Happy Friday! About this time every week I start dreaming about all the possible projects I might tackle over the weekend. So if you’re like me and you’re looking for some ways to deck your halls over the next few days, try out a few of these snappy DIY Christmas decorations!

1. This Christmas Present Garland can be made with supplies you likely already have around your house. Then, if you have small children, get ready to explain why they can’t open the presents 13, 287 times over the next 18 days.

2. If unexpected Christmas decorations are your thing, whip up a few DIY Winter Dioramas using an unlikely cast of characters like these astronauts.

3. Or if miniature Christmas decorations are your thing, then here’s a way to make your own Mini Snow Globe Ornament.

4. If you’re throwing a party this holiday season, why not make a guestbook that also doubles as decor?

5. Perhaps the easiest possible DIY Christmas decoration idea, these birch-wrapped candles can be made faster than you can light a match.

There you go! Five ways to keep your hands busy and your house festive! What projects do you have planned for the weekend?



To My Sweet, Sweet Girl,

Since your first birthday happens to fall on Thanksgiving, I would like to tell you what I’m thankful for as you turn one.

I am thankful that you were born 13 days past your due date. You taught me that, as intrinsically woven together as we are, you are your own person and that I should never expect to be able to predict or control what lies ahead for us.

I am thankful that when you did decide to come, you were born in the back of our Subaru, not at the birth center like we had planned. You taught me that parenthood is about flexibility and that I can trust that “the universe is conspiring in my favor” as Paulo Coelho puts it. As soon as I can get out of the way, life can unfold in a way that is better than I could have ever planned myself.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to feel every second of your birth. It taught me that my body is strong and wise and can do really hard things.

I am thankful that you needed to nurse about 21 hours a day for the first four weeks. You taught me that we are a team and that, at that time and probably at many others to come, your role is to grow and mine is to help you.

I am thankful that now, at 12 months old, you often favor Daddy instead of me. You’ve taught me the humility of knowing that you can grow very close to people other than me and that it can be good for all of us.

I am thankful that when you’re tired or hungry, you still choose me.  You’ve shown me what it feels like to be completely, unequivocally trusted by another human being.

I am thankful that you tend to be extremely daring and adventurous when you’re exploring. I’d like to be more like you.

I am SO thankful that you have a daddy who loves you intensely and sometimes shows it in different ways than I do. I see that you have a great capacity to accept love in all forms.

I am thankful that you seem to have an endless supply of smiles. You’re truly up for anything and I suspect in 30 years, we’ll be great friends.

I am thankful that you have come into my life and absolutely obliterated any sense of what things were like without you. Loving you so much has taught me how to feel excruciatingly vulnerable every second of every day. So far, I’ve survived it.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all of this and so much more, some of which you might not understand until you have a Little of your own.  I can’t wait to learn new lessons from my big one-year-old.

Happy birthday, my love.



This is about the time of year where my one-woman-sweatshop goes into extra sweaty mode. There’s enough time left before Christmas to dream big DIY dreams, but not so much time I’m totally anxiety-free when considering what I hope to accomplish by December 25. Sometimes the hardest part is coming up with the perfect gift to make someone. So today, I give you five extremely cozy DIY Christmas gifts where the final product is sure to warrant the time and love (and sweat) you put into it.


1. Recycle an old wool sweater into a pair of killer mittens with this simple tutorial. There are so many possibilities-p with this pattern. Head to your local thrift store, buy every wool sweater you can find and then make some finger flair for everyone you know assembly-line-style. How fun does that sound!?


2. Give the gift of warm calves with this simple knit boot topper pattern. They’re super quick to knit up and can be endlessly customized.


3. Forget glass slippers. This Christmas felted wool slippers are where it’s at. Knit these quick puppies up, throw them in the washer to felt them and add a bit of decorative trim. You’ll be done faster than you can get through the checkout line at H&M.


4. Don’t know your gift recipient’s shoe size? This cotton crocheted cowl is the perfect DIY gift for someone whom you’d like to bundle up in love.


5. And if speed is the name of the game with your Christmas DIY projects this year, grab a bunch of thrifted sweaters and transform the sleeves into sets of DIY legwarmers. With minimal sewing, you can have a hip pair of legwarmers or boot toppers in about 15 minutes.

What DIY gifts are you planning to make this year? (Yes, giving an Amazon gift card in an envelope you licked all by yourself counts.)

third anniversary gift idea for men

This year, I wanted to find a third anniversary gift idea that I could make from the material traditionally associated with three years of marriage: leather. Obviously, my first thought was some nice leather chaps Mike could wear on his drive to work, but then I remembered he works from home and isn’t a cowboy, so that idea was shot. Then I came across a leather wallet with a beautiful, worn-in patina at a thrift store for $1.50 and the idea for creating a sophisticated place for Mike to empty his pockets was born.

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Here’s what you need to make your own leather desk tray:

-Scraps of leather from an old purse or wallet

-Tacky Glue

-A wooden tray. Mine was the lid to a box I found in Mike’s grandfather’s garage. I’ve seen very similar trays at Michael’s recently in the wood aisle.

-A ruler

-Scissors or a rotary cutter

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1. Dismantle your wallet or purse, leaving the biggest sections of leather possible.

2. Measure the width of your wood tray and cut your leather scraps to exactly that width. I included the brass snaps in my finished tray to keep some of the wallet’s original charm.

3. Layout your leather pieces in the tray until you find an arrangement that you think will suit your gentleman.

4. Glue the bottommost piece of leather down first. Glue additional pieces on top.

5. Place a heavy object or book on top of the leather while the glue dries to make sure it bonds well with the leather.

That’s it! In my experience, those darn boyfriends, fathers and husbands are always the hardest to make things for. This desk tray a pretty simple third anniversary gift and it would make also make a fantastic DIY Christmas gift for the men in your life. In fact, I’m not sure what holiday wouldn’t be bettered by a snazzy leather tray. Valentine’s Day, Hanukkah, Columbus Day? Yes, yes, and obviously.

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I hope you enjoy making a  little DIY project for the sophisticated man in your life and that he enjoys arranging all of his fancy belongings on it.

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