Garlic & Rosemary Infused Olive Oil – Gifts

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Every year, I like to do a little something crafty for the gifting that we do for all of our neighbors. This year, I elected to do things a little different. So instead of baking sweets, I went with some infused olive oil.

I purchased cute oil bottles that are the self corking/locking type. Found these at Hobby Lobby when they had 50% off of their glass items! which was a terrific score at right around $2/bottle. Then I grabbed a large container of regular olive oil (not EVOO) from SAMs Club. Apparently, the regular is better for infusing. Washed and dried the bottles really well and I also rinsed/dried the fresh sprigs of rosemary. I decided that garlic would be a nice accompaniment to the rosemary, so I got busy peeling and snipping the ends of multiple garlic cloves.

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I dropped about 3 small cloves into each bottle, followed by a few small sprigs of rosemary and then used a funnel to fill the bottles with olive oil. Because I use olive oil on just about everything, and I LOVE to dip good french bread into it, I decided it would be fun to add a small dish to the gift……for the ‘dipping’ of course. I bought all that was left on the shelf at Target for $2/dish. I used some simple brown tags to label the bottles re: their contents and attached them to the jars with twine.

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Then, I set each bottle inside of a dish, inside the center of some pretty tissue paper, thew in a handful of Hershey’s Kisses for good measure, put that all inside of a cute gift bag, tied with twine and attached our family Christmas photo/card and had my precious delivery boy (my sweet 11 yr old son) hand deliver to each of our wonderful neighbors.
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy……….it’s what my sister always says. But seriously, you can bust these out in no time. Or, change of the variation of the contents. You can also infuse vinegars as well. Merry Christmas to all!!

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

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Indeed, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, it too is a time to reflect with gratitude and grateful hearts the true meaning of this spectacular day.

Let the fun begin…… Our family started a tradition 3 yrs ago, since moving to Colorado, by driving into the beautiful Rocky Mountains to cut down our family Christmas tree. It’s become the highlight of our days following thanksgiving. However, each year I find that we are becoming more
picky about the size, density and quality of our tree. As my husband put it this year, “Do you hear the angels signing when you look at that tree?” So after an hour and a half of hiking through the woods, in deep areas of snow, we found the most amazing tree. I’m not sure if the angels were singing…..but we certainly were. It’s stands at an impressive 12 1/2 feet tall. Would have been closer to 14 feet, but we had to trim it up a bit. It’s a beauty for sure.

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Hauling that baby back to the car, where we made hot chocolate, was definitely a 2 man job….(or actually, 1 man, 1 woman…..my hubby and myself).

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And the decorating process began. I wasn’t feeling quite ready to drag out all of the multiple Christmas bins…..primarily because I was still exhausted from the hoopla of Thanksgiving. But somehow, once you start digging through the Christmas decor the season begins to grow on you……or maybe it’s just me.

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And of course, you can’t just focus on the tree. Other areas of the house need “decking”, right? And for me…..I want it taken care of, immediately, like in one day and all of the bins put away and the mess cleaned up.

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So a little Christmas love gets spread around everywhere…….and it is soooo totally worth it.

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May each of you enjoy a blessed Christmas season.

Christmas Candles

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We usually bake some goodies to take to all of the neighbors, and while we will be doing that again this year, we wanted to give each of them a little something to keep as well. I thought it would be fun to do some decorative candles. So here is what I did……

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I started with some unscented candles from the Dollar Tree. The Mod Podge was left over from my previous post for photos on canvas. Then, I perused the internet for free printable Christmas sheet music. So many to choose from. After I printed the music, I ripped the page to size, to fit the length of the candle. Cutting it would have made such clean edges and I was going for a more rustic look. I then antiqued the pages, soaking them in some coffee, and drying them out in the oven. The little jingle bells were also purchased at the Dollar Tree in a pack of 20 I think. The black burlap and twine were also left over from previous projects.

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I coated the glass with some mod podge and wrapped the sheet music around it. Let that dry and applied another coat of mod Podge. When that was dry I cut a small strip of burlap and hot clued that on and finished it off with a piece of twine tied through the little bell. Super easy and cheery. I’m thinking a grouping of these would be super cute with various music titles for different Christmas songs.

Photos on Canvas – Christmas DIY

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So here is a super easy gift idea. This craft is ALL over Pinterest, so I cannot take credit for the creativity. This was the first time I attempted this though and I must say, I am completely addicted. I started off with some blank 8×10 artist canvas (frequently on sale in 2pks at Hobby Lobby and Michaels), Mod Podge -Matte finish, black craft paint, sponge brushes and several black & white photos that I uploaded and had enlarged at Sams Club.

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I painted the edges of the canvas black and ran the paint just up onto the top flat canvas part. Let that dry. Then, I trimmed my photos to fit, as they were a bit larger than the canvas itself. Layered a good coat of the Mod Podge onto the canvas, positioned my photo onto that and smoothed it out well with my hands. Right after that I painted on another coat of the Mod Podge over the top of the photo. Don’t panic, it will look very creamy and white, but dries clear. You do have to work quickly to make sure that all parts of the photo are covered smoothly with the mod Podge . DO NOT over work this stuff, as it will get a little clumpy.

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Once they are completely dry you are good to go. Hang them, do a gallery wall with various sizes, gift them or embellish them for gift giving. I added a little twine and painted an initial onto a wood chip for one that I am gifting to a friend. Possibilities………endless. The effect that the matte finish gives to the photos is really lovely. It almost looks like the photos were hand painted.

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Deck the Halls

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We are in full blown Christmas mode around here. Try as I might, I cannot manage to get a full length photo of our 14 ft tree. So, I have done my best. As well as some close ups.

I wrapped our tall narrow tree in lights, a wide natural burlap and some deep green, gold trimmed ribbon. Various ornaments, large flowers and a I made a big burlap bow for the top.

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The mantle received some attention too using 2 different garlands, pine cones and burlap.

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I may add some candles to the mantle……..what do you think?

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O’ Christmas tree, O’ Christmas tree……..our hunt for the perfect tree

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Yesterday, we enjoyed our 2nd annual Christmas tree chopping experience. We have usually been the ‘fake’ tree kind of people, give or take a few different years, where we would purchase one at a tree lot/sale. However, after moving to Colorado several years ago, we decided to try our hand/s at chopping down our own tree. Last year was the first time that we have experienced this. If you live in an area where this is possible, it should be on your list of things to do as a family. So much fun.
We drove up to Winter Park and purchased our permit…….a whopping $10 at the local chamber of commerce………gotta love the price. Then we drove into the area where you can legally cut down your own tree. After hiking through some fairly deep snow and into the woods for quite some time, there she was, just waiting to be tied to the top of our vehicle………the perfect tree.
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The area where our tree sits is very tall, almost 20 ft. ceilings, but it is also narrow, so this tree couldn’t have been any better.

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I cannot wait to get it all decorated………..

We bring along a sled to lay the tree on and drag it back to our car……….but until then, our youngest gets a good ride with daddy pulling him.

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