Tag Archives: Christmas

Heavenly Blossoms {Cookies}

Today was the day that I stayed home to play housewife.  I sent the child to daycare and the dog and I baked cookies and made dinner, it was something I really wouldn’t mind doing once a week (Hint, Hint husband 😉

Never the less, today I bring you a forever family favorite recipe.  Peanut Butter Blossom cookies.  I don’t know why we only make them at Christmas time, but we do, always have.  And they will likely be gone within a week. Seriously if you’ve never had these, you are missing out on a tiny slice of heaven.

Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe (6 dozen)

1 C. Margarine
1 C. Peanut Butter
1 C. Sugar (plus a half cup for sugar-coating at the end)
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour
1 t. Baking powder
1 t. Baking soda
1 t. Salt
1 bag of Chocolate Kisses (unwrapped)

Directions:  In large mixing bowl, mix together margarine, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla at medium speed.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix at low-speed.  Let chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350.  Roll into 1-inch balls and place in a bowl of sugar.

Cover the ball with sugar and place on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Immediately after taking out of the oven, place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie and flatten the cookie.  (be careful, the chocolate gets soft soon).

Remove from baking sheet and let cool.

Of course, I need to recognize Diesel for his assistance and patience.  He is extremely helpful in making sure no crumbs hit the floor.
He’s also quite the character.  As I was cleaning things up at the sink while waiting for a batch in the oven I noticed him eagerly waiting for an opportunity to sneak a taste.

Hope you enjoy one of our family favorites 🙂



Filed under Inspiration

Christmas Mantel

disclaimer: My mantel was actually the buffet in my dining room for several years.  Now that I actually have a mantel in the basement I can’t give up my buffet for seasonal vignettes of decor. Also note that I’m not QUITE finished with this one yet as I have a few more “real” natural elements to add to complete the look.

Each year I try to have a theme to my mantel.  I had an image nagging in my mind of this Christmas Mantel from Just a Girl posted last year.

recognize that wreath?  I love the white with the greenery- festive but simple.

While at a garage sale this summer I happened upon an all white nativity set and I fell in love with it.  It would set the stage for this simple yet focal point in my holiday decor.  My dining room is the gathering place in our house and I often look for a way to tell a story through my decor.  This nativity set was just the focal point I was looking for to keep the reason for the season in the forfront of our holiday celebrations.

I added a burlap scrap to act as the hay and stable area, and an antique wooden box as the stable.

I added some garland behind the scene to make the figures stand out more.  I am also adding some pine boughs to the metal tins and some dogwood branches and twigs to the garland to add a more natural look to it.

I know what your thinking…um Heidi, this looks nothing like your inspiration mantle from Just a Girl.  If you can appreciate the natural, simple look of garland with white accents you’ll understand just how my brain operates!


Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration

Boa Wreath for all Seasons

Hopefully by now you’ve realized that I like to showcase SIMPLE projects.  Well, I also like things that are thrifty and versatile.  The Boa Wreath is potentially the most elegant looking thing in my house right now, and it doesn’t show a spec of dust.  It’s also very easy to change out for the other seasons. It’s a win-win-win in my book!

For this project you’ll need at least 5 Boas, a straw or white styrofoam wreath, and a few stick pins.

Because I wanted a bit of an elegant look, I went with the furry looking (6 ft) boas. As with everything else, these things always go on sale at Hobby Lobby – never pay full price 🙂
I like a real full looking wreath so I used 6 boas to fully cover the wreath.  I would recommend if you are using white to use the styrofoam wreath instead of the straw wreath, it won’t show through as easily and it’s less of a mess to clean up.  I was only thinking of the thrift, and already had a few straw wreaths lying around!

To start stick a pin through one of the rope ends of the boa into the wreath.  This will be the back of your wreath so note the location so future boas begin and end “out of sight.”

Then you simply wrap the boas around the wreath until it’s completely covered.

Add a cute little bow to your likely and you have the most beautiful wreath EVER.  Granted your house might look like you just plucked a chicken from the coop with all the feather and straw littered about..nothing a quick broom and dust pan can’t fix.  Or if your my son this allows for endless entertainment trying to catch all the feathers on the floor!

