How our family celebrates Christmas Eve

Our family's Christmas Eve traditions {Heather's Handmade Life}

Ho, ho, ho! Today we’re talking about our family’s Christmas Eve traditions as part of the #MaritimeChristmas Blog Hop. Thanks to Heidi of Itsy Bitsy Haligonians for organizing it!

Grab a handful of those addictive After 8 chocolate mint sticks (mmmm) and prepare to dive into Christmas Eve in the Clarke household …

1. Christmas dinner #1.

The thing about getting married is that now you have two family Christmas dinners to attend, and they can’t be at exactly the same time or feelings will be hurt. Since Darling Husband’s family is much, much bigger, we’ve been grateful that my mom is fine having “our” family dinner on Christmas Eve. So that’s how it’s been since we’ve had kids.

(Before kids but AFTER we were married, to be honest, Darling Husband and I still separated for Christmas and went to our childhood homes — just like when we’d been dating and engaged.)

So Christmas Eve now means turkey dinner with my mom, sissy, and now her fiance! (Yayyyyyy weddings!) We’ve had dinner at our house for the past couple of years, although I certainly can’t take credit for the actual meal. That’s all Mom.

I bake to-die-for rolls and a couple of apple pies, but that’s about it. We spend most of the day in the kitchen, but eventually, Mom kicks me and my sister out because she can get it done faster on her own. Then we loll around the living room, likely eating chips and drinking Diet Coke. #score Read More

Slime and punishment

Slime and punishment: Why my kids pranked me, and how I punished them {Heather's Handmade Life}

Why my kids “pranked” me, and how they were punished

Alanis Morissette once defined irony as “10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.” I think a better definition is “when your children are their very naughtiest on the same day the Elf on the Shelf arrives to monitor their behaviour.”

I should have known something was up. Our son and daughter were playing upstairs with our son’s “girlfriend” (yes, he’s seven) and it was eerily quiet. They dashed past me at one point to get the dinky cars and I remember thinking it was weird because they never play with those anymore.

It wasn’t until hours later, after pizza and a movie, that I headed up to my bedroom to put away the laundry I’d (finally) folded. There was a row of dinky cars across the doorway, which was strange. The closet light was on, too, and the kids KNOW they’re not allowed in there leading up to Christmas. Hmm.

I set the laundry down on the bed and suddenly I saw it, everywhere: slime. The goopy blue slime our son had made using a kit he bought on Amazon with his allowance.

It was dripping down our headboard. It was pooled over the water cups on my nightstand. It was smeared on the lampshades and on every knob on my dresser …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene … 

Upcycled DIY headboard

Upcycled DIY headboard {Heather's Handmade Life}

We spent $0 making a DIY headboard by reusing what we had

Our guests have always slept in our basement playroom, which was possibly the least restful spot in the entire house. I mean, how can you truly feel relaxed when you have dozens of board games hanging on the wall precariously over your head?

It was the only space we had, so we made it work for years. We sold our spine-crunching pull-out couch and bought a comfy double mattress, and built our own daybed — which we styled to look like a couch, unless we had overnight guests.

Upcycled DIY headboard {Heather's Handmade Life}
Our DIY daybed from a few years back

As soon as we decided to trade spaces — moving my office into the old playroom/guest room and turning my old office into a dedicated guest room — I knew I didn’t want to keep the daybed as-is. There was no need to have something that looked like a couch, and the last thing a tiny room needs is hulking pieces of wood along two sides of a bed.

Of course, we weren’t just going to toss the daybed. We spent about $200 building it from scratch, it fit the mattress perfectly, and it had useful storage underneath.
FULL TUTORIAL: DIY daybed with faux planks

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