Friday, December 9, 2016

Five on Friday || Homemade Christmas Gifts {Teachers, Co-Workers, Neighbors, etc.}

I am always looking for new Christmas gift ideas for Thomas and Caroline's teachers. Both kiddos each have 3 teachers (and even additional part time teachers) so gifts add up quickly. With that in mind I usually craft or bake something in large, inexpensive quantities to give out around the holidays. So today I am sharing five of my go-to Christmas gifts I've made in the past for teachers, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
DIY Candy Cane Sleighs: I promise these are WAY less work than they look. Last year I gave Caroline and Thomas's teachers candy cane sleighs with $5 gift cards inside. They were BIG hits all around. You can find my tutorial here.
Homemade Jam: You can never go wrong with homemade jam! If you can carve out a day (or even just a morning) you can knock out dozens of mini jars of jam for Christmas gifts. These are so nice to have on hand for last minute gifts too. You can find my homemade jam tutorial here.
Christmas Ornament: Last year as the "room mom" I had the additional responsibility of providing gifts from the class on a budget. I found super cute ornaments at Target for $1 each then signed all of the babies names on the ornament as a keepsake gift! The teachers absolutely loved this sentimental gift.
Mini Cinnamon Bread Loafs: This is my annual go-to gift for teachers, friends, neighbors and more. First I run to Michaels and stock up on holiday ceramic mini loaf pans for $1 each.You can also use disposable tins too. I found some super cute holiday disposables (here, here & here) and ceramic pans (here, here and here) on Amazon! Depending on how much time I have to prepare the loaves, I'll either use this easy Cinnamon Bread recipe or Cinnamon Crumb Cake Mix. Once they are cool I plastic wrap them and tie a bow on top. Easy, delicious and I can make large batches quickly!
printable gift tag
Christmas Stove Top Potpourri: During the holidays you can usually find a pot of Christmas potpourri simmering on my stove top. The smell is so delicious and is definitely a fun gift worth giving. For this gift I've filled little bags or mason jars with fresh cranberries, an orange, cinnamon sticks, cloves and a sprinkle of nutmeg for a festive Christmas potpourri. Tie a bow on top and add a gift tag!

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Our 2016 Family Christmas Card

Aaaaaand our Christmas cards are (mostly) OUT for delivery to mailboxes of friends and family across the country! I love this time of year when cards pour in with smiling faces of the people we love most!

Whether you've been following my blog for years or pop in occasionally, thank you for reading along and please consider this electronic copy our Christmas card to you too!
We ordered our cards again this year from Minted! I love Minted for their high quality, thick paper, variety of designs and of course their FREE recipient addressing (which saves me a tremendous amount of time)! Also, thanks to the professional proofing process my cards were printed without a few typos!

PS - Thank you all for helping me select our photo!
Our Christmas cards through the years:
2015 Christmas Card
2014 Christmas Card
2013 Christmas Card
2012 Christmas Card
2011 Christmas Card
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wish List Wednesday || Gifts & Stocking Stuffers for Him

What is everyone getting the men in their life this year? Seriously, Matt is so hard to shop for and I'm guessing you may have some hard to shop for men in your life too. So today I'm sharing a gift guide I previously pulled together (and updated) with a list of presents Matt has received (not just from me) over the years that he's really, really loved.

This Christmas Matt and I agreed to keep our gifts to one another simple since we've unexpectedly run into some large expenses recently with our kitchen ceiling falling in from water damage and some larger repairs to my car. So anyway, we set a modest gift limit and I'm pretty excited about what I've picked up for him. I purchased an iGrill Mini (a Bluetooth meat thermometer for the grill), North Carolina socks (he has an obsession with dress socks) and a few other small things. However, I think I am most excited about his stocking this year because I purchased some fake lotto tickets! I'm planning to sprinkle them in with some real tickets and cannot wait to see him react to winning $10,000. HA! I also found a really awesome bottle opener made out of a real 50 caliber bullet!
The Man Wish List

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