Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa's Sleigh

Every year many people give to other's in need. Times are tough and giving is down. If you have a few extra dollars that you would like to add to Santa's Sleigh....what a great way to get in the true spirit of Christmas.

Jeff at the Merry Network (of which Magical Holiday Home is a part) sponsors this annual event. He selects the family that the proceeds benefit and therefore you can be assured that your dollars are truly reaching the hearts of those is need.

Please consider giving just a small amount. Those small amounts add up and can make Christmas bright!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Let There Be Peace Card


Wow look how beautiful this card is. Check it out over at Amazing Paper Grace. There are plenty of wonderful ideas!!! So pretty I'd almost hate to send it!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reindeer Craft


Aren't these simple reindeer adorable. They would be perfect with a rustic Christmas look or a log cabin theme!  You can find information about making them at The Home Site


Monday, August 30, 2010

Snowmen Clay Pots

Here's another super thrifty craft that would also make a cute little present for your child's teacher. A pair of clay pot snowmen. These are made with a little clay pot, wooden ball, buttons, some paint and fabric scraps. Aren't they delightful?  So easy to make and you could make them to match any color scheme. I also have an elf one I'll be posting about over at Magic Elves a little later! This idea comes from How Did I Do It? 

When I was cruising the resale shops I found several little clay pots that I picked up for a quarter each...didn't know exactly what I was going to use them for but now I know...witches, elves, and snowmen!!  It's sure to be a super fun fall and winter!!  On the SAME trip I also picked up two bags of wooden heads (3 in each bag) for a quarter each....so a dollar for 4 pots and 50 cents for six wooden heads....SCORE!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bottle Caps Countdown


Directions and patterns for these holiday bottle caps over at craftideas.info   I was thinking these would work super great with a magnet on the back and you could create your own Christmas Countdown or Advent Calendar on your fridge!!  Just use a little number along with the image!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy August Rudolph Day!


It's finally here....the magic month we have been waiting for...the Month of the Elf.....and there are at least FIVE key places you can read about Magic Elves from now until September 24th.

Rudolph Ramblings: You can read about the magic elves and this wonderful Christmas tradition...right here at Rudolph's Ramblings. I'll be posting throughout the month when the whim strikes. I'll be looking for some books, ornaments, and elfcapades to share with you.

Magic Elves: My Magical Holiday Home blog: Magic Elves will feature daily elf postings.  I"ve searched the internet to find some fun and delightful things to feature at Magic Elves. I hope you'll enjoy my discoveries!

Magical Holiday Home blog:  Throughout the month I'll be featuring Magical Holiday Home members elves on the MHH blog home page along with other elf goodies!

Magic Elves Forum:  This forum is part of the Magical Holiday Home forums and is sure to be abuzz with members ideas and conversations about elves! Make sure you visit us!

Rudolph Day.com:  There will be a few tidbits of Magic Elf lore and fun over at Rudolph Day.com So please stop by and leave a comment too if you are so inclined.

I imagine there will be other members blogging about elves also...so I'll give a Shout Out when I see some elf posts! This month is sure to be fun filled!!

HAPPY AUGUST RUDOLPH DAY!!!



Sunday, August 8, 2010

JOY Garage Sale Frames

Our town had a city wide yard sale a couple weeks back and I managed to pick up quite a few junk to treasure things. Total cost of all the items= $12.50  Shown above are three little frames purchased for 25 cents each. I have removed the glass.

Here are the same three frames after spray painting (1st coat). I used antique white.  I waited for them to dry and applied a second coat.


Same three frames. I cut some matting from scrapbook paper scraps and placed them inside the frames.


Same three....added some letters to spell J O Y. As you will see in the final picture, I ended up changing the paper and putting the green in the center for the letter o instead of last.



Here's the final picture with the paper switched and the glass back in the frames. I have them sitting at the base of a wooden Christmas tree that I also bought for $1.00 during the same yard sale trip. I think they will look cute nestled in some greenery on a table or mantle. I just didn't feel like digging through the Christmas stuff to get some greenery!

