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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Break



Hi Friends!

I just want to wish you a happy new year!

I also wanted to let you know that I am taking a little bit of a blogging break. Blogging is such a creative outlet for me which I love! More important though, are my friends and family. So for at least a few weeks or maybe a bit longer I am going to focus on them.

I hope to come back fresher but maybe not as frequently. I am working on finding balance with my time and talents. Isn't that the struggle of every mom?!

So thank you for visiting my little corner of the world. I hope that as the year begins you take time as well to evaluate your priorities and remember that sacrifice of time for the sake of your family is always worth it!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas in Review



Its a snow day around here. Not because of snow, but due to ice.
I was supposed to work today but instead my kiddos and I will lounge in our jammies, make some Christmas cookies and maybe watch some movies. My kind of day!

So today I thought I would share just a compilation of this years Christmas projects, yummies and ideas in case you missed any!

If you need ideas for decorating a small space for Christmas here's what we did in the living room:




This year I made over last year's wreath for this "recycled" gem:



In the kitchen I stuck with my everyday color scheme and just added some sparkle.





Here's a dollar store gift idea.





Here's an easy craft that even the kids can help with.




Who doesn't need a little spice this Christmas? This cute mistletoe first appeared on Apartment Therapy. This is my version.




And here's what we did in our bathroom. I love decorating this space out for Christmas!




Need some ideas for displaying your Christmas cards? Here are quite a few:




And lastly, here's our family recipe for Whoopie pies, with a peppermint twist!




Wishing you and your family the very merriest of Christmases! Thank you for visiting my little blog!

Warmly,

Friday, December 13, 2013

Peppermint Whoopie Pies


Red Envelope Recipe Round~Up


You are in for a treat today! Literally.

This is one of my all-time favorites. So much so that it was my request every year for my birthday, instead of cake, from my mom! {In fact she still makes them for me, I'm so spoiled!}

I am sharing it today with a twist. Peppermint.

Tomorrow we have our first family Christmas party of the season and I made these for dessert to share. I can hardly stand to wait. Yum!



Imagine these on your holiday dessert table with these great choices from Red Envelope.
This holiday I am collaborating with Red Envelope to bring you some special holiday treats.


These are their Handmade Swizzled Cake Pops. 


Or these beautiful Gourmet Dipped Fancy Berries.


My Whoopie Pies are a recipe from the Lancaster County Amish. They know how to bake! This is also where I was born, so maybe that's why they are near and dear to my heart er, tummy.

To make the chocolate pies here's what you'll need:

1 cup shortening
2 cups of sugar
cream these together
2 eggs
beat well
1 cup of sour milk 
{ to make this add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to curdle your milk and let it stand 10 minutes before mixing into your sugar/egg mixture}
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix this well and set aside

Mix together your dry ingredients separately:
1 cup baking cocoa
4 cups flour 
1 teaspoons salt

Then add 2 teaspoons baking soda to 1 scant cup of hot water.
{a scant cup is just under the one cup line}

NOW:
Add your dry ingredients to your shortening/sugar/egg/milk mixture, and mix it all well. Lastly add your soda water and combine it all together.

When its all mixed together it looks like fluffy cake batter.



To make your pies you can use a whoopie pie pan or put parchment paper on a cookie sheet.


Bake them in a preheated oven to 400 degrees for about 8-9 minutes.


For the frosting/filling:

Beat 2 egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.

In another bowl mix:

1-1/2 cups shortening
4 cups of powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons of flour
4 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 crushed candy canes

Beat til smooth. Mixture will be thick. Then fold in your egg whites. You don't want to over-mix this, just enough to get it all combined.

Using a spatula or knife spread frosting thickly on the bottom of one pie and add a top. Roll the edges in crushed candy canes if you like. 

Whoopie pies can be wrapped individually  or stacked on a platter. Refrigerate if you are preparing these ahead.




I sure hope there are some left by the time the party starts tomorrow! ;)



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Greetings!



Do you send out a Christmas card this time of year?

With so much electronic transmission of information the Christmas card is often forgotten.

Last year we didn't send one out. It was just that kind of year, and I really missed it. There's nothing like getting a hard copy in the mail!

So what do you do with them once they come?



This is our picture this year:


Seriously, do kids come any cuter?! ;)

I have a few yet to get out, but I'm way ahead of last year!

