Building memories with your loves starts now and lasts a lifetime
The cold weather and snowy mountains announce the best time of the year for our family: Christmas time! So I want to share 3 of our favorite holiday traditions with you:
1. Read books by the Christmas tree
Nothing kicks off this magical season in a more lovely way than reading a favorite Christmas book at bedtime, illuminated by the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights.
Matching pajamas, snuggled up with warm blanket, drinking hot cocoa
Here you have some of our favorites books:
- Pick a Pine Tree
- ¡Cómo el Grinch Robó la Navidad!
- Last Stop on the Reindeer Express
- The Night Before Christmas
2. Bake your favorite treats
The fire is lit, the day is cloudy with high chance of a snow… sounds like the perfect day for baking your favorite treats.
Chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, pumpkin bread, gingerbread, pies… yum!
And every year, while snacking on our baked goods, we prepare little gifts for our neighbors to enjoy. This year I picked up these cute little Holiday Milk Carton Treat Boxes from World Market to pack some warm homemade cookies. We’ll add in our Christmas card and then go door-to-door as a family delivering the treats.
It’s a fun way to keep in touch with the neighbors we know and meet new neighbors we don’t yet. It also helps our children to give first before receiving, and how important it is to care for others.
3. Decorate a mini Christmas tree for the kids
A couple years ago I got this cute little Christmas tree for the kids, and now is one of the best traditions we could have ever started.
My kids love having their own little tree in their bedroom! They decorate it together and have so much fun doing it. This little simple detail fills our kids with Christmas spirit and, really, that’s all I want for them.
Gifts that will last a lifetime
These kinds of Christmas traditions are among the greatest gifts we can give our children because, unlike the bucket of slime or the newest LOL Surprise, the memories, feelings, and blessings will stick with them for their whole lives.
We enjoy documenting these memories through pictures and videos to help relive the special moments of yesteryear with our favorite people, and to share these traditions with others.
I know our children will treasure these traditions when they’re older, especially when they’re building traditions of their own.
What traditions do you enjoy each year?
@jime.hodson - Dreaming less, living more. Enjoying the little things. Raised in one of the poorest cities in Chile and now teaching my kids about real life in USA
We've invited a few of our favorite IG mamas to share their gift picks for the Holidays! They'll also be taking over our IG stories for the next few days, introducing themselves and showing their picks. We're excited to show you their picks that includes gift ideas for kids of all ages and includes toys that are wonderful quality that can be passed down. This post also features many of our favorite small shops so we hope you take a peek at their stores and just wanted to say THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING SMALL for the holidays!
Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Emma and mama to our nearly 8 month old, Theodore. As the holiday season quickly settles in, I wanted to share the gifts we’re giving our little one this year. As a family, we value the joy of gift-giving, especially this time of year when presents symbolize the greatest gift that has been given.
When thinking about Christmas gifts, I knew that I wanted sustainable, heirloom-quality pieces, made intentionally and help nurture our guy as he explores and engages with the world around him. We first chose these Fin & Vince mittens to keep Theo’s little hands warm throughout our cold Minnesota winter. They also make for the sweetest winter decoration when not being used. Just hang on a dresser or peg rack and ta-da! Our second gift is a wooden walker for our busy little bee. This gift is perfect for encouraging little movers in their walking adventures. I also love that it has a little cart in the front for collecting and pushing toys around. Our last gift is this rainbow stacking tower to foster hand-eye coordination, color recognition, and sensory exploration. I truly adore all of these items, and am so giddy to wake up Christmas morning just to watch the joy and wonder.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful season and all of the little moments that fill your cozy, December days.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Hi friends! My name is Bruna Masalin, I'm a home-educating, mom of three, based in New England. Today I'll be sharing a simple Christmas Gift Guide that features some of our favorite open-ended toys and some adorable outfits from Fin & Vince!
My children spend endless hours playing with open-ended toys, not only these sparkle their imagination, they are also are made to last. I love watching my kids engage in imaginary play, sometimes I act as the construction chief of their city building, they love creating quaint little towns, with civilians, tunnels, rivers and even a fire station. There are no limits for creativity when you are working with toys that allow your mind to wander. After a few years of being a stay at home mom, I can assure you, investing in sustainable and educational toys is worth it!
Alphabet Tree Slices by Stepping Stones : My little girl loves playing with these! That's how she's been learning all her letters. She uses them as logs for her forest while also reviewing each letter every time she's engaged in free play.
