diy: simple christmas tree craft

It seems that every year we end up spending money on decorations for our tree. Now there is nothing wrong with that- getting into the holiday spirit is fun and infectious. Plus, having a few new ornaments gives you something to look forward to.

However, like the rest of the world we have spent even more time than usual at home this year. I, for one, have noticed how we were able to save more and spend less in doing such. So, in keeping with this year’s theme of saving some money and getting creative, I decided that any new ornaments to go on our tree would be made from our hands and hearts.

Inspired by the cutest snowman ornament that I came across on Instagram, the kids and I set about one evening collecting pinecones and twigs.

The following morning I grabbed the remaining supplies from our craft room. This included:

– a hot glue gun
– google eyes
– red, orange, and black pipe cleaners
– twine
– white paint

The first thing I did was paint half of the pinecones white. I chose ones whose tops fit together nicely. Then I set those aside.

Next, we set about making the reindeer. We glued the eyes on, followed by the red nose and antlers. Finally, we topped them off with twine.

For the snowmen, we glued their tops together. Then we fitted them with eyes, a nose, and a scarf. Lastly, the twine for the tree.

Remy and Wilder loved making them and hanging them on the tree. Over and over again (they keep rearranging the ornaments). Most of all, they cost nothing and provided us with an evening and entire morning of entertainment, and lifetime of memories. Best. Craft. Ever.

If you are wanting more Christmas DIYs, be sure to visit this post!

Emory

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recipe: simplified holiday black forest cake

My mum’s favourite cake growing up was Black Forest Cake. We always had it for her birthday and special occasions, and it was always store bought. So now, I always associate this cake with such events. 

When I had it in my mind that I wanted to bake a more elaborate cake for Christmas, I immediately thought of Black Forest Cake. I searched online for recipes, and chose a few that had fewer ingredients, lesser time, and higher reviews. Then I combined them into this one.

This is a seriously moist and delicious cake that will impress your guests this holiday season. It looks beautiful and like you spent hours upon hours baking it, when it reality, it didn’t take long at all!

Simplified Holiday Black Forest Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 bag frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted and thawed
2 containers whipped cream
1 bar dark chocolate
Butter, to grease

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 3 8” or 9” round cake pans. Sprinkle flour overtop. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and put off to the side.

3. In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Then pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Add the hot water, and beat for an additional 2 minutes, or until well-blended.

4. Put cakes in oven. Bake for approximately 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before expelling from cake pans.

5. Remove enough whole cherries to line the perimeter of the cake. Then, begin slicing the remaining cherries in half. Once cakes have completely cooled, you can start assembling the cake. Set one cake down and slather in approximately 2 cups of the whipped cream. Put half of the sliced cherries on top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat these steps. Finally, add the last cake layer and cover the entire cake in whipped cream. Line the top of the cake with the whole cherries. Finally, cut the chocolate bar into thin pieces. Sprinkle half of the bar on the sides of the cake and the other half on top. Immediately refrigerate and devour within a day or two. Merry Christmas!

 

Emory

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i am 35

Today marks another trip around the sun for me.

While I am not going to sit here and complain about how this past year has been (I am still alive and well!), I will say that I truly only wish one thing for my 35th year on this earth. That is for everyone to have a healthy and happy new year ahead of them.

2020 is almost gone but we are still here. Let’s enjoy it while we still can!

Have a lovely week, all.

Emory

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recipe: creamy (& vegan) roasted cauliflower soup

Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of creamy soup during the cooler months? There is something so comforting about having that little circle of warmth in front of your face, and inhaling the rich aromas that it gently gives off.

I personally have become a fan of serving soup for get-togethers. It is a nice alternative in having to come up with several appetizers for several people. The best part is that it can be made days or weeks in advance. Simply freeze it upon making it, removing it and heating it on the stove the day of the event!

Not everyone will grab a bowl, but those that do will appreciate its rich and smooth taste. Best of all, it is quick to make and incredibly healthy. I guarantee that no one will guess that it’s vegan.

Creamy (& Vegan) Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp oil
1/2 head of garlic, or at least 5 cloves
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups coconut (or almond) milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground thyme

Steps:

1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Remove the skin from the garlic, chop it, then press down on it with a knife to release the juices. Throw it in the pot and leave it on medium heat. 

2. While the garlic is cooking, chop the onion and cauliflower and add it to the pot as well. Then add the vegetable broth, coconut (or almond) milk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Then remove it from the burner and set it aside.

3. Very carefully, transfer the soup into a blender. Don’t add too much when it’s still hot. Blend a little bit, pour it into a new bowl or container, then blend, pour, blend, pour, etc. until the entire soup is a nice puree. From there, you can either eat it on the spot, keep it in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it for a few weeks. It’s up to you! Enjoy!

Emory

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wilder is two

Our beloved boy will be turning 2 years old on Sunday.

He has changed so much over this past year, going from no teeth to now 18 of them, he is potty trained, talks, sings, knows his colours and ABCs, and so much more! He loves vehicles, animals, and books.

He truly lives up to his wild name, and we couldn’t love him more! Happy birthday, big boy!!

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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