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CHRISTMAS MAGIC - THAT WONDERFUL DECEMBER


The best time of the year is finally here! Our home became winter wonderland once again. I just looove this time of year! Every year before Christmas, we take a little roadtrip though the Alps to visit cute Austrian and German towns which are always bursting with Christmas spirit. Their Christmas markets, aromatic hot punches, and traditional holiday desserts are just delicious. I will have to dedicate one post to this lovely trip. Ah, if only December lasted twice as long. :)

This post is dedicated to DIY winter decoration ideas. But don't think that I forgot yummy Christmas treats. :)


This year I decided on gingerbread man party flags, mine are pink of course, but I made red ones too, so you can choose a color you like, because there are free printables, yeey! Click here to download the pink ones, or here to download the red ones.


BLUSHING POLAR BEAR


I though about making a reindeer or a bunny trophy head, but I already made those before, so I needed a new challenge. Polar bear it is! This time, instead of using cardboard and folding paper, I used:

* one packet of non-baking clay
* greasy paper 
* rolling pin 
* espresso cup
* sharp knife
* white spray paint (matt)
* acrylic paint (black and light pink)
* small screwdriver (or similar tool)



Steps are pretty simple, these are mine, but feel free to bring your own twist:

* cut out two 40cm wide sheets of greasy paper and place the clay between them
* roll out the clay to the thickness of one centimeter 
* put the espresso cup ( or a similar dish that resembles a bear's snout ) beneath the clay, placing it in the central area of the clay, with the bottom of the cup facing up and the handle of the cup facing 'north'
* press the clay over the cup softly with your hands, so the snout starts to come out
* remove the cup and straighten the clay around the snout 
* use the knife to cut out the shape of bear's head from the clay, minding the position of a snout ( do not worry, the imperfections bring the charm )
* polish the edges with a wet finger 
* dry the clay in the oven, no heat
necessary, just with fan on
* when it seems dry enough, it is time for spray painting, I recommend two layers ( with drying in between, for best coverage )
* when the spray paint is dry, use a paint brush and black acrylic to paint the bear's eyes, snout and a smile. Add some rose on the cheeks and do not worry, drawing skills are not necessary, remember, the imperfections are the part of the charm.
* when all the colors are dry, turn the head so the unpainted side faces you, then choose a spot in the central forehead area to make a hole which you will need for hanging it on the wall. Use a little screwdriver, spin it gently into the clay ( which is not dry as it looks, so the hole making should go smoothly ) Be careful not to pierce the bear's cute face. :)


HOMEMADE SNOW GLOBES


You can count on the fingers of one hand the things you need to make your own snow globes:

* a small Christmas tree
animal figurine toy (one that reminds you of winter)
* a jar or a glass cake dome (be sure to double check the size)
* fake snow of your choosing
* styrofoam beads and thread


* I suggest gluing the tree and the figurine to the lid of the jar (which is going to be the forest ground)
* When all is set to your liking, make a snow cover with artificial snow and then sprinkle a little over the christmas tree and the figurine to get the impression of snowing
* For the finishing touch I used small styrofoam balls, but you can also use regular beads. If you use regular ones, be sure to make a knot after each one, so they can have some space between them and not fall on each other. String the beads and tape the thread to the 'ceiling' of your globe. And there it is, your own homemade snow globe! :)


WOODEN CHRISTMAS SIGNS


Last year we made our first wooden sign for Christmas, and it is time to share the how-to. This year I decided on logs, and new writings, of course. :)


If you can't get a hold of stumps, do not despair, you will need:

* any wooden surface that can be hung on a wall or used as a shelf decoration
* white paint for wood and a brush
baking paper sheet
* digital printer


* Give only one coat of paint to the wooden surface, so you can see the wood behind it. I think it gives the sign a special charm. :)
* Download the file with a design that you like (links are below)
* Cut the baking paper to fit your printer and place it into the printer
* Print the design of your choosing, being careful not to touch the ink with your hands. The paper is going to be used as a stamp. Make sure that your paper does not move when you place it on the wood, so you would avoid the blurriness. Gently press the back of the paper with your hands and spread the ink evenly to the wooden sufrace. Again, the imperfection is a part of the charm, so do not stress about it. :)

This is a whole piece of work, guys! :) Download links are bellow:

MERRY CHRISTMAS
LET IT SNOW


Stamp designs are in black, other colors do not transfer well. Any colors, if you want them, should be added later. So, I painted the hearts pink with acrylics. :)


