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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Loose Leaf: Making A Home Away From Home For The Holidays

 My friend and fellow blogger Bethany Fobare, messaged me awhile ago asking for help on a project she had been working on. The topic of the project was "making the holidays" for students and young adults who may be in their first apartments (or dorms) who need to work with budgeted decor, cooking in a limited kitchen, gifting ideas, etc. Here are some of the tips I offered:
  •  My boyfriend always talked about how during a snow storm his dad would take him out for a "blizzard walk". What is a blizzard walk you may ask? A blizzard walk is a stroll to the closest 711 in a snowstorm to get hot chocolate. I always thought it would be a cute idea to send a little change in your Christmas cards, inviting those who you might see soon for a blizzard walk next time you're together. 
  • I also love the idea of making homemade ornaments. Those plastic bubbles from the craft store are super cheap and you can fill them with things from outside in your area. That way you're sending a piece of wherever you live to loved ones far away!

  • Paper bags!!! A great way to wrap presents so they look not only festive, but also avoid looking cheesy is to go the classic paper bag and string route! The brown and white neutrals provide a perfect backdrop to place a sprig of holly, make a bow stand out, or even make your own charm to put on top! 
  • Last year in my dorm I bought one of those little Christmas trees, but the ornaments I had were too heavy to hang on the tree. Instead I tied string around them, hung thumbtacks on the wall and covered my wall in ornaments! The effect was awesome, especially when I turned the string lights on!
  • The old trick of pressing cloves into an orange is still a favorite of mine. Old fashioned I know, I don't hear anyone under the age of fifty using this trick- but it makes your room smell great, it's cheap, it's pretty, and it takes two seconds to make!!

Cooking With a Limited Kitchen
  •  This one is a little tougher. However, one of the best things I've found requires very few ingredients, and only a microwave! Click here for the recipe! If you mix butter in with your chocolate chips, you can microwave it until it melts and dip the cookie in just the same!!
  • Also, because I'm vegetarian, and Christmas is always a hectic time here in the Raphaelson household, we started doing Lasagna for Christmas! I know it's not the classic spiral ham, but it's simple, easy to put together ahead of time, has cheap ingredients, and looks pretty festive on a makeshift Christmas platter!
So even if Christmas Eve leaves you eating a bowl of Ramen noodles on your mattress on the floor, there is always a way to make things festive for the holiday season!

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