Friday, December 28, 2007

Recycled Christmas Cards

Are you hesitant to throw away those beautiful Christmas cards from all the people you love?

My college roommate tipped me off to several creative ways to reuse them next Christmas. This year she wrapped her presents in washed and dried paper grocery sacks and did a type of decoupage of last year's cards on top of them. I didn't get to see it but it sounds crazy creative.

Next year I plan on using mine as gift tags. Just cut up your favorites, punch holes and tie them up with ribbon. You won't even have to write a name on a gift if you use last year's photo card to give your niece a present with her picture on it.

You could also buy blank cards for next year's Christmas cards and decorate them with a hand written message and a collage of last year's cards. You could start this now and send everyone a very special greeting.

Be creative and give your Christmas cards a second life.

Will Bake for Food II

Ambition is a wonderful thing. Satisfaction with reality is even better.

I didn't even get half of the items on my wish list baked, but I am mostly happy with the ones I did accomplish. The baby's first birthday cake was tall and dense and spicy. His second birthday cake was light, sweet and cute (he had four cakes total, if you count his smash cakes). There was no toffee, brittle or cordials and my pralines failed, but I tried a new recipe for peanut butter bites and they were pretty good.

Everything else I accomplished was pretty standard, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, sugar cookies. The highlight of the season was probably helping my Mother-in-law make a raspberry and almond whip cream tart, the desert was really hers but it was new and it was fun helping.

Of course the season isn't quite over and tomorrow I'm making the blueberry coffee cake for a visit from my real estate agent. If you see me ask me to make your favorite holiday treat, I'm still looking for excuses to bake.

Relax and Regroup

Our family had a truly Happy Christmas and I hope yours did as well.

After a month of perpetual motion, I find myself with a little down time. My Happy husband is still on vacation and I even got to steal away for an afternoon movie. However, the future is always present in my mind and I have begun taking inventory of the chores that have been neglected during the holiday insanity. Closets have gotten cluttered and the refrigerator is now almost as gunky as the microwave, let's not even discuss the garage. My New Year's Resolution should be to keep the aforementioned spaces clean and organized at all times, but it's just not possible. Little girl's pajama drawers just can't stay tidy for any extended period of time. So my intended Resolution is to set up a weekly schedule for the maintenance of messy spaces.

As simple as this sounds you all know this is painfully ambitious, but it is my goal to stay organized and on top of my daily chores.


  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Pantry
  • Hall Closet
  • Bookshelves
  • Toys
  • Children's drawers
  • Garage
  • Car inside and out
  • Junk Drawer
  • Laundry closets
  • Desk

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hired Help

While folding my tenth load of laundry yesterday, I watched a few minutes of an old Doris Day movie. There are so many cultural differences between the early sixties and today, to start with practically all of her movies have a moral dilemma that she is trying to navigate with good humor. That Touch Of Mink and Move Over, Darling couldn't even be made as Hallmark movies today because the sexual morality is so innocent. But that isn't what struck me the most.

With all of my holiday chores compounded by being out of electricity for half of last week, I couldn't help but be jealous of Doris Day's hired help. I collect vintage cookbooks and they often discuss the role of the domestic employee. Forty years ago housewives of a certain economic status had staff. Housewives, not lawyers or movie stars. Today's equivilent of these women may still have gardners and a cleaning service but live in staff has been relagated to the very wealthy. Even the lower classes of bygone years had grandmothers or spinster aunts that lived in the house to help with the children and chores.

We may have many conveniences our predecessors didn't have but being a housewife has always been a sunrise to sunset job. It's a wonder we're all running around frazzled, and I can't even imagine the stress on the single mother or the working mom. There literally aren't enough hours in the day to get all their work done.

For now I'll just have to take it in stride and remember that I'm working so feverishly in order to relax and enjoy myself over Christmas break.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I Think I Have Christmas OCD

I love Christmas. I look forward to every last little part of the whole season. I even love to be in the middle of a busy mall and watch people bustle by, their arms loaded with bags...

...but I have a confession to make, I think I have Christmas Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It has always manifested in my selection of Christmas Cards. I start looking for the perfect cards before Thanksgiving and usually purchase two to three selections just to make sure everyone gets the right card. I purchase a new calligraphy pen and they cannot be sent out unless they have Madonna and Child stamps.

This year my COCD has spread to my daughters Christmas dresses. I am always particular about what my children wear, but their Christmas and Easter dresses are the two most important outfits of the year. Last year I stumbled onto a great sale in Dallas and I was done early.
For some reason this year I just cannot be satisfied. Every boutique, department store and resale shop in Tulsa and Owasso has been visited. So far I have bought two dresses for my eldest and I just lost out on one I really wanted on ebay, because I wasn't home when it ended. There must be 200 companies that make dresses for little girls, why can't any of them make something original? Even the World Wide Web is letting me down, why is everything I like online over $100? When will Le Pink learn to make a dress out of something other than shantung and tulle? Does everyone else feel satisfied with the banal cookie cutter offering this year???

I'm afraid. Next year it might the cards, the dresses and a completely new Christmas tree (it's started bothering me this year). This Happy Housewife needs to learn to be Happy with three beautiful healthy children, even if their Christmas outfits do coordinate but don't match.