Merry Christmas!

Hope you are with your family this week and Christmas finds you well!


Christmas Baking Made Simple

Every year, like so many others, I try and do some holiday crafting or baking  for co-workers, visiting teaching and home teaching people. Like last year, when I had too many dietary restrictions in the office, I crafted up these cute little succulents gifts (and made some zucchini bread for those who ate bread).

The year before I spent hours and hours making these mini apple pies in small mason jars. These were so adorable (but time taking)!

(You can certainly tell when I use my camera phone and when I use my real camera can't you? I really should bust out my real camera more often!)

This year, however, I was  really feeling the pressure because I didn't really have the time to spend on something that would require a lot of effort or time. This is when my Mom came to the rescue. Of course. Every year for Christmas she makes us Cereal Candy (basically one of those Chex mix recipes) to munch on during Christmas day. Everyone LOVES it, and it usually doesn't last the day it's eaten up so quickly. So, she gave me the recipe and let the secret out of the bag, this stuff is easy and quick to make. Even I could do it!

So, I rushed out to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients and some cute containers, rushed home,  put it together, made the packaging cute-ish, and was done with EVERYTHING in about an hour. And this stuff makes A LOT, so I was able to cross off tons of people in one fell swoop! Have to love that. Thank.You.Mom!

I bought a couple of classic red tins and the Dollar Tree and adorned them with some green ribbon and left over gift tags from a few years ago for the people I work with. For visiting teaching and home teaching people I bought a few of those 4 packs of tupperware from the Dollar Tree. Then I just used the circle label that came with them to cut out cute festive tops from scraps of last years wrapping paper, put the paper in place with a couple of glue dots, tied a ribbon and tag on, and it was done.

Sure, it's not the cutest or most creative idea out there, but this definitely worked for me this year when I was in a pinch. Besides, I would be totally stoked to get a nice red tin full of Cereal Candy goodness! Sometimes I think I get carried away and believe whatever I give out has to be ubber creative or painstakingly made with sweat and tears. It was very refreshing this year to have my Christmas crafting/baking completed so easily!

Here is the recipe from my mom with a few extra instructions from me if anyone else is in a pinch and wants to give it a go, or just wants to melt into a delicious holiday snack.
Cereal Candy

Mix in a large bowl: (I used 2 bowls and split the mix, so easier to cover with sweet stuff)

1 large box Golden Graham Cereal
1 large box Corn Chex Cereal
1 package Coconut (reg. size)
1 16oz. jar Salted Dry Roasted Peanuts (or any other kind of nuts you like)

Boil for 3 minutes:
(I pre-melted the butter a bit before I put it in the pot to make things go faster. Once everything comes to a boil set a clock and boil it for 3 minutes exactly.)

3 cubes real Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 cups (16oz. jar) Karo Syrup

Pour over cereal mix until fully coated. Put in container and cover.  Enjoy your free time.


Decorating by Memory- Part 3

I finally got around to making a mood board that I think combines my families style, more specifically my grandparents style, and modernizing it into something that I could bring into my own home. I started this adventure here. My idea was to decorate my home using my own family and experiences as inspiration instead of the typical inspiration sources.  I hoped it would help me make my home be really about me and my family and not copied from some book or website.

So let’s look back and see what mood boards I came up with. The first was inspired by my father’s side of the family . . .

They are kind of traditional and classic. Lots of gold/brass, mirrors, and wallpaper with hints of natural elements sprinkled in there.

The other moodboard was inspired by my mother’s side of the family  . . .

They are a bit more rustic. Lots of leather, classic farm pieces, wood, and femine touches from my grandmother.

I thought about these boards, my grandparents, my happy childhood memories, and then went to work trying to combine these pretty different styles into one that I would want to bring into my own home. This is what I came up with . . .
It surprised me how rustic it ended up turning out, but there are just so many great rustic pieces out there right now. Now, I don’t think I can actually afford many of these pieces (of course) but this is an inspiration board after all, so it is just something to aspire to.

Here is the breakdown of what I was thinking-
Wallpaper: I like the idea of using wallpaper or a painting treatment to mimic wallpaper, since my grandmother uses wallpaper often throughout her house. But instead of mauve florals, I like the idea of using an earthier grass cloth. I have seriously always been in love with the stuff (it also reminds me of going to church, every LDS building in the west seems to have textured wallpaper). I am not sure if Jeff would ever allow it, or if we have the right space for it in this house, but one day I WILL get to use it!
Painting: I really want to collect paintings and art like mine and Jeff’s grandparents did. I feel like original art from an artist is maybe less available than it was for them, but thanks to Etsy and popular website like 20 x 200, great copies of art are more available than ever. I have always loved this print from 20 X 200. I could “imagine” the art piece without the typography in any of my family members’ homes, but the typography makes it more modern and suitable to our homes style. Jeff and I are already slowly starting our own art collection and I am excited to see it grow.

