christmas decor · Cozy at Home · Home Decor

10 Ideas For A Winter Wonderland Christmas Plus 27 Gorgeous Amazon Finds

Winter Wonderland Decor Ideas

Isn’t there something magical about a Christmas interior full of sparkle: glittery snowflakes, glistening tinsel, and shimmering candles and crystal? Quite an elegant take on the holidays, this look transports us to a winter wonderland full of peace and tranquility.

For my own home, I always have a bit of icy monochromatic winter decor in at least part of the house. I really love it. If you are planning a winter wonderland, here are 10 ideas to try.

  1. Add some flocked greenery garlands or trees, or lightly spray some with faux snow for a frosty look.
  2. Use textures in a monochromatic color scheme of white, cream, and light taupe.
  3. Add shiny glass in the form of crystal icicles, mercury glass ornaments, votives, and dishes, and leaded, beveled glass.
  4. Glittered ornaments like snowflakes and even branches add to the magical feel.
  5. For textiles, look for beading and subtle sequins to reflect light and add to the holiday glow.
  6. Bring some white birch twigs or logs indoors for a woodsy effect.
  7. Along with whites, mix in some metallics for contrast and even more shine.
  8. Switch out your usual throw blankets for some in soft, snowy white.
  9. Crystals from an old chandelier make terrific ornaments hung from birch branches or on the Christmas tree.
  10. Create a soft glittering glow in the room by turning down your main lights and adding in flickering candles and whitewashed or weathered lanterns.

I haven’t started decorating yet. I really need to get started this week! And I will be looking forward to creating my own little winter wonderland!

Here are 27 amazing finds all available from Amazon, delivered straight to you!

Have a beautiful day! πŸ™‚

christmas decor · Cozy at Home · Home Decor

Nordic Farmhouse Christmas Decor Offers A Warm, Welcoming Glow

Add some cozy Nordic charm to your Christmas this year! If you love this traditional look, there are definitely some can’t miss elements. Old World ornaments and Father Christmas are at the top of the wish list, along with traditional red and white textiles. Natural and white-washed wood lightens up the look. Add a wooden Christmas village and other carved and wooden ornaments such as dala horses and snowflakes. DIY projects including simple pine and twig wreaths and homemade gingerbread houses complement your magical farmhouse look.

Check out these beautiful Christmas decor ideas from Amazon.

Have a beautiful day, and enjoy creating your cozy winter cottage! πŸ™‚

Post contains affiliate links

Cozy at Home · Gifts

24 Thoughtful and Useful Ideas For Pandemic Gift Giving

Connecting with loved ones is the most important part of the holidays. Unfortunately, the global pandemic shows no signs of slowing before the Christmas season. The reality is setting in that many of us will not be spending the holidays with extended family. Certainly a lot of older relatives may be in situations where visitors may not be possible. And kids may very well be at home most of the time with a desperate need for meaningful, engaging activities.

I’m looking for ways to safely make the season special. Admittedly, it’s been rough. We won’t be getting together with extended family for Thanksgiving, although we are still seeing each other on the occasional warm day when we can get together outside. Like everyone else, we have also been connecting by video call.

This year, I’m also going to need to get creative with gift-giving. I plan to order a lot of my gifts on Amazon and have them delivered to loved ones I won’t be seeing. I’m also looking for gifts that will make the winter at home more comfortable.Some great ideas for pandemic gift giving are family games, activities, crafts, home entertainment, and special, personalized items.

Here are my top Amazon picks for pandemic gift-giving:

Family Games

Board games are a great way to spend time together as a family. Setting aside one evening a week as game night can help add structure and fun to time at home.

Home Comfort

For people on your list who have to spend more time inside the four walls of home, help them make their home a haven by giving gifts that promote health, relaxation, and stress-relief.

Cooking At Home

Help loved ones increase convenience and variety in home cooking. Fewer trips to the coffee shop and deli mean more at-home options are appreciated.

Home Technology

Home technology and entertainment provide a welcome diversion during this challenging time as well as a way to connect with loved ones.

Home Activities

Learning something new or engaging in a creative project is a great idea in 2020. Here are some fun picks.

Other Fun Gifts for People We Wish We Could See

For people on your list who you will not be able to see, remind them that you’re thinking about them over the Christmas season with thoughtful and creative gifts.

christmas decor · DIY Crafts · Home Decor

Create Your Own Beautiful DIY Farmhouse Christmas Decor From Pistachio Shells

Hello and happy Friday! I’ve been busy with a little DIY project, and I have to say, I’m happy with how this one turned out! I love the subtle look of this modern farmhouse style Christmas decor. These little decorations would also look fabulous with a Coastal Christmas theme.

