also put them together as a Do-It-Yourself project with directions and photos. Great for the crafty person on your list.

I have eye glass necklaces in any color. I also make necklaces for ID badges.

Here's an example of a necklace and earring set. We can put together any style of necklace and/or earrings in the color(s) of your choice.

"Hoop Loops" are a fun way to jaze up your store bought hoop earrings. Order gold or silver and any bead colors.

Just a few of my earrings. There are other styles too.

Hmmm, what about a bracelet. Don't forget you're not limited to what you see, I'll make whatever you have in mind.

That should get you started. If you haven’t seen what you’re looking for pop on over to the website to see some more options. Check back here too for new additions as the days go by.

Happy Shopping!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Excuse me, is my crazy showing???

I have a friend and she wanted to get a family pictures taken. Seemed like a good idea but did you ever notice that sometimes what seems simple can grow out of control???

So my friend, she has a girlfriend who is a photographer. Now I’ve seen these pictures and she’s really good. She just has a special knack. She’s a natural. So I can see why my friend really wanted this woman to take her family pictures.

Now these pictures are not the kind in a little room with a painted backdrop hanging behind you. They’re the kind where everyone is outside and there are real trees and grass and rocks and maybe a creek. The kinds of pictures that make you look like this beautiful playful family out being one with nature. You know where you get an image in your head then you have to start going through hoops to live up to that image.

(I know this is where it almost starts to get, hmm, just a little close to the edge).

Ok, back to the story of my friend. She needed clothes for her family of five. Something for herself, her husband and their three children. Now this would be simple but sometimes she’s got to go that extra step to be different. So there was no way she was going to put them all in white shirts and jeans or all in black. And nothing too matchy matchy either. Noooooo. They had to have a color scheme and one that would look good in her living room. Yep that’s right, couldn’t take picture of her family and then have them clash with the decorations. (See, there’s another step closer to going right over the edge). She wanted clothes that made them look like they all belonged together but that they didn’t all have the same shirt on in different sizes. (She did them in pastels one year and they looked like a bowl of sherbert so I know she wanted to do better this time).

After several trips and quite a few stores she found a color pallet that she really liked and that would look good on little girls, a toddler boy and a Mom and Dad. Now she was ready to schedule something with her friend the photographer. So a few e-mails to get some ideas tossed around and to pencil in a few possible dates. Then she got a phone call from her friend explaining that due to reasons beyond her control they would not be able to do this photo shoot for another 6 to 8 months.

(insert pout lip here)

After getting this news, she thought to go to her husband to process the information and consider their options. Should they throw in the towel or try to use another photographer?? She had these clothes that she liked and worked hard to find and was so worried that her husband would tell her to return them. Anyway she sent a quick e-mail to him at work to get his feedback and maybe a little “Awe honey, it’ll be ok” from him. However, in her haste, she sent it to the wrong e-mail address. Not just any address either. It went out on an e-mail loop…to 20 plus people…to her photographer friend…and ALL of their friends.



(“Idiot” hits self in head)

So a little damage control and she did her best to move on and forget about her stupidity.

So her dear sweet friend moved on past the blip and sent her a list of photographers that might be able to do the same thing for her. Hmm, ok. She looked at the different web sites to get a feel for each one; She picked her favorite from the list and then made a phone call. The one she called had just had a major computer malfunction and lost hundreds of photos. After a good 20 minutes on the phone and some female bonding and a few tears from the other photographer (still trying to absorb what she was dealing with) they said goodbye and my friend moved on.

Checking out a few other photographers but not feeling it she was getting so frustrated and disappointed and worried (she tends to obsess about things). So through another friend she found a photographer and scheduled a date for outdoor picture in a nearby park.

As the days passed she realized that the weather was not looking good. Now her obsession became the weather channel and the Internet radar. She watched the 10-day then the 5-day forecast like a 1950s Father pacing in a delivery waiting room.

Her husband was making (in his mind) attempts to calm her. He had the idea of bundling the kids up in their coats staging the photo area and pulling them out of the car quickly to get a few quick pictures then pushing them back into a warm car before they got too cold. Clearly he did not know what was going on in her head. A photo shoot does not work like that. She wanted a good hour or more of different areas of the park and various setting/poses. Casual shots not plastic smiles that make a feeble attempt to hide how cold everyone feels.

The morning of the photo shoot with an expected high of 45 degrees, she called the photographer and rescheduled. (Here comes the step that may have sent her over the edge) The day that the weather and the photographer could work was a weekday…at 2:00 in the afternoon. Not just nap time for the toddler but also one of her kids would need to be pulled out of school and her husband was going to have to take a half a day vacation to accommodate this new schedule. (Luckily for him he new this was not the time to get in her way or make any complaints) It wasn’t until afterwards that I think she started to see how crazy she was getting over this idea.

The day of, the weather was perfect! Her husband quietly grumbled while he unloaded all the props from their van. Oh yes, she had props. Some had been worked on months ago. There was a wagon, a wicker chair, three kid sized chairs, a blanket, some hats and two very large frames. You know, to hold up and stick your head through for a playful photo. She bought those frames in August for these pictures and spent hours scraping and sanding and painting them to get just the right look.

So now after months of planning, obsessing, praying for good weather, holding her breath that the kids would not fall down at school and get a scrap and a brief wrestling match with the toddler to get the marker out of hands so he didn’t end up with a pink mustache. (Can’t wait see if you’ll be able to see the pink dot by his ear)

After all that, now she waits to see the end result. I wonder if anyone will ever tell her how crazy she gets over little things. Does she know???? Will she ever get a grip???


Monday, November 1, 2010

Time to move on...

Flip the page on the calendar. It’s November. Time to get ready for Thanksgiving. As much as I love Halloween, I also hold a pretty soft spot in my heart for Thanksgiving.

It’s a no pressure holiday. You don’t need to buy a special outfit or get a gift that someone will only return or stick in a drawer to be forgotten. You come together with friends and family and share a meal. You spend time thinking about what is important to you and the things that you are grateful for.

Some good food. A little wine. A slice of pumpkin pie.

Better start getting ready.

The big spider has been taken down.

The little spiders have been chased away.

All the bones have been collected.

Jack-o-lanterns and sculls are accounted for.

No more haunted house. The ghosts will have to go away until next year.

It’s turkey time.

It’s time to pull on a sweater and heat up some cider.

It’s time to pull out the cookbooks and gather the recipe cards.

Can you smell all the yummy food??

Gobble gobble

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Carving Party…Ready

Things are coming together for the annual Pumpkin Carving Party.
A few nights ago I emptied out the recycle bin and the kids and I sat around the table making a can toss game.

We had so much fun talking and planning the festivities. With a few sheets of construction paper, a little creativity and the can game came to life.

Every year I put some orange light bulbs in the front porch lights to add to the mood. I pain them myself which is probably horrible and I’m sure they sell colored bulbs but I can’t let go of the DIY. I think they look like candy corn after they have been lit for a few hours. I just add another coat of paint each year.

The Pumpkins are ready and waiting.

I have tons of patterns to choose from.

The carving tools are sorted.

Lots of candles available for the group lighting

The slow cookers are on and I’ll be making a rice crispy spider soon.
The garage is getting cleaned out now and things are coming together.

I hope you all have a fun and safe Trick or Treat!!!!!
Happy Halloween!