Sunday Arch Stacking Toy by Linden Bee : This is a new toy around here, ready to be wrapped! We will gift it to our kids this Christmas. I love that this toy encourages concentration, creativity and it also helps with fine motor coordination.
Rainbow Stack By The Wooden Wagon : The most used toy in this house. My kids get busy stacking the rainbow pieces or using them to make tunnels for their city. The quality is great and it's been one of our best purchases!
Grapat Toys by Rose & Rex : Peg dolls are a must around here! These guys wear many hats, literally. They can be fire fighters, moms and dads, doctors, forest fairies, gnomes or police officers. These are perfect for storytelling! The possibilities are endless.
Maileg Baby Mouse in a Carry Cot by Linden Bee: My little girl loves playing mama, so this will be the perfect gift for her this season. I love the entire family collection of these little mice.
Outfits from Fin & Vince:
Hi there! I’m Amanda! Happy wife & home-educating mother to 4 lovely little ladies under age 7. Because our girls are so close together in age, we like to invest in quality gifts that can be enjoyed and passed down to one another. I really enjoy gifting well-made gifts that are both pretty and practical. My husband emphasizes things should have form and function. Our older girls are developing new, and rather strong opinions, as they grow and we want to respect their personal styles & interests as we gift. We really like the the idea of gifting a want, a need, something to read, and wear. Here are some gifts that meet this criteria, have been a success in the past, and that will be gifted this year!
The girls love matching with one another! We’ve adopted a tradition of gifting them new jammies every Christmas. Pajamas kind of meet a need, a wear, and a want, so they’re a great gift! We have gifted them sets from @happyhannahs , @finandvince, @simplefolkco, @chasingwindmillkids, and this year we’re gifting them hot pink butterfly thermal sets from @garnethillpics. They’re going to love them!
Some of our favorite toys are wooden stackers, puzzles and blocks. @woodenstory @grimms and @thewoodenwagon are some of our favorite shops for these! Wooden toys hold up really well and, let’s be real.. they’re beautiful😊
Books!! We love gifting books! Personalized books, i-spy books, and book series make for really fun gifts. Something I have learned in a family of book lovers is that books can be expensive! I enjoy thrifting books and using thriftbooks.com because you can find gently pre-loved books for incredible prices!
We also want to invest in making new memories, so games that we can play together as a family are a great investment! The girls have been asking for slippers for quite some time. We found some really fun boiled wool slippers from @garnethill. They are different animals and so cute and will be such a fun addition to their matching jammies! We always gift the girls a fun new toothbrush and, honestly, they’ve been more excited about this than more of their gifts ☺️ I hope this was a helpful gifting guide and that everyone has a lovely holiday season full of peace, rest, and joy for you and your family! ❤️
There's just three short days until Christmas, and I don't know about you guys, but we are soaking in every last minute of it. From ornament making, to cookie baking, to present wrapping, we've been doing it all. One thing that was on my holiday to-do list, that I finally got around to doing, was making homemade marshmallows for our hot cocoa. They are so much tastier than the traditional store bought marshmallows and surprisingly easy to make! Here's how to make these tasty little treats!
What you will need:
3 packages of unflavored gelatin (you can find these over by the jello - baking aisle - in most grocery stores)
powdered sugar (for dusting)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. peppermint extract
crushed peppermints (optional)
How to -
- Combine gelatin and 1/2 c. COLD water in a bowl with an electric mixer. Let sit while you prepare your other ingredients.
- While that sets you will want to combine your sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 c. water in sauce pan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once it has dissolved turn the pan up to high and cook until it reaches 240 degrees fahrenheit. You can use a candy thermometer for this or a basic one. I used a basic thermometer I had on hand.
- After that's done combine it with your gelatin mixture and mix with an electric mixer on high until it is a nice thick consistency.. it will take about 15 minutes so hang in there!
- Lastly add your vanilla and peppermint extract and mix well.
- After your marshmallow mixture is done, you will want to coat a 13x9 glass pan generously with powdered sugar. Be sure to get the sides as well!
- Pour mixture into coated pan, smooth until it's evenly distributed, and dust the top generously with powdered sugar.
- Let sit until dry - usually overnight
- After your marshmallows have dried, turn them over onto a sheet of parchment paper, dust with more sugar (if needed) and crushed peppermints (optional).
