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Sunday, December 29, 2013

What to do with Cranberries

While grocery shopping, I bought a bag of cranberries. I had no clue what to do with them, they just looked so beautiful and perfect for the holidays, there had to be some way to make them taste as great as they look! 

Here are a few ideas that caught my eye while I was perusing Pinterest for inspiration. 

Sugared Cranberries

Eat Good 4 Life

Gingerbread Pizza with Sugared Cranberries

Bluebonnets & Brownies

Cranberry Salsa

Top Appetizer Recipes

Frozen Cranberry Salad

Let's Dish

I ended making this cranberry dip. It was AMAZING! Even the picky eaters enjoyed this appetizer.

Cranberry Salsa Dip

Butter, with a side of Bread
You can find this recipe HERE. **I substituted the apple cider vinegar for fresh squeezed orange juice. I also added a teaspoon of orange zest.

I always get excited for New Year's appetizers. My family always has only appetizers on New Year's Eve for dinner. ;) Do you have any go-to holiday recipes?

Friday, December 27, 2013

How To: Scented Wax Dipped Pine Cones

Christmas may be over, but winter certainly is not. I found a bunch of pine cones outside our apartment. Pine cones are so pretty in the snow! They reminded me of a project I learned way back in 4th grade.

These scented wax dipped pine cones are gorgeous and keep the living room smelling wonderful!

You will need: 

Small pine cones
large white candle (scented or unscented)
scented oil of choice
thin twine or string
pan of water to boil
wax paper
metal coffee tin or large soup can, emptied and washed
wooden/Popsicle stick to stir
Cutting board
sharp knife (I used a pocket knife)

1.  Cut small chunks off your candle. I used a peppermint scented candle.

 2. Create a double boiler by boiling water in a saucepan on the stove (about 1/3 full), and adding your tin can to the water. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to medium. Gradually add chunks of wax. Stir the wax with a Popsicle stick as it melts. Wax will be clear when melted.

 3. Mix in a few drops of scented oil to create a stronger aroma. I added vanilla to make my pine cones vanilla peppermint scent.

 4. Tie a 7-8 inch string to the very tip of each pine cone.

 5. Once you have enough melted wax to complete submerge your pine cones, dip a pine cone into the wax while holding onto the string.

 6. Make sure your pine cone is completely covered with wax, but take it out of the wax quickly. Allow it to drip over the can, then transfer the pine cone to wax paper.

7. Repeat with each pine cone. Below my pine cones are pictured after one dip in the wax.

 8. Allow the pine cones a few moments to dry, and dip again. Remember, to dip quickly, otherwise the previous layer will melt off. I dipped my cones 7 times to create a nice white layer of wax.

 9.  Allow your pine cones to dry thoroughly. There will be excess waxed that dripped to the bottom. Peel this off. Also, remove your strings. This is tricky, I had to snip mine off. If there is a bald spot where the string was tied, carefully dip your pine cone again tip first into the wax.

 10. Once your pine cones are dried, you will have sweet smelling, frosty, taste of winter for your home.

How long do you keep up your Christmas decor?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! We are soaking up family time in beautiful, quiet, Oak City.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Reason for the Season

Merry Christmas to you!! We are loving a beautiful day in Oak City, UT the Murdock family. 

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is hearing the story of Christ's birth. It is such an amazing truth that the King of kings humbled himself by coming to earth--for me! The story in scripture and the words of the carols we have been singing this season have been such a great reminder of the salvation we enjoy because Jesus was born, lived, and died to save lowly sinners like me!

Gloria Deo! Sin’s power is dead.
Jesus, though bruised, crushed the serpent’s foul head!
Seed of the woman, Redeemer of men,
Vanquishes Satan! We sing out again—

Gloria Deo! The sinner may live!
Joyous the news heaven’s messengers give.
Peace to the fallen but favored Christ brings.
“Glory to God!” let the church loudly sing!

"Gloria Deo"

 Joy has dawned upon the world
Promised from creation
God's salvation now unfurled
Hope for every nation

"Joy Has Dawned"

  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:11-14

  "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 

Matthew 1:21

**I received this absolutely adorable sign in the mail this week from The Shop Upstairs. I love it! They make the cutest things! 

