Personalized Gift Tags

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It’s that time of the year again- where we gather with bows and tape to wrap up all the goodies we have gotten for the people you love. And I know not everyone is like me in the sense that I LOVE personalizing my gift. And that doesn’t limit me to the gift tags.

I love always adding an ornament onto my presents because I feel like it adds a little extra something special to the gift that the recipient is receiving.

However; this year I decided to do a little extra do it yourself project. Last year I bought for my presents little letters and then hand painted them white and gold. And then hot glued the letter onto the present themselves.

This year- I found some little wood plaques in the aquarium section of my local JoAnn’s for a different project I did for a Christmas project. I ended up only using 2 out of the pack so I had tons of little ones left. So I wracked my brain on how I could use these.

I started placing them together- and ta da I saw a snowman! So I used my handy dandy glue gun and glued the little head onto their body. I had some left over to create a full snowman or even if its a smaller snowman it’s still cute! Next all I did was take a black marker and created the buttons, smile, and eyes. And then took an orange marker to create their carrot nose. And finally I took a blue marker to write out the names of my loved ones who were going to receive these little guys. If this wasn’t an last minute idea I would have created a little top hat or little hands the possibilities are ENDLESS!

To finish them up I hot glued a little peace of ribbon so that they could use them as ornament or whatever they choose.

Let’s say you didn’t get these little wood plaques. You can still create home made gift tags. It’s easy- go to google and just type in any shape you would like. I’ve done mittens, Christmas tree, or a gingerbread man. And print it off and use it as a trace onto any paper you would like. And it adds a little extra love into the present- well that’s what I say anyway! Ha!

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Cup of Comfort and Joy

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Okay confession time- I have a problem with collecting Christmas mugs. Maybe because I love a good cup of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or hot apple cider. One of my favorite things about this time of year is that people actually come over! And maybe because I have an old soul. I love good conversations with a good cup of joy! Ha!

I started this collection while I was in college with a couple friends who would come over and every year after that I would add more to my collection. Each one different each one holds different memories- once again I’m a very sentimental person so I tend to put emotions onto things that I probably shouldn’t but I can’t help it!

There are so many different types of mugs and cups out there that you should find one that makes you feel all the warm and cozy feelings.

Now- the hard part what ones are my favorite you ask? Because of how sentimental I am I tend to always go to the cupboard for a specific cup and purpose.And for me I love my Walmart Santa one especially for hot chocolate, I love the It’s A Wonderful Life tea cups I found in a thrift store for $1.00 for all four and I love everything in between about them.

I’m going back to the time where- if you come over to my house you will always know the coffee can be made in minutes, hot chocolate can be served, and the tea pot can be had.

I have so many memories of my friends and family gathering around the kitchen table or the couches with a drink in their hands.

What about you? Do you collect something at Christmas time such as mugs or ornaments? Are you a sentimental person?

Giving Tuesday

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“Come back to the heart of Christmas. Live when you can. Cherish a moment. The ones that you love make sure they know it and don’t miss it- the heart of Christmas”

We are already a week till Christmas my question is- when did that happen? I always ask myself where did December go? Especially this year- it seems like the months have gone by quicker this year.

I don’t know if you were aware but throughout the month of December a trend as been going on- #givingtuesday. Since we are in the season of giving it makes sense to teach the value of giving not just by a store bought present but remembering that Christmas doesn’t look like that for everyone.

This movement of giving Tuesday has stuck with me recently. And I think it’s a practice that should go throughout the year. Putting other people’s need before your own. Many different organizations are jumping onto this as well.

With it being the last Tuesday before Christmas and having only one more Tuesday this month lets get creative and see what we can do to bring a little bit of holly and cheer to people who might not have what we have.

If that is- wearing an ugly sweater and posting it onto Instagram tagging @Kmart and @StJude in the post Kmart will be donating $1 up to $50,000 dollars to the ongoing research at St Jude.

To donating couple spare dollars in front of your local store to the Salvation Army. To volunteering at a soup kitchen or a food drive. Donating coats and mittens to a homeless shelter. The possibilities are endless!

There are so many amazing organizations out there- that relays completely on the supporters. Doing good isn’t just a requirement during this season so Santa can be watching- it should be a daily change because problems don’t just go away after Christmas.

Be the kind of good- you want to see in future tomorrows.

How will you give back to your community- your world?

My Christmas Favorites

Something about this season makes my heart leap for joy. From November all the way until after December. Something about the world seems like it just stops. The hustle of getting ahead everyone going 101 miles per hour. Everything goes to a stand still. I can finally breathe. All I want to do is stay at home, watching holiday movies, with a cup of cider or hot chocolate, having good conversations with family and friends, crafting, wrapping presents, wearing sweaters, rocking beanies, dark colors, slippers,… and the list can continue.

