Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

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I am going to take a little vacation for a week, I will be running around every which way to family gatherings with not much time for anything else.

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy your holidays and spending time with family and friends.

Friday, December 23, 2011

O' Christmas Tree

Only 2 more sleeps until Christmas! My shopping is all done (I finished awhile ago, thankfully), my wrapping is almost done (just have to wrap Jax's things) and baking and decorating is done.

I thought I would share a few photos of some great Christmas trees and decor with you.....

Using a rug as the tree skirt is so unique, it looks great!
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I love the colour combinations and the garland made out of Christmas bulbs in this photo.
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This all white room looks so beautiful with the red as an accent! I like the wallpaper on the wall as well, its subtle but noticeable.
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Christmas dinner, a table for the adults and one for the kids.
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This room feels so warm and cozy, I just want to curl up in that chair!
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This is a girly Christmas tree with gold and magenta colour pallet.
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An all white tree with white and silver decor, it looks beautiful ( I don't think I would personally have a tree like this but it looks nice).
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I love this room and the colour combinations! I could see myself in this space it is so laid-back and welcoming.
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Is your Christmas to do list complete or are you a last minute kind of person? 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

DIY Christmas Gift

I came across this idea on pinterest a few weeks ago and I thought it would make a great gift for a few people in my family. It is glass candle holders with famly photos mod podged to them.



It is very inexpensive and simple to make, all you need is...

  • White tissue paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • mod podge 
  • foam brush
  • glass candle holders
  • pictures
  • printer
  • computer
  • computer paper
First pick the pictures you would like to use (I did mine in a sepia tone so they don't look so dark), Take a piece of white tissue paper and cut it so it is just a little larger then a sheet of paper. Next you want to fold the tissue paper around a piece of computer paper so it will feed through you printer (glue the edges down).

Next cut out the image to the desired size (I printed a 4"x6" photo and trimmed it a little). 

Take your glass candle holder and apply a light coat of mod podge to it (make sure not to make it to wet or the photo will absorb to much glue). 

Place the photo on the candle holder and smooth it out. 

Once it dries apply another light coat of mod podge on top of the photo, it gives it a glossy finish and hardens it so it won't rip.




And what you get....Is nice personalized gift for someone special!



I got the glass candle holders from Dollarama for $2 a piece, the tissue paper and foam brush was also from there and they were $1 each. I had mod podge and everything else at home (you can get mod podge at any craft store). I made 6 candle holders, so it cost me $14 (not bad at all!) 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cookies in a Jar

A couple of  weekends ago I made some presents to hand out to family members, I put the dry ingredients to make a Christmas cookie in a canister. It is a perfect and inexpensive gift to give and you don't have to spend hours baking them all (I did that last year and it took a long time). Of course I baked a batch before I made the canisters, just to make sure they taste delicious.


I purchased the canisters from Dollarama ($2 each which was a steal), the ribbon was from Wal-mart (about $2), the ordainment was from my work ($1 each), labels are from Britt (free) the ingredients are from Zehrs (I also had some), I probably spent about $10 there ( m&m's are expensive so I went with smarties). I made 5 canisters so in total it cost about $27...Not bad for 5 families! (it was those darn smarties that cost so much).

I found this recipe on pinterest, but the original recipe is from Bakerella. (it has been altered slightly)

Christmas Cookies

 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup Smarties (or m&ms)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I divided white chocolate and dark chocolate)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar


On the back of the ordainment I wrote the directions to finish the recipe


Stir all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Add
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla



Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use the back of a large spoon to work it all together. You may even need to use your hands to get everything incorporated.

Then roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. 




I would have loved to use red and green m&m's but it would have cost $20 in m&m's alone just to do the 5 canisters!! (crazy if you ask me)

Check out the great labels Britt made for me.....


Click this link (http://bit.ly/s7QPeb) to download Christmas cookie labels....And a big thanks to Britt for making them!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get Inspired- Victorian Style Exterior

One of my favourite styles is the Victorian style, I love the turrets, bay windows, odd shapes and especially the wrap around porches. 

