Friday, December 19, 2014

Last Minute Homemade Gifts



Homemade gifts can be both economical and heartfelt and there is still time to put these easy and quick ideas under the tree. The three DIY ideas shown below would be fun and unique gifts for many names on your list.



Last year, I gave these chalkboard serving platters to several people on my list and they were a big hit. The instructions can be found here and they could not be any easier to make. One of these, tied with a pretty bow, would also make a wonderful hostess gift.



For the dog lovers on your list, these Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits are a thoughtful, healthy treat that looks pretty and festive in a bag with a Christmas bow. Many dog biscuits from the pet store are filled with preservatives, but these are made from ingredients found right in your kitchen. And, they are as simple to make as any cookie recipe.




Anyone would love these Wine Cork Coasters and if you have a glue gun and some wine corks you will have a set put together in no time. Even if you dont save wine corks, I have seen bags for sale at places like Target or any craft store. A set of two or four coasters with a bottle of wine or some basic, inexpensive wine glasses would make a wonderful gift.

Have a fun and productive weekend before Christmas!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fa La La Randoms




We were able to get a photo for our Christmas card this year when both girls were home at Thanksgiving. I feel like our days of getting both girls in a photo will require some planning in the future, so I'm happy we were able to pull it off this year.



When I thought about what to give for my favorite thing gift at our book club holiday party, I immediately thought of the newly published Skinnytaste cookbook. I adore the Skinnytaste website and just knew the cookbook would be wonderful and filled with delicious and healthy recipes. I honestly have never made one of Gina's recipes that wasn't really good.



I made Paula Deen's Taco Soup recipe the other night and it was very good. This is the first time I have made Taco Soup or have eaten it. I don't think it is a popular recipe in the Midwest, though I have seen it mentioned by many southern bloggers. Wondering if it is a regional recipe? I served it in these pretty bowls I received for a hostess gift on Thanksgiving - everything tastes better in a pretty dish :-)

Happy Thursday and one week until Christmas!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Simplifying Christmas




I felt the need to somewhat simplify my Christmas decor this year; to create space instead of filling it. I realized that I didn't need to use every piece of decoration in the storage boxes and by strategically placing the treasured favorites, I could still enjoy them with a calmer feel. I looked at everything I placed with a new eye and the thought that less could be more.

A perfect example of this is the three simple wreaths I placed on my two story foyer stairway instead of the garland I have used in the past. Tied with pretty, plaid burlap ribbon, the effect is simple and sweet and the tree becomes the star. I didn't worry about tying a bow and think the knot gives the casual charm I was looking for.



When you enter my home this holiday season, the tall foyer tree shines bright in Christmas greeting with the lights of the mantel beyond. Dramatic, yet simple. A backdrop for the tree, that helps it stand out in all it's lighted beauty. Simplify - I like that word, even when it comes to Christmas.

Happy Tuesday!


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm


Thrifty Decor Chick


Monday, December 15, 2014

Bunco Holiday Progressive Party




My neighborhood Bunco group has a holiday tradition, where we have a progressive event to make our holiday party special. We have members from all around the neighborhood, and while the majority are on my street, there is a group on an adjacent street that were the hostesses this year. We had a wonderful time and started out at the first home with martinis (cosmos - my favorite) and appetizers that everyone prepared.



We moved to the next home, right across the street, with appetizers in hand, to continue the party, where bunco was played. Our hostess served lovey, light and crisp prosecco, garnished with festive pomegranate seeds. As always, we manage to eat, drink and talk while getting in two lively and fun rounds of Bunco.



This decadent, chocolate tuxedo cake awaited at our last stop, where we enjoyed dessert, Kaluha spiked coffee with whipped cream and even a few toasts to our 20 plus years together. We opened presents, each more thoughtful than the next and truly meant what we said in those toasts - here's to many more years of celebrating with neighborhood friends.

Happy Monday!


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