Our Christmas

Oh my, Christmas was fun this year! Between both our families we had a week long of celebrations and activities and boy are we feeling it now! The after Christmas hangover is REAL and we are all feeling it!

Brynlee is acting out a lot more than usual, I think she got used to all the extra attention from family members and the constant string of activities, so this week, even though she has a million new toys to play with, has been quite boring in comparison.  As for me and Landon, we are both exhausted from the constant go, go, go of last week and have been enjoying the leisurely down time this week, now if only Brynlee would follow suit.

We enjoyed hosting my family this year for Christmas the Saturday before Christmas and it was wonderful. We used to get together every year on Christmas Eve, but it was always so rushed because everyone wanted to get home to get ready for Christmas morning.

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Brynlee and I made sugar cookies and homemade marshmallows (using this recipe) the day before our celebration and so as everyone was arriving and getting settled we served up hot cocoa and had a little cookie decorating soiree while we waited for dinner to be done. If you’ve never tried making your own marshmallows yet, do it!! They are so delicious and a lot easier than you might think.

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Brynlee loved decorating the cookies and I loved have the extra time to chat with our loved ones!

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We continued the week of activities with our annual trip to the Zoo Lights. Sadly, this year did not go so well with Brynlee, she was constantly trying to run off, it was super crowded and we barely got to even look at the lights we were too busy chasing after Brynlee. Hopefully next year will be better, if we even brave it, that will depend on Brynlee’s listening and following direction skills. Needless to say, any talk of going to Disneyland this spring went out the window after that little experience.

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We also did plenty of baking and finished all of our list of last minute to do in preparation for the big day.

And now I have to take a little moment to be extremely cliche, but having a child totally brings back the magic of Christmas. I haven’t been this excited about Christmas since I was little. I mean seriously, as in I had a hard time sleeping Christmas Eve I was so excited! It was so much more magical this year with Brynlee because she really participated in everything and understood what was going on. We had SO. MUCH. FUN!

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On Christmas Eve, we went to Landon’s Aunt’s house where the entire family gathers for dinner and Santa even makes a surprise visit to hand out a gift to each of the kids.

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Woodzeez Happy Camper

Much like our visit to Santa went the week before, Brynlee was not a fan, but she gladly accepted her gift and had fun playing with it the rest of the evening.

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When we got home, we put cookies, milk and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer and headed to bed!

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We’re ready for you, Santa!

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Christmas morning Landon and I were the first one’s up, we were both so excited and so of course Brynlee chose that morning to sleep in until 8:00am!!! When does that ever happen??? Any other day I will gladly take the extra sleep, but today, I just wanted to wake her up so badly.

Anyway, as everyone informed me to enjoy it because soon it will be 3 and 4am wake up calls, we not so patiently waiting for sleeping beauty to wake up…

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Eventually she did and we had so much fun seeing her excitement over what Santa had brought her and as she was opening her gifts from us.

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She was so excited to find Pluto under the tree, now her little Mickey family is complete and Mickey, Minnie AND Pluto must go everywhere!

Then the next morning we headed up north for your final Christmas celebration with Landon’s parents and it was COLD!!!

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We all still had a lot of fun! Especially when the kiddos realized Santa had visited Nana and Papa’s house to drop off these little Rangers. The kids loved them and even Brynlee got the hang of driving one, eventually…

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It took massive amounts of bribery and the fact that she was chilled to the bone to get Brynlee back inside after that.

All in all, we had so much fun this year celebrating with our loved ones and while I’m sad that it’s all over, I’m also really looking forward to the new year and all it will bring!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and wish you and your families and Happy New Year!

Christmas Bows

Today was the last day of Brynlee’s dance class for a couple of weeks for winter break and so, I thought it would be fun to make a little gift for Brynlee to give to all the little girls in her class. I really wanted the gifts to me non-edible since so many treats are passed around during the holiday already.

