Christmas 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017
Merry Christmas! We had the best Christmas this year. Really, we had an amazing December. Between all of the holiday festivities we squeezed in and our girl's 2nd birthday, our month was full and jolly. Greer was such a delight to watch; she is just so aware of everything going on and she really understands what's happening. Her face was pure joy when she saw what Santa brought her. And she is 100% convinced that the Radio Flyer trike is in fact her very own motorcycle. Don't try to tell her any different. She is asking daily to ride her motorcycle, and I kind of hope she always calls it that. 

Christmas morning brought with it a lot of sweetness, an all-day-fire burning in the fireplace, time with my mom and sister, and delicious food and treats. It was a slow and simple day, which was just what we needed. We also trekked out into the frigid 20 degree temps so our two-year-old could take a longer spin on her motorcycle. Bundled up to the eyeballs, she had the best time cruising along. I'm so looking forward to warmer days walking through the neighborhood with her and her motorcycle. 

Not only did Greer receive a motorcycle, but she also got a teepee (which she loves to hang out in, especially if she can convince people to come hangout with her while lounging in it), her very own magic wand, and a microphone for singing Moana songs (which she likes to do while driving her motorcycle). You've never seen a girl happier!

Husband made homemade egg nog for the first time, and I think he's going to make it a Christmas tradition. This 15 weeks pregnant mama couldn't be convinced to have a glass, though I did try a sip and it was good. Another treat...sugar-coated cranberries!

I hope your Christmas was just as joy-filled! I'm so thankful for these two and the tiny one on the way, the holiday spirit, and the birth of our Savior. Wrap those all up into one sweet day, and you couldn't ask for more! 

DIY Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Imagine the scent of pine and cinnamon mingling together and wafting around your holiday house. Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? That's the exact aroma I've got going on in my home these days, all thanks to our fresh Christmas tree (and a balsam-scented candle) + these homemade cinnamon ornaments. 

My mom still has the cinnamon ornament I made as a child, albeit it doesn't give off that amazing smell anymore. But I remember hanging the cinnamon, bear-shaped ornament on our Christmas tree every single year while growing up. And I really wanted to make some for our tree this year. Since I wanted to have a craft at Greer's birthday party, I figured it was the perfect way to let the littles get creative and give me an excuse to make these perfectly festive ornaments. 

These ornaments are SO simple to make, but you will need to make them 4-5 days in advance because they set on their own. 

  • What You'll Need
    • Ingredients
      • 3/4 cup applesauce
      • 2 TBSP Elmer's glue
      • 1 cup ground cinnamon
      • 1 TBSP nutmeg
      • 1 TBSP ground cloves
      • 1 TBSp ginger
    • Supplies
      • Cookie cutter(s)
      • Wax paper
      • Rolling pin
      • Straw
      • Fabric puff paint
      • Baker's twine 
  • What You'll Do
    • In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, glue, and cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
    • Mix together until a soft dough forms. If the mixture is too wet, add more cinnamon; and if it is too dry, add more applesauce. Use your hands to work the dough.
    • Lay out a piece of wax paper on the counter and sprinkle cinnamon on it. 
    • Roll the dough out to 1/4" thickness.
    • Dip the cookie cutters in cinnamon and cut out your ornaments. 
    • Use the straw to punch a whole in the top of the ornament. 
    • Leave to dry flat on the wax paper for 4-5 days, turning the ornaments over twice a day for even drying. 
    • Once completely dry, use the fabric puff paint to decorate and use the baker's twine to hang the ornaments. 
**I opted to use small cookie cutters for this instead of the regular size. You can customize the look of your ornaments in a variety of ways!

They are as lovely as they are simple! And they look wonderful hanging on the tree. You would always make a garland out of them too. My preference was to use white paint for decorating, but the options are limitless, and I found that littles prefer a selection of colors to pick from. Greer's sweet little ornaments went on the tree in her room. She has been admiring them for days!

Greer's 2nd Birthday Party

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
This face right here about made my heart burst on Saturday. This is the face of a girl who figured out that the birthday cake being walked toward her was hers and that the chorus of "Happy Birthday" being sung around her was being sung to her. Greer started out confused by it, but once she realized what was going on, this is the smile that burst onto her face. The remaining sequences of this face are a little later in the post. 

Y'all, this joy made it all worth it. At first, when talking about what to do for her birthday, husband and I weren't sure if a party was what we wanted to do to celebrate. Then we landed on the idea of a little play-date-type-get-together with her closest little friends. We had a small spread of breakfast-inspired foods on the dining room table, a cinnamon ornament craft for the littles, and some birthday cake to end the party. With the bustle of the holiday season, I didn't want her party to feel like an extra hassle added to our calendar; so we kept it simple, and it turned out to be perfection. I couldn't have asked for a better little party to celebrate our girl's upcoming second birthday. She's still talking about it all. 

With the party being first thing in the morning, before all the nap times, we kept the menu breakfast-inspired. And because we were keeping it simple, we didn't make a single thing, which made the party prep so much easier. There were Mixed Berry Cheerios, mini Goldfish, yogurt for parfaits, cut blueberries + strawberries, quartered coffee cake, boxed Horizons milk cartons for the littles, OJ, and coffee. It was a great selection for the littles and the adults. So if you're looking for a food spread the won't make you stress, this is it! This would also be fun for a little morning Christmas party/family get-together before the big day or on it too! 

After filling our bellies, us mamas crafted with our babies. Earlier in the week, husband and I made cinnamon ornaments. And during the party, the littles used fabric paint to decorate their own. Slightly messy, but oh so sweet, this was a great craft for this time of year, and a special way to send them home with something to remember the occasion. I'll share the DIY for these amazingly-good-smelling ornaments tomorrow!

This little group of friends makes my heart so happy and so do their mamas. We've watched them grow from baby announcements to the toddlers that they are. I'm so thankful that Greer has such wonderful little friends, and I'm even more thankful to call their mamas friends. Couldn't you just eat them up?!

^^ This is the face when the understanding kicked in that it was all for her. ^^

After cake, we opened a few presents, and brought the party to a close. Greer had the best time! We ended our Saturday at the local aquatic center for one more birthday treat. Our girl has been reminiscing about the beach and the pool there since August. She has a remarkable memory that is always surprising husband and me. So we surprised her with a little swimming during the winter. To say she had fun would be an understatement. 

We are so excited to celebrate her again this Thursday on her actual birthday, and I can't wait. Though, it's bittersweet to watch her grow up so very fast before my eyes. 

A    L O O K B A C K :

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Hill House || Christmas Home Tour 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and St. Nick will most definitely soon be here! I can't believe it's just a week until Christmas Day! Anyone else?? We've been loving the twinkle lights glistening 24/7, the scent of fresh pine wafting throughout the house, and the Christmas music playing in the background. The three of us are trying to soak up these last couple weeks of Christmas d├ęcor before packing it all away till next year. And as fast as these days are going, that will sadly be here before I know it. 

But till then, come on in and enjoy our little Christmas home tour! 

Find the DIY tutorial for making your own pom pom garland HERE!

Grab this "Marshmallow Wonderland" garland for your home! Use code: DARLINGDO10 for 10% off!

Table (similar) || Chairs || Bench  (similar) || Side Buffet || Arm Chair || Glass Lamp 

Grab this "Good Tidings & Cheer" garland for your home!

See last year's Christmas Home Tour and see how much has changed in the Hill house!

p.s. I tried to list most of the sources for items pictured. Let me know if I missed something you want a link for!

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you for supporting the blog!