Check them out: 

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas week---and may your days be merry and bright!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Cards Printed for the First Time Ever!

 I have been making handmade cards forever, but I am very excited that my cards have been printed for the first time ever! 

I have had invitations and wedding programs reproduced by a printer, but never my greeting card designs. The company I work for printed 200 cards from one of my designs! 

I was so excited when the cards sealed packaging! It felt very official. ;) It was awesome for the company to encourage my artwork in this way, and an honor to design a Christmas card for it!

My plan is have more of my cards reproduced and available in print soon!

Printing Credit: Markine Wright Graphics


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas From the Murdocks

Wes and I took our first Christmas card pictures last week! Our sister-in-law Kristina was so sweet to brave the freezing cold to take them for us. 

We are so excited to spend Christmas together this week. The last few years, Wes came to visit me the week before, and left on Christmas eve. Not this time, we are Christmasing together! 

At the same time, we are missing lots of family and friends who are far whom we want to wish a very Merry Christmas!


Photo Wedding Invitations with DIY Pocket Folds

I know I have detoured from weddings for a little bit. I am loving this Christmas season so much and trying to take full advantage of the time to enjoy it! I did want to share how we made our wedding invitations.

When the time came, I began looking at options for getting invitations printed. I just could not find something I loved for a decent price. Plus, Wes and I both love getting photo invitations, so we decided on that route. 

I edited one of our favorite engagement pictures on Picnik add our wedding details. {Unfortunately, Picnik has been discontinued, so I use Picmonkey nowadays} Note: When adding text to your invitation photo, be sure to leave plenty of margin. Photos are often cut slightly differently then the preview. You don't want to lose any words off the side!

I printed our pictures at Shutterfly. Since I bought my dress at David's Bridal, and registered at Target, both gave me a $20 credit to Shutterfly. We only paid for shipping of the photos!

Shutterfly also has great coupon codes often: Special Offers

We made pocket folds to hold the photos and add an elegant, wedding-like touch.

*These are simple to make, but making anything 100+ times takes time. Definitely plan to begin early and work on a few at a time. In other words, an all-nighter of cutting, punching, and tying a billion invitations won't be fun.

You will need: 
12x12 in thick scrapbook paper {Make sure it is double sided or the inside where your photo is will be plain white}
paper cutter
exact-o knife
Decorative border hole punch
embroidery floss

1. Use paper cutter to cut scrapbook pages in half. You will get 2 pocket folds from each 12x12 in sheet.

2. Place a photo in the center of the strip with 3 inches of paper on either side. Use your ruler to fold the extra paper over the photo.

 3. Punch out a decorative border on each flap. Be careful to line your punch evenly. Also, I didn't punch right at the edge, otherwise the flaps would have been too short wouldn't cover the picture completely.

 4. Using an exact-o knife, cut a small slit, approx. 1 cm long, into each corner inside the folds where the photo will be placed. These should be cut at an angle.

 5. Slide the corners of the photo under the slits to attach it to the pocket fold. This keeps your photo secure, but allows friends to easily remove the photo to place on their fridges. ;)

6. Cut approx 20 in. pieces of embroidery floss to tie around the pocket folds. Adjust the length as needed, but be sure to start with plenty to allow you to tie a bow. 

Your photo invitations are ready to send out! I used ivory envelopes from Wal-mart to mail them off in. :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Apple Cranberry Holiday Punch

While planning our Christmas Eve Luncheon coming up at work, a friend mentioned a apple cranberry punch for our drink. It sounded so tasty, I decided to try it out. 

 This punch was so easy and delicious. I love how Christmas-y it is. Wes and I enjoyed it along on a Snowy Saturday of  finishing our tree, taking our Christmas card pic, shopping for gifts!

Apply Cranberry Holiday Punch

1 can frozen cranapple juice concentrate
1 2 liter bottle gingerale
1 12 ounce bag frozen raspberries
1/2 an orange sliced

Mix frozen juice concentrate with gingerale  in pitcher. Pour in frozen berries, and add orange slices {I'm slightly obsessed with the cranberry-orange combo right now}. 
Ta-DA! That's it, enjoy!

We are planning to make this punch for the Christmas Eve luncheon, and I am super excited about it. :)