Easy Salt Dough Ornaments | #thehomhchristmas

Today I wanted to share with you a fun and easy way to create your own scented ornaments and garlands. This salt dough recipe is super easy and you can create, really, whatever kind of ornaments you want.

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What you will need:

3 cups of flour

1 cup of cinnamon

1 cup of salt

1 1/2 cups of water

optional:

cinnamon leaf essential oil

cloves

First you want to combine 2 cups of flour with the salt and cinnamon. Whisk it together with a fork to make sure there are no lumps in the powder mixture.

Now you want to drop 8-15 drops of you essential oils into the water. Once you water and oil is combined gradually add the water to the dry ingredients.

Start to knead the flour and water till it forms a dough then dump it on to a flat surface and roll it out with a rolling pin.

Use cookie cutters to cut whatever shapes you want for ornaments. I wanted to make gingerbread men garlands so I used gingerbread men. For the holes, for hanging or stringing up your decorations, use a straw to poke holes in the soft dough. If you want to use whole cloves for extra scent you can create designs on your ornaments before you put them in the oven.

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Once you have cut out and placed your ornaments onto a cookie sheet bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. When you remove them from the oven let them cool completely before you try to paint, glitter, or hang any of them.

As you can see they turn out pretty cool and there a lot of different ways to hang and use them. I tried gingerbread garlands 2 ways, the first is the traditional horizontal style the second I went for a vertical chain thing. Both turned out pretty cool, these ornaments are great to add to a present or put on the tree to make it smell. I had a lot of fun creating this DIY let me know if you try it!

Blessings

-Hanna Caroline

Advent 2015 | The Promise of Christmas

Advent 2

 

The Promise of Christmas

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6

As we countdown the Advent, we unwrap the promise of christmas. We discover the gift of Christ in our lives. The most popular explanation of what this gift is comes from that most infamous scripture John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him”

That is the gift of Christmas. Yes, on Christmas we are celebrating Jesus arrival to this earth, but we are really celebrating why he came to this earth rather than the fact that he did. Jesus, being God, stepped down from his throne to become flesh and live a human life. Then he died upon the cross out of pure love for us. Wiping away all of our sins. And thats a gift that is always there for you to unwrap, its always waiting for you and its a gift that never stops giving.

East of Eden | Book Review 3

And my love for Steinbeck grows! What a whirlwind of a book, vast and episodic yet focused and detailed. Set, mainly, in the ever changing hills of Salinas valley East of Eden is a novel that keeps your brain awake the entire time you read.  In East of Eden Steinbeck plays out the age old battle, good vs. evil, over and over through the life of Adam Trask starting from his birth. Steinbeck deals with the fight of good vs. evil in the world in general and also the fight between good and bad that is within each individual person.

The battle is best represented in Adams son Cal. He observes the battles between light and dark in the world around him but has a difficult time facing them within himself. He feels stuck in the shadow of his brothers purity and perfection. Cal struggles with the idea that if you are bad you are all the way bad and his love for his brother blinds him to Aron’s shortcomings. Though it is not till the end of the book that Cal has a revelation and realizes that no one is purely good and he must learn this.

I have two quotes from this book that I wanted to share with you the first being:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.”

I will let you all read the book to find out the context of this quote but I think standing alone this quote says a lot about pressure that can be put on people. How people deal with being held up to a standard of perfection when there is not a single person on this earth that is perfect. Reading this quote reminds me that once I stop pressuring myself to be perfect at every aspect of my life, I can be good.

The second quote is:

“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.”

I love this quote for its final line “virtue is immortal”. It makes one feel as though even with the constant battle of good and evil going on inside of ourselves and in the world virtue will always prevail because it is immortal.

I was so excited to read this book as I had read reviews and heard that it was one of Steinbeck’s best. And now I cannot wait to re-read it and fill the margins with notes and comments, and to highlight all of my favorite quotes. This book is amazing to read for fun but was for me a great learning experience. I feel that by focusing on how the book was written as I read I was able to learn more and more about Steinbeck’s writing style.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to take it on. It’s definitely a commitment as it is quite long, but I think if you do read it you will not be disappointed.

Advent 2015 | Thanks Be To God

I hope you all enjoyed this video and will enjoy this series celebrating the holiday season and the season of Advent. A season of expectant waiting and longing as we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Thanksgiving-invokes a feeling of gratitude and contentment…right? Well sometimes during the holidays we find ourselves caught up in the stress and the season starts to feel more like a burden rather than an opportunity to express our thankfulness. This week as we dive into the first waves of Christmas I want to be reminded and to remind you of where we should direct our thanksgiving. “Enter His gate with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise his name” Psalm 100:4

We also must remember the gift that was given and the reason that we even celebrate this season in the first place. As we head into the craziness of red, green, hot chocolate, silver bells and candy canes we must remember at the center of it all is the priceless gift of the Lords one and only son.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”
2 Corinthians 9:15

Written Wednesday

Driving Alone Early in the Morning

 

The frigid morning air has

Crept into my car, my frozen

Hands grip at the wheel.

 

Black coffee slides down

My throat, bitter it

Leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

 

Fog blocks my path

So thick I could inhale it

And puff it back out in rings.

 

Early morning

Light cuts through

 

The trees to my left

Bathing the world

 

In gold.

