Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Well, today brings our countdown to a close. I think it went pretty well, don't you? I will definitely make this an annual thing!

For me, Christmas is one of the most special holidays. God loved us so much that He was willing to send his only Son to  Earth! I think that that is a perfect reason to rejoice! Joy to the World, who's with me?!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

5 Best Teas for Christmas and Winter

2 days until Christmas! I cannot believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve already!

Do you know what I really can't believe? That I missed three whole days of my countdown! Christmas with my mom's side of the family along with preparation for Christmas has put my blogging into a tailspin.

As I'm sure you all know by now, my very favorite beverage is tea. I don't care what kind. If it's tea, I'll drink it. Therefore, during the fall I began posting my five favorite teas for the season. Now, here are my five favorite teas for the winter!!


5 Best Teas for Christmas and Winter

#1: Peppermint from Bigelow

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

#2: Holiday Chai from Stash Teas

My mom and I are goo-goo for anything chai! The rich, almost smokey flavor of chai goes perfectly with Christmas-y accents in the tea. A splash of eggnog totally makes this already amazing tea.

#3: White Christmas from Stash Teas

This tea is a light, refreshing, pepperminty pop perfect for when you're in the mood for a festive tea.

#4: Christmas Eve from Stash Teas

This tea is perfection. I'm not joking! A spicy, savory flavor is perfect for relaxing with family on Christmas Eve.

#5: Earl Grey

Earl Grey is pretty much the most refined and sophisticated tea there is. This robust winter tea is great for settling in on a long winter's night. (I usually buy Twining's.)

Cheers! (And merry Christmas Eve eve!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Guide to Holiday Dressing!

5 days until Christmas!! I absolutely cannot wait!

A lot of times, I wait until the last minute to scrape together a lackluster outfit for a holiday event. But this year, I am prepared for Christmas! (I bought my dress in November.) Have a look into my closet to find a great outfit for any holiday occasion!

Festive Casual

With a spirited tank, long sweater, jeans, and lace-up boots, you can show holiday cheer without being over the top. (My tank has a cute little design of polar bears tangled up in Christmas lights on it!) A side ponytail looks cute as a button with this outfit! (Sweater: Charlotte Russe; Tank: Aeropostale; Jeans: JC Penney; Boots: Famous Footwear)

Christmas Party Cute

Red leggings, a shimmery white-silver tank, and Christmas accessories make for a festive, fun look sure to turn heads at any Christmas party! (Hat: Target; Sweater: The Limited; Tank: Aeropostale; Leggings: Charlotte Russe; Boots: Famous Footwear)

Christmas Morning Elegance

And finally, here is the outfit that I will be wearing for Christmas. I will also be wearing the outfit for an orchestra audition in January. Complete the look with a Twist 'n' Tuck updo! You can find the tutorial here. (Sweater: The Limited; Dress: Charlotte Russe; Shoes: Shoe Carnival)

I hope your holidays are stylish and classy!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twist 'n' Tuck Updo

Only a WEEK until Christmas!!

For today's countdown post I am going to share with you a cute, easy updo for Christmas! I love this hairstyle because you can put it with a dress for an elegant and sophisticated look, or put it with jeans for more of a relaxed, chic look!

Twist 'n' Tuck Updo


-1 hair tie (a color that matches your hair works nicely)
-bobby pins
-a bow or clip-on flower


Put your hair in a low ponytail.

Right above the hair tie, make a gap.

Twist up the ponytail through the gap.

Divide the ponytail into two sections and twist them over the original twist. Pin in place. If you have longer hair, you may need to wrap it around several times.

Optional: Pin a bow or flower on the side of your twists.

And there you have it! An easy, classy 'do perfect for any occasion :) 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY Bow Wall Design

8 days until Christmas!

If you are still putting up Christmas decorations, I beg you to try this adorable idea. May I present to you: Christmas bow decor! Just slap some stick-on bows on a wall, door, etc. in the shape that you want and boom! A cute, different way of decorating that will knock the socks off of your holiday guests!

I chose to arrange my bows in the shape of a heart on the door of my closet. You can use red, green, white, silver, and gold bows to make a festive design for the holiday season.

DIY Bow Wall Design 


-about 30 stick-on Christmas bows (any color)
-roll of tape


Roll a piece of tape so that there is sticky on both sides. (It will be tube shaped.) Put it on the underside of a Christmas bow. Repeat until you have made your bows into desired design. You may need to relocate some bows to change the shape of the design or if the colors put together clash. 