Project Costs:

Frames= 75 cents
Paint: $1.00 (I bought a can for $4.00 but barely used any for this project)
Paper and Letters= 0 (in stash of scrapping stuff)
Total Cost = $1.75 (and probably less since I used very little paint)

Since I used antique white for the frames you could rotate out the mats and have BOO at Halloween, etc.  Isn't it amazing how one can throw together a little new decor for pennies and a little imagination!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy July Rudolph Day

There's nothing more exciting than Rudolph Day during Christmas in July! The holiday season is headed our way so time to really get busy preparing.

July is Finish Stocking Stuffer's Month and it's also the time to work on your cards. You will be glad you finished these two tasks early once the busy holiday season is here! You have from today until Rudolph Day in August to finish these two items!

I have an exciting announcement for you....RudolphDay.com

Rudolph Day.com is brought to you by several members of the Merry network. We will be blogging about holiday prep, recipes, traditions, and crafts. I hope you will take a moment to check out the site. We are just getting started but we'd love to hear your comments!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

French Vanilla Cocoa Mix in a Jar

Vanilla is one of my favorites.....so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it!!!


French Vanilla Cocoa Mix in a Jar
Yield: About 8 pint-size jars.

10 1/2 cups non-fat dry milk
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 (8 ounce) jars French vanilla flavored non-dairy powdered creamer
3 1/2 cups chocolate mix for milk (Nestle's Quick)
2 3/4 cup non-dairy powdered creamer
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and ladle into jars. Cover tightly. Attach the following directions on a gift tag:

French Vanilla Cocoa:
Stir 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mix into hot water or milk.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Amaretto Cocoa Mix




Amaretto Cocoa Mix in a Jar

Have ready 8 (1-pint) jars.

10 1/2 cups non-fat dry milk
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 (8 ounce) jars Amaretto flavored non-dairy powdered creamer
3 1/2 cups Nestle's Quik
2 3/4 cups non-dairy powdered creamer
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and divide among the jars. Yields approximately 8 pint size gift jars.
Attach the following directions on a card:

Amaretto Cocoa:
Combine 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mix into 1 cup hot water or milk.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peppermint Sugar Scrub


Here's the recipe for the Peppermint Sugar Scrub:

Ingredients
An empty jar with a lid
1 cup granulated white sugar
6 candy canes/peppermint candy (approx ¼ cup), finely crushed into a powder
1/2 cup olive oil (or any of the oils in the basic recipe)
6 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
Label (if desired)

Directions:
1. Pour the granulated white sugar and crushed peppermint into the jar.
2. Put the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.
3. Pour the liquid ingredients into sugar mix.
4. Put the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.
5. Label the jar as desired.

Notes: I haven't made this yet. I am going to try experimenting without the essential oil and see how the fragarance is using just the candy. I have some peppermint essential oil around here somewhere but can't seem to locate it. Also looking for crushed peppermint (like for cookies etc) since that might be easier to get crushed into powder. Also they have those peppermint puffs (rather than the hard round ones). They always remind me of little pillows...but I know they are softer so might be easier to crush. We like to use them in our ice tea and they melt.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kahlua Brown Sugar Scrub


Here's the recipe for the Kahlua Brown Sugar Scrub

Ingredients
An empty jar with a lid
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup granulated brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
6 drops of vanilla
Label (if desired)

Make it
1. Pour the granulated white sugar and brown sugar into a bowl and mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.
2. Pour the sugar mixture into a jar.
3. Pour the liquid ingredients into sugar mix.
4. Put the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.
5. Label the jar as desired.

Notes: Two things to keep in mind. Try to find dark colored jars for the sugar scrub and also if you want to help increase shelf life you might try adding a small amount of Vitamin E oil. I believe you can buy them as gel pills....snip the end and add the oil to the scrub. Try 1/2 teaspoon as a natural preservative.

Christmas Planning: Gifts in a Jar

A few years back I did some Candy Cane Bath Salts and they turned out very cute. Since then though I haven't used many gifts in a jar type of gifts. I think part of the reason is my mind set. I seem to think that I need to "add" something to the gift in a jar ....gift. Like, in and of itself, it's not enough, Even though ingredients and stuff may equal what I would normally pay for that person's gift. This year with being frugal in mind I am going to make some sets of gifts in a jar and that is going to BE the gift. Or so the plan is for now....

I have four items I'm looking at using...