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I decided on some simple hair bows made from left over fabric I had from Brynlee’s Christmas dress. I made these bows the same way I made the Minnie Mouse bows for Brynlee’s birthday, except I put a 4″x 4″ tulle overlay on top.

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Though its really hard to see in this photo (sorry), I cut out a 3.75″x 5″ piece of white card stock and using an X-acto knife I cut two 1″ incisions in the middle of the card.

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I slipped the bow onto the cardstock and into cellophane bags and made a little tag that said xoxo, Brynlee that I tied to each bag with red and white bakers twine.

All of the girls (and their mom’s) loved them when Brynlee passed them out and I love that they all have matching bows to wear whenever we all get together.

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And of course, I couldn’t forget Brynlee’s teacher. She is the most amazing teacher ever. If you’ve been following along for very long, you know Brynlee had a very rough transition to dance. It took a full month before she lasted the whole class and 2 months before she would walk into class without crying. Her teacher was so kind and encouraging and never gave up on her. I worried I’d made a mistake and enrolled her too early, luckily, thanks to her teacher, she now loves it and is doing extremely well. Brynlee gave her a monogrammed mug with a starbucks gift card. I wrapped it in red cellophane, tied a giant bow on it and attached a thank you card. Her teacher loved it and I was grateful for the opportunity to finally tell her how much I appreciate her and the impact she has had on Brynlee.

DIY Sewing Kit

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In need of a great gift idea? Well here you go! This is super easy, inexpensive and a thoughtful gift to give to any sewist, a student heading off to college or really anyone, I mean who isn’t in need of, at the very least, a mending kit.

Start off with a mason jar, any size will work depending on  what you want to add to your jar. I used a quart here.

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Trace your lid onto a piece of poster board and cut it out.

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Using that as a template, cut a circle from a piece of fabric about 1/2″ larger.

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Grab a handful of batting.

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Using a glue gun, glue it to the poster board circle cut out.

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Place it, batting side down on top of the fabric circle.

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And start folding and gluing the fabric to your poster board. I started by gluing 4 sides.

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Then the 4 corners and finally all the little flaps down.

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When your done it should look like this, a pin cushion.

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Line the rim of the jar ring with hot glue and press the pin cushion through.

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Then glue the lid to the back of the pin cushion.

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Now fill your jar with supplies, add a couple of pins on top and your good to go!

I made this gift for someone who is starting to hand quilt so I added some spools of different colored thread, needles and some scrap fabric and fat quarters. If you are making this for a mending kit, adding buttons, some elastic, a variety of closures or for a sewist filling it with notions and fabric would be perfect!

Happy Crafting/Sewing!!!

Merry Christmas Wreath

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I love having beautiful wreaths on my front door and I love making them even more! So I really can’t say why it took me so long to make a Christmas wreath, especially since Christmas decorations are pretty much my favorite thing ever!

But I finally did and now here I am to share the simple process with you!

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I started with a wire wreath frame, I decided to go with square this time since all my other wreaths are circular. I already had the red glitter polka dot ribbon on hand from after Christmas sales (my favorite!!) a few years ago and I had one roll of red deco mesh but ended up needed to get another to finish the wreath. To make the wreath I just alternated weaving the ribbon and deco mesh through the wire frame and smooshing it all together to make it full.

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I had picked up these wire lights for another project that I didn’t end up using them for and the Merry Christmas ornament is from my gift wrapping supplies.

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I divided the amount of lights up by 4 to make sure I had an even amount of lights on each side and wound them through the ribbon securing them to the wire form with tape. I also taped the battery pack to the bottom point of the form, so far that has worked well and is easily accessible to turn the lights on and off.  Then I used some red and white bakers twine to attach the Merry Christmas ornament to the top center point of the wreath.

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I love how happy it makes my door look!

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And here’s a peek at what it looks like with the lights on. They come off a little orange in this picture, but are much more red in real life. The lights say they will last for 20 hours so I just turn them on in the evening and early mornings and keep them off the rest of the time.