DIY Christmas Ornaments

Making Christmas ornaments is a must! So easy, fun, and full of potential.

I adore books; reading them, trying to write them, decorating with them, looking at them, etc.

Taking that love and finding a way to incorporate it into the holiday I cherish most thrills my heart.

Definitely doing this again soon.

I find so much joy in simplicity and creativity... it provides so much peace for me. We can all use more of that, right?

'Tis the season!

2022 Was Quite the Teacher

This is the face of a gal who's determined to take care of her own heart. Finally. 

This 12 day break couldn't come soon enough! I swear!

Anyways- after a very eventful couple of weeks, a nice break will be heaven. Time to breathe, gather my thoughts, and plan for 2023. Take what I've learned and continue to grow... and I've learned a lot within a couple short months, honestly.

I've learned that very few people want what's best for you.

I've learned that unconditional love is an extremely rare thing.

That even the best of friends can seemingly change overnight and break your heart a little.

That family isn't always what it should be.

That you can give and give and it still not be enough sometimes. 

That some people are always the hero or the victim in their own story and never the cause of any problems.

That having too many expectations will only lead to disappointment.

That it's okay to talk about how childhood trauma affects you... even when someone tries to make you feel small for it.

I've learned how to set boundaries.

That you truly are in charge of your own happiness, and that comes by going with the freakin flow every day.

I've also learned that "going with the flow" does not mean silencing yourself for the sake of someone else's comfort, but just learning when to move on from your current situation.

I've learned that my husband is a beyond good man. Even better-hearted than I realized. Genuine. Honest. Straightforward. Patient. And strong enough to make hard choices when they need to be made.

That most people come and go... but more continue to come... so you're never really lonely.

That infertility sucks, but there's still a ton of joy and opportunity to be found in it.

I've learned that you can face verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse... grow up having to keep it all inside... never feel like you belong... contemplate the worst things... convince yourself you're the issue... and still somehow find love, peace, security, and self-worth.

I've learned that life is hard, faith can be weird, and love can cause pain beyond measure... but they're all precious gifts and worth every stinging dart they throw your way.

Cozy Cottage Christmas Table

Christmas time is here!

Something I've learned about myself over the last couple of years is that I love that simple, resourceful, and natural decor style.

It somehow "takes me back" to simpler times... and that provides a calm that's felt deep down.

I long for the simplest, sweetest joys in my life!

And somehow, when my home is full of unique, homemade, and useful things, I feel some of that.

It may be corny, but I'll take it! When my husband brought home the oranges, it started. It's the first year I've dried them, and I think I'll do it every year now. What a beautiful, easy, affordable way to bring the Christmas season into your home.

I think I'm going to make a garland with them, too.

To dry the oranges, simply cut them into thin - but sturdy- slices. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake on 200F for 4 hours or so. You'll really need to flip them every 45 minutes or so. Perfect to do on a lazy day around the house... adds a nice smell, too!

Best thing about these things -- you can store them for at least a year... we'll see if we make two!

How do you decorate for Christmas? What brings your heart some of that Holly Jolly-ness?

Egg Bites

 Egg White Bites for the win.

Quick, easy, meal prep gold, macro-friendly... these babies are just plain yum!

In a bowl, mix together Costco cartoned egg whites, diced roasted red peppers, diced green peppers, a smidge of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and a bit of your favorite cheese.

Use a greased (or parchment lined) muffin tray and fill about 3/4 of each cup.

Bake at 350°F for about 20-30 minutes, but continue checking. They should be "jiggling" just slightly when you remove them from the oven, as they'll continue to cook a little more on the counter.

Eat right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.