Tag Archives: christmas

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

It’s National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child! This year it’s from Nov 14 – Nov 21. Check out our shoe box packing from last year below!

Mrs. Dessert Monster

Today kicks off National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

National Collection Week is November 16-23

6 years ago the church I was a member of while in college introduced me to Operation Christmas Child.

What is the mission of Operation Christmas Child?

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This ministry collects shoeboxes – or really, shoebox sized containers – filled with gifts & essential items for needy kids around the world. Once the boxes are packed, shipped, & distributed, teams from Samaritan’s Purse get with local churches to distribute the boxes to the kids. During that time, the Gospel is presented to the kids in their own language in a fun way. Aside from providing presents & necessities such as toiletries, these kids get to…

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Christmas Cookie Baking

It may seem quiet in my corner of the web lately, but that’s because life has been anything but!

There are so many wonderful activities happening this time of year! The world waits to celebrate when God came down to us as a little baby. The love of God translates to love for family & friends. It really does feel like the most wonderful time of the year – even down here in warm, sunny Florida!

A few weekends ago my friend Beth & I got together with our Kitchenaid mixers & made a bunch of cookies.

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Red & green! How perfect!

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Cow apron!

We were baking cookies to enter in the IKEA cookie contest. We didn’t place, but we should have! We totally made some amazing cookies.

 

Some of our contest entries:

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Thumbprint cookies with lingonberry jam.

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We called this one “Grandma ran over the reindeer”

We had a lot of fun! We also made peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, & gingerbread cookies just because!

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We decorated gingerbread couples, too!

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I think I captured us pretty well!

What a great day! I love baking, I love spending time with friends, I love beef (which we ate) & hot cocoa (which we drank).

A few days later I got the idea to make some gingerbread cookies on my own to give away at work.

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Beth lent me her airplane cookie cutter. How cute! I work in aviation, so these were the perfect Christmas gift to everyone at the office.

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Can I just say again how much I love this time of  year? A time for warm hearts & warm cocoa. A time to turn on the lights & the oven.  A time to give gifts & give hugs.

A time to love God & love each other ❤

Wedding Wednesday – Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces

It’s Wednesday! Half way through the work week; half point to the weekend!

Today I want to share our centerpieces.

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

From the very beginning I knew I wanted to use Christmas wreaths in the centerpieces.

I had grand ideas of doing it all myself.

 I was a little over zealous with the projects.

I am so glad that my BFOTB, Frank, talked me out of trying to completely DIY the centerpieces. But I’m glad I still got to make some of it!

After meeting with my florist & planning out the centerpieces (I’d do the jars, she’d do the wreaths & the set up), I bought some 64oz mason jars & came up with the plan.

I used the same sheet music paper from other wedding crafts & some lacy red ribbon for the jars. Beth came over one day & helped me assemble them, plus a few extra for reception decorations!

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I wanted the mason jars to also be the table numbers, so I used some stickers!

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I personally prefer smaller/shorter centerpieces to the taller ones. I loved how these centerpieces were functional, beautiful, & simple.

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I’m really happy with the way these turned out. They were relatively inexpensive & didn’t cause me too much grief! I can honestly say that I didn’t even notice them the day of the wedding, but I know my guests liked them! At the end of the reception, guests took them home. One of my aunts had a Christmas party & used a few of the wreaths as decorations!


Enjoy the rest of the week!

Wedding Wednesday – Our Christmas Wedding Cake (& Mustang Grooms Cake!)

Happy Wednesday! The work week is half over & Memorial Day weekend is coming!

Today I wanted to share our wedding cake with y’all.

Our venue included the cake & gave us 2 vendors to choose from. We went with Edible Creations. They have an awesome selection of flavors & their cake decorating is amazing, too! We chose Vanilla Rum & South Florida Red Velvet – it’s red velvet with a hint of key lime!

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This is the picture I got from Pinterest & showed the cake decorator.

Christmas Wedding Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This is the cake we got.

So much better than we could have ever expected! The cake itself is pretty simple, but the Christmas decorations put it over the top!

Christmas Red Wedding Cake Topper

I bought a ceramic cake topper & personalized it a bit by painted the red accents.

Christmas Red Wedding Cake

We were very excited to cut into it, as you can see.

Christmas Wedding Cake - Mrs. Dessert MonsterChristmas Wedding Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

We had a no cake smashing rule. He thought about it, though.

Christmas Wedding Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I didn’t even think about it.


BONUS: Groom’s cake!

Christmas Red Wedding Mustang Grooms Cake

My husband knew he was getting one, but the design was a surprise to him. He loved it!