Two are Sugar Scrubs
  • Peppermint Sugar Scrub
  • Kahlua Brown Sugar Scrub

Two are Cocoa Mixes:

  • Amaretto Cocoa
  • French Vanilla Cocoa

I have five people who will get both kinds of the sugar scrubs in a little gift bag! And three people who will get one of the sugar scrubs and one of the hot chocolate mixes. I also have two people who will get two of the hot cocoa mixes. So with these projects I will knock out basically ten gifts plus have a few random ones left over for hostess gifts or unexpected needs!

September is Gifts in a Jar and Baskets Month so I will make sure I have all jars, baskets, labels made and ingredients bought that month. I will be looking for jars between now and then...recycling jars is fine just sterilize them with boiling water and dry before using! The Cocoa Mixes I will actually make in September because they have a long shelf life. The Sugar Scrubs I will make in December to extend their shelf life once they are given as gifts! As long as I have everything bought and gathered it should be a snap to get them ready one December afternoon or evening!

Just a note: I also read that if you use dark colored jars it helps make the scrubs last longer so like brown glass or that colbalt blue would be good to be looking for. You can use clear glass to but they keep better in the dark.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July Rudolph Day

Will be here before you know it....yikes!

Finish Stocking Stuffers Month: Don't forget July is the month to finish up stocking stuffers. Don't get sucked into all that cute trinket-y stuff that comes out right before Christmas. Looked at once and tossed aside quickly....so go ahead and pick out some fun stocking stuffers NOW and be done with it!

Christmas Cards: This is the month I start thinking/looking/working on my cards. I always say I am going to make cards but I seldom do...usually buy some on clearance after Christmas...so I get them out in July...admire them, sign them and maybe even address some of them.

On July 25th.....I'll have a special surprise announcement....so be sure and check back here!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Merry Christmas in July

It's July 5th and I am just putting up my first Christmas in July post. Vacation and family has kept me busy for the first few days of the month but Christmas has never been far from my mind!

I have a special surprise for readers.....come July 25th.....so stay tuned for some interesting updates and something new!

This is FINISH STOCKING STUFFERS MONTH...and I plan to work a bit on that tomorrow! So I'll update any progress I make!

Christmas in July is the perfect time to work on Christmas cards. For those that make them...it's time to decide on a design and get your materials ready. Then set up your assembly line and get started. I always say I am going to make my cards but usually end up using ones I have bought on clearance the day after Christmas. There are sooo many lovely designs. This year I have some cute ones. Two boxes...each box has 13 snowman ones and 13 Santa ones for a total of 52 cards. These are for family and friends. I have other cards for the card exchange at MHH. The Snowman cards say Warm Wishes and on the inside have..."for a bright and happy holiday." the Santa ones say Jolly Holidays on the front and..." Hope Santa brings all your favorite things." on the inside of the card.

Sometime this month I will open the boxes and start signing the cards. It's just a little thing but a real time saver come the busy days of December. This year in an effort to "simplify" Christmas I am considering doing away with the news letter. Haven't made a final decision on that yet but it is the way I am leaning.

I'll pop back in soon....with more Christmas in July updates. Until then have a MERRY CHRISTMAS in JULY!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy June Rudolph Day

Not going to get a lot of Rudolph stuff accomplished today due to getting ready for my vacation. I will play some Christmas music and think "snowy" thoughts.

Rudolph Day is a wonderful way to have a bit of Christmas fun and get ready for Christmas at the same time. I have learned to plan some small managable things each month. It's always easy for me to over plan and then feel discouraged. So this year I've planned small things that can be fun but also move me toward being ready for Christmas. In addition, I have set some time lines for certain things.

For example: July is Finish Stocking Stuffer month and August is the Month of the Elf....so by getting those two things out of the way early I can continue to move toward a more organized Christmas. In addition, I will use August to at least assess where I am on the St. Nick gifts. I have some things to use but I need to get a better idea of how this is going to unfold. (1st year of doing it)

These are small things that can have a big impact. I tend to over buy little gifts for stockings, elf gifts, and such so this will limit that because I will be done with those aspects of the plan. There are tons of little things that come out during the Christmas season but realistically they are "cute" and that's about it. How many Christmas notepads does a person need...lol.

