There is nothing more fun when it comes to Christmas decorations than making your own. I love to try to be an avid do-it-yourself-er with items or ingredients I have around the house, especially around the holidays.
Salt dough is very easy to make, and you can use it to make a wide variety of items. These are great for the kids to use cookie cutters with, make their own ornaments, and even paint them too! Use the salt dough to make ornaments for your tree or to gift to others, garland for your mantle or tree, or even for gift tags.
See below how to make salt dough & what to do with them!
Ingredients & Instructions:
Preheat oven to 175 F
Mix 1 cup of water & 1/2 cup of salt
Add in water (I used around 1 cup of water) * If the dough is too wet, add more flour, if the dough is too dry, add more water *
Roll out (ensure it is even)
Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes
Use a straw to make a hole (to tie your string/ ribbon etc.)
Get creative – You can write or stamp names, press your kids hand or dogs paw print, or use items around the house to stamp shapes (tree branches etc)
Bake at 175 F until dry (approx. 1.5 – 2 hours) * Flip every half hour
You can paint or draw on them afterwards as well
Attach ribbon, string, or twine
That’s it! It is super simple and makes for a very fun and easy DIY for Christmas and with the family. I typically start with that amount and make more dough as needed, depending if I am making tags, garland, or ornaments. We got the one puppy print, littlest mans hand print, and my eldest used his thumb print to make lightbulbs on a tree. I used the rest of the small shapes to make garland for the tree and mantle.
I hope you enjoyed this easy Salt Dough Christmas Decor DIY!
Yes – we have all been there. Pressing the snooze button more than once, grabbing our phones to check in on emails or social media before even leaving the bed, and going the whole morning without putting something in your stomach. Guilty! Having a good morning routine can set your mood for your entire day!
With the Winter season, we deal with colder, snowy weather, the sun setting earlier and rising much later, throw the holidays in there as well and it is easy to fall out of good morning routines and habits.
My typical morning routine looks like the following:
6:30 – wake up before the rest of the family
6:30 – 7:00 – make coffee or pour a cup, pack lunches
7:00 – wake up the kiddos
7:00 – 8:00 – breakfast, send eldest off to school
8:00 – 11:00 – play with the youngest till nap time
My mornings are busy with getting the eldest out the door for school and with a toddler running around. It is important that throughout the morning, I remember to incorporate more of a mindful routine to keep up to my busy day ahead.
Keep on reading for my list of good habits to add to your morning routine this winter!
1. Plan and Prep the Night Before
Okay so this does start off with more of an evening habit, but this is to help you in the morning. Little things I do the night before to help my morning routine is setting up and preparing coffee the night before. It is a small thing but having this coffee maker (or this one here) that allows me to set a time in the morning (typically just before I wake up), so I can come downstairs to a pot of coffee made and all ready for me to enjoy! (Especially before the whole house wakes up and I get to enjoy that first sip in silence!). Whether that may be laying out your clothes for the next day, making lunches ahead of time or even having your bag ready to go by the front door, a little evening prep will help your morning routine start off just right!
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Gone the entire morning without pressing some sweet H2O against your lips? Been there! Your body needs hydration after a good, long sleep and why not start off the day knowing you’ve tackled some of your intake of water by doing it first thing. Adding a few squeezes of lemon in your water will wake your internal system and get your digestive system rolling. I have been using this Hidrate Smart Water Bottle for four months now to track and remind me to have water. It is such a habit of mine to drink now, especially a large bottle first thing in the morning, I rarely need the reminders anymore!
3. Get Ready for the Day
No, this doesn’t have to be an hour long morning ritual of showering, getting completely ready and dressed. Maybe have a quick wake up shower, or at least splash some clean water on your face, brush your teeth (don’t forget to floss), and brush your hair so you are ready for the day ahead. We all know staying in your PJs all day sounds incredible, but changing out of your loungewear makes me feel less sluggish, and I feel more ready for the day.
