Friday, December 19, 2014

Outdoor Christmas Décor: Modern Lighted Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

For as much I enjoy looking at Christmas light displays you’d think I’d do something fancy outside of my own home.

modern tomato cage Christmas tree with lights
Nope. I keep it simple.

Why?

Because it is always too cold outside to put up and take down elaborate Christmas decorations!

Peace, love, joy, and warmth. That’s what my outdoor Christmas décor is all about.

And by warmth I mean not freezing my legs off while I’m outside or in the garage building new Christmas decorations.

This year I made a few changes in our outdoor Christmas décor and especially in what I used to display them. I wore the right work pants for the job, my Duluth Trading Company Women's Fleece-Lined DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants.

Did I mention these multi-pocketed wonder pants are lined with warm and soft fleece, one of my favorite cold weather fabrics? Oh yes, my friends. My new fancy pants kept me warm while installing Christmas decorations. They proved their worth later that evening on a walk with Lacey to look at Christmas lights a local park. We left early because Husband wore jeans and got cold. Me? Not cold at all.

fleece lined fire hose pants
The best thing about Duluth Trading Company clothes is they realize women need just as many pockets in their clothing as men.  DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants have six packets: 2 front pockets, a zippered thigh cargo pocket, 2 back pockets, and a Pokey Things Pocket (their name, not mine) on the right back thigh.

Monday, December 15, 2014

15 Things I am Not Going to Do This Christmas

It amazes me how some folks use Christmas time to make others feel horrible because they have different holiday thoughts, traditions, or celebrate (or not) a different December holiday.

Sadly, I internalize their criticism of the way we do things as not green enough, too generous, too stingy, too religious, not religious enough, too secular, or too fill in the blank.  I always let them make me feel sad, angry, and depressed for several days during my favorite time of the year.

This Christmas, I am going to try not to fall into that trap.  I can’t change others but I can change how I let others make me feel about myself and how we like to celebrate the holidays.


15 things I am not doing for christmas to keep my sanity



I will also try to keep my attitude about others in check because fair is fair.

15 Things I am Not Going to Do for Christmas 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Kid Craft: Waterless Mason Jar Snow Globes

Last Christmas my nephews Mr. 5 of 10 and Mr. 9 of 10 surprised Husband and I with a homemade Christmas gift. My sister-in-law said that they wanted to make a Christmas gift for me because I often make gifts for them. Yay!

My sister-in-law tried to hedge things a bit by saying, “it might not be very good…” as I unwrapped our gift but I cut her off with a happy squeal. “Look the boys made us a mason jar snow globe! I love it!”

Because I do. 

diy waterless Christmas snow globe


With a little adult help, your kids can make waterless mason jar snow globes too. They make fabulous gifts and even better Christmas decorations!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Forget Elf on the Shelf! We Have Yoda on the Soda

People are insane about Elf on the Shelf.

Either they think Elf is a fun tradition and love it or they think Elf is a creepy stalker partying like a student on Spring Break and hate it.

There is no middle ground.

Husband came up with an Elf on the Shelf alternative.

I present:

Yoda on the Soda

“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

Yoda on the Soda.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Easy Outdoor Christmas Swag Decor

I want to add vertical live evergreen swags to my outdoor Christmas decorations. I couldn’t find them for sale this early in the season. My source for free evergreen branches (Christmas tree lots) didn’t have any to give either.

I thought I might have to wait until next year to do the project until I found my inspiration. A red and silver jingle bell door knob decoration! I’ll take four please. One to swag and hang on each of my four porch posts. 

how to make an outdoor jinglebell evergreen Christmas


Hold on. I better pick up (reluctantly) four artificial vertical evergreen swags while I’m at it.

This tutorial is so ridiculously easy. Lacey could do it if she had thumbs.

How to Make a Vertical Jingle Bell Christmas Swag


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Upcycled House Key Snowman Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments are my thing. It started when my mom and grandmother started to give me handmade Christmas ornaments as Christmas gifts when I was a teen. When I was out on my own I had a Christmas tree full of ornaments made by people I love.

Aw.

If you have or want to start a handmade Christmas ornament tradition with your family, check out these adorable upcycled house key snowman ornaments from Crafts by Amanda!

recycled key snowman christmas ornament

They would make cute teacher, gift exchange, or neighbor holiday gifts too!

Who knew recycling could be so cute?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Captain America On Your Left T Shirt

Not a week goes by after Husband comes home from a training run that he has a story about how someone refuses to follow the rules of our running/biking/walking/rollerblading trails and almost causes an accident.  Apparently folks like to use the center of the trail instead of keeping to the right hand side. Verbally signaling when they are about to pass someone, which should be on the left, doesn't always happen either.

The first time we watched Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (we see every Marvel movie at least three times in the theater) Husband leaned over and excitedly whispered in my ear, “See! See! Captain America has good running etiquette!” during the scene where Steve Rodgers is out for a  jog and calls out, “on your left” every time he passes a fellow runner.


Captain America On Your Left Freezer Stencil Shirt


I knew right then and there I needed to give Husband a Captain America On Your Left t shirt as a gift. I couldn't find one in a store so I made one! You can too. Here’s how.