Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear husband, I love you. Thank you for completing your "honey-do" list in its entirety today. That makes you pretty darn awesome. Dear Bentley, please stop sticking your nose in the tissue paper stuffed in the gift bags under the tree. I know you like the crinkling sound the tissue paper makes, but the presents need to stay pretty. Also, why are you eating a dead leaf this very moment? Eww! Dear job, you've left me in need of a manicure. When I went to the bank today, I realized my nails were still covered in red and green paint from the handprint wreaths we made this morning. Dear sleep, I miss you! Dear 6 a.m., you STILL suck. Dear December, when I wake up, you will be here! FINALLY! If you are here, that means the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family starts. That means channel 42 will be the ONLY channel on our television for the next month. Woohoo! Dear Amanda, you make some darn cute babies! Isn't my youngest niece ADORABLE?!   

Until next week,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ornaments, Nutcrackers and Stockings: A Peek at Our Christmas Home

Greetings readers!

It's time to share with you this year's Christmas decor and all those fun craft projects that made it all happen. (I told you - it is really is the BEST time of the year!) 

Our color scheme of choice for this year? Red and black to match our recent living room makeover, of course. I know black isn't typically a Christmas color, but it works. I promise! Of course, we have a sprinkling of green to accent our main colors as well. 

Our wrapping paper and gift tags are from Hobby Lobby. Each year after Christmas, I try to raid Hobby Lobby for next year's gift wrapping supplies because it is always at a really low and irresistible price. I really like the wrapping paper I found for this year because it has glitter on it and I love sparkly things. As for the ribbon, it is all leftovers from our wedding back in September. :)

Now then, Bentley asked me to share this ornament with you because it is his personal favorite. 

I received this ornament last year from my parents. Each year, we are given a Christmas ornament that usually reflects a significant event from the past year. I had brought home a furry, little three-month-old Yorkie the month before who stole the hearts of his fur-grandparents (and me!). Naturally, the arrival of their first fur-grandbaby had to be commemorated with an ornament. It is a tradition that I love and plan to carry it on with my children.

Next, I'd like to share my Christmas window with you! In our apartment, the living room has one HUGE window which offered me the perfect display for my nutcracker collection.

I collect nutcrackers. Each year, my mother gives me one so I've got a pretty impressive collection going now (all of them are not in the window).

To complete my display, I purchased some cardboard triangles from Hobby Lobby and stenciled "Merry Christmas" on them to make a banner. I got a little too excited about my project and took a picture of my window before it was completed. I'm sure you noticed I haven't placed the "Christmas" up yet. I did that last night though so don't worry!

Next on my Christmas craft list was my ribbon tree!

I used a basic tutorial from Stacy over at She's {kinda} Crafty to create my tree. Again, I used some red organza ribbon left over from our wedding. The other ribbon is also from Hobby Lobby which was a dollar a roll. 

To bring just a little bit more Christmas into our home, I tied some green, glittery ribbon to our red pillows. Now, they look like presents! No - the green ribbon was not left over from our wedding. HOWEVER, it was left over from gift wrapping. :)

My last Christmas craft was a door hanger. I have one for fall and thought it'd be cute to have a Christmas one as well. I used a cardboard letter ($1.49), some fuzzy ribbon ($3) and some left over gift wrapping ribbon to complete my Christmas "W." Isn't he cute?

Well, there you have it! The Winslett's first Christmas tree complete with decked halls. I'd love to see your Christmas decor so send some pictures my way. I'm already picking crafts for next year - like new stockings!

Thanks for reading. I've got a 12 Dates of Christmas date tonight with the Mr. which means you should be able to read about it soon!

Love Always!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the Christmas Lover


Personalized Christmas Stocking: Red and White Collection
1) Personalized Christmas Stocking by Pink SlipInspiration - When I have children (and a fireplace for that matter), these stockings will be mine!

