Ok, I know it isn’t quite Thanksgiving yet, but I’ve already started my Christmas shopping. Yeah, I know it might be hard to believe that the queen of last minute gift shopping herself is starting a bit early but…I’m proud to say that I’ve already purchased TWO GIFTS.
Don’t worry…The remainder of the gifts I have to buy will be purchased sometime around 5:00 pm the day before Christmas Eve. Many curse words will be said.
I’ve been doing a lot of looking online, specifically on sites like Etsy because I love the idea of buying unique, handmade gifts. Sure, there’s a lot of crap for sale on Etsy, but if you look hard enough, there are some real gems.
-I discovered Foxwood Drive through Twitter. If you are in need of some seriously beautiful, sophisticated jewelry for any of the ladies on your list this is the place to look. This Champagne ring is one of my favorites, but it’s all gorgeous.
I don’t really wear a lot of jewelry since it would just end up a toy for my toddler, but this stuff? I would wear it to the grocery store…Which is practically the only place I go. It just looks like the sort of thing that would instantly make you feel fabulous, even if you haven’t showered in a few days and are wearing the same sport bra you slept in. Put one of these little confidence boosters under the tree for your favorite lady, please.
-If you’re shopping for a youngun, check out Simple Gifts. I absolutely adore this Cookies for Santa set, and this Bucket of Beetles may end up under our tree this year. These are toys you can feel good about… They are made by a homeschooling mom who uses “recycled packaging, donates monthly to non profit organizations and participates in reforestation programs. Simple Gifts beeswax is local and is the only non – vegan product used.”
You can tell that a lot of work goes into each toy. My favorite thing? None of these need batteries or make any sort of noise. In fact, they don’t do anything. These are the sort of toys that will encourage imaginative play, unlike the ones that seem to play with themselves.
-Another shop full of handmade awesomeness is Ivy and Company. Everything you see in this shop is hand sewn and quite stunning. I am obsessed with her headbands, and I might have to order one for myself after the holidays. Well, unless someone wants to order one for me. Hint, hint.
If I had a daughter, I would be all over that apron. Actually, I wanted it for myself until I actually looked at the full picture and realized it wasn’t in a grown up size. I may be a small person, but I’m not quite toddler size. Take some time to browse through the different headbands available, because she does have different sizes.
-For the gadget lover, consider this Crochet Gadget Cover by Natalya1905. There are a few different styles and colors, but the one in black, green, and brown would be perfect for your techie man.
-If your man enjoys music and needs something to haul his money in, this gorgeous hand stitched wallet would be a thoughtful present.
I’ve seen a lot of people talking about shopping locally lately and I think that’s great…But I think it’s even better to try to support all of the little guys, no matter where they’re from. These people are taking the time to craft each object they offer, so in most cases every item is unique. To me, getting something that was lovingly handmade by someone would mean a lot more than if I got some mass-produced designer purse.
Consider not only shopping locally, but also shopping small. Yeah, you might spend a little more (but sometimes less!), but it will be worth it.
*If you own a business or are the maker of beautiful things feel free to send an email to willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (dot) com with info, links, and any pictures you grant me permission to use. If I like what I see, I just might add you to my next gift post.
All pictures in this post are courtesy of the Etsy shop owner that created the items, used with their permission. I found all items and shops on my own, this is NOT a sponsored post, and I have not been compensated in any way.
My kid isn’t quite two yet and I already have artwork proudly displayed on my fridge. I was looking at it the other day, and I got to thinking about just how much art one kid can generate in a childhood.
Spoiler alert: It’s a lot.
I know this because my mom kept all of the artwork my brother and I made. Actually, I’m fairly certain she kept every piece of paper we brought home from school in our little backpacks. The entire collection of two kid’s elementary school careers is housed in a big walk-in closet on the second floor of my mom and dad’s house. While it’s a lot of fun to look at, the sheer volume of stuff makes it a little overwhelming and, quite frankly, I worry that it’s a fire hazard.
