Tag Archives: Holidays

I’m Dreaming of a White Day After Christmas

This morning, we woke up to this!

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Cincinnati rarely sees snow at Christmas, much less in the entire month of December, so I’ll take a White Day-After-Christmas if that’s what I can get. Plus, it really helps my case for staying in my pajamas all day today.

We had a wonderful holiday; the past 5 or so days we’ve been going non-stop with holiday dinners, parties, post-party cleaning, food prepping, family time, etc. I’ll back up and start at the beginning to give you all a recap of my very merry diy’d Christmas!

On Saturday, we hosted some couples for dinner. We got to use our dining room for the very first time since we moved in! Yea! Only took a year, haha. We don’t have a formal dining room set, so we used two folding tables instead! I put the table centerpieces together out of things I already had around the house: hurricane vases, ornaments, festive berry sprigs, loose tinsel, snowflakes, etc. I put a clay lollipop at each place setting in lieu of a place card, and asked everyone to take them home with them. I got 2 red paper tablecloths at Target for about $3.50 a piece.

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I like to cook most/all of the food myself when we have parties versus getting pre-made meals or asking everyone to bring dishes. I just think if you’re invited to someone’s house for dinner, you should be able to go and enjoy yourself without worrying about bringing food along, keeping it hot, etc.

This was our menu for Saturday:

Appetizer: smoked sausage, garlic and herb cheese spread, olive tapenade, crackers, and cashews.

Main Course: mixed greens salad with toasted pine nuts, dried cherries, fresh parmesan and balsamic vinaigrette; baked salmon with herb seasoning (a “coastal blend” purchased from a local spice shop); and orzo with pesto and peas.

Dessert: homemade truffles and peppermint bark. Here’s my truffle assembly line: chilled ganache, toppings (chopped pecans, pistachios and cocoa powder) and a clean baking sheet to set them on!

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(Scroll to the end of this post to find links to the recipes I used)

On Sunday, we celebrated Christmas with Tom’s parents. In year’s past, we celebrate on Christmas Eve, after the larger Kennedy family gathering. But with the new pup in the house, we decided to space things out a bit this year. We even took Molly with us to Tom’s parents’! She was pretty well behaved, and by the end of the night, had shredded a lot of wrapping paper. Girl loves to shred paper.

On Monday, we went to Christmas Eve Mass and then to the Kennedy family gathering.

On Tuesday, we hosted Christmas for the first time! My parents came over early in the day for brunching and gifting; then my extended family came over later in the afternoon for dinnering and gifting. Then we cleaned up real quick and went to Tom’s Grandma’s house to see his mom’s side of the family. Whew! Hence, why I’m staying in my pajamas all day today.

Here’s our Christmas Day Brunch menu:

Spinach, Bacon, and Red Pepper Quiche with Sharp White Cheddar

Portobello and Crimini Mushroom Quiche with Apple-Smoked Gruyere

Maple and Brown Sugar Sticky Biscuits

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And some shots of the day’s various festivities:

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Yes, those are official Clark Griswold Moose Mugs! Tom’s parents gave them to us. They are just as awesome in person as I could have imagined them to be!

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Molly opened her own gifts! Smart girl shredded the paper, then plucked out her toy (a squeaky gingerbread girl), and started playing! I got to clean up her soggy paper shards.

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Tis the season for owls! I got this awesome owl stuffie (from Kohls), an owl ornament, and an owl tealight holder. My family knows me well…

For out Christmas Day table, I changed out the table cloth (another paper find from Target; this one’s got a bit of Scandinavian flair!), and added paper trees underneath the clear plastic plates for a bit of color.

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I added some other decorations around my chalkboard-inspired painting.

And lastly, the coolest gift I received, from the most awesome husband in the world 🙂

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I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends!

Recipes via: Coastal Blend Seasoning / Pesto Sauce / Homemade Truffles (I rolled mine in cocoa powder, chopped pistachios and chopped pecans)/ Peppermint Bark / Basic Quiche (I always reference this for baking temp, time, and the number of eggs; I usually skip the half-and-half because Tom is lactose intolerant) / Sticky Biscuits

Chalk It Up to the Holidays

If you saw my recent Weekly Wishlist, or follow me on Instagram (@onuwriter06), then you know that I’ve got a thing for Chalkboard prints. It’s a recent thing that has come on quite strong, too. And once you’ve fallen head-over-heels for a typographic print, there’s only one thing to do… try to recreate it yourself.

