Wednesday, November 30, 2016

JOY Decorative Holiday Board

Have you gotten your Christmas decorations up?
We started last weekend with the outside lights and front door decor.
I made this JOY board a few years back and just love it by our front door.
To make your own, pick up a 5'x12" pine board.
If you made our BOO! Board, you can put it on the back and save storage space!
You'll also need green, red and white paint.  You can use craft acrylics or even paint samples from the hardware store.  That's what I did in a Satin finish. 
You're going to layer your paints so you get this great worn vintage look.

Paint with the green first.
After it dries, paint over that with white.
Let it dry for a few hours.
Trace on your letters.
You can print them off your computer and trace or
I just used some 13" wood letters I had to trace around.

Decide on your spacing. I left a few extra inches on the top so I could tie a bow.
Trace the J and Y first and then center the O.
Now paint in your letters with red. 
Let this dry for several hours- I let my board sit over night. 
Then sand the board like crazy.

I used a hand held electric sander and went over the whole thing.

Just love this worn look with that green showing through.
Makes me think of an old fashioned Christmas from yesteryear. 
Finished it off with a burlap bow and some bells.

Turn on the Christmas songs and happy decorating!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

LIGHT the WORLD this holiday season

Last night for Family Home Evening we talked about the campaign, Light the World. 
The initiative is an invitation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to bring more light, service, and meaning to the holiday season. 
Every day leading up to Christmas is a chance to look at the things Jesus Christ did and resolve to do the same. The campaign provides daily inspiration, suggestions, and encouragement on how we can follow the example of the Savior and " #LIGHTtheWORLD".  
Our family is excited to light the world this holiday season! Here's what we did. 

First, check out this inspiring video on how we can follow the Savior's example and let our light shine --just as he did.


After the video, we discussed some of the campaign's daily prompts to help us better follow the example of Jesus Christ. 
From December 1st to December 25th, there are different invitations to think about and act upon. Some include: Jesus prayed for others and so can you.
 Jesus visited the lonely and so can you. 
 Jesus worshiped through song and so can you. 
Here is the complete list with video clips for each day. 

Thanks Carrie!
 Heidi here and I think we are on the same wave length!
I'm always looking for ways to make the days leading up to Christmas more meaningful.
To try not to get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle (it's hard!)
I thought this would be the perfect way each day do something simple that would have
 me, my family (and my seminary class too will be participating)
 think of the Savior and do a kind, simple act of service.
I'm pretty excited about it.
We'll be sending out daily texts to each other to help us remember what to do.
Day one's text might say, "Remember to ease someone's burden today."
I love how the video connects the acts of Jesus with acts we can do in our lives.
We can be a light too (John 8:12, Matthew 5:16)

My parents came out and spent Thanksgiving with us just last week.
We were talking about the video and daily opportunities to serve.
They are going to share this message when they host their next "empty nesters" group activity.
Mom wanted to make a little handout as a reminder. 

We came up with this 2" wide  6" long blocks.
Painted them with a glossy black, added the white vinyl phrase and a diamond gem for the "i" dot.  We made a bunch!


Consider how you can "Be the Light" this December and
Light the World!

Chocolate Peppermint Shakes

Don't you just love peppermint especially around the holidays?! I have to admit that I'm a sucker for peppermint candy canes, peppermint bark, peppermint scented lotions and soaps, and peppermint flavored hot chocolate. Last night, our family enjoyed chocolate peppermint shakes and they were a hit! These shakes would be perfect after a day of sledding or at a holiday party or enjoying while reading Christmas stories. Plus, these shakes are so easy that the whole family can help! 

Chocolate Peppermint Shakes
equal parts or scoops of chocolate ice cream and peppermint ice cream (about three scoops of each) 
(peppermint ice cream is available at most grocery stores around the holidays)
1 1/2 cups of milk

In a blender, blend until the ice cream is well mixed and at a consistency you enjoy. 
Top your shake with whipped cream! 

Print this recipe {here}

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pigs in a Blanket

Here's a family favorite.
Great for an appetizer or
(as we mostly have it) as a week night meal.
Perfect to put in school lunches the next day!

Pigs In A Blanket 
I like to use beef Lit'l Smokies. Really like their flavor.
Use a small package of Smokies or double the dough for a large pack. 

Make up your dough with
1 Tbsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Mix and knead.  Let rise for 30 min to 45 min.
Preheat your oven to 400˚

Roll out your dough in a rectangle.

Cut in strips and start to roll up your "pigs".

Place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with oil.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes,
until the dough is golden brown. 

These are so good.
Printable recipe {here}

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Funtastic Friday #102


Happy Thanksgiving friends!
We were so excited today when our 3 college girls walked through the door and surprised us for Thanksgiving!! We were not expecting them at all this year but those tricky girls drove hours to be home for the weekend! We hope you all will enjoy your family and friends for the holiday.

Last week we gave all the details for this year's tween holiday craft party.  You can find all the crafts and food from the party {here}
If you need a last minute pie recipe check out some of our favorites: 

Now on to the party!

Love Christmas crafts, recipes, DIY, and traditions? There's still time to join us for Wrapping Up the Holidays. The theme is gift wrap, cards, tree trimmings, recipes, holiday traditions, and family activities. There is no limit on the number of links you post as long as they are family friendly. Feel free to dust off older posts and share them, too!

Funtastic Friday Meet The Hosts
Please follow the party hosts on social media.

