Saying Goodbye to 2011 & Happy 2012!

Hey, Happy New Years Eve!  Everyone seems to be doing their own version of a "Wrap Up" of 2011, so thought I'd do that, too!  It's really been a momentis year for us - lots of work, plenty of stress, & great joy!

First BIG decision of 2011 (actually decided just before Christmas 2010) was to sell our home and move closer to our children, and second decision -- another BIGGY was that The Man would retire as soon as the house sold!

We had already done some major changes/upgrades to this house, but bathrooms were not among the major redos, so we had to punch them up a bit!  We started & finished this project in Dec. '10.  You can go HERE if you want to see more.

Then it was time to do this......

Excitement & scariness all wrapped together!

Then we had the joy of meeting Avery Quinn! 

I almost got our precious little Avery for a birthday gift (just 3 days earlier), but then The Man gave me this & thus started the "picture taking maniac" that I've become! 

I made Valentine Treats & Cards for family & friends!  See HERE  & HERE

We found the perfect new home for us!

I wish the seller's car hadn't been sitting in the driveway, but you get a pretty good visual.

We signed the papers on our new home!

Then I started doing a lot of this HERE and......

these started stacking up!

Otherwise, I occupied myself with small crafting projects that didn't make big messes!

I won a great give-away HERE!

Happy 42nd Anniversary!

Happiness is this sign in our front yard!

We did a U-Haul run to our new home!

I'm so excited to share a tour of our new home HERE.

It's early August.  This is Yuma, AZ & the temp is 110*+, & we are moving!
You can see how it all played out HERE.

Next day was "moving in day," equally hot, but these guys never slowed down!
See it HERE if you must!

Took a breather from unpacking & did a bit of exploring.  Well, look what I found!  To see more of my discoveries go HERE.

Just before we moved,  I received an email from Rondell @ Something Nice & Pretty that I had won this cute give-away.  She was so sweet to hold off shipping for a few days until I got moved into our new home.  The give-away was this adorable wooden box w/a handle & this vintage Ball/Mason jar.
I was pretty sure I would use it in the guest bathroom, but didn't know exactly
 how I would use it.
Well, this is what I did.  What do you think?

This was my first victory on getting one room set up and presentable.

It's a very "Special" day!

  He is RETIRING today!!!!  For the last 3 weeks, since we "officially" moved, he has been staying in Yuma to work, only coming "home" on the weekends.  He has had August 31st planned as his "retirement" for awhile now.  He was given a nice "retirement luncheon" yesterday with several of his work friends driving over from Corona, CA (that's where he used to work & is the main branch for the Yuma division) to bid him farewell & to wish him a very "Happy Retirement!"  So after a couple of hours in the office this morning, he will be "packing up" & walking out the door for the last time!  

We had our first "Family Celebration" on Labor Day HERE

We made some light fixture changes HERE

I revealed my kitchen for the first time HERE.

Fall began happening around HERE.

I found my perfect breakfast room table on Craigslist for $125.....I know, right?  And....it also came with 2 more chairs, a 24" leaf & custom pads -- woohoo!

From left:  Kristy, Annette & me.
 We had a very small "Blogger Dinner" in early November for some Phoenix area bloggers.  Life happens and there ended up only being 3 of us, but we had a great time.  Annette at One Perfect Room and  Kristy at Hyphen-Interiors are both just adorable.  I was definitely the "oldster" of the group, but age didn't really seem to matter.  We are all just "Bloggers" with things to share.

I won another give-away!  Thank you Elmer's Glue and Destiny @A Place for Us.  

I finally finished my "studio" craft room that I've been planning & dreaming of for months.  You can see Part 1 HERE & Part 2 HERE, if you are a gluten for photo-overload!

Another semi-major change -- shutters are now on all windows!

And then another change -- new granite HERE!

We celebrated a very happy Thanksgiving Day.  To see more, go HERE

Plenty of extra special hands to help me with Christmas decorating -- cookies & gingerbread houses,

getting the tree all set

with just the right ornaments!

Christmas started popping up all over the place.  You can see more HEREHERE, & HERE.

Betty Crocker was in the house!

