Archive for the Christmas Category

Dec 17 2013

Stocking Stuffer Ideas: For Him & Her!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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We love opening our stockings on Christmas morning! It’s the first thing we do. Our stockings were handmade by our grandma Mary and we have had them ever since we were little. Here’s a little throwback picture for you! As you can see we were obsessed with crafting even then (see the craft supplies we are holding up)!

Opening Our Stockings

While we love opening our stockings, thinking of and finding great stocking stuffers is always a challenge for us. Especially for our husbands. We love hearing stocking stuffer ideas from others and thought we’d share some of ours with you!

Stocking Stuffers for Him

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Stocking Stuffers for Her

Some of our favorite places to find unique or inexpensive stocking stuffers are:

  • Target dollar bin of course!!
  • 99 Cent Store & Big Lots: they have good finds for the hubby (and the kiddos)
  • Michael’s dollar bins: great place to find craft supplies
  • TJ Maxx: cute scarves, journals, notepads,  inexpensive craft supplies
  • The Container Store: they have some neat gadgets available for good prices during the holiday season

Do you have some other stocking stuffer ideas for him or her. Please comment and share with us, we are always looking for new ideas!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a festive appetizer and mocktail!

Signature

Dec 12 2013

O Christmas Tree: Brings To Us Such Joy & Glee!

Our Christmas tree is like a scrapbook.  Each ornament tells a story and brings back fond memories and reminds me of Christmas traditions.  It is full of ornaments that my husband and I have collected over the years, from my first ornament when I was one years old, to ones I received as gifts every Christmas Eve, to ornaments I bought in college to decorate my dorm room, those that I inherited from loved ones no longer with us, one to celebrate our first Christmas as a married couple and finally those my husband and I bought together for our first tree.

Our tree is nothing fancy, but I love it!  It is the centerpiece of our living room during the holidays, and it gives off the best lighting that I wish I could have all year long!  Our tree did not change much from last year.  We still don’t have a tree topper, so I just tied a simple bow in a checkered pattern. I added some frayed burlap ribbon to the ends of some branches to fill in the gaps.

O Christmas Tree

 

Ornaments

These cute little girlies were my Grandma Mary’s ornaments.  They are my absolute favorite ornaments.  Marissa and I would take turns hanging them on her tree.  Now Marissa and I hang them on our own trees and they remind me of her each time I see them.  Then I think of the story she would tell of one Christmas when she was a little girl and there was a storm and couldn’t get a Christmas tree so they decorated chairs instead!

Snow Girls

I love to mix vintage ornaments with new ones.  These ornaments were my Grammie and Grandpa’s.  They had a TON of ornaments.  My mom and I were just commenting recently that we’ve just recently started to appreciate the beauty of the vintage ornaments.  Every time I hand them on the tree, I think of them and the memories of Christmas Eve with my grandparents eating Tamales!

Vintage Ornaments

Ever since we were little, every Christmas Eve my dad and mom allowed us to open two presents.  One of those presents was always pajamas and the other was a Christmas Ornament.  Year after year, we added to our collection of ornaments that we would one day take with us to our own homes for our own Christmas trees.  My mom is very deliberate in the ornaments she picks them out for us.  She chooses ones reminded her of us in some way like our favorite T.V. Show (I Love Lucy) toy (Barbie) hobby, sports, etc.

Hallmark Ornaments

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we always go to my husband’s grandma’s house.  It’s like a mini reunion with all the relatives on that side of the family.  It is tradition that after we stuff our faces eat, we paint Christmas ornaments.  Aunt Jeanette started this tradition years back when my husband and all of his cousins were just kids, but we still take part as grown adults and its one of our favorite parts of the day.  Each year we have 2 handmade ornaments that we take home to add to our tree.

Ornament Craft

Over the last couple years I have added to my collection of ornaments.  These are some of my favorites.  I purchased them from Target a while back.  I wish they would bring back this collection…I would like to buy more!  I just love the little bird wrapped in sheet music with a touch of glitter.

