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Honey Limoncello

I kind of can’t believe I haven’t shared this tutorial with you yet, since it’s one of my go-to handmade holiday gifts. It’s especially useful if you’re one of those lucky ones with a lemon tree *sigh*.

Limoncello isn’t exactly something I usually have around the house, so here’s the quick and dirty.

Originally the digestif of choice for old Italian men, limoncello is a lemon liqueur is traditionally served chilled after a meal to promote digestion of food.  It consists of lemon peels, vodka,  and sugar.

But since I’m not usually a fan of adding traditional sugar to my beverages, I put a twist on the age old recipe and added honey instead. With a little patience, this simple recipe can be a huge hit as a gift this holiday season.

Honey Limoncello

Honey Limoncello

  •  5 organic lemons
  • 1 bottle vodka
  • 1 cup raw, organic honey
  • Large mason jar
  • Bottle for gifting/serving (I like these)

Wash and peel your lemons using a vegetable peeler. Remove the outer skin only, incorporating as little pith as possible. Place the peels at the bottom of a large mason jar and cover entirely with vodka. Seal tightly and let infuse for 2-3 weeks. The longer you infuse, the stronger the lemon flavor.

Once infused, strain the lemon peels from the vodka.

Take your gifting bottle(s) and pour lemon vodka mixture in, about 3/4ths of the way. Then add in your honey leaving an inch at the top. Seal your bottle and shake it up until the honey is fully emulsified.

Chill the limoncello in the fridge or freezer before serving.

*The recipe can include various amounts of vodka and honey, it’s really up to you. The higher the honey in the ratio, the less alcoholic and sweeter the mixture will be. Play with it, love!

meaningfulagain

Welcome the holidays in differently this year, with A Handmade Holiday.

Put real life on pause (just for a minute) and fill your holiday season with making memories and artisan-quality gifts.

A Handmade Holiday is a beautiful program consisting of instructional videos that walk you, step-by-step, through the simple process of making thoughtful, artisan-quality gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season

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handmade advent calendar

My family wasn’t the type to go out and get our holiday tree the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, we had a rule in the house that we couldn’t put up holiday decorations until 2 weeks before Christmas and, when that happened, TV was off limits (because they felt the commercials were too aggressive).

But the one thing they did give me was an advent calendar. On December 1st, I would wake up squealing with anticipation of opening the little door marked “1” and see what lovely little drawing was behind. Each day would get better and better as the icons got bigger and more colorful, and my childlike wonder was in full effect.

In these past 10 or so years, the advent calendar had gone missing from my life. So this year, I went ahead and decided that I’d like to create my own – using natural elements around my home. If you have little ones, this is a great way to get them in the holiday spirit while still including appreciation for nature (and not just plastic santa icons and flavorless chocolate candies).

advent calendar close up

The concept is to take some branches of greenery from outside (I used rosemary), and secure them together with wire to form a long branch. Using some string (I used red baker’s twine), tie both ends to create a loop to hand it.

Each day of December leading up to the Christmas holiday, attach one little item with the twine. I used glitter dusted pinecones, a white feather, dried apple and dried lemon, cinnamon sticks, and a mini apothecary bottle filled with little pieces of quartz.

There are so many different things you can attach, and it feels magical with each new day and item.

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s naturally beautiful.

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simplehandmadegifts

Welcome the holidays in differently this year, with A Handmade Holiday.

Put real life on pause (just for a minute) and fill your holiday season with making memories and artisan-quality gifts.

A Handmade Holiday is a beautiful program consisting of instructional videos that walk you, step-by-step, through the simple process of making thoughtful, artisan-quality gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season.

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The past 10 days have been truly magical as 325+ people joined me for the 10 Day Gratitude Experiment. Focusing on meaningful giving and being thankful for what I have has reminded me exactly why I love this time of year.

The holidays (for me) mean coming together with loved ones – around beautiful dinner tables, crackling fires, and twinkly trees to slow down and celebrate the season. There’s hot chocolate and the smell of pine trees and jingling bells and cozy knit sweaters. It feels so enchanting and so special.

But every year, I face the challenge of enjoying the season while also feeling the pressure to be perfect.

Plan the perfect menu.

Throw the perfect party.

Wear the perfect outfit.

Buy the perfect gift.

Get all the things done in record time when all I really want to do is cozy up in front of the fire with some hot cider and a good book.

Do you feel that too?

If you are already feeling the pressure building up this holiday season, then I invite you to join me in doing it differently this year with A Handmade Holiday.

A Handmade Holiday is a beautiful program consisting of instructional videos that walk you, step-by-step, through the simple process of making thoughtful, artisan-quality gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season.