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The Nutcracker

Tea Cups

Sugar Cookie Candle

Marshmallow Fireside Candle

Santa Rocking Horse Heart Box

Christmas Vintage Magazine

Charles Dickens Christmas Carol

Miracle on 34th Street

The Grinch

Santa Slippers

Blanket

Bell Ornament

Candy Canes

  I don’t know what it is about certain things about this season. That makes me want to quiet my job and just savor the season. But certain items just complete the package for me. And these things do that for me.

What about you?

Is there anything that makes your holidays for you?

 

The Decorations Were Hung With Care

If you know me you know I tend to have the tendency to get taken away with the magic of Christmas. And I think a lot of that has to do with the atmosphere around me. I love Christmas decorations. The lights, the garland, the Christmas tree, the red, green, and gold…  I find myself more of a traditional Christmas decorator. I love the vintage, rustic, and I guess you can say old school way to decorate. I don’t know if it is because I am sentimental person- but something about opening up the Christmas crates and seeing all the Christmas decorations from years past revel to me Christmas pasts and the people I hold dear. Especially since during this time more people come from near and far.

Here’s a little snapshot on how I decorated my house this year.

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Are you a traditional decorator or do you have a theme every year?

How To Clean Pine Cones

I don’t know if it was just my upbringing or everyone in the Midwest. But I remember while my my family and I were out camping in the summer months. My mom would tell my brother and I to go pick up as many pine cones as we could! I ended up turning it into a game! Maybe just for myself- I don’t know if my brother ever participated in my crazy schemes for finding the MOST perfect pine cone. And I remember my mom would decorate the house for Christmas with our prize wining pine cones we had found earlier in the year.

Now that I’m an adult myself- I still can’t help but look down when I’m out in the mountains during the warmer months.

Pine cones are a great filler for decorations! You can do anything you want! Make a garland, stick in garland on your mantle, put in a bowl, or you can go down a completely different route! You can- use them for crafts! The possibilities are endless!

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IMG_7835Any craft sell some amazing smelling pine cones this time of the year. But why spend the money when you can make them yourself? And more times than not- the pine cones you find while have fun out in the woods or park are better than the ones you buy!

However; that being the case- these little guys are of nature they are homes of little bugs and etc. You don’t want to spend all this time on a craft and then have little colonies of bugs ruining your Christmas decorations. Or your crafts not holding their glitter or paint because of the little bugs eating away.
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To clean them is super easy! All you need is a third of white distilled vinegar and water in a bowl. Then place your pine cones in the bowl. Once they are saturated run your hands over them to get the rest of the dirt off them. Leave them in the vinegar bath for 45 minutes you will now they are ready when all the pine cones are closed instead of open.

Helpful hint- if you might get sap on your hands. Soap doesn’t always get sap off. The best solution? Use cooking oil as soap and ta da- good bye sap!

Once your pine cones are free from dirt and little insects place on paper towels to dry rotating them every hour to make sure every side is dry. I left mine out for a day and by the next day they were completely dried.

I know waiting for them to dry can be hard- if you want to decorate or craft that day you can put them on a single baking sheet lined with aluminium foil and put them in the oven at 150 degrees for a half hour- but if you want to take that route you have really pay attention to them or else it can be flammable! The best approach? Just be patient and leave them out to dry.

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Once they are dried and clean they are free to be used for whatever you want to use them for weather for a craft or leave them all natural for a more realistic look to them.

Finally- if you pick up anything else on the ground outside such as sticks or conkers do the same thing not just pine cones. And save yourself a little extra cash this Holiday season!

 

Drying Oranges

I have always seen the traditional dried oranges with pine cones and twine- very rustic and traditional smell and look for the holidays.  And I’ve always appreciated it from afar and always saying- I AM going to do it this year. And while every year it tends to go on the back burner.

However; this year I decide enough was enough I was going to buy oranges and dry them. Now that I’m familiar with how to do it and confident on not burning down my apartment- I can see now that this is going to become a holiday tradition of mine!

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And it’s rather simple to make! I just sliced up some oranges into thin slice, then place them onto some paper towels. And then take some more paper towels and sandwich the oranges and very carefully press your hand over the oranges to get out as much juice as possible.

After that- gentle press more paper towel onto the orange to get out as much juice as possible.

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After pre-drying them with paper towels I laid down parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Make sure you set your oven for the lowest setting. You don’t want to create weird orange chips.

I will tell you though it does take a bit for the oranges to be completely dried. I stupidly did this around 7pm and I had to end up drying them throughout two days. So heads up- this will take a couple hours to completely dry.

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Once dried they are ready to be used for anything you would like! I have seen- garland, potpourri with cinnamon sticks and pine cones, garland for a tree, and mantle pieces. Get creative! The smell of your kitchen after you are done is amazing! That’s for sure.

I would love to hear- what would you do with dried oranges?