Simple Trimming for Your Tree

Growing up, decorating for Christmas meant a day of consisting of: searching for a tree at the muddy Christmas tree farm, eating homemade soft pretzels, digging through handmade ornaments, and watching a classic Christmas movie by the light of the tree.

My favorite part, however, was getting all the boxes of decorations out of the attic.  I would hold my breath as my mom would climb the rickety ladder that seemed like it could split right in half at any moment.  An assembly line would then form, usually including my dad and older brother.  We would pass along box after box labeled “Christmas.”  Even though the boxes were a simple brown on the outside, I knew there were treasures on the inside: ornaments, lights, nativity sets, nutcrackers, santa, snowmen, and the like.

The best box was the biggest yet lightest of them all.  It was a giant box of dried baby’s breath.  I don’t exactly know when or where my mom acquired all of that baby’s breath, but I loved it.  It was tradition.

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I still love adding this element to our tree.  It’s snowlike appearance is simple and beautiful.  I especially love the antique color it gets when dried.  It’s also handy when needing to fill in all the sparse places the tree might have.

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Do you have any special traditions when decorating for Christmas?

Happy Trimming!

Steph

 

DIY Gift Ideas and a GIVEAWAY!

There are certain homemade Christmas gifts I love getting.  They are usually the ones I would never buy or make for myself, like the themed basket of goodies usually consisting of gourmet hot chocolate and marshmallows, or a candles and bubble bath.  So, I thought I’d try my own hand at some DIY gifts this year.

I have teamed up with a dear friend of mine who has some pretty awesome ideas for easy DIY Christmas gifts.  Her name is Shanna, and she is a fun-loving ball of energy, who is passionate about all things health.  She is an independent distributor for Young Living Essential Oils, and has totally inspired me to rethink my trip to Bath and Body Works, and make my own spa-like creations at home.  You can read more about the company and the importance of essential oil quality here.  She also wants to give away one of her oils featured in her DIY recipes!  So first, let’s talk about the gifts, and then you can scroll down to enter the giveaway.

These recipes feature Tangerine Essential Oil, which helps boost the immune system and create a sense of calm.  You can find out more about the benefits of Tangerine Essential Oil here.  I love the thought of using 1 oil 3 ways.

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Sugar Scrub

Have you ever used a sugar scrub?  They are pretty amazing when it comes to getting silky soft skin.  It would be an especially nice treat for tired feet!

  • Mix equal parts sugar and olive oil (coconut oil also works for this, but be aware, it may clog your drains).
  • Mix in a few drops of orange essential oil.
  • Spoon into a half pint jar and finish with a bow made of twine.

Bath Soak

During the winter, a hot bath has become an essential part of my life on a regular basis.  The epsom salts in this recipe are great for relieving tired or aching muscles, and adding the tangerine oil kicks the soothing factor up a notch.

  • Add 10-15 drops orange essential oil to 1 cup epsom salts.
  • optional – add in some baking soda for super soft skin.

Homemade Lotion

(Original Recipe found at Wellness Mama)

I am a lotion fiend during the cold months.  I love the thought of being able to make it myself and treat someone to something with ingredients that are beneficial that I can pronounce!

  • Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup beeswax together in a mason jar.
  • Heat a few inches of water in a separate pan at medium heat on the stove.
  • This will be a warm bath for your jar to melt the contents.
  • Place your jar in the pan.  Stir contents in the jar occasionally until melted.
  • Once it is melted, you can remove it from the water bath in the pan, and let cool.
  • Once it has cooled a little, enough to stick your finger in it, stir in a few drops of your tangerine essential oil.
  • Add your lid and finish with a pretty ribbon.

I am loving these DIY gifts because they are all about pampering.  Who wouldn’t want to take a hot bath and smell like fresh oranges? You could make big batches of all three and have tiny spa bundles to give out. These recipes could also be made with other essential oils you may have.  I’m thinking Lavender or Peppermint would be nice alternatives.  If you are interested in ordering some oils for yourself, you can click HERE.

GIVEAWAY

So here we go.  If you would like to enter the giveaway to receive a free bottle of Young Living Tangerine Essential Oil, click on the links below to visit the Greene Gift Facebook group and the Rubbish Redeemed Facebook page.  You will receive 1 point for visiting each.  Please “like/join” if you haven’t already done so.  The Giveaway will close at midnight on Saturday, Nov. 28th.  The winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted by email to work out shipping details.  Good Luck!

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Giveaway is closed.

CONGRATULATIONS to Cherish on winning our essential oil giveaway!

