DIY Christmas Ornaments

Well darned if I didn’t get into the holiday spirit this year! Or, more likely, looking at my sad, tiny fake tree with 5 ornaments on it was so depressing that I had to do something about it. Instead of retrieving the thousands of ornaments stashed away at my parents’ house waiting for me, I figured I’d make some more to add to the pile.

I found some patterns and ideas on Pinterest, naturally (they’re all pinned on my DIY board).

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Know anyone with two tiny hands and an even tinier head?

These tiny mittens (pattern here) and hat (steps here) just turned out so cute! And the best part was that they were so fast and easy to make (as opposed to some of my year-long adult-sized projects). The mittens probably took an hour each and the hat was even faster. These were also ideal for using up scraps of leftover yarn—I didn’t have to buy anything.

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Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how fake are your branches.

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This one came within an inch of running out of yarn. DRAMA.

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P.S. There’s a piece of toilet paper tube under there.

I had been on the hunt at Goodwill for a Scrabble set with the original wooden letters for so long that once I finally found one, I forgot what I wanted it for. So I’ve had a bag of the letters sitting around for a couple of years, and I finally put them to good use!

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Guess which one is my favorite.

These were super easy to make. I just hot glued the letters together and glued a piece of ribbon to the back. Again, a project where I didn’t have to buy anything—hooray! The only thing I don’t love is that the hot glue can look a little goopy in between the letters, so I think if I made them again, I’d use wood glue.

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Snow day vibes.

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Be careful who you give this to. You don’t want people to think you’re calling them fat.

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It had to be done.

Merry Christmas & happy holidays (sung to the tune of the ‘N Sync song, of course)!

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St. Patrick’s Day Treats

I decided to get festive this year and went all out making some St. Patrick’s Day treats. Thank goodness for Pinterest for all the good ideas! There are just tons of fun looking St. Patrick’s Day food and booze recipes. I refrained from the booze ones for now but one of the perks of cooking with booze is the leftovers. And the beers you get to have while cooking, obviously.

If you like Irish booze, these cupcakes will definitely give you an excuse to buy a few kinds. Like I said, I found the recipe on Pinterest, via this website. They’re called Irish car bomb cupcakes, how can you not love them? Guinness chocolate cake filled with a whiskey ganache and topped off with Bailey’s frosting. Warning: they are kind of labor intensive as far as cupcakes go so set aside a few hours but they are DELISH. Really rich and tasty. I took a bunch into work and someone even called it the best cupcake he’s ever had! The recipe made 24 cupcakes and I have a lot of the Bailey’s frosting left over (not complaining). I even saved the insides of the cupcakes I dug out to fill them – don’t judge me. I used a ziploc baggie with a tip cut off to frost them and it actually worked pretty well, if you want them to be a little jazzier and don’t have a pastry bag.

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Irish car bomb cupcake!

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Even with the hefty amount of frosting I put onto each, there was a ton leftover.

As for the Irish beef hand pies…they turned out pretty well. This is a great time to remind everyone of the lesson learned as a child not to judge a book by its cover because the pies…they aren’t pretty. Here is what I blame that on: I have no rolling pin and used a Nalgene bottle, I had been cooking for 2.5 hours and was starving so my standards were lowered, and I was also 3 Guinnesses in by 9 pm when I finally finished them. Either way, they’re nowhere near as cute as Martha’s (got the recipe from Pinterest via this link from Martha Stewart’s mag, slide 22 if you’re interested) but still tasted good. Another slightly time consuming recipe but it made 8 of these pies which are enough for a meal alone plus a bit of filling leftover. I froze half of them and added onions to the recipe which I think was a good call. Happy late St. Patrick’s Day! Is there anything special you make every St. Patrick’s Day? I’ll need more ideas for next year!

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Irish beef hand pies. Odd shapes and some holes in the pastry but it worked out.