popsicle stick tree ornaments.


The ornament making just doesn’t stop! Earlier this week a note from school went home mentioning that the kids can bring a small trinket or card to pass out to the kids in the classroom during their holiday party. I hate when milo comes home with junk and the last thing a kid needs is another bouncy ball, pencil or eraser.  And they discourage candy. So I thought milo could make something.  He needed 23 of them to pass out – so for $2.09 I was able to get 100 popsicle sticks, use some green paint i already had and get rid of some of my many many buttons I have laying around! We set up a sort of assembly line  and knocked these out in two nights. I first had milo paint all the sticks.  Once those were dry, we glued them together with the hot glue gun. I did the hot-gluing, milo added the ornaments. He had the idea to use his star stickers, instead of me making 23 stars. (thank goodness for that – my star making abilities arent so hot)  The following night we made the gift tags, again I made him sign his name 23 times and we attached them to string to hang the ornament and then glued that to the back.

I think this was a great little project to show/teach kids the importance of a handmade gift.  Milo is always coming home from school with drawings from other kids in the class that they make for eachother. I know this was probably alot of work crammed in the course of two nights for a kindergartner, but I think he had fun doing it, and i know he will be proud to pass these out to all his friends!

so to recap, for these you will need:
popsicle sticks (i used the fatter ones)
green paint
hot glue
sequins, buttons, stickers, glitter
cardstock/paper for the trunk

1. paint all your popsicle sticks
2. Once they are dry, glue them in a triangle shape.
3. Decorate your tree with buttons, sequins, stickers, glitter, etc. Add a star on top!
4. Cut a rectangle from brown card stock/paper and glue to the bottom for a trunk.
5. Glue string on the top back of the tree.

upcycled quilt ornaments.


Remember when I made these pillowcases out of my husband’s grandmother’s old quilts? Well there was alot of scraps leftover and I was trying to figure out what to do with them….I made some simple ornaments cutting hearts out of them, then sewing around the edges to keep them together. I also had a bunch of my husband’s grandfather’s buttons, so I use them to embellish them a bit. Im such a sucker for ornaments and I think this is going to be a lovely way to honor both his great grandmother and grandfather and have their memory with us at christmas!

double chocolate peppermint cookies.


I’m going to go ahead and say it. These just might be my most favorite cookies ever. Look no further because THESE are the cookies you want to bring to your holiday parties, cookie swaps, etc.

Original recipe found here and then veganized (and doubled b/c choclate and mint!!!) below. This recipe makes about 24 cookies.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks earth balance)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs ( i used the powdered kind)
  • 1/2 tsp natural peppermint extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 candy canes, finely crushed
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the earth balance and sugar together for about 1-2 minutes. Add egg replacer, peppermint extract and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides.
  3. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder to a sifter and sift gradually over the wet ingredients mixing as you go. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and stir in with a mixing spoon.
  5. Form the dough into small balls (heaping 1 Tbsp) and place 1.5 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Press the tops down and then top with a few more chocolate chips if your prefer.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes – the edges should start to dry but the tops will still be slightly soft looking. Let set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes more but sprinkle crushed candy cane on immediately.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack to rest until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for up to a few days or freeze for several weeks.

pinecone elf ornament.


I love these little guys! Since we got a real christmas tree this year, these were the perfect addition. I used martha stewart’s directions to make this little pine cone elf ornament for my tree.

heres what you need:

  • Elf Template (you can find the pdf to download here)
  • Pinecones
  • Felt
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Hot-glue gun
  • 3/4-inch wooden craft bead
  • Thin-point sharpie
  • tiny bell, bead or ball
  • string1. Cut out your pattern pieces and trace onto the felt. Cut these pieces out of the felt. Make a scarf by cutting a long strip of felt as well. Set these piece aside.
    2. Glue your wooden bead to your pinecone. I made mine with the wider side towards the top. Glue your hat on your wooden bead, and add the tiny bell, bead or ball you have for to the top of your hat.  Draw a face on your bead with the sharpie.
    3. Cut your pipe cleaners to be about 4-5 inches in length. Hot glue them onto your pinecone.  Affix the mittens and shoes to the pipecleaners.
    4. Glue some string to the back of your ornament if you wish to hang it.


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Happy hanukkah!

While we aren’t jewish, or practice any faith for that matter, I thought it would be fun to teach milo about hanukkah and its traditions that go along with it.  He is learning ALOT about christmas at school right now, and is coming home with very lavish stories about the day jesus was born and how a pointsetta came to be so I thought it would be nice to balance it out and learn a little about the jewish side of things. At this age, Milo is like a little sponge. He loves to learn and is just fascinated with new things so I think this is going to be something right up his alley! I put it together and picked up a book at the library and we read the book, talked about the history of the holiday and lit the first candle.

Here’s what you need:
9 Small plastic animals or dinosaurs (this toob brand works great and are $9.99 at micheals. use a coupon and get them for $5!)
Candle holders/risers (these are kind of hard to come by but i bet you can find some on etsy)
drill bit
spray paint
hot glue
a piece of wood for your base ( a paint stirrer or a wooden ruler would probably work!)
small square lego
Menorah candles (found mine for $2 at target)

First I drilled a hole into all my animals and stuck the candle holder inside. I took my animals outside and spray painted them, along with the base and the lego.  Once these dried I used hot glue and glued them all on the base.  ( My base is just a piece of wood I found in my garage, that i hacksawed to size!  I used a hacksaw AND a drill in this project. It felt good to play with some tools!! )The center animal needs to be higher than the rest, so this is where the lego comes into play.  I used it as a little base for the giraffe, which was the tallest animal and this became the center candle.