Friday Finds – Christmas Prep

I am in full-on Christmas prep mode….possibly because I could go into labor any day now and things just have to get done!  Of course most of my “preparing” has been browsing around Pinterest for ideas.  Here is what I’m loving:

  1. Custom Family Name Cookie Cutter/Stamp – This is just adorable.  If you are into making Christmas cookies, this will definitely take it to the next level.  Just be aware, Etsy shops usually need 1-2 weeks to ship because they are custom made.
  2. The Lettermate – I’ll admit it, I’ve never sent a Christmas card in my life, but if I did, I would totally get this stencil.  It’s actually something that would be great beyond the holidays when sending something special in the mail like wedding/birthday invitations, etc.
  3. Christmas Candle – I love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree.  We have an artificial tree, so having an evergreen scent in our house around Christmas is a must!
  4. Gluten Free Gingerbread cookies – These look so cute and delicious.
  5. Favorite Things Party – I love this idea for a girls only Christmas party with close friends or even ladies in your neighborhood.  Gag gifts are fun, but nice gifts are better!

Happy Preparing!

Steph

 

DIY Thanksgiving Place Cards – Keepsake Coasters

Tile coasters are not a new thing in the DIY world, but I thought I would put my own spin on them.  I wanted to be able to do something special for Thanksgiving this year with the kids, and I remembered as a child, loving the job of being the “place card maker.”  I got to create name cards for each family member and decide where each one would sit.  Quite the honor.  So, this year, we made some place cards that could be taken home and enjoyed long after the turkey and sweet potato dinner.

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It was important to me that these be personal, and what’s more personal than a picture drawn by a sweet little one?

So here’s how we did it.

 

Materials:

  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Mod Podge (Dishwasher safe version)
  • Paintbrush
  • Felt Pads
  • Child’s artwork/Scrapbook paper/ Letter Stickers

Steps:

  • I used ceramic coaster tiles. You can find these at the hardware store, or if you are at Michael’s, you can pick up a 4 pack for around $3.

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  • I traced the tiles onto plain white paper, and had my 5 and 4 year olds draw a picture inside the box.  They used markers, but they had a tendency to smear a little. Colored pencils may help with that.
  • When they were finished, I cut the square slightly smaller than the tile.
  • I then applied the mod podge to the back of the paper.  I found this helped it stick better than applying the lodge to the tile.

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  • Next, I placed the paper onto the tile smoothing out the bubbles I went.
  • Then I waited about 30 minutes for it to dry.
  • Once dry, I added 2-3 coats of mod podge on the front, letting each coat dry in between.

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  • During this process I noticed several wrinkles/bubbles, but they disappeared as it dried.
  • Once they were all dry, I added the sticky felt pads to the back.

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I’m so happy with the finished product, mostly because these are special keepsakes.

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These would also make a great Christmas gift for grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, etc.

Have a great week!

Steph

Kicking Off the Holidays Right

The holiday season starts at different times for everyone.  For some people, Christmas Carols before Thanksgiving is enough to make their toes curl.  For others, October comes and they are already finished with their Christmas shopping and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa in front of their twinkling, pristinely decorated tree. I’m somewhere in the middle.  Once November hits, I’m starting to get excited.  I’m thinking about Thanksgiving recipes, gift ideas, Black Friday, Christmas lights and all the other typical things that go along with this time of year.

But I’ll admit, it is easy for me to get distracted by all the good things and forget that I already have the best things. So, before all the craziness begins, I want to get my head and heart in the right place so I can truly enjoy all the “best things” in the midst of the “good things.”

These “best things” I’m talking about are not super glamorous or commercial worthy. They are things like quiet snuggles with my 4 year old, while still in my Snoopy pj’s and no makeup.  Or when I hear the keys jingling at the front door signaling my husband’s arrival home.  Those things aren’t showing up on my Instagram feed, but they are incredibly precious to me.

I love being a wife and momma, but as amazing as those things are – the truest “best thing” is the Hope I have in Jesus.  It is in this Hope where I am able to find contentment in the quiet, small places of my life.  And yes – to be honest, sometimes I have to fight to focus on my true Hope and not the world’s “best.”  Because it is so easy for me to focus on what I don’t have instead of what I do have.

That is why, my goal this season is to soak in all the little ordinary things that probably don’t mean much to anyone else. It will be the things I have to be intentional about seeing. It will be those precious moments with my family and my Savior.

So by all means, let’s enjoy the hoopla, but keep in mind, it’s only a good thing…not the best.

Steph