I started off by trying to free-hand my own versions of ones I’ve found online (mostly on Esty), carefully studying how the letters are created, connected and filled out. Here’s one example from my “sketchbook:”

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The next step was to decide on the phrase I wanted to write (so hard! there are sooooo many great Christmas song lyrics), and sketch it out. This way I could decide which words I wanted to emphasize, which would be serif or sans serif, etc. I also had to decide on a color. I didn’t want to do a black background because I wanted the colors to feel a bit more Christmasy. I chose Americana Hauser Light Green Acrylic paint (purchased at Michael’s, and also used on my clay lollipop ornaments. Such versatile paint…). I think the canvas size is 14″x18″, if you’re wondering.

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I prepped the canvas by painting the whole thing with the green paint. I only did one coat, and didn’t worry about making it too perfect or uniform. So some parts are darker/have more coverage than others. One of my friends described it as “rustic.”

Then I used a pencil to lightly sketch out the words “Christmases” and “White” to get the placement where I wanted them. And then it sat on my kitchen table (i.e. crafting space) for a few days while I got up the courage to put paint to paper, err, canvas.

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Here’s an action shot. Lucky for me, Tom was hovering with my iPhone camera on.

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And here’s the finished product:

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Snitch-eriffic

Looking for a cool ornament DIY? Why not a Golden Snitch!? I made this guy last year, following this tutorial via Tiny Apartment Crafts.

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All-in-all, it was pretty simple, though shaping the wings was a little challenging (maybe I bought the wrong wire?). I also purchased a set of small gold ornaments from Target that came in all different patterns, so I skipped the painting step.

If you make one, send me a pic so I can see how it turned out!

Weekly Wishlist: More Time!!!

Okay, so this is a little different than my usual Weekly Wishlists. I cannot believe that Christmas is 6. Days. Away. Where did December go? Why do I still have a huge to-do list for the holidays? Why haven’t I mailed out my greeting cards yet? Why is my house still only half decorated? Why are my DIY gifts not done? Ack!

::deep breaths::

So, if I had all the time in the world, here are some of the things I’d love to do for this holiday season:

– DIY ornaments (for myself and for gifts), like some of the fantastic ones created by IHeartOrganizing

IHeartOrganizing diy ornaments

– DIY decorations

DIY trees by Shauna Mailloux

– a themed Christmas tree (probably to fit in with my “Winter Wonderland” vision)
– baking and candy-making up a storm

dark chocolate peppermint bark via the lake kitchen
ghirardelli english toffee
martha stewart chocolate truffles
salted caramel fudge via eclectic recipes

– create a way to display all the holiday cards we’ve received (inspiration via IHeartOrganizing)

IHeartOrganizing card display

– DIY-ing some wrapping paper and gift bags
pianted heart bag via v and co

pom pom wrapping via whipperberry

…just to name a few. I guess there’s always next year! 😉

Are you on-track or stressed the %#^& out? Do you have any tips on how I can create more hours in a day?

Want to see more inspiration? Follow me on Pinterest here.

Our Trimmed-Out Christmas Tree (and other decorations)

I shared my mantel on Monday, so now, it’s time to reveal the full monty tree. Here she is in all her nine-foot-majesty:

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And lit up:

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Lovely, right?

One of my favorite things about Christmas is remembering. There are so many memories that I associate with our ornaments and decorations that I love uncovering every December, like this one that we bought on our honeymoon in Maui…

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Or this one to commemorate our big move last year…

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But I think my MOST treasured set of Christmas decorations is our Nativity set, which my mom handed down to me last Christmas.

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This set has been in my family for exactly 60 years. My grandfather purchased it in 1952, when my mom was 9 years old. It’s still in the original box, with the original postage stamp, and the original hand-written address.

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I never met my grandfather. He passed away years before I was born. So I love that I have this little piece to remind me of him. Every Christmas, when my mom, dad and I would get out the decorations, I was given two important tasks: screwing in and checking each light bulb for the tree strands, and setting up the Nativity set. And I usually spent the rest of the holiday season playing with the animals, prompting my parents to exclaim that next year, they were wrapping up the Nativity animals instead of buying me toys.

What’s your favorite part of decorating for the holidays? Any special items that you’ve built memories around?