Tomorrow night were going to play dreidel and I think another night we are going to make some potato pancakes. Let me know if you have any ideas we can do with a 5 year old to celebrate and keep him excited about this holiday! Trying to avoid giving him a gift each day…since we celebrate christmas he gets enough!

terrarium ornament.


Here is another fun ornament you can make using clear globe balls. I used the same balls I used in my glitter ornaments.

I happened to find a bag of moss at Homegoods for $2.99! (i cant wait to make other projects with it!) , and got a little evergreen branch at micheals that had tiny acorns glued to it. basically I put it all inside and made a little terrarium!

felted wool garland.



Ive always been in love with the look of felted wool garland, but depending on how the sheep are raised, wool isnt always the most ethical of textiles. I couldnt bring myself to spend over $100 to get the amount I needed for my tree as well.  I started knitting about 12 years ago, and throughout the years have aquired some yarn as hand me downs, garage sales, etc. I took a look and turns out I had quite a bit of wool yarn already so I figured I would take a stab at using it up and seeing if I can make these little balls to make my own garland.

All the tutorials on line say to use roving. But I wanted to see if there was someway to I could make these out of what I already had. It took ALOT of patience, time and trial and error, but in the end I’m pretty happy with what I have!

You will need 100% wool yarn in order to make these.  I used a combination of this and another kind, that was much thinner.
Embroidery thread
Acrylic yarn
Long, thick needle
Crochet hook

Decide how big you want to make your balls.  Take them and roll them up into about 1/2 inch-1inch balls and use the crochet hook to pull in the end. (watch this video here) You do NOT want these to come unraveled when you wash them. This is very very important. They should be nice and tight and very round. Much like that first green ball below.


Once you have all your balls made, You are going to put them, one by one into a pantyhose and tie them off at the ends. I tried a sock and a I tried just throwing them in a pillowcase.  Just putting them in a pillow case WAS my best result, BUT on my second batch a bunch came unraveled and all clumped together, so I found the pantyhose method to be the next best option.


Once you have them all tied up, you want to throw them in your wash machine. I put mine in a pillowcase first, so they didnt get all tangeled within the washing machine. Set the settings to the smallest load size, and use the hottest water cycle. Add about 2 tspn of detergent and let it go. It will wash them with hot, and then rinse with cold. That is what you want. I usually did this 3-4 times, and then threw them in the dryer too for about an hour or so.

Once i cut them free, your balls should be felted. Alot of mine still had yarn definition but the yarn seemed clumped together so i went with it. Mine is far from perfect, but I dont mind at all. Im sure doing this with roving makes much nicer balls, but I wanted to use up what I had so this suited my needs!

Once you are all done with felting your balls, its time to string them along onto the embroidery floss.  I got my needle ready and tied a knot at the end and just strung these along.  I made each one about 6-7 feet. I Had just enough to cover my tree and I absolutely love it!

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glitter ornaments.


My friend mentioned making these glitter ball ornaments and I immediately thought that they would be annoying and messy.  After doing some noodling on the internet – I realize that maybe they are pretty simple after all. The secret ingredient here is floor wax! Who would have thought?! I figured for sure you had to figure out a way to get spray glue or something into that little hole…..But nope. Liquid floor wax.  I couldn’t wait to break into these and try it out!

You will need:
clear glass or plastic ornaments
Floor wax  (we got ours for abou5 $6 at menards)

Take the top off of your ornament. Pour a little bit of the floor wax inside and put your finger over the top of the ornament and swirl around carefully and slowly. Don’t shake it up, just kind of swirl it and make sure your entire ornament is covered.  Pour out any excess liquid. Dump some glitter, put your in there and swirl around. Keep adding glitter until your ornament is coated.  Let dry for about 15 minutes or so and put your cap back on.  Its THAT easy.

Homeade thanksgiving! And a recipe for green bean casserole.

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. This was my first year hosting – and we did it potluck style. It was a success! The night before the big dinner, I decided we needed to get a little crafty with some decorations. So at the last minute, i whipped up this little banner using what I had on hand: washi tape, card stock and bakers twine. We made little place cards too using cardstock, washi tape and stamps.


We had a meal that was vegan-a-plenty! I dont really have photos of everything because I was too busy eating, but here’s what I made:

Mac and cheese
Green bean casserole (recipe to follow!)
Pumpkin cheesecake

We also had:
Brussel sprouts/apples/potato/walnut mixture, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rice and beans, sweet potato casserole, salad and a homeade tofu roast! Everything was so delicious and I REALLY enjoyed eating all the leftovers all weekend!

I took a stab at making a green bean casserole for the first time. Ive never had it vegan and when searching the internet there seemed to be alot of different ways to make it. I took a gamble, and went with this recipe, and I’m glad I did, because it was absolutely delicious!

Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3-ounce) can of French fried onions


Cook the green beans in a pot of boiling salted water until tender.  Drain well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cover, and cook until softened.  Stir in the mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and release their juices.

Combine the vegetable broth and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Whisk in the flour until smooth and add it to the mushroom mixture. Simmer, stirring, until the liquid thickens. Stir in the soy milk and nutritional yeast and simmer until thick, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the reserved green beans, stirring to coat.

Transfer the green bean mixture into an oiled casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and top with the French fried onions. Bake uncovered until browned and bubbly, about 10 minutes longer.

Serves 4 to 6