Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review

I can't believe its December 30th and 2012 is coming to a close.
I wanted to recap the past year and reflect on what a wonderful year it has been.
I'm skipping January because it was relatively uneventful,
 and I started this blog in February.

In March, I completed my first month of sewing classes and showed off some of my new skills.

In May, we went to New Orleans for our 2nd anniversary,

In June, we did some decorating around the house and I had a DIY disaster.

In July, I finished and installed my biggest sewing project yet,

In August, I went to Houston and Asheville did some more DIY projects and lots of cooking.

In September, I made 4 goals (more to come on that later) and 

In November, I put my gratitude into action.

In December, we prepared for our big Christmas dinner and hosted both sides.

All in all, 2012 has been an eventful and amazing year.
I don't know how 2013 could possible top it,
but stay with me because I have a feeling it will. :)

xoxo - Bethany

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012 in Pictures

Christmas was wonderful. It was a great time with family from both sides.
Eighteen people total, with 6 kids under 8.
Even though there was a stomach bug going around, everyone rallied in the end.
Food, presents, and more food.
Now that we've pulled if off, I know we could do it again and it's not so scary.

xoxo - Bethany

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

I've been busy, busy, busy around here getting ready for the big Christmas feast!
I'll be back next week, but in the meantime I hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your loved ones.

xoxo - Bethany

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mint Chocolate Bark

Can you believe Christmas is two weeks away?!
I can't!
I've been doing a lot of cooking to test out recipes
for the big Christmas dinner I'm hosting.

One dessert I tried, and ate it all loved
was this Mint Chocolate Bark.
It's sooo easy and sooo good.

I repinned this recipe from from my friend April on Pinterest.

Here's the details. I halfed the recipe, and next time I'll be making the whole thing for sure!
Also, I couldn't find mint extract so I didn't use it, but it was plenty minty without.
I did go heavy with the Andes, though.

16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mint extract (NOT peppermint), optional
Green food coloring
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 box (4.67-ounces) Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, unwrapped and coarsely chopped


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Add the mint extract, if using, and stir to combine. Add a few drops of green food coloring and stir until desired color is reached.
3. Spread the white chocolate mixture onto the prepared pan in an even layer (depending on the size of the pan and how thick you’d like your bark, you may not need the entire surface of the pan). Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until just about set.
4. Meanwhile, melt the semisweet chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Pour over the white chocolate layer and spread evenly over top. Sprinkle with the chopped Andes mints and press down lightly to push the mints into the top chocolate layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until completely set.
5. Cut the bark or break into uneven pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for at least 2 weeks.


xoxo - Bethany

Monday, December 10, 2012

Simple Mercury Glass Mantel

Hello friends!
Today, I'm showing off our fireplace mantel all decked out for Christmas.

Yes, that's a big honkin' TV and speaker in the middle of our mantel, and the main focal point of the room.
We have priorities...TV over design in the Battles household.

I kept it pretty simple.
Pottery Barn stockings we got a few years ago,
and glittered pinecone tree I got at Marshalls. 
Although, I think I could have DIY'ed
it myself if I had to.
(Yes, DIY'ed is a word here.)
Other than that, I just mixed in some glittery branches and berries in my pitcher vase.

I also tried out flameless led candles for the first time, not only for safety,
but also so I wouldn't get soot on the wall.

 I actually think they look natural lit in the hurricane, 
and emit a pretty glowing flicker.

More features of the Christmas decorating we've been doing around
here coming soon!

I'm linking up again!


xoxo - Bethany

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Crafts

Hello y'all!
I can't believe December is here!
In honor of the Season, I'm sharing with you a few Christmas crafts I've done recently.
All three of these ideas came from Pinterest. You can follow me here.

The first is for my big a Christmas dinner I'm hosting.
I made placecard holders from dollar store ornaments,

Here's how they turned out.

I will redo the actual placecards before Christmas dinner.
I just busted some out real quick to give you an idea.

Here's a close up.

I think they turned out cute.

The second one doesn't really constitute a craft, per se.
But, I had been looking for a way to display Christmas cards as they came in 
and saw this idea and thought it was easy perfect.

Simply using clothes pins to hang them on the garland on the banister.
Already had the clothes pins. Already had the garland.
Win, win.

This third one, is so easy it doesn't really qualify as a craft either.
and I thought I'd share.

I needed a centerpiece that was substantial enough to fill my 
8 foot long dining table,
but easily moveable whenever I have company over.
This is what I did.

First, get a tray.
I got this plastic one from the Dollar Store.

 This is so you can easily move the centerpiece once its assembled.

Next, put a wreath of your choice on top of the tray.
This one was a plain one on sale at JoAnn's,
and I added the  floral picks myself.

Then get a footed bowl or candle holder.
I got this one at Marshall's for less than $20.00.
(I saw a similar one at Pottery Barn recently for $45.00!)
I didn't mind spending a little money on this because I know it will get used after the Holidays
for a jewelry catch all, potpourri dish, etc. 

 Put your bowl/candle holder in the center of the wreath.
Next add a candle...

Easy layered centerpiece.

I'm linking up with Cassie for the Christmas Cheer to the Blogosphere
Craft Linky Party!

xoxo - Bethany