Thursday, December 8, 2016

Easy Festive Shortbread Cookies

I decided a few months ago that I finally wanted to learn how to make the perfect shaped cookies to decorate for Christmas. Of course, my mother knew the exact recipe I was looking for, and after tweaking it slightly, this is definitely my new favorite cookie recipe. Both the cookie dough and icing don't take long at all to make, and the process is actually very enjoyable. If you like baking, that is, and I definitely do.

For The Dough

You need:

3/4 cup margarine or butter, thoroughly softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
vanilla extract

To make:

1. Heat your oven to 350F.

2. Mix the margarine/butter and sugar. Stir in the flour, and add a dash or two of vanilla extract. TIP: It's easier to just use your hands to mix everything!

3. If the dough is too crumbly, add one or two more tablespoons of thoroughly softened margarine/butter.

4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, and cut your shapes out. They don't have to be placed too far apart on the baking sheet.

5. Bake for twenty minutes, and remove them from the baking sheets to a cooling rack immediately after they come out of the oven.

For The Icing

You'll need:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, thoroughly softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoon milk

To make:

1. Mix the powdered sugar and margarine/butter.

2. Stir in vanilla and milk, and beat until smooth. Add food coloring if you'd like.

3. When the cookies are completely cooled, pipe the icing on in any pattern or fashion you'd like.

Like I said, this is definitely my new favorite cookie recipe. The entire batch was gone within the evening (not just me, I swear), and I made them again the next day. I'll also be making them again for Christmas day, if I don't get to it before then. They're delicious and festive, and they'd be fun to make with loved ones. 

I hope you try the recipe, and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Convenient Jewel Tones For The Season

I don't have near enough festive pieces in my wardrobe for my liking. However, I do have this lovely jewel toned dress to layer with, so this works well enough for now. It's got some volume, and it's pretty warm when layered with a thick turtleneck. Though I suppose anything is warm when layered with a thick turtleneck. You get what I mean though. I can wear this and stay cozy indoors, and still feel alright to step outside for a brief moment. Everything is covered. 

I hope everyone's December is going well. My own has been busy but enjoyable. The festive spirit is really in the air over here, and in every corner of the house.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Learning Lettering: Christmas Edition

I haven't been practicing lettering long, but I thought I'd try a couple of Christmas song themed pieces, because why not? I'm actually pretty pleased with them. For a fifth or so attempt at this, it's alright. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Upcycle Food Boxes In A Festive Way

The internet is full of lovely bunting this time of year, so I thought I'd do my own take on the decoration. The process was pretty simple. I collected used food boxes for a week or so to upcycle, drew the letters and shapes, and cut them out. I painted them red and gold, and hot glued them to some red yarn. I burned the hell out of my hands, but I think it was worth it. The bunting definitely looks homemade, but I think it's cute and charming. This was a multi-day-long process however, and the lighting in the photos varies from day to day. So if you want a little homemade touch to your Christmas decor, upcycle!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

One Way To Deal With A Broken Tree Stand

My little tree is a few years old now, and after a particularly rough Summer in 2015, one of the legs of the tree stand melted. It's hilarious, but annoying at the same time, you know? Anyway, last year I covered the wonky leg with a tree skirt, and it wasn't too obvious, but I wanted to go a different route this year. I've noticed that keeping trees in baskets and planters is a rising trend, and I've been swooning over the idea. I originally intended to keep the tree in one of my old terracotta planters, but when discussing this idea with my mother, she suggested an old bucket she had, and some gold spray paint (that she was using at the time of the conversation). 

The wonky leg solution was simple: completely forgo the leg. I spray-painted that old bucket gold, and created the raindrop effect by spraying some water on before the paint. When I went to actually place the tree in said bucket, I used some t-shirts I can do without until January to keep the tree in place. It's a little wobbly still, but it's not something I'm particularly worried about this year. It's an easy fix, and I recommend trying it! It looks pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

My 2016 Small Space Christmas Decorations

My mom made the comment last month that my tree and decor was nature-themed, and I took extreme offence, until I unpacked everything (and bought a few more things), and realized that she was right, and I was fine with it. This is the first year I've tried to buy actual "adult, grown-up" ornaments, and I'm pretty pleased with them. I've stuck to a smaller amount of ornaments, because I want to make sure they're not too overwhelming on my tiny three-foot-tall tree, and I'll be able to add a few more pieces over time. It's going well so far.

Last year I developed an extreme crush on pine tree shaped candles, and after pinning a ton of photos of said candles, I picked up a couple in after-Christmas sales just before the new year. They're lovely, though I never want to light them, and when I have a bigger space, I'll probably pick up a few more. I have the mental image of a windowsill half full of them.

I suppose my general idea when buying Christmas decorations this year was to start a permanent collection. I guess I'm looking into the future? Is that mature? I'm not sure, but I love them all anyway, and I'm pretty pleased with this year's setup. It's all festive here!