Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Christmas Sunday - red beret style


We are having a great time celebrating Christmas this year. Eleven more days left!

On Sunday we dressed this little lady up in the cutest Christmas outfit ever complete with red cape peacoat and red beret.

We're pretty convinced she's the cutest. :-)

Pomegranate Tea


I found a use for pomegranates that I absolutely love. 

Pomegranate Tea (!) 
from Martha Stewart Living's Annual Recipes 2003

1 large pomegranate's seeds, mostly pulled away from the rind
4 cups cold water
a few tablespoons of honey
a few mint sprigs (optional)

Place pomegranate seeds in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat (add mint here if desired), and simmer until very fragrant and colorful, about 15 minutes. Stir in honey; strain tea and serve hot. 

Yum! Isn't it gorgeous? It's just as yummy to drink!

This one also looks amazing... 

Spiced Pomegranate Punch
Serves six; makes about 4 cups
taken from

5 pomegranates
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger
1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus strips of orange zest for garnish

Cut pomegranates in half. Extract juice from seeds with a citrus juicer or reamer. Strain into a medium saucepan. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups juice.) Add cider, 2 cups water, cinnamon stick, and ginger. Cook over high heat until simmering, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat; gently simmer 15 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon and ginger. Stir in orange juice. Serve warm, garnished with orange zest.

Christmas Cookies (*with a 2 yr old* Ahem.)


We are making Christmas cookies for a few families (us included!) as gifts this year. I know the holidays normally bring lots of food and sweets anyway, but this seemed the most feasible gift this year - sometimes I'm just not sure people need more stuff.

Anyway, I let Ladybug help me. On bath night, we whipped out the flour and the cookie dough and went to town.

I expected a mess.

What I didn't expect was a crazy fast two year old screaming here and there about "COOKIE" and "EAT EAT EAT!" the whole time. Little fingers indenting stars and gingerbread men, little hands pressing as many cookie cutters as possible into the dough fast as lightning (seriously, you should've been there), and flour eating. (YUM?)

It was crazy. But regardless, we got 'er done and I was in a laughing (not yelling or crying) mood to go along with it.

Think this little girl needs a little apron? Good thing there's one under the tree (post on that later).

Cookies complete.

I have lots of good memories making/baking Christmas goodies with my mom and it's something I'm hoping to pass on to Ladybug. I love Christmas baking and want to share that.

...and next year will probably be more enjoyable with a 3 year old who has a bit more self-control.

I'll post a few recipes this week as I take pictures. :-) What are your holiday baking plans? Recipes? Do share!!

...and the rest of the holiday decor (plus a DIY Advent calendar!)


Hi friends! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Yay! (Now we just need some weather to go with it. We're staying home this year, so why not!?)

Here are a few holiday spots around our home this year...

... a front door wreath (that hangs on the inside because it won't fit between our screen door!)

... handmade stockings all hung on the bannister with care...

... and a gift from a few years ago that I love! I want it to be a coffee table/ottoman setting, but not with curious little fingers this year.

A festive tablescape complete with birthday flowers and pomegranates. Have any good pomegranate recipes? I got them for a great price!

I've officially completed the crafting part of the season (not that creativity is over - I still have lots of baking to do!) so our house can be merry and bright. I wanted to create a budget-friendly Advent calendar to use in years to come - and after several days of deliberating, here's what I came up with.

I used a second-hand red tablecloth for the background - I actually made a casing for some stabilizer and then top stitched around it.

Then I looped over the top for a dowel (or an unused spring-loaded curtain rod in our case) for stability at the top. A piece of yarn is holding it on the nail.

I really didn't want to spend the time to cut, iron and sew all of the corners of 25 squares for pockets, so I took the easy way out and used sheets of felt. I cut out a pattern piece and then followed it. I ran out of cream for all 25, so I used white and made an "X" pattern in the squares. Can you tell?

My biggest question was how to get the numbers on the calendar. Lots of ideas ran through my head, but I wanted it to be done as simply (and cost effective!) as possible.

I actually wanted to only use things I had, but my number drawing skills are lacking. So I went to the hobby store and grabbed a little stencil for about $2. Using black acrylic paint, I stippled the numbers right to the felt. Perfect.

You can see they are filled with candy this year - "num nums" is something my sweet girl can understand and be excited about! In years to come I hope to more effectively tell The Story through the calendar, but right now, I'm okay with this approach.

My calendar isn't perfect, but I really like it (although I may re-do the yellow star - it looks a little wonky, eh?) and I'm looking forward to counting down to the Christmas season with my family in years to come. And not bad for $2, huh?

shabby chic tree


okay, okay, so I totally went predictably shabby chic this year with the Christmas tree. excuse my giddy nerdiness.

my little helper has been taking ornaments on and off the tree since we put them on. mostly, that's okay. 

I used white twinkle lights, burlap garland (upcycled from old cocoa bean sacks) that didn't sell at the Market, and pearl garland I got from a friend. 

We put the sentimental ornaments toward the top and toward the bottom all of the non-breakables again this year. 

We're going to make some glittery book ornaments, but it just hasn't happened yet. So for now...

We're enjoying the chic Christmas glow and hoping for snow.

our Christmas tree adventure


since we're staying home for Christmas and celebrating as a little family, I decided that our small tree wasn't going to cut it. i wanted a fresh one!

this weekend, we discovered that this year wasn't the best year to hunt for a fresh tree. with the drought conditions for so many months, lots of the trees are yellow and really unhealthy looking. not like the evergreens you think of! it seemed like the tree farm was trying to sell the bad ones and every good one we came across wasn't for sale. Grr.

finally, after tromping through the trees for a good 45 minutes or more, we settled on one that fit us and our budget.


our tree all decorated up to come soon!

Christmas gifts *handmade*


Several gifts were given over Thanksgiving weekend ... one day was Thanksgiving and the next, Christmas! :-)

I made a vignette for my sister and BIL's kitchen.

A distressed walnut hanger.

Chalkboard in barnwood frame (yikes! I didn't notice all of the fingerprints)...

And my first painting! A large (24"x36") abstract painting reminiscent of the seasons - spring to summer to fall to winter. Also parallels of life and its seasons. 

I painted a "Gone Fishin'" sign for my dad - distressed walnut with a green casual font - for those many more fishing trips he's going to take. :-)

Finally, I changed up my mom's kitchen vignette to reflect more of a wintry scape. 

A recycled antique book wreath and maple twigs.

Such fun. Can you see the influence the Market had on my gifts this year?