The Homemade Gift

I recently bought dozens of clementines for a brunch I hosted and knew my family couldn’t eat them all over the next week, so I tried my hand at a very traditional Christmas centerpiece.  These fruit centerpieces were all the rage . . . back in the Colonial days.

I bought a styrofoam cone form at Michaels, had skewers leftover from a spring fundraiser, clipped some boxwood from outside and found an appropriate container.  I picked up a mercury glass bowl on the cheap at HomeGoods.  To steady the styrofoam, I used four strips of floral clay and then just went to work skewering the clementines.  Some of the boxwood are wrapped in floral wire but most are just stems that I stuck right into the styrofoam as well.  I topped off the centerpiece with few cranberries on a skewer.  This would work with apples, lemons, limes or any combination thereof.

Anyone else notice that vanilla extract prices have gone through the roof?  The Nielson Massey vanilla I have always bought at William Sonoma was around $15, now it’s $30 for a 4 oz bottle.  I decided to make my own and ordered 24 Madagascar vanilla beans for roughly $90.  I was able to make 15 four oz bottles of vanilla with the beans.  The fun part was figuring out the label.  The personalized stamper is from Etsy and brown Kraft labels from Amazon.

Produce Junction sells cut flowers for $2-$5 a bunch, so I decided to try my hand at an arrangement.  I ended up having enough flowers left so I will make a second.  This is a great hostess gift.  Again, container came from HomeGoods.


This is one of my favorite ways to give gift cards for Christmas.  It’s so simple – a ball jar, water, glitter and some small ornaments.  The water doesn’t hurt the gift card and the recipient will love the unique presentation.

Last night I popped into Terrain to see if anything was on sale.  The store is at its prettiest at Christmastime and especially at night.  I really should have taken more pictures!  In any case, I took this one of an adorable terrarium idea that could easily be replicated.  This would be a great gift for a family with young children.

And, a few more Christmas moments from around our house.


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