December 2013 Rewind

Well, it's officially the end of 2013. What a year it has been! Before we dive headlong into 2014, I thought I'd finish up the year with my December 2013 Rewind. Here were some of the highlights of December:
I tried out a new ingredient in baked goods with these Potato Chip Cookies. The chips add just the right amount of salty goodness to the cookies.

While decorating the main areas of the house is customary,  the Powder Room even got a little Christmas cheer.

I was so excited to have the opportunity to try out a subscription to EMeals. This Hash Brown Potato-Corn Chowder with Bacon was a big hit in our house.
One of my favorite decorated spaces this holiday season was the Christmas Mantel. The brilliant hues of the poinsettia plants were the perfect match with our snowflake stockings.
Finally, I plan on making this Cran-Apple Feta Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette a lot in the new year. Fresh and healthy, this salad has the perfect sweet/salad combination.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration. I'm looking forward to all 2014 will bring! Blessings to you and your family!

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Top 10 DIY Projects/Crafts of 2013

Try not to be too shocked here, people. I'm actually getting two big posts out today. An amazing feat, for sure! Actually, I'm putting off the last part of taking down Christmas. Maybe I should put STOP PROCRASTINATING as one of my top 10 resolutions for 2014 ;-) In the meantime, have fun looking back at my Top 10 DIY Projects/Crafts from 2013.

Phew! What a year it's been! I have had a ball in 2013 pushing myself in the DIY arena. I hope that I'm able to continue challenging myself in 2014...taking on more projects around the house. As I sit here looking around, there is plenty to do...walls to paint, furniture to makeover, and spaces to organize. The list is never ending. For this week, however, I will just reflect on my list of top projects from last year. Hope you enjoy too!

10. Book Page Decoupaged Eggs mixed with my Twine covered eggs were an easy way to camouflage plastic Easter eggs.
9. These Summer Fun Flip Flops were a big hit with a group of tween girls. Such a fun summer vacation project!

8. Another project from the pages of a book. This Book Page Butterfly Garland was the perfect little something to add to my Spring mantel.
7. DIY Boutique Dishtowels make a great hostess gift.
6. What little girl wouldn't love one of these edible Jelly Bean Bracelets that reinforce the meaning of Easter?
5. A little elbow grease and paint was all that was needed for this little Vintage Metal Car Makeover. The color makes me so happy!

4. Apparently, I'm not the only one who keeps her spices too long. My When to Toss Out Old Spices post grabbed your attention. I even gave you a handy guide for how to keep your spices spicy.

3. Free DIY Cherry Blossom Branches were so easy to make and didn't cost a cent. I love a free DIY!
2. This DIY Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is helping with the longevity of my sofas.

1. The Anatomy of an Up-Cycled Sweater was far and away the most viewed of all my projects. The process of using all of a yard sale sweater to make 8 different projects stretched me creatively. I'm glad you liked it too!

I really enjoyed sharing all these projects with you this past year. I also enjoyed looking through all the posts you've been linking up to our All Things Thursday Blog Hop. You inspire me with your creativity. (BTW, we are partying this Wednesday night...come back to link up!) I'm looking forward to all that 2014 will bring. Thanks so much for all your kind words and encouragement in 2013. May you be blessed with a joyful New Year!

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Top 10 Recipes of 2013

Well, it's that time of year when we take a look back at the "best of 2013". It's so fun for me to see which of our family favorites peaked your interest too. Many of you have been following my blog since the early days in 2012 and I am so grateful. But, for those of you who might have just joined up with me and missed some of these posts, I bring you my Top 10 Recipes of 2013.
In this list, you'll find both sweet and savory recipes. All of them have been tested on my family and have the stamp of approval from at least most of them. ;-) In looking through the stats, I was particularly surprised by the "most viewed" post. I think I need to make it again soon for my family and maybe even update the pics. Each one of these will have a link for you to go back to the original post for the recipe. Enjoy!
10. Old Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes ~ These were in my stash of recipes from my late MIL...old recipes are the best!
9. Peanut Butter Banana Fudge Pops ~ A healthy alternative to store-bought popcicles.

