Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goal Setting For The New Year

Goal Setting Plan

From North of the Boulevard~

Do you make resolutions for the New Year?  I think it's a better idea for me to simply be mindful of changes that I need and want to make rather than saying "I resolve to..." The new year is a great time to do some self evaluation, some reflection and some goal planning. With that in mind, here's my plan for 2015.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"And so this is Christmas..."


 From North of the Boulevard~

"Peace on Earth, Joy to the World"

Those are phrases we hear so often around this time of year. What a wondrous time that would be if we truly had peace, if the world was indeed full of joy! We need not only to strive for an end of wars, but for an end to the hatred and bitterness that is so divisive.

We cannot begin to hope for peace on Earth if we can’t even find peace in our own hearts. We can’t expect the world to be joyous as long as we continue to wrap ourselves in veils of inequity.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

crock pot hot chocolate

From North of the Boulevard~

The Best Crock Pot Hot Chocolate-Ever!

I've seen several recipes for crock pot hot chocolate and I've tried a few of them. All were very good, but something seemed to be missing from them. Last year,  I decided to tweak a few of the recipes, omitting some ingredients, adding some others and the latest batch I made was the absolute best yet.  If it's made it early in the day, it will ready for sipping throughout the day.
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Wood Slice Ornaments~A Very Easy Method

wood slice ornament

From North of the Boulevard~

I've seen lots of variations of wood slice ornaments this season. Many of them are beautiful, but they involve free handing a drawing or some words on them. Drawing and beautiful penmanship are not my strong suits. Not even a little bit! I also saw lovely ones done using printed transfers. While those were more along the lines of what I could do, they also gave me an idea for an even easier way to make these. 
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Easy Chocolate OR Peanut Butter Fudge

chocolate or peanut butter fudge

From North of the Boulevard~

Few treats say Christmas to me quite like delicious, rich fudge does! It's been a family favorite for years and it's always the first thing I'm nibbling on around the holidays. Fudge is not something I make at any other time of year. That's a very good thing considering how much I love it. If you're counting calories, this is off the charts. It's definitely an indulgence!
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Don't have a Mantel? Get Creative!

ways to hang stockings without a mantel
From South of the Boulevard~
(Gloria)

When I moved out of my parents' house and into my own apartment I wondered what Christmas would be like. How would I decorate, how would my tree look and most importantly, what was I going to do without a fireplace mantel for my stockings!
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Mantel and Fireplace


From North of the Boulevard

I've been using a combination of red and gold for my mantel for several years. This year, I decided I wanted to change things up. I wanted to switch from gold to silver and make the entire mantle more lush and full. I also decided to move all of the stockings away from the mantel this year.  I gathered all the pieces I would need and started putting it together. I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I wasn't precisely sure how I was going to make that happen.  By adding pieces, then taking some out, then switching things around, I got the exact look that I had in mind. 
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Trimming the Trees


From North of the Boulevard~

Not that many years ago, I was insistent upon having a real tree. It had to be tall and very round and full. I love the aroma of a natural tree. What I didn't love was the hassle of going through countless trees, finally finding one that I loved and then bringing it home, trimming the bottom branches more because it wouldn't fit in the stand and then working to get it just right in the stand. For a few years, I had one real tree and one artificial one in different rooms. But, after one particular year in which not one of the real trees I saw made me fall in love with it and I settled for something less than what I really wanted, I decided that the next year, I was only having artificial ones. While they may not suit everyone's tastes, I love how they look and they are pretty much hassle free!
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Collection of Twenty Quick and Easy DIY Ornaments


From North of the Boulevard~

There are so many ideas out there for making your own Christmas ornaments. There's something special about hand crafted ornaments on any tree. I've happily made a number of different kind of ornaments for Gloria's tree over the last couple of years. I love seeing them nestled into her tree when I visit. I also make them for one of my trees as well. I'm of the opinion that if it's quick and easy and still fun or lovely, then it's a win! I thought I would post a collection of ones I've shared previously as well as some new ones. 
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Mixing Dollar Tree Items with Antiques~It Works!


From North of the Boulevard~

The table in my entryway is a spot in my home that I love to decorate seasonally. It's a piece that my mother once had in her antique store. I love it. For Christmas, it's done using deep reds, gold and glass. It's a mixture of items that I pull together to give it an overall cohesive look. I think it gives a nice welcome to our home feeling as soon as you step inside.
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

From North of the Boulevard~

If there is one dessert that has always been the absolute must have at Christmas for my family, it's Red Velvet Cake. I was happy that there was always someone to make it. My oldest sister was the designated red velvet cake maker for years. Each year she would be the one to bring it to our mother's house where we all gathered for Christmas Eve. Some parents leave out cookies and milk for Santa. We left out red velvet cake. Santa was a big fan of this particular delectable treat! Over the years, as our families grew and spread out, those gatherings on Christmas Eve changed. If I wanted red velvet cake, I was going to have to make it myself.
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rudolph Printable

Rudolph Printable
From North of the Boulevard~

I've mentioned before that I love having various holiday prints like this green word tree or this one done in red and white and framed around my home during the season. I think they can give a special touch to lots of nooks or out of the way places and brighten up some empty wall spaces. I decided to try using Pic Monkey to create a Rudolph print.
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Festive Snowy Jar

Epsom Salt "snow" jar

From North of the Boulevard~

Turning a plain jar into a winter snow covered vase could not be easier. A little Epsom salt, Mod Podge and embellishments will have you singing White Christmas in no time! This upcycled pasta jar is now a pretty straw holder.
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Buttered Rum Cinnamon Pecans

buttered rum cinnamon pecans


From North of the Boulevard~

I've recently seen several recipes for spiced pecans. Lots of them looked great, but many of them called for cloves, pumpkin spice or egg whites. I'm not a fan of cloves or pumpkin and I wasn't sure about the need for egg whites. So, what do you do when you don't find just what you're looking for? You create your own version! 
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Glittered Reindeer Wall Art


Glittered Reindeer Wall Art

From South of the Boulevard~
(Gloria)

My Christmas decor matches the overall feel of my home by using lots of rustic/vintage pieces. I've discovered that my favorite style of home decor combines those two elements. For Christmas, I wanted to bring in a little glam to go along with the rustic. Nothing says glam like a project made with glitter! I decided to create three reindeer silhouettes with some sparkle.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Coastal Christmas Wreath

Coastal Christmas Deco Mesh  Wreath

From North of the Boulevard~

Combining the holidays with a coastal theme can be done in lots of ways, but you can't go wrong with adding a little Christmas jingle to sea shells. Placing those shells on a blue and silver sparkly deco mesh wreath brings the feel of a day at the beach to your Christmas decor.
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Monday, December 1, 2014

Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Clusters


From North of the Boulevard~

I came across a recipe called crock pot candy and thought, "well that's different." I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I was willing to give it a try. If you like the combined flavor of salty peanuts and chocolate, this is a recipe you really need to try. It could not be any easier to make and it makes a ton of candy. It would be a perfect addition to any candy/food gift baskets you might be giving for Christmas.
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