Our Kitchen Renovation @ Small House

Debra's favorites | DIY Etched Merry Christmas Plates @ Eccentricities by JVG | Creamy Tomato Spinach Tortellini Soup @ Cooking on the Front Burner | Triple Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @ Marilyn's Treats |
Donna's favorites | Slow Cooker Apple Pie @ Nancy on the Home Front | Grinch Hot Chocolate @ Cooking With Curls | 20 DIY Washi Tape Christmas Crafts @ The Crafty Blog Stalker |
Sherry's favorites | Cats and Tags @ Muscetta | Sausage Cornbread Stuffing @ Dad Whats 4 Dinner | A Repurposed Antique Cauldron for Christmas @ The Boondocks Blog |
Angie's favorites | Holiday Chalkboard Paint Charger @ Dazzle While Frazzled | Updated Farmhouse Light Fixture @ Savvy Apron | Glitter Ornaments @ Wesens-Art |
Kimm's favorites | Double-Axel Upcycling: Cheese Dome Ice Skating Pond | Christmas Wood Slice Art @ i should be mopping the flour | $2 Thanksgiving Pillow @ One Thousand Oaks |
Heidi's favorites | Faux Shiplap on the Fireplace Wall @ Reinvented | Vol Hoofd en Cactussen @ urol├┐k | Nordic Style Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments @ kreativ k |
Lacie's favorites | Grinch Hot Chocolate @ Cooking With Curls | Old Window Christmas Decoration @ Pillar Box Blue | Free Printable Christmas Blub Banner @ i should be mopping the flour |
Funtastic friday 102 host favorites mistie
Mistie's favorites | Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Brownies @ Courtney's Cookbook | Roasted Apple Cranberry Sauce @ Strength and Sunshine | Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash Bread Stuffing @ Dad Whats 4 Dinner |

If you’re linking up and joining the party, please grab a button or link back to Olives & Okra or one of the party hosts (right-click on image and save image to your computer): funtastic friday 98 link party button If you’re a featured blogger, please grab a button to place on your blog (right-click on image and save image to your computer): funtastic friday 98 featured button All features are pinned to Olives & Okra’s Funtastic Friday board. We will also share your post on social media if sharing buttons are readily available on your post. Help grow the Funtastic Friday link party. Tweet about the party, please!
[bctt tweet="Add your link...The Funtastic Friday link party is live! #FuntasticFriday" username="olivesnokra"]
Disclaimer: By submitting a link to this blog hop, you are giving me permission to share and/or feature your blog post and image on social media and on my blog, Olives & Okra. All links shared will either link back to the blog hop (link party) or to your blog.

Funtastic Friday 102 Party Rules

Friday, November 18, 2016

Kid's Craft Party

Each year we host an annual girl's holiday craft party.
Come along and get all the details from this year's 
 red, white and Scandinavian themed party!

(We've partnered up with Oriental Trading company and were able to test some of their products at this party!
All opinions are our own and we only recommend products we use ourselves.)

We prepped all the supplies for our crafts, set out table coveringspaint brushes and paints the day before so we were ready for some serious "elf" crafting. 

As soon as each girl arrived,  she put her name on a paper plate and we leave this on a table by the front door for her to store all the crafts she makes.
She also gets to take a guess as to how much candy is in our candy jar.
We look for a cute container each year and used this fun clear bucket with handle.
Can u guess how many?

The winner gets to take the jar home!

The girls made some homemade gift tags as we waited for everyone to arrive. 

They used rubber stamps and this cool Nordic Washi tape.
Ready for some wrapping in a few weeks!

Our first craft are these adorable 
Swedish Dala horses.  
I think this is one of my all time favorite holiday craft party projects. 

Just love the folk art patterns the girls drew on their horses.

You can find all the directions {here} to make some of your own.

Next, we made these simple and cute Stable Ornaments.
We used mini 2 1/2" Popsicle sticks and a little vinyl manger to go in the stable.

Now for our S'mores ornament.
The girls thought these were really fun,
reminding them of girl's camp s'mores.
They'll have that memory when they see it hanging on the tree with this sheer red ribbon.

Our last craft was a wreath.
We took a small mason jar metal ring and wrapped muslin fabric strips around it.
Glued on a bow and Christmas bakers twine for hanging.
Some of the girls embellished their wreathes with little sprigs of holly, berries or mini pine cones.

We kept our "crafting elves" busy with these projects,
but had time for some snacks and games.
We went all red and white with our candy bar.

I found some great jars and vases to hold our peppermints, pearl gumballs, sour cherries and rock candy lollypops.

One of my daughter's favorites are rock candy so this was a must
along with mint M&Ms and Kisses.

The girls could snack on these as we crafted.
And scooped their faves in a little cello bag to take home.

Time for some refreshments!
I saw these fun fruit kabobs and made some up for the party.
We prepped the food ahead of time so we just needed to pull things out.
The Santa hat has a marshmallow on top and I cut a big marshmallow in half for the hat trim.

 We served up our traditional Pineapple Cheese Ball.
It's always a favorite.
 Some brownies, layered bean dip, home made salsa and lil' pigs in a blanket.

It wouldn't be a holiday party with out our "secret" Snowy Pink Punch.

Kid approved!

The girls played a few round of "spoons"along with a lot of laughter.
Just love these tween girls and crafting with them!

You can find more great ideas and supplies for Christmas and holiday crafts by vising Oriental Trading Co.
And by checking out last year's party {here}.

Hope your season is merry & bright!

Happy Holidays!

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