With the arrival of the first Christmas card {thank you very much Heather!}, on the day after Thanksgiving no less {some people have it all together!}, I had to get creative about where to display them. You know space is at a premium in this little house!

I came across this amazing product to help display cards. It is a cable that can be hung either vertically or horizontally and it has these super strong magnets! I hung the cable on the thin wall the divides the living room from the kitchen {a narrow little space used only to track the height of my kids}. This thing hung easily from command hooks. {I put one at the bottom too to help hold it in place from would-be Tarzan boys!}





This item is sold by Roeda Studios. She's a local artist that has 3 stores and an online business full of unique ways to share your memories. This is a great item for a small space because it is so versatile!

You could also use this cable system to hang kids art work too.


So how do you display your Christmas cards? I have to admit that having a stainless fridge has its downsides! :)

I decided to search high and low and share a few other ways I came across. 

I love this tree idea from Bob Vila



Here's a great idea if you're short on space:


'Reasons to skip the housework' shares this cute crafty idea:



This is another easy way to display cards using ribbon and a hallway from Blond Strands



This is a great use of space we probably all have from Budget Wise Home:



I love this! You could have a Christmas tree and display your cards all in one!


Now if you haven't checked out Jen's blog before you are missing out! She oozes creativity! Here's her creative take on card displays:



This cute bird cage is a great reminder to maybe use decor you are already have and just clip your cards on.




You could also clip cards to garland you might already have out!



And lastly, here's a great idea for using old ski's to display your cards from Sweet C's Designs:




Don't throw those vessels of Christmas cheer away! There are no excuses now for not sharing them!

If you want to order from Roeda Studios and get a discount use the code 'HomeyHome10' when you check out. 


Thanks for stopping by!







I'm sharing this here:


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mistletoe Kissing Ball


Have you ever had/hung mistletoe? Me, never!

I'm not sure why. Maybe because my parents never did.

I had lunch with a couple of girlfriends yesterday and we started talking about family traditions. Things like cookie baking, going for a car ride to look at the lights, participating in Advent readings, caroling, hiding the pickle in the Christmas tree, reading the story of the birth of Christ in scripture, etc.

So it got me to thinking.

Perhaps I'm too stuck in my Christmas rut.

So I decided to add a little spice into our Christmas {and into the Christmas of a friend}.





What does a girl do when she wants to make something but doesn't know how?

Yep, went to Pinterest. There were quite a few tutorials but I found this great one at Apartment Therapy.

I won't repeat the steps I took to make this, you will have to check out A.T.'s tutorial. I will tell you what I did differently though. Apartment Therapy uses craft glue to glue the two halves together, but I used hot glue. This will help it to stick more quickly and is a bit stronger. For the cord I used three strands of yarn and braided them together.

Start to finish this was about a 15 minute craft project. Granted I had everything on hand. I used fleece from an old blanket.





Here's to a spicier Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Living Room Christmas


Slowly but surely we're decking the halls around here, and we finally have the living room done. I love this time of year but I don't want it overdone. 

We have a small house. Let me repeat, we have a small house. Too many decorations and it looks cluttered and messy. I hate messy!

So we keep it simple around here. Simple I can do. Life is so busy and its hard enough to focus on Christ this time of year. We don't need decor getting in the way or adding to the overwhelmed feelings that can creep in. 




Here are a few ideas for decorating small space for Christmas.

1. Try to stick as closely as you can to your regular decor colors

If you have a lot of colors it adds to the busyness of the things and can overwhelm your eye. If you have a lot of color already in your everyday decor just add silver or gold for your scheme.



{The furry guy is Boone. He belongs to the owner of my husbands company. We're dog sitting for the winter.}



2. To help your simple decor take center stage, turn your books around.

This way the colors/content of the books spines are competing with the holiday items. Your eye goes to them first.






3. Consider taking out bulkier items to maintain flow once the tree comes in. 

We will often take out our coffee table for the month of December. Its amazing how much bigger the room feels with this gone, once you get the tree up and other decor in place. Some years we will put the tree where the chair is and put that in the basement.





Here's last years tutorial on how to make these trees out of cereal boxes.




This felt garland was made here, and a version of it also decks out the tree.









To make this Pottery Barn knock off check out this tutorial here.


So if you can't keep your schedule simple, at least keep the decorations from taking over! Thanks for stopping by! 


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