You can always use this as a fancy ring to a centerpiece (I’ve used these for decorating winter weddings) and are easy to change out for the other seasons.  Need proof?  Here’s  same wreath 30 days earlier!

Need more Homemade Holiday inspiration?  Fostering a Creative Life will be hosting the Countdown to Christmas homemade series until December 23rd.  Hope to see you again soon 🙂

Linking to:


Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration

Cookie Cutter Christmas {DIY Ornament}

Who doesn’t love the IDEA of cut-out cookies, but making and decorating them take on a world of their own.  Despite my growing ambition to make these on a yearly basis, the thought of the time, the mess, and really they aren’t our FAVORITE cookie I used the cookie cutters for something much more useful. Between my mom and I we had a pile of old cookie cutters.  Some were more vintage ones, others made designs that didn’t lend themselves nicely to cut-out cookies.  Hence the creation of Cookie Cutter Ornaments!

You might see a trend starting here, but again these are SUPER-SIMPLE!

– assortment of cookie cutters
– Jute,twine, hemp cording, ribbon… whatever suits your style
– Scissors
– Drill with a bit small enough for your (any of the above) to fit through.
Open Back ornaments require a few more steps and supplies
– Festive Paper
– Pencil
– Modge Podge or watered down glue even works
– foam brush
– Wax Paper
– Strong adhesive (I used E-6000, gorilla glue or hot glue might work)

You might notice that the old fashioned cookie cutters are easiest.  You simply drill 2 holes in the top, lace your twine through, tie knots and you have yourself an ornament in less than 1 minute 🙂 (I told you… SIMPLE)  The open back one has a few more steps.

1. Place the cookie cutter on some festive paper and trace around the outside leaving about a 1/8 inch allowance all the way around. Cut out the tracing.

2. Place the cut out paper on wax paper and apply a layer of Modge Podge with a foam brush.  Once that dries completely, peel off the wax paper and apply another coat of modge podge to the opposite side of the paper.

3.  When that dries you may once again peel off the wax paper.  You may notice some crusty edges where the podge podge had dried, I just took my scissors and trimmed all the way around.

4.  If you haven’t added the twine to your ornament (like explained for the old-fashioned cookie cutter) do that next.

5.  Using adhesive, squeeze a thin line all the way around the “sharp” side of the cookie cutter and place onto the paper cut out.  Let dry

There you have a few different ways to add some super-simple-ornaments to your collection 🙂

Come back tomorrow for to make a simple yet elegant fur wreath…better yet come back everyday to see all the fabulous homemade Christmas inspiration with the

Leave a comment

Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration, Tutorials

Comfort & Joy {DIY Holiday Sign}

Let’s just start this series by saying I love Christmas and Winter. Full confession being made, I also LOVE to surround myself with reminders of the holiday spirit.  This first project is a super simple sign using an old picture frame, fabric, cardstock paper, and die-cut letters and shapes (or stencils work too).

1. Find a Frame (this is a $1 thrift store 8×10 frame)

2.  Find a scrap of fabric that fits the mood of your decor.  If you’re lacking fabric scraps, hit up the remnant section of your local craft/fabric store. Use the cardboard back from the frame as your guide for cutting.  I leave about 1/4 inch extra all the way around to make sure it’s not too short.

3.  Choose your saying and cut it out of cardstock.

4. Display the cardstock words on the fabric.  Place the glass from the frame over the fabric and word.  Holding the glass and fabric tightly flip over the glass into the back of the frame.  Secure the cardboard back of the frame and secure tightly.

That’s it!  Display proudly.Very little mess to clean up, no glue, no glitter…super simple sign 🙂

Come back tomorrow ( and for the next month) for more Homemade Holiday ideas as Fostering a creative Life hosts the…

Linking to:

Home Stories A2Z

Leave a comment

Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration

Homemade Christmas Series

Stay tuned…Fostering a Creative Life will be hosting a homemade Christmas Series from November 26- December 23.

The Countdown to Christmas series will feature tons of gift ideas, decor, creative package displays, table pieces and more….all homemade and thrifty!

Hope you’ll stop back soon 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Love, DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration, Tutorials