i want to wash my hands, my face, my hair with...SNOW

Like most everyone else in the Country, I am snowed in! When I look out the window, I see Pennsylvania. Just without the snow plows and salt. So, I'm getting cabin fever!

I'm dreaming of a not-so-white Christmas (so my parents can still fly to Oregon... that just might not happen this year!).

(side note: It looks like I waited too long to trim the roses again this year!)


Christmas Gift Idea #4: money towards a trip HOME! It's a rare day when my hubby mentions missing his homeland. It's a combination of the snow (unusual for where we currently live) and the Holiday season that is making us miss our families. Luckily for me, my parents will be here in less than 2 weeks!!! YAY!!!
For those of you that feel generic give cold hard cash, my German-inspired sister is really creative when giving money. She will make stuff out of the money (origami), put it in a picture frame, etc.

Holiday Cheermeister Tip #4 (from the ACTUAL Holiday Cheermeister himself): Ok, it might be a little redneck, but truthfully they look GREAT! My earth lovin' hubby always picks up his and everyone else's shotgun shells when he is hunting and hiking. This year he made his own Christmas light creation:

(I knitted that hat for him for our very first Christmas together! He wears it every day from October to March.)


Christmas Gift Idea #3: Here's one that's not even on my master list! Puffy vests in every color! I already have a lilac one and a black one, but I wear them every day! I used to not understand vests, I mean arms should not be exposed. But I get it now and I love them!

Holiday Cheermeister Tip #3: Buy a felt gift bag to turn your regular throw pillows into holiday delights! (crafty side note: I was planning on making a red felt pillow cover and then somehow putting white snowflakes on it. Then I walked into Bed Bath & Beyond and saw this mega felt bag for about $6! SCORE!)


Snapfish album review

My FREE snapfish album arrived today and I l.o.v.e. Previously, I've made books at mypublisher.com. I liked both programs. You do snapfish online in their program where as you make mypublisher albums through a program you download. I like that better because internet speed and activity doesn't affect your ability to work on your book.

Overall we really like the picture quality. Even the pics that I blew up to fill a whole page and received a warning that it wouldn't be good quality- yup, still good. I only added one page to the 20 free pages and now I wish that I had added another 20 and made the album complete. There's a lot of extra space in the binding. It isn't something that I would notice, but since I planned on making a Part I and Part II series it now seems a little silly.

Oh, and snapfish publishes au naturale photos in the book! As Jake's wife, that it is an important feature! I do wish they had a black bar that I could have digitally put on the pic, but sharpie will do the trick :)


Christmas Gift Idea #2:

I borrowed candlesticks for my Thanksgiving table and I do NOT want to give them back! I hate bright lights, so a few candlesticks is exactly what I want when it comes to lighting. I would be hard pressed to choose exactly the candlesticks that I want because I want a diverse assortment, but definitely in sets of 2 or 3. I have a thing for patterns!

Christmas Cheermeister Wanna-be Tip #2:

Get an Advent Calendar. Today I received an invite to a "Keep the Christ in Christmas" group on Facebook and remembered that I desperately want to find an Advent calendar to use this year. Advent is the time of year when Christians prepare and await the celebration of the birth of Christ. Advent officially begins this coming Sunday (Dec. 7th), so there is still time for you to do something. In the past I've had a special candle that I light every evening at dinner as a way to remember, meditate, and prepare.

When I got home from work today, there was a care package waiting for me with instructions to open December 1st. So, over dinner, Jake and I got our first Christmas present! I screamed for 3 entire minutes and declared it my favorite gift this year. So, if you are one of the people getting me a gift this year, shoot for 2nd favorite :) My sister had made a felt advent calendar for herself and I oohed and ahhed over it a few years ago. Now I have my OWN!
(The photos do not do it justice because I promptly hung my calendar up on my ugly, wooden. built-in media center- so I had to try to throw solid colors behind the calendar to snap the poorly lit photos.)


25 Days of Christmas Merriment!

Christmas countdown banner
If you are like me, you simply cannot believe that December is HERE! My hubby has already claimed the title of "The Holiday Cheermeister"... in fact he begged to be called that about 2 weeks ago! Ridiculous! But starting today, I will replace his "Master" title for "Holiday Cheermeister". As in "Yes Holiday Cheermeister" or "At your service Holiday Cheermeister".

I have been working on my Christmas list and checking it twice. None of my relatives have asked for gift ideas, so I'll post some - just in case they're being bashful. If they decide to do something charitable or earthy in my name- that would certainly be cool.

Gift idea #1:
  • Spread the wealth to those who actually NEED it. End world hunger, give people a chance, and help the earth with The Heifer Project (and not just 'cause I love the name) or give a deserving child the gift of a "Life Changing Adventure in Faith", the place that means the world to me, Camp Lutherlyn.

Christmas Cheermeister wanna-be tip #1:

  • Cheer up your loved ones by sending a photo card (side note: I LOVE Christmas letters and appreciate a card with your signature, but my favorite combo is pictures with a letter!). Now, I'm a bit of a slacker and haven't thought about Christmas cards, but perhaps I'll let this talented artist do the work and feel really good about all the profit going to the artist! Check out these gorgeous Christmas Photo Cards (tell her Kosker's Idlewild sent you): LTB Designs.