Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Countdown Day 10-(healthy) Christmas Food

  The Christmas Season is definitely known for its food.  While I usually eat a pretty discipled diet (no wheat, sugar, dairy or meat).  Around the holidays I slack a little bit.  While this gives my brain a break, my body does not like it.  Plus its hard to get back on track.  So I'm trying to make my normal healthy fare more festive this year starting with my morning smoothies.  This one is kale, banana, orange layered with strawberry, banana, orange.  A feast for the eyes and the tummy :).

Day 9-Handmade Gifts

  My mother in law Bonnie wears aprons and has a lovely collection of them that I've tried to add to most christmases.  This is this year's version (modeled by Katie).  I wanted to do something a little bit retro and I decided to make my pattern since I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.  It worked out pretty well, though when I make one for me I will make the bib smaller and shorter as I am shorter than Bonnie (and most people..except Katie :).
  I haven't done a lot of sewing in the last five years or so but I remembered with this project why I love it.  Its especially rewarding to use my talents and skills to make something for someone else.  I could have purchased an apron online for about the same price as the fabric (cheaper if you count my time) but making something for Bonnie in colors that she  loves, makes me happy.  Its not about efficiency or thrift, for me its about being focused on someone I care about while I create something just for them. 

  I purchased the fabric at Sew EZ Too (in their brick and mortar store).

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Countdown Day 8: More Welcome

I had a pretty strong vision for my christmas wreath.  Since its possibly the only outdoor decoration I will get up I want it to be something I like to look at.  I went to several stores but couldn't find any red and white ornaments.  I bought the plain red ones and decided to try my hand at painting them.  It worked pretty well.  I used white acrylic, dots were easier than stripes so I coated the striped ones with mica flakes to hide the crooked edges.  I used a fake pine wreath as a base then added a bunch of fresh greenery and wired on the ornaments.  It looks pretty on my door and welcomes my family and friends.  :)
Happy Holidays!

Christmas Countdown Day 7: Oh Christmas Tree- Nicole's version

Ah the family christmas tree decorating scene: carols playing, children gather around, daddy lifts the youngest up to place the star while mother and the others smile serenely.  Then hot cocoa and some more sweetly sung carols.  At my house its only slightly different.  It starts with my slealthily hiding all the ornaments that don't "go" with my vision (don't judge me).  Then there are accusations about me never letting the kids decorate how they want (especially from my 12 year old artsy daughter who has her own vision).  Then there were the three shattered ornaments (one antique) before any even made it to the tree.  *sigh*  The trick, it turns out, is to "own my expectations."  So.  My husband and children did their musicky thing and drank hot chocolate (I have a dairy allergy anyway) and I decorated the tree with minimal help.  I like it that way and so did they.  :)
Happy Holidays!

Christmas Countdown Day 6

I changed up my traditional mantle decor this year and went with a much simpler scheme with no red.  The emphasis on the "no red" comes from me using red in everything.  I love it like this though.  The star was a black tin one that i got for 60% off at Joanne's.  I painted it with a wash of gold and silver paint and then coated it with mica flakes.  Some mercury glass and some greenery snipped from the yard (if I'm standing in my yard its fair game right?) and its done! 
We use our fireplace most days and I love snuggling in front of a fire with my kiddos to read a book or listen to them play christmas songs on their ukeleles (yeah I said it-they're actually really good). :)
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Countdown To Christmas Dec 5- A New Tradition

I first heard someone mention Elf on the Shelf about three years ago on a scrapbooking site.  Since then photos have begun cropping up everywhere, and when I finally succumbed to my youngest child's pleading to go to the bookstore (a child after my own heart!) and saw them there I couldn't resist.  It helped that they were 30% off, plus a $5 gift card from my sister-in-law from Swiss Chalet (Chapters/Indigo). 

Because the movie ELF is our family's all time Christmas favorite right now, I thought it would be fitting for the first night to re-create the scene where he creates a North Pole winter wonderland from paper snowflakes while everyone is sleeping.  The kids have named him Elfredo, and they are actually excited about coming up with ideas of things for him to do each night, and plan on taking turns staging a surprise for the rest of us each day until Christmas.

Countdown to Christmas Dec 4- A Yearly Tradition

Every Year at the beginning of December we get together as a family and watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional from Salt Lake.  It's something I used to do with my family growing up, and we have continued the tradition with our children.  I love that it is a yearly reminder of why we celebrate Christmas, and it helps in the hustle and bustle of decorations and shopping and parties and bills to focus on sharing our love for the people in our lives, and ultimately for our Savior Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate each Christmas season.  If you missed it, it can be found here: