Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year!!!

 In 2011 I learned to
'go for it'
 no matter how intimidating or challenging you 'imagine' it may be.
I'm talking about my little blog,
and can't thank you enough for all of your support and encouragement,
sweet friends!

One of my favorite quotes, and perfect for the new year...
"If not now, when?"

Wishing you the happiest and brightest
  New Year! 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

top posts 2011 ~ limited edition!

I just went back and looked, my first post was September 21st,
so my list is!

Here's to a complete volume in 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

do ahead appetizers...

If you've been reading for awhile you know I love entertaining,
but only if I can join the fun with my family and friends!
Hanging out in the kitchen cooking while everyone else is mingling is not my idea of fun!

Simple Do-Ahead Menu for Parties
Followed by my favorite tips for having it together...ahead of time!
Click on title for recipe.

I use main dish recipes served in individual ramekins, cups, tasting spoons or shot glasses,
because preparing hundreds of little appetizers is time consuming.


These tasting spoons from Crate & Barrel are great for serving small portions,
I use them for warm Molten Chocolate Cake!

~   Italian Chicken Salad - Prepare morning of party, assemble a couple hours before.
       Cook chicken and toast almonds day before.

~   Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
        Prepare morning of party and refrigerate.
        Cocktail sauce can be prepared a couple days before.
        Assemble in cups a couple hours before and store in covered plastic container

~   Marmalade Meatballs
        So easy!!  Place ingredients in crockpot 3 hours before party.
        Transfer to lettuce lined plate.

~   Stilton Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon
        Pit dates and cut bacon morning of party. Assemble 2 hours before. Bake during party.

~   Giada's Mac 'n Cheese
        Grate all cheese the day before and refrigerate. Assemble a couple hours before party.
        Bake in 9x 13 pan right before party, transfer to ramekins and keep warm.

~   Molten Chocolate Cake
         Prepare day before party and refrigerate.
         Transfer from fridge to oven 30 minutes before you're ready to serve.
         Remove from oven and turn out onto large platter, allow guests to self-serve 
         with tasting spoons and small dessert plates. 
I like one signature drink and/or beer and wine all set out for self-serving.

Plan your music and most importantly your outfit in advance.
Set up your buffet early in the day with all serving pieces labeled.
Light the candles, have a little wine before anyone arrives and...
have a great time!

(if you missed my Christmas party go here)

Sharing at Mangia Mondays stop by to check out the recipes! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

a jump start on next year

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful day of festivities, family and food!
We did!
I headed out early today to beat the crowd and snag a few sale items.

After Christmas sales are the perfect time to get a plan for...
Christmas 2012 and stock up on signature style wrap for anytime of year!
I scored!

I found this wrap, ribbon, containers and pom-poms on sale at Michaels,
(all 70% off)
 it will be the inspiration for my out-of-town kiddo packages.
Go here to see this year's packages

You guessed it, a red and white peppermint candy theme.
The paint-can style containers with metal handle and lid are a fun way to package small gifts.
I'm still looking for some cute ornaments to tie onto the packages.

My signature style wrap is usually black and white
paired with a collection of brightly colored coordinating ribbons.
I scored!
The two papers on the left I already had.
Hobby Lobby had a ton of the polka dot and diamond patterned wrap in assorted colors.
 $2.50/roll of 100 ft.
The ribbon was all from Michaels, .60 each for the smaller spools,
the larger ones I had and were from Costco.

Black & White with Pink

Black & White with Red

Black & White with Yellow

You get the idea, it goes with anything!

Take advantage of the sales and
come next December you'll be glad to have this simple plan in place!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

merry christmas...

For unto us a child is born...
                       Isaiah 9:6

Wishing you a joyful Christmas surrounded by those you love!

Thank you so much sweet friends for taking the time to stop by my simple blog,
 leave a kind a comment or an encouraging email, and for your endless inspiration!
I knew I would love doing it, and you all make it worthwhile.

I'm taking a few days off to enjoy the holidays with my family,
 see you next week.

~  Pam  ~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

clever ideas for giving $$

$$ is always a sure bet for teens and college kids!
Here are a few creative presentations...

