Valentine’s Day Pennant Banner

I’m not usually a big Valentine’s Day person, but then again, a holiday built around chocolate can’t be all bad! Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, I got the urge to make something – anything! – and I put together … Continue reading

Christmas Pillows in Simple White and Gray

I’m not even going to try to hide that I’m crazy about Christmas. I love the warm festive atmosphere, the carols, the time with family.

Over the years, I mostly had the same decorations up each year.  Last year, I tried a new color scheme of red, turquoise, and silver.  This year, I want to do as much as I can in simple gray and white.  I started with our new modern tree skirt, since that is a focal point.

Next, I wanted to make some cute Christmas throw pillows.  The idea behind the pillows is simple.  It’s all the different designs and fabrics that make them fun! The instructions for the basic pillow cover can be found in the post on our living room pillows.  The instructions for making the appliqués can be found in this post from the onesie-decorating baby shower.  Since I put some work into all these new pillows, I chose designs that would last beyond Christmas and through the winter.

Polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows in a simple white and gray color scheme for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Here are some of the decorations I put on my new winter pillow covers!

Reindeer pillows:

Reindeer pillows in a simple white and gray color scheme for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Polar bear pillows:

Polar Bear pillows in a simple white and gray color scheme for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

A snowy forest of trees on this pillows:

Snowy forest pillows in a simple white and gray color scheme for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

And here is our living room with the new pillows.  There’s more I’d love to do, but I like how it’s coming together so far.

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Living room with new polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

Holiday decorating.  Polar bear, snowy forest, and reindeer pillows for Christmas and the whole winter | Jewels at Home

I’m also planning to make a throw blanket and some pillows out of a sweater. It could be a fiasco or an amazing project. If it’s the latter, you’ll see it here!

Are you feeling our snowy white Christmas theme?!

“Jewels”

Pancake Mixes in a Jar

I made these pancake mixes in a jar to give as Christmas gifts, but they would be great for birthdays, hostess gifts, or just-because.  The hot chocolate mixes I made were very popular, but these pancakes are also a great option and come with a bit less sugar guilt.

Recipes for pancake mixes in a jar.  These make charming gifts for the holidays or all year 'round.  {Jewels at Home}

I made three variations: banana, banana chocolate chip, and blueberry pancakes.  I used pasta sauce jars, which hold about 2 1/2 cups.  The baking powder does lose effectiveness over time – they are best used within three months – so it’s best not to make these far ahead.

Ingredients:

Layer in a jar

  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional: 1/3 cup of freeze-dried bananas (not banana chips which are too crunchy), freeze-dried blueberries (not regular dried blueberries which are too hard and chewy), and/or chocolate chips.

It helped to use a clean sheet of cardstock folded into a funnel for getting the ingredients neatly into the jars:

Pancake mixes in a jar make great gifts. Recipes and instructions from Jewels at Home.

Provide the following instructions with your jar.  I printed labels and stuck them to decorative paper and tied it all on with a colorful ribbon.

Instructions:

  •  Shake the jar to mix contents thoroughly
  • Mix contents of jar gently with 2 beaten eggs beaten, 2 cups milk, 4 tablespoons oil
  • Cook in a hot greased pan

Here’s proof that a gift can look as good as it tastes!

Blueberry pancake mix in a jar.  More recipes from Jewels at Home.

Banana chocolate chip pancake mix in a jar.  More recipes from Jewels at Home.

Banana pancake mix in a jar.  More recipes from Jewels at Home.

These worked out so well for our Christmas gifts to teachers and neighbors – how will you use yours?

“Jewels”

Helping Kids Write Great Cards

A brief and belated post from Father’s Day.  I wanted to share the cards the kids and I made for hubby.  This is not an original idea for cards, but I really enjoyed trying it with the boys and look forward to using it for other holidays and birthdays.

We took each letter in “Father’s Day” and wrote an adjective or short phrase about hubby that started with that letter.  I think this project was good for helping the kids expand their writing skills. It was an easy template for them to create something more personalized and creative than a standard “Happy Father’s Day.”

Here’s the example I made:

Father's Day card idea for kids by Jewels at Home

Father’s Day card idea for kids

As you can see, our six year-old started with this concept – he wanted to write “awesome” for the “a” in “dad,” spelled it phonetically as “osum,” and then got sidetracked into other adjectives that started with unrelated letters. The result was very sweet.

Father's Day card by kids at Jewels at Home

Father’s Day card by our six year-old. He did all the spelling himself – “fantastic” came out a little more clearly than “awesome.”

Our eight year-old came up with some cute phrases as well as impressive vocabulary words.

Fun way to help kids write great cards at Jewels at Home

Our eight year-old came up with some sweet and creative words and phrases to describe his dad.

And last but not least, baby J’s contribution:

Baby J's card for dad

Baby J’s card for dad

Some other ways I would love to use this idea would be

  • Using the letters of a friend’s name for a birthday card
  • Finding words and phrases to summarize our year in a holiday card based on the letters of “holiday,” “happy new year,” “joy,” “love,”… the options are endless!
Love,
“Jewels”