CHOCOLATE DIPPED CHRISTMAS TREATS


This year I wanted to glaze some apples in white and pink sugar glaze, which turned out to be a mission impossible for me. So I found melting chocolate in color. Yey! It's super easy and adorable. You can glaze any other fruit of treat that you like - bananas, strawberries, pretzels, gingerbreads, absolutely anything. :)


I suggest melting the chocolate without any butter, on a steam. Then just dipp your treat and add your favorite decoration. You can buy all different kinds of edible decoration. I chose snowflakes, of course. :)


I believe you would agree that hot chocolate is a winter necessity. :) Sadly, marshmallows are not sold anywhere in Belgrade so I found this colorful replacement that can be found in most supermarkets. They come in so many different color combinations, so you can always find the perfect one to match your mugs. :) 


Maybe hot chocolate in a mug, with a gingerbread man on top? :)


And a free printable of course, click here to download your HAPPY HOLIDAYS tags. :)


Don't think that I forgot Christmas mugs for the little ones. Snowman, Rudolph and Santa are ready for some Christmas cookies. :)


You can download your free printable with faces by clicking here. And hats and horns, for the straws, by clicking here. I made them separate because they are printed on different kinds of paper. :)


Hohoho! What a party. :D I really enjoyed doing this post. I sincerely hope I will get a chance to post at least one more during these holidays. :)

Be merry, everyone, and enjoy the most beautiful time of the year! :)

And sing loudly those Christmas carols!

Dashing through the snow
On a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go,
Laughing all the way... ♪ ♫ :D

HOMEMADE LIP BALM - CREAMY COCONUT


We had a lot of beautiful days this fall, but weather is getting colder everyday, so we have already begun to prepare our scarves and boots. This time of year, our skin and lips are definitely not friends with dry air and wind. That's why I decided to make my own lip balm. It is more than easy to make and delicious to use.



I found my lip balm containers online. These days you can find anything online, plus you get it delivered to your home address. :) Depending on where you order from, you can wait a few days or a few weeks for the package to arrive. If you're too impatient, you can always use the empty container from your previous lip balm, or any small plastic or tin box.


The recipe is very simple. Since I made enough balm to fill 20 containers, I'll write the recipe with the measures of the ingredients that I used, but you can customize it to your needs. You will need:

coconut oil (150g)
essential oil of your choice (just a few drops)
gelatin (5g )
edible powder food color (if you want to color your lip balm and make your lips pop)

Coconut oil melts pretty easily, so you can put it on a low heat until it becomes liquid. Also, a few minutes in the microwave can do just fine. When it becomes liquid, add the essential oil and gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved and then add color powder and mix again (if you're using it, of course). Pour the mixture into containers. When it cools enough, your lip balm is ready. You can use a knife to cut the tops of you balms at a sharp angle to get the lipstick look. And your work is done! :)

I read that beeswax is great for making lip balm, so if you prefer thicker creamy texture, you can use this instead of gelatin. I didn't use it because I wanted my balm colors to match the containers and beeswax would give them a little darker shade.



If you like coconut, you'll love this balms. They smell fantastic, using them is a true pleasure. So yummy! :D


I can not wait to share this homemade lip balms with my loved ones. We will smell like coconut with our shiny lips while singing Christmas carols! :)

NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY / INDOOR CAMPING DATE NIGHT


This month we celebrated Milan's birthday. :) He is one wonderful creature and an amazing boyfriend and he always deserves great surprises. My plans for his birthday are often impeded by November unpredictable weather, therefore they change at the last moment almost every year. Last year we had a date night drinking exotic cocktails under the canopy 'in the Maldives' located in our living room. The year before that, the weather was great, so we had a wonderful picnic under the stars, at Belgrade's high point, overlooking the city. And the year before that, we had so much fun at the motel Cloud, the resting point on our way to the Moon - in our flat of course. :) This year I had the perfect plan for a picnic lunch date on our favorite small hill here in the city, but since it was raining all day, the birthday outdoor picnic turned into an indoor camping date night. :)



I could not resist making a "campfire" from cardboard firewood that I made last year for our Christmas fireplace. :)



This was just a short "postcard" from Milan's birthday, but it does not mean that I don't have a little present for all of you celebrating a birthday (or not). :) If you like black&white party flags, you can download free printable by clicking here. :)

WITCH FOR DINNER - Fun ideas for Halloween snacks



Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I had such a wonderful time preparing this post. :) In the previous post you can find ideas for transforming your pumpkins into cute spooky characters. In this one I will share our Halloween menu for this year, and it's just crazy fun! :)

Last year I transformed our home into a witch's nest, and it was really super scary. This year I wanted to make something spooky but not really frightening. :)


Ghost milkshakes are so yummy and adorable!  And most importantly, very easy to make. Vanilla milkshake or aromatic milk with cream on top. White round mints with a drop of dark chocolate on each - and there they are! :)


For printable BOOs for your straws click here.

