November 27, 2009

Monogramming... My Fav

I often get asked about this, probably because I monogram everything (my mother always did it for us when we were little), so I figured I'd put my advice in writing so others can read too!

Monogramming is a sign of personal identity. My motto has always been everything looks better monogrammed! It makes most clothing, household items and gifts seem more put together. Women appear poised when sporting a monogram and men convey that they are traditional and classic. Monogramming will never go out of style in the preppy world! Here are the rules, although they may seem obvious:

1) The woman's monogram is typically in a cursive circle with the left inital being the first letter of her first name, the middle initial (slightly larger font) being the first letter of her last name, and the right initial being the first letter of her middle name. Since the 1900s monograms have become more modern so many types of non cursive fonts are now used for women.

2) Male monograms are usually always in basic arial font with all of the initials being the same size in the order of (first name, middle name, last name)

3) If a woman chooses a male style monogram where the font size is the same the same rules apply to her (first name, middle name, last name) However most female monograms have a larger font for the middle letter. If that is the case the rule is (first name, last name, middle name). Men also do this now too.

4) Couple monograms: Ladies first! The couple monogram goes (womans first name initial, last name initial, man's first name initial) The couple monogram should have the last name initial in a larger font. This is helpful for bridal gifts and a lot of people mess this up!

Some wonderful non traditional items to monogram include, soaps, candles, blankets, slippers, walls, glassware, car doors, upholstered seating and more! Monogrammed items make fabulous hostess gifts so think ahead when you are heading to a party or lodging at someone's home. My favorite monogram site is The Pink Monogram. Monica's items are reasonable and darling!


November 14, 2009

Cinnamon Spice Ornaments

Start making some homemade ornaments now! This terrific recipe is easy and fun and the holiday scent will last for years to come.


1)1 jar cinnamon (approx. 4 ounces/1 cup) slightly more or less; start with approximately ½ cup
2)1–2 tablespoons cloves (use the larger amount for a darker ornament, and slightly decrease the cinnamon)
3)1 tablespoon nutmeg (you can include allspice, mace, or ‘pumpkin pie spice’)
4) ½ to ¾ cup applesauce
5) 2 tablespoons white glue (Elmer’s white glue works well)
6) Toothpick to make a hole for hanging
7) Ribbon for hanging (1/8 inch width)

In a medium bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg (and other spices). Add spice mixture to applesauce and glue; stir to combine. Work mixture with hands for 2 to 3 minutes, until dough is smooth and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. It resembles pie crust dough. Divide dough into 2 or 3 portions. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on counter for 1–2 hours. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight but bring to room temperature before you continue.

Roll each portion to 1/4" thickness on a board lightly dusted with cinnamon to prevent sticking. Cut into shapes with small cookie cutters (Smaller size cookie cutters work best). Make a small hole in the top of each ornament for hanging with a toothpick. Place cutouts on wire racks and allow to dry at room temperature (this will take 2-3 days). Daily turning will give you a flatter ornament with less warping. When the ornaments are thoroughly dry, thread holiday ribbon through hole in ornament.
Recipe makes approx. 32 (2-inch) ornaments. Recipe may be halved.


November 10, 2009

Thankgiving Day Activities

The Turkey is in the oven and the family has arrived. Here are some fun activities your family can do on Thanksgiving Day! (Besides watching football on TV!)

-Art and craft project for the kids: Have paper placecards out and instruct the kids to decorate their own placecards for the feast. Have them decorate the adults' placecards too.

-Have a bunch of fun dress up costume pieces out and ask the kids put together a Thankgiving Day skit complete with Pilgrims and Indians. Ask them to perform the skit for the adults during dessert and coffee!

-Buy a Jenja set at the store and write out questions on the wooden blocks. As adults and kids play, they have to answer the questions on the blocks. Write questions like: I am thankful for Grandpop because...

-Start a movie tradition. Pick a family friendly movie, one that your group will never outgrow or get tired of, and feature it every year.

-Touch football game in the backyard!

-Fill some glass jars with small items like candycorn or nuts. Keep track of how many pieces are in each jar and ask each guest estimate the amount sometime during the night. After dinner annouce the winners and hand out small prizes.

-Pumping carving, why not carve another pumpkin?! Set them up outside along the driveway and light them when your family guests are heading toward their cars.

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