Thursday, December 04, 2014

December Begins - Gift Wrapping Day

Felt Santa Claus, from Cost Plus World Market

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Need to de-clutter and clean out your car? I do this every time I find myself sitting in it for a few minutes while waiting for someone. Otherwise my car gets really out of hand! Do you need to restock things you might keep in your car, such as Kleenex, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, a cell phone charger, mints, lipstick, and hand lotion?
  • If you're wearing slippers at night a lot, do you need to launder them? They can get sweaty and a bit smelly. How about your family members slippers?
  • Need to catch up on any vacuuming or laundry?
  • Are you mailing out a Thanksgiving thank-you card? Do you have time to write a few Christmas or holiday cards today?
  • Have you eaten fresh fruit in the last two days? An apple, banana, strawberries, melon of some kind?
  • Do you use Redbox or do you exclusively stream movies? If you use Redbox, I suggest popping over today to grab one before the boxes get depleted for the weekend. Right now their new releases include "The Hundred Foot Journey" which I highly recommend, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life."
  • Put away any remaining autumn crafts or crafting supplies. It's time to switch to winter crafts.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Gift Wrapping

Snowy Day Wrapping Paper, at The Container Store

Tonight I'm wrapping the gifts I've bought so far. (I'm usually done shopping by December 1st, but this year got a super late start on my shopping!) I'll wrap the gifts I have so far (mostly books, games and puzzles, plus a few festive outfits for babies) while I watch some shows I saved up on my Tivo. Tonight is serving as my "down time at home night" and I'm looking forward to a fireplace, hot tea, television, snuggling with dogs, and wrapping gifts.

I'll label the gifts carefully so I know who to mail them to or which gift pile to put them in in my home. After they're wrapped, I'll store the gifts in a Sterilite bin in my closet. This protects them from the cats, who like to chew on the corners of boxes that look or smell intriguing.

I'm looking forward to adding some special touches to my gift wrap. I want to make my inexpensive gifts more fun and exciting to open. I'll add some sequins and sparkles to some of the gifts, and glue some fake Swarovski crystals onto some of the ribbons I'm tying around the gifts. I tuck small inexpensive acrylic ornaments into the bows sometimes too.

Vintage Santa Wrapping Paper, from Paper Source

How much gift wrapping can you get done tonight, assuming you've shopped for some gifts already? Won't it be nice to have festive gifts under your tree (or hidden in a closet if that works better in your particular family situation!) and not have to stress about getting things wrapped as the month wears on closer to Christmas?

I am going to be very strict with myself and make sure my tape, scissors, ribbons, bows, tags, stickers, and rolls of wrapping paper are put completely away by the end of this evening. Even if I think I might do some more wrapping tomorrow. I am determined not to let the trappings of Christmas take over my house. Decorative items can take over, but not the supplies and tools of the holiday season!

LOVELY BLOGS: Old Fashioned Girls

Rachel and Miranda blog together about their shared passions: good books, afternoon tea, letter writing, knitting, black and white films, and stylish clothes. Recently they're blogging about re-reading "Little Women" at Christmastime (something I do some years too!), an update on what they're reading in their book club, a peek at the lovely Christmas cards they're sending out, and what they're reading this winter.

http://www.theoldfashionedgirls.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Kitchen Creamery

I think I am going to treat myself to this book for Christmas. I'm really into the idea of making my own yogurt, cheese, and butter at home. That way I can be sure they don't have too many additives or chemicals, and I can add whatever herbs and flavors I want to customize them with. The book doesn't come out until late January, which is perfect since I'll be too busy with Christmas celebrations to be puttering around in the kitchen experimenting with yogurtmaking anyway!

Kitchen Creamery, on Amazon.com

LOVELY FOOD: Reindeer Noodle Soup

I love specialty shaped pastas! This one isn't vegetarian, so I can't enjoy it myself, but I will serve it to my nephews when they come visit this weekend. It will be good to have something filling and salty in their stomachs before we dive into all our Christmas cookie baking!

Reindeer Noodle Soup, on Amazon

LOVELY KIDS: Wooden Greenhouse Gift for Christmas

Here's a really cool gift for children growing up in a family of gardeners - their own adorable little wooden greenhouse. It comes with 49 pieces - plants, flowers, shelving, a watering can and other accessories. I just wish they offered Asian and black gardener figures as an add-on option.

Wooden Greenhouse by Goki, on Amazon

LOVELY MAGAZINES: Ruby Read

Oh how fun! This is vintage antiques and collectibles store Ruby Lane's magazine on vintage collectibles and the vintage lifestyle. You can read each issue for free. Currently, the Winter 2014 issue features articles on The Vintage Tree, decorating the mantel, All That Glitters stocking stuffers, the holiday table, plus holiday finds and wish lists. This is fun to flip through during my morning hot tea break!

http://www.rubylane.com/relax/rubyread

Ruby Read, on Issuu

LOVELY SHOPS: Christmas Jul

This Etsy shop specializes in Christmas fabrics and Christmas crafting supplies. There are several adorable Michael Miller fabrics here, including Yule Critters; plus some quilt patterns, embroidery and quilting supplies. The Christmas fabrics include over 200 different styles!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasJul

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Chestnut Chocolate Bread Wreath (Domestic Gothess)

Chicken Alfredo Pizza Bites Wreath (Bubbly Nature Creations)

Christmas Wreath Macarons (Raspberri Cupcakes)

Crab Manicotti with Bechamel Sauce (The Stay at Home Chef)

Cranberry Mustard (The Painted Apron)

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars (I Married a Milkman)

Cranberry Chocolate Scones (Decor8)

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornaments (Aunt Peaches)

Easy Penguin Cookies (The Bearfoot Baker)

Mashed Potatoes & Clouds (101 Cookbooks)

No One Agrees on Who is Doing Domestic Chores (Forbes)

Thai Tortellini Fritters (Just a Pinch)

The Toys That Send Kids to the Emergency Room (The Atlantic)

Where to Move in America If You Want a Job, More Money or Lots of Single People (The Atlantic)

Wreath Recipe Book Review (Christina Williams)


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