We eat A LOT of pistachios around here, so I asked my husband to start saving the shells for me a while ago. With a small bag full of shells, I had more than enough to make this project. I made the tree base out of paper and the wreath bases out of cardboard and container lids destined for the recycling bin. So this fun upcycled project cost me next to nothing.

I achieved the shaded look of the tree by painting the shells with several shades of chalk paint. The wreaths are a single color on each, and I added some grosgrain ribbon and rustic jute to give them a finished look. The wreaths could be hung from a mirror, on your Christmas tree, or even used as votive holders!

Here’s how I made this fun DIY project!

Materials:

9 by 12 70 pound paper

pistachio shells

various matte or chalk paint

jute

ribbon

glue gun

cardboard or round plastic container lids

For the tree, make a cone out of the paper by forming a tight cone and taping along the edge. Then cut off the uneven bottom so that the cone stands straight.

Divide your shells into several groups for the colors you would like to use. For the tree, I left some natural (which are the ones that almost look like a light peach shade) and painted some in light celery green and some in light gray. I also painted some white for one of the wreaths. You could also do your tree in all one color, or make a group of trees that are one color each. It all depends on you and your creativity!

Once the shells are dry, attach them to the tree using a hot glue gun, alternating colors for a shaded effect. When you place the next row above, make sure to slightly overlap the previous row so that the paper cone will not be showing. I found it was helpful to keep the little shell pieces for spots where I didn’t have quite enough space for a full shell. Continue this process until the whole tree is covered. I added a single shell with a little gold paint at the top.

For the wreath, I used the lid from a breadcrumbs container and also traced this onto cardboard for the rest of the wreaths. I used a small drinking glass to trace the center circle. Cut out the wreaths and the centers for the size you want. This same method could be used for a much larger pistachio shell wreath as well.

Using the hot glue gun, glue the shells in a slightly overlapping fashion, starting with the innermost row. Continue until the circle is covered. Add jute for hanging and the ribbon trim of your choice.

When your project is finished, pull off all the little glue strings. This project took me about three hours to complete, including painting the shells.

I read this week that getting into a state of “flow” where you can accomplish something productive that is fairly easy is a great way to cope with stress. I think we all could use that right now! So it’s more crafting from now until Christmas! πŸ™‚

Have a beautiful day and try something creative! πŸ™‚

christmas decor · Cozy at Home · Home Decor

I’m Dreaming of a Bright Christmas: Great Finds For Creating a Vibrant Holiday Home

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and decorating is one of the most wonderful parts of the season! This year, I’m really loving the vibrant Christmas decor trend. Color can really add some holiday personality to a normally neutral space, and this look combines well with DIY projects and bohemian interiors as well.

I’ve been checking out the great selection of bright Christmas decor online, and here are a few of my favorite finds for this year.

Thanks for taking a look at my blog, and have a colorful day! πŸ™‚

Contains affiliate links

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

Merry and Bright DIY Christmas Cone Trees In Three Styles

Today was a cold snowy day in the mid-Atlantic. We’ve had some unusually warm weather, but today’s chilly breeze is a reminder that it is definitely time to start pulling out some fun DIY Christmas projects!

I love these merry and bright Christmas trees! They’re so fun in a grouping with other bright Christmas balls and pom garlands. They bring a modern, contemporary take to the traditional Christmas tree, and are easy to make. This is a great project to try with your older kids (old enough to safely use a glue gun) when they’re home for Thanksgiving break or later in the holidays, or if you find yourself pandemic homeschooling. Not just a project for kids, these trees are pretty enough to use on your mantle or table display. Also, I made these trees with very simple materials; all you need is some heavy nine by twelve paper, colorful felt, and trims!

My post contains affiliate links for supplies.

I created three different tree styles. Here’s how!

Materials:

9 x 12 70 pound art paper

package of colorful felt (this was a great deal for a variety of felt colors in the small size I wanted)

2 feet of rainbow pom pom cording

tape

scissors

hot melt glue gun

pencil

For all tree styles, the first step is to make paper cones. There are other methods of doing this, but I found the easiest was just to take a sheet of paper and form it into a tight cone, and then tape the side along the whole edge. When the cone is formed, the bottom will be uneven. I trimmed the bottoms with scissors until the cones were straight across the bottom edge. Admittedly, this is a non-exact approach, but it works very easily without a lot of trouble.

