How We Drastically Changed Our Christmas Mornings {for the better}

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Tips for minimizing the mess on Christmas morning and keeping the focus on the real meaning of the season

Is there anything MORE FUN than Christmas morning? The chaos of unwrapping gifts, squeals of delight, my husband and I sitting bleary-eyed watching it all unfold... it truly is the most wonderful day of the year. HOWEVER, I've learned a few things over the years about making the morning go smoothly, minimizing the mess while not interrupting the fun, and also teaching my kids it's not about what you GET, but what you GIVE too. Here's what's in our Christmas Morning Survival Kit, which I tuck in … [Read more...]

FREE Printable Christmas Decorations Inventory List

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Free Printable Christmas Decorations Inventory and Christmas Organization Tips!

I know, I know, you don't even have all the decorations up yet and here I am already discussing post-Christmas organization! Can't help myself, I'm a planner, so in the middle of the decorating and attempting to locate missing bins and lights and wreaths it occurred to me there was a better way to find all the decorations that have been creatively tucked into various corners of my home. Believe it or not, having an inventory decreases the amount of stuff you'll have because you won't find … [Read more...]

Great Gift Ideas for HER {Holiday Gift Guide}

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Great Gift Ideas for Her: fantastic gift ideas for the women on your list, yourself included! {holiday gift guide 2014}

Almost all our gifts have been bought and even wrapped (I can assure you, that is a first, and it only happened because my husband suggested cracking open a bottle of wine and watching Love Actually so we wrapped during the movie last Saturday, wild times...) and now it's time for a little day dreaming. A little wish making. A little... Dear Santa... slip a few of these under the tree for me, please.  ;-) These gift ideas for women would also be appreciated by best friends, sisters, mothers, … [Read more...]

As Ever, Ideas for the Last Minute Christmas Card Sender

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A Christmas Home Tour OVERFLOWING with easy and beautiful ideas for holiday decorations. Love these simple & glam Christmas ideas that are perfect for stylish families!

I wish I had a legitimate excuse for always ordering my Christmas cards late, but I don't. I mean, EVERYONE is busy. But even my busy friends still seem to get their cards in the mail on time. Let's face it, I'll probably always be a last minute Christmas card sender. It's not that I love my friends and family any less (in fact, I probably love them more than they know), but I'm always waiting for the 'perfect' photo. And the 'perfect' stamps. And the 'perfect' time to sit down and put them … [Read more...]

Christmas Home Tour {Holiday Decorating Ideas, Lemonade Style}

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A Christmas Home Tour OVERFLOWING with easy and beautiful ideas for holiday decorations. Love these simple & glam Christmas ideas that are perfect for stylish families!

Each year I struggle with posting a Christmas home tour. Not because I don't love decorating for the holidays-- obviously I do, hence the glam Scandinavian handmade holiday explosion!-- but rather it's because I strive to keep this blog a place of reality. And the reality is that I have two young kiddos and very little free time to spend fluffing pillows and arranging greenery for hours on end. There may be a season where that IS my reality; perhaps next year when both kids are in school full … [Read more...]

DIY Faux Birch Candleholders {more woodland decor, I can’t help myself!}

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The perfect look for your rustic Christmas decor: DIY faux birch candleholders using thrift store vases. Catch the tutorial to see how to bring this beautiful Christmas decor idea int your home this holiday!

Growing up in New England, I was surrounded by birch trees-- and to me the peeling white bark so beautifully symbolizes nature's perfect imperfections. Since taking birch bark off the tree can damage the tree, I used birch scrapbook paper to get the same look without being a tree killer.  And thus, these faux birch candleholders were born from thrift store glassware with just a roll in paper, piece of tape, and dash of gold! A more simple rustic Christmas craft you will not find. ;-) The … [Read more...]

DIY Whimsical Woodland Ornaments {aka, my dream come true}

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These DIY woodland ornaments are easy to make and add a touch of whimsy to your Christmas tree! Check out this easy tutorial and prepare to fall in love with all those adorable little woodland scenes!

I've always loved miniatures, so when I saw woodland ornaments at West Elm recently I WANTED THEM. My West Elm allowance has been blown this month however (new coffee table, woot woot!) so I knew I had to knock them off. So that I could save for another West Elm splurge that's a little bigger. ;-)  Getting to play with teeny bottle brush trees and mini-deer in the name of Christmas crafting made me all kinds of happy! Keeping with my natural woodland Christmas theme (Glam Scandi, I call it) I … [Read more...]

DIY Christmas Woodland Fairy Light Shadow Boxes

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Check out the CUTEST way to use fairy lights: whimsical woodland fairy light shadowboxes! Add some GLOW to your holiday decor; you need to see this easy tutorial!

Are you looking to add a whimsical touch to your holiday decor this season? I wish I came up with the idea for these glorious fairy light boxes myself, but truthfully I saw a similar version at Terrain and just knew I had to DIY them. Especially since I can't find them on their website anymore.  They were super easy to make (of course, I mean, it's ME, I can't do complicated!) and add a beautiful glowing touch to these dark nights. Plus the kids are enthralled by the dimming lights and rush to … [Read more...]

DIY Peppermint Bath Bombs {Homemade Gift Idea!)

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Homemade Peppermint Bath Bombs with Essential Oils: these bath bombs are SO easy to make and they smell amazing; great DIY gift idea too!

I have a treat for you today... a recipe for a homemade gift you'll that's perfect for pampering the ones you love-- Peppermint Bath Bombs! These little treats pack a powerful punch when added to a warm bath. Place them under running water and they'll dissolve and fizz and create a wonderful soaking environment. Best yet, you can add whichever scents you choose. I used peppermint because it's seasonal and invigorating, but add lavender for calming, rosemary for energizing, RC or eucalyptus for … [Read more...]

