Thursday, December 15, 2016

making merry













did i ever mention that the polar bear is here to stay?
he really is such a wonderful addition to our family. certainly lots of extra mess (just look at those dirty feet) but entirely worth the work. i have been trying to train him to walk into our walk-in shower for a nice bath/shower but he wants nothing to do with it. i know that after his first wash in that nice lukewarm water that he will love it. it's pretty funny. i lure him all the way in with little dog biscuits, then i sit one in the shower, and he immediately turns around and walks out the door. when you read about it everyone writes how these great pyrenees don't need bathed very often because their coats are self cleaning. and they are. but that means that all of that dirt flakes off all over the house. he comes in muddy, falls asleep on (hopefully the wood) floor, then in the morning there is a GIANT pile of dry dirt left behind. HA! luckily, i'm pretty much over it. i mean, i still let him in. i open the door to a big muddy dog. i look at him for a second and say "seriously ezra" then i open the door wide and with a slight sigh say "come on in". i'd say that's over it.











i went a little crazy with the holiday crafting this year. i think we found a few keepers though. 
  • first of all... the dolls that i am making for my girls are from this book, they are also the only thing that i am confident i will not finish in time. i plan to just wrap them up in whatever state they are in and let them open them. then we can finish them together.
  • the winter spiced coffee is my own recipe influenced by trader joe's "wintry blend". i searched and searched for winter blend coffee recipes and couldn't find anything that used whole spices so i created my own recipe which i will share at the end of this post. the adorable labels are a free printable you can find here. they are wonderful. lots of different shapes and sizes... all can be customized to say anything you like. this gift was inspired by this post which used the same labels with a chai tea mix.
  • the aromatic chest rub is a recipe from taproot's issue 9 : breathe i bought all of my ingredients from mountain rose herbs including the nifty 4oz tins. the labels are these ones from avery and the sweet deer print is a template that i used on their website. the web address for their free template program is actually on the package of labels. that was fun and easy to use... lots of cute designs... tons of christmas designs. i wish they had more label sizes. 
  • the lip balm is the tea infused lip balm from taproot's issue 12 : bread. i used sweet almond oil and infused it with traditional medicinal's gypsy cold care tea and ordered all ingredients except the tea through mountain rose herbs. used the 1/2 tins for these.
  • we also made this salve and used the 1oz tins for that. i infused the olive oil with lavendar and chamomile. 
  • made this peppermint bark (see what i mean about going a little crazy?) and i plan to put it in half pint wide mouth jars with the same printable label as the coffee.
winter spiced coffee recipe

ingredients:
will fill one 1/2 pint jar

1/2 cup coffee (ground)
1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces... i used a hammer and a cutting board)
3-4 alspice berries
7 cloves
1/2 tbsp cardamom pods
1/2 tbsp peppercorns (use any color combination you like. i used a mix of red, white, green, and black)
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

mix ingredients together and place in a 1/2 pint jar. brew as you would any other ground coffee. we like our coffee strong so i use one 1/2 pint to brew a full pot. 

i don't recommend this level of christmas crafting. i wouldn't have finished but i had already ordered everything. last year i didn't hand make anything. this year i went crazy. next year i plan to find balance.
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