Tag: Christmas

Christmas Traditions


It’s always fun to have little family traditions to help make the holidays seem jolly. It’s something people can count on and look forward to. My best friend shared with me one of her family traditions. She said that each year she asked her children to pick out their own wrapping paper. All their gifts will be wrapped in the paper they picked out. She keeps extra paper and puts it on an ornament so that each year there is a captured memory to be placed on their tree. I think this is such a lovely idea and am going to start making this a tradition in my house.

Another yearly tradition that I enjoy happens at my church. Every year for our Christmas service the congregation sings “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” They have all the men, young and old, come up to the front of the church and they sing this song to the women. It sounds simple, but it’s so sweet. Of course my husband makes a beeline for the back of the crowd so no one can see him.

If anyone reading this has a favorite Christmas tradition, please feel free to comment on yours. So I can possibly copy some other lovely traditions!

Ornament Decorating Party


There are so many party ideas that you can throw during the holiday season. I don’t want to gain 3 million pounds by having tons of baking parties so I thought it would be fun to do a craft. There was food there, and not super healthy, but delicious. And I was more focused on decorating than eating. One of my best friends invited some of her co-workers and our former co-workers over. We had a group of 7 adults and we also had a white elephant gift exchange.

For holiday get-togethers you don’t need a heavy spread. We just served light appetizers. We had cookies, baby cupcakes, spinach artichoke dip, homemade bread, cheese, carrots and celery. For the ornaments I got my supplies at Hobby Lobby. I bought clear ornaments. Then I got glitter, sequins, spray glue, glue pens, some holiday themed cut-outs, puff paint, and random decorations that could be put into the ornaments.

Pinterest ideas can be extremely misleading. Putting glitter inside the ornaments was more difficult than it should have been. We put the spray glue inside the ornaments and swirled it around, then put glitter inside and shook that around until it coated the entire ornament. Not easy. This took a long time and several layers to get the glitter to look the way I wanted it too. Sticking sequins on the outside of the ornaments just became this big ‘ol mess. Plus, I am not artistic enough for that. It did not look good. If you are artistic and have a steady hand go right along and decorate those ornaments. My vision in my head for decorations did not go past my head.

The process wasn’t clean. How I wanted to decorate them didn’t turn out. But I had fun. It appeared that everyone else was having a good time as well. There was lots of laughter and good company. Plus, everyone got to take home their ornaments. So you get an activity and party favor all in one! I’m happy with the 4 I did make. I’d call the party a success. You can also do this with little ones, but I used glass ornaments so I needed to assist and supervise my 2 year old. But she was pleased with herself for helping.

Gift Guide Day #5

Gift GuideHolidays

I have been fortunate to grow up in a family that traveled. While I’ve barely been overseas, I have been to all 50 states. My mom and dad have as well. My sister is still missing 2 states. Since my husband and I started dating we have been to 16 states together. My husband and my father are extremely difficult to shop for. Every year for my dad (for Christmas, Birthdays, and Father’s Day) we get him a gift card to Barnes and Nobel or REI. It is SOOO boring. And I’m usually at a loss for my hubby. Last year I thought it would be fun to get them gifts that had meaning. So I got my husband a scratch map of the US and scratched the states we have been to together. I bought a frame from Michaels and that was the gift.

(PC: Uncommon Goods – $28.95)

The picture above is from Uncommon Goods where I purchased the map. I quite enjoyed scratching the states that we’ve been to together. It took me a lot longer than I care to admit. Also, not quite as fun as scratch tickets when you win, so there’s that.

(PC: Uncommon Goods – $28.95)

(PC: Uncommon Goods – $35.95)

I bought the bottom world map for my dad. It’s the deluxe map. Not sure what the differences are between both world maps. My dad travels internationally frequently for work. He has been to every continent with the exception of Antarctica. I thought it would be fun to scratch off all the places he has been and so he could have a visual of where he has traveled. I am grateful he hasn’t been to Russia yet. When or if he ever goes he can scratch that himself. That did take me a very long time. I put it in a nice frame and my parents put it in their office. I think it was a hit. Don’t worry, I also got him the same old boring Barnes and Nobel gift card. I love books, but the same gift for every holiday for the past 20-25 years gets old.

Gifts don’t always need to be pricey to be a great gift. The gifts that have meaning are the ones that are treasured. For me, it was fun seeing all the places my dad has been and learned that he has been more places than I realized. It’s also fun to see the places my husband and I have been to together. I am thinking about getting a second USA map to mark all the places my husband, daughter and I have been together.

Gift Guide Day #2

Gift GuideHolidays

I stock up on things that I think could be used for gifts throughout the year. Some of my favorite places to shop from are Zulily and Target. Both have fantastic sales, so that makes stocking up easy and doesn’t break the bank.

Adult coloring books are popular right now. I got several on Zulily and Amazon. There were some on Zulily that were fancier and for calming or relaxation and ranged between $7-$10 per book. I got several on Amazon for $4-$6 per book. For the Amazon price I bought about 15 books that I can give throughout the year when I need a quick, but cute gift. I got the markers and colored pencils from Hobby Lobby and were around $4 a piece. I have also stocked up on colored pencils from Target and Michaels. You can add soaps or lotions to the gift if you think it’s too simple. So far, the friends that I’ve given the coloring books to seem to love them.

Just grab some tissue paper and a cute gift bag and you’re all set. I am not a gifted present wrapper, so gift bags are easy and difficult to mess up. You could even wrap the Coloring books and then take the colored pencils out of the box and tie them on top with a pretty bow.

