Last week was a bit of a Christmas prep blur. But I wanted to share our Holiday cards and neighbor/co-worker gifts with you this year. We always do our little gifts in a jar- this year it was caramel. And this recipe was not only easy but super fast to make, so if you are scrambling for something to make, look no further.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark karo syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

melt butter, sugar, and syrup, bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring, then remove from heat.
Stir in 1 can sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla. Let cool for a bit before pouring into jars.

Makes enough to fill 4 half pint jars

After many requests here it is folks our 2013 Christmas year in review card.


I love wrapping presents! I know some people hate it, I used to be one of them, I would shove presents in gift bags with tissue, and call it done. Maybe it's Pinterest, or being surrounded by creative types that has changed me, but now I get pumped to wrap gifts. I usually pick a color scheme to work within and just run wild. Last year it was kraft paper, black, and apple green glitter accents.This year it's all about red and white. I am so behind this year with a lot of our holiday projects, I'm blaming a late Thanksgiving... But, I was able to find the perfect white eco-friendly gift wrap at our local art supply store, and a fun herringbone red ribbon so I hurried to get everything together.

If you are trying to get out of a wrapping rut just pick a few colors and stick to those- mix and match patterns and texture and everything you do will look great.

I created some fun tags to go with our gifts this year. You can download them for FREE HERE!


Our anniversary was 2 weeks ago. We both agreed we wouldn't spend more than $5 on a gift or a treat for the other person. We usually just go out and enjoy a nice meal to celebrate-This year it was a local Thai/Sushi place- So good- If you are ever in Sun Valley you have to go to Dang's Thai and Sushi Bar. I wanted to give John something that would celebrate the past 7 years, and be simple, he doesn't get into mushy stuff, and I don't really either. Then I saw a picture on Natalie Jean's Instagram of her cute son in front of a photo collage wall in their home. My brain immediately switched gears, how I could make this in my home? I decided on a small framed collage, I already had the frame I just needed the photos.

I researched the best ways to print my instagram photos, and ultimately I came up with the idea of laying out 2x2 images on a 4x6 photo so my local photo center could print them easily for me. I also had about 1,000 pictures on my computer I had taken before instagram was even a twinkle in Facebook's eye- so it was just easier to transfer everything from computer to photo shop.  There are some great apps and websites though if you don't want to go that route.

Exacto knife
Cutting mat
Acid Free Photo squares
Frame and mounting board

Once each of my small photos was cut out I began laying them on the mounting board. I tried several different layouts before deciding a heart looked the best, and it felt a little bit more free-spirited than filling the entire frame or having a stiff grid.

Once they layout was set I used my photo squares to stick the photos to the mounting board. Then just frame and hang, and you have it!

I like fat hearts, not tall ones, so I think I may add more photos to widen it at some point when I find the perfect square frame.

The hardest part was deciding which photos would be included, we had so many fun ones. I loved going through them all and finding photos of things we totally forgot about- like the time a Times-Square tourist trap about King Tut lured us, and our $20 with promise of seeing a real mummy. At least we looked good in the gift shop pharaoh hats.


So yeah it's December. What? To celebrate the final month of 2013 I'm rolling out the first of many desktop calendars. I also created some iphone, and ipad backgrounds to coordinate. You can find the collection here on Flickr.

If you're unfamiliar with Flickr, follow these steps:
1. Hover over the images to see all of the sizes. When you have found the perfect size for your desktop, click on the image. This will open the image on its own page.
2. Click on the icon of the three dots, its on the bottom right, then click the '"View all Sizes" link inside the menu.
3. This will take you to a new page where you will see all the sizes. Click on "original"  Then click on the "Download the Original size of this photo" link.