Eating a nourishing, and a balanced meal to give you energy for your day is a must. As someone who absolutely hates eating first thing in the morning, I noticed a huge difference in not only my energy levels but also how much (actually how little) I was snacking later on in the day. Plan your morning routine so that you have enough time to eat without feeling rushed, (prep ahead of time the night before), and you can enjoy your meal without distraction (yes, try to put the phone down!). Try to aim for a little fuller & warmer breakfasts in the winter such as cooked grains, and oatmeal and avoid the sugary baked goods (ahem, I am talking to you my Costco muffins) and cereals.
5. Bring in the light
Yes, I know. Usually in the summer months we open those blinds and curtains and the sun is waiting for us, just beaming through the window. Not so much in winter. It is hard for your mind to get rolling when it thinks it is time to go back to bed. Since we cannot control the sun, let some light in your home via other ways. There are many options out there like this sunlight alarm clock that mimics the sunrise to get you waking up like the good summer days or this natural light here.
I am not saying to not drink your favourite warm beverage as soon as your eyes open. Enjoy the mornings by upping your coffee game. Opt in for the peppermint syrup or froth your own milk to have that Starbucks feeling right at the comfort of your own home. I add this collagen powder to my coffee in the morning for added health benefits right in the morning (and you can’t even taste it!)
8. Put down the phone & make a to-do list
Put down the phone first thing! Get out some paper or a notepad and get writing. Instead of checking social media first thing, clear your mind of what you want to tackle today. Grab that notebook or paper and write it down. I always try to aim for 5 things I want to accomplish that day, with three of them being top of my priorities. If I can tackle those three things, I am content with my day by the evening. I always aim to complete little tasks like unloading the dishwasher, or running a load of laundry first thing in the morning so your sink & laundry basket are empty for the day and those little tasks help you tackle your bigger ones!
I hope your days start off wonderful by adding one or even a few of these habits to your morning routine. I would love to know how you manage to switch up your morning routine during the winter months!
Stay cozy & Enjoy your day!
SEE THE ITEMS MENTIONED HERE & CLICK TO SHOP THE POST
Nothing beats the coziest cup of hot cocoa during the cold, wintery Christmas season. To up your hot chocolate game, you have to try out the ever so popular Hot Chocolate Bombs! If you are like me and very interested in this, then you would know they are almost impossible to find and even if you want to DIY the sphere wonder, you can barely find the sphere molds to begin with!
I have a solution for you! Do it Yourself Kinder Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs!
They are very quick and easy to make, and you can even get your kids involved (or enjoy a cup to yourself!) See below for the ingredients, how to make, and enjoy a hug in a mug! Warning – Once you make these, you will be addicted and want to come up with your own versions and concoctions.
Cut open or pull apart carefully the kinder egg and remove toy
Add a tablespoon of hot chocolate mix
Add marshamallows (and crushed candy canes)
Use frying pan on low heat to melt the kinder egg halves back together
* Tip: Place in freezer to harden for 5 – 10 minutes
Add hot milk to mug
Place hot chocolate bomb in mug
Pour steaming milk over hot chocolate bomb
Watch the bomb explode, stir and enjoy!
Now, if you have seen the videos of the hot chocolate sphere bombs, they tend to spin and really explode. The type of chocolate Kinder Eggs are made from tend to melt differently so if you place in the freezer to harden it (especially after handling) then it should help get that spin/ explosion a little more but is not perfect!
I hope you enjoy the DIY Kinder Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs! They are definitely a lot quicker and easier to make than the regular Hot Chocolate Bombs and the kids can easily get involved too! You can wrap these up, and have them ready to go for Christmas morning. Don’t forget to give them the toy from the egg! Have you tried a hot chocolate bomb or have made one yourself?
Stay warm and cozy! (I apologize to all my neighbours who are unable to have the amazing Kinder Eggs in their country!)
Watch how to make DIY Kinder Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs Below!
SHOP THE POST
* Disclaimer: I am not the original creator of this. I have seen this so many times on Pinterest and TikTok that I do not know who the original creator is!
When the holiday season approaches, so does one of the questions I hear all the time: What are your family traditions during Christmas?