Ways to get into the Winter Spirit


It almost hit 70 degrees here today. Not very wintery if you ask me. While it is nice to have such gorgeous weather; it doesn’t help to get me into the Christmas spirit. No matter where you live there are some fun ways to get into the Winter/Christmas Spirit.

(PC: The Berry)

One of my favorite ways to get excited for the holidays is to watch my favorite Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music. So blast the Christmas tunes while getting ready for work or while doing chores. If you have a minute to yourself, put on Christmas Vacation, Elf, or White Christmas! Cover yourself with a fluffy blanket, sip some hot chocolate, and turn on the fireplace.

(PC: Love This Pic)

Since the days are shorter, pack the kiddos in the car, once again grab some hot chocolate or apple cider, listen to Christmas music or sing carols and drive around neighborhoods admiring all the pretty lights.

This time of year can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. It supposed to be about family, the birth of Jesus and appreciating what we already have. Instead of stressing about making a bazillion cookies for the entire neighborhood do something that brings a smile to your face. It doesn’t have to cost a thing.

Speaking of appreciating what we already have, I will be posting gift ideas for the next several days. Yes we should appreciate what we already have, and I do. I love giving gifts, so does my mom and we are going to share some of our gift ideas with you!

Beautiful Christmas Decorations


My mom should have a decorating book or magazine. Since she doesn’t I get to share her impeccably gorgeous and festive house. As I’ve said and will always say, she is so stylish and creative. This is where I get my mom inspiration from.

You can add little touches of Christmas cheer by placing Santa’s or Christmas trees on side tables, chests, on top of a chair that is mainly there for decoration or on a coffee table. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but adding a few holiday specific decorations throughout your house can pull everything together.

Try and group your decorations in odd numbers. Odd number groupings appear to look more appealing. When things are in odd numbers it ends up looking more professional.

If you have a specific theme you want to follow for your decorations, tend to keep similar things together. Christmas trees should be grouped with other Christmas trees. The Santa’s should be grouped with the Santa’s, etc. Do this if you have a collection. If you just have a few Santa items, than you can mix them up with other decorations.

As seen in the above photo, there is a table that is designated for Christmas tree decorations. In the butlers pantry there is a mixture of Christmas trees, a santa, and pinecones and holly.

Above the fireplace the Byers Carolers are displayed. This room looks like it could be in a magazine, or on the cover of one. It’s also good to have special collectables up high, especially if you have little children or little grandchildren.

You can get a few large Santa’s or trees and place them around the house. Or you can also get miniature pre-lit Christmas trees and place them around the house on side tables for a quick and easy way to decorate.

Another quick and simple way to decorate for the holidays, while still making your house look regal is placing ornaments into a glass bowl. You can place these all over the house or on the middle of coffee tables for a little pop of color. If you have space in your kitchen for a small tree you can put all kitchen related ornaments on the tree. My mom’s tree in the kitchen has colander ornaments, little gingerbread men, and Starbuck cups; which is a cute way to tie in your kitchen and Christmas.

There is no right or wrong way to decorate your house for the holidays. You can decorate in themes, have an eclectic variety of decorations, or very minimalistic. Your house should make you feel welcomed and at home. I like to decorate most of my house simply because it reminds me of my childhood. Decorating should be fun and not feel stressful or overwhelming; if it does then you probably need to simplify. Or pay someone to do it for you! Happy Holidays!

Treat Tuesday – Easy Apple Pie


I don’t make my own pie crust. Because who has time for that? Especially during the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving week through New Years. If I’m going to make something from scratch, it wont be a pie crust.

Since I’m vegetarian I buy the Marie Callender brand frozen pie crusts, which come in a set of 2. These crusts don’t have lard in them. Either get this brand, any brand you prefer or make your own if you’re fancy like that.


* 2 Pie Crusts

* 6-7 Medium Apples – I used Gala (peeled, cored and sliced)

* 1/4 Cup Sugar

* 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

* 2 Tablespoons Flour

* 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

* 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Peel

* 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

* 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle the apple mixture into the pie crust. Either top completely with the second pie crust cutting slashes or designs  in top crust. I used little cookie cut outs that make Turkey and Apple details making a design on top of the pie.

Bake 40-50 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees until the crust is golden. Enjoy!

Christmas Decoration Tips


If you haven’t started decorating for Christmas, you’d better get on it! It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. Pull out the trees, Santa Clause’s, twinkly lights and anything else that screams Christmas to you! It’s time to get festive!

My mom always had Christmas decorations all over our house when I was a child. I remember specific ornaments that I would love to look at on the tree. Now that I’m a mom, I hope that the decorations at my house will make my little one get excited for the holidays. Hopefully it will feel a little bit magical to her.

I put up my snowmen, angel and Santa Woof’n’poofs on the back of my couch and in my window sills. I have a few trinkets that get placed around the house so nothing feels to empty. Adding little cheerful winter/Christmas decorations can make your home feel inviting and festive. The fireplace mantle is a good place to decorate, giving the room a pop of color.

You can have themed Christmas tree decorations. I put up an assortment of decorations. The bottom has unbreakable ornaments, because I have a toddler who has grabby hands, but I still wanted my tree to look complete. I think having wrapped presents under the tree helps it to look finished. I can’t have presents, once again, because of tiny and curious hands.

Get a couple or a few Christmasy or Wintery pillows, swapping them out with your everyday or accent pillows. Get some holiday table runners and place them on your tables and accent tables to bring all the decorations together. Little figurines can be placed on coffee tables, end tables, in the windows, or hanging off your door knobs. You can place colored ornaments or glittery pinecones in a glass bowl or jar and place it on the middle of a table. Sometimes just a simple centerpiece can feel elegant. You just need a few special holiday pieces to make your house Christmas ready.

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