Easy Holiday Brunch Tablescape

 

Looking for a quick and easy placesetting for brunch?

This was the placesetting we (me and my Mom) set up for our Christmas morning pancake brunch.

I made these placecards out of red construction paper and cut out tiny snowflakes from regular white printer paper. Then I just taped them up with plain old scotch tape. Fancy, I know.

Then my Mom added these fun individual pure maple syrup bottles! They were actually originally wedding favors from the wedding of a family friend – too cute!

Add some fun, graphic napkins, bright red plates and an evergreen centerpiece and you are all set!

(I know this is a little late being Christmas-themed and all… but really the general principles are the same.)

How to Make $0.24 Christmas Cards


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One of my favorite things this time of year is receiving mail. Good old fashioned, stamped, icky tasting envelope sealant snail mail.

No one sends mail anymore these days. It’s all about the modern technologies called email and text message. My mailbox (not to be confused with my inbox) is usually full of credit card offers, landscaping company fliers and coupons for dry cleaning.

But not lately! The last few weeks we have opened up cards with sparkles and photos and flourish.

I’ve finally recovered from sending out wedding-related mail and we sent out a few cards this year. While there are tons of adorable online options (like Tiny Prints and Shutterfly), I wasn’t really feeling the price tag at $1.15 to $1.50 per card. Captain Cheap-o over here, remember?

We had a friend take our picture (free!) and I put together my card in Adobe Illustrator. Then I uploaded my file and ordered prints of my card from Shutterfly. Remember to leave extra room just in case of sloppy cropping so the words or photo didn’t get sliced off. I also choose the matte finish to prevent fingerprints and look more card-like.

I ordered 50 prints of our card from Shutterfly for .09 cents each and I had an email promo code for free shipping = $4.50

Then I went to Joann Fabric’s and purchased a pack of blank cardstock folded cards that came with the accompanying envelope.

A package of 50 blank cards for $9.99 (Mine were on sale for $7.50, or you could print out a 20% off Joann’s coupon) = $7.50

Then I used some rubber cement to adhere my “photo” to the front and all I had to do was write on the inside and ship them off.

If I has purchased my 50 cards from one of the internet resources I was looking at I would have spent: 50 x $1.30 = $65 (+ shipping) total

Since I only spent $4.50 for the prints and $7.50 for the cards I spent a grand total of $12.00, bringing my cost to $0.24 cents a card.

I saved $53.00 by making my cards rather than purchasing them online!!

Now if I could figure out a way to mail them for less than $0.42 cents each…

and I leave you with my favorite Christmas song:

These are a few of my favorite (Christmas) things!

Christmastime is that rare time of year we get to indulge in pleasures that elude us for the remainder of the year.

Some of my favorites lately are:


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A nice cold cup of egg nog! With whipped topping.


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It’s not Christmas without a viewing (and sing-a-long) to White Christmas.
(Preferably watched with Christmas cookies, hot cocoa and slippers).


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Cutting out paper snowflakes and getting the little bits of paper all over the living room.


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Peppermint ice cream! Particularly the kind from Friendly’s with my mom’s homemade chocolate sauce!


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All Christmas music! All the time! James Taylor, Glee, Nat King Cole. You name it, I’ll listen to it!


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Christmas is the one time of year we actually receive real snail mail! I love getting Christmas cards in the mail!


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Twinkle lights. Everywhere! Night drives with Starbucks for light-viewing – our tradition!


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and speaking of those red cups…! Venti Peppermint mocha extra hot no whip please.


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For reasons unknown to me, I LOVE the Garfield Christmas Special. LOVE IT! The old grandma… the lost love letters… gets me every time.


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Singing carols at our Christmas Eve service. Especially Silent Night at the end. And if you go to the midnight service and it’s snowing when you leave when it’s technically Christmas. It’s the Christmas trifecta.

Also, my brother and I would try to see how much we could make the candle melt without spilling wax. Fun times.


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Staring at our tree and ornaments every evening – our tree of stories.

Remembering the memories of different ornaments and flipping them over to see the year they were added to the tree!

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I’m relishing all these things this week!

What are you favorite things this time of the year?

O’ Christmas Tree!

Today another blog I follow, Honey We’re Home, is hosting a Holiday Cheer Blog Party!

Today we are sharing our Christmas trees and I’m linking up!

Last weekend we drove to a tree farm and chopped down our tree – the real way to get a Christmas tree! The weather was gloriously warm and perfect tree-chopping weather.

And here is our tree this year. It makes me smile and the aroma is pure heaven. You can smell it all the way upstairs. If I could smell anything for the rest of my life I would choose freshly cut evergreen. Hmmmmm, *deep breathe*.

Our tree is not a tree of swanky style or planned color coordination. Our tree is a tree of stories.

I like to decorate with ornaments that have a story behind them and are reminiscent of a memory.

My parents started this tradition.

Every year we would open up an ornament on Christmas morning and it would pertain to something we had done that year. We have a painted shell from our honeymoon, I have a heart covered in sheet music the year I took piano lessons and I have 3 ornaments that are red VW Beetles.

We’ve inscribed the year of receipt on most of them.

Each branch is covered in a memory.

I look forward to decorating our tree all year. It’s like looking through a photo album.

Wait for it, *Sniiiiffff, ahhh evergreen*.