- Cut with a knife or pizza cutter and serve! I served mine with this super delicious hot cocoa recipe below.
Hot Cocoa Recipe -
2 T. unsweetend cocoa powder
1-2 T. sugar
1 c. milk or cream
1/4 t. vanilla.
combine first 3 ingredients on stove until hot. pour in vanilla and serve.
xo - emily
It takes a village! We've all heard the phrase before. Have there been any special people in you and your child's live this year to help with their care? As a single mother who works from home, my son spent two days of almost every week this past year at my dear friend's house where she graciously played, fed, and loved on him. I can never repay her for all of those hours spent caring for my child when I needed to get some work done! Whether it's your child's teacher, grandparent, parent, or simply a kind friend... making sure we can gift them something special for the holidays is a must! They work so hard to help make sure our babies grow up happy and healthy.
If you are like me, then you love to gift handmade and from the heart! Below I have listed a few fun ideas that you can easily make in less than a day, even the little ones can join in.
Beeswax + Soy Wax Candle
Did you know that beeswax can purify the air? It's the most amazing tool to help clean your home! The negative ions released when burning react with the positive ions floating in the air such as pollen, dust, dirt, and other pollutants. Their positive charge is what causes them to float, but the beeswax turns them neutral and either sucks them back into the candle or drops them to the ground! Soy, though all natural, does not have an amazing cleaning property like beeswax. It does, however, create an even burn to your candle which beeswax has trouble doing alone! Making your own beeswax and soy candles is incredibly easy!
Supplies (to make 4 candles):
- 1/2 lb 100% filtered beeswax
- 1/2 lb 100% soy wax
- candle wicks with metal bottoms
- vessel of choice to hold candle (mason jar, teacup, etc)
- In a makeshift double boiler (old soup pot for candle making only!) or crockpot (also for candle making only!), melt the beeswax and soy wax together. This will take a few minutes.
- While the wax is melting, position your wicks within their vessels. I always seem to use mason jars to make my candles as I tend to have them on hand! You could use any vessel you choose, though soy seems to work best in a glass container. I use wicks with metal bottoms. To position them, dip the bottom of the metal into some melted wax, and stick to the bottom of the vessel. Allow to harden and straighten the wick as much as possible.
- Once the wax is melted, using an old soup ladle, pour the candle over the wick and into the vessel. Straighten the wick if it has moved.
- Allow to cool until solidified, about an hour or two.
- Decorate with a cute ribbon or some twine!
Lemon + Rosemary Sugar Hand Scrub
I have gifted this to friends and family more years that I care to count! It makes such a great gift for anyone. Upon opening, they'll receive the most delightful scent of fresh lemon and woody rosemary. I just think rosemary makes the perfect winter-time herb! You'll be surprised how incredibly easy and fast this recipe is!
- 1 1/2 cups fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp Vitamin E oil or almond oil
- 2 tbsp natural lemon hand soap
- 25 drops tea tree essential oil
- zest of one lemon
- zest of one orange
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated. If you find the mixture too liquid-like, add more salt. I wanted mine a bit more creamy, but you may like it to be crumbly. Choose whichever suits you!
- You can also substitute the sea salt for epsom salt, but this can be a bit course and rough on your skin. Because this scrub is very fresh, it should only last a month or two. Please be aware that it can go bad due to the use of the liquids! I would also say that this scrub is fine enough to use on the rest of your body (avoiding private and sensitive areas, of course). I might try it on my arms and legs!
- Place in a pretty glass jar with a seal and tie with a piece of twine! All done!
Simmer Pot in a Jar
I love a good simmer pot! I think I would just cry if someone gifted me one all packaged up cute in a jar. This is the simplest gift you can give to someone, especially if they are trying to create less waste in their life and gain less things. You can quickly fill up a mason jar with the ingredients, tie it with some twine, and write a little tag that lets them know how to use it. Everything can be composted inside and the jar can be reused for other things!
- 4 star anise
- 2-4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup allspice berries
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1-2 sprigs fresh evergreen trimmings
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3-4 slices of dried oranges and/or applies
- Jar with an airtight seal
- Place all ingredients in the jar in the order listed above.
- Seal the jar, tie with twine, and add a slice of dried orange for decoration!
- Write them a tag that says the following: "Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of vanilla if desired. Heat to a simmer and allow to sit for as long as you prefer! Place in the fridge to use again up to 2 more times."
