Merry Christmas!

Hope you had the most wonderful day – we were certainly spoiled rotten!

Amelie’s first Christmas thoroughly tuckered our little elf out! She especially enjoyed ripping bows and tags off all of the presents with serious Christmas gusto.

Also, we are thiiiiiiis close to crawling! It’s more of a scoot and lunge currently. But it’s forward moving nonetheless!

Happy Holidays, everyone. XOXO!

Candace’s Crafty Corner: Hot Cocoa Jars

Hi my little elves! I had to wait to share this year’s Christmas craft in an effort to keep the surprise intact since we shipped these as gifts for our family.

I made hot cocoa jars! I used this recipe. Usually my vision and execution don’t intersect but I actually think these turned out adorable! Am I allowed to say that?

I made two versions:  a mocha cocoa, which I layered with instant coffee and coffee creamer and a candy cocoa layered with crushed candy bars. Pretty pretty layers!

Was this craft easy? Yes, of course! Did it take me a long time? Yes. That’s the deceiving thing about craft projects from the interwebs. You’d think you could pull something like this together in an afternoon and that’s simply not the case, even if you don’t have a baby to plan around. For me, the main time investment was collecting and cleaning the jars. I had to clean them out and remove the labels. I soaked them in vinegar and soapy water and removed the labels using a coconut oil and baking soda mixture. I found this all natural “Goo Gone” recipe HERE (a great blog, btw). It worked but took serious effort! Since I reused old jars, I needed to paint over some of the lids to hide the previous labeling. I used Martha Stewart’s craft paint in Wedding Cake, which is a soft white. I sponge brushed the paint on, which I think gave a textured “snowy” effect. Of course, I had to do multiple coats…see how this easy project got way more involved? A few of the jars only needed a cupcake liner to make the top festive:

Obviously you could save yourself a load of trouble and buy mason jars all ready to go! I fear these jars probably didn’t survive shipping to Minnesota without some jumbling but I just hope they didn’t break! *crosses fingers*

Hubs helped me make the labels with Gimp software and I think they are so cute. On the back I wrote “Add a few heaping tsp of mix to hot h20, top with marshmallows & enjoy!”.

Budget breakdown (approximately):

  • 2 bags of powdered milk: $9.00
  • 1 1/2 tins of cocoa: $4.50
  • 1 bag of powdered sugar: $1.50
  • 2 bags of marshmallows: $2.00
  • candy bars: $3.50
  • instant coffee: $5.50
  • coffee creamer: $2.50
  • paper straws: $2.00
  • TOTAL for 12 jars of cocoa: $30.50 ($2.55/jar)

*the jars, ribbon, paper, cornstarch, salt, craft paint, cupcake liners, baking soda, and coconut oil I had on hand. You could save yourself money by skipping the mocha version and buying pre-mixed hot cocoa.

So, what do you think? Did you do any crafting this year?

Friday Tidbits

You guys, I’m done with my Christmas shopping! I’m annoyed that I waited this long to finish up but I did score pretty sweet deals by procrastinating. Amelie has had a few rough nights and funky days this week. I’m hoping some football with Dad will help her feel better simply because remotes are amazing!

Happy weekend, everyone. Christmas is almost here! PRESSIES!!!

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers for Dudes

Stocking Stuffers for Dudes

It was hard to put this together – I think shopping for men, especially little stocking stuffers, is next to impossible. I say, when in doubt, go the digestible route: beer, homemade treats, salsas, sports drinks, beef jerky…

Any go-to stocking stuffers for men that you can think of? Were these posts remotely interesting? Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?

 

Friday Tidbits

Our tree is up and I’ve been playing an annoyingly amount of Christmas music – oh how I love the holidays!

My curious Amelie is a little suspicious of the sparkly getup…

I did some Christmas crafting last weekend and you’ll never believe this…but I think they turned out pretty cute. I’ll be sharing the details soon!

But until then, I’ll leave you with a picture of my little cupcake:

Happy Friday!

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Dudes.

