Merry Christmas

I wanted to personally wish you a very Merry Christmas from the Arnold’s! I hope you enjoy this 
special day and use it as a reminder of just how important time with friends and family really is! 
Our 2013 Christmas Card!
We are headed out tonight on a desert adventure that I cannot wait to experience!
We’ll be back next week with new memories to share!

Christmas Wreaths

At Christmastime, or any time of year for that matter, a front door decoration is a great way to show your personality. Think about it, the first time someone shows up on your doorstep you have an opportunity to show them your style without even inviting them in. Personally, I think front door decoration is a must and it should change with every holiday and occasion. Since it is Christmas I am sharing some wreath inspiration pics that I have found that would look amazing on your front door and would welcome any friend or family member to your home!

Crock-Pot Mulled Wine

During the holiday season I love to try to make recipes that I have had at holiday parties(and loved, of course)! A couple of years ago at a work party at my director’s home he served some mulled wine that he had made in the crock-pot. What I noticed first was the intoxicating smell coming from the kitchen which filled the home with a cinnamon and cardamom aroma that was amazing. After trying it, I was hooked! 


Mulled wine is also known as Glögg which is Scandinavian. It is traditionally made with raisins and mulling spices and heated over a fire. It is also very popular in Germany and Austria where they refer to it as Glühwein.


This year I finally got around to making some of my own! I searched around the web for recipes and tips and came up with a recipe that is a conglomeration of several. I have now made it on three different occasions since Thanksgiving and I think I have finally mastered it! Beware that this is an adult drink and the alcohol definitely does not cook out of it! Here is the recipe I will be making every year from now on! Enjoy

Ingredients

  • 1.5L Bottle Red Wine(I recommened Cabernet Sauvignon; use the cheapest possible, no need to waste the good stuff here!)
  • 3/4 cup spiced rum or brandy(here again I stress the cheap factor)
  • 1 cup Orange juice
  • 3/4 cup white Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 5-6 whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1-2 peeled and pulled apart Oranges or Tangerines
  • 8 whole Cloves
  • 5 Cardamom Pods
  • Oranges for Garnish

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients(except garnish oranges) in crock-pot. Stir. 
  2. Heat on Low for 4 hours or High 2 hours then switch to warm.
  3. Strain out pods and serve with a cinnamon stick and orange for garnish!

Christmas Tree Decor Inspiration

Today I wanted to share some Christmas tree decor inspiration pics. I love looking at pictures of holiday decor on the web and getting ideas for my home. There are tons of ideas for trees out there and I have included everything from whimsical to more traditional. I tend to stay on the traditional side with decorating however these make me want to try something a bit more funky! I hope these ideas spur something creative in you when it comes to decorating your tree this year!

Now I want to go switch up some of my decorations!!
Stay southern,

DIY Letter Christmas Tree Topper

It seems to be that I can never find the perfect tree topper to my liking. Now I may just be picky or frugal as all of the ones I actually do like are out of my price range. Last year I was into burlap so I tied a big burlap bow on top of the tree with 6′ ribbon that was fun and different. But I am now over burlap so I wanted something a little different. I had seen some inspiration pictures on Pinterest of monogrammed tree toppers that I really responded to. I happened to have a large letter A that had just been lying around for about a year just waiting to be crafted! Here is what I came up with!

You’ll need:
  • A blank cardboard, chipboard, MDF or wooden letter
  • Craft Paint in the color of your choice
  • Paint brushes(I used foam and threw it away after)
  • Craft Bond Extra Strong glue stick
  • Glitter in the color of your choice
Directions:
1.Start by spreading newspaper on your work surface to protect it.
2. Next paint your letter. I did two coats, letting it dry for a few hours in between.
3. After your paint is completely dry, draw your circles(or whatever shape) with your glue stick, really making sure that you have a lot of glue on your surface to hold the glitter.
4. Sprinkle glitter all over the spots where you applied the glue while making sure that you completely cover the glue. Shake off excess glitter and cover bare spots.

5. Affix topper to the apex of your tree. I used 20lb. test fishing line that my husband provided me with!

I really enjoyed DIY’ing my tree topper this year! I have gotten so many compliments so far. It is far from perfect but It looks so much better in person! My circles are a little less than round but even though the perfectionist in me is screaming I really love it!

Alternative Christmas Gift 2013

This year has been a WONDERFUL and adventurous year for Mike and I so we decided to keep up that trend for the holidays this year. We always have a hard time figuring out what to get for each other and truthfully it is so stressful, so this year I proposed a little different scenario to my husband. I never dreamed he’d say yes. So instead of giving each other gifts(that we probably wouldn’t be able to recall the next year) we have decided to spend that money(and a little extra) to head to Las Vegas after Christmas! Neither of us as ever been so we are extremely excited about the trip and about the holidays! And for me, it is that much sweeter that I do not have to stress over what to buy and will only need to stress about what to wear in the desert in winter!! We booked the trip last night and the countdown is on…46 days until Christmas and memories I am sure we’ll never forget!

Stay southern,