Growing up, I remember a yearly tradition of seeing Christmas lights around our city in Edmonton, whether that be around our neighbourhood, or walking down Candy Cane Lane. We always did an exchange of presents with a large family dinner on Christmas Eve, and even Santa came to visit!
I remember seeing my grandparents’ Christmas Village on their mantle that I was always excited to see what their new piece would be for the year. Whether we were out tobogganing or staying in and enjoying lots of Christmas & Holiday classic movies throughout the entire month of December, it was our go to thing – yearly.
Now that I have my own family, I always wanted to take some of the classic traditions we had growing up and make a few new ones of our own.
I have created a list of 20 Christmas Traditions you can start with your family (yes, even now!). Especially with a lot of restricted Christmas activities and gatherings, some of the ideas below can make this Christmas a great one!
1. Elf on the Shelf
Yes, I know that not everyone loves the Elf on the Shelf and sometimes can be a pain. The first year I decided to partake in Elf on the Shelf, my son was 5 years old. The way my kid lit up when he had his own little Elf to enjoy daily, seeing where he had hid or goodies he may have brought, or what he was up to that evening, it makes it so worth it! You can find an Elf on the Shelf to join your family here and there are even neat accessories to get like this and this too.
2. Start your own Christmas Village
As I mentioned, a memory I will always remember is the amazing Christmas Village my grandparents had set up on their mantle. I decided to take on this tradition with my eldest son this year. I have been wanting to do this for a couple years now and with everything going on around the world, I decided to start this. Every year we will buy one new town piece and make that our tradition. My son was so excited to go out to the store, see the different village pieces and pick one to take home to add to the mantle. You can find pieces like this one here, and here. Don’t forget to pick up faux snow for the mantle like this here or here.
3. Advent Calendar
Now I know most people will partake in an advent calendar, typically one made of chocolate like this one here. Try switching it up by creating your own by grabbing an empty advent calendar like this one here, and fill it with whatever you desire. Whether it may be little candies or toys for the kids, notes for activities or movies to watch throughout the month of December, or hey, maybe even mini alcohol to really get you rockin’ around the Christmas tree! You can make it a surprise for the family!
This one is pretty self explanatory! Every year I tend to buy the Gingerbread House kit for the family or the Elf on the Shelf will bring one. We always pop on some good holiday tunes, and start decorating the houses! I enjoy everyone having their own kit, because what is Christmas without gingerbread house decoration contests? They even have gingerbread cookie kits if you don’t want to do the houses, and I always suggest buying more candy than the kits provide to really personalize it more,like these candy lights!
More Holiday/ Christmas Traditions for your Family to love!
Family Photoshoot – Keep is casual or fun with pyjamas and set it up in your own home by the tree
Homemade cards – Have the kids or yourself get craft and make your own holiday cards to send to family and friends.
Make your own ornaments – There are many ornament craft kits like this one here, or here! You can even pull out the popsicle sticks and get making your own memories! Kids love this one!
Make a family bucket list – At the start of the month, make your own bucket list of activities, movies, games or events you want to do over the month and enjoy checking them off!
Donate – one in, one out! Get your family to share a little love this year by donating to the local food bank or donating old toys to kids in need (especially when they may be receiving new ones)
Bake & decorate Christmas cookies – Yum!
Write letters to Santa – Here in Canada, you can send your letter to the following address: Santa Claus, North Pole HOH 0H0, Canada, and you will receive a letter back! Check your town or country to make sure of deadlines to get your letter in if you want to receive one back – Santa is busy this time of year!
Have a family game night – Get a new game to play with the family once a year to enjoy on Christmas Eve or Day! We absolutely love these types of games here, or be silly and get a Christmas themed gift like this one here
Watch a Holiday/ Christmas Movie – Home Alone, Die Hard, The Grinch… There are so many to watch and enjoy!
Visit Christmas lights (drive or walk thru) – Whether it is through your neighbourhood or a city event, get into the festive spirit with a family drive or walk through a scenic street!
Visit Santa Claus – This one is always a fun photo for families with kids!
Christmas Pickle – I have not started this one yet, but you better believe I am going to get myself a pickle ornament (and not not because I love pickles) but because there is tradition behind it! You place a pickle ornament in the tree, and the first person to see it on Christmas morning gets a prize! You can find a Christmas Pickle ornament here, and here!