Set of 25 Linen Drawstring Advent Calendar Sacks/Bags

Personalised Heirloom Christmas Santa Sacks / Christmas Sacks

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For Pet Lovers


DIY Kit Cat Toy Simple and Fun to Sew
1) 5) DIY Kit Cat Toy Simple and Fun to Sew by misohandmade

HEAVY DUTY Webbing Dog Collar with Personalized Buckle
2) Heavy Duty Webbing Dog Collar with Personalized Buckle by LaserPets - I love this because Bentley is either chewing his name of his tag or completely losing it. Solves both those problems!

Doggie Dope Soap on a Rope - All Natural - BIG BAR of Soap - Dog Shampoo Bar with Essential Oils - Dog Bone - Dog Stocking Stuffer
3) Doggie Dope Soap on a Rope by DopeOnARopeSoap - Hehe! This is just cute!

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the Harry Potter Lover

Harry potter Deathly Hallows iphone case, Iphone 4 Case, Black Wooden Iphone case, Iphone 4S case, for Iphone 4, 4s, 4g
1) Harry Potter Deathly Hallows iPhone 4 case by wesweetlife - This is just neat and it looks like real wood almost.

Hogwarts Alumni Harry Potter Geek Grey T-shirt Women's Girl's Ladies Tshirt Tee

Customizable Harry Potter Acceptance Letter with Hogwarts Express Ticket
3) Customizable Harry Potter Acceptance Letter by OutlawHeartPaperCo - Give the gift of Hogwarts this Christmas season. :)

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the Zombie Enthusiast


I've Got A ZOMBIE PLAN Charm Bracelet For The Zombie Apocalypse
1) I've Got a Zombie Plan Charm Bracelet by PlayBox - This is pretty awesome, right?

Zombie Survival Kit - travel size - great gift for men, nerds, survivalists
2) Zombie Survival Kit by saplingnaturals - Specially designed soap to mask your human scent. A must have for a zombie apocalypse.

Walking Dead Zombie Funny T SHirt
3) Walking Dead Zombie Funny T-shirt by OutbreakApparel - Loving it!

**For the original gift guide post or to view other lists, click here!**

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the Munchkins


Fort Building Kit
2) Fort Building Kit by aLittleParty - How stinkin' awesome is this?! I would've killed for a fort building kit when I was a kid. 

Girl Crayon Wallet - Happy Garden 2 - LAST ONE
3) Crayon Wallet by busybeezchickadeez - My future children are going to be so spoiled...

Monthly onesie Set in Pink, Blue, Red or Light Purple
4) Monthly Onesie Set by BumbleBabyDezigns - If your munchkin is a new arrival or still waiting to make an appearance, this gift would be adorable! I love the idea.

**For the original gift guide post or to view other lists, click here!**

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the DIYer

make a leather wrap bracelet with turquoise beads: DIY KIT supplies & tutorial - turquoise and leather wrap bracelet
1) Leather Wrap Bracelet with Turqoise Beads by julysupply - These bracelets are so popular right now and I definitely wouldn't mind trying my hand at making one.

Lotion Bar Kit - Makes 12 Shea & Cocoa Butter Lotion Bars, Includes 3 Recipes - Kit - DIY Kit - Solid Lotion - Solid Lotion Bar
2) Lotion Bar Kit by AquarianBath - I just think these are neat. Lotion bars? I've never seen them which makes me want to try them out even more.

DIY HIS & HER Pillowcase Embroidery Kit
3) DIY HIS & HER Pillowcase Embroidery Kit by CuriousDoodles - While I haven't ventured into embroidery too much, this looks completely doable and absolutely adorable!

**For the original gift guide post or to view other lists, click here!**

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the Tech Lover


Monogrammed Iphone Buttons
1) Monogrammed iPhone Buttons by LULUandBMonograms - Really simple, but unique way to personalize your phone.

iPhone Cell Phone Wallet - Gray and Yellow Graphic Print - Custom Cell Phone Case - Smart Phone Wallet
2) Cell Phone Wallet by kailochic - I love the idea of this. You can take your phone and your money and not have to lug around a purse. 

iPad Mini Case, Apple iPad Mini Sleeve Case, iPad Mini Cover, 7.9 Inch iPad Case, Padded, Pocket - White And Navy Chevron.
3) iPad Mini Case Apple iPad Mini Sleeve Case by FiveSproutsStitching - You can find a cover or sleeve for every electronic you could dream of on Etsy, but I'm partial to FiveSproutsStitching because of the pocket on the front of each of their sleeves. I love that you have another pocket to store accessories or important instruction manuals. 

