Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July

Happy hump day everyone! It's the 25th and Lynda over at Focal Point and I have linked up to bring you a little holiday spirit in the middle of summer! Apparently, we weren't the only ones with this idea because this morning my phone started beeping with all kinds of Christmas in July promotion emails from some of my favorite stores! None the less, there is plenty of holiday spirit, inspiration, and cheer to go around!
When I think about the holidays, I have a few key things that come to mind:

  • Decorating - how to transform your home for the season
  • Cooking - probably my favorite part! The smells, the family, the baking!
  • Kids - this is a relatively new one on my list because of Dablet!
  • Gifting - how to pick the perfect item (on a budget too!)
  • Crafting - the DIY side extending the budget and the personal touch

In order to bring some of my favorite ideas together in one place for you, I've created a "Christmas in July" board on Pinterest! and to give you a quick visual highlight, I took to Olioboard and created an inspiration board:
To see this board and the pins featured click here

The holidays bring entertaining and lots of cards! In recent years I have fixed strips of ribbon to an archway in our house and tacked all of the cards we recieve to line the inside of the arch. It's nicer than putting them in a bowl or box because you see them all at once! The wreath and tree display options are great, and the tree is something you could have as a piece of home decor year round as well! From the parties to the family dinners, you are bound to either create or experience a decorated table sometime during the season. To channel your inner Martha pick a theme and go for easy quick ways to make a dramatic statement (without breaking the bank!)

Ornaments are quick, easy, colorful and budget friendly for table decorations!
When you're planning your Holiday soiree the focus will be on the food (after your guests see your fabulous table of course!) When I think holiday cooking I immediately go to baking and mulled cider! 
Pinned here, recipe sourced from The Dish on Delish
1 orange, washed
4 cups (1 quart) apple juice or cranberry juice cocktail
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves

Peel the orange by slicing into strips. Combine your juice of choice, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and warm the juice until tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to keep the juice from boiling. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.

Paired with my mulled cider I could live off of gingerbread cake! Not only is this dessert packed full of flavor, but if you're looking for something to have in the oven when guests arrive to add the perfect smell to your home this is it!
Pinned here

Pulling Kids into cooking, I had to go to cupcakes! While many of these would require time (and a certain amount of talent) they remind me of the Cookie Decorating Parties my mom used to throw for me and my friends. We'd make a load of sugar and gingerbread cookies ahead of time and several different colors of frosting complete with bowls of edible decorations. My friends and their parents would come over, we'd all wear something to cover our clothes and decorate the cookies with obnoxious amounts of frosting while our parents mingled! Here's a modern day trend version!

The holidays provide another magical moment when we are able to look through the eyes of children and remember the magic of the season! Go ahead and crank up the holiday music, do a little dance, and belt Jingle Bells at the top of your lungs! While they're little, they'll still enjoy it...soon enough you'll get the look of "Mom, what ARE you doing?!?!"

One of the challenges I will eventually have to face with the holiday festivities is hiding gifts from Dablet. Lynda brought up the idea of sharing gift hiding places with my mom readers and to be honest, I'm stumped! there are the obvious closets, under the bed, and in the garage....but my house is so open that I'm not really sure what would work! I have until at least Christmas '13 before this becomes an issue, so please share your tips with me!
Again channeling my inner Martha, I wanted to share some fabulous gift wrapping areas with you! These are a perfect tie into the OlioHop coming up next Monday, so be sure to check back!
Pinned here
Super simple! Take rods and mount them with hooks onto an empty frame. That way you can change out your wrapping paper depending on the season, or when you run out!
Pinned here
I LOVE this simple way to organize ribbon in two ways! Same rod idea as above for the ribbon spools, and then you tuck away the rest in boxes with the strands coming out! Hidden chaos is my favorite thing!
Check out more gift wrapping pictures on the Pinterest Board

Last, but certainly not least, is the crafting! I have featured SEVERAL different sites via pins showcasing all kinds of crafting ideas that are kid-friendly and also more sophisticated! One I am absolutely going to do this year is the hand print tree! I think this is not only something fun for our home, but would make a great gift for the grandparents with hand prints from all three of us!
Pinned here

Can you hear the holiday music yet and smell the gingerbread?! With the heat we've been having and the perpetual nightly thunderstorms, I've appreciated sharing a bit of holiday cheer with all of you! With Dablet's 1st Birthday just around the corner in September, it won't be too long before I'm breaking out the Christmas boxes and picking out the theme for this year's wrapping! Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? I'd LOVE it if you shared it with me! Merry Christmas in July!

As I mentioned before, I'm teaming up with Lynda from Focal Point today to share double the ideas for Holiday Styling! I've taken a sneak peek over at what she has, and all I can say is SPARKLE!
This lady has style, pizzazz, and an element of effortless chic that I admire in abundance!
Be sure to check out her blog and Pinterest Boards!


  1. Well done girl!! Love all the inspiration PLUS even ORGANIZING ideas!! Maybe next month, we can hook up with a few other peeps too (like Lisa (Goodwill Gal) and Julie (GoSimpleSavv).

    xo Lynda