christmas tree decorating tips

tree stuff I’m definitely not a pro when it comes to putting together a fancy Christmas tree. I go for the sweet and simple when it comes to tree decorating, but I wanted to share some tips I remember my mom teaching me when we decorated the Christmas tree growing up…

-Spread out all the branches. We never had a real tree growing up, just my parents’ preference, so we had to take time to spread out all the wire-y branches.
-Don’t just put ornaments hanging from the edge of the branches, but put them in closer to the trunk too. You want to give use your ornaments to give your tree some depth.
-Check the tree from all angles. Everything might look fine and dandy from one side, but you look from another angle, and there’s a spot (or two) that need some ornaments. Make sure to spread them out!

tree stuff tree stuff tree stuff tree stuff tree stuff Besides the wooden ornaments from Michaels (we purchased these straw ones from eBay), I also created some additional ones with the wooden balls. I bought some tiny eye screws, drilled a tiny hole in each wooden ball (okay, had Ben drill holes!), then screwed in the eye-screw (okay, Ben did that too!). The girls added some string (they really did that!) and we hung them up!

When I was little, I would be gung-ho about decorating the tree as soon as my parents brought it out. Then, my drive would fizzle out at some point, and I would sit there and watch my mom finish it. She always took special care to make the tree just perfect for all of us. I love the festive feeling my mom (and dad) created in our home growing up, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do that for my girls now.

If you want more tree inspiration, stop by The Glue String to see all 30 of the Michaels Makers’ trees. Some of them are pretty awesome. Like I said in this post, I would totally lose in a tree decorating contest.

Supplies for this project are provided by Michaels as part of the Michaels Makers series. No additional compensation was provided.

 Loading InLinkz ...


thrifted things

thrifted DSC_4075 I don’t make it out to the thrift store that often these days, and when I have been able to, it’s usually a bust. Nothing good. This time was a nice surprise since I came home with a way-too big for me dress and some Levi’s 501s. The dress was $3 and the jeans $5, so I’m pretty proud of my loot. The dress wasn’t cute at all, so I turned it into a shirt, with plenty of fabric left over to turn into something else. Have you thrifted anything good lately?



diy: tiny house from a box

tiny house from a box Tiny House From a Box

Tiny House Template
Cereal box (we used a box from a bakery, but a doughnut or cereal box would work too)

tiny slotted house from a box Directions: Using the template, cut out all the necessary pieces from your box. Accordion fold the piece for the stairs, and decorate the house any way you would like. Put the house together, and there you go!

tiny slotted house from a box tiny slotted house from a box tiny slotted house from a box tiny slotted house from a box tiny slotted house from a box It’s a small house, and a cereal box would do just as well to make it. If you do one with a pink doughnut box, I think that would be really cute too. The girls and I are having fun repurposing boxes into toys. They want to make another tiny house with our Trader Joe’s cereal box, but after that, we want to try a castle. If you want to make a larger dollhouse from a box, don’t forget this one!




enjoying our first homegrown pomegranates

pomegranate tree pomegranate tree pomegranate tree pomegranate tree pomegranate tree We finally got to enjoy our first homegrown pomegranates! We only had two, but there are three more that will be ready in a few weeks. Hopefully, as the tree matures, we will get to enjoy many more.

It was planted two years ago in this large container,  but Ben has plans to transfer it into the ground in the next few months. The variety we have is a Parfianka and its seeds are supposedly a bit softer than the traditional supermarket variety, Wonderful.

At Ben’s most recent California Rare Fruit Growers Association meeting, they discussed pomegranates. He’s been taking the girls with him to his last couple meetings because they like sitting and listening to the talks (they bring their own things to work on because they eventually zone out). They had these pomegranate de-seeders available for purchase, but they sold out, so Ben ordered it from Amazon (this is the one).

We aren’t typically kitchen gadget people, but this works pretty well. You halve it, score it five times on each rim, put a half pomegranate on top of the gadget at a time, pound with a spoon, and all the seeds come out. For these beginners, it took closer to 120 seconds, as opposed to the 60 seconds advertised, but it is still the fastest we have ever been able to take apart a pomegranate. We love pomegranates, but the only draw back is how tedious they can be to get their fruit. What are your tips in de-seeding a pomegranate?



yummy snow monster

33 birthday birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things Though I’m married to a dietitian, who is excellent at practicing what he preaches, he so sweet to indulge my sweet tooth desires. It’s all about moderation, right?! Well, one of my birthday requests was to try the dessert place Snow Monster in Orange County, so we made the trek out to Westminster (there is also one in Huntington Beach). My friend had shared a picture on instagram of this place a few weeks back, and it looked so good! I immediately texted Ben the picture and added it to my birthday request.

We ordered the taro and green tea shaved ice in a large (with strawberries and mochi as sides), and a pistachio macaron ice cream sandwich with Thai tea ice cream. Oh goodness, they were all so yummy. The girls loved the taro shaved ice, but they weren’t quite as fond of the green tea and said it looked like boogers. HA! True couldn’t have the macaron because she’s allergic, but the other girls loved that too. Heck, even Ben liked the shaved ice, and he rarely gets wowed by desserts. My favorite was the macaron ice cream sandwich; that was bomb diggity bomb. One of the coolest things to them were the plastic spoons that changed color when dipped in the cold desserts. The girls were all, “Oooooh! Magic!!!”

I’d like to go back and try some other flavors, so maybe we will just have to plan more trips to Orange County soon. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend a stop to try it!




jean jean vintage ms. tips citykid treehousekidandcraft-CAKIES.4.13 lotta sqapothecary entrance10


FM Badge