I hope you enjoyed these simple, handmade gift ideas! There is nothing I love more than watching the expression of others who receive a handmade gift. It's almost as if they've never experienced it before these days! I think you could really surprise someone this year by gifting handmade. Plus, it's so much less expensive!! Wishing you a happy holiday season (:
You can find more DIY ideas and recipes on my blog at underatinroof.com
So now that we've done some seriously ornament making for the indoor trees, it's time to show you guys how to make some ornaments for the outdoor trees. These ornaments even happen to be nature friendly and bring a little holiday love to the creatures living in your backyard! Here's how to make these simple bird seed ornaments using pinecones and peanut butter!
What you will need -
peanut butter (or any nut butter or a nut free butter option if your little one has a peanut allergy)
paper plate (optional, but easier for clean-up!)
How to -
Using your forged pinecones, cover them in a good amount of peanut butter. This will make it easier for the birdseed to stick to it.
After you get done applying your peanut butter, spread your birdseed out on your paper plate and roll your pinecone in the seed.
Next, tie your yarn to the top of the the pinecone and it's ready to hang!
You can hang these on your tree, fence, patio, etc!
xo - Emily
The artwork my little guy brings home from school is probably one of my most favorite things. The problem is that I usually tuck it away in a drawer and it never gets the full admiration it deserves. This year I decided to change that by making some christmas ornaments out of his favorite pieces of art work. It's simple to do and is a great way to cherish those precious little pieces for years to come. Here's how to transform your little one's artwork into simple, handmade ornaments -
What you will need -
art work or any drawling, doodle, name, etc of your kiddos
twine/string (for hanging)
How to -
- after your selected your kids favorite artwork, cut out the main pieces of it or the part that you want to make into ornaments. For example, my little guy crafted a photo of him and myself so I cut out that portion of his drawing to make into an ornament.
- after your done cutting, glue the pieces to your construction paper and let dry.
- after drying, cut shapes out of those pieces (I did a star, heart and the shape of his artwork).
- after cutting, glue (or tape) a piece of twine to the back of your piece for hanging.
- hang on the tree!
These precious little ornaments make for great little keepsakes and gifts to family and friends. I look forward to the years when I pull these out and place them on our tree. So much love in these sweet little pieces!
xo - Emily
Welcome to day 8 of our 12 Days of Handmade! I hope some of you have tried out our fun little ornaments and enjoyed doing them! Today I'm showing you how to make a very simple, but yet pretty, beaded ornament for the tree using unfinished wooden beads and some string! Not only is this ornament fun and easy, but it's perfect for fine motor skill learning as well! Here's how to make this fun little ornament -
What you will need:
wooden beads (finished or unfinished - you can find these in most craft sections)
yarn (color of your choice)
How to -
- cut 1 to 2 piece of your yarn (8-12in) and tie a knot at the top.
- start stringing your beads onto the yarn. you can string as many or as few as you would like! you may have to twist the ends of your yarn together to get them through the holes of the beads.
- after you are finished stringing your beads, tie a knot at the end to ensure that your beads stay in place. tie the remaining yarn into a loop (or you can use twine) and hang on the tree!
if you want to add some color to your tree, these ornaments are easy to paint or even color! we even made some the length of our names and wrote our names on the beads! super easy!
only 4 days left of our 12 days of holiday handmade ornaments! I can't wait to show you what we've got planned for tomorrow!
xo - Emily
Today I am so excited to share with you an ornament favorite that I've made since I was a kid! These cinnamon dough ornaments are so simple to make and will leave your house smelling like the holidays for weeks to come! Not to mention, they only require 3 ingredients so they are a low maintenance craft that your kiddos will love! Here's how to make these super simple cinnamon dough ornaments -
What you will need -
cinnamon 4oz (I like to buy two just incase my dough is sticky and I need more)
elmers glue 2 T.
string or twine
How to -
- combine cinnamon, glue, and applesauce into a bowl and mix well into a nice dough ball forms. If you dough seems sticky feel free to add a little more cinnamon to it. Note - the cinnamon can be a little strong so mix with caution.
- Next, let your little ones roll the dough out on either a table or parchment paper (easy clean up!) until it's about 1/2 in. You can roll it out with a roller or just use your hands, either works perfectly fine.
- After you get done rolling, use the cookie cutters to create shapes and repeat until you run out of dough.