Ornaments 2

What stories does your Christmas tree tell?  Do you have similar traditions?

O Christmas Tree 2

I’m linking up with A Thoughtful Place and Honey We’re Home for Holiday Cheer In the Blogosphere.   Be sure to check out all the other Christmas Trees!

Holiday Cheer In The Blogosphere

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature - Alisa

Dec 10 2013

Holiday Craft: JOY Wreath

Happy Tuesday to you all!  As I was decorating for Christmas I needed something to add to the chalkboard to complete my mantel (more like shelf above my couch, but I’ll take it).  I knew exactly what to make….a wreath of course!  You may have seen my JOY wreath before.  I made some to sell at the Bella Boutique that Alisa and I participated in in November.  You can see that post here.

JOY Wreath

 

The great thing about this wreath is that it is fast and easy and can add a lot to your Christmas decorations.  Here’s what you’ll need:

JOY Wreath materials

– Foam wreath

-Burlap ribbon

-glue gun

-lace

-doily

-JOY sign (I got mine at Micheal’s. There were other words as well)

Directions:

Step 1: Wrap the burlap ribbon around the foam wreath.  I fold my ribbon in half as I wrap it around so the foam does not show through.  Hot glue the ribbon to the wreath at the beginning and the end.

JOY Wreath 3

 

Step 2: Wrap the lace around the wreath as you want it and hot glue it.  Do the same with the doily and the JOY sign.  After I hung my wreath I added some crepe paper that I ruffled with my sewing machine.

Christmas mantel

That’s it!  So easy, right?!

I’m linking up with Hi Sugarplum! and  Michaela Noelle Designs for Holiday Cheer in the Blogoshpere.  Go check out the other Holiday craft ideas!

Enjoy your day!

Signature - Marissa

 

 

Dec 9 2013

10 Tips To Simplify The Holidays With Marcia Ramsland

The Holiday season can be a stressful time with shopping, wrapping, events to go to, hosting family, and just trying to keep everyone happy!  This year with a very busy one year old I am trying to simplify the holidays.

Today, Alisa and I invited the talented Marcia Ramsland, The Organizing Pro, to guest post on ways we can all simplify during this busy season.  She is the author of 7 organizing books including “Simplify Your Life” and  “Simplify Your Holiday Season.”  She is an international speaker, author, and media guest who has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Garden, Woman’s Day, and Real Simple magazines.  She is also a spokesperson for Sam’s Club, and has been on Martha Stewart radio.   And she also happens to be my Mother-In-Law!!


 

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We’re so close to Christmas with so much to do and so little time! I believe with good planning every day and a flexible, thankful attitude, we can handle whatever comes our way. Here are 10 Practical Tips to save you time from my book that’s loaded with more ideas of what to do especially on Christmas Day, Simplify Your Holiday Season.

Simplifying your holiday season is about finding ways to save time and simplify the traditional holiday activities for a smooth, easy flow.

1. Brighten your calendar—and your outlook—with holiday stickers or a red pen marking holiday events.

2. Buy gifts in one major category this year—different sweaters for everyone, appropriate CDs or books for mailed gifts, or personalized restaurant gift certificates.

3. Mark your calendar with two-hour appointments for Christmas preparations such as Thursday bake, Friday decorate, Saturday shop and clean.

4. Enlist a holiday buddy to help you plan, especially one who is better in an area you are weak.

5. When you’re doing the family Christmas card, get an assembly line going. After you have addressed the envelopes, line up envelopes to stuff and stamps to lick for your kids.

6. Shop for convenience, online or at one mall to simplify the abundance of choices.

7. Call or e-mail the person that you just can’t find that special gift. Ask her what she would really like to get this year.

8. Stretch your limited social time by attending a Christmas event and getting together with friends for dinner beforehand or dessert afterwards.

9. Purchase a holiday devotional book or holiday novel to curl up with each night to get you through the season, such as Simply December Devotions: 25 Days to Celebrate the Real Meaning of Christmas.

10. Savor one event or daily conversation by jotting it down in a Christmas journal. Title it “The Best Things that Happened to Me This Christmas.”

