Simple Christmas Gift Wrapping


Friday, December 27, 2013

I had these grand plans for how I wanted to wrap all of our Christmas gifts this year. My plans involved lots of brown Kraft paper (I'm addicted), handmade gift tags, white ink, snowflake stamps, letter stamps, painted wooden snowflakes, white pompoms, and bells.
Then I went to Michael's and almost dropped dead when I saw the price-tag of all the supplies I would need. Seriously peoples, it was $18 for a snowflake stamp and almost $20 for a white ink pad! Since I didn't have any coupons with me I went home empty handed and decided to make do with what I had at home. Wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
I did end up buying two small rolls of brown, polka dot Kraft paper at Target as well as a few packages of coloured Kraft-paper-like wrapping paper at Homesense. I tried to wrap each gift a little bit differently. I took pictures of a few of them.


Maybe if I save up my allowance I can get the snowflake stamps next year. ;)

Merry Christmas, Friends


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oh yeah. Christmas is awesome.
Happy holidays to all of my cute blog friends. You are nice. And I hope you got lots of presents. ;) 

Clockwise from Top Left:
Coopaloops is in all kinds of love with his gift from Santa. It's the Hape All Season House - Unfurnished. We almost ordered it from Amazon but ended up finding it at Homesense a few weeks before Christmas - and I had a friends and family coupon for 30% off! (Currently there is a family of bubble guppies living in the house, LOL.)
I made a giant mess of our dining room table with craft supplies. I haven't even cleaned it up yet. It's a good thing we took a break from hosting Christmas dinner this year. It would have been a little awkward for people to eat on top of craft punches. Oh how I love craft punches. 
Coops helped me with all of my wrapping and decorating this year. He and I inspected the Christmas lights to find out why some were burnt out. It turns out that after about a half hour of fiddling around (and getting super frustrated) I realized that they were our old outdoor lights and not our new indoor lights. Oh. That would explain why they were covered in mud.
I found the cutest Christmas pajamas at The Superstore this year. Cooper passed out at Grandma and Grandpa's house after a few too many late nights and oh so much Christmas excitement.
We had our tree up and decorated a week before the big day. I'm telling you it was a Christmas miracle! We switched things up and got a Fraser Fir instead of a Scotch Pine. It's really pretty. I was mad at myself for letting the water go dry the other day (and subsequently killing the tree) but as we were watching a Christmas movie later that night we heard mysterious slurping noises. Busted! It turns out it was Lexie drinking all of the water from the tree stand. Silly dog.
I'm really happy with how my Christmas wrapping turned out this year. I left the tags blank in hopes that I would get around to stamping the names with my cute stamper-thingie. Didn't happen though. I ended up scribbling the names on (okay it was perfect teacher printing) with a pen on Christmas Eve. Oh well, at least it was my favourite Sharpie Pen. ;)
P.S. How was your Christmas?
P.P.S. What did Santa bring your toddler? Inquiring minds want to know..... ;)

A Round-Up of Pretty, White Ornaments


Friday, December 13, 2013

Even though our Christmas tree isn't up yet (it's on the to-do list)(maybe we'll go tonight)(if we don't freeze to death)(it's -30 here tonight)(yikes) I can still picture how I'd like to decorate it this year. Simple and rustic with a little bit of white.
Here is a collection of white ornaments that I'm crushing on right now. I won't be getting any of these this year - but it's still fun to add them to my online shipping cart, hee hee.

Ceramic House Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
White Art Glass Ball Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
Bone China Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
Polar Bear Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
Which one is your favourite? Mine is the vintage metal cottage - obviously! ;)

Simple DIY Wooden Snowflake Garland


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Right now I'm sipping an afternoon coffee while my little monkey is snoozing away in his crib. And I'm doing a little happy dance because I finished a little Christmas craft! And it's cute! And I put it up before December 24th!
A few years ago I made a really simple bell garland. I still love it but alas it is buried in one of those giant blue Rubbermaid totes in the basement. Oh, the basement. 
So, I was inspired to make another one. My requirements were:
- it had to be natural looking
- it had to be inexpensive
- it had to be simple
- it had to be white, green, or brown
I started out with three packages of wooden snowflakes from Lowes. They came in packages of six for 3.99. Score! (Anything less than $5 is practically free in my opinion.)(Just kidding honey!)


While I knew that spray-painting the snowflakes would probably be the easiest, I opted to try using leftover wall paint and a paintbrush. Not the brightest idea I've ever had. It took about three hours to paint one snowflake and the paint was way too sloppy and gloppy to get into all of the little nooks and crannies.  

So, I unwillingly busted out the spray-paint. It reminded me of how much I hate that stuff. Even using a mask I got the worst headache ever and am pretty sure that I killed about half of my brain cells. The only good part about spray-painting was that it took like, two minutes to paint them all and only ten minutes to dry per side.

I really wanted the snowflakes to lay flat against my giant entryway mirror so I opted to string the twine through the centre of each snowflake rather than just hang them from the tiny pre-drilled holes at the top of each one. It worked like a charm. 

