Christmas Recap

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, regardless of what it looked like this year.

I have to say that I enjoyed taking last week off from writing blog posts. I didn’t realize how much time and energy I put into these until I wasn’t doing them, but with that being said, I’m back and feeling re-energized!

I want to share what Christmas looked like for us this year, along with some yummy recipes I’ve made over the last few weeks.

Family Gatherings

Thursday, December 17

We had some family passing through, so we had Christmas at Mom and Dad’s on this night. Breakfast for supper was on the menu, then it was present time. The kids enjoyed opening presents, then playing with each other’s toys. Fortunately, everyone was pretty good at sharing (or maybe they were just distracted).

Friday, December 18

The church that Daniel grew up in has a meal and singing every third Friday night. It’s something that his parents started a long time ago, so Daniel continues to go. Since it was Christmas, Isaac and I tagged along.

Can you spot Isaac?

We brought pajamas for Isaac to wear on the way home because it was late, and we had a long drive.

Thursday, December 24

Even though we’d already exchanged gifts, Daniel, Isaac, and I still went over to my parents’ house. We had supper and then watched a movie. Honestly, it was nice to relax and enjoy each other’s company, rather than the frenzy of opening presents.

Friday, December 25

We celebrated Christmas as a family of 3 during the morning. We don’t go all-out on presents or do Santa Clause because for us, that’s not what Christmas is about. However, Isaac had fun opening his gifts, and I had a special scavenger hunt prepared for his “big” gift, which is something that my dad did for my brother and me growing up.

Honestly, it didn’t go at all how I expected, ha ha! Isaac wanted to play with his new toys rather than hunt for clues. However, after quite a bit of prompting, he finally found all of the clues and his new tool bench.

Next, we went to Daniel’s mom’s to have Christmas brunch with her and his sister. By this point, Isaac really had the unwrapping down and helped everyone with their gifts.

New Recipes

I’ve done a lot of cooking over the past few weeks! From trying out my new air fryer to making dishes form my cookbooks, it’s been so nice to eat at home.

Breakfast

Donuts – These were really good and fluffy. After they came out of the air fryer, I sprayed them and dipped them in sugar and cinnamon.

Breakfast pizza – This was okay. I like my breakfast casserole better, though.

Main Dishes

Everything but the Bagel Chicken Roll-Ups – I used the recipe from Skinnytaste One and Done, but this recipe is the same.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup – This was a hearty soup that we had in the bread bowls mentioned below. Daniel and I definitely preferred it with bread dipped in it.

Bread Bowls – I’ve never never made homemade bread before, and while this was a lengthy process, the end product was delicious!

Dessert

Sugar cookies – These were really good and a neat way to involve Isaac in cooking.

Peanut Butter Banana Brownies – These turned out really soft, but honestly, they didn’t taste too much like brownies. The banana and peanut butter flavors were stronger than the cocoa, but they still tasted good.

Sarah

6 Ways to Dress for Christmas

Do you dress “Christmasy” this time of year? There’s something about Christmas time that just makes me want to!

Here are six ways you can dress for Christmas, and chances are, you probably already have some of these pieces in your closet.

1. Red or green top/sweater

This one’s pretty straight forward, but by wearing a top in one of these shades, you’re instantly dressed for the occasion. I tend to gravitate toward red more so than green because of its vibrancy, but either one would work.

dolman sleeve sweater

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

2. Christmas t-shirt

While I don’t really wear t-shirts, I know a lot of people love them. There are so many to choose from, and there are also quite a few people who make shirts as a “side-gig.” I know they’d appreciate you buying from them.

Downtown Allie has some really cute options, too.