Every holiday turns out different in some way—someone moves, someone marries, little children grow up, and older relatives have fewer years ahead of them than behind them. Whatever the situation, I’m confident you can simplify as you prepare your heart and home for Christmas.

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A big thanks to Marcia!  Those are some great tips that I hadn’t thought of.  Hope you enjoyed them too and can use them to simplify your holiday season.  You can check out Marcia’s website here

Make sure to check back tomorrow for a Christmas craft idea.   Have a great day!

Signature - Marissa

Dec 4 2013

Christmas Countdown

Can you believe we’ve made it half way through the week!  Why is it that time seems to fly in the month of December when there is so much to do to prepare for the holidays?  Counting down to Christmas was so fun as a kid and it’s still fun as an adult!  I want to share with you a quick and easy craft that will help everyone get in the Christmas spirit.

Christmas Countdown 5

Materials:

-frame

-chalkboard spray paint

-chalkboard marker or chalk

-scissors

-burlap

-fabric

-glue gun

Christmas Countdown Supplies

Step 1: Take the glass out of the frame and spray paint it outside with chalkboard spray paint.  Let dry.

Step 2: After the glass is completely dry, write your countdown message with your chalkboard marker.

Step 3: Cut 2 strips of burlap and 1 strip of fabric about 1 inch wide and 18 inches long.  For each strip, twist it and coil it as you go making a flower.  I explained how to make this in better detail here.

Christmas Countdown 1

Step 4:  Glue the burlap and fabric flowers onto your frame and your done!

Christmas Countdown 3

So quick and easy, right?  See Monday’s post where Alisa shared another way to countdown to Christmas with an Advent Calendar .

P.S. *Don’t mind the 38 days until Christmas…I took these pics back in November!

 

Have a great day!

Signature - Marissa

 

Dec 2 2013

Advent Calendar

Christmas is our favorite holiday!  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!  We have lots of fun and exciting Christmas ideas to share with you this month.  We hope you follow along as we get into the holiday spirit.

I know it is December 2nd already, but I wanted to share with you an advent calendar that I made.  I figured there are still 23 days left before Christmas, so it is still not too late to make one, or you can use this idea next Christmas!

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Materials:

  • full sheet labels
  • chalkboard spray paint
  • 2″ circle hole punch
  • chalk or chalkboard paint pen
  • background or board of some type (I chose a canvas painting and covered it with burlap)
  • staple gun
  • Christmas themed scrapbook paper
  • paper cutter
  • ribbon
  • push pins
  • 25 mini clothespins

Step 1: Spray paint 4 sheets of full sheet labels with chalkboard spray paint.  (you will use these for your numbers and the sign above your advent calendar).

Step 2: Once spray paint is dry, use your 2″ hole punch to cut 25 circles.  Next, cut out a fun shape for the sign above your advent calendar.

Step 3: Write your numbers (1-25) on the circle cut outs using chalk or a chalkboard paint pen.  Write out a Christmas message (like “Merry Christmas”) to display at the top of your advent calendar.

Step 4: Prepare your background or board. I covered a canvas painting I already had with burlap using a staple gun.  I stapled to the inside wooden frame so it wouldn’t ruin the painting should I ever want to use it again.  You could also use a poster board, chalkboard or even a long piece of cardboard for your backdrop.

Step 5: Cut your scrapbook paper double the size vertically that you want your “envelope” as you will fold.  The folded crease will become the bottom of your envelope.

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Step 6: Using a sewing machine, sew around 3 of the sides of the envelope leaving the top open.

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Step 7: Stick the circle cut outs to the envelopes you made.

Step 8: Layout your envelopes on the canvas evenly spaced and determine where you would like your ribbon.  Attach ribbon to your back drop using a pushpin or staple gun.

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Step 9: Hang envelopes on ribbon with clothes pins.

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Step 10: Add Bible verses to each envelope to read on each night and/or put in activities to do with your family each night. Below are some ideas of activities you may want to do with your family.