Style 1: Pom Fringe Tree

The pom fringe tree is the simplest to make. You will need about 2 yards of fringe. Extra fringe is really fun to have to use elsewhere for your bright Christmas decor. Starting at the bottom of your paper cone, place the trim around the tree, going upwards and slightly diagonal with each row. Each row will be about 3/4 inch to 1 inch apart. As you place the cording, glue it down with the hot melt glue gun.

Draw a five-pointed star on the felt with a pencil. These trees are whimsical, so it’s not that important that your star is drawn exactly. Cut the star out, and attach it to the top of the tree with a dab of hot glue. Make sure the light pencil marking on the star are on the back (glued) side. When the tree is completed, pull off any stray glue strings.

Style 2: Ombre Petals Tree

The ombre tree is made with several shades of the same color. It’s also very simple to make. The hardest part is cutting the petals, but once that’s done, you can complete the tree quickly and easily. I think this ombre tree would be great in a grouping of various colors of ombre trees. Here’s how to make yours!

Find felt pieces in a gradient. You need at least three shades, but you could use four or even fade to white at the top.

Cut small petal shapes out of the felt. I used the felt pack from Amazon listed on the supplies list, and I cut petals from the entire piece of the darkest color. The lighter colors require slightly less because the cone is narrower at the top. My petals are about an inch long and half an inch wide.

Beginning at the bottom of the tree, glue rows of your darkest felt color with a hot melt glue gun. Make sure the bottom edge of the paper cone is not showing and slightly overlap the petals in each row.

Continue this process using lighter shades as you get to the top of the tree.

Cover the tree completely in felt petals. Add a felt star to the top.

Style 3: Bright Contrast Tiers Tree

For this tree, you need four contrasting pieces of felt. I have also seen similar trees in all one color of green that were very cute. I had planned to cut the felt edge with a fancy cut pinking shears, but mine were not sharp enough to cut through the felt. You might have some that would work, which makes the project slightly easier.

Using the pack of felt from Amazon, I cut my yellow piece in half for the bottom layer. This works for all colors except the top, where you will have to adjust the felt size to the top of your tree.

Once you have your felt pieces selected, create a notched edge using scissors to cut out small triangles.

Starting with the lowest layer, glue your felt onto the tree keeping the bottom edge of the felt even with the bottom edge of the tree. Because the felt is straight and the cone isn’t, you’ll have to finesse this bottom layer a little bit. I tucked the felt slightly and glued it with the hot glue gun to make it even all the way around. You can see that small tuck on the left side of the yellow felt on the picture.

Continue gluing on your tiered layers. There is going to be a back side to this tree that does not look perfect. Make sure as you’re gluing, you have a front side that looks nice and displays all the layers. For the top tier, place your felt as it would have to be glued. Mark the felt for how much you will need to cut off so that the felt doesn’t go past the pointed top of the tree. Add a felt star to the top of the tree.

This was a really fun and simple project. I finished all of the trees in about two hours. I hope you will give one or all of them a try and see what you think.

Have a beautiful day, and try something creative! πŸ™‚

DIY Crafts · Event Planning · Free Printables

Bright, Fun DIY Thanksgiving Decor: Free Downloadable Graphics Including Crowns for the Kid’s Table

Hi and Happy Friday! Looking for some fun ways to make your Thanksgiving festive this year? For a lot of us, it’s going to be a challenge as we forego the traditional big gatherings and find ways to celebrate thankfulness in a different way this year. Today’s free downloadable graphics include some fun, bright Thanksgiving decor perfect for involving the kids or for decorating your place for the season.

You can make paper chains, Thanksgiving crowns for the young or young-at-heart, print some placemats, and a Give Thanks sign.

Enjoy and have a beautiful day! πŸ™‚

sign or placemat

placemat-print legal size for larger

cut strips to make paper chain

Cut out crown, cut strip from remaining blue to make back, size to fit.

Gifts · Parenting

Kids’ Gifts That Build Creativity and Thinking Skills

Shopping for kids is a huge part of the holiday season. Instead of going on a search for the latest toy fad of the year, consider giving some gifts that will encourage creativity and active learning in children. When I’m shopping for kids, I try to find gifts that will be engaging, appealing, and fun, but still help kids develop skills. My own children are well past the toys stage, but when they were younger, we got them each a couple of the traditional toy items, and the rest of their gifts leaned heavily toward activities, games, and items that would help them spend time productively. More than the toys, they appreciated the chance to try new things and feel a sense of accomplishment as well as spending time together as a family working on a project.

Time spent playing a board game, flying a kite, or learning a new art technique is valuable for children and provides a much-needed break from screen time.