8. PW Marlboro Man Sandwiches ~ Can you really go wrong with anything from The Pioneer Woman?
7. Rise and Shine Zucchini Muffins ~ A great way to use up summers bountiful harvest!

6. Copy Cat KFC Coleslaw ~ After trying out this recipe, my husband asked me no less than 3 times in the same week to make more of it. (and he's pretty particular about coleslaw)

5. Simple Crustless Quiche ~ Perfect for overnight guests or as the main star at your brunch table.

4. Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole ~ Good old-fashioned comfort food!
3. Cookie Butter Frosted Pumpkin Bars ~ I discovered Cookie Butter this year and had a hard time making anything without it!

2. Everyone's Favorite Sloppy Joes ~ This is a staple in our house. I just made a batch this weekend, in fact.

1. Hamburger Potato Casserole ~ This casserole was the most viewed of the year. There is something magical about the beef and potato combination...add a little cheese and mmm...mmm...mmm.

Thanks again for stopping by and making 2013 a great year for Posed Perfection. I so appreciate all the sweet comments you've left. I'm looking forward to sharing many more family favorites with you in the new year.

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Food for the Soul ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

There is just something about the New Year that evokes a since of excitement and wonder in us all. Is it the blank squares on the calendar beckoning to be filled? Or, perhaps it's the resolutions we make in hopes of turning over a new leaf or changing our lives for the better. Whatever it is, we all long for a bright and shiny new start.

Most of the resolutions will focus on the external things in our lives...our weight, organization (or lack thereof), quitting bad habits, or starting good ones. Sadly, after less than 6 weeks, many of these resolutions fall flat.

Thankfully, if we are "in Christ", we are new creations. The old has gone, the new has come. We are no longer bound by the things that once enslaved us. Oh, we may still struggle with some of them, but they should no longer master us and hold us back from the abundant life that Christ came to give us. Just last week, we celebrated Christmas...the incarnation of God Himself. Why did He humble Himself and come to us? It was to give us a shiny new life in Christ.

I pray you start this new year knowing how very much God loves you! (John 3:16)

May the God of the universe shine His good favor on you this year and may the joy of the Lord be your strength in 2014!

Quick Christmas Tour Before Putting Away the Decorations

Well, as much as I hate to put all the Christmas pretties away, it's time for me to start un-decking the halls. Before I do, I thought I'd give you a quick tour of some of the decorations from this year.
As you enter through the front door, you are welcomed by an army of Snowmen.
A small white metal bucket on the entry wall to the dining room/blogging central holds some festive greenery and frosted holly berries.

Looking into the living room, you'll catch a glimpse of our mantel all decked out in red and white. I'm still loving the poinsettias' vibrant color.
The piano is being guarded by our trio of nutcrackers.

Even the powder room got a Christmas makeover.

For an everyday, festive look in the kitchen, I took a red footed bowl from my grandmother and placed a few oranges and boxwood sprigs in it. This was then layered on a plaid-trimmed burlap placemat...simple.
A red pitcher with white alstroemeria flowers greets me when I'm doing dishes at the kitchen sink.
Finally...the tree. I decided to put our Christmas tree in the family room upstairs. We spend a lot of time up there, and I wanted to be able to enjoy it for as long as we could. It's not a big tree and many of the lights are giving me fits, but I love all the memories it represents. It is chock full of ornaments from trips we've taken, the ornaments I get for the kids each year, as well as treasured keepsakes from loved ones.
I would love to keep the tree up all the time, but I know a new year is just around the corner, and I'd like to start it with a clean house. Ideally, I would keep winter decorations up for longer. However, when I am going through the trouble of bringing the boxes back down from the attic, I'd rather just put all the winter decor away.

Wish me luck in getting it all done this weekend! Have you begun putting away your decorations? Do you put it all away at once or in stages?