  • Make Christmas cookies and share with a neighbor
  • Look at lights
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Listen to Christmas music
  • Decorate the house
  • Make hot chocolate
  • Go to the Christmas tree lot
  • Decorate the tree
  • Read a Christmas story
  • Write a letter to Santa
  • Make an ornament
  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Buy a toy to donate
  • Make a Christmas craft
  • Go to a Christmas concert or play (at your church or nearby college)
  • Send a care package to a soldier over seas

We would love to hear about what activities you chose to include in your advent calendar!

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Nov 27 2013

Crafting Party Wrap Up

Life can get so busy and hectic, especially during the holiday season.  Our time can become more about checking things off our to do list than enjoying the special people in our lives.  I think it is so important to carve out time to do something that you love and be with the people you love.  It really grounds me and helps me to destress.  I also think it’s important for us girls to have girl time! Last weekend I had the girls from my Bible study over to do some crafting.  We had such a great time….we always do when we are together.  We chatted and laughed and created!  Some of my very favorite things to do!  I cannot fully express in words what these ladies mean to me.  They have walked along side me through some really tough times and have rejoiced with me in good times.  I am so grateful for each one of them.  They are such dear friends.

Craft Party 1

Craft Party 2

I decided to print out Alisa’s thankful printable, which you can find here, and give it to each of the girls with a note letting them know that I am thankful for them.

Craft Party 3

I had wreaths and all kinds of supplies ready for the girls to decorate.  They also brought craft supplies that they wanted to decorate their wreaths with.  Everyone had great ideas!  I love how each wreath is so unique!  We ordered pizza and the girls also brought food and drinks.  We had such a fun time together!

Here are some of the beautiful wreaths that the girls made.  I think they turned out great!

Craft Party 4

Craft Party 5

Craft Party 6

Craft party 7

Craft Party 8

I encourage you this holiday season to carve out some quality time to spend with the ones you love.  Find a craft online, call your girlfriends up, order some pizza, and get your craft on, ladies!  Let us know if you have any ideas on great things to do with your girlfriends!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Signature - Marissa

Nov 21 2013

DIY Pine cone Wreath

I may be just a little obsessed with making wreaths.  I like to hang one for each season/holiday. Now it has gotten to the point that I have several for each season, and not enough places to hang them!  Haha!  Today I wanted to share with you a really simple pine cone wreath that is very inexpensive to make.  I just kind of experimented with some pine cones that I found, and I am pretty happy with the result!

Pinecone Wreath 7

Here’s what you’ll need to make this pine cone wreath:

Pinecone Wreath Supplies

For this project Michael’s has great 14″ grapevine wreaths. (Michael’s has 40% off coupons in the mail or on a smartphone app.)  The chalkboard is a coaster from Michael’s clearance.  If you want to see another project using the coaster,  check here.   As an alternative, you could get a piece of wood and spray paint it with chalkboard paint.

Step 1: I put my pine cones on foil on a baking sheet and put them in the oven that was preheated to 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  I found the tutorial here.  This will kill any little bugs inside.

Pinecones

 

Step 2: Take some pages of your book, roll them, and tape the edges once rolled.  I gathered them at their points and hot glued them together.  Instead of book pages you could use music sheets, colored cardstock, or scrapbook paper.

Step 3: Start gluing on your pine cones wherever you want them.  I try to lay mine out first to get the arrangement I want.

Pinecone Wreath 1

Step 4: Write a phrase, saying, or draw a design on your mini chalkboard.  I like to use a chalkboard marker because it is easier to work with and the lettering usually comes out looking cleaner.  Hot glue the chalkboard over the book pages.

Pinecone Wreath 3

 

Step 5: Add a bow or burlap ribbon at the top if desired.

Pinecone Wreath 6

There you have it!  Super easy!

I am hosting a girls craft day on Saturday with some girl friends and they will be making some similar wreaths.  I am excited to see how everyone’s turns out and the unique variations to the same project.  Look back next week to see the results!

Have a great day!

Signature - Marissa