Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Archive for December 2009

Are you hosting the holiday dinner at your house this year? It can be a big task, no matter how many you are serving for Christmas dinner. What if there was a way to make all of this a little bit easier for you? This year (or next if this has passed), you should consider these tips to help make your Christmas dinner easier.

  • What can you make ahead of time?  There are many side dishes that can be made before the big day to save cooking time and mess on Christmas day.
  • Cook your turkey the day before when you can
  • Cool the potatoes and gravy the day before
  • Prepare salad the day before- all you need to do on the day of the dinner is mixed it and add dressing
  • Limit the number of dishes you have- you don’t need to have a lot of side dishes to have a complete meal
  • Keep your dishes simple- remember that your guests may have other dinners to go to as well and they may appreciate a smaller, simpler meal

One of the best rules of a simplified Christmas dinner is to make everything you can the day before so you can clean up all the pots and pans. The second best tip you can have is to reduce the number of dishes you’re making whenever possible. Even if you need to serve a lot of people, you can just make more of the foods you want instead of more types of foods.

Now that you have these tips, you are prepared to simplify your Christmas dinner. You can also use these tips any time you need to cook a large meal for your family or friends.

Happy holidays!

For many families, especially those with children, Christmas Eve can be a time of anxiety. Maybe you’re waiting for Santa to come and bring those holiday surprises and treats. Maybe you are waiting for family to come in on Christmas Day for fun times and holiday dinner. Whatever it is you’re doing for the holiday season, you can benefit from these great activities for families.

Here are 12 fun things to do with your family on Christmas Eve:

  1. Bake cookies for Santa
  2. Play your favorite board games
  3. Read Christmas stories
  4. Watch your favorite holiday movies together
  5. Drink hot cocoa by a warm fire
  6. Make s’mores on the fire
  7. Finish holiday decorating if you have not already
  8. Make Christmas crafts together
  9. Make handmade gifts to give one another
  10. Play Christmas games
  11. Visit a light display together
  12. Share your favorite holiday stories

You can choose from these Christmas Eve activities for families and pick the ones you like for your family. You can also use them as ideas to help your family choose the right activities for you. Another idea might be to allow each family member the chance to pick something

Now that you have these fun tips for Christmas activities for families, you can try them out for yourself. Or maybe you want to add your own activities to the list. You can create family Christmas traditions that you carry out each year starting with this one.

Happy Holidays!

If you are like many families, Christmas is a time of fun and celebration and probably gifts as well. However, it can be a time for a lot of trash and messes around the house, too. How can you clean up after Christmas without draining yourself?

Here are some tips on how to clean up after Christmas:

  • If food or drink is spilled, spot clean immediately so it doesn’t stain
  • Move breakables or special items that you don’t want damaged during festivities
  • Clean the kitchen as you go when cooking holiday meals
  • Clean up wrapping paper and other decorative items as you go
  • Choose a designated area for opening packaging and other items so the mess stays in one place
  • Recycle holiday wrapping paper, boxes and any other packaging that you can
  • Enlist the help of friends or family members in the cleanup
  • Don’t try to do it all the night of the big day- rest and cleanup the next day
  • Don’t try to do it all at once- take it one section or area at a time
  • Create a written plan of what and how you will clean up after Christmas (food and dishes first, trash and papers next, vacuum and sweeping after that, etc.)

Now that you have these tips for cleaning up after Christmas, you are prepared to go into the holidays without worry of what will happen after the big day. Enjoy your Christmas festivities without fear of the cleanup!

If you’re searching for a unique gift for this holiday season, then consider buying reclaimed art. This type of art is described as pieces that are compiled together using objects that have previously been discarded. Most anything that can be recycled can be used to make reclaimed art and there are many beautiful products available to choose from. Some of these include sculptures, paintings and drawings but most anything that is considered a form of art, can be created using recycled items.

To help give you an idea of some of the exciting options available below are a few reclaimed art gift ideas that you can consider for this holiday season:

  • Whimsical clocks
  • Night lights
  • Wall paintings
  • Unique mirrors
  • Hand painted slates
  • Metal art

These one-of-a-kind eco-friendly items stand out and make a statement like nothing else can and the items listed above are only a few of your options. Imagine just how excited the people on your Christmas list will be when they receive something this unique and special this holiday season.

