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Currently: December 2017

Currently: December 2017

Lighting~ Our house. We are working on decorating a bit this Christmas but it’s also a bit weird as we are planning to be away this year. Spending~ Time with each other. December is such a busy month with parties and concerts and all the things that […]

Simple Outdoor Family Fun Around The Homestead this Christmas

Simple Outdoor Family Fun Around The Homestead this Christmas

During the winter it’s easy to hole up inside like a pack of bears hibernating (especially when you live in Canada!). However, humans are not bears and there’s a lot of fun to be had outdoors. This Christmas season, take your family outdoors, get some […]

TBB Asks…And I Answered! Holidays 2017

TBB Asks…And I Answered! Holidays 2017

  1. Real or Fake Tree?

A real one. We are lucky enough to live among a plethora of trees and it is always an enjoyable family tradition during the holidays, the searching for and cutting down the Christmas tree.

2. Favorite Christmas Cookie?

Do I have to pick just one?? I have a definite soft spot for scotch shortbread (must be my Scottish roots!), Unturtle Bars and fudge, Yum!

Related: Why Baking is Good for the Soul and 3 Easy Holiday Treats the Whole Family will love!

3. Home on Christmas morning or Travel?

Well usually we are home on Christmas morning and we try and gather most of our relatives that live close by to our place. But, this year we are actually going away on a fun little family trip which will include some time with relatives we don’t see very often.

4. Clear or Colored Lights?

Although I love the crisp clean look of all white lights, we usually have a lot of snow and I love using lots of colorful lights to jazz it up a bit and add some color around the homestead.

5. Send Christmas cards?

I have good intentions to send them, does that count?

6. Favorite Christmas gift received?

Oooh that’s a tough one. As an adult? Probably either my Kitchen aid stand mixer or one of our many gifts that were experiences (the holidays at a chalet and hotsprings, a fun family day whitewater rafting and another ziplining, ski passes for our local ski hill, all the fun things we’ve been able to do as a family). As a kid, I would have to say the year my siblings and I got a dirt bike or the year we got surprised with a trip to Disneyland. Gosh, thinking back I/we have received some pretty awesome gifts and experiences!

Related: 10 Gift Ideas that aren’t Things, they are experiences!

7. Favorite Christmas Present Given?

I’d have to say the year we surprised the kids with 2 kittens for Christmas. The kids were so happy and we had so much fun watching the kittens antics all morning and for years to come.

8. Stockings or No Stockings?

Kids Christmas Gift Ideas

Definitely stockings!

9. Christmas PJ’s?

You bet! This has been a part of a tradition we started way back when our kids were just itty bitty. They get to open one gift on Christmas eve and it is always a new pair of Christmas PJ’s to wear on Christmas morning.

10. Favorite Christmas Carol?

I don’t think I could pick just one! If I had to narrow it down to 3 though, I would have to say:

  1. The Merry Christmas Polka ~ Jim Reeves
  2. Carol of the Bells ~ Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  3. Have yourself a merry little Christmas ~ Michael Bublé

11. Favorite Holiday Tradition?

Driving around with our kids to check out all the Christmas lights and spending time and laughing with family and friends. There are really too many for me to share here, I love everything about the holiday season!

12. Early Shopper or Last Minute?

Although I kind of love shopping during the holidays for that

13. Favorite Christmas Movie or Show?

Classic, Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. Modern, Elf!

14. Favorite Holiday Beverage?

Eggnog!! In the morning, an eggnog latte and in the evening, spiced rum and eggnog.