But what exactly does one do with a child’s artwork? It just feels kind of heartless to throw it out, especially when your sweet boy comes to you beaming with pride and hands you a paper covered with his scribbles (and, ok, maybe some snot). Of course, you tell yourself you’ll just keep a few…maybe you’ll just keep the “really good ones”. Or maybe you’re the rotation mom, hanging it on the fridge fully intending to toss it once you have a new masterpiece to take it’s place. But somehow, these scribbles never quite make it to the trash can do they?
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to…I don’t know…Digitally archive your kid’s work so you could throw out all of the paper with a clear conscience? And wouldn’t it be even better if you could end up with a way to display your child’s artwork without having to buy frames or poke holes in walls? I think you all know me well enough by now to understand that I actually have a solution for you.
If you’ve liked my page on Facebook (you can do it in the right-hand sidebar over there), you probably saw that I made an experimental dessert on Friday. I had been kicking the idea around ever since I made the cherry delight, and I decided the BF’s family Christmas was the perfect occasion for my mystery concoction.
Turns out, no one minded playing pie guinea pig because it was really pretty good!
Here’s what you need to make this super quick and easy holiday (or anytime) treat:
Oreo crust (I used a store-bought crust this time. Shameful, I know)
For the chocolate filling:
1 envelope Dream Whip
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
For the peanut butter filling:
1envelope Dream Whip
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Prepare Dream Whip according to package directions. Add cocoa and cream cheese and mix well. Once combined, add powdered sugar. Mix well. Spread about half of the chocolate filling into an even layer in the bottom of your crust. Cover and refrigerate.
Prepare Dream Whip according to package directions. Add peanut butter and powdered sugar. Mix well.
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter filling over the chocolate layer in your pie crust. I had a little peanut butter filling left (about 1/2 cup that The BF gladly ‘taste tested’)… You’ll want the middle layer to be a bit thinner than the others. Top peanut butter layer with the remaining chocolate filling, cover and refrigerate. Mine chilled overnight, and I think that is the best way to go.
I apologize for the not-so-great picture. I totally forgot to take a picture until the darn thing was almost gone. I did sneak a little piece, and I have to toot my own horn a bit on this one. Toot!
In other words, it’s tasty!
Here’s the BF and I, modeling his Dirty Santa gift of Bubba teeth, fake pink mustaches, and a spy disguise:
Am I allowed to call it that or am I supposed to call it Holiday toffee?
Wait, since when did I care?
So anyway… back to the candy. This is actually something I’ve shared before, in this post. It’s still one of my all time favorite sweet treats to make this time of year, and if I could just remember to buy some damned ol’ brown sugar I would have already made a batch. Or twelve.
For the recipe, just follow the link above. I was going to re-type it all but…Ok, no I wasn’t.
Just be warned: Once you try a little bite you’ll be hooked, and you may find yourself going back for “just one more tiny piece” until you’ve eaten every last bit.
Don’t worry…If that happens, your secret is safe with me.
I’ve spent a lot of time living on my own…since I love food (I’m sure you’re surprised) I’ve had to figure out how to make my favorites in smaller servings. One of the first things I made when I moved into my first apartment was chicken and dumplings. It’s one of my favorites and it’s so incredibly easy!
Side note : I blame my brother for this random craving…He requested chicken and dumplings for Christmas dinner. His request was promptly vetoed by our mother.
I should probably call this chicken broth and dumplings…because there is no chicken involved. You could easily add in some leftover or canned chicken if you want, I just don’t like chunks of chicken floating in my soup.
For the soup, I use canned chicken broth if I have it. If not, water and a couple of chicken bullion cubes will work just fine. So you want to get some liquid cooking on the stove while you cut up a few baby carrots, some celery and some onion. I also like to add garlic and onion powder, a little black pepper and sometimes a little cajun seasoning. You can put whatever you like in the broth… Sometimes I like to add a little frozen corn or green beans…I’ve put broccoli in it… I tend to just throw stuff in when I cook.
For the dumplings, I mixed up about 3/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, about a teaspoon of salt, and some parsley with about a teaspoon of butter. Once I had it all combined (it’ll look a little crumbly) I mixed in enough milk to get it to a doughy consistency.
