Monday, December 8, 2014

DIY Wooden Christmas Signs

We finally pulled our Christmas decorations out of the basement this week! Along with our old favorites, we added a few new Christmassy items this year. Some of my favorite pins on my Christmas board are of hand-lettered wooden signs. A few weeks ago when my sister was visiting we decided to bite the bullet and DIY a few Christmas signs of our own!

You only need a few things to make your own wooden signs, too!
  • wood (whatever sizes you like, we chose scraps from my garage)
  • paint (I used red and black for the backgrounds and white for the text)
  • a pencil
  • if you don't want to draw your signs freehand you could print text in your favorite fonts to use as a template

Step one was rummaging through my garage for leftover scraps of wood.We found a mix of plywood and boards in sizes that we could work with - mostly so we didn't have to get the saw out in this cold weather.

We brought all the boards inside and I gave them a quick coat of paint. I did one black, one red, and left one plain.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Herbal Cold & Cough Syrup Recipe

If there's one thing we know about winter it's that the weather change always brings a generous supply of runny noses, coughs, and general yuckiness. This year when our first round of sickness knocked out all the boys I gave this new herbal cough syrup recipe a try. It tasted great so the boys were always excited to take it, plus the herbs are all natural and great for fighting off cold & cough symptoms!

You need just a few simple ingredients to make your own herbal cold & cough syrup.I like to order from Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs. Both are very reputable so I usually choose based on who has what I need in stock! And I throw some elderberries in with my order for making immune-boosting elderberry syrup.

Echinacea Root - a natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and an excellent infection fighter. It stimulates the immune system to help your body heal itself!

Licorice Root - stimulates the adrenals while adding great taste & natural sweetness. Great for cold, cough, and sore throat, and works as an expectorant.

Ginger - has a long history as remedy for cough, plus it's great for nausea and diarrhea if they join the party!

Raw Honey -antimicrobial & antibiotic properties are great for treating cold and cough. It's also anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and a powerful antioxidant that strengthens your immune system. Which is why it's a staple in so many home remedies!

Once you're supplies arrive you can get started making your syrup. Here's what you need:

1/4 c. Echinacea Root
1/4 c. Licorice Root
1/8-1/4 c. Ginger Root, to taste (I didn't have any ginger on hand and made it without)
4 c. water
1/2 - 1 c. honey.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Pinteresting - Old School Style

Before the days of pinterest... I was a magazine clipper. Every time I flipped through a Better Homes & Gardens, I would cut out my favorite ideas and stuff them in a binder. Where, of course, I rarely looked at them ever again! But a few weeks ago we were cleaning out the basement and I stumbled across a few Christmas clippings I collected them over the years. It turns out my Christmas taste hasn't changed much in that time because I still love most of them! So it seems only fitting to welcome a few favorites into the golden age of pinterest. These are the faves that made the cut:

This last one was kind of funny because I totally forgot about it, but it almost exactly matches the advent calender I made last year! I guess it was still hiding somewhere in the back of my mind!

I think one thing we learned here is that I need more white in my house. I'm always drawn to these bright, white spaces. Especially with some Christmas greenery in the mix!

Big Brother asked to do the "Just Say BOO!" audio book during rest time. He listened to it on repeat and cracked up every time!

How about you guys? Do you have a favorite inspiration picture for your decorating this year? Or a bunch of pictures with a feel you love?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Easy Flannel Stocking Tutorial

Hey guys! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday with lots of family, fun, and food. And most importantly a lot of thankfulness! And now that Friday has come, as we warm up leftover turkey for lunch, we know the Christmas countdown has officially begun! So let's hop to it and knock out a few of the items on our Christmas checklists!

Earlier this week I shared how we turned an old, reclaimed window into a Christmas stocking holder and today we're going to tackle those cozy flannel stocking hanging on it. If flannel isn't your thing, you can totally swap it out for a different fabric. No biggie. These are pretty fast and easy to make, so you can still make them before Christmas! Let's get started!

Here's what you need:
  • 1/2 yd flannel (or another fabric you like for the exterior)
  • 1/2 yd quilting cotton for the lining
  • 1/2 - 1 yd interfacing (I tried several and like the look of a thin fleece batting the best. Don't get one too thick though or it will be too thick to topstitch. But you can do any kind of interfacing you like for a different look!)
  • thread
  • 6" piece of 1" wide ribbon (or a 6 x 3" piece of fabric)
  • a stocking pattern (I used this Martha Stewart pattern without the cuff, or you can draw your own)