Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Homemade Holiday Decorations

A lot of people have skipped the designer stores this Christmas, and have taken to making homemade decorations for the holidays. I've stumbled across some innovative ideas where regular household items have been converted into elegant decorations with the help of some tender love and care... and not to mention, some glitter and glue! Here are 10 ideas featuring some of my favourite (and easy) DIY Christmas decoration projects.

Old light bulbs repurposed into ornaments with the help of some glitter!

Decorate simple white candles with cinnamon sticks and ribbon. You can also place candles of varying sizes in mason jars and vases, and fill the containers half way up with fresh cranberries or chestnuts for a lovely holiday feel.

Fill clear glass ornaments with creative ideas. I like the peacock feather.

For the Scrabble fanatic! Make an assortment of Christmas words with Scrabble letters.

Use sparkle spray paint on an assortment of branches, and place them in a glass vase for festive cheer. The best part about this DIY is that you can also hang mini ornaments and trinkets from the branches for a personal touch!

I couldn't leave Martha Stewart off this list, could I? I love this beautiful way of displaying Christmas cards. Another simple way is by hanging ribbon from doors and curtain rods, and clipping the cards on with clothespins.

For the music lovers! An easy DIY project with the help of glue and some sheet music. 

And the alternative, made with vintage newspaper and glitter. I absolutely adore this! 

Decorate a curtain rod with ornaments hung by matching ribbons.

A beautiful DIY wreath that you can hang on your door or over the fireplace.

So there you have it — 10 fun and easy DIY projects for Christmas. Do you have any favourite craft projects for the holidays?


Images courtesy of Google Images and

Monday, 12 December 2011

10 Unique Christmas Trees

One of my favourite holiday traditions as a child was setting up the Christmas tree with my family. We had a fake one that we reused every year, along with an assortment of antique ornaments (mostly angels and baubles in different colours and sizes). Every year I'd anticipate the beginning of December because it meant the tree would come out of storage, and we'd proceed to adorn it with the usual trimmings — complete with cotton balls to mimic snow. (The joys of growing up in a tropical country!)

There's something absolutely magical about tastefully decorated Christmas trees, isn't there? The lights, the tinsel, the ornaments — the entire package can add warmth and comfort to a room in an instant.

I have decided to dedicate this blog post to a few friends who share my love for Christmas trees. I've curated 10 lovely images featuring fun and creative trees that I'm sure you'll adore. Some are uniquely trimmed, and others are traditional to different parts of the world. Cheers!

Recycled for Christmas

For book lovers everywhere!

Treats of Sushi

Objects of My Affection

99 Bottles of Christmas...

All I want for Christmas is a bicycle... or two.

Taters and Tots for Christmas

Gumdrops and jellybeans, oh my!

Pac-Man for the win!

Ginseng Roots for all! (This one takes me back to my days in South Korea.)

For more fun and festive trees from around the world, check out this awesome slide show, over at What do you think of these trees? Do you have a personal favourite? If you have your own collection of unique Christmas tree images, you can always share them on our Facebook page.


Images courtesy of Google Images

Friday, 9 December 2011

Festive Baking

We're almost at mid-December, and I'm starting to get into the festive spirit. I've always enjoyed baking, and I think the Christmas season begs for some relaxing time spent in the kitchen. Yes, I said 'kitchen' and 'relaxing' in the same sentence!

Nothing brings me more joy over the holidays than setting aside time to listen to carols, while baking festive treats for friends and family. How comforting is the smell of freshly baked shortbread? What about ginger molasses cookies? These smells send me into a state of nostalgia —the good kind! The kind where every one of my senses gets engulfed in happy memories.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my favourite recipes with you. These aren't family secrets (I'll save those for another post... maybe!), but they're a blend of tried and trues, and ones I'd like to attempt over the holidays this year.

Classic shortbread cookies, all dolled up for the holidays. Shortbread cookies are my standard go-to when it comes to baking. Easy, delicious, and SO much fun to decorate.

I get especially excited over Christmas time because Hershey's brings out their Candy Cane Kisses. These beauties are chocolate peppermint cookies with Candy Cane Kisses. A delicious blend of some of my favourite things!

One of my best recipes for family and friends is this delicious chocolate chip cheesecake, with an Oreo cookie crust. It took me a few tries to get it right, but now it's a recipe I turn to at almost any celebration.

My friend Melissa baked these fantastic vanilla bean cupcakes, with strawberry buttercream during a get together this past weekend. She found the recipe online. The cupcakes are delicious by themselves, but the buttercream is unbelievable. She took fresh strawberries and mixed them in a food processor, then added them to the buttercream. The result? Buttercream that tastes more like strawberries than sugar. Delicious!

Love 'em or leave 'em, no Christmas bake-a-thon is complete without a classic rum fruitcake. My mother has a great recipe that she turns to every year. She even soaks the fruit slices in rum, months ahead. The smell of the cake baking in the oven sends me into nostalgic overdrive.

So what are your festive baking plans for Christmas? Do you have your own tried and true recipes you turn to? Or perhaps you're attempting something new this year? Do you have any secret recipes passed down through the generations? I'd love to hear from you.

Whatever you find yourself doing in preparation for Christmas, I hope you have fun! I hope you're surrounded by love and laughter, and that your experiences give way to wonderful memories you'll cherish and turn to in the years to in the years to come.


Images courtesy of and Google Images
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