Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Holiday Hangovers

The Keatley Kids and Ruby the Dog at
Lincoln City during our Holiday Trip!
    Well, the holidays are finally over at the Keatley home. As the boys both flew back Sunday to their respective schools~ Thomas More in NH and Christendom in VA, the house is getting back to its' quiet(er) state with just Brian, Mary and I at home, and, of course, Cari visiting on Sundays for weekly family dinner and free laundry day.We were blessed that Joshua and David got to be here for 4 weeks, and we were able to do many fun things and make some great family memories. As I was removing the last of the holiday vestiges around the house yesterday morning, I realized that having college kids who come home for a month means my "Christmas break" lasts for more than a few weeks ~ at least in our family. Having just the three of us at home has left me with a sort of "Holiday Hangover".
    It was in September that Mary and I decided to finally move stuff around upstairs thus starting to make a craft/sewing room that I have always wanted, painting the hallway a beautiful buttery yellow and turning David's room into the "boys' room". Josh is used to living in what he calls, his "cell" at school which is a small single dorm room, so I was concerned what he would think of coming home and sharing a room with his brother. David has two roommates at school, so I knew it wouldn't be a huge deal for him. They ended up enjoying sharing, and I know they had some good conversations that might not have happened if they had their own rooms.
    The second part of preparing for the boys being here had to do with all the extra baking/cooking I did. I had tried to fill the freezer with muffins, bread, cookies and other goodies along with some soups and easy breakfast items. This was partially to help our busy schedule as well as to satisfy their seemingly never-full appetites.
    With all of these projects, I was happy to have Pinterest to help with ideas. Most of my baking/cooking ideas were from there as were many of the homemade Christmas gifts I ended up sewing or making for not only our kids but friends and other family members as well.
If you don't follow me on Pinterest, here are some links to some of the recipes & craft projects I did:

Tastespotting's Turkish Semolina Cake
Alaska From Scratch's Peppermint Marshmallows
Proud Italian Cook's Limoncello Tart
A Cozy Kitchen's Coffee Marshmallows
Creative Juice's Sugared Pecans
Peppermint Bark Fudge from Lemons for Lulu
Turkish Delight from Tastes Really Good

Garlic Mashed Potato Knishes from What Jew Wanna Eat
Mongolian Beef from Just a Taste
Borrowed Heaven's Balsamic Pot Roast
Food.com's Rici E Bisi
Oh So Yummy's Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies
Brats and Beer Cheddar Chowder from Recipe.com

Ear Warmers from Delia Creates
DIY Handwarmers from Armommy
Cat Toys from Catster
Christmas in a Jar from Dandee Designs

    I also made Alton Brown's Orange Marmalade for gifts as well as having extra for us. It has pretty much become our favorite spread of choice. I also realized how terrific it is to make jam & pickles throughout the summer because they also make wonderful (and easy) gifts! I made and gave plum jam from Gezellig-Girl, spicy tomato jam from Easyfoodsmith and bread & butter pickles from 52 Ways to Cook. The girls and I were talking last week, and we realized that we only bought a couple of gifts this year. Between the canning, baking, cooking and crafting, we gave homemade gifts to everyone on our list!
    I've also started a This Month's Menu board on Pinterest. It's been great to be able to put recipes on it that I make, or want to try making, during the month. Once I make something, I try to give it a rating then pop it over to my Got It Made, Recipes board. Even with the boys being back at school, we're pretty busy around here. I figured anything that can help us be a bit more organized is a good thing!
I know Christmas isn't for another 338 days, but I am going to try to do a little preparing every month so as not to overload my schedule come this fall. I'd love to hear what you might be planning on doing in the way of DIY gifts and goodies for this year!!

1 comment:

  1. Every year after Christmas I always tell myself I am going to do things different. I am going to buy Christmas presents throughout the year instead of waiting until November. I am going to stick some money away each month to buy those presents throughout the year, etc etc. It never happens. Maybe I will make that goal this year. Oh, and I am very envious of the craft room. I had one but had to give it up for one of the boys to have his own room.