Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Vacation...and some Tuna

Well Christmas vacation has been so good out here in California, spending time with my parents and brother and sister.  I sort of don't want to leave :)

I'm kind of into knitting now!  I'm like one of those moms now that knits and bakes and stuff.
So here is what I made for my family this Christmas:

"Handstitched with Love & Prayer by Bethany Hall"

I paired each scarf with a hand-written scroll with a prophetic word to each of them, and a feather that matched the color of the scarf! 
It was so fun picking the colors for each family member and praying for them and declaring over them as I knitted each stitch, knowing that they would wear these scarves (and promises) around their necks!


On a second note, Christmas at my Grandma's was very entertaining.
My sweet and hilarious Uncle Kev handed each of us "kids" a newspaper-wrapped gift (which is his trademark).
He chuckled as we opened them.
"Tuna?!" my sister exclaimed in confusion (for she was the first to open it).
Yep, we each got a can of tuna with a $20 bill attached to it!
And then my uncle says,
"I was thinking, why go to the store when I can just go to the pantry!"

Haha!  So funny.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!
We are getting ready to fly out to California this afternoon for Christmas with my side of the family!
I am completely elated and cannot wait to see everyone back "home"
and introduce Courage to the rest of the family!!
I have been looking forward to this for months!
And Preston and I get to celebrate our 2 year anniversary this New Years in one of my most favorite places on earth -- the place we fell in love and were married -- Redding, California!

Photography by Kimberly Groszhans

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Bread!

Today was my day off this week so I spent much of the afternoon baking!
Who knew baking is so much FUN?!
I love it - especially when I'm using all natural and organic ingredients.

Today I made vegan pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins!
The recipe called for eggs, but I decided to try the Ener-G Egg Replacer that I picked up at the store last week to substitute for the eggs.
So this batch is entirely dairy-free, and I literally used all organic and natural ingredients.
Also - I substituted 1/3 of the sugar for Truvia (a natural calorie-free sweetener), to make it a little healthier
I found a sugar/Truvia conversion chart HERE
I also used a whole pumpkin that I received from "my farm" this fall.
I hand-grated that bad boy into SIX cups!  And man are my arms sore!!

It all turned out delicious!

Hmm... now what else can I bake/cook?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another Creative Matchbox

Another candle and decorated matchbox gift

I included a little poem to go with this one:
"Here's a little candle dressed in lace
and some matches to help light up the place
as you gather around with family this year
to share in the joy of Christmas cheer!"


Here is a sweet gift I just received from some dear friends, Nate and Leah!
I'm so excited to use this to help prepare more healthy meals!

Preston and I have changed much of our diet to a mostly vegan diet. This has been both challenging and exciting, and I am loving this journey of learning new recipes and variations of things to make that are made up of mostly veggies that actually taste good!!! haha
Anyway, thank you Nate and Leah! <3

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More Crafty Things

I love searching other creative blogs for fun crafty and beautiful ideas.
I got this idea from another blog to decorate a matchbox (2 for a $1 at the Dollar Store) and pair it with a candle.
Makes a super cute gift!

My friend from work is a crocheting QUEEN and she taught me how to crochet a simple square.
So I decided to crochet two squares and make it into a pot holder.
It can also be a pocket or fancy envelope for holding pictures or cards too!

Happy Christmas!!

Courage is almost 3 months now!  Look how big he looks in this baby seat! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Crafting!

I've been getting super excited for Christmas!!!
We set up our tree Thanksgiving night, even though we had a long day and we were exhausted.
Since then I haven't been able to stop creating little gifts and crafts!  I've been obsessed with mason jars and have been exploring different ways of utilizing them artistically.
So here are a few things that have kept me busy this Christmas season...
I decided to try to make my own natural laundry detergent.  It's super easy and cheap!  And this cool vintage mason jar I scored for 50 cents at a thrift store!
I used my own organic oatmeal soap for one of the ingredients, and I painted the lid of the jar with chalkboard paint so I can re-label

These make great gifts - homemade vanilla syrup and caramel syrup - also SUPER easy to make!  And they add great flavor to coffee or hot cocoa!

This was so easy to make too - and it looks so cute all dressed up in a recycled jar, cinnamon stick, hemp string, feather and a spoon!

This Coffee Exfoliating Scrub was fun to experiment with.  Also makes a great gift and smells good!
I like how I decorated the lid - with old piece of scrap music paper and a few coffee beans.
The other things I've been working on are Christmas gifts and I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I will probably end up posting those photos after the holiday :)

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!  Be Merry!! <3