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Christmas Wrapping Bags 2

The Gift of Home Made

A few days ago my husband received the nicest package in the mail from his Mom…when I saw what she had sent over I could hardly believe my eyes.  It was a box full of hand made gift bags, complete with tissue paper and gift tags to be used to wrap our gifts.  It’s not often that people send and receive home made gifts any more, so when such a beautiful one lands on your doorstep it feels amazing.  Now I know these bags were for my husband, but I am completely smitten with them.  So much so that I had to share them with you!

Christmas Wrapping Bags

Oh these gift bags, they’re so gorgeous!  The work and detail and fabric that went into each bag really is amazing…even the inside of each bag is lined with beautiful fabric.

Christmas Wrapping Bags 2

They are so beautiful, but it’s the time that went into each bag that is really special.

Christmas Wrapping Bags 5

I mean, just look at the detail…all the different fabrics and ribbon on each bag.

Christmas Wrapping Bags 3

Beautiful colours and textures…

Christmas Wrapping Bags 4

I love them SO much I can’t bear to give them away, they’re just too special.  So we will only be using them for gifts in our little family.

Christmas Wrapping Bags 6

Hand made gifts really are the best.  Just knowing that someone is taking time out of their lives to make you something, really means a lot.  My husband was very touched at this gesture…as was I.

Christmas Wrapping Bags 7

So if you ever doubt that your hand made gift for someone in your life won’t be appreciated or loved, think again.  Whether it be homemade jam or cookies, a piece of art, a sewn treasure, just know that your gift is very special to the person you made it for, because of the love and time you took to make it.

Christmas Wrapping Bags 8

Thank you so much Steph, for this gift!

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So this is where I sign off until the New Year!  May your Christmas be full of love, great food and company!  And thank you all again so much for reading along with me this past year…you make this blog journey so special!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Place Setting Idea 6a

Christmas Place Setting Ideas

Setting a beautiful table at Christmas doesn’t have to be hard!  I’m sharing some simple ideas to make your table festive!

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I find when I’m cooking a meal for a big holiday or gathering, I tend to overlook the table setting then I’m scrambling last minute to make the table look nice.  But I really like the table to look nice, so now I try to plan ahead of time.  And over the years I have realized that the table doesn’t have to be complicated to look beautiful, in fact the more simple you keep things, the better.  With just a few simple decorations your table can be beautifully set!

All of these place settings took me just a few minutes to put together, they’re that easy!

Christmas Place Setting Idea // Love the idea of using a gift tag for the place card!

Gift tags are a great way to make a personalized place setting.  There are many options that are so cute already that there really is no need to make your own!  I used a gift tag for this setting and added a few of my favourite accessories of this season…bottle brush trees.

Christmas Place Setting Idea // Love the idea of using a gift tag for the place card!

Cute and personal!

Christmas Place Setting Idea // Simple bottle brush tree and name tag. So cute!

I used a bottle brush tree again for this place setting and added a simple kraft paper tag which looks great on the plaid cloth napkin (I found it at Chapters).

Christmas Place Setting Idea // Simple bottle brush tree and name tag. So cute!

Love.  This.

Christmas Place Setting Idea with a DIY Snow Glass Ornament

Make glass ornament place cards.  I bought empty glass ornaments from Michaels, and filled them with fake snow, then tied on a little red ribbon and name tag.  Easiest ever.

Christmas Place Setting Idea with a DIY Snow Glass Ornament

So simple and cute…and your guests can even take the ornaments home with them!

Christmas Place Setting Idea

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that this place setting is my favourite…the checked plaid napkin and cracker…I can’t stand the cuteness.

Christmas Place Setting Idea

I added a fresh sprig of evergreen and some pine cones for a pop of colour, then finished it off with another adorable gift tag.

Christmas Place Setting Idea with pretty black velvet ribbon around the cutlery.

