Posts tagged ‘Holidays’

2017, December 22

Merry Christmas, the travel writer’s way

This Christmas, I want to highlight a couple of awesome pictures my friends took. 

So if you want, go read my short article, “Funky Decorations: Holiday wishes, the travel writer’s way” over on Milliver’s  Travels to see them.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

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2017, December 8

Winter in a jar

For this Winter, I had to decorate the apartment very simplistically. That was pretty much the case since 2014 truthfully, ever since we had a very curious kitten underfoot. The next kitten is even more energetic. Didn’t thought that possible, but oh well. Simple decorations it is, so I decided on jar ornaments. I crafted something like it for last Fall and I love the way these Winter ones turned out!

Winter in a jar

jar with a lid, to your liking in size
Winter-themed items to place inside
tissue paper
crafting paper

Wash your jar(s) out well, and remove any labels from its side. Mine were huge pickle jars which I wrapped in a wet towel to soften the labels, then ran them under the tap and used a kitchen brush to rub the labels and adhesive off.
Let dry thoroughly.

Once dried, start adding Winter-themed items into the jar. I made two jars.
In one of the jars I placed red tissue paper, a fairy ornament I received for Christmas a few years back from a dear friend (from Soul Silver by Sally Sutherland), and a car driving home a pine tree. The latter I made myself by placing a cute ribbon around a craft pine tree, then gluing it onto the roof of the car.
Into the other jar, I added a string of battery-operated white yarn-ball lights and covered its on/off switch with some more red tissue paper.

Screw on the jar’s lid.
Mine weren’t a single color, so I cut out and glued on a round piece of crafting paper to cover up the pickle brand’s name on the jar lids.

Place your jar on a side table or where ever you like, and enjoy the Winter decor.

Happy crafting ;)

2017, December 1

Curious Holiday List time

As I did when first introducing this cute little idea-book years ago, I’ll share one of the list titles from the book and the content I came up with. Then, You let me know in the comment section what Your lists would look like.

I opened the book to page 109 and then chose the upper-right title, from the chapter “Lists for Holidays”.

I really have no clue what words might actually be uttered at a Shakespeare Society holiday party, but the below were the quotes I thought of when associating Shakespeare and the holiday season.

Quotes uttered at a ‘Shakespeare Society’ Holiday Party:

  • At Christmas I no more desire a rose
    Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
    ~Love’s Labours Lost (Act 1, Scene 1)
  • I see the trick on’t: here was a consent,
    Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
    To dash it like a Christmas comedy:
    Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
    ~Love’s Labours Lost (Act Five, Scene 2)
  • SLY. Marry, I will; let them play it. Is not a comonty a Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
    PAGE. No, my good lord, it is more pleasing stuff.
    ~The Taming of the Shrew (Intro, scene 2)
  • Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
    barrow of butcher’s offal, and to be thrown in the
    Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick,
    I’ll have my brains ta’en out and buttered, and give
    them to a dog for a new-year’s gift…
    ~Merry Wives of Windsor (Act 3, Scene 5)

Our modern conception of Christmas is more tied to “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens rather than Shakespeare.

Back in the court of Elizabeth I, Christmas and New Year weren’t celebrated as we do today.
Christmas was popularized in England when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert started following many of the German Christmas traditions about 200 years after the death of Shakespeare.

Your turn. Ready? Go! :)

2014, December 20

Simple holiday decor ideas that will survive a kitty attack

xmas kitten proof 3

When I first started thinking about holiday decorating at home and at my boyfriend’s, I was a bit concerned about the latter.

As you may have seen from my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, we have a really cute, but at-times-beyond-hyper kitty, Pixel. Almost nothing is out of reach unless shut behind a cabinet door, and everything is easily turned into a toy. A toy which usually gets destroyed in five minutes or less if we don’t notice in time. And we usually don’t.

I started searching for ideas of Christmas decorating when one has pets around. The tips I found were good, but not fully applicable for our case. We live in an open plan apartment, which means that Pixel can get into and onto anything and everything.

There are no tips out there for leaving a kitty alone with all the holiday decorations up while the owners are at work and out of the house for 10 plus hours.

This whole thing got me thinking. We’d just have to be creative when it came to holiday decorating this year. And I’m sharing below just how we achieved it.

xmas kitten proof 1

Simple holiday decor ideas that will survive a kitty attack:

Keep it simple. And I do mean Simple with a capital “S”!
Go for an easy yet effective design which will still be festive, but won’t grab your cat’s attention too much.
We’re going for the “Hmm, a new thing’s placed there, let’s see what it is. It doesn’t sparkle. I can’t make it move around much. Doesn’t smell interesting. Okay, I’ll go sleep now.” reaction from your cat.

Go with a small fake tree, and place it out of the cat’s reach.
Also, if you have a real pine center piece, only leave it on tables or nightstands when you’re at home, and place them out of reach before leaving the house.
You wouldn’t want your cat nibbling on real pine while you’re at work all day long (it’s toxic if ingested in larger amounts).