If you don't want to risk ruining your walls with tape, you can cut a piece of clean, white fabric to the shape of your desired design and put the bows on there.  Then, just adhere it to your wall with a few pushpins. 

Happy decorating! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our Christmas Decorations

Nine days until Christmas! We're in the home stretch!!

It occurred to me the other day that I talked about having decorations up but never posted pictures. And if that's not a crime, I don't know what is!

Here's our beautiful tree! Every year, we string light strands through each individual branchlet to give our tree a fairy-infested look. The past couple of years, it has been me lighting the tree. As scratchy as  a job it is, I think our beautiful tree is always worth it in the end :)

Next, we have our entryway. Since the stairs are right in front of the front door, we do our best to make them look festive during the holiday season when we have our most company. In the dining room (on the right) you can see the little tree that my sister and I put up with our little ornaments that we made when we were little.

This is my favorite ornament. It holds no special memories or meaning, but I just think it always looks pretty and festive!

I have always been cracked up by this ornament! It looks like Santa is bungee jumping off the tree using his hat as a rope!!

Does your family have any fun traditions/ decorations? Let me know in the comments!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Springerles (Part Two)

11 days until Christmas!

Now that we've got the technicalities of this thing over with, let's move on to everyone's focus: springerles. As I said yesterday, they are a perfect Christmas cookie. The lightness of the texture and the taste makes this German sweet a great way to end a heavy holiday meal.

Yesterday I mixed up the dough, rolled it out, implanted the design, and left it to sit overnight covered by a thin cloth. Today, I baked them, and I have to say that they came out amazing!

My springerles came out a little less poofy than they usually are, but I think I might've rolled them out a bit too thin. I would recommend rolling them out to about the thickness of a pencil for them to rise to regular size. But hey, at least the flavor is spot on!

If you're looking for a new Christmas cookie instead of all the old traditional favorites, this is definitely the route to go!! You can find the complete recipe here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Springerles (Part One)

Let's kick off this Christmas countdown!!

12 days until Christmas, and man-oh-man am I excited!!

Today I am presenting you to the best Christmas cookie in the history of Christmas cookies: the springerle. Springerles are anise-flavored German cookies that could be described as pillowy poofs of heaven. Since a big majority of the southern Indiana population has some German blood running through their veins, a Christmas get-together is never without this amazing treat.

Springerles dough is made, rolled out, and rolled over with a special engraved rolling pin the night before you bake them. (I'm not sure why, but I'm sure sitting overnight does something to make this wonderful cookie even more wonderful!) A special engraved rolling pin is used to stamp decorations into the dough and mark where to cut it into squares. If you don't have a handy-dandy springerle roller just lying about, you and use a circle cookie cutter to shape the cookies and stamp them with the fancy end of a small juice glass.

So let's get to this great recipe, shall we?!

Traditional Springerles

(Note: This recipe is property of a friend of my mother's. It is not my own.)


-2 cups powdered sugar
-4 eggs
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-2 teaspoons anise extract
-4 cups flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


Beat sugar and eggs on medium speed on your mixer for 15 minutes. Add butter and anise. Mix in flour and baking powder. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface and divide into four equal parts. Roll each part out 1/8 of an inch thick and implant design. Slice (using the lines implanted on your dough for direction) and separate cookies. Let sit overnight on a pan covered by a thin towel. The next day, bake at 280 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-19 minutes.

Your dough will probably not be a perfect rectangle, so don't be scared to cut away nasty looking edges once you've used the roller.

Just looking at this beautiful little square of dough makes my mouth water for Christmas.

I can't wait until tomorrow, when I bake these and then devour them!! 

Tomorrow I will be back to show you how these lil' guys turned out!

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Been Awhile...

Christmas is almost here, and I am definitely in the spirit! Decorations are up, and I've been working on presents since early November. You guys remember that overly demanding school schedule I talked about earlier? Yeah, it's never really left. (So when I don't post on here for a couple weeks, that's usually the reason. I think about you guys often, though!) Being organized about what I'm getting people has seriously saved my life this year!!

I always feel bad when I don't post on here very often, and I seriously do miss it. In order to get into more of a blogging routine, I am starting a new tradition: The Homeschooled Hoosier's Countdown to Christmas! Every day in December up until Christmas I will post something new, whether it be recipes, gift ideas, or fun seasonal crafts.

I will be back tomorrow to kick off the countdown! I can't wait!!