Advent Calendar Ideas


Are you looking for some ideas for your Advent Calendar this year?! If so, maybe I can help you by listing some of the ideas I do with my daughters. Each year I use these envelopes that I made out of simple scrapbook paper. In each envelope their is a card with a fun activity for that day! Some may be as simple as a Christmas movie with popcorn or hot chocolate...because let's face it...there are days where you are just too worn out to go the whole nine yards..and that is OK! They will be excited because it's with you and it's something they will always remember.



Here is my list of all the ideas I included in my cards as well as some additional ones that I have used in the past!

  1. Go drive around and look at Christmas lights in your pajamas.
  2. Have a candlelight bubble bath
  3. Have a scavenger hunt (my girls favorite)
  4. Watch "The Santa Clause" and have hot cocoa
  5. Make a pine cone bird feeder
  6. Write letters to Santa to send back with the elves (Elf on the Shelf)
  7. Pick out a Christmas ornament at the store
  8. Cut paper snowflakes 
  9. Watch a Christmas movie and have popcorn
  10. Bake a Christmas dessert
  11. Have a picnic dinner by the Christmas tree 
  12. Make a DIY ornament
  13. Attend a Christmas party
  14. Take some Christmas candy or fudge to a neighbor
  15. Make cards for the elderly and deliver to the Nursing Home 
  16. Watch "The Polar Express" 
  17. Wrap some presents
  18. Read Christmas books by the fire 
  19. Write and mail a letter to a grandmother or grandfather that live far away 
  20.  Have an ornament exchange with friends
  21. Call a friend and sing "Jingle Bells"
  22. Make Christmas cookies
  23. Build a snowman (weather permitting)
  24. Read "The Night Before Christmas"
  25. Write your lists to Santa 
  26. Make Reindeer food
  27. Make window snowflakes
  28. Have an indoor snowball fight
  29. Have a "camp-out" in the living room 
  30. Make your Christmas wishlist



My girls favorite of all is the scavenger hunt. I find my inner "Dr. Seuss" and come up with simple, short, rhyming clues. At the end of the hunt there is a prize (usually candy or something small). They absolutely LOVE this. I would love to hear some ideas you use at your home! I am always looking for more ideas each year! Thank you for stopping by!

xo-Daraka






Blogger Holiday Home Tour 2015





Welcome to my Christmas home!! 

I have partnered with 9 incredibly inspiring and lovely ladies for a Holiday Bloggers Tour! The super sweet and talented Sandra asked me to be a part of it and I couldn't be more excited! Christmas has to be my most favorite time of year for many reasons! From the holiday decorating, the Christmas songs, hot apple cider, and just the comfort of being with family and friends, to name a few. I love the sparkle in my children's eyes throughout the whole month of December in anticipation of Christmas morning. I'd like to welcome you to take a tour of how we decorate for Christmas and the traditions we pass down to my kids generation. (that I hope they keep!) I like to add a lot of vintage to my decorating and the same goes for Christmas. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Everything Home Magazine Holiday Issue

Another month has flown by and we are starting to "deck the halls" for Christmas! We are excited to bring you the December Holiday Issue of Everything Home Magazine!

This issue is full of holiday decor ideas, DIY's, a Holiday gift guide, and even a sugar cookie wonderland! Grab a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or even some eggnog, and enjoy reading!

 A special thanks goes to our official Everything Home Magazine sponsors, LexMod Furniture and Painted Fox Treasures. They are offering our readers some terrific Black Friday deals!

Click on the magazine below to read...

Girls Bedroom Tour


I wanted to give a quick tour of my girls bedroom. My two oldest girls share a room together and I am in the process of making this a space that they both love. With our home being older, the bedrooms are on the small side. We opted for full size bunk beds (for top and bottom bunks) to give them plenty of room and to make them feel like they both have equal space.

DIY Reindeer Games Sign




This year for Christmas, I plan on decorating a little more fun for my girls! Instead of making every piece of decor a "no-touch" zone, I have been slowly planning a few things to make it a little more relaxed around the house. This little DIY sign is just the start to my Christmas decorating! My girls thought it was cute and even asked "what games are there going to be?" Well, maybe I will come up with a few fun games with them and just pretend they are games reindeer would play at the North Pole! This "Reindeer Games" sign is super easy and takes no serious time or money to complete!

The Premiere Issue of Everything Home Magazine!