Wear matching family pyjamas – Be cozy and cute this Christmas!
Make an ugly Christmas sweater — Instead of going out and buying overpriced ugly Christmas sweaters, skip the matching pyjamas and the store and make your own! You can hop on over to your local goodwill or anywhere with discounted sweaters, or even grab an old one – don’t forget some tinsel and craft supplies like these kits here, or at the dollar store and get crafty!
I hope you enjoyed my 20 Christmas Traditions to Start with your Family and may have grabbed a few to start with your own! If you have family traditions, I would love to know about them. Leave me a comment below. Don’t forget to take photos and videos of your traditions! It would be great to go back and look at all the years you have done these and can even start a new tradition by spending Christmas Day looking back on all the photos!
I am sure like me, you have heard this phrase over and over. As my whole blog (it’s in the title) is inspired by coffee, this phrase always sticks with me.
During this time of year, when we are suppose to be the most upbeat, cheerful, and sometimes yes, giving, we can feel more stressed out, on edge, and maybe even less grateful.
Self care throughout the entire year is important, but especially now (with our current global pandemic) and during the holiday season, we need a few reminders for self care.
I have provided a few things below that has helped me keep my spirits up throughout this Winter/Holiday season, and help keep some brew in my cup so I can pour some to others.
1. Do something you love, for you
I took a bath the other night and wow, the next day I felt like I could tackle the world. I couldn’t remember the last time I took a bath and just relaxed. Bubbles, candles, and just my self. I didn’t feel guilty taking a moment for myself. I needed it. Sometimes I grab a holiday Starbucks beverage just to cheer myself up during the chaos of holiday shopping. Between our every day busy lives, sprinkled with a pandemic and a side of the holidays, we need to do the little things we enjoy to spark that fire under us. So grab that holiday latte, put on your favourite song, read a good book, or soak in a warm bubble bath, have an at home spa day — whatever makes you happy.
2. Get moving
As the holidays are typically around the colder months, we forget to keep our bodies moving, and no, I don’t necessarily mean by Christmas shopping. Take a walk outside and soak in the Christmas lights displays, and the frosty air. Don’t get wrapped up in about making it about exercise, just get yourself walking in a winter wonderland and enjoy yourself.
3. Respecting your budget
We all have been there. Wanting to spoil the special people in our lives by buying them what they want or need for the holiday season. Wanting to experience every piece of magic whether that be sleigh rides, lights displays, and other winter events. But you do not want to go broke showing the people in your life how much you love them. Respect your budget, and stay within it. Otherwise, when the holiday season is over, you’ll be paying for it, literally. Remember, maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store…
4. Be okay with saying no
This has to be the hardest thing for me to do, but easiest thing to tell others to do. It is absolutely okay to say no. Say no to the merchants email subscribing list (this will help with tip number two when feeling overwhelmed with sales and the urge to splurge). Although in most places, we are unable to have gatherings at this time, do not feel guilty to say no to those family or friend gatherings. No, you don’t have to see every Christmas lights display in the city. No, you don’t have to feel the pressure to send everyone Christmas cards. It takes a while to get comfortable saying no, but when you do, your mental health will thank you.
5. Take a social media break
Yes, we are stuck at home and we may feel like the only way to connect with people at this time is through social media. Trust me, it may be doing more harm than good. When we see the hundreds of presents another is spending on another, with room to splurge on themselves, when you’re struggling to buy the family a present, or the 8 course dinner that someone cooks for their family, when you may be eating alone this season. How about the top of the line decorations someone went all out with in and around their home, when you don’t have the energy to put up the tree. Seeing how someone else may be spending their Christmas holiday season, may rob you from your holiday spirit. Keep your cup full by looking up from the phone and around your own place. Your family, your health, whatever you have in your life, take a moment to be grateful for it and soak in those memories and moments through the holidays before they are gone.
I hope that my self care tips for the Christmas/ Holiday season reminds you to start filling up your own cup before you pour yours to others.