Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Countdown



One more week until Christmas.

One. More. Week.

And there's still so much to do (sung like Olivia the Pig).  I have such a love/hate relationship with the holidays. 

I start the season off like this:


After weeks of trying to remember class gifts, class party supplies, bus driver gifts, buying all of the food, wrapping all of the presents in addition to my other parenting obligations, I start to feel like this: 




Then the Christmas party anxiety sets in: What if, at one of the many holiday gatherings, the complex cocktail of personalities explode, leaving not even the tiniest bit of dignity.  



I fear that only shards of candy canes and broken dreams will remain.


I started going to descend into a downward spiral of holiday anxiety, but decided I to stop myself because I honestly don't have time for a full-on meltdown.


First thing I did was remind myself of Agreement Number Two of the Four Agreements.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot christmas post four agreements


Holy hell, that is so hard to do!  To be truthful, it is damn near impossible on the best of days.  But I am really going to try to remember that when I am faced with an insane social schedule and not feeling very patient.


Speaking of an insane social schedule, do you feel the crushing pressure to overcommit to all of the holiday acitvities?  I know that I do.

I read this at Grounded Parent by Steph and felt better about honoring our limits as a family so we have a fighting chance to enjoy the holidays.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot christmas grounded parent quote


Maybe you feel conflicted about accepting change and letting go of things that no longer work for you during the holiday?  Or maybe you get hung up on creating the perfect holiday in the history of all holidays?

This post my Glennon at Momastary brought me to tears.  Although our circumstances are different, her message about acceptance resonated deeply with me.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot christmas momastery quote



Thank you, internet, for being my rock during the Christmas season.

How are you doing with the holidays?  Have you found any inspiration that you want to share?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas DIY Gifts: Chalkboard Paint, Shower Tablets, Sugar Scrub, and Homemade Gift Wrap

This post can also be found here on Click On Detroit, my local NBC affiliate's website.  Black Friday has come and gone, but there is still time to make these crafts!

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Black Friday is one of my most favorite days of the year . . .  but not for shopping.  Actually, the thought of going into a store with a competitive, crazed crowd that will stop at nothing to get their prized bargained goods is a major trigger for my anxiety.

I much rather cozy up to my Thanksgiving leftovers and start decorating for Christmas.  I also start my homemade gifts that weekend, too.  I know that DIY crafts can be a polarizing topic, but I like to dabble in crafts because using my creativity to make something from start to finish makes me incredibly happy.  Having said that, I do not look for perfection and the crafts must be easy. 

This year, I am really stepping out of my comfort zone.  I have started a passionate love affair with chalkboard paint that began with a Thanksgiving craft.  It is so easy to use!   This pin really inspired me to create these different chalkboard crafts.
 

First I took the glass out of a picture frame and painted it with two coats of chalkboard spray paint.  I did the same to the wooden frame with a jute string that I bought at craft store.  I made sure that I covered the jute with tape so the paint would not get on it.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas crafts



With the wood frame, I wrote on part of the frame and then erased it with a napkin to give it a chalkboard look.  I then wrote on the frame really hard to make sure the letters were clear and blew away the extra dust. 


Then, I added some snowflakes (the only thing I kind of know how to draw).



When I was done, I sealed it with a matte spray sealant.  Be sure to hold it far away from your craft so it goes on evenly and doesn’t blow the chalk away.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas crafts
I love this antique-y feeling of this frame. The real chalk gives it character.


I practiced on the glass with some regular chalk, but I didn’t like how it looked.  It didn’t give that same worn look like on the wood frame.  So I tried a chalkboard marker.  Because I had more control with a fine tipped maker, I think it looks crisp and clean.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft





Another bonus to using a chalkboard marker: no sealant needed.  It dried instantly and does not smudge.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



For past Christmases, I have made sugar scrub.  I prefer using sugar instead of salt because salt will sting if you have any cuts on your hands (which is usually my case in the winter time, thank you very much, OCD).

I started with ½ cup of olive oil (although you can use any kind you choose) and ¼ cup of sugar. 


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



I added more sugar until it became the consistency of applesauce, about 1 cup.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Then I added essential oils: 15 drops of lavender, 15 drops of eucalypts, and 7 drops of spearmint.  I used Aura Cacia and Whole Foods 365 brand, but Young Living oils are excellent.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



I then scooped some of the mixture into a plastic container.  I love the look of a mason jar, but I don’t like to bring glass containers into the shower.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Then I made a tag with some card stock.  I matted a plain white piece of cardstock to a piece of cute Christmas themed paper and tied it to the container with jute.  This way, it is easy to remove and won’t get soggy in the shower.



erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft


I really wanted to try something new with essential oils, and I found this recipe on Pinterest for shower tabs.  I have used store-bought ones and love them!  They make the shower smell like a steam sauna!  So I had to try to make these myself.

First I took 1 cup baking soda and ½ cup of Epson salt.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



The directions said to use 2 teaspoons of water to get it to the consistency of wet
sand, but not feel wet.  I ended up using 3 teaspoons of water.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Then I added essential oils: 20 drops of lavender, 20 drops of eucalyptus, and 15 drops of spearmint.   Young Living has a great reputation for being a high quality product, but if you are mass-producing these gifts, Aura Cacia and Whole Foods 365 are fine, too.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



I scooped the mixture into greased muffin tins and pressed them into the pan.  They need to sit for at least 24 hours.  Trust me on this one.   I tried to take them out after a few hours and they crumbled.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Now that you have these super cute DIY Christmas gifts, what better way to wrap them but in homemade wrapping paper?!  There was a time where I would not understand why anyone in the world would make wrapping paper, but after seeing homemade wrapping paper in Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas, I had to try!

I make it really simple by using brown craft paper, rubber stamps, and ink.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



I wrap the box and use the stamps to decorate the paper. 


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Then, I take a soft red ribbon and make a bow.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



To make the tag, I take a piece of cardstock and fold it in half.  Inside, I tape a piece of white cardstock and write on it.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Next, I put sticker on it.  I L O V E  these Anna Griffin Twinkle Bright 3-D Stickers!  It breaks my heart that they are no longer in stock anywhere.



erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



Then, I punch a hole in the corner and use a little piece of red glitter pipe cleaner to wrap it around the ribbon.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



And here is the finished product.


erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot diy christmas craft



For total transparency, I do NOT wrap each present like this.  But for me, doing a little art project like this is like therapy.


How do you like to spend Black Friday?  Do you like to do DIY Christmas crafts?