DIY, Holidays

Holiday Quick Craft

The completed half

My grandmother used to have a mistletoe up every Christmas.  I always thought it was kinda weird. I would take alternate routes through the living room just to make sure I was never caught under the thing. Just.in case. I’m not into PDAs much but I had a cute idea for some holiday photos and I thought this sweet little craft would be super fun for a hubby and me photo. Got a keep on his sweet side if I want him to take a picture with me 😉

Materials:

1 Styrofoam ball (4″?)

4 dollar store red rose bunches

1 hanging wire- mine was a leftover bit from an artificial tree

Hot glue

Directions:

Pluck your rose blooms off and hot glue each to the Styrofoam ball

Push hanging wire in and secure with hot glue

Place over your sweetheart

(Last step optional)

DIY, Food, Holidays

Measure Once, Cut Forever

Here is a quick glimpse into the pretty much regular happenings of my life.  Illustrated for you in caramel.  This is what happens when I find a new recipe (or anything) that I HAVE to try.  I search, I find the instructions, I read them 2x, I get proper equipment…and then I dive in! Halfway through I usually forget something and frantically try to ad lib. Apparently if you are making caramel sauce and forget to add water at the end you end up with plain caramel candies.  Not a bad deal really.  Not if you have a proper way to package it and haven’t already poured it from it’s liquid state into jars….

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Hurriedly scooping the warmed up caramel from the jar

 

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Thank goodness for my BON COOK Roulpat! I was able to cut the caramel so much faster with the Roulpat and knife.
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Don’t let that sticky sweetness fool you – that stuff is as hard as a rock by now!
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My fabulous team of Umpalumpas…er, my family, helped me wrap each and every sweet bite (except what made its way into our mouths)

Moral of the story is- it’s always good to give a new project a trial run before the big show!  So now everyone gets caramels, you’re welcome!

 

DIY, Holidays

Craftpalooza

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These are the bags that contain the goodies to make the crafts that will become the Christmas gifts that Veronica and her kids made.

Today is craftpalooza in which we will foolishly attempt to make every gift for everyone we know in one morning.  Yeah, it’s gonna be fun 🙂 I am addicted to crafting and it is a super fun way to turn inexpensive items into something giftable.  Plus, it’s relaxing…especially if it’s not done in MY kitchen!

Today’s line up includes:

Caramel sauce

Whipped body butter

Homemade hot chocolate

And the packaging to go with said items (minus gift tags and trims)

So yeah, all my family knows what they are getting now.

Happy Holidays!

UPDATE :

This was about 2 ish hours and we will be giving these products a full review before sending them to loved ones;)

Holidays

A New Year

I am happy to report that our humble little Christmas was a success.  The kids looked forward to a daily activity and we did everything from parades to sledding to reading a new book.  The highlight had to be the Santa Train ride.  It was a wonder of antique machinery that was a marvel to the kids.  We got a bonus ride in the caboose when they had to go back and switch trains between rides.  That will be a keepsake memory for sure.

On to the New Year!

Our son was finishing up his last night of the youth meeting as the new year rolled in.  We joined the youth sledding party as a last bit of fun before settling back into school.

That night we had a beautiful time of prayer for our little family.  We gathered together and prayed for one another, ourselves and the coming year.  There was not a dry eye in the room.  We are expecting great things to come .

Welcome to 2016

Holidays

Going giftless this holiday

Hey there!

I have been seeing more of this as late and I’m actually super happy to hear that others are trying it out.  A couple years ago my hubby and I gave zero gifts to each other or our three kids for Christmas.  Ok, I know you must be thinking that I am cold and heartless and I have now robbed my children of a magical memory that will never be replaced….well, maybe you aren’t.

I have been to places where I have seen children begging for something, ANYTHING from you because you are a white American.  I have seen a child’s face light up when they discovered a baby wipe can clean their face without water.  It’s heart breaking and hope building all at the same time.

How do we open our children to this experience without hauling them to a third world country?  How to we teach them compassion for those that have less?  How to we instill a strong work ethic and to earn what they get?  How do we teach them that when they earn and purchase what they want that it is not the thing that makes them happy but the earning?

For these reasons I chose to opt out of gifts.  It was pretty awkward Christmas morning.  I gotta admit most of my family probably didn’t see where I was coming from.  But I learned that my kids were very understanding.  Now when we see an angel tree in the store we talk about each child that will go without.  We look for ways to help the hurting instead of making lists for our newest “wishes”.

This year we are doing small gifts (nothing over $10). The kids are purchasing with their own money.  One gift per person from each person – there are five of us.  It’s perfect. It’s all we need.

We are also being a bit sneaky and playing secret santa to a dear friend who has faced a loss. More to come on that….LATER.

FYI we did take a ski trip in February and Christmas week we went shopping for snow clothes so there was some purchasing involved. Just not on the actual day!

Holidays, Life

ha-ha-holidays

Sooo… people may think I’m a bit of a grinch but that is absolutely not true.  Here’s the deal : I have a very different take on what Christmas means.  I love the lights and fun, the treats the songs and making merry does my heart good. I am just not a buyer.  Partly because my budget won’t allow it and partly because it makes me irritated and ornery to have the calendar dictate when I give gifts.

Let me clarify on the gifting –  I love to give gifts, just not if they are super costly and have little meaning to the receiver.  I enjoy sending handwritten notes throughout the year for no special reason.  I love sending care packages with homemade items when the mood strikes.  I send a text when I think of someone throughout the day.  That’s my kind of giving.

My kids are used to my eccentric ways and do not really question it.  I let them know before the season if it’s a lean year or a “full” year.  Oddly, they have absolutely no qualms either way.

This year they have purchased gifts for each other and I have one gift a piece squirreled away for them. No single present was more than $10.  Instead of gifting as much I do an “activity advent”.  This has been a fun way to count down the days and truly enjoy each other and the season.  For  each day of December they get to pull a slip of paper (with a pre-written activity on it) out of the envelope and we do what is listed.  Most of these I have made easy to do in a busy day like sing a carol by phone to Grandma.  That way it’s very little prep to squeeze an extra event into our already maxed schedule.  Some are a bit more involved like baking cookies for neighbors.  I gathered ideas from several sites online (don’t remember them all but there are TONS)  This is a fun and low cost way to just BE during the holidays and the gift of beautiful memories will live on forever.