I only used six snowflakes for this little garland so I have quite a few left. I think I might use the extras to make little snowflake napkin rings. If I don't get around to that I can always just hang them on the tree! Note to self: go and get Christmas tree.
P.S. Cooper is up from his nap and says hi.
Sharing Here:
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
From Dreams to Reality @ The DIY Dreamer
Work It Wednesday @ The Happie Housie
Power of Paint Party @ Domestically Speaking
Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A to Z
Inspiration Gallery Link Party @ Design, Dining, and Diapers

Our Christmas Stockings and Other Simple Holiday Decor


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Okay, so I'm a bit late in the game here. Since it's the first day of 2013 (Happy New Year, what-what!) I probably should be posting about my New Years Resolutions for the blog and for my life, blah blah blah. I'll probably get around to that in a few weeks.
I took these pictures a while back but just never had time to whippersnapper them up into a post. So here they are. Plus, I'm sure many of you won't be reading this anyway since you're probably training for your first marathon of 2013. (I'm a wee bit jealous of people who can stick to their New Years resolutions.)(I'm pretty sure I made some last year but I don't really remember what they were.)(Wah wah.)
Back to Christmas stockings.
Back in 2000-and-something, when Alex and I first started dating, we sewed up some stockings for each other with his mom's sewing machine. They were cute but sooooo wonky. We had no idea what we were doing.
Since it was Coopie's first Christmas this year, I wanted to find/make some matching stockings for the whole family. It was a lofty goal. I barely had time to wrap gifts this year let alone sew three stockings. 
On a trip to Canadian Tire a few days before Christmas (to buy new lights for the tree since neither Alex or I could find them in the mess that is our basement) I took a browse through the Christmas aisles.
ALL OF A SUDDEN I saw these white, quilted stockings by Debbie Travis. I was like, what!?!?!?!? And then I saw that they were on clearance for half price and then I was like, WHAAAAAAT!?!?!?!?
I snagged up three of them lickety-split. Except they were all the same! I decided to dress them up a little by adding some wooden letters, some cedar branches, and some adorable white tree ornaments that my mom bought for me a few years ago.

I bought the wooden letters from Michael's and then added some walnut stain to darken them up.

I hung them from each stocking with a little bit of twine.

The little white ornaments are adorable. There's a snowman for Alex.

An angel for me. Because I'm so angelic, dontchaknow.

And a Santa Claus for Cooper. (The Santa one is my favorite.)

I love how simple they are.

Surprisingly, the stockings fit a LOT of stocking stuffers. Tee heeeeeee oh how I love stocking stuffers!

I kept the rest of the decor around the house really simple too.
I decorated the tree with white lights, simple white bows, a few bells with twine, and pretty clear ornaments.
I hung a snowflake cookie cutter in the kitchen window. Yeah, so I stole this idea from my mom, whatevs. ;)
I strung some snowy pine cone garland around the light fixture in the dining room.
For a simple centerpiece, I put a few bits of greenery and some white birds on my dessert stand that I paid too much money for but love to bits so it's okay.
And I hung the burlap stockings I made a few years ago on the front of the living room console cabinet thingy.

So, how's that for a little Christmas tour before I, you know, take all of the decorations down this afternoon. :)
I hope you and your family had a splendid New Years Eve and that you get to spend the day lazing around in your pajamas. That's what we'll be doing since it was -30 C with the wind chill here this morning. Eeeek!
For More Inspiration:
Pretty Things Link Party @ twelveOeight

DIY Christmas Decorating Project E-Book + Christmas Wrapping


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A few weeks ago I promised a digital download of easy DIY Christmas projects created by myself as well as six other fab bloggers. Today I am here to deliver!

To download your free digital copy, simply click here to open the PDF. Once open you can save the file to your own computer. 

*Please only use the e-book for yourself or to print out to give as gifts. Using this digital download for commercial purposes or to make any profit is not allowed.

If you haven't had a chance to visit the other participating blogs, you really should. Very talented ladies indeed. :)  

Shannon from AKA Design
Allison from House of Hepworth’s
Heather from Things That Are Pretty
KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm
Laura from Finding Home


I'm hoping to have another post for you tomorrow on how I wrapped my Christmas gifts this year. I'm not sure if I'll be able to top my packaging from two years ago but we'll see:
Holiday Gift Wrapping

Simple Homemade Christmas Gift Tags

{Last year at this time we were out of town and had our upstairs floors refinished so last minute wrapping was all I could manage!!!}


A Little Christmas Shelf


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

As I mentioned a few days ago, I've been really into the simple, natural Christmas look the last few years. You know, the look where you plunk a plain little tree into a metal bucket and call it a day? That's totally a style, right? I've been trying to make up a name for it but they all sound silly. Cottage minimalist Christmas? Simple Scandinavian Christmas? Au natural Christmas? Anti-bling Christmas? Scandinavian Country Christmas?   Bare-Naked Cottage Christmas? (All name ideas welcome in the comments.)

So, we have a little shelf in our front entry that is so teeny I thought it would be the perfect place to start some decorating.