-Hanna Caroline

Fall LookBook | holderofmyheart

Here are a few fall outfits from October and November, I have been loving  jackets and layering in these months to keep me warm and dry. The jean jacket pictured in three of these outfit of the days has been a fall staple.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Book Review 2

Lately  I had been dying for a good read, something to grab me, and pull me in. I needed a book that I missed when we were apart and couldn’t bear to put down for too long. Something that I could dive into and escape with. I wanted to remember my great love for reading and experience it again. Fate would have it that the book that would reignite my passion for reading would be none other than A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I feel that I had a stoke of luck in meeting this book,  I heard of it in a passing conversation and was intrigued, but it wasn’t until I saw it sitting on my great grandmothers bookshelf that I decided I really wanted to read it. I saw it there, a beautiful old copy, red, or maybe green with pretty swirling letters, worn and well loved like most old books are and it had an effect on me, I felt  strange pull towards it and  decided that I wanted to get a my own copy. I purchased it off of Barnes and Noble, which is rare for me because all of my books are thrifted or hand me downs, but I just couldn’t wait for this one.  It came in as a beautiful blue book that fit in my hands perfectly, with an untouched pristine look it was all mine. I am now  so happy with my decision to purchase this because with my own copy I can share this book with sisters and friends as I feel it is a book most woman can connect with and understand.

A Tree Grow in Brooklyn is an emotional chronicle of girlhood that reminds one of the beautiful and honest way a child views the world. The novel follows the Nolan family and their lives in early 1900s Brooklyn New York. Francie is the eldest Nolan child and the central character of this novel. The family is led by the hardworking and sacrificial Katie Nolan, whose perseverance is an unwavering constant display throughout the novel. Katie’s husband is Johnny Nolan, one of those unfortunate souls who is born with an horrid imbalance of romanticism and common sense, despite his short comings the lessons that Francie learn from him become invaluable to her in life. Cornelius, Neely, is the brazen younger brother who embarks on many adventures with Francie. Through the lives of the Nolan’s Betty Smiths delves into subject matter such as, poverty, alcoholism and literacy vs. illiteracy. We see the whole family crave an escape from their life of poverty and the social class they see themselves in. One by one we see each member find and follow the path that brings them each their freedom but all by different means.

One of the reasons I identified so strongly with Francie, and I think many others feel this way as well, is her great love for learning. A strong pull in Francie’s life is education, she craves learning, reading and discovery especially through books. Francie’s attitude towards knowledge is really what connected me so deeply to this book, she not only wants to know but understand and experience life around her. These attributes make her a vivid and well loved character who I have added to my list of literary best friends.

I would like to leave you with one of my favorite moments in this book. I think this quote really exemplifies Francie’s character and what her goals and desires in life are.

““Dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere – be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”

Pumpkin Patch Journal Entry No. 3

Fall sweetness on this Saturday that included cheering on my sisters at their soccer games, picking out pumpkins and eating pizza. We started off the morning by packing a picnic lunch, bundling up and grabbing blankets and chairs for the soccer game. Then we ran out the door, late, which is typical for us, into the cold October morning.

We had a crazy morning driving from game to game, Sammie lost and Ella won. After that we headed to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and grab some fresh squash. Sammie spent the most time looking for the biggest pumpkin she could find. Eventually she decided on one that was the farthest from our wagon and because she couldn’t lift it she rolled it across the entire patch and dropped it in the wagon. Once everyone found their pumpkins we loaded them into the car and headed home.

It was a beautiful autumn day and it was spent in some of my favorite ways.

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Do It Yourself Fall Candle Decor

October has rolled around and the seasonal craziness has ensued, everything is pumpkin and spiced, everyone has leaves hanging on the walls and Bath and Body Works has once again relaunched all their fall candles.  I am a huge sucker for the fall and winter candles, not only the smell of them but the ambience of having them burn around the house. As I have not been able to purchase and BB&W candles yet this year  I decided to stop by Walmart and pick up some two dollar fall candles. They may not be as strongly scented but they work quite well in small spaces such as my room. The big downfall of these candles is unlike the BB&W candles they aren’t very pretty. Which leads me to today’s DIY, Do It Yourself Fall Candle Decor. These super simple candles don’t even look like they are from Walmart and are an easy way to decorate your space.

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Removing the Stickers:
You are going to want to start this DIY by removing all the stickers from the candles. The ones from Walmart came off without too much of a fight but if you are having trouble all you need is baking soda, warm water and a sponge. This will remove the sticker and any of the residue it leaves behind.

Twig Candle

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First you are going to collect a bunch of twigs from my yard and cut them all down in to even lengths. This DIY works best if you use sticks of varying thicknesses and heights to give it that organic look. Now, one by one, you just hot glue the twigs on to your 2 dollar candle. You can do this with multiple candles or on empty jars to create a super cute vase. Voila your Walmart candle now looks like you spent at least 5 bucksIMG_1754IMG_1756

Gold and Black Candle

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This DIY is pretty straight forward but I love the way this one turned out. You will need gold paint, black paint, a paint brush and a sponge. I started by painting the candle with the gold, i made sure it wasn’t opaque because I liked that look. After the gold paint dries lightly sponge on the black building it as you go to create this ombre black/gold candle. I can see this one loking super cool when it burns down.
And thats it! You can do this with most cheap candles you buy from Walmart or Rite Aid or wherever and it is quick and easy and so FALL.

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Thanks for reading

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Blessings

-Hanna Caroline