Mesmerized by the Beauty of Ugliness

Yesterday, we attended a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. In preparation for the party, I took it old school. I was determined to make our Christmas sweaters sweatshirts this year. While trying to figure out what we would wear, I remembered back in the day…way, way, way back in the day…working on making a sweatshirt for the holiday season with my mom. (My Nana also made these sweatshirts, and boy, were they amazing.) So I took it there.

I raided Mom’s old craft cabinet for some of her old iron-on appliques and hit Wal-Mart to purchase some iron-on backing and plain white sweatshirts. I went to AC Moore to clean them out of their red, green, gold and silver puff paint. AND I ordered myself a cat themed applique from eBay.

After figuring out what kind of “design” I was going to be working with on each of our sweatshirts, I set to work. I ironed the sticky backing onto each piece, painstakingly cut each piece out, ironed them to the sweatshirts, outlined them with puff paint and slowly brushed the paint onto the detail of each aspect of the sweatshirts. The finished product was amazing…I’m a little biased, but you can judge for yourself…photos not great…but you get the idea.



To finish off our looks, I wore cropped black leggings with lace trim on the bottom, a holly berry turtleneck, a red plaid headband, Christmas tree earrings, some black flats and red socks with kittens coming out of boxes. TH wore some plaid pants from his college days (way to go, Bub :)). Pictures, again, not great, but, again, you get the idea.

Hair was crimped for full effect.

The flash really illustrated just how much "sparkle" Bubba was rocking for this party. Those pants are from his college days!

Also, as the party was a bit of a pot luck, I made fudge to take as our contribution. I made two different kinds. You all know that I’m working hard to make it through this holiday season without putting on 100 pounds…so I thought I would check out one of my favorite healthy eating magazines Eating Well. They offered me this recipe: Cocoa Fudge. As you can see, it calls for sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, skim milk, butter, canola oil and vanilla extract and the nutrition facts say that if the lot was cut into 36 pieces each piece would have about 83 calories…sweet! Literally. But, since we don’t have sugar at our house (we use Sucra), I did one better and mine only had 16 calories…HOLY COW! But, after tasting it, I was a little concerned it wouldn’t taste good once it was finished. So I made another version: The Never Fail Fudge (which is the fudge I’m more used to) that is made up of evaporated milk, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, sugar (I used Sucra again), butter and, of course, marshmallow fluff and vanilla. This fudge looked more like what I expected it to (and tasted better too), but it has (following the same theory that the block would be cut into 36 pieces) 93 calories. Still not terrible.

Anyway, the fudge never got to be a hit. The “skinny” version never solidified and was still in the freezer up until about three minutes ago.It promptly went into the trash when I saw it…looks delicious, huh?


At any rate, this was a tangible reminder that the dessert I make for Family Christmas should not be skinny. It’s Christmas, right? Calories don’t count…are you listening Santa?! That’s my wish. So I’m making my Pistachio Cake (the one I made K for her big 30th birthday). It will be festive and delicious.

The “not so skinny” version wasn’t ready to cut when I was ready to leave, even though I did try to put it on the cutting board. It came out of the pan, but promptly attached itself to the cutting board so I threw the whole thing back into the freezer and we just took wine. This morning though the “not so skinny” fudge was finished. It’s pretty good…not quite like my mom’s (hint, hint mom…send that recipe over any time), but still good… a little marshmallow-y, but tasty nonetheless.

Not little turds, but chocolaty marshmallow-y tastiness.

Though these are good, they’re so ugly…I’ll just have to eat them all myself because I’m embarrassed to take them to work (even though I’m broadcasting my double fail to the entire Interwebs and my millions of readers/followers :)).

Moral of the story, I’m crafty (see sweatshirts above) and I CAN cook, but they can’t all be winners…my W/L record with baking is not great, but as TH and I discussed today, my actual food/cooking record isn’t bad and I’m cool with that.

Here are a couple of photos from the party:

This is our "Christmas Card" photo taken by the host of the party in the "photo booth"

This is me and Leet. We were going for a creepy, overly protective/involved big sister and little sister photo. I think we nailed it!

I took my camera, but got so caught up in visiting with friends that I didn’t take any. The host took a few more, so if he posts those to FB I’ll share them as they come. Merry Christmas, ya’ll!


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Filed under Date Nights, Family, Friends

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