See you next Wednesday for more wedding fun!

Red & Cream Music Themed Wedding Stationery

As soon as we got engaged in March & set the date for December, I knew I was going to do a lot of stuff myself for the wedding. I really do enjoy crafting, and also I can be a little bit of a control freak. I won’t guarantee that I saved a ton of money, but I did get exactly what I wanted, designed by me, made to my specifications. These projects were time consuming! And time is money, friends.

Save the Dates

From the very beginning of our engagement we decided on a Christmas-y Music themed wedding. We met in high school marching band & both remain pretty band nerd-ish (we play hand bells at our church). I saw the idea for save the date calendar stickers before online, & I think mine came out pretty good!

Red Cream Music Save the Date

Invitations

I probably did save quite a bit of money on my invitations. The secret is that I cut almost all my own paper. I originally bought an invitation kit from Michael’s that included the RSVP cards. I didn’t like the invitation but I did like the RSVP cards so I used those. Then I bought 8.5 x 11 cream card stock, as well as sheet music & red card stock 12 x 12 in bulk (watching for sales & 50% off coupons at Michael’s) & spent hours with a paper cutter watching Gilmore Girls & cutting paper. I only cut myself once during the entire process!

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I took the advise of a lot of DIY invitation blogs/forums I read & chose my envelopes first, then decided what size I wanted the invitation to be. I read several horror stories where brides made these beautiful invitations that were not a ‘standard’ size & then their enveloped cost a fortune or didn’t fit properly.

In my invitation suite I included invitation (7×5), reception card (4.5×5.75), RSVP card & envelope (5.5×4.25), map/directions card(3.5×5), & accommodations/website card(3.5×5).

Red Cream Sheet Music Wedding Invitation

Then all of these inserts were wrapped together with a belly band.

Red Cream Sheet Music Belly Band Wedding Invitation

I designed & printed everything myself, including the envelopes. There are tutorials online for doing mail merges & how to print on envelopes. I lined the envelopes with the music paper. This worked out well for me since I bought square flap envelopes – I just had to cut the sheet music up into squares. Had they been the pointed/European style envelopes I don’t think I would have put myself through the trouble.

I had help assembling the invitations. After I cut everything, my mom, mother in law, sister in law, and BFOTB (best friend of the bride – a la Sookie from Gilmore Girls) came over for an assembly party.IMG_20140913_193131

Programs

The last thing I printed for the wedding were the programs. I bought a bi-fold program kit from Michael’s & designed them similarly to how I did the invitations. I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Red Cream Music Wedding Programs


This was A LOT of work, but it’s a once in a lifetime experience. It made the wedding planning experience more ‘mine’, & I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Pinterest Projects In Real Life

I love Pinterest. A lot of the ideas for my wedding came from things I saw on Pinterest. But before I talk about those, I wanted to share some of the various Pinterest projects, large and small, that I’ve done around the home.

Pinterest Projects In Real Life - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Bedroom Mini Makeover

I came across this blog one day and knew I had to copy it. The steps were fairly easy. My only struggle was that the black letters I wanted from Hobby Lobby, which were 12″ tall & frequently go on sale, for some reason did not include an ampersand. So I bought a plain wooden one from Amazon, painted it black, and Mod Podged it. The frames I got from the clearance section at Michael’s; 20 x 24. This is a very simple, yet elegant in my opinion, way of decorating an entire wall.

Engagement Photo Collage

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This project didn’t have a particular pin attached to it exactly, but it looks Pinterest-y to me! I was developing prints for our save the dates, and Walgreens had a great deal. So I began to think of ways to display 4 x 6 photos without framing a bunch of little pictures. I used the same type of frame as I had for the bedroom makeover, cut a piece of cardboard to match the size, and painted it black. I used a glue stick to attach the pictures to the card stock I was using for the save the dates, which was 4.5 x 6.5 so there’s a nice little border. I then mounted the card stock framed pictures to the cardboard with glue sticks & Mod Podged (is that a word? I’m going to keep using it) the whole thing. For the final touches I bought some little wooden letters, and again this time I could not find an ampersand to save my life (Michael’s this time). I ended up buying some sticker letters that were approximately the same size/font which included the elusive ‘&’, and painted both the letters and sticker to match the card stock frames. In the sticker aisle I saw these really cute ‘we’re engaged!’ stickers & there you have it.