15. Cookies and Milk for Santa?

Always, and a carrot or 2 for Rudolph 😉

8 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

8 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Driving in the wintertime is a completely different ballgame than your everyday driving. There is snow and ice to contend with, including ice that you can’t even see. Add to that dealing with other drivers that aren’t quite sure how to drive in winter weather, […]

Crafty Old-Fashioned Christmas Fun

Crafty Old-Fashioned Christmas Fun

Sometimes the best times are the simplest times. You and your family can have an old-fashioned Christmas by enjoying some fun holiday crafts. Here are five old-fashioned Christmas craft ideas to enjoy. #1 Paper chain – Paper chains can be made year around. However, they’re […]

How to Plan Homemade Edible Gifts from the Homestead

How to Plan Homemade Edible Gifts from the Homestead

Are you looking for a new way to show your appreciation and gratitude this holiday season? Are you looking to give gifts this year that are special and focus on giving rather than materialism? Consider making your own homemade edible gifts this year.

Related: 10 Gift Ideas that aren’t Things, they are experiences!

Creating Your Own Homemade Treats Is a Great Way to Show People You Care

When you spend your valuable time creating something from your heart, your friends and family know you love and appreciate them. It takes a bit of extra time, energy and attention to make something from scratch. However, in the long run it’s also easier than hitting the shopping malls and battling the crowd in search of that perfect gift. You can make one instead.

How to Create Homemade Edible Treats

The first step to creating homemade treats is actually two steps. You want to consider what you can make, where you’re skilled. You also want to take your recipient in mind. What do they like to eat? What foods are their favorites or what would they enjoy most?

For example, if you’re making a treat for your young nieces and nephews, then perhaps they’d most appreciate candy. If you’re making a treat for your single brother, then perhaps he’d appreciate a ready to go soup and biscuits, with just “add water” instructions attached.

Your second step will be to prepare a plan. What are you going to make and who are you going to make it for? You’ll want to make a detailed plan that also includes when you’re going to make your gifts. Take care to keep your gifts in mind. For example, if you’re baking bread for family and friends, you’ll want to make it close to the day you’re actually giving it to them. Hold onto it too long and you’ll be giving them stale bread.

How to Plan Homemade Edible Gifts from the Homestead

Next, you’ll create your shopping list. In addition to writing down all the ingredients for your recipes, you’ll also want to shop for the packaging. How are you going to package and wrap your treats? Will the packaging be part of the gift? For example, if you’re baking homemade bread will you also give your recipient a bread pan or will you deliver it on a disposable plate?

If you’re making edible treats that your recipient can assemble themselves, you might want to purchase nice jars or containers for the ingredients. For example, if you’re giving someone oatmeal cookies, you might layer all the ingredients in a large mason jar. Tie a ribbon around the outside and then attach the mixing directions to the ribbon. They may have to add an egg and water but the rest is done for them. Packaging can play an important role in your homemade gifts.

Related: 

Have fun making your homemade edible treats. Set aside a day or a weekend from the process and really enjoy yourself. Your passion, joy and enthusiasm will show in your results.

Want more ideas for Homemade edible gifts? Check out my Pinterest Board of all things Christmas HERE!

 

How to Plan homemade edible gifts from the homestead.

8 Tips for Winter Travel to Keep Your Family Safe and Healthy

8 Tips for Winter Travel to Keep Your Family Safe and Healthy

During winter holidays and school breaks, you and just about everyone else in North America are a lot more likely to be traveling. For vacations, family visits, or whatever your travel plans are, you want to make sure you arrive safe and healthy. Wash Your […]

Simple, Frugal and Easy Holiday Homestead Decorating Ideas

Simple, Frugal and Easy Holiday Homestead Decorating Ideas

Decorating for the holidays is often one of events people most look forward to. There’s just something special about the twinkling lights, the smell of pine in the air and the festivity. If you’re tired of fancy decorations or want to take your holiday decorating […]

Why Baking is Good For the Soul and 3 Easy Holiday Treats the Whole Family will love!

Why Baking is Good For the Soul and 3 Easy Holiday Treats the Whole Family will love!

Imagine walking into a home that smells like homemade bread, cookies or cinnamon rolls. The scent envelopes you and makes you feel like a child again. Baking, it is said, is good for the soul. Not only because the aromas and flavors can take you back to childhood, but also because it can help you find focus and joy. This holiday season, consider taking time to bake and experience the great pleasures this simple act can provide.

