Advent Calendar Boxes

Advent Calendar with Mini Boxes | this heart of mine

Advent calendars can be made of almost anything, just check Pinterest. When I saw sweetly patterned mini boxes in the Michael’s dollar section, an advent calendar was the first thing that came to mind. Since the boxes already looked good, all I did was add a numbered tag. Easy easy. I am excited to set them up, all in a row, and open them each morning with my children.

Advent Calendar with Mini Boxes | this heart of mine

I have so many ideas/options for filling the advent calendar. Love Bug suggested candy. Sweet J agreed. Unfortunately for them, my vote conquers all and I said no. :) I’ve wondered about putting in little paper slips with different parts of the Christmas story (good for my little reader) mixed in with some ideas for holiday family together time. Another option is to unpack a piece of a nativity set each day. I need to do some searching for that though because I am really limited on size. :)

Advent Calendar with Mini Boxes | this heart of mine

I have a few days left until the official start date so tell me, what do you do for your advent calendar? I would love to hear some ideas.

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Easy Zipper Pouch

Easy-to-sew zipper pouch - perfect gift for everyone! | this heart of mine

I adore sewing. It’s homemaking at it’s best and it brings me joy. I’ve always been enamored with zipper pouches. It all began with an itsy bitsy zipper pouch my aunt made when I was young. She must have made a bunch to share with our extended family and I got to have one too (sidenote: these zipper pouches make perfect gifts!). It’s made with a sweet calico and measures a darling 3 3/4″ by 3″. I still have it today and carry it in my purse – it holds my stash of emergency pain relievers and throat lozenges. It’s been worn very soft over the years and I love it. I think of my aunt K every time I see it.

As I’ve said, my sewing skills are not extensive; more utilitarian than fashion-based. However, being able to make these zipper pouches makes me feel like I am an amazing seamstress. With a zipper and an inner and outer fabric, I rock. I promise, the ‘easy’ in the title above is not misleading. Even if your skills are novice at best, you too can do it.

Easy-to-sew zipper pouch - perfect gift for everyone! | this heart of mine

I have plans for other pouch variations but this is the starting point, the most basic of them all.

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12 Handmade Gift Ideas for Home

Making gifts by hand is my favorite part of gift giving. It’s a trifecta of good things. First, I get to create and work with my hands. Second, I like the thought of doing something unique. Handmade items are not perfect and I like that. And finally, I get to give a little of myself. Since I’ve already started my gift making, I thought it was genuine to share ideas with you, just in case you are starting soon. This first list has a little bit of everything so you can gift to anyone. These would work as host and hostess gifts, gifts for teachers, work mates, friends, a little known acquaintances and outright strangers. And maybe, if you have a little extra time, make a couple of them for yourself.

12 Handmade Gift Ideas for the Home | this heart of mine

cut-out posters | felt ball coasters | marbled clay ring dish
painted spoons | oversized wall photos | felt pot & pan pads
wire laundry hamper | envelope pillow case | etched wooden spoons
fabric pouf ottoman | dyed napkins | faux copper pipe vase

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Recipe: Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe - delicious! | this heart of mine

Sometimes I wish I were a professional baker. I find immense joy in preparing food. I’ve mentioned before how much the chemistry of it all intrigues me, how certain items go together to create various flavors and textures. And I love making pretty things. You know those people who plate the food and smear the sauce just so and top it with a beautiful piece of green? Yeah, I would like that. So it’s no wonder that I think there is something extra sweet about individually served desserts. Everything you need is in one little cup, even if it is kind of overflowing, especially with whipped cream or ice cream. I made a peach crisp in ramekins at my mom’s house a few months ago and it was delicious. This Apple Crisp is a little twist on that recipe and ideal for the season.

I recently read that apple pie continues to be the favorite pie. I don’t agree, however. I don’t mind apple pie but if I have cooked apples, I want them to be covered in a buttery, oatey topping. What can I say? Butter and sugar baked together makes me happy. Plus, the apple mix needs to have good flavor. The cinnamon and nutmeg, all lightly sweetened. Bake these up and just the aroma will make your mouth water.

Apple Crisp Recipe - delicious! | this heart of mine

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Holiday Gift Tags with Cricut

Holiday Gift Tags Made with Cricut!! | this heart of mine

I have had these holiday gift tags on my mind from almost the beginning of this Cricut Design Space Star challenge. I love simple, bold text and thought combining text and gift tags would be perfect. I am still enthralled with the intricacies the Cricut Explore is capable of. As a user of the Cricut brand through many machine versions, this one is by far my favorite. I smile with glee every time something I envision comes to life.

Printable Gift Tags! | this heart of mine

The options are endless!

Holiday Gift Tags Made with Cricut!! | this heart of mine

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