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide: For the Foodie


DIY Gift Set - Create your own tea blend
1) DIY Gift Set - Create your own tea blend by EllipsisBooksandMore - I'm fighting the urge so bad not to get this for myself.

Gourmet Salt Sampler - 6 cooking salt flavors for popcorn, snacks, cocktails & grilling - DIY gift for foodie / cooks / birthday

Gusto - Rubs of the States - Barbeque Rub Gift Set - BBQ Grilling
3) Gusto Rubs of the States Barbeque Rub Gift Set by GustoSpice - My father-in-law would LOVE this!

The Ultimate Etsy Christmas Gift Guide


Welcome to one of the largest and most collective Etsy gift guides for Christmas! As an Etsy seller, I thought that the creative work of my fellow sellers should be showcased on this blog and the idea for the expansive Etsy-only gift guide was born. 

Below, you will find the links for several gift guides which will surely fit everyone on your Christmas list in some way. I've scoured Etsy to find fun, unique, functional and thoughtful gifts. So, get comfy and explore all the treasures I've found exploring the inner depths of Etsy! Have fun!


Friday, November 23, 2012

The 12 Dates of Christmas: Black Friday Shopping


For our first Christmas as a married couple, R.J. and I have compiled a list of twelve Christmas-related dates to celebrate the season and enjoy the holidays together.

I can't take credit for the idea. I ran across this new tradition on Pinterest from Michelle over at Dream Home DIY. However, we've made it our own and added a few twists and turns. Here's our list of dates (in no particular order):

Date 1: Black Friday Shopping
Date 2: See a Christmas play
Date 3: Sleep under the lights and watch the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas"
Date 4: Make ornaments
Date 5: Bake holiday cookies
Date 6: Christmas light-seeing
Date 7: Christmas movie marathon
Date 8: Cook a holiday dinner
Date 9: Newnan Christmas Parade
Date 10: Paint Christmas pottery
Date 11: Make a gingerbread house
Date 12: Christmas giving

First up on our list was Black Friday shopping! I have always wanted to go Black Friday shopping. I know, I'm crazy. I finally talked R.J. into it. We racked up and saved a nice chunk of change. The first stop was at Target where we found the lengthy line below. We waited for just under an hour with my mom and sister. 

Line at Target on Thanksgiving night

We also staked out Old Navy until it opened and raided Belk's after that. We literally shopped until we dropped from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. By the time we got home with our bags full of Christmas treasures, we were red-eyed and delirious.

However, after we got up Friday morning, we went back out to face the madness again! This time we ventured to Petsmart (for Bentley, of course!), Office Max and Office Depot. 

Shopping at Petsmart for the fur baby!
Will we do Black Friday next year? I'm not sure yet. If so, there will definitely be a nap between turkey eating next year!
Our Black Friday stash!

What date is next? Stick around and find out! Until then, you should definitely be looking out for my Cyber Monday post! *hint**hint* ;)

Love always,

**Would you and your significant other like to participate in the 12 Dates of Christmas also? We'd love to have you join us! Be sure to grab a button and link back. I'd also love to see the links to your posts in the comment section. I might just feature a few of them. :) **


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crayons, Cards and Christmas Fever

Hello blogosphere! I have missed you. I am so sorry that I took a week-long hiatus. I know, it felt like forever.

I'm finally done working the extra hours at work. I'm not going to say it wasn't a blessing because we've got Christmas covered with the extra money I was able to pocket. As many of you know, that can be a huge relief!