Here are some of my top picks for fun and engaging toys available from Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. Please see about page for full information. Thanks so much for supporting my blog! πŸ™‚

PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set 100pcs Magnet Building Tiles Clear Magnetic 3D Building Blocks

This beautiful magnetic building set offers hours of creative fun.

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up – Toy of the Year Award Winner

Highly-rated game encourages spatial reasoning and logic skills.

126 Piece Deluxe Art Creativity Set with 2 Drawing Pad, Art Supplies in Portable Wooden Case- Crayons, Oil Pastels, Colored Pencils, Acrylic Paints, Watercolor Cakes, Brushes – Deluxe Art Set

Everything needed to explore new art techniques

5000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) National Geographic Kids) Hardcover

Encourage curiousity and wonder about the world around us with this great book

Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower – Active Outdoor Fun for Kids Ages 3 to 8 Years Old

Free time outdoors is so important. Here’s an easy solution to provide a play space in your yard.

My World Interactive Map – Educational Talking Toy for Kids of Ages 5 to 12 Years

Help kids discover world geography with this award-winning interactive map

2 Pack Kites – Large Rainbow Delta Kite and Red Octopus with Long Colorful Tail

Classic kites are always a fun gift

Exploring Nature Journal for Kids: Observe and Record the Outdoors 

encourage writing and observational skills with this journal

Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit

Paper and instructions for creating a variety of paper airplanes.

150 Piece Set Wooden Castle Building Blocks Set FAO SCHWARZ Toy Solid Pine Wood Block Playset Kit with Bridges and Arches

Classic building set encourages imagination

FAO Schwarz Kids 8-Piece Arts and Crafts Weaving Loom Set: Create Your Own Weaves and Fabric Projects with Colored String; Kit Includes Loom Frame, 4 Colored String Bundles, 3 Wooden Shuttles, Ages 4+

Weaving set for kids who love unique artistic projects

Quiksilver Mission Mittens Kids

Recycled Fabric: REPREVE traceable, recycled 4-way stretch polyester blend made from plastic bottles
Insulation: WarmFlight x3 technology for extra warm and breathable insulation for Winter outside play

Kids Dinosaur Knitted Hat

Kids look adorable in this warm hat that lends itself to pretend play

Clay Lab for Kids: 52 Projects to Make, Model, and Mold with Air-Dry, Polymer, and Homemade Clay

Fun and engaging clay projects

Thanks for reading my blog today. Enjoy the season shopping for all the kids in your life, and have a beautiful day! πŸ™‚

Gifts

Fabulous Gifts for the All the Guys In Your Life and All Available on Amazon

Hi there! I hope you’re hanging in there as 2020 inches closer and closer to an end. One thing I can truly, honestly look forward to no matter what the circumstances are the year-end holiday celebrations. We have tons of traditions that go along with the Christmas season, and cooking and decorating also add to the joy of the season.

We don’t go overboard in our family with enormous gifts, but I do love finding something really unique and special for everyone on my list. I have come to rely more and more on Amazon for my shopping because we have a high risk family member so we avoid covid exposure if at all possible. Home shopping has really been a great service for our family.

I recently also became an Amazon affiliate and this post contains affiliate links, but I am absolutely a real customer too. I very much appreciate you supporting me and my blog. Thank you! πŸ™‚

Now, on to the gift guide for guys. Guys can be really tricky to buy for, but I think I have found some really great items for you today. I like finding the more original items and also putting in a few established brands and old favorites. I hope these ideas help and inspire you as you start shopping for this year’s celebrations!

  1. ENO Eagle’s Nest Outfitters Portable Hammock

This lightweight hammock is portable for all his great adventures! Accomodates 1-2 people. I love this bright tie dye, but the hammock is available in a multitude of color choices.

2. Oakley Holbrook Polarized Square Sunglasses

Quality sunglasses like a pair of sylish Oakleys make a great gift. Who wouldn’t love these classic shades?

3. Beard Comb

This engraved wooden beard comb is individually handmade in the Ukraine. The Comb also folds for storage and portability.

4. Irish Patchwork Wool Cap

This Irish flat cap is made by one of Ireland’s oldest weavers in Co. Tipperary, using time-honored methods, passed down through generations at John Hanly & Co. The younger generation is making the newsboy cap trendy again, but a man of any age would love this classic.

5. Dan the Sausageman’s Sounder Gourmet Gift Box Featuring Smoked Summer Sausage and Wisconsin Cheeses

If you have someone on your list who appreciates food gifts, consider this great gift box. The company was selected as the 2018 U.S. Small Business of the Year for Washington State, this box is rated as “perfect” and “awesome” by Amazon reviewers.

