Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Soap Gifts

Here is another little gift that we made for Christmas, these ones were for family. We got one of these from a neighbor last year and loved it so much, we still use ours! We just get the softsoap refills and keep using it. It is SUPER easy to do:

Create the words you want to say on the insert in a Word document, with the last name of the family at the top, ex. NYGREN HANDS. Then get some acetate paper (overhead paper) and print it out. You can get at least two on a page. Then cut it out with the edges and sides rounded a bit so it fits nicely into the bottle. Roll it up and stick it into the soap bottle and use the dispenser wand to push it up against the front of the bottle. The soap will help it stick to the front.

Youc an buy the bottles of soap anywhere and just use a blow dryer to heat up the sticker covering and just peel it off. Make sure you heat it up long enough to get it all off when you peel because if you dont, it is hard to get the excess glue off.

It is an inexpensive and unique gift that people will love, especially because it is personal. This is a great Christmas gift, but can be given at anytime really. Have fun!

The Candy Factory!!!

Every Christmas I turn my kitchen into a candy factory with my sisters and mom. We always make chocolate and caramel covered pretzels. It is so easy to do, and so much fun! And may I add, delicious! By the time we are done, I am full because I cant stop testing out everything we dip! We get all of our supplies at Orson Gygi to do this project. They have this great block of caramel and these big bags of chocolate disk/chips. I love these things and they make great gifts, so I thought I would share how we do it:

You start with the caramel: cut off a good sized chunk into a microwave safe bowl and add a spalsh of water. Then melt it in one minute increments until the caramel is nice and smooth...almost a bit runny. Then stick the pretzel rod in the bowl and with a spoon or spatula, pull the caramel up the pretzel, leaving enough room at the end to hold onto when you eat it.
Let them dry and harden completely on parchment paper. Depending on how warm it is in the house, we will sometimes stick them outside on a cookie sheet to cool off faster.

Next comes the chocolate. Pour about a cup or so into another microwave safe bowl and add a small spoonful of regular Crisco to it. Then microwave in one minute increments, stirring throughout. Take the caramel pretzel and do the same thing, stick it in the bowl and pull the chocolate up the sides and completely cover the caramel. For our oreo, butterfinger, candy cane, cinnamon sugar, etc. toppings, we add those on right after we dip the chocolate so the toppings stick. But if you want just a regular stick then let it dry, and you can add a drizzle of chocolate of another color to add a nice touch. We also like to dip cinnamon bears as well. Then, we get those cute, decorated celophane bags and fill em up with deliciousness. ENJOY!

Back to Bethlehem

For our ward Christmas party this year, Andrew and I were asked to be on the Activities committee...the decorating team. We always get asked to do these things. So, we are thinking that we will need to get some colored table cloths, some fun entertainment, and a ham or turkey type dinner. Boy were we wrong. Our ward decided to go all out and transform the gym into Bethlehem! With only $100 we got really creative and did our best. Here is how it turned out...

All the families were asked to dress up and bring blankets to sit on to eat dinner. They were also asked to bring canned food (their tax) to enter the city. There were some great outfits!

A couple in our ward just had a baby boy so they did our nativity scene. The "stable" was put together by our bishop. Now, when I say put together, I dont mean with nails or anything...it was literally just leaning against each other. During the prayer, "Mary" accidentally moved her foot and the whol thing came crashing down on them! They were all ok, and it was hilarious!

One of our main duties was to make all the signs. Here is our beautiful artwork!

Our dinner was very simple, just like it would have been back then...pitas and bagels, some meats and cheeses, olives, relish trays, hummus, etc. But we did throw in a few modern delicious Christmas desserts :)

We borrowed pop up tents from people in the ward and covered them with sheets for the shops. Then we strung lights across the top for a nice added touch. It was a lot of work, but it turned out great, and it was fun doing something different!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The holiday season is my favorite, and always seems to be a busy time for everyone, and this year is no different for us. We are constantly on the go with something different planned every day! And, now that it snowed, well dumped, it really feels like Christmas! Here is a glimpse of what we have done so far this month...

For those of you that do not know, the Kurt Bestor concert is a tradition in my family, and is also an important part of mine and Andrew's life, whether he likes it or not! The Kurt Bestor concert in 2005 was our first date! I did not think it odd at the time to ask Andrew to come with me, I had just met him again three days earlier and I wanted to have him come, so I got an extra ticket and invited him. I think I forgot to mention to him that my whole family would be there, even my Grandma and Rex! I do not think he even knew he Kurt Bestor was until that night, but he came anyway, and apparently that sealed the deal cause here we are three years later, and three concerts later, and happily married and in love. Anyone that wants to get married...go to the Kurt Bestor concert!!! Andrew is such a good sport and comes every year, even though his love for Kurt is not as strong as mine...yet :)

The girls...and the crazy red statue thing at Abravanel Hall

We get a picture in front of this odd thing every year

Our tree! This is our favorite one yet! We went with a country theme this year, I love it! And our house smells divine!

Norman and the tree! When we first go it, he was so confused at why there was this large outside object in our living room, but he is used to it now. Luckily he does not try to pee on it!

Our Annual Ugly Sweater Party! We had it at Amber's again this year...she is such a great host. We did breakfast for dinner...crepes - thanks to our reborn French friend January, cinnamon french toast, egg casserole, orange rolls (Cassidy made our DG house mom's recipe - SO GOOD!), yes it was pretty much gourmet!
Oh,in case you were wondering about the mountain man standing next to me...Andrew and the other managers at work are doing a beard/mustache contest! Kinda cute, eh!

The Group! January won the contest this year with her international christmas sweater and ornament earrings! We played a few intense rounds of mafia and I discovered that I am a horrible liar and cant ever be mafia because I always get caught!

Silly Norman

Our crazy pup always has to be in the same room as us no matter what we are doing...except vacuuming...he is deathly afraid of the vacuum and Andrew likes to torment him with it. I have to admit, it is really funny. When I am getting ready in the bathroom Norman loves to sit in the bathtub! Sometimes he will hang out in there even without me. On this particular day I could not find him. I heard a peculiar sound coming from the bathroom, so I snuck in and found him lounging in the tub!

When he is not freshening up in the bathroom, we are likely to find him playing about in the blinds. He likes to run through them and then watch them swing around. He really is like a little kid. By the way...look at how BIG he is getting!!!

Babies All Around!

My good friend Jenny is pregnant with a little girl so we had a shower for her a few weekends ago. Erin as pregnant as well so here are the two mothers to be as well as a few other shots
from that day! I am so excited that everyone is having babies! Its weird how we have moved from wedding showers to baby showers...time goes by way too fast! Good thing we are enjoying it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hi All! I am now a rep for Scentsy. I love their fabulous candle warmers and use them everyday so I figured it would only be natural that I become a rep for them. So if anyone is interested in getting one, or already have one and want some new scents, shoot me an email at brynnbills@hotmail.com. To see some ideas of what they have to offer, visit www. scentsy.com or give me a call and I can let you smell all the different scents they have!