Our Halloween cocktails are served in bat mugs, of course. :)


For printable bat wings click here.


If you prefer clear drinks in clear glasses, here is an idea for spooky ice cubes. :)


A drink full of spiders, plastic ones of course. :)


You remember the which I told you about that was staying with us last year? We found out later from Hansel and Gretel that she wanted to eat them, so we decided to give her a taste of her own medicine. That's why our Halloween snack and dessert is her naughtiness. :)



She might be naughty but she is well manicured. :) Hehe. This is the recipe from Rainbow snacks post, the only difference is that there is no baking powder so the fingers would keep their shape.



Ahh, I love eating witch fingers! :D


If you think her fingers are yummy, wait to try her eyeballs. :)


Mini cakes with marcipan.... mmm... this witch is so delicious.


Pick your favorite cake pops recipe, get some marcipan and edible colors - and there it is, your spooky Halloween dessert. :)


They are so fun and easy to make. You have to try it! :)


Now, all that's left for me to do is to make my costume for tomorrow. Halloween time is just never ending joy! :D

Happy Halloween, y'all! :)

IT'S PUMPKIN TIME - The joys of autumn



As soon as autumn had arrived I promptly rushed to the market to get my pumpkins! :) I love the diversity of their shapes, colors and unusual patterns. However, for several years now I wanted to paint them in different patterns and colors that are not inherent to them, but I never did because they were so beautiful just as they are, so I couldn't get myself to do it. This year I could not resist, I bought a bunch and I've painted them all. :)



I always match our home decor to the seasons of the year, and use the colors that go along with them, but lately I'm in a pink mania, so my autumn became pink this year. :) I chose a couple of color schemes that agree with the colors in our apartment, in addition to pink&gold, there is also a black&gold combination.




The triangle pattern is done with the pieces of black electrical tape. The polka dot one, that looks like it has rivets on it, is actually pins with round heads painted in gold and pinned into a pumpkin. :)


I found that using brush when painting pumpkins always leaves brush marks, even sponge does not make a smooth texture. So I used spray paint instead. I love matt colors. This gold one is an exception, beacause it's looks just beautiful on pumpkin stems.

Here are some tips on how to spray your pumpkin:

* Spray paint the pumpkin stem
* When it's well dried, put the self adhesive paper tape over it, making sure that the tape parts do not cover any areas of pumpkin itself
* Now you can paint the body of the pumpkin. Apply the first coat taking care not to spray at close range. Also, don't spray too long at the same place to avoid formation of paint drops.
When it's well dried, repeat the same process to apply the second layer of the paint.



I got so caught up in painting with my golden spray, that I forgot to leave enough pumpkins for the black&white combination, that I really wanted. Finally, I painted only two which were left behind. :)


Black polka dots on the little white pumpkin are also made of black electrical tape. Stencil and spray would just not work on this kind of curved surface. Therefore, if you want some patterns in which self adhesive tapes can't help, I advise using brush and acrylic paint.

It is important to know that although the stems can be protected by self adhesive paper tape without damaging the colors, it does not apply to the color on the pumpkin itself. So I do not glue anything to a painted pumpkin if you do not plan for it to stay there. :)



Halloween is coming, BOO HOO HOO! :)




This year I got the inspiration to give my pumpkins some perky "scary" characters. Have I told you how much I love Halloween !? : D


My dear little spidy . :) His body is a little pumpkin sprayed in matt black paint. His legs are made of a black wire. Each spider leg is formed separately, and then pinned into a pumpkin. So much fun and so easy to make!


The little pumpkin ghost is even easier to make! The key is finding a pumpkin which shape will, painted in white, irresistibly resemble a ghost. Since ghosts "come" in so many shapes and forms, it is much easier to find the shape you need than you might think. :)


This cute bat pumpkin just had to have a carved face, instead of a drawn one, so its eyes can glow in the dark, daah! : D

Its wings and its ears are printed and glued onto the pumpkin, you can download the free printable here.


Since the bat pumpkin had a long stem (before it got its wings),  it irresistibly resembled a cartoon bomb. So I just added some sparks and got the cutest colorful bomblets. For free printable sparks click here. :)



The post full of Halloween ideas is yet to come, so stay tuned! :) I'm very anxious to share all of it with you next week. Until then, enjoy all of the autumn joys. :)