If a subtle look is more your style, this type of table setting might work for you.  I tied up the cutlery with some black velvet ribbon then added a little winter fruit decoration.

Christmas Place Setting Idea with pretty black velvet ribbon around the cutlery.

Just simple and pretty.

DIY Mason Jar Snow Globe

And while we’re talking place settings I also wanted to share the simplest idea for a centrepiece to go with your table.  This DIY Mason Jar Snow Globe is the easiest craft I think I’ve ever made.  It’s so easy it’s almost embarrassing.  I just glued a bottle brush tree to the lid of a mason jar, added some fake snow and tied it up with some glittery white ribbon.  That’s it.  I like it.

Christmas Place Setting Ideas

The fun thing about putting together a Christmas table whether it be for brunch, lunch or dinner, is that there really are no rules.  You can have each place setting match, or make each one different, just have fun with it and don’t stress.

Christmas Place Setting Ideas

Anyway, I guess the whole point of this post was to show you how easy it is to put together pretty place settings, no matter your taste.

Christmas Place Setting Ideas

Just shop around your home and use gift tags you have in your wrapping stash, dress up every day napkins with sprigs of fresh greens or berries, add ornaments to the place setting as a small gift for your guests, use pretty holiday ribbons to add colour to the table, add decorative pillows to the chairs…it’s easy!

Christmas Place Setting Idea // Love the idea of using a gift tag for the place card!

I hope all of your holiday planning is going smoothly…this can be such a busy and hard time of year.  I try to remember to not put extra pressure on myself, so I hope you don’t as well!  xo

Have a Merry day!


Blueberry Baked French Toast {A Pretty Life}

20 Delicious Recipes for Christmas Morning

Here are 20 recipe ideas to make your Christmas morning delicious!

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We could all use a little extra help with breakfast on Christmas morning don’t you think?   It’s one of those meals that really needs some thought and planning done ahead of time.  For me, breakfast on the big day can be quite a conundrum because there is so much going on already!  That and the fact that I need the recipe to be easy, uncomplicated and quick to get on the table.  So this year let’s get ahead of the game and get Christmas morning breakfast planned ahead!

Here are 20 delicious recipe ideas for the big day!  Just click on the text or the image for the recipe!

20 Delicious Christmas Morning Recipe {A Pretty Life}

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Blueberry Baked French Toast

Blueberry Baked French Toast

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Apple Baked Dutch Baby

Apple Baked Dutch Baby

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Christmas Morning Wife Saver by Best of Bridge  (a big time family fave!!)

Christmas Morning Wife Saver

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Sourdough Egg Breakfast Casserole by Tastes of Lizzy T’s

Sourdough Breakfast Egg Casserole Recipe

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Bacon & Egg Morning Muffins from Beauty in the Mess

Bacon & Egg Morning Muffins

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Pecan Sticky Buns by Fynes Designs

Pecan Sticky Buns

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Overnight Vanilla Bean Apple French Toast

Vanilla Bean Apple French Toast

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Eggnog Pancakes

Eggnog Pancakes

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Biscuits & Gravy with Sausage & Egg Breakfast Casserole by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Sausage and Gravy Egg Breakfast Casserole

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Reindeer Pancakes by 365 Days of Pinterest

Reindeer Pancakes

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Crustless Quiche

Crustless Quiche

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Overnight Breakfast Enchiladas by Folks, Food and Fun

Overnight Breakfast Enchiladas

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Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal by Mama Loves Food

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

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Bacon & Cheese Quiche

Bacon and Cheese Quiche

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Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant Bake by Diary of a Recipe Collector

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Croissant Bake

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Bacon & Egg Breakfast Cups

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Bites

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Apple, Pecan & Bacon French Toast Brunch Casserole by Spaceships and Laserbeams

Apple, Pecan & Bacon French Toast Brunch Casserole

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Crockpot Breakfast Casserole by The Typical Mom

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole Recipe

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Overnight Pumpkin French Toast by Just Us Four

Overnight Pumpkin Pie French Toast

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Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

 Have a Merry delicious day!


