I dove head first into holiday festiveness this weekend. I finished my Christmas shopping and set up what looked like Santa’s workshop in my kitchen to wrap up all of my gifts. I addressed and mailed out a huge stack of Christmas cards. And celebrated the holidays with all of my best friends with perhaps one too many glasses of champagne on Saturday night, followed by a very chilly home through a snowstorm. If that whirlwind of holiday cheer didn’t get me into the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what else would! And now I’m cruising through the work week and counting down to some much-needed time off to close out the year. photo 1 (3) photo

I got such great feedback a few weeks back about my 3-ingredient appetizer idea  that I decided to try another combination for a little blogger holiday party thrown by my friend Elizabeth this weekend. And for this little snack I chose one my all time favorite cheese, a creamy french brie… yum. I rolled out thawed puff pastry dough (store bought, from the frozen food section!) and spread a thin layer of strawberry jam across the surface, and spaced out the slices of cheese.  Then I rolled the dough over the ingredients and sealed off the edges before cutting it into pinwheel slices. I baked the pinwheels — on baking sheet with a light mist of cooking spray — for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Let them cool a bit before removing them from the baking sheet so all of the cheese doesn’t ooze out — you don’t want any of that going to waste! I think this is going to be a new entertaining staple, it took about 5 minutes of prep time and they flew off the plate! Brie and Jam Pinwheels 1 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 2 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 3 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 4 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 5 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 6

I am totally behind and haven’t brought out a single holiday decoration at my house yet this year. That has to change this weekend, I’m in the market for a cute little apartment sized tree that I plan to wrap up with vintage tinsel and big twinkly bulb lights. But in the meantime, I’m adding a little festive flair to the blog today and rounding up a few of the Christmas decorations I have my eye on! Have you started decorating yet?
CHristmas Decoratoins

Mistletoe print | Pom-Pom Garland | Cheers Tumblers | Holiday Cards | Glitter Ornament | Deer Wine Stopper | Christmas Napkins | Macaron Ornament | Donut Ornament

I hate to play favorites, but I think I saved the best handmade holiday gift idea for last this week — painted cork coasters. Using plain cork coasters, I painted stripes and color blocks in pink, teal, and gold, and then finished off the top of them with a matte sealer to keep them waterproof. You could play around with color combinations that match your gift recipients’ home and style to make a customized gift, and pair them with their favorite wine or spirit. Are you trying any homemade gifts this year?

Cork Coaster 1 Cork Coaster 2 Cork Coaster 3

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

This is a DIY gift that I can nearly guarantee anyone would love to receive, homemade simple syrups. Sometimes I wonder, do they call it simple syrup because it’s so simple to make? I think they might!  I used this recipe, and added  apples for my own twist. Then I packaged it up in mini-mason jars and labeled the tops with brown craft paper, bakers twine, and recipe tags. Experiment with flavors and come up with your own mixture (I’ve used this recipe before too) — it’ll make your gift even more unique when you give it your own spin!

Cran-Apple Simple Syrup 1 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup2 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup3 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup4 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup5

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

Today’s handmade holiday idea is all about creating a simple hostess gift. I purchased a few different sizes of  wooden spoons, and taped off stripes at various intervals with painter’s tape, and then painted in the lines with black paint. After the paint thoroughly dried, I peeled back the tape to reveal the pretty stripes. Make sure you add a matte coat of clear finish over the top so that they’re safe to hand-wash.  And of course, presentation is everything — I wrapped the set up in a  shiny silk ribbon to make them gift-giving-ready!

DIY Spoon Set 1 DIY Spoon Set 2 DIY Spoon Set 3 DIY Spoon Set 4

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

Ready for another simple handmade holiday gift? This is another under-5-minutes DIY — glittery rhinestone filled ornaments. To make these, I purchased clear ornaments from my local craft store, and filled them up with rhinestones in various colors, shapes and sizes. Then I added a bright pink silk ribbon to the top for hanging. While I sort of want to keep these shiny little decorations for myself, I think they’d make a great gift for your girlfriends, customized in colors to match their style. Or tie a few onto a wrapped present as a special decoration that the recipient can add to their tree!

Rhinestone Ornament 1 Rhinestone Ornament 2 Processed with VSCOcam

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

I am slowly recovering from my long weekend of feasting and am ready to kick-off some holiday-talk this week! Last year I had so much fun sharing DIY gift ideas, so I thought I would share a few new ideas this season too. This mulling spice kit is a super simple idea that would be great for hostess or teachers gifts — and it’ll take you only about 5-minutes to put together.  I purchased some stacking organizers from the Container Store and in each layer added in a different spice — cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, anise, allspice, are all common mulling spices you could use here — pick the ones you like best! After all of the containers were filled, I stacked them back up and tied some whole cinnamon sticks to the container with a festive red ribbon. Consider pairing these with a bottle of red wine, some spice-bags, and a little handwritten note with your favorite mulled-wine recipe!

Mulling Spice Kit 1 Mulling Spice Kit 2 Mulling Spice Kit 3 Mulling Spice Kit 4

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

Next week I have a few fun DIY ideas for handmade holiday gifts — but in the meantime I thought I would share a few of my favorite DIY gifts from last year to get you in the crafting-mood! My favorite of these is the festive bottle stoppers, I gave them out as gifts last year and they were a hit — plus I still have a few hanging around that I plan on using for holiday entertaining! Do you have any plans for homemade gifts this year?

Festive Bottle Stoppers | Cookie Mix Jars | Glitter Hangers | Polka Dot Candle Holder | Monogrammed Coffee Mugs

DIY Holiday Gifts - Ornament Bottler Stopper