While I’m at it, I thought I’d share some of our Christmas decorations!

I added snowshoes to the mirror (Christmas Tree Shop, go figure!) and hung our stockings. I took some of my green and red hardcover books and added them around the room. Then I took extra evergreen boughs from the tree farm (for free!) to the mantle.

I also bought a bag for cranberries for $1.99 and made a few strings!

 

And you can’t take your decorations too seriously!

‘O Christmas Tree, ‘O Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

Do you have a tree? Are you a real tree or fake kind of person? White lights or colored lights? Twinkle lights or big fat ones?

*And one last big inhale.

 

Christmas Decorating Personalities

I LOVE decorating for Christmas. As each holiday and season passes I’m hoping to make our new house feel more like home. And if there is anything that makes me feel at home, it’s being holed up in a house during the long New England winter. A rite of passage if you will.

Sitting by the fireplace with colored lights flickering on the walls marks the beginning of this nesting process for me.

One of my favorite things about Christmas decorations is that there are so many different ways to do it.

What is your Christmas decorating style?

Simple, Colorful and Bold

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Snowy Neutral

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Cute ‘n Crafty

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Au Naturale

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Contemporary Minimalist

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Redneck?

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Vintage Schoolhouse

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Glitz and Glam

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Christmas Kitcsh

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I think I am two parts decorating Au Naturale and one part Christmas Kitsch. Moose has banned glittery objects from the house, and he doesn’t complain about my decorating much so I try to oblige him.

What is your decorating style?

Christmas Candies!!!!!!!!!

My kitchen looked like this for the better part of this last weekend.

Clouds of confectioner’s sugar bloomed in the kitchen air. Sticks of butter disappeared. Chocolatey aromas wafted through the house.

All in the name of Christmas candies!

And there was much rejoicing.

(P.S. Like my new Christmas table runner? My sewing skillz are slowly growing.)

Recipes: (Going clockwise)

1. Snowdrops (recipe below, as I couldn’t find it online)

2. Buckeye Balls recipe

3. Chocolate Crinkles recipe

4. Peppermint Patties (my favorite!) recipe

Snowdrops:

  1. Melt 1 bag white chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter together in a double boiler
  2. In a bowl toss 3 cups rice krispies, 1 cup peanuts and 3 cups marshmallows
  3. When white chocolate/pb is melted, stir into cereal/nuts/marshmallows
  4. Immediately spoon on to wax paper to harden
  5. I refrigerated mine (aka. stuck them out on the deck)
  6. Devour!

Oye, I’m glad I went to Zumba tonight.

What is your favorite Christmas treat to bake? or not bake? Is anyone else pumped about ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas?

Top 9: Christmas Stockings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an Etsy Top 9. Far too long.

As soon as we returned from our Thanksgiving excursion to Long Island I got out our Christmas decorations. Literally. We unpacked the car and within 10 minutes I took down all our Thanksgiving decorations and out came the Christmas boxes!

Today, in honor of holiday decor taking over my house, I’m sharing my top 9 Christmas stockings.

1. I love the vibrant patterns of these LaFortuneLinens stockings. If I had a big brood I think these would be a fun assortment.

2. This retro throwback stocking from  AllenbriteStudio is a cute take on felt and makes me feel all nosalgic.

3. I am a sucker for the classic knit stockings like this one by Annmoody See #6 if you want to know why!.

4. If you’re into the coastal holiday look, this burlap stocking by Floatinteriors is quite quaint.

5. This “Dr. Seuss” stocking by GoodWishesQuilts is a looker with all her helter skelter stripes.

6. I love these stockings because this is what I had growing  up! My grandma made them for me and all my cousins. Mine is like the Santa one except I think he was coming out of the chimney. And it even has my name on it! These ones are knit by Jpyle,

7. This stocking by AnniesWoolens is a classic with black and red gingham. The embroidery is a nice touch too.

8. This hand-crocheted stocking by TAMMYMADEIT is cozy little number with the jingle bell and yarn pompom.

9. These fun and fresh fabric stockings by PiperAndEllie are an girlie take on the Christmas stocking.

 

We usually open our stockings first thing in the morning. And by first thing I mean around 9:00am because we always slept in. Then we have a big breakfast and didn’t start opening presents until afterwards. We were usually still opening presents (one at a time, mind you!) at 1 or 2pm! Let’s just say the image of kids terrorizing their parents in the wee hours of the morning to open gifts is a foreign concept to me. I grew up with my Christmas mornings being slow and lazy. And I like them that way!

Revamp it and Stamp it

I’d like to buy a vowel please.

I got these metal letter stamps from Harbor Freight for just a couple bucks. I bought them because, once upon a time, I saw a photo similar to the one below and I was smitten.

I don’t even know how to garden, but when I learn I will be ready!

How fun would these be hanging from your Christmas tree? Maybe I will give these a shot first. Because, after all, I do know how to celebrate Christmas.


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Then I saw this tutorial to make pieces out of Femo clay – which I would also love to try!

Who knew a $5 purchase could bring so much fun and so many ideas? I would love to get a serving set or old butter knife and punch fun words into them like “delicious” and “tasty” and “yum!” into them.

It looks like I’ll need to be going back to the Swap Shop! I only bought three spoons to practice on!!