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Fancy Frugal Life: December 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wine.com Review (The gift for all occasions)


(This is a sponsored post with all my own opinions.) 

There are times when you want to give a thoughtful gift and you don't know where to start especially for the person who has everything. Are you perhaps going to a dinner party and don't know what to bring? Or do want to send a special gift basket to someone as a thank you?  Or maybe you have thought a monthly wine club would make a perfect gift for yourself? From birthdays to weddings and anniversaries...wine is a great gift.
Plus shipping wine is easy and so convenient!

Wine.com has numerous solutions to the "I dunno what to give?" problem.

One of the main goals of wine.com is to choose the wines that are best for you
In fact it can good resource with suggestions on which wines to pair with certain meals.
I love wine but always welcome suggestions on which labels and types to consider since I'm not an expert.

How to select the best wine bottle!
Not only can you learn about new wines from regions all over the world, wine.com lets you share your opinions/reviews and become part of their wine community by creating your own profile and keeping track of your favorites.

Don't forget that wine accessories like decanters, stoppers, and aerators are perfect gifts for wine enthusiasts!
                                                                Vinturi Deluxe Wine Aerator with Tower Gift Set

Wine.com also has helpful tips like:

Make sure to sign up for their money saving email offers and join them on Facebook & Twitter to stay in touch!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A fancy frugal Christmas party

The first weekend in December we hosted my husband's work team and their families for a big Christmas dinner party at our home. 
Photo: Hosted a big holiday dinner party for J's work ppl and their families..It was a success! We r wiped though.

This is why my Christmas was up pretty early this year :) Take the tour here if you haven't already.
 My husband's company supplied a beautiful ham from the Honey Baked Ham Co, and I made the side dishes. Co workers brought some appetizers to share. 
Someone also brought some yummy punch that my kids loved!

I made some goodies that day that have already been featured on my blog you may recognize.

The box cake lemon cookies can be found here.

And the recipe for my grandma's easy mini blackberry tarts with pie crusts are here.

I had a craft area set up for the kids that was really a hit.

They made some paper plate and cotton ball Santa faces.
We also did a gift exchange for the kids. I picked up this super cute Velveteen rabbit and book at Kohl's for $5 each. Have you seen those? It's so soft.
My daughter and I did our Santa nails that day....

We all drank and ate way too much! Including these two :)

 These party poopers passed out!

We had such a great party with some really fun people. I thought it was nice and more personal than going out to a restaurant, however if they want to do a restaurant next year, I'm in! lol 

 Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

 Hi! Are you busy Christmas-ing? Man Christmas requires so many trips to Costco and Target doesn't it? I think I'm finally done shopping. 
 We are so excited to have my MIL stay with us for the next ten days! Whoo hoo she's my fun Goodwill partner :) And I see an overdue date night in our future..Yay!

My son has his birthday over the break so tomorrow he is bringing in these hot cocoa cupcakes into his class to celebrate a little early.
Thanks to Lick the Bowl Good for this brilliant idea of using a mini candy cane as a handle for these cupcakes. Mine are just devil's food cake from a box and this recipe for white frosting.
I topped mine with marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.

This week we had my son's holiday program....singing kids are just so awesomely cute!

 My little man, with the tie in front, was very into it! My heart was happy.

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Create & Inspire @ Little Inspiration

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Grandma Bonnie's Almond Roca Recipe

Each year we get a package in the mail full of edible treats from my Grandma Bonnie. She is one of those special people you could sit and have coffee and laugh and gossip with forever! I just adore her so much. Here she is pictured with my kids Christmas 2008.  (Awe they were so little then!)
As soon as I opened the box and tasted these Almond Roca pieces, I called her right away for the recipe! They are A-mazing...
So today I'm sharing her recipe with you. She said she's been making these for years during the holidays and you can use Saltine or graham crackers...
Grandma Bonnie's Almond Roca:
2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 sleeve of graham crackers
1 cup of chopped almonds
1- 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Line a 9x12 casserole oven dish with foil including the sides.
3. Make one layer of crackers on the bottom of pan.
3. Melt butter and brown sugar on the stove and heat to a boil. Let boil (with bubbles) for 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
4. Pour and spread mixture evenly on top of the crackers.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 min.
5. Pour chocolate chips on top and spread around as they melt.
6. Sprinkle the almonds on top. (She said to kind of pat them gently down into chocolate so they don't fall off.)
7. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
8. Break in pieces to serve.

I think these would be a great treat for Santa...
I know not the healthiest....just make one pan and share! lol I made two pans yesterday and gave them away for neighbor gifts. This recipe is so easy and tastes awesome.


The 36th AVENUE
Adorned From Above
Create & Inspire @ Little Inspiration

Homemade baby gifts

Good morning! How is everyone holding up? I've been so emotional and crying every time I hear the news or something on Facebook about the poor victims in Connecticut. I've also been so moved by the many quick thinking heroic teachers who saved their students...amazing. 
It's also crazy how when something terrible happens like this, every tiny thing I was stressing about is suddenly meaningless and we gain instant perspective on what's important...our loved ones.

My son's wonderful teacher is having a baby next month so Saturday I spent the morning loving on my kids and sewing her some homemade baby gifts.
The kids are having a mini shower for her this week.  

(I forgot to mention I bought those cute BabyLegs for $3 online a few weeks ago.)

I had a little bit of this cute Riley Blake fabric in my stash and thought it looked perfect for a boy.

I made an applique elephant onesie...we love elephants around here.

I know my lines are hardly straight...oh well :)
I also made a tie applique...

And finally one of these cute jumbo ric rac burp clothes. Read how these is done here. I've done lots of these for gifts. Read here about how I do applique...you all know I'm crazy about that as well! :)

I hope you all have a great week! I am looking forward to my 1st grader's holiday program tonight at school. 

The 36th AVENUE