Tonight is truly a night full of dreams come true. Not only for me but especially for my best friend Collete Osuna. Just a little over six weeks ago, I received a call from Collette and I immediately could feel the excitement in her voice. She asked me to join her in starting an online digital home decor and more magazine and I almost hit the floor. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for this amazing woman. Not only has she given me a confidence that I didn't know I had, but she has became someone I truly admire and can rely on for anything. We have spent countless hours, nights, tears, and laughs bringing this magazine together. Six weeks later, we are overwhelmed with joy to launch the Premiere Issue of Everything Home Magazine!

Shop Small for the Holidays!


It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas shopping! I have personally already started my shopping as I usually like to have mine done as early as possible. I like to be able to enjoy the whole month of December and really take it all in...the lights, the Christmas movies, the decorating, and the company of my family and friends, without having to stress over my gift list.

DIY Quilt Art

One day while walking around Michaels, I came across these super cute photo frames that had rope going around the outsides to hang them with. I instantly knew the perfect spot for them in my home! So I bought them, took them home, and then instantly hung them on the wall. The only problem was I didn't know what I was going to replace the "fake family" photo with.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


Do you have that perfect "go to" cookie recipe that you use when you need to bring baked goods to the school, the church, or maybe a family gathering? These chocolate chip cookies are mine. I did not come up with this recipe but it's one I have had for a long time. I'm sure it's probably the number one cookie recipe on the web, or something like that, but I am here to tell you they are worth making! It makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie so I thought I would share. My favorite way to eat these is with a cup of hot coffee!

 They are super simple to make as well. My girls love to mix the ingredients and help out when they can. It's a great recipe to use to teach your little ones about measurements and also a love for baking. Not to mention the great memories they will have in the kitchen whipping these up with you!


Ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular size) 
1 cup pecans (or your favorite nut) optional

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, & egg in a large bowl with a mixer until combined.
In another bowl mix together flour, baking soda, & salt. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the sugar mixture while stirring. (dough will become stiff) Add in the bag of chocolate chips (and nuts) and stir to combine. (you may have to use your hands to mix for best results and to insure the chocolate chips spread evenly).
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. They should be slightly turning brown on the bottoms when you pull them out of the oven. They will still be a little "gooey" but will harden as they rest. Let them rest for about 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. 

Grab your hot cup of coffee or cold milk for the younger ones and enjoy!








~Decorating my Tiered Stand for Fall~

Hello Friends!

Every year when Fall comes around I seem to have a new direction I want to take in decorating. Last year I seemed to use the traditional Fall colors...oranges, reds, etc. I've even done the all "neutral" way with lots of burlap, wheat, and white pumpkins. This year when I came across some black and white pumpkins I instantly knew that I wanted to use them in my Fall and Halloween decor. I am totally sure my husband appreciates the change in all new decor every year too! I don't know about you but I decorate for Holidays by leaving as much of my existing decor as I can. I wanted to show all of you how I decorated my three tier stand. I recently just purchased the stand after months of wanting one and I am so happy I did!

I only took off a few pieces of my existing decor and added the black and white pumpkins which I think adds a bit of whimsy while keeping my vintage vibe.
These teacups belonged to my husbands grandmother. I adore them! Instead of just taking them off the stand I added the cute little black fabric pumpkin and nestled it inside the top cup.

 I have a bunch of scrabble tiles that I keep around for cute ideas like this. Actually, I have a whole jar of random game pieces that I stash but we won't get into my hoarding problem right now. I spelled out the word "GHOST" with the scrabble tiles and put them in an old canning jar. I wanted this to also be fun for my girls who sit at this table every night and morning! 

I found this candle holder in a box labeled "garage sale" that I had in my basement. Apparently I planned on selling it at some point. Once again I have a hard time in letting things go! But see?? It paid off to keep it because I added this cute little polka dot pumpkin inside instead of a candle and I LOVE it! I keep my grandmas recipe box on my stand with all her handwritten recipes inside. I didn't want to move it so I just put another mini fabric pumpkin on top of it. 

I love my little wood number "31" sign from ART BY KELLY. I tucked it into my bottom tier along with my vintage glass bottles and my big fabric pumpkin.


I like to keep my Fall and Halloween decor simple. Now Christmas is a whole different story! Thanks for reading how I decorate for Fall while keeping a hint of vintage in my existing decor. I would love to hear what colors YOU decorate for Fall with!

Thanks again friends and have a Happy Fall!


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