For the Christmas tree avoid using tinsel, glittery and breakable ornaments.
I found that using simple clothespin ornaments, plastic or metal balls, or securing the ornaments to the branches with a ribbon works perfectly. You can also use homemade decorations like salt dough ones, dried fruit and cinnamon sticks, nuts and pine cones – these usually won’t get a second glance (especially dried fruit, kitties dislike citrus-y aromas) and even if they do, they’re not expensive to replace.
Add bells, if your cat is afraid of the sound they make; or use them as a precaution so they’ll alert you if the tree is being tampered with.

Place decoration out of reach.
Decorate mantels, shelves, window sills and other areas your cat doesn’t get to. You can safely display holiday photos and Christmas cards you receive, Christmas stockings, and breakable decorations this way.
Hang wintery and Christmas-themed paintings, wreaths and simple garlands on the walls and doors.
Plants on window sills will get a festive feel from some bows over the pots, Christmas themed planters and plant stakes.
Secure Christmas lights by lining the window frame with them for a both indoor and outdoor decoration. Use the “all lights ON” setting instead of letting them twinkle on their own.

Make some jar ornaments, which you can leave even at your cat’s reach.
You can create very cute decorations with jars, using even your favorite glass ornaments, since your cat won’t be able to touch them after you place the lid on. You can even add tea lights to light inside them and place the lid back on once burnt, or go with battery-powered tea lights. If you have snow spray, go ahead and add a few puffs of it into the jars.
Just make sure they’re not someplace they can get knocked off from too easily.

Decorate with throw pillows and blankets.
Fun, Christmas and winter themed pillows and blankets are all around us in stores especially during winter and right before Christmas, and other than give your home a holiday feel, they’re also quite comfy, warm and snuggly.
You can even make your own sweater pillow cases.
The worst your cat will do with these is get all comfy and have a good long sleep on top of them.
Choose some Christmas themed table cloths for the dining area, dishtowels, oven mitts, aprons and refrigerator magnets for the kitchen, towels and fun-shaped soap for the bathroom.

Have pine cones and fruit on tables and counters using Christmas themed bowls and plates for them. Same goes for the cookies! Don’t leave them out overnight or when you leave for work though, if your cat might knock them to the ground. (We’ve fished apples out from under the kitchen cabinet before.)
Christmas themed dishware in general will give a more festive feel to your meal time. If you feel like it, buy a new bowl for your cat, too, to use during the holidays.

Light scented candles, or use aromatherapy oils. There are tons of candles out there you can buy! Scents like cinnamon, pine, apple, oranges, cloves, peppermint and vanilla are all great! You can even make your own natural room scents.
Also, cats usually won’t go near lit candles.

Place Christmas themed books on shelves and on coffee tables.
You surely have a couple of Christmas novels or anthologies laying around, and also craft or cookbooks. The colorful covers will decorate all on their own when placed on shelves with the front cover showing or all the Christmas themed ones placed together, stacked up on coffee tables, and in baskets.

xmas kitten proof 2

Do you guys have pets? How do you decorate so that they don’t destroy everything? Or have they already grown out of that habit?

Hope you enjoyed my tips! ;-)

2013, December 31

A fresh page…

fresh page fresh start

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year full of love, laughter and health!

Thank you for being a friend, and thank you for reading my blog!

2013, December 25

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

It’s not always the gifts that are wrapped
which are the best,
but simply those that are shared.
Gifts of time, love, and laughter…
Happy memories that warm the heart
at Christmas time and always.”

page greeting photo

Let the beauty of the season fill your holidays with happiness.

Merry Christmas!

 

2013, December 22

Writer’s & Book Lover’s Christmas Tree – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 2013 is close to an end, and I am reading more (have already completed my reading challenge), especially seasonal books. Not sure why I haven’t had as many on hand in past years, but this year I’m going all out!

At the moment, I am reading “A Cup Of Cozy”, a collection of short Christmas mysteries and holiday recipes, and I’m loving every piece of fiction – not to mention the recipes – in it! It is currently free for Kindle (at the time of writing this, 22.12.2013). The price doesn’t even begin to give it value, so I highly recommend you download a copy ASAP!

Speaking of reading and of books…

I think I saw my very first book Christmas tree three years ago (I know that I have shared one in my X-Mas greeting blog post in 2010). Needless to say, I have wanted one of my own ever since!

Today I took a little while and gave it a try. Now finished, I am absolutely in love with my little book Christmas tree and how personalized it is to me! <3

Let me know if you’ve ever built one, and do share pictures if you have any!

book christmas tree-1

Writer’s & Book Lover’s Christmas Tree

As many books as you can find
A string of lights and any other decorations you desire
Your patience; but it’s worth it!

Start by sorting your books depending on size. I found that it helps a lot to know where to look, when needing to even out surfaces.

Then, start stacking your books by creating a larger base and working your way up to its top.

Not sure what other advice to give you except to just start stacking the books and you’ll see as you go how it shapes up, where you might need to re-stack, and what books to add next – our libraries are vastly different.

When you’re happy with how your book tree looks, decorate with lights, tinsel, garlands and any other decoration you desire.

(I topped mine off with a little snowman I received from a friend, and my “Know where you’re @” bookmark.)

Happy book-tree building! ;)

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