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

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