Reclaimed art is not something new even though there are still many people who don’t know much about it. In fact, this type of art is actually something that has been around for many years but it’s more popular today than ever before. This is mainly due to the fact that more people are becoming aware of just how important it is to recycle and protect the earth’s natural resources.

By giving reclaimed art as Christmas gifts, you’re showing how much you care about the environment. Plus, you’re giving beautiful exciting gifts that anyone would love to receive. Who knows, you may even start up a new trend and it’s always a good thing when you can encourage others to recycle.

Buying for teens can be difficult because it’s hard to find gifts that interest them. Many teenagers have their own style when it comes to clothing and décor. You could try to buy some of these items for them this year but let’s face it; teens simply don’t like items their parents pick out when it comes to style.

Nevertheless, don’t let this discourage you because there are still many other things out there that you can buy for your teenager this holiday season. The best part is that these are items that they will simply be thrilled with making this year the best Christmas ever.

When you’re searching for that perfect gift that would be suited for all teenagers regardless of whether you’re buying for a girl or boy, the following information can be very useful.

Top gift ideas for 2009 for teens:

  • Digital cameras
  • Unique gift baskets
  • Laptop
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Wall murals
  • Video games
  • Apple iPhone
  • MP3 player
  • DVD’s
  • LCD TV’s

In the past, some of these gifts may have been a little extravagant. However, today, you can find many of these items priced very reasonably. Some of them are half the price they were last year at this time so, not only would you be giving an excellent gift that your teen would love, you can get a good deal on them too.

Christmas is a very special time of year when you want to show loved ones how much they mean to you. Instead of buying your teen clothing that will hang in their closet from now on, consider one of the top gifts listed above and get them something they will cherish for a very long time. Happy holidays!

With Christmas closing in fast, you’re running out time to buy the perfect gift for that best friend at the office or that special someone in your life. There are many excellent gifts available that you can choose from, you just need to decide which one would be the best for the adults on your shopping list. Putting some thought into buying gifts this year will help ensure you choose something they will enjoy and something that will be within your budget.

Here is a list of the top gift ideas for 2009 for adults:

  • Digital camera
  • Jewelry
  • Wallets
  • HDTV
  • Laptop
  • Wii console and games
  • Metal wall art
  • Watch
  • Unique picture frames

Buying the perfect gift is not difficult when you pay attention to the little things. If it’s a close friend, then you probably already know most of their likes and dislikes, which makes it easier to choose the perfect gift. Simply look for something that suits their style and personality the best.

If you’re buying for someone you don’t know very well, then you may need to be a little more observant. Do they have any collectibles sitting on their desk that seems to mean a lot to them? For example, some people collect frogs and some love statues of cats or dogs. If you notice they have a special taste for certain types of figurines, this will give you a great idea of what kind of gifts to look for.

Many times choosing the right gift is just a matter of being observant. Therefore, all you need to do is take a little time, pay attention and you’ll be able to figure out the best gifts for all of the adults on your shopping list.

Unique Christmas gifts for babies can be a little difficult to choose. After all, safety is the number one thing that you need to consider. It should be a gift that encourages mental and emotional growth but it must meet all safety standards to ensure the child can handle and play with it safety. It’s vital there are not any small pieces that can break off and cause a choking hazard or anything else that could cause harm to come to the child.

There are many options available to choose from so, it’s up to you to make sure the one you select is suited for the child on your list. It’s recommended that you research the item you plan to buy and check reviews so you’ll know what you’re actually purchasing. Reviews can help you make a wise choice because you can see what others have to say about the item you’re considering purchasing.

To give you a head start on your shopping, below you’ll find a list featuring a few unique Christmas gifts for babies:

  • Musical learning toys
  • Blocks
  • Activity gym
  • Baby books
  • Wall clocks for babies room
  • Glow in the dark inchworm toy
  • Leapfrog learning toys
  • Baby Ernestine tunes
  • Baby mobiles
  • Rocking horse

Babies can’t tell you what they want but they do seem to be highly attracted to colorful items, music and sounds. It’s for this reason the items listed above have made it to the top of list for this holiday season. If it makes noise, attracts attention and it’s safe for babies, then you’ve probably found the prefect gift. Before you buy, take the child’s age into consideration. You wouldn’t want to by a newborn a toy designed for a year old baby and vice versa so, choose wisely.

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December 2009
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