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

All Things Thursday Blog Hop #25

Merry Christmas, friends! I hope you have had a wonderful day celebrating with those you love most! Welcome to our 25th All Things Thursday Blog Hop! I'm so glad you're here to share with us and see what other's have been working on lately too. I'll try to have features done for next week's party.
Okay, it's time to link up those awesome projects you've been working on! We can't wait to see what you've brought to the party. Don't forget to visit some of the other links. Everyone loves a sweet comment!
All Things Thursday Blog Hop

Merry Christmas

Thanks so much for all your visits and sweet comments throughout this year. You have made this blogging journey a delight for me. I treasure each one of you. My greatest Christmas wish for you is that you know how very much you are loved by God.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

Wishing you days filled with abundant Joy, a heart filled with Peace and New Year filled with Hope! Christmas blessings to you and your family.

Simply Decadent Orange Rolls

Simply Decadent Orange Rolls
Well, I can hardly believe it's Christmas Eve already. Wasn't it just Thanksgiving? I was going to take the day off of posting, but I felt compelled to share these Simply Decadent Orange Rolls with you today. You'll need to run to the store ASAP to get the ingredients for these, because you will want to have these ready for your sweeties when they wake up on Christmas morning. They are that good. I will be making another batch of these, as well as our traditional Monkey Bread.
Simply Decadent Orange Rolls
Simply Decadent Orange Rolls
(adapted from Southern Living's Cooking for Christmas)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 (11 oz.) can refrigerated French bread dough
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar and orange juice on medium speed until smooth. Unroll French bread dough onto a lightly floured surface. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle with granulated sugar (and mini chocolate chips, if desired). Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up the dough. Cut into 11-12 slices. Place slices, cut side down into a lightly greased 8-inch round cake pan. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a nice golden color. Stir together powdered sugar and orange juice. Drizzle glaze over the warm rolls. Serve immediately.
Simply Decadent Orange Rolls
These orange rolls were amazing as is with their creamy orange center and sweet glaze, but we also tried them with some mini chocolate chips. Truly delicious, especially if you love an orange/chocolate combination! I hope your family enjoys these as much as we did! They could be your new Christmas morning tradition! Make some Merry Christmas memories! I better get to the store to purchase food for Christmas! Have a wonderful day!

Need more inspiration for Christmas breakfast? These Cinn-fully Good Mini Cinnis are so easy to make and bring lots of smiles!

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament and Gift Topper

Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament and Gift Topper
Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was a busy one. We were blessed to have my parents come into town for a quick visit. Even though the visit was short, we packed in some pre-Christmas fun. Later, I got to work making some of these Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornaments and Gift Toppers to attach to the presents we shopped for.

My mom, daughter and I did some shopping for the men in our life on Saturday morning (sloshing through the cold rain)...

then we met up with dad and my son for lunch at In and Out Burger. Poor hubby was working hard while we played.
After the rain stopped, Nana and Papa were on the road back home. I started working on wrapping gifts.
My sweet girl has been begging me to put some gifts under the tree, but I've been dragging my heels, partially because I didn't want to hear the whining every day about how much longer they needed to wait to open gifts. Well, she got her wish...most of the gifts are under the tree now.
Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament and Gift Topper
Speaking of wrapping gifts, I put a few of these fun Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament/Gift Toppers on the presents. They were fairly easy to make and add a fun touch of whimsy to the gifts.
Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament and Gift Topper
Here's what you need to make them: 1/2 inch by 12 inch strips of card stock in red and white, glue, skewer, baker's twine or cording.
Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament and Gift Topper
To make these paper spirals, simply take a strip of paper and begin tightly wrapping around a skewer until the paper is completely wound up. Remove from skewer and allow to open up a little. Add a dab of glue to the end, press and hold for a couple of minutes until it is secure. (you could use hot glue for this also). Continue twirling strips of paper until you have 5 white and 4 red spirals.
Paper Strip Candy Cane Ornament and Gift Topper
Glue the spirals together in a candy cane shape and allow to dry completely. Add a small length of cording for a hanger. That's it! I had all of these supplies on hand, so my only expense was a little bit of time. Thanks so much for stopping by today! Are you ready for the big day? I would say 98% of the shopping and wrapping is done over here. However, I have no idea what we are having to eat on the Christmas. Monkey Bread has been requested for breakfast, but I'm not sure what the rest of the day will hold. It's just our small family, should I stick with traditional Christmas fare? What are you having?

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and