2016 total: $2706.45


The Simplest of Trees

If you've been around these parts for a few minutes, you already know that I have a little bitty problem with Christmas trees. Except, it's not really a problem because there are no problems to be found when you can wander from room-to-room in your house looking at sparkly lights. There is a tree in nearly every window, plus a few extras.

Like this one.


There's something about this simple tree that grabs everyone's attention. I sit and stare at it all the time, so I'm not judging anybody else who is intrigued. I've been asked how it was made enough times to give in and reveal how very difficult the whole thing is.

Which, uh, it's a 3-minute project.

Step one: Find dewdrop/fairy lights. I bought mine at Target (they are these ones), but they can be found lots of places. Amazon, even. The dewdrop/fairy lights are made with wire. They weigh practically nothing and can be shaped really easily.

Step two: Stab the wall with pins.


I used straight pins to hang the lights. I frankly don't care about holes in the wall, particularly small ones that will fill if I just put up a coat of paint. Straight pins were handy when I initially made the tree, so that's what I have stuck with. Heh. Stuck. Pin.


These hooks would also work. I have used those exact hooks all over the place for Christmas decorations and bunches of other things. My only beef with them is that they don't always come off the wall cleanly.


There is a pin at each one of the outside points. They basically form a triangle, but then the lights weave between them in a zig-zag.

And that's it. The lights have a plug at one end (you can see the cord running to the bottom left of the first photo) and just abruptly end at the other. That abrupt ending works well for this because you don't have to try to hide a plug or anything. I started at the bottom and worked my way up.

Now go forth and make more trees. Just make sure you share the photo with me somewhere because sparkly lights are the best.


Christmas Crazy 2016. Let's Go!



I didn't forget. I wasn't trying to avoid it. I just ... well ... I'm not really sure what happened to fall. Did we have a fall? I think we went straight from summer to winter and YOU GUYS, IT'S CHRISTMAS CRAZY TIME!

Okay, so maybe it's a few minutes past Christmas Crazy time, but that's not the point. The point is there are a whole lot of kids who depend on the services provided by Center for Victims. That means there are a whole lot of kids who have walked alongside violence in ways that we all wish they hadn't. They are kids who have seen and felt things that nobody should have to see or feel, but most especially a kid.

We can't change what has already happened, but we can make tomorrow better. It's time that we directly improve the lives of some kids and help to make sure that at least a little bit of their Chrismas is brighter.

We're starting with a little help from Bonnie.


Bonnie decided to spread a little sunshine by asking loved ones to give things to Christmas Crazy instead of her for her birthday. Because Bonnie rules. And because Bonnie is sunshine.

It's your turn. Create a little sunshine however you see fit. You can toss some cash in using the image below, or you can shop from the Christmas Crazy Wish List. I'll be adding to the Wish List as time permits. Either way, everything goes to making Christmas a little brighter for some kids who could really use a little sunshine.

Thanks for your help, y'all. This really is my favorite thing we do every year.



(In case you're wondering, we're not done with that little project to update the outdoor space at Center for Victims. Everything has taken longer than I would have liked, which means we missed our goal. We'll be back in the spring, and I'll keep working on getting us help between now and then. We WILL get it done. But, for now, I've hit the pause button on the project.)


Stop. Cookie Time.

This holiday season has been the hardest to embrace, and not just because it was 70 degrees on Friday. There's a whole lot of things that aren't right these days, but time keeps marching forward.

Christmas is coming.


That means I super need to find a little bit of focus and get some cookies made. I normally have several dozen sitting in the freezer by now. It's time to get caught up.

In the interest of getting caught up, here's five cookies that I bake every Christmas. They happen to be five that hold really well in the freezer, so they're ideal for knocking out a few things early.

Seven Layer Bars (aka Magic Cookies aka the only things I've made so far)


Dreamy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


Turtle Tassies


White Chocolate M&M Cookies


Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies