Life Among The Blooms Vol. 36

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Life Among the Blooms Vol. 36 is a recap of the week and about random things going on over at White Lilac Farmhouse and a tip of the week.

It is a chance to get to know me a little better and see what I have been up to.

Finally, I am starting to feel like myself after this knee replacement surgery. I have full rotation and the required bend that is required by the doctor.

Physical Therapy (PT) is going really well. With each PT, I become stronger and gain more strength and flexibility. And, I have only two more weeks of wearing these awful thigh high compression stockings. They help to prevent DVT (blood clots) and keep circulation flowing well.

Children making Christmas cookies using an aqua standing KitchenAid and glass measuring cup.

Saturday, I had a wonderful day baking Christmas Cookies with two of my grandchildren. We made sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies.

My daughter bought Madi and Anakin special Christmas aprons to wear and sent over some cookie tins. With Christmas music in the background, we spent hours making cookies.

While the cookies were baking, we watched The Grinch (the one with Jim Carrey) together. Even my husband (Pappy to the grands) sat and watched it too.

I enjoy creating these special memories with my grandchildren. They love to make and sample cookies. It was a perfect opportunity to give my daughter and son-in-law some time together to do Christmas shopping.

Together, we baked 17 dozen cookies! I am not quite done baking yet. there are a few more different kinds of cookies to make before Christmas. A little each day until done. Trying not to overdo it and be on my legs too long.

TIP FOR THE WEEK

Shopping for the holidays can be either fun or overwhelming for many people. For many families it can be an especially stressful time financially.

Before you even begin to Christmas shop, you should sit down and make a list of the individuals you will be buying gifts for and set your budget. Spend within your means and budget. I have this free printable for you to use to help you create your gift list.

Christmas Gift List Image

Every year, I make a spreadsheet that will have the same fields as my Christmas List printable except it has columns “gift ideas” and “Budget”. The Christmas List is to carry with me to shop based on my budget. I keep it and receipts in an envelope in my purse.

The spreadsheet is for me to track my spending with the receipts, as I shop. Using that evening or the next day, I will update my spreadsheet and check it against my Christmas Gift List. I make adjustments to the budget as necessary.

Having a Christmas Gift List is going to help you stay on track with your budget. Trying not to put anything on credit card that cannot be paid off the following month. Sometimes you can overspend if not adhering to your budget. When the credit card bill arrives in January, it can be a state of shock.

If you have cash and you are wanting to take advantage of those extra percentages of discounts that the big stores such as Kohls or Belk’s offers you for using their store credit card, try doing this. Use the store credit card but then go immediately to customer service and make a payment with the cash you had put away for the gifts. My mother and I do this all the time. We get those bonus discounts and immediately make a payment in the same about spent on the credit card. No big bill in January or paying off accrued interest rates over the next few months.

With children, we always both them a couple things they really want, something that they really need (coat, shoes, clothing), and a surprise item. Something that they did not ask for Christmas.

Remember to include helping out a charity during the Christmas Season. You should incorporate it into your budget. Many churches have Shoe Box programs to send gifts to children in other countries; Angel Trees in the communities and at work; Toys for Tots; Items for Homeless Shelters, etc. If money is too tight, consider volunteering to pack food baskets at a local food pantry/bank. Soup kitchens are always in need of volunteers to serve food to the community.

Years when money were tight, my husband and I would opt not to give each other a gift. Instead, we purchased gifts for children off an Angel tree. To us, it was about giving to others in need. We had a warm home, food and each other. Sharing blessing with others is what God would want us each to do during the holiday that celebrates the birth of His son.

If you missed it, I took part in another Christmas Home Tour. There were 30 homes shared from Monday through Friday. I have always enjoyed looking at how people decorated their homes for the holidays. Not only did I get to enjoy seeing and reading the posts, I also was one of the bloggers opening up my home.

Christmas Home Tours 2023, front door with wreath, Christmas trees and red boots adorn the front porch.