And, once again, I won!  This time it was a delightful snowflake pillow cover from Dawn at Creative Cain Cabin.
I know, people, I am so lucky!

And we had a beautiful Christmas Eve with the entire family& these are the only photos I got!
Taking pics of 6 crazy wild kidlets who are hyped up on sugar & so excited
about opening presents, is just a heck of lot harder than I thought it would be.


Well, it was an amazing, exhausting, exciting, stressful, & fun-packed year for us.  We are looking forward to 2012 & all that it will hold for us and for all of you.  I wish you all a very, very
HAPPY NEW YEAR!  See ya next year, ya'll!
xoxo, CAS


It's a Magical, Mystical Tour - Part 2!

Hey everyone!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, got what was on their wish list, ate lots of good food & is all set to welcome in a brand new year!  We had a fantastic time with our family this year;  Santa was plenty generous, my waistline is suffering because of all the delicious food I've consumed, & I'm enjoying this week of putting away the decorations, cleaning up and reorganizing for the start of the new year.  I think it's really fun when some of our "party hosts" do a "best of" or "anything goes" kind of blog party, because it gives everyone a chance to take a breath and regain their footing after all the holiday chaos.  For me, in looking through my posts, I discovered one that I never finished so that's what I'll be sharing.

Back in mid-October,  I did a tour of my new "Studio," which you can see HERE.  At the time, I shared that I would be doing a follow-up or Part 2, where I would do more details on how I store my various supplies.  This will truly be "photo overload," so if you wish to skip Part 2, I totally understand.....lol.  If you are game, here we go.  I will be duplicating some of the photos from Part 1 for continuity-sake.....just so ya know!

As you enter the room from the hallway, you see my old kitchen island, which is now my new crafting island & cutting table.



Hey, everyone!  I hope ya'll are ready, because Christmas just isn't waitin' any longer.  The Man took me out to lunch yesterday, & we walked around a big shopping center that's just a short distance from our home.  There were so many people, and they were buying with a crazed frenzy!  I kind of had to chuckle, because I was so glad my shopping was all finished, wrapped and under the tree!  We had a great time, but then I had to get my &#%% in gear & get ready for our family's Christmas Eve celebration.  Our children and all the "Grands" arrived about 2:00 p.m.  I know, we got things started early!  We had our gift exchange so the children could enjoy their new gifts, and then we all walked over to the park that's just two blocks from our home.  We noshed on some nibbles & drinks (more wine for me, please) & had our dinner about 6ish.  We had hours of chaos, laughter & giggles, and so much family fun.  I'm afraid I didn't get very many pictures once everyone arrived, but I'd like to share some photos of my Christmas kitchen & the children's table -- taken prior to the chaos, of course!

I had so much fun at The Dollar Tree and Walmart, collecting all the little things I wanted for the childrens' table.  They are a close little group of cousins who really enjoy being together, so they will think this special table just for them is FUN! FUN! FUN!

I opted for a vinyl tablecloth -- seriously, 6 kidlets, remember?

Used one of my collected snowmen in this little bucket, surrounded by candy canes, as the center-piece.

 Found these melamine plates at Walmart for less than a dollar.  Makes more sense than paper!  Oops, I forgot to take a pic of the plates w/o the stockings....lol!

Found some cute little games at the Dollar Tree.  I even found some lumps of coal!

 Watched a cute Christmas movie as I puttered in the kitchen.

Stockings hung by the chimney with care.

The mittens are hung & filled!  There's a jigsaw puzzle in the works, too!

I was planning to make stockings for all the "Grands," but then decided to do mittens instead.  They are hung individually from Command Hooks.  I'm hoping to hang onto these & reuse them next year.
Wish me luck!

Made these last night.  They are called Pretzel Hugs & they are so yummy!

The island is all set for munchies (to be added later) & sweet treats (already plenty of those)!
Later on, some things will be removed & replaced with the buffet setup.

Had to have a vignette, but kept it small so there would be plenty of room for all the food.

Some treats that will go home with our children and the "Grands."

Just a bit of sweet bread -- made from my Friendship Bread starter.

Just a quick spin around the kitchen.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you, sweet friends!
xoxo, CAS

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