You’ll feel tummy-tingling good giving each and every gift and your giftees will be impressed and delighted.

This self-led video course breaks down exactly how to create beautiful gifts, including:

·       Gifts for your boozy friends, your coffee-loving friends and the men in your life

·       Gifts for those who savor time in the kitchen and at home

·       Gifts for their body (but it’s okay to make one for you!)

·       Gifts that will look like you snagged them at Anthropologie (who doesn’t want that?!)

·       Gifts that pamper any room, infused with flowers and oils

·       Gifts which allow you to add a personal touch and explore your creativity


Each gift is infused with love and beauty – and can be done in minutes. If you find yourself constantly on the hunt for the perfect present, you’ll find them here.

After all, they’re made by you, from the heart. Your friends and family will love them as much as you’ll enjoy making them.

So, if you are looking for the perfect way to add more glitter and less stress, more heart and less hassle, more fun and less fret, and more wow and less ho-hum, then I highly encourage you to check out A Handmade Holiday.

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easy autumn centerpiece

The word tablescape used to sound pretty daunting to me. Don’t get me wrong, I lust after beautiful and thoughtfully decorated tables, but wasn’t sure that was something I could create on my own.

Where’s my color matching table runner and chargers?! Why don’t I have brass taper candle holders?!

But perfection or mimicking what you see on Pinterest is not the point, love.

What matters is the intention you infuse into your table so that, when your loved ones come together, they feel the love and meaning you’ve put into that gathering. So a simple candle or a few flower stems in a mason jar just might do the trick.

I was feeling this pressure a few days ago when Tim and I decided we would be hosting Thanksgiving at our magical cottage this year. Knowing this perfectionist feeling all too well, I did what I do best – stood up off the couch and got to dabbling to find something that would look beautiful and (most importantly) feel meaningful to me.

So here is the method for my Easy Autumn Centerpiece:

1. Grab a serving tray, some fresh seasonal fruit, and some greenery (I snipped some rosemary and ivy from the plants in my yard).

2. Set down your tray and place pieces of greenery at all four corners of the tray, draping a bit off. Add to the middle as well.

3. Then place down your first fruit – evenly dispersing and not overthinking it (I started with lemons).

4. Next, add in your second fruit – giving it a good mix of color, shape, and texture. I noticed some of my apples had red in them so I was sure to turn those on their side and move around the tray to even it out. You can even stack the fruit if that feels good to you. Go with your gut!

5. Add in a 3rd fruit, if you’d like (I had to include those gorgeous persimmons) and garnish with any additional greenery throughout.

Place your tray in the center of the table and you’re done!

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Announcing the 10-Day Gratitude Experiment

It happened the other day.

I was just sitting down on my cozy couch with a steaming cup of tea, getting excited to binge watch episodes of Revenge, Scandal, and Parenthood, when I looked up at the TV and I saw it…right before my very eyes.

It was loud.

It was jolly.

It was red, white, and green.

It was a holiday commercial.

And those feelings of panic started to rise up into my chest. I was just getting excited about putting a light cardigan over my tank top. I still had an un-carved pumpkin on the front porch. I hadn’t yet created the menu for Thanksgiving dinner and it’s 20 days away, ahhhh!

Know the feeling?

The seasons are changing, it’s getting darker and colder outside, and the holiday season (a time of joy and celebration) is just around the corner. And, if you’re like me, you’re starting to get those feelings of panic and stress coupled with the desire to put on your coziest socks and turn up the Mariah Carey holiday station on Pandora.

And, if you’re like me, you want less of the icky panic and more of the steamy hot cider feel goodness this holiday season.

So this year, I’m pledging to do it differently.

Knowing that the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, I want all of us to get in a better mindset that has us feeling joyful and calm by the time the turkey is carved.

And the key to a happier mindset is gratitude.

You’ve heard Oprah rave about it and you’ve probably made a note to think about it more, but gratitude is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and boost happiness levels (we’re talking happy hormones!) in your body.

Cultivating a grateful heart can be a total game changer this holiday season. So I want you to join me for a little experiment.

I’m calling it the 10-Day Gratitude Experiment.

 

Join the 10 Day Gratitude Experiment

 

For just 10 days, beginning November 17th, we’ll do one simple daily task that will add up to a more meaningful and joyful experience this holiday season. And it’s a social experiment, so we’ll be sharing pictures of our experiences with each task on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #GratitudeExperiment.

I’m giving away some fun prizes along the way, so if you’re the competitive type, then I encourage you to join us!

Join the 10-Day Gratitude Experiment Here

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