Saturday, November 21, 2009

dreaming of a green christmas.

here's how it starts for me...the dreaming, that is,
when starbucks starts using their holiday cups,
you know, the day you walk in and they hand you
your drink in the pretty red cup,
and you think wow, it's the holiday season. it's here.

well, it's it's time to get ideas, thoughts,
lists and plans into action.

while i wish i could say that we do a 'green' christmas at our home
and tell you all about how your holidays can be more green, too,
i wouldn't be telling the whole truth, so i'll just say that i'm trying.

i plan to buy handmade, vintage and recycled items as much as possible.
i have already purchased many great handmade items from indie sellers and haven't finished my shopping yet...{see my etsy favorites}.

my husband is huge into recycling and energy conservation,
so we will be replacing our holiday lights
with led lights from target this year,
and as always we will be re-using gift wrap,
boxes, tissue and bows from previous years.

we have a few parties to go to {might wear something i already have...or i might get that t-shirt i really want at j.crew}. we have lots of plans to do our traditional holiday events with the kids and friends, boat parades in newport beach and san diego, and long walks on magical neighborhood streets filled with lights and decorations. {we have a 'christmas card lane' close by. 5 blocks of decorated houses, kids selling cocoa and cookies, 5th grade band kids playing holiday songs. we bundle up and walk it several times. the kids skateboard and cars cruise slowly with their lights off. it's fun}.

i plan to make most of my hostess/friends gifts. i love to bake.
and love to get baked goods. {hint: anyone who lives close by,
'anything' chocolate is my favorite}.

i'll be starting with this apple cake.
it doesn't look pretty, but tastes great.
kids are off school this week
and it's been a bit chilly in the morning.
can't wait to have this with chai tea or coffee.
this is an easy, delicious recipe.
{baked goods on vintage
or thrift store plates instead of paper or plastic
makes a sweet, re-useable gift}.

Tamra Davis

Apple Cake

Time: 1 hour approx. including baking time.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease your baking dish.

Mix the sugar, butter, applesauce and egg together with a hand mixer.

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Blend the wet and dry ingredients

and then add the apples and walnuts. Pour into baking dish and

bake for 30 to 50 minutes (depending on your pan and oven temp)

or until knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

1 cup sugar

½ stick or 2 ounces butter, melted

½ cup applesauce

1 egg

1¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2½ cups chopped apples (or two large apples)

¾ to 1 cup chopped walnuts

we hope to encourage our kids to want less and give more
{as in be charitable, whether it be holding a door for someone or giving a smile}
and to always keep in our hearts the true spirit of the holidays.

on that note, i found a few things that i think are really sweet.
i hope to support my indie seller friends
and inspire you to get your lists together,
remember to buy handmade, reduce, reuse and recycle when you can.

these little felted acorns made by this amazing girl touched my heart.
not only are they super adorable {you know how much i love this color},
but she is a survivor and true inspiration.

i love the thought of these sprinkled on a holiday table,
attached to gifts or hung as decorations.

i also love this idea for gift wrap.
choose a cool vintage shirt from harlow monroe
and a beautiful brooch from jen's closet
and use this first as gift wrap,
and then as a wearable gift.
this would work with many different
long sleeved shirts and pins.

lay a button-down shirt flat with the back of the shirt facing up.
slide your gift box inside the shirt.

fold the top and bottom of the shirt over the gift.
use a safety pin to secure any excess fabric, if necessary.

cross the sleeves so they wrap
around the back of the box,
then flip the gift right side up.

tie the sleeves into a square knot.
if your gift is narrow,
you may be able to tie the sleeves into a bow.

{adapted from country living magazine}.

many more 'green' holiday ideas to follow.
...for now, it's off to the mall. like i said, i'm trying.

click on photos for credits.