Christmas Thumbprint Cookies  3{A Pretty Life}

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies are a must for your Christmas treat plate!  And double the batch because they’re going to get eaten fast!

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What is it about the Christmas season that just makes one feel like there needs to be dozens and dozens of cookies around?  I’m not complaining because I love cookies almost more than life itself.  I just find it fascinating that as soon as December hits it’s Christmas cookie madness all around.  That’s ok, I’ll jump on board…twist my rubber arm.  So now that we’ve decided that we must bake cookies, the biggest question is what kind?   Whipped Shortbread?  Rugelach?  Turtle Cookies?  Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies?  These are all favourites, but I’ve been craving thumbprint cookies, I just love a melt in your mouth cookie with jam…SO good.  So I made some.

These Christmas Thumbprint Cookies filled my craving and then some!

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 3{A Pretty Life}

Actually these are the best Christmas cookies I have made to date.  I’m not even kidding.  This batch only makes 15 cookies, and I’m telling you that is not enough…this recipe needs to be doubled.  They taste like butter and brown sugar with raspberry jam and the combination is intoxicating.  I made a batch in hopes of being able to send them with the kids to school in their lunches, but the first batch didn’t even make it to the next day, they’re that good.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 4{A Pretty Life}

And I love that this isn’t a complicated recipe…there are no tricky ingredients or steps. You can make the dough and have fresh cookies ready in less than half an hour, all with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.


Yields 15

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies
Save Recipe


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • raspberry jam


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
  5. Add the flour mix to the butter/sugar mix and combine.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes.
  9. Then remove from the oven and make an indent in the ball (circular to hold the jam).
  10. Add about a 1/4 to 1/2 a tsp of raspberry jam to the indent.
  11. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes more.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies {A Pretty Life}

If you don’t like raspberry jam, these would be delicious with strawberry, apricot or peach jam, or even marmalade.  SO good.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 2a{A Pretty Life}

I’m off to make another batch!  I hope you try these thumbprint cookies and love them as much as we do!

Have a Merry delicious day!


My Holiday Home 2015  25{A Pretty Life}

My 2015 Holiday Home Tour

Welcome to my holiday home tour!  I’m so happy to have you here.  xo

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The wait is finally over…I can finally show you my holiday home and I couldn’t be more excited!  There are big changes in here!  In fact, everything is completely different from last year, and it’s just the change I have been waiting for, for so long.  Over the years I have yearned for more traditional Christmas decor and colours, and finally that is happened with help from Lowe’s!  I’ve brought in reds, greens, whites, plaids, faux fur, and a lot of natural elements.  It’s like a country Christmas in the suburbs!

The biggest change we made was with our tree.  As you may remember from my last post, we decided to put up an artificial tree this year, which is the first time this has happened in my entire life.  For real.  I have always had a real Christmas tree, but this year we broke the tradition…but don’t worry, we are LOVING our new tree.  It’s not just any tree, it’s a flocked tree.

I grew up in Northern Alberta where the trees really looked frosty like this in the winter, so this tree makes me SO happy.  Actually, when I started decorating the tree, I loved how beautiful it looked just standing on it’s own and I almost didn’t want to decorate it!  But I had a vision and I was going to make it happen.

My Holiday Home 2015 10{A Pretty Life}

This tree was so easy to put together…honestly it took me less than 5 minutes to put it up, plus it came all decked out with lights, so I didn’t even have to string them up!  Now that the tree was up, it was time to bring my vision together.  I started by tucking little red berries all throughout the tree.

My Holiday Home 2015 11{A Pretty Life}

Then I wrapped the tree in some beautiful plaid cloth ribbon which makes a perfect garland, and adds just the perfect amount of red.  I love how it looks.