- Set them on a cookie sheet to bake and take your straw and make holes in the tops for hanging.
- Bake at 200 degrees fahrenheit for 2 to 3 hours. This is when you house will begin to smell like heaven! ;)
- After they are done baking, let them completely cool. Add your string to them and they are ready to hang on the tree!
These are ornaments that make for great holiday traditions!
xo - Emily
Welcome to day 6 of our 12 day of handmade holiday ornaments! Today I'm showing you how to make a fun little wreath ornament that involves a child snack favorite, cheerios! These little ornaments are great to hang on the tree and snack on. Here's how to make them -
What you will need -
How to -
- Spread some cheerios out on the table, gather your kids around and cut a few pieces of yarn about 12in long.
- String cheerios onto string until you've got the desired wreath size.
- Tie the ends together in a bow, string a piece of twine onto it for hanging, and hang on your tree. Pretty easy right!
We've got some dough ornaments coming at ya this week so stay tuned!
xo - Emily
Can you believe that we are almost half way through our 12 Days of Handmade?! The holidays will be here before you know it! Today, for day 5, I'm showing you how to make a super simple popsicle snowflake ornament that is perfect for little ones... so pick up some popsicle sticks while your out today and make this fun little craft over the weekend!
What you will need:
string/ribbon (of your choice)
Have your little one take 4 popsicle sticks and glue them together to make a snowflake (as shown).
Next cut a piece of your string or ribbon, fold in half and glue to the back of your snowflake. Let it dry overnight and hang on the tree! Pretty easy right?! Feel free to decorate these, give them a little glitter or even color them with markers. These are simple and fun for all ages.
Stay tuned for day 6 and be sure to check out our other days that have already been posted!
xo - Emily
Welcome to Day 4 of our 12 Days of Handmade holiday ornaments! Today we've got a super simple kid craft ornament that's a must make this holiday season. It's easy and makes for a perfect little keepsake! Or even a fun little gift to give the grandparents! Here's how to make these super simple holiday wreath photo ornaments!
What you will need:
photos (4x6, 4x4, 5x4 any size will do!)
green construction paper
glue stick or tape
twine (or string for hanging)
Depending on the size of your photo, cut a circle out of your green construction paper. Make it large enough that the photo will fit into the center of it. Feel free to cut your photo into a circle as well so it fits nicely on your piece of paper. (as shown)
Next you will want to loosely fold your green circle in half and cut another circle out of it. This will give it the shape and look of a "wreath".
After cutting your circle out, you are ready to glue you photo onto the wreath or you can tape it if you prefer tape over glue.
Next take your red yarn, cut a piece about 6-8 inches long and tie it into a bow. Make sure it's nice and tight and glue it to the top or bottom portion of your photo wreath.
Lastly you'll want to take a small piece of twine and tape it to the back of your wreath in a loop. This will make hanging the wreath on the tree easy peasy!
Hang these fun little photo wreaths on the tree or pass them out to relatives as a gift! The options are endless!
Stay tuned for Day 5! We've got lots of other great things coming your way!
xo - Emily
Since we showed you how to make a super simple cranberry ornament yesterday, today we are staying on trend with another fun fruit inspired ornament - that involves cinnamon too. This little ornament is perfect for the tree and great to add to your gift wrapping this year... Not to mention, it smell heavenly! Here's how to make this super simple cinnamon fruit ornament....
What you will need:
orange slices (thinly sliced)
apple slices (thinly sliced)
In order to make these little ornaments you will need to first dry your orange and apple slices in the oven. Spread them out on a baking sheet with some parchment paper covering it, and bake your slices for about two and a half hours (give or take) at 200 degrees fahrenheit. As they bake, you will want to occasionally flip the slices. After they are finished baking, remove from oven and let them dry on the counter overnight.
**note** - apple slices may cook faster than the orange slices so you may have to remove them before the orange slices are done baking.
Once your slices have completely dried, you are ready to string them using your twine. Cut about a 12in piece of twine and let your little ones string the dried fruit onto it.
After you've strung your fruit onto the twine, you are ready to add your cinnamon stick. Carefully place your cinnamon stick at the top (horizontally) and tie a knot and bow (as shown below).
Lastly you will want to make another tie with your leftover lose strands. This will make hanging the ornament on the tree a breeze!
Stay tuned for day 4! We've got another super fun ornament coming your way!
xo - Emily