6. Personalized Super Mario Brothers leather handmade mens wallet

This wallet combines classy with fun nostalgia. It’s handmade and can also be personalized with a name or initials. What a cool gift!

7. Humboldt Hands Original Woodsman Handmade Soap

Humboldt Hands is a luxury goat milk soap for working hands. The soap is made on the farm with fresh goats milk. It is tough on grease, grime, tree sap, barn muck and plant resins.

8. Tommy Bahama St. Kitts Eau De Cologne for Men

This breezy, classic scent features citrus, cedarwood, musk, and sea salt.

9. Sterling Silver Puzzle Ring

This striking silver ring is also an intricate puzzle, and the mystery of how to take it apart and put it back together has to be solved. How cool is that?

10. Callahan’s Gourmet Hot Sauce Gift Set

Poblano, Habanero, & Black Pepper Chipotle. Great gift for the hot sauce lover in your life. Made weekly in small batches by Callahan himself in Seattle, WA.

11. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch

Gorgeous stainless water resistant watch from Citizen. Round watch with blue sunray dial featuring three subdials, placed indices, baton hands, and date window at four o’clock.

12. Happy Socks Classics Gift Box

These bright, beautiful socks are just so…well, happy! A great gift to put a smile on someone’s face.

13. Personalized Docking Station, Charging Station, Phone Dock, Cell Phone Stand

This wood docking station can be personalized and is available in 8 wood finishes. The docking station is compatible with all cell phones including iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus, all kind of iPhones and all Android phones, and all kinds of tablets as well.

14. SwissGear USB ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

This backpack features a TSA-friendly, lay-flat tech compartment equipped with a padded 15” laptop sleeve and tablet pocket to scan your devices without taking them out of the pack. Durable zipper closure adds an extra barrier of security for devices and essentials throughout your trip. An integrated USB port allows you to charge your smartphone, tablet, and laptop wherever you are. Perfect gift for the guy on the go.

15. Woodstock Candy ~ 80s Retro Candy Gift Box 

Woodstock Candy has retro candy from any decade. Nostalgic and fun, these assortments make a great gift!

16. Tommy HilfigerLightweight Puffer Vest

Classic but trendy, Tommy Hilfiger is the perfect choice for any guy on your list. This puffer vest is available is a multitude of colors.

17. Marmot Retro Snap Back Hat

This cool nostalgic hat is a great gift for the guy who appreciates staying on top of trends while still remaining understated.

18. Custom Personalized Art Made From Real License Plates

All custom signs are made from real license plates and can be personalized with a name, team, birthday, anniversary, etc.

19. Complete Wet Shave Set from Mike the Mason

Mike the Mason Gift Set Includes: Hawk Safety Razor, Pure 100% Badger Hair Brush, Organic Honey Oatmeal Shave Bar, 5 Premium Mens Blades, and a Razor Stand

20. Nineties Nostalgia Old School Gadgets T Shirt

This fun t shirt is available in several colors and is perfect for any nineties kid.

21. Skullcandy Bluetooth Noise Isolation Wireless In-Ear Headphones With Mic and Volume Control

Most guys need a good set of headphones. These feature Bluetooth wireless technology, Rapid Charge: 10 Minutes = 3 Hours; 40 Hours of Total Battery Life, Adjustable Sensory Bass, and Noise Isolating Fit.

I hope this Amazon gift guide gives you a little inspiration to get started on you holiday gift shopping list!

Have a beautiful day, and happy shopping! πŸ™‚

Cooking · Cozy at Home

Quick Get Over A Cold Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Feeling a little under the weather? Need something to help with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose? This quick soup is always my go-to recipe- “good for what ails you” as my late Grandma used to say. πŸ™‚ Science and Grandma agree on this one. A quick search on the topic revealed that chicken broth does, in fact, help clear congestion, thin mucous, and has some anti-inflammatory effects. This soup also contains ingredients such as garlic, onion, and dill which are anti-inflammatory and have some anti-bacterial qualities as well. So it turns out, some good, old-fashioned chicken soup might be just what the doctor ordered!

The recipe is super easy to make, so it’s great when you have to cook for yourself even when you don’t feel like it.

Here’s my easy noodle soup recipe:

Ingredients

Large can (46 oz) chicken broth or fresh chicken broth

2 cups cooked cubed chicken

1 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t dill weed

1/4 t pepper

2 bay leaves

1 cup wide egg noodles

Combine all ingredients except noodles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add egg noodles and continue cooking until noodles are done, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Have a beautiful day, and please take care of yourself and stay healthy this cold and flu season! πŸ™‚