My Holiday Home 2015 27a{A Pretty Life}

And now the real fun begins!  I’ve decked the halls and I can’t wait to show you how it all came together.  Shall we get started?

Welcome to my holiday home…it’s Christmas in here!

My Holiday Home 2015 12{A Pretty Life}

Let’s start with our tree because it’s the focal point of our living space and really sets the tone for the rest of our holiday home.

Pretty Red and White Christmas Tree

I am in love with our tree.  IN LOVE.  And I’m so relieved that our whole family loves it too.  Part of me was afraid to change our decorations, because kids often dislike what they’re not used to.  And to be honest, trying to convince the kids that we weren’t going to get a real tree this year was a challenge…that is until they saw how it all came together, and they love it too!  This makes me more happy than I can say, because really, the magic of Christmas is about the kids.

My Holiday Home 2015 13{A Pretty Life}

My Holiday Home 2015 {A Pretty Life}

Together we filled our tree with so many stunning ornaments…white, clear and black glass ball ornaments, teeny tiny birdhouses, woodland creatures, wooden ornaments, plaid bows, snowflakes, stars, and plenty of our most cherished ornaments.  It’s a beautiful blend of old and new.

Pretty Red and White Christmas Tree

 So much beautiful.

My Holiday Home 2015 19{A Pretty Life}

My Holiday Home 2015 28{A Pretty Life}

I wish you could see what it all looks like at night!  One of my most favourite things to do during the holiday season is to sit down at the end of the day with only the lights of the tree on.  It’s so cozy and pretty.  I always miss this part the most once Christmas has passed.

My Holiday Home 2015 29{A Pretty Life}

Our pup loves it too.  This is Molly’s new place to sleep…I bet it’s cozy down there.

Rustic Christmas Decor

Once the tree was decorated, I turned my attention to the rest of our living room, and because the tree was so full, I wanted the decor in the rest of the room to be a bit more simple, especially the mantel.

Simple and pretty Christmas Mantel

So I decorated the mantel with very minimal decor and I think it balances the tree perfectly.  I might even leave the mantel the way it is after the holiday decor comes down!

My Holiday Home 2015 23a{A Pretty Life}

A simple pine cone garland and metal star lights was all the mantel needed!

Pretty Christmas arrangement idea

Ok, it also needed a pretty holiday arrangement!  I love bringing the outdoors in, and this arrangement is the perfect way to do this…evergreen branches, birch logs and pine cones wrapped up in plaid.  It also ties in with the tree really nicely.

Rustic and Classic Christmas Decor

This view from my couch is my favourite…all nestled in with cozy pillows and a perfect view of the tree.

Pretty Red and White Christmas Tree

Once the tree and mantel were complete I added more Christmas decor throughout my main floor.

My Holiday Home 2015 15{A Pretty Life}

These wood lantern candle holders are so pretty, and they look great at night too!

My Holiday Home 2015 22{A Pretty Life}

Who could resist these adorable deer?

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Or a winter snow globe?  I love this one.

Love the wreaths hung indoors!

I also hung up my simple evergreen wreaths with more of the same plaid ribbon found on my tree.  I absolutely love the look of wreaths hanging on doors and windows, even indoors!

Pretty Christmas staircase garland

It wouldn’t feel like Christmas here without the staircases getting decked out as well!  I hung new evergreen garlands on our staircases all decked out with white lights, red and silver ornaments and red plaid bows.  So pretty.

Pretty Red and White Christmas Tree

I’m so thrilled with how everything turned out…I really am a classic Christmas kind of gal, and I’m happy to finally embrace it!

My Holiday Home 2015 21{A Pretty Life}

Thank you all so much for stopping by today to take a tour of my holiday home, it means so much to me to have your here.  I hope you are having a lovely Christmas season!

Have a very Merry day!


And thank you to Lowe’s Canada for making this all possible for me!  For more holiday inspiration and ideas, you can follow Lowe’s on Facebook,Twitter and Pinterest as well!