Baking as Meditation

Being able to single-mindedly focus on a task is meditative. Baking allows you to be in the moment and to focus only on what you’re doing. One of the most meditative types of baking you can do is to bake bread. The kneading by hand is perhaps the most meditative aspect of the bread-baking process. You can bake bread as gifts or simply as something to enjoy with friends and family. Imagine a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread coming out of your oven.

Baking as a Family Tradition

Children love to bake. They love to eat too! Baking cookies and holiday treats is a tradition in many families. You can set aside an entire day or weekend to bake with your family. Make a list and create a plan. Who is going to bake what? Who gets to decorate the cookies? What kind of cookies and treats will you make? Get everyone involved in the baking decisions and process. Even the youngest children can contribute. They certainly have a favorite cookie and their decorating skills are unmatched!

Baking as a Way to Unwind

There’s something simple and joyful about baking. It cannot be hurried. You must follow directions. Everything is laid out for you, yet there’s a creative element to it as well. Baking for loved ones, for pleasure, and for family doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It can be a real pleasure. During the holidays in particular, baking is a fantastic way to unwind. You can spend an afternoon or an entire weekend filling your home with the delicious aromas of fresh-baked goods.

Remember when you’re baking that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the best recipes are also the easiest. Bake a loaf of white bread. Make sugar cookies. Enjoy the holidays and all the simple pleasures that come with it. Bake to find focus, bake for pleasure, bake to de-stress and bake to connect with your loved ones.

Why Baking is Good For the Soul and 3 Easy Holiday Treats the Whole Family will love!

Quick and Easy Holiday Baking Treats the Kids Will Love

 

Are you looking for a way to keep your children busy during holiday break? One great way to have them contribute to the holiday festivities is to have them help make holiday treats. In many families cookies are an important part of the holiday tradition. Even if your children aren’t able to bake yet, they can help decorate. Here are a few quick and easy holiday treats your kids will love.

#1 Rice Crispy Treats

Rice Crispy treats are no-bake snacks that can be ready in a matter of minutes. You can find the recipe on the side of any rice cereal box. You need a box of rice crispy cereal, a bag of marshmallows and butter. Once the treats are made, you can use cookie cutters to shape them into holiday decorations.

One easy shape for younger children is to cut the treats into circles and decorate them to resemble tree ornaments. You can use basic colored gel frosting found at the supermarket, or make your own butter cream frosting and color it with food coloring to match your desired decorating style. Let your little ones express their creativity by decorating the treats.

#2 Sugar cookies

Round sugar cookies can be made and decorated like holiday ornaments. Or you can roll them out and use various holiday cookie cutter shapes to get more creative. This is particularly fun for older children who may enjoy more complicated decorating tasks. Additionally, older children can bake the cookies.

#3 Peanut butter balls

Another no-bake cookie that’s fun to make are peanut butter balls. They’re also called buckeyes. Basically, you blend peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar into a gooey mess. You then roll the peanut butter mix into melted chocolate, let cool and enjoy. Here’s a quick and easy recipe.

* 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed, paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for thirty minutes in your freezer. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in your microwave. Stir frequently until smooth. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top. Place back on wax paper and store in refrigerator.

If you have family recipes, invite your children to help bake. Getting your children involved in the holiday preparations accomplishes many beneficial things. It helps them feel valuable. They learn new skills. Additionally, it helps them stay busy during time off of school. They’ll be able to grow up and share their joy of holiday baking with their own family.

Related:

 

Why Baking is Good For the Soul and 3 Easy Holiday Treats the Whole Family will love!

This post is linked up in the Home Matters Linky Party and The Blended Blog’s Tasty Tuesday Link Party!

Remembrance Day 2017

Remembrance Day 2017

Taking a moment today to remember. Please enjoy this well-known and beloved poem. In Flanders Fields BY JOHN MCCRAE In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row,     That mark our place; and in the sky     The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce […]


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