Christmas Card Garland

overfull desk drawer

This is one of the desk drawers in the rolltop. It's been filled with store bought Christmas cards for 10 years. They just take up space and annoy me when I see them there.

cut up cards

I used a plastic cup as a pattern to cut circles out of two boxes of the cards.


I wanted this to coordinate with our stocking hangers, which spell: PEACE & JOY.

christmas card garland

Christmas card garland

It makes me irrationally happy to actually use these old cards.


Holiday Spirits Party

In the season when people become both irrationally happy and grumpy, perhaps some holiday spirits will get your friends into the holiday spirit. Make your average seasonal cocktail party one to remember with added meaning.

holiday spirits

  1. Invitation: Love this cute invite with lots of color available on Amazon.
  2. Festive Spirit: Tequila Who doesn’t want to party with a little salt and lime?
  3. Cosmopolitan Spirit: Vodka It’s not just a drink; it’s an attitude.
  4. Spirit of Adventure: Gin A new distillery in Arkansas is making gin not just about cotton any more.
  5. Traditional Spirit: Bourbon What else can you call the spirit in the Old Fashioned?
  6. Favors: Personalized bottles of champagne from She Said Yes. Your guests will have some holiday spirit to take home with them.

Cupcakes and Champagne

Last year, my friend got married right after her birthday. This year, she celebrated her birthday and anniversary while expecting her first child. While this is all terribly exciting, pregnancy does tend dampen any plans for toasts, if you’re being all responsible and stuff. This meant a slight change of plans for the cupcakes and champagne birthday treat I previously planned.

cupcakes on Kavanaugh box
There is a delightful cupcakery in town. This brown label has come to symbolize happiness in a box.
Cook's champagne bottle
The day of the wedding, I ran a couple of last-minute errands. I swung by a drive-thru liquor store and asked for a bottle of champagne, “just whatever.” He sold me this. It was $4. We drank it while getting ready. It’s a wonder we didn’t get sick.
bottle lamp

I made the bottle into a lamp with a simple kit

cupcake label lamp shade

I got labels from the cupcakery to cover the lamp shade.

champagne bottle lamp

Cupcakes and Champagne lamp! It's not quite the same as the real thing, but it lasts longer.

Tasty Treats: Favorite Things

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is hot chocolate with peppermint and marshmallows. This tasty flavor combo never gets old to me. It’s so exciting to find new takes on a classic treat.

tasty holiday treats

  1. A friend Jerusalem Greer threw a party with a hot chocolate bar. Tasty!
  2. When I was a kid, I would have given my right arm and possibly my left too for some marshmallow pops like these from the wicked noodle.
  3. I can’t help myself. Food made into people, animals or in the case, a snowman, cracks me up. Kraft has all sorts of silly holiday suggestions like this to do with your kids.
  4. I just can’t resist the pretty of how the Elegant Gourmet does candy canes.
  5. Real Mom Kitchen has even more suggestions for how to set up your own hot chocolate bar.

Jesse Tree

We have been trying to make our Christmas celebration a meaningful one. It’s important to us our son view this holiday not only as a toy grab, but as a practice of his faith. An acquaintance, Meredith Gould, introduced me to the tradition of a Jesse Tree. I love it!

Jesse Tree

We used a small table top tree.

Jesse Tree ornaments

This year I downloaded paper ornaments and scripture readings from Faith Magazine

Jesse Tree ornaments

Each day we add another ornament to the tree and read a passage from the Bible relating to the lineage or prophesy leading to the birth of Christ.

My long-term plan is to make and buy permanent ornaments to replace the paper ones. Over the next few years, we’ll put together a family collection of Jesse Tree ornaments. I’m hopeful this tradition will help ground all of us during this Christmas season.

Breakfast at Tiffanys party

One of my best friends adores Audrey Hepburn. Don’t we all? There was no better theme for her baby shower than Breakfast at Tiffanys. We served brunch with champagne punch. However, no one smoked and there was no cat. Times have changed a bit, but not elegance.

This theme could also be easily reconfigured for a bridal shower. Timeless beauty is the same for brides or babies.

breakfast at tiffanys brunch

  • The invitations from docmilo set the tone beautifully.
  • We found the perfect “Tiffany” party favor boxes at Sophie’s Favors.
  • The favors can be found at any party store: “diamond” rings and “pearl” necklaces.
  • The Tiffany box petit fours were made by a fabulous woman named Kelli Marks. She bakes; she decorates; she rocks.

Advent Wreath

Yesterday was the first day of the Advent. My husband and I didn’t grow up observing the liturgical calendar, but we decided we wanted to teach our son some of the more traditional observances of Christmas, starting with an Advent Wreath.

advent wreathThere’s no delicate way to write this: most Advent Wreaths I’ve seen are tacky. I don’t like the look of them. Then a friend sent me a link to an advent wreath on City Cradle Design. I realized I could make a “wreath” that worked esthetically in my house and was actually pretty.

bottle advent wreath

I painted bottles I pulled from the recycle bin.

apothecary labels

I found blank apothecary labels at I filled in with each candle symbolized.

bottle advent wreath

I used grapevine and yarn balls as substitutes for greenery.

Advent table

Our advent table. More on the Jesse Tree on the right to come.