Light Fixture: I LOVE this light. It totally reminds me of the father’s mother! She loves glass and brass, it is all over her house, and the round globes kind of give the light a mid-century modern feeling to me, which also reminds me of her. I think if she were to redecorate a room right now she would totally want this light!
Mirror: This mirror was a good combination of both sides I thought. It’s a mirror, for my father’s side, but the rope and iron frame totally makes it work for my mother’s side. I would hang this up in my house in a second.

Chair: This chair was another great combination of my two worlds. The leather is totally up my cowboy lovin’ families alley, but the classically modern shape, kind of mid-century again, makes this chair reminiscent of the modern classic pieces the other side of my family uses. It’s a wonderful fit for my place, I love mid-century modern, have you seen my couch? Now only if I had a few grand to purchase two of them.
Side Table: This is me and my grandmother through and through. Every table in her house has a glass top and brass legs. It is just her. But again, the unique and modern shape would make it totally workable for a young family like mine.

Ottoman: There is just something I have always loved about ottomans. The idea of having one covered in a cowhide just blows my mind though. It is awesome sauce! (I know the thought of real animal hide at home may turn the stomach of many people out there, I get that, but having one or two hides around has just always been the way it was for me. However, having a stuffed and preserved deer head in my home would totally gross me out, so I get it. )
Sideboard: This sideboard from West Elm is amazing. It totally reminds me of the old barn wood that my grandparents used to panel their walls up at the cabin. I love how it is rustic, but with really clean and simple lines.

Rug: Since the cowhide is on the ottoman, I needed to do something else for the rug. And as much as I like the apple green shag carpet that my grandparents use to have, I decided to go with a more modern white shag rug. It would never survive in my house in real life, but it’s nice to dream!
Accessories: The drift wood, owl lamp, and geological rock book ends are a complete tribute to my father’s parents. The brass figurines, antler inspired candle holder, and vintage books are in tribute to my mother’s parents. They were all given a little bit of a fresh twist from how they display similar items in their homes but I think they work. I must say they all live quiet well together. My grandmother already gave me the brass giraffes who live in our guest room - I love them.

So that is that. I have enjoyed this experimental examination of my families style and how I could bring their touch into a more modern and family friendly space that I could create in my own home. Even if I can’t really afford many of these exact pieces, it gives me a great point of view to follow when I am shopping, rummaging in an old antique furniture store, or at my local thrift store. It defiantly feels homey and cozy to me.
(PS if you are worried that I’m not including my hubster in this style inspiration, I did try. I asked him about what he could remember from his grandparents’ places and what style of theirs he liked. I got a huge blank, yet confused, look from him. But I think his grandparent’s style was somewhat similar to my grandparents. One side was farmers/cowboys, another grandparent was also a math teacher, and in visits with his grandmother, I can see that they also appreciate original art. His great grandmother and great grandmother used to be quite the artist themselves.) Sorry if I forgot to link any image sources, I linked as many as I could remember.


Pinterest Pickings- Christmas

I don't know if I'll have time to make any holiday decorations this year for Christmas, but that hasn't stopped me from pinning away at things on Pinterest. Here are my favorite pins for Christmas this year.

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I am hoping to make one of these for myself along my with Young Women for a mutual night. They are all over Pinterest right now, but I really like this one and it's muted hues. You can find it here.

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I already kind of copied this guy, except instead of the berry's (which I love but do not have the time right now) I used my moss covered "B" that I made here. I cut a strip from some burlap fabric that I had on hand, tied a bow, stuck some holly in it, and presto - Christmas decor for the door. You can find the above pictured wreath here.
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This seems like a pretty easy DIY, glue and Epsom salt is all it takes for a snowy ornament. I think I would add some white glitter in the mix, but that is just because I am a glitter loving fool.  You can find it here.  (Blog is no longer active, sorry)
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This is a book that you can buy for $10, not a freebie, but it is chock full of inexpensive DIY gift ideas. I think this book could be dangerous! You can learn more about it here.
Lastly, of course there are a bunch of free printable gift tags and printables out there again this year, but I have limited myself to my favorite two that I've seen.
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Found here, &
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found here.
I think I am going to use that last printable set for my Christmas Eve Eve party that I am hosting again this year (because what is Christmas without THREE straight days of hanging out with family?). That could be considered crafting or getting something festive for Christmas, right? Maybe I will count it this year. Happy pinning!