When your soup is boiling, drop the dumplings in using a teaspoon. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes or so. Be careful that it doesn’t boil over! I usually end up pouring some of the liquid into the soup bowl I’m going to use while the dumplings cook so I don’t have a huge mess. A cup full or so will probably work, just make sure there’s enough liquid left in the pot for the dumplings to float in.
So after about 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking you end up with this:
Ok, this isn’t the prettiest picture in the world, but it’s not like this is a pretty food.
In other news, for my Christmas present The Boyfriend took me to the Colts Vs. Titans game yesterday:
I’m still smiling like an idiot due to the fact that
a. I got to be there for the first Colts win this season.
b. I watched my boy Angerer have an awesome game.
c. I was there for Donald Brown’s awesome touchdown run.
My boyfriend is seriously the best guy ever. Today my throat hurts and The BF probably can’t hear out of his right ear (there might have been a lot of screaming) but it was worth it.
Every year around this time, I suddenly realize that, OH! Christmas is coming! I really don’t know how it sneaks up on my like this because it’s kind of on the same date every single year. Still, time gets away from me and suddenly I’m driving myself crazy trying to figure out the perfect presents for people I love.
It’s like trying to buy someone a birthday present times 100.
This year, I had a genius idea. I adore StumbleUpon…why not let it come up with Christmas ideas for me? I set it to stumble through the shopping category and, lo and behold I got some fantastic ideas. If you haven’t tried it yet, please do. It’s free to sign up and it might just save you some frustration.
If you don’t so much dig the StumbleUpon idea, here are some websites I love for Christmas present ideas that a hundred other people didn’t think of:
Think Geek (For the nerd in your life)
Perpetual Kid (Probably the best stocking stuffers on the web)
Joseph Joseph (Seriously cool kitchen stuff)
6 Dollar Shirts (Hilarious shirts for 6.00 each!)
Red Envelope (Thoughtful but a little more expensive gifts)
Diamond Candles (Super cool idea…a ring in every candle)
Sur la Table (Full of cooking stuff and gourmet foods)
I’m asking for Amazon gift cards this year… I desperately need a Kindle Fire and I’m hoping that I’ll get enough gift cards to make the 200.00 price tag a little more reasonable for my budget (which is practically nothing…).
If you’re more of the hands-on crafty type, you can always make presents… I’ve also used StumbleUpon to look for things I can make myself. I’ve found a couple of ideas that are pretty awesome. I really want to share those links with you but there are certain people that may be reading this and I don’t want to give anything away.
One thing I love to do around this time of year is make toffee and assorted cookies. That way, if I find myself going to a Christmas party I can put them in a pretty box or bag for a nice little hostess gift. That sort of thing works well for just about any kind of holiday get-together.
Did I miss any great Christmas gift ideas? Did you find something awesome by following one of the links above? Let me know how your Christmas shopping is coming along in the comments. I love hearing from my readers!
When I was a kid, there were holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween was in October and the stores started stocking costumes and candy in the beginning of the month. Once November hit, the Halloween stuff went on clearance because it was time for Thanksgiving. Christmas displays started going up sometime after Thanksgiving, and you certainly didn’t hear Christmas music ’til then.
Of course, when I was a kid MTV still played music videos.
Now we have ChristmaWeenGiving. You can buy a costume for trick-or-treating, some turkey decorations, and a Christmas tree all in the same shopping trip. Talk about streamlining things.
Am I the only one that’s bothered by the smooshing together of the holidays?
I’m also getting tired of the continually worsening commercialization of Christmas. Ask a handful of pre-teens at the mall what Christmas is all about. I’m guessing most of the answers will involve the newest over-priced gaming system, new cell phones… Anything but what Christmas is supposed to be about.
I love Thanksgiving and Christmas… Both holidays are about spending time with the people I love most in this world. I even enjoy Halloween because it can be a lot of fun. Can we go back to having a chance to celebrate each holiday separately and give them all the individual attention they deserve?