My Hubs isn’t into video games. He isn’t into tools. He isn’t into collecting DVDs, gadgets or really anything (phew!). So buying gifts for him isn’t easy. This is a good thing because I’m the greedy one around these parts!For the Dudes

Of course the reinbeer had to make it in – that was a HIT last year! On to stocking stuffers…

Raves & Faves: NOVEMBER

1. We’ve been making food for Amelie with our rice cooker (it has a little steamer on top) and our Magic Bullet. A food processor would be easier but we don’t have one. Pureed broccoli, anyone? Amelie loves it!

2. Apricot Preserves. I’ve been loving this on my English Muffins in the morning; it reminds me of my Grandpa. We lived with my grandparents for a year and they always had this in the fridge. *gets sentimental*

3. Grandma (MamaP) came to visit us! We soaked up lots of time together.

4. Thanksgiving had to make it in here somewhere! Actually, Thanksgiving Day was tiring. Hubs and I planned a big of a feast and truthfully, it was a little too much work with a baby around. When we attempted to clean up just before Amelie’s bedtime, we realized our sink drain was clogged. No bueno. We tried what we could that evening (vinegar and baking soda, hot water…) but ended up leaving our kitchen a complete disaster zone until morning. On Black Friday, instead of eating leftovers and putting up our Christmas decorations and STAYING HOME, we went to Home Depot five times for various rentals and tools and had to eat out! It was a total pain (mostly for Hubs) but he finally did get that clog worked out!

We did manage to squeeze in a coffee date that weekend to help us relax. I walked out of the restroom to this adorable scene:

Yes, Amelie is standing on the counter, flashing her dimple at the barista with a credit card in hand. I almost fainted from The Cute!

5. The Christmas season has officially begun. If this doesn’t bring you serious joy, I don’t know what will. Thanks for finding this, Tai!

I’m so super excited about Amelie’s first Christmas, y’all! She doesn’t even care but still.

Raves and Faves of Novembers past: 2010, 2011 and 2012. Get you some! Nah, don’t.

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: For Little Ladies

For Little Ladies
Can I make it clear how hard it is not to spend a small fortune on Amelie? I want to buy her SO MUCH STUFF even though I know she’ll outgrow it instantly…well, right after she pukes sweet potato mush all down the front of it. Sigh. Baby girl clothes are about the cutest thing on the planet. Well, almost. Baby girls are the cutest thing, especially mine.
Am I right or am I right?

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers for HER (mostly under $10)

Stocking Stuffers
Tip: candy, homemade treats and seasonal tea are excellent “fillers” to round out any stocking.
I mentioned it’s “mostly under $10″ because the lip gloss kit is $12. If you had multiple stockings to fill, you could break up this gift set and POW! you’d save a bundle by unbundling.
Hubs and I aren’t exchanging stockings this time around since the house is soaking up extra funds but it was certainly fun to virtually shop for/drool over goodies anyway. What do you hope will show up in your stocking this year?

Friday Tidbits

It’s Friday and I have a Christmas craft to share!

You probably remember/don’t care that our Christmas decor color scheme is red and gold. Although festive, we’ve been rocking this theme for a handful of years now.

Like 8 years.

I’m yearning for something more sophisticated like silver, gold, and bronze. Or maybe something fresh and funky like greens and turquoise.

So.

I’ve had this cute tree from Pier1 for a long while.

It got roughed up in our last two moves causing a few cracked bulbs and scratches.  I was thinking of putting this in Amelie’s room but those colors would totally clash. Have no fear, Rehab Candace to the rescue!

First I spray painted it white to give myself a nice even base to work with…

Once Michaels was running a sale on Martha Stewart craft paints, I picked out a few colors, starting painting and…

TA DA.

This, my friends, is an official Christmas FAIL. First of all, it’s nearly impossible to paint one bulb without inadvertently painting the two next to it. I also realized each bulb would take me at least two coats to get nice full coverage. After I calculated how many more naps this tree would take to transform completely, I decided to scrap it!

Here’s to hoping my next Christmas craft is much more successful. I’ll share with you regardless!

Doing any Christmas crafting this weekend?