Speaking of Christmas, the Winslett house is officially decked out for the holidays. I tried really really REALLY hard to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't do it. I have no will power when it comes to Christmas. I will do a post next week to showcase the festive decor I came up with this year. However, I'd like to introduce you now to the first ornament that was placed on our tree this year: Jimney Cricket! He is a special memento from our honeymoon in Walt Disney World this past September.

I'm very sorry to report that I cannot seem to find the Mickey and Minnie Mouse ornament which we also bought on our trip. I have not given up though! I'm still on the hunt for it so wish me luck.

Now then, I did manage to get a little crafty in our time apart. I work with three-year-olds at a daycare. When you are three and you are tired of scribbling all over your color sheet (and the table), you entertain yourself by snapping your crayons in half and peeling the paper off of them. The stripped and broken crayons below were annihilated in two and half months.

Lucky for these kiddos, Mrs. Miranda came to the rescue and made new multi-colored crayons. Thanks to a super easy tutorial I found on Pinterest, I had these suckers melted into new crayons in no time.

My kids had done the difficult (and most time-consuming) part for me - peeling the paper off. I bought a $4 mini cupcake tin at Kroger, sprayed each cup with vegetable oil, put my crayons in the cups and stuck it in the oven for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. After pulling them out of the oven, I found it most efficient to stick the batch in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once you do that, the crayon slides right out of the pan.  

The kids loved them and I might have had some fun playing with them too. After Thanksgiving break, I am moving into the two-year-old room. Pray for me. Haha!

Bentley missed the blog world too. I thought you'd all enjoy seeing his furry face before we parted. So, what've you got to look forward to? Christmas crafts. Christmas decor. Christmas gifts. Oh! I can't wait!

See you then!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Make: Salad in a Jar

As you may have been able to tell from my sporadic posts, my new job has been keeping me plenty busy. I'm working full time hours until Thanksgiving which has been an adjustment for our little family. It has meant eating a lot of crock pot dinners. It has meant R.J. having to learn how to clean to my standards - which he swears are impossible to meet. (He's just a baby) It has also meant that I have to fix two lunches for the next day instead of one for only R.J.

I'd like to share with you something that has been working out very well for us in fixing those lunches every day: Salads in a Jar!

Each week, I buy whatever pre-cut salad packs the grocery store happens to have on sale. I pull out my stash of quart-sized mason jars and fill the bottom with a squirt of salad dressing.

Next, I add a layer of vegetables on top of the salad dressing. (Note: This step is extremely important! By putting a layer of vegetables between the salad dressing and the lettuce, the lettuce will stay fresh and crisp!) To save time (which is in short supply at the moment), I buy the bags of vegetable which are already pre-cut.   

After arranging your layer of vegetables, stuff the rest of the jar with your pre-cut lettuce. Screw the lid on your mason jar and ta da! You've got salad in a jar.

Total time for me to make 10 salads in a jar from start to finish? 15 minutes. (Those pre-cut vegetables make a huge dent in this prep time for me!) Every day, I simply grabbed the jar out of the fridge and throw it into the lunchbox. Easy peasy!

And now, if you are curious as to which Christmas card won...CARD #1 will be circulating this year. Perhaps, one will land in your mailbox this holiday season. If you feel in love with one of the designs (which I hope you did!), all three will be listed in my Etsy shop tomorrow for purchase.

See ya later!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Need your help!

Greetings readers!

It's that time of the year to pick out the Christmas card you will be mailing to friends and family. I'm not going to lie that I'm really excited to show these all to you because it means Christmas is that much closer!

After playing around with my Christmas card creations, I've narrowed it down to three designs. I need your help to chose which I should send out this holiday season. The inspiration for all three of these cards centers around the Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags I picked for this year. I gravitated to these colors this year and loved how modern it looked.

So, take a look and don't forget to vote!

Card #1

Card #2

Card #3

Do you see one you'd maybe like to use this year? Great! They will be posted in my Etsy shop next week for you to purchase for your family!

Which Christmas card is your favorite? free polls 

Thanks for your help!