Dollar Bill Origami
go here for 20 cool ideas!

Last year we made our college age nieces and nephews play
'Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?'
Correct Answers  = Cash
(determine the amount per correct answer based on the gift amount, you want the game to last awhile) 

Here's a list of questions a stay-at-home dad created.

How about a tissue box that dispenses $$
tape dollar bills together, roll up and insert in your box

Wrap a box of 500 envelopes ~ they'll find their $$ in one of them!

Make an ATM Machine or Tie

Have fun!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

please, mr. simple, can I have it...

mr. simple has been asking for weeks what I'd like for Christmas,
I finally found something...

A BIG tree trunk, this is just SO cool, but it is HUGE (good & bad)!

One year I asked for a BIG rock for Mother's Day!
As in landscape art - not diamond - not that I don't like diamonds,
 but they seem a little ordinary compared to this, don't you think?

I was thinking a coffee table on the deck...and on rollers, oh my!
I had to share these...

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Which reminds me, remember this post about logs
well, it didn't exactly go as planned.
We'd had a snowstorm and I saw branches down all over the neighborhood,
 but when I asked mr. simple if our chain saw worked
I kind of got a look like - you've got to be kidding!

Plan B was to 'borrow' the neighbor's pile of logs,  just for the holidays.
I came to my senses when I started thinking about what may be lurking in the logs
that had been outside for a few months.

Back to the tree trunk...

I drove mr. simple by the only thing on my Christmas list.

me:  "How do you think we could get it home?"
mr. simple:  "A crane and a truck, or about 30 guys!"
me:  "How do the guys that trim trees move them?"
mr. simple: "They cut them up!"
me: "Oh."

Maybe these pretty pictures will sway him! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

colorado christmas tour

~  Welcome  ~

Colorado Christmas...

come in and take a peek around at a few of my favorite things...

~  living room  ~

~  cozy corner with fur throw  ~

~  family room  ~

~  mantel  ~

~  sunburst mirror  ~

~  corner of the dining room  ~

~  dining room buffet  ~

~  kitchen  ~

~  hood in kitchen  ~

~  paperwhites  and silver ~

~  thanks for stopping by  ~
wishing you days filled with a few of your favorite things

~  pam  ~

 uncommon slice of suburbia
shabby creek cottage
a la mode

Thursday, December 15, 2011

what color is your ceiling?

Do you notice ceilings?
You guessed it, I 've been thinking about them lately.

1. For a teen girl's room I'm working on.
2. My own dining room, on the 2012 to-do list.

For the girl's room we're using a similar turquoise hue
 paired with apple green, black and white.
Should be ready to share soon!
This ceiling caught my eye - wouldn't it make a unique statment!

Here are a few others that make quite a statement, too!

                                                  Uplifting, modern, playful...
                                                   Calm, soothing, cottage style...
                                                                 Organic, earthy,  fresh...
                                                            Feminine, flirty, fun...
                                                          Elegant, sophisticated...
                                                                         style at home                                            
                                            Dramatic, exciting, daring...                      


What do you think...would you?

Thank you all for visitng my little space in the blogosphere!
Hope your weekend is filled with a  favorite
 activity of the holiday season!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

thank you and kandinsky art

First, a big thank you to Jenna over at
for featuring my Ikea Lantern + Monogrammed Towel = Unique Gift. 

Stop by and check out the awesome diy projects she finds in
the blogosphere or send her your latest creation!

This artistic transformation was a recent feature.
My sweet lifelong friends, and mother - daughter team behind the blog
Your Day Simplified,
amazed me with their rendition of Kandinsky abstract art on this headboard.


and footboard, I think they did an incredible job!

Here are other Kandinsky pieces,
 if you're inclined to try it on something and need a little inspiration...

Kandinsky Composition 7

I think any of his artwork would be a stunning statement in an all neutral room.

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I'd love to design a nursery around this one!

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Not in the budget?
 You could always try painting a cabinet, nightstand, desk, table
or bed!

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I tried my hand at abstract art here, albeit unsuccessfully,
 but these are certainly inspiring me to try again!

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