This year, our home was decorated with more of a vintage vibe. You can see it here Embracing Vintage Charm For A Timeless Christmas. I have been feeling very nostalgia with memories of Christmas as a child. At our twin’s birthday the other night, I got teary eyed talking to my mother about missing my grandmothers. They were always a part of our family holiday celebrations. It is hard when all you have left are treasured memories. Both of my grandmothers are gone, and we no longer have my husband’s parents.

It is important to hold on to our precious memories and not be sad but celebrate them by bringing out special items that they have given to us. To bake a pie using my husband’s mother pie dish. She was an amazing pie baker. It helps him during the holiday and brings a smile to Jim’s face.

My grandmother’s dishes or candy dish brought out to use makes my father and myself happy. We need to embrace these precious treasures and mix the old with the news. Let the children or grandchildren know how special this item is to you.

If you missed last week home tour, you can see it here Transform Your Home For The Holidays: Cozy Winter Decor Ideas.

Cinnamon Applesauce dough for ornaments on a granite surface with a star cookie cutter and a vintage rolling pin.

I shared an old cinnamon applesauce recipe for making ornaments for the holiday. Easy Handmade Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments are super easy to make yourself or with children.

My small tree was decorated with home made items and vintage ornaments collected over the years.

CHRISTMAS INSPIRATION

Real wreath with dried oranges, pinecones, red berries, rusty Jingle Bells.
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer, Cottage On Bunker Hill

I love this wreath that good friend Jennifer, Cottage On Bunker Hill decorated using a store-bought real greenery wreath. You can find a fresh green wreath at your local Lowes, Home Depot, or Garden Stores. Jennifer shows you how to add fun elements and natural items to create a stunning wreath for your door or to hang inside your home. You can read about it here From Store-Bought to Stunning: DIY Wreath Decorating Ideas.

Gingerbread people, pinecones and houses made from Air Dry Clay to create beautiful ornaments.
Photo Courtesy of Wendy, WM Design House

How darling are these ornament that look like gingerbread. My dear friend, Wendy of WM Design House made. I love the pan that she found to make them with air-dry clay. Click this link DIY Air Dry Clay Ornaments – Christmas Gingerbread to read more about how to make them.

3D folded star on a stunning Christmas tree with gold blue and red items.
Photo Courtesy of Kim, Perfecting Places

My sweet friend Kim of Perfecting Places has such a beautiful home. This tree is a stunner with the blue and the plaid ribbons. Then she made these stars. Kim has a tutorial on How To Make 3D Folded Paper Christmas Star Ornaments. Are they not beautiful?

An old dress form with burlap a red ribbon used to display greeting cards.
Photo courtesy of Leslie, My 100 Year Old Home

I have a dress form in my craft room too. Seeing this photo of Leslie, My 100 Year Old Home had in a post stopped me in my tracks. Look at the beautiful thick red bow to the waist of her dress form with all added Christmas Cards as the skirt to a dress. Oh my, it is so beautiful! Leslie also has 5 Ways to Display and Repurpose Christmas Cards. You need to read it.

There is so much inspiration out on the web and Instagram right now. It is hard to limit my favorites. Literally, I could go on and on with the beautiful homes, decorations and recipes.

Kitchen island with large white vase and fresh western red cedar branches.

Shop my favorite online holiday home decor items from Christmas trees to home accessories and clothing for the season.

Hope you enjoyed Life Among the Blooms Vol. 36.  Happy holidays, sweet friend!

Tammy WLF Signature Logo
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10 Comments

  1. I’m so happy that you baked cookies with your grands…that’s amazing! So glad your recovery is going so well, friend!

  2. That’s a ton of cookies Tammy! I’m looking forward to my grandkids getting to the age of baking with Mimi 🙂 I’m getting nostalgic the older I get. Especially during the holidays. Merry Christmas my friend!

    1. Cindy, enjoy those sweet grandbabies this Christmas. Before you know it, you will be baking and making stuff with them. Merry Christmas, sweet friend!

  3. Tammy, thank you so much for sharing my DIY Christmas stars!! I appreciate you, sweet friend!! What a special time to get to spend with your grandchildren!! Merry Christmas!

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