Easy Christmas Advent Calendar {Kids Craft Idea}

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Easy Christmas Advent Calendar (great kids craft activity-- it's inexpensive, quick, and pretty-- what's not to love?!)

Popping in for a minute for a super quick Christmas craft: a stamped advent calendar that doubles as a kids' activity to keep 'em busy. As much as I love our photo advent calendar, it was getting tired, so on a recent shopping trip I picked up a few supplies to create a new one. Advent calendars provide a tangible way to countdown until Christmas morning, plus you can fill these little bags with either small treats or activities from this advent activity printable. BONUS: you can pick up all … [Read more...]

Great Gifts for Guys {Gift Guide 2014}

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Best Gifts for Hard-to-Gift GUYS!

My husband is a tough one to shop for when it comes to holiday gifts. Basically he loves anything emblazoned with his favorite team and most especially if it’s fleece, but just how many fleecy Notre Dame shirts can one own? (apparently, a lot)  Each year I start planning early for the hard-to-gift man, and here’s what’s on my shopping list for my husband this year! MONEY SAVING TIP: as always, don’t forget to go through Ebates if you’re doing any online shopping! You will EARN … [Read more...]

Easy Christmas Art Idea: Tea Towel Wrapped Canvas

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Check out how to make this easy DIY Christmas art from a tea towel! LOVE simple Christmas decorating ideas like this Anthropologie hack!

I'm a sucker for anything Anthropologie, so when I saw this wintery tea towel at the end-of-year sale I snagged it for about 70% off the regular price. The colors and shimmer also became the inspiration point for my entire holiday decorating plan, but I digress. I thought about framing it, but realized a FREE solution was under my nose... er, workbench. I had a pile of wrapped canvases (the type you can get at Michaels for cheap with a coupon) and suddenly the simple idea emerged to put the two … [Read more...]

A Handmade Holiday {Scandi Christmas Style & Ideas Galore}

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simple yet beautiful handcrafted Christmas ideas and decorations! Love the simple Scandinavian style!

Last year’s Christmas clutter had me feeling totally depleted.  After the holidays I’d just had ENOUGH. Enough stuff. Enough clutter. Enough stress and blowing the budget. Enough of mismatched styles and towering bins of décor I no longer loved. Amidst the chaos, I made a snap decision to start from scratch. My budget (and free space in my home) doesn’t allow for a huge shopping spree, so I created a careful plan to focus on how I wanted my holiday décor to feel this year. I wanted … [Read more...]

25 Gorgeous Ways to Use Christmas Lights

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25 Gorgeous Ways to Use Christmas Lights

Ever since putting fairy lights in a jar last year, I've been obsessed with the soft glow of string lights in everything from bed canopies to art to ambient lighting on bookcases and shelves. Christmas lights add a touch of whimsy to any space and stir the heart as the days grow darker. I've rounded up 25 gorgeous ways to use string lights in your home, whether it's in Christmas decor or as an everyday use that lasts the whole year long. Enjoy, and let your light shine! My fairy light mason … [Read more...]

25 Delicious Puff Pastry Ideas and Recipes

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25 Delicious Puff Pastry Ideas and Recipes

You guys, as someone who tries to eat gluten-free this one was torture to round-up, TORTURE! All those layers of soft, flaky puff pastry surrounding everything from Nutella to brie to pepperoni, and all I can do was dream. But with the holidays coming, I knew I had to take one for the team and gather the BEST, most DELICIOUS puff pastry ideas because you deserve them. Puff pastry is one of the easiest ways to create swoon-worthy appetizers and desserts that will have your guests raving about … [Read more...]

25 BEST Bake Sale Treats and Recipes

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25 Best Bake Sale Treats and Recipes

With all the fairs, holidays, church and school events going on right now we're smack dab in the middle of bake sale season. You know at some point you'll have to face the bake sale table so might as well be prepared. Here's a host of ideas that range from 'I only have 10 minutes to whip up some insanely clever treats' to 'I worked on these for 3 hours and wanna ROCK the bake sale this year!' Choose the one that works best for you, and happy Bake-Saleing! How to Have a Fabulous Bake Sale from … [Read more...]

From Our Home to Yours

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Christmas Ideas and Wrap-Up

Wishing you a {slightly belated} Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year! {cards from Pear Tree Greetings} Everything is belated this week. I just put our Christmas cards in the mail today.  Such is life, right? Prior to Christmas, the temps reached mid-60s so we made our annual trek into the city.  The massive screen at the Comcast Center dazzled.  Note that's just half the screen in this photo. {@MakingLemonade on Instagram} After checking out the outdoor market, we settled in … [Read more...]

Delicious Christmas Menu Recipes + Ideas

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Delicious Christmas Menu Recipes + Ideas

Christmas is almost here, do you have your meal plan yet?  I'm so thankful to be hosting friends on Christmas Eve.  Since we have 5 kids coming for dinner and several menu restrictions (including a non-red-meat eater, an only-red-meat-eater, and me, the mostly-gluten-and-dairy-free gal) I'll admit I was perplexed as to what to serve.  Thanks to a recent helpful conversation on Facebook about Christmas meal ideas, we decided on something different this year: appetizers for dinner!  Or if you … [Read more...]

BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa’s Little Helper!

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BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa's Little Helper

I call this perfect holiday punch recipe 'Santa's Little Helper' for two reasons: one, because it's the name of the scrappy little dog in The Simpsons and I always thought he was cute.  The other is because Mama needs some Santa's Little Helper to get through this massive pile of gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and halls to deck.  Personally, I use champagne as the bubbly in the punch but if you're hoping NOT to have {double} visions of sugarplums dancing in your head you can substitute Sierra … [Read more...]