Search This Blog

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree Ornaments, Oh Christmas Tree Ornaments

If you've visited my blog before, you know that I love Christmas!  My mom was always really good about special ornaments, and things like that, and I've tried to keep up with that tradition.  I would've loved to have had all of you over, but since I couldn't do that, I thought I'd give you a little tour!

Every year, I make/get us a family ornament.  I've made a felt cupcake ornaments, I made clay ornaments in the shape of Hungary, I got these really cute metal ornaments from Shutterfly, and this year, with Aidan's help, we made "Aidan's First Christmas" handprint ornaments.  This year, we also got palm tree ornaments, for our "Christmas in Florida".

I think commemorative ornaments can be a hit or miss.  They're not all cute, but the ones that are, are REALLY cute! :)

I love this Lenox "First Married Christmas" ornament.  It was a gift from our pastors in Ohio.  So pretty!!!

I got this ornament for us from Etsy.  It's one of our wedding pictures printed onto a clay tile.

Awww, I love our new little family ornament from our best friends!

Aidan got his "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament from his grandma.  I love how sweet it is!

My mom got us a few new ornaments, that I love.

 The "pastor" Hungarian figure (In Hungarian pastor and shepherd are the same word) for Dan

 Little Hungarian boy for Aidan

 And the Hungarian maiden for me

This GORGEOUS ornament made from a sea urchin and spindle.

Here are a couple other pictures from our Christmas...

My mother-in-law got me my very own Willow Tree Nativity set.  I have been wishing for one FOREVER, and was so excited she got it for me!

I really love our Christmas cards every year, and have wanted to display them.  This year, I strung some baker's twine, got some little mini clothes pins, and hung our cards above the TV.  

My mom had a Precious Moment Nativity set, which was very dear to her.  It was always my job as a kid to put baby Jesus into the scene.  I just loved his little face!  When I moved out, she gave me her Precious Moments.  I put them up every year, and get very nostalgic!

This year, instead of a tree skirt, we used a galvanized tub, and I LOVE how it turned out!!!  I'm never going back!

Last, but not least, here is this year's White House ornament.  Every year, the White House comes out with an ornament, centered around one of our presidents, and comes with a little booklet about the history of it.  My Gramps has gotten them for my parents for years, and once Dan and I got married, he started sending them to us too.  They're really special, and if you're interested, you can check them out here.

Well, there's our apartment at Christmas in a nutshell.  Hope you enjoyed a quick tour of our apartment.  Happy New Year!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Cookies In A Jar How-To

I love making hand-made gifts, especially at Christmas time.  I just think they're heart-felt, and people seem to really like them.  From a budget perspective, they're usually more cost-effective too.
I also think mason jars are totally adorable.  They are starting get overused, but I still love them.  So, I decided to make our friends Cookies In A Jar.  I used this recipe as a starting off point:  They turned out really cute, so I thought I'd share them with you!

Here's what you'll need:
(This is for one mason jar.  Multiply by how many of these you're making.)
1 12 oz. mason jar (with lid)
3/4 cup packed flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (you could use any kind of chocolate candy or nuts you'd like)

(Tip: Even though it might be tempting to measure out all the ingredients for all the jars, you should do each jar individually.)

1. Measure out 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt into bowl. Gently mix together.  Pour into bottom of jar.  (Tip: You can make a funnel out of paper to make it easier, and not get on the sides.) Pack down.

2. Measure out the 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Pour into jar, and pack down.

3. Measure out 1/3 sugar.  Pour into jar and pack down.

4. Measure out 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  Pour into jar.
(Tip: you could use red and green M&Ms, or other colored ones, if you're making these for a baby shower, or party.  You could add nuts too.)
(Tip 2: If it doesn't fill the jar to the top, add a little more.)

5. Screw on lid, and voila! :)  

Okay now for the baking instructions.  I made labels, that I cut out, and glued to the top of the lid.  Here's what they said:

Empty contents of jar into mixing bowl. Add 4 tbsp of butter (room temperature), 1 egg and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.  Beat until smooth. Put batter in freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Roll dough into balls (makes 10 cookies), and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Now for decorating.  You could cut out a piece of fabric, put it on the top, and wrap baker's twine around it.  Or, you could do what I did:
I made little labels out of Crayola air dry clay.  Once they dried, I stamped the word "joy" on it, and wrote our friends' name on the back with a Sharpie.