3. Plaid

Plaid, especially red plaid, screams Christmas to me. It’s also a comfortable way to dress for the occasion.

plaid shirt

plaid shirt (similar)

flannel jeans / booties

4. “Christmas” scarf

Usually it’s pretty cold around Christmas, so you’re probably already used to wearing scarves. As previously mentioned, there are certain colors and patterns that make me think of Christmas, so incorporate that into your scarf.

sweater (similar) / jeans (similar) / scarf / fedora (similar) / booties

peplum top (similar) / scarf (similar, similar) / jeggings / booties

5. Holiday earrings

I don’t necessarily mean wear earrings in the shape of trees, presents, or ornaments, but that’s fine if you want to! I really like red earrings for a pop of color in an otherwise neutral outfit.

red statement earrings / dolman sleeve sweater

1 / 2 / 3

6. Red nails

Classic red nails are a great way to “dress” for Christmas. They’re also appropriate all year.

Let me know which of these you’ll be incorporating this year.

Sarah

DIY Ribbon Bow

Question: Are you a present wrapper or gift bag kind of person? I have to say, I’m definitely in the former group, especially since I’ve learned how to make bows to add to presents. I’ve learned that even if your wrapping looks bad, adding a handmade bow makes people think you’re a professional gift wrapper, ha ha!

flannel / jeans (similar) / loafers (similar)

The great thing about this method is that it works for year-round presents, and I bet you already have all of the material you need.

Supplies

wired ribbon

thin ribbon

scissors

wrapped present

Step-by-Step

1. Cut a strip of wired ribbon the circumference of your gift and tie it in a knot. If you wish, do the same thing and tie another ribbon perpendicular to the previous strand. This creates the appearance that the ribbon/bow has been wrapped around the gift.

2. Take the wired ribbon (still on the spool) and fold it over. The size of the gift will determine how long the fold has to be. For explanation purposes, let’s say you fold it over about 5 inches. Continue to fold the ribbon over and over, maintaing that 5 in. length (or however long yours is). The more folds you have, the more voluminous your bow will be.

3. Cut the ribbon from the spool.

4. Keeping everything together, cut slits in the center on both sides of the folded ribbon. Be careful not to cut all the way through!

5. Take a small piece of thin ribbon, and slide it into the slits, tying a knot on the back side.

6. Using the small ribbon, tie your folded ribbon onto the gift, covering the knots created earlier.

7. Take one fold at a time and twist 360 degrees. Continue to do this until your bow is formed.

There you have it! Your present wrapping will turn heads at your next party.

Sarah

A New Way to Decorate Your Christmas Tree

Happy Monday, everyone!

I know quite a few of you have had your Christmas tree up for a while, but I’m in the camp that waits until after Thanksgiving, and by after, I mean as soon as our families left our house after Thanksgiving lunch, I asked Daniel to get my Christmas decorations down from the attic, ha ha!

Growing up, one of the most “challenging” parts of decorating the Christmas tree was deciding how many ornaments to use. You know what I’m talking about…too few and the tree looks bare…too many and it looks cluttered.

If that’s you, I have a great alternative to tell you about: ribbon.

Last year, I started incorporating ribbon as part of my Christmas tree decor, and it totally changed the look of the tree. I know some people like to do different themes each year, and ribbon is an easy way to change that up.

You really want wired ribbon because it’ll be easier to get it into the shape you want. While some people have one stream of ribbon going all the way down the tree, I’ve discovered it’s easier to cut it into strips that are 7-8 inches long.

Once you get your strips cut, simply twist the ends around the branches. It doesn’t have to look perfect because once you add ornaments, the twisted part will be covered up.

Do this all around the tree. I usually have two different types of ribbon, but this would also work if you wanted to use the same kind.

Once the ribbon is how you want it, start adding ornaments and accessories. I’ve learned that the ribbon is a good “filler,” and you don’t have to use as many ornaments, as a result.

Isaac and I always get a picture in front of the tree. This year it was pretty hard because asking a toddler to stay still and smile for a picture doesn’t exactly work, ha ha!

This is what last year’s tree looked like. I don’t buy new ornaments every year, but by changing the ribbon, the over-all look of the tree is totally different.

Also, I can’t get over how much smaller Isaac was!

Sarah