Love the stone!
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I think the turret on this house is beautiful!
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Fits perfectly in the forest with snow...For Christmas.
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I love the asymmetry of this house and the colours used.
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"Stick Style" transition between Gothic and Queen Ann style
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Gothic Style. The Gothic style is so spooky and reminds me of old casltes. I  love
the brick on this house and how the plants are growing on it.
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I love this house! It looks so beautiful with the
snow and glowing lights....Don't you agree?
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Another Gothic Style, I love the brick on this one as well and
how the center archway goes all the way through the house.
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A modern day Victorian style....I would love to live in this house!!
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Row of Victorian houses.
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Some of the design element that distinguish a house to be Victorian style are;
  • Large and irregular floor plans
  • One or more porches
  • Turned posts and spindles
  • Brackets
  • Barge-boards under eves
  • Stick work or shingles on upper walls
  • Traditionally painted in cheerful colour schemes
  • Wrap around porches 
  • Turrets
  • Bay windows
  • Odd corners
  • Overhangs
  • Gingerbread trim
What do you think of the Victorian style? What is you favourite style of house?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Pops

On Saturday we had our first family Christmas party (the start to many!).  My little guy had a blast seeing family, eating, playing and of course opening presents.

I love getting together with family! there is always lots of food to eat at these gatherings and I pig-out like crazy (more then I should).

For Saturday I made Christmas cake pops, they were delicious and a great treat for the kids, they loved them!


These are simple to make but I had some help making them from Nikki (my sister), I also got the recipe from her (she made them a few weeks ago at my house with the little guy).

I got the idea to stick a candy cane in them (as the stick) from seeing it done on pinterest.

Christmas Cake Pops Recipe

Ingredients


1 pkg-        Presidents Choice Red Velvet cake (follow instructions on pkg)
11/2 cups-   Butter cream icing or cream cheese icing
Compound Chocolate for dipping (any colours you would like, I used white, red and green)
Approximately 40 Small candy canes (be careful not to break them)

Directions
Follow directions on package of ready-made cake mix....

Bake according to package. 
When it is done baking crumble the cake and let cool for about 15 min. 
Put cake in a large bowl and add butter cream icing, mix well. Roll cake into 1 inch balls.


Melt chocolate on low heat, stir constantly so it doesn't burn. Once all the chunks are melted let it sit for 2-3 minutes so you can get a thick coating of chocolate. Dip cake balls into melted chocolate.

To add sprinkled chocolate to the top just melt a second and third colour and splatter it on with a spatula or spoon. 

Place in freezer for 15 min or until chocolate has hardened. 


To insert candy canes use a toothpick to make a hole (try not to crack the chocolate) once the hole is big enough insert the candy cane.


What is your favourite food to eat at Christmas time?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Decor

Remember the wreath I made at work out of a collection of Christmas decorations (here)... It has made its way on to.... Our Little Nest on the Lake blog, check it out (here) along with 19 other great DIY wreaths.

At work the girls and I set up a Christmas display along with the Christmas tree and I must say my wreath fits right in with it all.


We decided to use blue, green, purple and silver as our colours around the store (peacock inspirational colours).


What kind of decor do you prefer:  more of contemporary style with bright new colours or a traditional style with classic golds, reds, and greens?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Spirit

This past weekend was full of everything Christmas, from Christmas shopping, decorating and baking, I got lost accomplished ( I only have two people left on my shopping list).

On Saturday we spent the day cleaning and organizing our "storage/laundry room", pulling out all the Christmas decor and setting up the tree.

My little guy was bugging me all day "when are we decorating the Christmas tree". This year  he understands everything a little more so it is very exciting for him (and me), just seeing his reaction and how excited he gets learning and getting to know family traditions.




A Christmas tradition, my sisters and I use to fight over who gets to put the star on the
tree. My dad had to write down every year who put it on so the next year someone else did it
(which means I only got to put it on every 3 years).


We have a fake tree that we set up, but next year I would really like to go out and get a real tree. One of the traditions my dad use to do with my sisters and I, we would go out and pick a tree and cut it down, we looked forward to doing it every year. I think it is all those little tiny traditions that really make you remember your childhood and the fun times you had with family. I would love to create the same great memories I had with my sisters when we were little for J to enjoy and remember.

P.S. My tree has been red and gold for the past 4 years....It is really time for a change, I think next year I will switch up the colour combination (a little expensive to do it this year).

Do you have a fake or real tree? What colour combination do you have? What is your favourite family Christmas tradition?