Merry Freaking Christmas!

It’s Christmas, friends, and with all of our family gatherings wrapped up in the previous week, Papa Bear are enjoying a long-awaited and magical LOTR-filled day of togetherness.

The One Ring

And with this, Leave Me to My Projects is going to wrap it up for the year. I’ll still be working, but behind the scenes to polish up the blog, do a little reorganizing, and make this blog in reality what it is in my head. Because seriously, that blog is the BOMB.

This last year has blown me away with readers (yes, it is still mind boggling to me that I have readers – the sometimes 1,000 a day arriving here have my undying gratitude) that have taught me and challenged me to grow as much as I hope I have helped them.

Thank you, each and every one of you.

Solstice Greetings!

Today marks the winter solstice, the day of the year when the least of the sun’s rays reach us down here on Earth.

Today in Chicago, the sun rose at 7:15 a.m. and sets again at 4:23 p.m. Compare that to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the sun rises at 5:16 a.m. and sets at 8:29 p.m.

Here in Chicago we got our first snowfall of the year that stuck, right after a day of torrential rain. I’m sort of terrified to see the block of ice I imagine my car to be encased in this morning.

Snow Queen Winter Solstice Yule Goddess 5x7 Greeting Card by Emily Balivet

Snow Queen Winter Solstice Yule Goddess 5×7 Greeting Card by Emily Balivet

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Broke for Christmas? Bake!

This year Papa Bear and I are in a conundrum that we have been through before, and one that I know so many others are in as well. We’re broke.

He is in barber school, Baby Bear just started private preschool, and we just moved into a new place. So yeah, the account balance is a little low at the moment. But we still have the little monkey, brothers, sisters, their spouses, our parents, grandparents, coworkers and more to buy for. So what to do?

I think we came up with the perfect solution. Bake! And then presents for the little one.

Sugar High Pinterest Board

Sugar High Pinterest Board

Baked goods are made with so much love (and sugar and butter), by our hands and from the heart, we can crank out huge batches for not much money, and delicious sweet things make everyone happy. And this way we’ll be able to give to even more people!

We’ll be whipping up some serious batches this weekend, including my Ginger Orange Molasses Cookies! In the meantime, be sure to check out my Sugar High Pinterest board to get some ideas for your own holiday baking.

Are you buying gifts this year, or making them?

A Very Etsy Christmas | Friday Obsessions

Christmas is legit right around the corner – are you ready?

Because we’re totally not. Not one stocking is hung, we haven’t picked up any gifts yet (more about that next week!), and we’re still unsure about whether or not to put up a tree, because our fat little kitten is an asshole who loves nothing more than destroying things.

Wiggum in da Tree

She spent December running laps in here and occasionally darting out to dispatch breakable ornaments. Jerk.

But today, in the digital world at least, we are Christmas prepped.

I have trolled my way all over Etsy to find some of the coolest tidings of joy around, from Christmas cards for the not-so Christmas-y amongst us, a collection of tasty Christmas-flavored lollipops, some adorable ornaments for the tree (again, assuming we get one up), some beautiful wall calendars to get ready for the new year, and some nifty wrapping paper (both real and printable!) to make Santa’s leavings even cooler than usual.

Just click on each picture to check each item out in its entirety on Etsy!

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Homemade Jam for Christmas

Christmas was wonderful this year. I got two days off in a week, in a row, I got to see my family, and my wonderful cousin Elisabeth who I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

Super outdoors-y cousin turned urban hippie

Elisabeth seems to have gotten all the good genes in the family (along with her little brother John, who seems to have transformed into the Hulk). Top tier athlete, Ivy League grad, freaky impressive resumé, tall and in perfect, and I mean perfect shape. And she lives in the Pacific Northwest now, the place I most want to live in all the world. And she brings us delicious jam for Christmas.

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