Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...

So my advent calendar is getting very full, and my countdown is down to single digits.  I can't believe Christmas is just 4 days away!  Yikes!  I hope you are ready...I am close...very, very close.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a peak at my Christmas decor:

Mantel #1
Coat Hanger/Shelf:
 Simple circle garland {scrapbook paper, inked edges, sewn together}
 Advent Calendar {Even my 1-yr old LOVES when it is her turn to pick the magnet for the day}
 Mangel #2
 Little yarn pom-pom garland:
 The stockings were hung...
A little closer look at my newest sign for the year:
I am loving it!  I just love this time of year!  Merry, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little Birdie Ornaments

I wanted to make some ornaments to hand out with Christmas goodies to friends and neighbors, and since I seem to have a thing for birds, I knew this Pinterest find was PERFECT!
You want to make some of your own?  They were actually pretty easy!  Grab some burlap & contrasting fabric scraps, pick some ribbon or jute, find a bird template online & get started!

It is pretty self explanatory, so my instructions will be simple:

1--Cut bird shaper out of 2 layers of burlap
2--Cut a wing out of contrasting fabric
3--Stamp Christmas words (joy, love, noel, wish) onto the wings.  I used a metal stamp set and just used regular ink and it worked just fine.
4--Sew wing onto one layer of bird.

5--Place birds right-sides together, inserting a little ribbon in-between the layers to act as the hanger.
Done and done!  Don't you just love easy little projects!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Delicious Chunky Wheat Bread {RECIPE}

I thought I would quickly share the recipe I used for my homemade bread from yesterday's post.  I seriously LOVE this bread.  It is the perfect mix of crunchy goodness and soft chewy bread.  Oh, and spread honey on top...OH MY GOODNESS GOOD!

It is great with all wheat flour, or a combination of wheat flour and regular white flour.  However, I do use white wheat flour--I just think it is a lot less dense than regular wheat flour.

12 Grain Bread

5 c. very warm water
1/2 c. honey
Add the following ingredients, mixing one in at a time:
6 c. flour
3 T. yeast
3/4 c. gluten
2 c. 9 grain cracked cereal (or just cracked wheat)
2 T. salt
1/2 c. millet
1/2 c. Sunflower seeds
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (or just use 1 c. sunflower seeds)
1/2 c. sesame seeds
2 T. lecithin (This can be replaced with oil)

At this point, add more flour a little at a time  (aprox. 6 more cups).  Once it gets too shaggy and sticky to use a spoon, start kneading. (if mixing by hand).  Knead about 200 times or about 10 minutes.  If using a bread mixer, knead about 4-5 minutes after the flour is mixed in and the dough tends to be one mass.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Divide into loaf pans--makes 3-4 loafs.  Let rise again for 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

***If some of those ingredients are new to you, they can be found in health food stores!
I hope you try it!  It is delicious!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Day of Christmas {EASY & Do-able}

I am so excited.  Every year growing up, my family selected another family to do the 12 Days of Christmas.  Basically, each day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas we delivered a fun little gift.  The gifts aren't anything crazy or big--very do-able, but it was such a fun way to spread the Christmas spirit in December.

So this year will be the FIRST year that my little family will do our own 12 Days of Christmas.  I think it will be so fun to have my kids involved--Helping with the gifts, knocking, running, and hopefully not getting caught!  I am hoping they will start to learn the true meaning of Christmas and how much fun it is to do the GIVING!

Anyway, I made simple little tags that I will glue onto cuter Christmas paper.  But, I wanted to share so you too can start this fun & easy tradition!

Here is a link to download the file!

And just to give you a quick look, here is page one of the two-page document:
First Delivery...success!!!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry & Bright I-Phone Wallpaper

Here is a new I-Phone Wallpaper for the Christmas season for anyone interested!  I hope you like it!
Here are the quick steps:
1--Save the image
2--If on your computer, email the file to yourself so you can access the image on your phone
3--Open the email on your phone.  Click on the little arrow button on the bottom (2nd from right)
4--Select "Save Image"
5--Open up your Photo Album, and select the new image
6--Click on the bottom left arrow button
7--Click on "Use as Wallpaper"
8--Stretch to fit your phone
9--Select to have it for your home page, lock screen, or both.  I just use it as my lock screen.

Done and Done!  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

5 Favorite Things

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a "5 FAVORITE THINGS PARTY."  For those of you who may not know what that is, here is a little description:

Each person brings 5 of the same item (something that they love or that represents them).  Everybody keeps the items under a certain price range.  For my party, we kept it under $4 per item.  Then at the party, each person has her name on 5 pieces of paper.  All of the names go in a bowl.   Going around the room each person explains what they brought and why it is one of her favorite things and then draws 5 names out of the bowl to give her items to.  So in the end, you go home with 5 different "Favorite Things."  Totally fun!  To make things even better, everybody brings a fun snack or treat to share.  Such a fun evening.

Anyway, I made some fun little thank-you boards for Thanksgiving, but they can also be used for other things throughout the year.  Take a look:

I originally got this idea from Whipperberry.  She has a great tutorial.  I did things slightly different, but hopefully they will both help you make your own!

Start by finding a frame. I found mine at Goodwill.  They weren't especially pretty--but it's amazing what a bit of paint can do!  After painting my frames, I also sanded them down a bit and stained over them to give them a more antiqued look.

To string the jute I marked down the side of the frame on the back every 2 inches, but alternated the sides by one inch to make a zig-zag pattern.  Then I used staples to hold the jute or twine in place.  Once the twine was in place and tight I simply tied little knots to finish it off.
To make my sign, I simply printed the wording.  I used "Oh so Thankful."  Then I mounted it onto some cute paper, and then mounted that to a piece of cardboard just to add a little dimension and stability. 
 I wanted to make the sign easy to take on and off, so I hot-glued a piece of pipe cleaner (about a half of a piece) to the back.  Then this can be attached and wrapped around the frame easily.
Then during the month of November, I have each member in my family write things they are thankful for on little cards and use clothes-pins to attach it to the twine.  Simple.  My kind of project!
So, in the end it looks a bit more like this: