Condo Blues: December 2020




Thursday, December 31, 2020

End of the Year Silver Linings and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 562

What a long, strange, trip this year has been. My husband and I kicked off 2020 at a Roaring 20's party and shortly afterwards everything roared to a full stop. While it is all too easy to focus on the boatload  of the bad things that happened this year, for my sanity and mental health, I'm trying to focus on the few positives I experienced:

- I did a lot of projects on my Do It Yourself Honey! list. DIY, craft, and otherwise. As a result, I got  new and repaired clothes, household items, home improvements, and cleaned out a bunch of my fabric stash and scraps. Yay!

- A Christmas gift from my mother in law inspired me to relearn how to crochet. Something I haven't done since my grandmother taught me as a kid.

- Zooming all over the country to see friends, family, and performances regularly instead of the once or twice a year we normally do in real life.

- Having the free time to shop at farmer's markets and can a boatload of end of season sale tomatoes.

- Lacey is absolutely thriving with both of her people being at home 24/7 (although her people have gone a little stir crazy at times being home 24/7.) 

Hey Lisa, if you are looking for a project how about filling my treat jar with some homemade dog treats? It's looking pretty empty in there!

What good things happened to you this year?

Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas for the last time this year!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 561



Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas!

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

DIY Glass Candy Cane Swirl Christmas Ornaments

Every Christmas I give my niece and nephew a Christmas ornament. Usually they mark special events (such as the year my niece danced Clara in the Nutcracker,) hobbies, from places my husband and I traveled, or something really cool and unusual. Sometimes I make their Christmas ornament gifts but most years I buy them.

Except last year when I made their glass Christmas ornaments with fire

DIY handmade glass Christmas ornament

Save this Christmas ornament idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

After making my first glass blowing project without burning off a body part, I’ve been on the lookout for more glass blowing workshops. Unfortunately I don’t have the space for glass sculptures (especially when Lacey spits a ball at my feet and demands a rousing game of Catch at the end of the workday. I swear that dog can tell time!) so I tend to lean toward the practical yet pretty glass art projects. Luckily blowing glass Christmas ornaments ticks all of those boxes.

With the added bonus of impressing my teenage nephew with photos of me in front of a furnace working with 3000 degree (F ) molten glass! (That is not a typo.)

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Slow Christmas Ideas and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 560

Christmas is my favorite time of year because there are so many fun places to go, things to see and performances to do before we get the extended family together for a big, happy celebration on Christmas day!  

Except this year. It's a pivot. pivot. Christmas pivot kind of year.

But you know what? I'm enjoying the change. 

Wine Advent Calendar
After opening the last couple of days of our DIY wine Advent calendar, I'm starting to understand the appeal of Advent calendars!

  • No quick, wolf down dinner, we have to book it out the door and to an event.

  • No fighting traffic, crowds, or stores because everything is being picked up or delivered to our door (let's give an extra shout and thank you to all postal and delivery drivers. THANK YOU!)

  • There's the chance to put the holiday things you don't always enjoy aside for something new because it's just the household this year. For us, we're going to start our day with mimosas and end it with either fancy lobster tails or super causal homemade pizza for dinner. We haven't decided yet. Which one would do you think we should have for Christmas dinner?

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Hearts and Gnomes Christmas Decoration House Tour

This year I mixed old and new to decorate the house for Christmas. As our gnome population grew so did my collection of Danish Christmas heart decorations. Actually many of them are Valentine's Day decorations I bought in February and use as Christmas hearts. As crazy as this year has been I think we all need to share a little more love, kindness, and compassion now more than ever.

Christmas out door decoration house tour
Save these Christmas decorating ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Happy Hanukkah and Linky Party Week 559

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! I hope you start your holiday off right and celebrate happily and safely. 

Happy Hanukkah













Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

How to Make Lavender and Eucalyptus Shea Butter Lotion

I absolutely love handmade soaps and bath items. Unfortunately handcrafted lotion bars didn’t work out for me. My annoying pollen allergies make my skin picky about the beeswax in them since you don’t know exactly what the bees ate before they created the wax –  because you know, bee life.

I experimented making body butters and learned that the greasy feeling I didn’t care for was due to the coconut oil I added to the mix. I also learned that you can turn any homemade body butter recipe into a lotion if you add water (which needs a preservative.) OK good to know.

quick and easy Shea butter lotion recipe
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

A few more  experiments later I came up with a homemade non greasy, moisturizing lotion entirely made from plant based ingredients – including the preservatives. Yeah, yeah, I know. In green living circles many folks claim they don’t want to use chemicals. That is impossible because everything – even if it is organic  – is made of chemicals, including yourself.

What I believe they mean is that they do not want to use toxic chemicals, which I totally agree with. The same goes for preservatives. This lotion recipe contains water which is the perfect breeding ground for growing mold and bacteria, which then can be dangerous to use (that’s why bath and beauty items including handmade at the farmer’s market are required to have expiration dates.)  But not all preservatives are created awful! There are several natural and non toxic preservatives we can use such as Phenonip and that’s what we will be using today.

 Many homemade health and beauty remedies include Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that will keep the oils in the product from going rancid (and do fantastic things for your skin) but Vitamin E will not stop mold or bacteria from growing in the mixture from, for example, being introduced to the moisturizer from dipping your hand in the jar. I like to include Vitamin E in my handmade moisturizer recipes more for its beauty properties but if it helps keep the oils from going rancid while the Phenonip keeps the entire thing mold and bacteria free I think they are two co workers that work well together. Besides Vitamin E oil is cheap and available at most grocery stores. 

All Natural Zero Waste Homemade Shea Butter Moisturizer Recipe 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 558

It's December and I did an early deep dive into my favorite time of year - CHRISTMAS! I normally don't decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving but this year I made the exception. Christmas lights and decor make me insanely happy especially when almost all of our decorations have a memory or story attached like the little Santas shown below.

Santa Claus decorations

My husband and I adopted one of these rolly polly guys when we visited a Christmas store during our vacation several years ago and he has made me smile ever since. What are your favorite December traditions?

Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas!