Christmas Rewind + Fav Gifts 2012 Thursday, December 27

Favorite Christmas Card of 2012 The Kelly Family

 I am having a wonderful time enjoying Christmas Break with my littles... staying in jammies, not rushing around with the morning routine, loving it!  Here is a rewind of instagram pics from our week, plus some of my favorite gifts for Christmas this year!

Fav Gifts 2012

Homemade Granola Friday, December 21

Only a few more days for shopping, wrapping, card addressing, cookie making, school party attending, and oh yes teacher gifting.  The time of year to thank and celebrate the wonderful people who teach and encourage our little ones or big ones to go after their dreams and hopefully take with them a wealth of knowledge too! Well, this year, I decided to "make" something vs "buy" something, one because with 5 children the Christmas budget was blown with just one trip to Toys R Us, and two because I really appreciate receiving something homemade and delicious, don't you?  This granola is just that a yummy very addicting snack or treat! Once you make this... you will never stop, so be prepared to have a new family Christmas favorite.  
Here is what you will need: You can be as natural/organic as you would like
  1. 4 cups Rolled Oats
  2. 1/2 cup Honey and or Agave Nectar - If you have not tried agave you want to, in your coffee, oatmeal, baking etc. A natural sweetner
  3. 1 stick Butter -You can also use a 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  4. Mix Ins - Pecans, walnuts, almonds, coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and anything else you can think of that would taste good in granola 
  5. 1 tbs Cinnamon 
  6. 1 tbs Vanilla or Almond extract 
Start by melting your butter and or coconut oil. Then add in your honey and agave nectar. I doubled the recipe and used 1/2 cup of each. 
Once this is melted, place your oats on a cookie sheet.  Add to it all of your mix in's except for the chocolate chips. Pour the honey mixture over the oats and stir 
Bake at 400 degree for 10 min, then stir and bake another 5 min. Once out of the oven, top with your chocolate chips and do not stir for about 10 minutes before packaging
While waiting make sure you have some very cute helpers 
Let cool and then store in cute mason jars or give as gifts for the holidays!  Hope you enjoy!

Create A Faux Mantle With Barn Wood Wednesday, December 19

Every year, I get out my Christmas decor and start trimming around the house being as creative as possible with what I already have. One of my most favorite places to decorate is the mantle. Usually a focal point in the house. Well to my dismay, I had totally forgotten the argument Mr. May and I had over putting the TV over the fireplace and of course Mrs. May won which meant my mantle was now a TV and not a place for me to put garland and artwork and such. I was sad for a day and then remembered a wise friends words "just make a faux mantle" as if it were a no brainer!  And so I was off, trying to figure out with what and how and where would I put this new fantastic mantle. I recently had the opportunity of doing a pop up shop with Heritage Beam And Board  a family owned business who specialize in taking historic barn wood and repurposing it into beautiful new creations.  Of course we instantly connected, since I am all about repurposing old with new!  Adam found me the perfect 4x6 beam that would now be the focal point for my holiday decor.  A focal point that will come with us every move, I might add. Now to find the spot... I chose our dinning room, because I already have a distressed pine table and buffet and I thought the natural tones would accent well. Here is the wall before. 

Wall cleared...

Got my beam ready... 

Bought 2 L brackets and screws for all of $6
And then... the drill! I would not consider myself handy but I am willing to do what is necessary for pretty things on my wall! 
Only messing up one time, I then began to add my decor layer by layer

The garland is from a wonderful old fashioned tree farm near our house Natures Best. With raw honey, 7 types of trees, garland, and simply stunning arrangements, I had such fun working with the Kiene's on a few designs for our home.
 Made some yarn and burlap tree decor pieces I will post about later. 
Of course the star of the show is my fantastic "Oh Holy Night" canvas by none other than Lindsay Letters

The Giving Tree Tuesday, December 18

As the world remains sobered and holds their families tight, my heart grows even more burdened with helping our kids understand how important it is to be others focused. We placed this white tree branch in our family room and named it "The Giving Tree." A visual and reminder of those who have lost and the beauty in the life they have shared. I used one of my favorite verses Galations 5:22 "The fruit of the spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. I then wrote each name on card stock with a gesture of goodness on it's counterpart. We will be "doing" some acts of service this holiday, "praying" for many and "loving" unexpectedly.