I already feel a bit behind (lol) as I meant to have a lot more done by this time of the year but I will just continue to work my plan step by step.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Treasured Find #1


I found a set of dishes at the flea market. It's the four piece place setting you see above x4. So it is for four people! I already have a green snowman set which I love but figured with this little set I could mix and match the dishes...And with snowmen they are good through February where i live! What a find for four bucks.
Here's a close up of one of the plates so you can get a better look at the snowmen and the snowflakes. The border is a deep red color which looks almost brown here in the picture. I didn't really need them...but alas....I bought them anyway and for the price one can hardly complain!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rudolph Day May 2010

Rudolph Day to me is about a bit of prep and a bit of fun. So I hope today you had a tiny bit of Christmas Cheer.

Some things to be pondering and how they relate to life.

1. Rudolph was a misfit....remember the Island of Misfit Toys? But really what makes someone a misfit...because they do not fit the "social norm"? Wow, look at society today. Is there a norm and if there is...is it really something we want to fit?

2. Rudolph tried to run away and in the end that didn't work out too well. Luckily he had some friends to come bail him out. Running away from problems rarely solves them. Just like in Christmas prep. Worried about how you will afford Christmas? Waiting till the last minute isn't going to make it any better. Make some decisions now about how to simplify and then start doing some small things now to afford a wonderful Christmas. Not elaborate....just WONDERFUL.

3. Even wise people make mistakes. Santa went along with the group and didn't quite see how special Rudolph was. He was old and wise and kind hearted but he still made a mistake. Remember that just because some one is "suppose" to be wise doesn't make them an expert. Even experts make mistakes.


Happy Rudolph Day....and I'll see you again next month with some teachings from Rudolph and some notes on how things are progressing at my house!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Rudolph Day

May Rudolph Day is coming up this Tuesday. I am determined to particiapte in Rudolph Day Movie Club. It is actually book and movie club but I know that I can't pull off a book every month.....but a movie....surely I can do that!

The movie this month is Miracle on 34th Street. It's actually been awhile since I watched it and I'm hoping Evan who's three will be interested enough in it to watch it with me. It's a classic but I'm not sure there's enough action to hold his interest. We will see.

My focus for this month is gifts.....and I'm not sure it's in the budget for a shopping trip but I might be able to pick up one or two things. Or there is something that I'd at least like to price and see. However I can get my gift list updated and look through the gift closet. This year I actially have a gift closet but so far I am just sort of putting stuff in there....Really need to organize a bit and update what I have manged to stuff in there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simplify Christmas

Along with the rest of the USA, I am overwhelmed with choices, budget concerns, and just too sutff....too materialistic. This past Christmas (09) I cut back quite a bit and we still had a great time and didn't feel deprived at all. I just cut down a few gifts, did a little less baking, and stopped overbooking the holiday season.

Evan loved Ben the Elf and it was the highlight of a lot of our holiday season...simple things though....some gifts but some experiences also. I did do the 24 days gifts but told everyone that 09 would be the last year for that. Instead in 2010 I will create a St. Nick's Day basket for each and they will get it on St. Nick's Day. I'm not sure if the cost will really be any less but it will certainly be easier than finding and wrapping 24 gifts times 5.

I did miss out on baking like I wanted to so I think I will do just a little more of that in 2010. The Christmas party and the Christmas Eve dinner went very well. This year I will be planning simpler fare for Christmas Eve. One year I will do more of a meal and the next fingerfoods and appetizers, So 2010...is the finger foods year!!

I cut down on stocking stuffers and no one seemed to mind at all...there were still several things but not near as many as in the past. I know for sure that wrapping will have to happen early in 2010....it was almost the death of me...lol. As well as forgetting where I hid gifts. I've already cleaned out a closet and have stuff accumulating in there...so at least it will all be in the same place...Plus wrapped gifts and Santa gifts will need to be kept under wraps better becuase Evan will be four and watching a lot closer.

It came to me when I sat down to write this ....that less is more...when we slow down and take time to relish the activities (like Ben the Elf)...it's so much more than rushing to do this, this, and this. When we limit our parties and gifts we take more time to relish the occassions and the presents. So Simplify Christmas is my motto for 2010...and I've even simplified Rudolph Day!!! I mean after all it's suppose to be FUN not frantic...!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blogging for Rudolph

I'm working on my blogs again....and I've discovered the new page feature here at blogspot...if you look directly under my header picture you will see links to different pages....so far all I have up are the Home link and the link for 2010 Rudolph Days....but it's a start....:)