Once we get our wedding photos back we will replace this in our living room with some of those, but it’s been really nice to be able to look back on that day and smile. My mom took those pictures at a local park. We had such a blast; still on the high from getting engaged the week before. That newly engaged feeling was great. The only thing that has topped it for me is this wonderful newlywed feeling. Every time I say ‘my husband’ I smile.

Button Crafts

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One of the best parts about having nieces & nephews is doing things like this for them! I have always liked having small charms like buttons & sequins, but have done very little with them. Then one day I came across this button elephant & button monogram. Aren’t they adorable? I had to make something like this for my nieces. This involved some patience and a lot of hot glue. I traced my designs on to one of those hard thin canvases, & just starting placing buttons. Then I used the sequins to fill in the gaps. For the L, the zebra buttons are just white ones I drew stripes on. Nothing too fancy! Gluing sequins was a lot of work; the hot glue kind of melts them. I wonder if a different glue might be better for them, but to be honest this was the messy fun type of project that I like sometimes. I recently read one of those life hack things that said putting petroleum jelly around the end of a glue gun helps prevent getting webs of glue everywhere. I have not tried this tip personally, but next time I use my glue gun I will.

Our First Tree Ornament

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This Pinterest project was super easy & makes me all happy when I look at it. I feel like I have to admit that I actually made this after New Years right before we took the tree down (I’m one of those Christmas-isn’t-over-until-January-6th people). After Thanksgiving, I told my mother-in-law we were getting a real tree and she reminded me of this Pin she had seen. So when we picked out our tree we asked the guy to cut us a slice from the bottom. I didn’t even drill a hole in it. I just used a screw eye hook (not gonna lie – totally had to look up what the ‘screw with the hole that came with my picture hanging kit’ was called) & manually screwed it in to the tree slice. After I was done writing on it in Sharpie, I sprayed the whole thing with an acrylic sealer.

I look forward to telling our kids about this ornament one day as we are decorating the tree, listening to Christmas carols & eating gingerbread cookies. *Sigh*

My Big Fat Tri-Lingual Photo Collage

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Man, was this a project! We had this very large blank wall at our place. I had been looking at pins like this one & this one. You do the math. The first step for me was actually finding ‘family’ in the three different languages. Originally I had said I wanted something like ‘family, love, faith’, but my husband was the one who came up with the idea of the three languages. I love it; it shows off our melting pot pretty well. So after some searching I found this shop on Amazon. They have lots of cool stuff, and I’m very pleased with the quality. Lightweight, but still really solid. The only thing is that they took FOREVER (2 weeks) to arrive. So if I order from them again I will definitely do expedited shipping, or learn to be more patient. It depends on what my wallet tells me at the time. Along with the words I knew I wanted an ‘M’ & I knew I wanted a cross. The cross is actually a painting I did back in college when I first became a Christian/was saved/met Jesus/insert-Christian-jargon-here. The ‘M’ is from Hobby Lobby; same as the letters from the bedroom makeover. The rest just fell in to place.

We had bought the mask in Venice intending to do something with it, and it fit in just right. The big picture in the center of the collage was actually taken by us in Burano, which I highly recommend seeing to anyone visiting Italy. I cannot wait to someday go back. Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, next was the frames. I had several 8 x 10 & 11 x 14 because I usually buy frames if I see them on sale or clearance. Then I went to the dollar store & just picked up a bunch of 5 x 7 & 4 x 6 frames. This picture doesn’t do them justice, but it’s actually a bunch of different styles of frames. So with the frames all picked out, I started designing the layout. Basically I gathered all of the frames, sprawled myself out on the floor with them, and started arranging. I’m kind of type A/ kind of OCD about certain things like lines and shapes, so I made this more like a rectangle and less like a free-form collage. Of course I couldn’t actually leave all of this stuff on the floor, so I used measuring tape to record the dimensions & took lots of pictures of the set up.

I actually didn’t pick out what pictures I wanted to include on the wall until after I had done the layout. That made it a lot easier to be like ‘OK I need this many 8 x 10 landscape, this many 5 x 7 portrait,’ etc. Once I got all of the pictures I wanted developed, the only thing left was to hang everything up! One day after work I just grabbed the hammer and started going at it. I put up the ‘Family’ word first, then the cross painting & the M. Then I put the Burano picture up in the center, followed by the 2 bottom corners. After that it was just a matter of trying to follow the measurements I had done on the floor earlier, and making sure it looked nicely spaced on the wall. So, the whole process from conception to execution was probably about a month. I love this wall. This is my favorite thing about where we live right now & when we move I will be replicating this idea in some way.


So there you have some of my older Pinterst projects. What are some of yours?