Wall shelf - Muskoka Living Interiors
Framed Doorknob Plates - DIY Project
Small White Jug - Homesense
Fir Branches - The Great Outdoors
Bell - Antique Store
Pine Cones - Michael's
Bells - Michael's
Twine - Michael's
Cinnamon Heart - Local Craft Show

Since I had almost all of the items already, this little spot cost less than $10 to whip up. I couldn't find my stash of bells so I had to go and buy a small container for $7.99. Since I only used three of them, I have quite a bit left for another project or two.
Next up: Christmas Treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Oh yeah, on the home front I am so sad to share that we were out and about all weekend (Christmas Party, Christmas shopping, etc.) and my little Coopie-Doopie caught his first ever cold. He has been sniffling and coughing for the last few days (meanwhile my little heart has been breaking). We are locking ourselves in the house for the rest of the week and I am officially on baby-booger duty. That involves quite a bit of rocking, snuggling, steamy baths, and watching t.v. in bed.
Here is my little sicky. Don't worry about the lack of clothes in the picture. I've been turning the heat up to 75 degrees in here as soon as Alex leaves for work in the morning. Hee hee hee! 
P.S. Is that a new bed you see in the background? Details to follow. :)
For More Inspiration:
Christmas Mantle Link Party @ Uncommon Designs, Mantle Link Party @ Ten June, Home for the Holidays Mantle Link Party @ Finding Silver Pennies, Christmas Junk D├ęcor Link Party @ Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Link Up With Me, Liz Marie @ Liz Marie Blog
, Happy Hour Link Party @ Design, Dining, and Diapers

My Winter Window Box - A Simple Tutorial


Saturday, December 8, 2012

I finished adding some winter greenery to my front window box this morning. I worked on it all week in small 20-30 minutes intervals while Cooper was napping. As soon as he would close his eyes I would run downstairs, throw on my winter gear, and head outside with the baby monitor. It worked out because breaking it up into small chunks of time ensured that I didn't die of hypothermia while I was out there. It's soooo cold out already. Brrrrrrrrrr.
The first thing I did was empty my window box of all the dead summer plants. I pulled out the root balls where I could but made sure to leave enough soil along the bottom of the box to stick the evergreen branches in.
Once the window box was cleaned up, I bundled up in about ten layers of clothing and headed out into the bush to practice my lumberjack skills. I brought some extra large leaf bags and some tree snips with me. I went to a secret location (heh heh heh) near my house that has an abundance of pine and fir trees. I filled up about three extra large leaf bags with pine and fir branches. Don't worry, I made sure to trim only a few branches per tree so that I wouldn't damage them!
Next, I brought out a step ladder and started filling up the box with the pine branches. I started with a row along the back of the window box. I was really selective with these and made sure to choose ones that were really sturdy and upright.
Once I filled the box with a row of pine branches all along the back, I added another row along the front. This time I chose branches that were a bit curved, or droopy so that they would hang over the edge a bit. Once I had a both rows finished, I added a few extra branches here and there where it was a little bit sparse. 
Once I had the box quite filled up with pine branches, I added some fir branches. Similarly, I went along and added some tall, sturdy pieces about 3/4 of the way from the front of the box. Then I added some smaller fir pieces about 1/4 of the way from the front of the box.

Even though my neighbours have some giant cedar trees, I decided not to give their bushes a haircut and went to a local greenhouse to purchase a small bundle  of cedar branches for $6.99.

Since I only had a few pieces of cedar, I spread them out evenly and tucked them in amongst the rest of the greenery. I like how they add a little bit of contrast with the dark greens.
Once all of my branches were in place I took a trip to Michael's and purchased a roll of burlap garland for $7.99.
I wanted to wrap the burlap around the window box like a present! I tried to use a roll of Alex's super duper strength tuck tape to tape the garland to the window box but the cold and wet snow were working against me.
Since I think I was getting frostbite by this point, I went inside and found a hammer and some finishing nails.
 I used the finishing nails to secure two long pieces of burlap garland to each side of the window box.
I tried to bring both pieces of burlap together at the front of the box to tie a giant bow but the garland kept drooping all over the place.

Instead, I used the extra-sticky, red tuck tape to secure both pieces of garland together in the front of the box. Next, I made a big bow with an extra piece of burlap and secured it in front of the red tuck tape with some more finishing nails.


I am still trying to decide if I want to add some lights to the box or not. I know they will look pretty at night but I'm afraid the wires will be too obvious during the day. What do you think? Lights or no lights?

Updated to Add:

The hydrangea bushes underneath the window box usually look really full and pretty with all of the dried blooms but alas the freakiest hailstorm ever smashed them to bits. That's why they look so strange.

Also, I've been really into holiday decorating with natural elements in shades of white, green, and brown lately. So I purposefully left out any red berries, ornaments, or bling in general. :)
Sharing Here:
Handmade Christmas Link Party @ Clean and Scentsible, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things, DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Show-Off, The Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table and Dreaming, Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A to Z, Transformation Tuesday @ The Ironstone Nest, Show Me What Ya Got @ Not Just a Housewife, Outdoor Holiday Decorations Link Party @ The Ironstone Nest
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