{hot cocoa bar for the gingerbread house decorating party}
This week was filled with Christmas prepping; wrapping, decorating, putting lights up and other mini DIY projects. It has also been a trying with with attempting to potty train my puppy. For some reason he is just not getting it, which is becoming pretty stressful. However I am thrilled for the weekend which includes a gingerbread house decorating party, a baby shower and candle making. What are your weekend plans?

 {Christmas wrapping: complete}
 {Troops coming home}
 {hot toddy on a cool night}
{currently learning: how to quilt}

How To: Create an Everyday Bow

When it comes to bows it’s great to have a couple different ones in your wrapping arsenal. This is the everyday bow: perfect for holidays, birthdays or just because. It’s simple to make if you use wire ribbon and if your ribbon is double sided. You can also embellish the bow with extra pieces such as ornaments at Christmas time. Also check out: How to make a Tiffany Bow and How to wrap a box
Step 1: Fold the ribbon in half and give yourself enough tail - this part will be the center of your bow.
 Step 2: Scrunch the ribbon together and hold with your thumb.
Step 3: Starting from where you pinched the ribbon, make a loop. If your ribbon looks different on either side, twist the ribbon over and make another loop. If your ribbon looks the same on both side, you don't need to twist the ribbon over before making your second loop. Alternate the loops on either side of the center loop
Step 4: After making two loops, insert your pointer finger in one loop and your middle finger in another. Pull both loops up to see if they are the same size. If they're not, adjust them until they are. Continue making loops in that way until you have enough. Make sure to check that all of the loops are the same size. For a full bow, make 5 - 6 loops on either side. For a more casual bow, make about 3-4 loops on either side.
Step 5: Wrap a piece of wire (3-5 inches) around the bow on either side of the center loop to secure.
Step 6: Spread out the loops and cut your tails as desired.

How To: Tie a Tiffany Bow

Besides the little blue box (and what’s inside of it of course) one of my favorite things about receiving a gift from Tiffany & Company is their signature bow. I have never been able to recreate the signature Tiffany bow- that is until now. Over the weekend my mum sat down with me and I took pictures as she recreated the iconic bow on Christmas presents. The bow is actually really simple to create with the steps below.
Step 1: Leaving at least half a box's length of ribbon at the bottom of the box, place the ribbon at the center of the bottom of the box and hold with your thumb.
Step 2: Wrap the ribbon once around the box. Place the second piece of ribbon under your thumb as well.
Step 3: Fold the ribbon over your thumb to go around the box at a 45 degree angle. Keep going until you go around the box once.
Step 4: Tuck the ribbon under and back across the ribbon you were holding with your thumb.
 Step 5: Center and tighten the ribbon.
Step 6: Now just like you learned in elementary school make two "bunny ears" and tie them together. Play with your bow until you like how it looks. 

Michigan Molasses Cookies

I’m a big believer in traditions. Whether that means visiting the cider mill in the fall or the aroma of fresh baked cookies on a winter’s eve. Over the weekend we received our first dose of chilly temperatures followed by a light dusting of snow, which finally put me in the holiday spirit.  So, I decided to make a batch of molasses cookies. The aroma from all the spices filled the house, and had me in the mood to put up my Christmas tree as well as wrap gifts.  Of course pairing the cookie with a cup of hot cocoa made for a quintessential winter evening. 
Michigan Molasses Cookies
1 2/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Pearlized Sugar Sprinkles, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Whisk in brown sugar.
2. Stir in melted butter, molasses, milk and egg.
3. Roll into ½ teaspoon or 1 tablespoon balls. Roll in pearlized sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Slightly flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass. Bake 8-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool.

Gift Wrapping 101

{Tiffany Bow: Coming Wednesday}
Boxes are probably the easiest things to wrap, so if you’re giving an awkwardly shaped gift, putting it in a box first is the easiest solution. The hard edges allow you to create a tidy and professional-look.
Step 1: Place the box face down on the paper, and pull up the short side and secure it with a piece of tape.
 Step 2: Fold the other side in about an inch.
 Step 3: Secure the folded side to the paper that you already secured down.
Step 4: Turn the present right way up and fold down the overhanging paper against the side of the box that remains exposed.
Step 5: Press in two side folds, smoothing the edges to give a clean finish. Next fold the bottom flap up to cover all the edges creating an envelope effect.
 Step 6: Secure with tape. Turn over and repeat the process for the other side.


 {apple, pumpkin, chocolate and lemon meringue pie}
This has been one stressful and trying week. I am thrilled that the weekend is finally here. My weekend will consist of eating pie, finishing Christmas gifts and getting all of my gifts wrapped. Stay tuned for post next week featuring fun ways to wrap gifts and how to make bows including the Tiffany bow! What are your weekend plans?
 {homemade cranberry sauce}
 {Jack eats off a spoon}
 {Christmas crafting}
{pumpkin candle decor}

Holiday Porches

While everyone is out Black Friday shopping I begin to put up my Christmas decorations. This year since I will be moving into a new house right before Christmas, I am helping my mum decorate instead. Here are some porches that we a drawing inspiration from. How do you decorate for Christmas?

Coconut Cream Pie

I only make pies at Thanksgiving; I have always found them to be more of a hassle and would prefer to make cookies or cake over pie when I have guest over. That was until my neighbor Barb invited me over for the day to learn how to make a coconut cream pie. We used this recipe, and instead of struggling making the crust we used a Pillsbury one that comes in a red box and is found in the refrigerator section at the grocery store.  She also taught me that unless you are baking your pie with the filling in it you need to pierce the crust with a fork on the bottom and sides to make sure it does not bubble up. Here is a peak at our coconut cream pie.