5 easy + fun holiday treat recipes

A few members of our troop have been hit with some brutal virus in the last 24 hours.  Lots of blankets, chicken soup, Motrin, and TLC going on over here.  The show goes on for our remaining healthy ones, so life really doesn’t slow down.  I was working on another Christmas post, but realized I need to recharge and apply my message from earlier this week.

Today I’ll share some favorite and EASY (for my fellow non-bakers) holiday treat recipes I’ve been collecting so you can have a little fun in the kitchen over the weekend.  It’s a lot of sugar in one post, so grab your insulin pen and let’s go.

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1. The cutest DIY peppermint candy spoons here.

2.  Adorable (and yes, very easy) brownie Christmas Trees with little peppermint trunks here.

3.  Chocolate covered strawberry Christmas Trees on top of oreos here.  LOVE these.

4.  Fast and fun Christmas tree pretzels hereThis one has a nice video tutorial in addition to the written instruction and pics of the steps. 

5.  For the bakers, love this Christmas Tree cake and recipe here.

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Last night a few of us cranked the Christmas tunes and made chocolate-dipped and crushed candy cane pretzel rods for the first time.  I’ve always wanted to make these with the kids, but wasn’t sure how hard it would be to work with the melted coating, etc.  Yep, I’m that challenged in the kitchen.  It was really fun once we got the hang of it.

Happy Christmasing in your kitchen!

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Posted in Christmas, Entertaining, Food, Holiday, Kids | Leave a comment

gifts of the present

I heard a great question on a program while driving last night – “how are you slowing down and staying connected?”   What a great question for us all right now.  So how are you doing in that department?  I for one think the pace we keep during the holiday season is potentially maddening.   Rush, rush, rush.  Buy, buy, buy.  And when I go out into the world (or on the internet) the pervasive message is strictly “hurry and get it now”.  It takes work to keep that real meaning of Christmas alive in this material-based culture.  I have to remind myself that this is a season of the Savior, giving of yourself, and connecting with loved ones.

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I’ll take it a step further and ask:  how do we slow down and stay connected to what’s authentic?  I like to incorporate a conscious pause in the fast pace of my day to express thanks for the blessings I can see in the present, meaning the blessings in that very day.  Each day brings a different set of gifts (and even a few lumps of coal) and I find it helpful to make a mental note and appreciate the gifts of the present.  Sounds cheesy, but it works.

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Despite everyone’s busy schedules, I’m making an effort to take extra time with our kids to enjoy little moments like baking cookies, sharing scripture, looking at Christmas lights, and talking about what this season really means.  We’re trying to do this together as a family.

Our youngest child’s school starts the latest of all four, and every morning this week he and I have cooked breakfast together and eaten by the fire, with the Christmas music playing.  It’s special time together I cherish and one I hope he’ll always remember.

A cozy spot by our fireplace.

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We also started a very simple and new activity that we share as a family (and wow, it’s so wonderful and a great way to connect with your teen) and I plan to share it with you in the next few weeks.

Love these simple napkins accented in Eucalyptus.

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Do you have a special way you like to keep the meaning of Christmas alive in your home?  Would love to read your thoughts and any fun holiday traditions you share together.

Cheers to slowing down and connecting with daily blessings, true gifts of the present.

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Posted in About me, Christmas, Faith, Holiday, Life, My Home, Our Family | 5 Responses

3 easy staircase styles for the holidays

Sometimes the staircase can feel intimidating to decorate for the holidays, as it’s one long structure and focal point all on an incline.  I also think it’s one decorated area in the house that can look messy or cluttered if not styled carefully.  Decorating the staircase/banister doesn’t have to be intimidating or even a grand scheme with multiple layers in order to look beautiful.  Here are three simple, foolproof, and elegant banister looks (with affordable source options) I love for decorating during the holidays.  All sources mentioned are non-sponsored.

1.  Hanging wreaths on ribbons.  I can never get enough boxwood anything and these wreaths are no exception.  This look is so simple and elegant, yet so easy to implement.  You can literally pop them up in minutes before hosting a holiday party.  If you really want to keep your cost down, you can make your own boxwood wreaths – found this super easy DIY I found over here.  I’ve seen ready-to-hang, affordable boxwood wreaths everywhere from Target to amazon to local boutiques.

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Found this 11″ cutie for $15.99 at Target.

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2.  Live garland and long ribbons.  Another simple and elegant style.  Been hoarding this image for what felt like forever then suddenly saw it pop up all over pinterest.  I know you’ve probably seen it by now, but I still have to share because it’s that good.  I think one thing that makes this look so beautiful is how the homeowner doubled up her ribbon (using taffeta and silk together) and added in sprigs of eucalyptus.

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Found some nice satin ribbon in the color blush here.  Haven’t ordered from this source, but it looks lovely.

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3.  One simple swag and votives.  Last but not least, a picture of our staircase and sweet daughters when our home was featured in Southern Living.  Stylist Elizabeth Demos accented our stairs using our mercury votives and one large live garland swag for the banister.  I love how she placed tiny glass ornaments as accents in the garland.

simply-seleta-southern-living-christmasphoto by Helen Norman

Most of my votives you see are from Tracery Interiors – love their shop and selection.  I don’t see any of their votives online, but I’m sure you could call in an order and they would happily ship. Also found a pretty set of 12 mercury votives online here for $20 if you like all the same style.

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And over here a set of 6 if you’re like me and enjoy a variety (on sale for $17).

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Hope this inspires some weekend holiday decorating fun!

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Posted in Budget Parties, Budget projects, Christmas, Design, DIY, Entertaining, Holiday, My Home | 6 Responses

winter white wonderland

Wow, November really flew by and it’s finally the holiday season!  Christmas always feels official to me on the first day of December.  It’s like I can’t soak in the music, eggnog, shopping, or holiday cheer until December 1.  Believe me, I try.  So excited for this magical time of year!  I’ve caught my breath after a wild few months and I’m ready for our family to pick out the tree and get some decorations up.  Here’s a few favorite winter white holiday looks to inspire decorating in your home.

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When it comes to Christmas decor, I’m a big fan of using beautiful ribbon with live wreaths and garland.  Those two components alone can make a big impact on the interior or exterior of a home.  Everything about this picture makes my heart pound.  It’s simple, classic, and festive.  Can’t find the source…anyone?

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Live garland beauty with this fancy layered mantel.

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I love incorporating black and white striped ribbon into the bright Christmas colors and fresh greens in our home.  Using a little bit of black gives a great contrast and nicely anchors any color.  One of my favorite ribbons to use for accents is this one on sale for $2.  Not sponsored, just an FYI.

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This look is also great combined with silvers, whites, or burlap – and especially pretty on gifts wrapped in kraft paper.  A beautiful example right here.

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If you’re planning a festive gathering at your place, check out this holiday wine party filled with so many simple yet beautiful entertaining ideas.  This group enjoyed wine and appetizers with some fun holiday crafting – gold-leafing champagne glasses together.  Wow!  I would love to go to a party like that.  I especially love that their holiday soiree raised funds for a local charity.

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Adding a stag head is a great way to bring a focal point to a particular grouping.  Love the idea of hanging a few ornaments on the horns for added festivity.  Found a similar one as above for a steal here.

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I’m planning to savor every moment possible with our family this holiday season.  It’s such a great time to enjoy loved ones and create special memories.

**Tomorrow morning I’m sharing 3 easy + elegant options to style your staircase for the holidays – so stay tuned!**

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Posted in Accessories, Budget projects, Christmas, Crafts, Holiday | 2 Responses
  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my husband, fabulous four offspring, happy horses and frisky fur babies. A former TV personality turned Designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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