Wednesday, December 1, 2010

For the busy homemaker on a budget...




With all of the craziness and busyness that comes with planning a wedding, I think that all brides look froward to life calming down after the wedding...

But does that really happen? If it does, I'm still waiting for that moment!

Our fairy tale wedding was in May, and every minute of that day was special...in fact, we're still reminiscing over our favorite details! However, real life does settle in, and with that comes the sweeping of the floors, cleaning the bathroom, making the bed, doing laundry, matching the husband's socks (yes, the ones who thought they preferred to remain unmatched in his drawer!), cooking for two (which has had it's own challenges...when one is used to cooking for 10+, it's hard to know just how much (or how little!) to cook), running errands, etc... And now we're getting ready for the big arrival of a little one. Phew!


Don't get me wrong! I absolutely LOVE my job as a homemaker, a stay-at-home wife and soon to be mother...I wouldn't trade my job for any other in this world! It's so fulfilling and I love making our home a haven for my bestest friend in the world, Ben, to come home to in the evening. I am extremely thankful that my wonderful mother prepared me for this job, and I thank the Lord daily for giving me such a loving husband to serve.

Ben and I love to economize in every way we can...we hit the garage sales almost every weekend and pick up wonderful treasures, antiques and what-nots for very low prices. We eat good, local whole foods when they're in season, we've even canned together! And now the glorious holiday season is upon us! Having only been married for just over six months, we don't have much in the way of Christmas decor...so what does one do in such a situation? Well, we could go out and buy lots of things to make our house look festive. And we plan to add to our collection as the years pass, but we want to do that slowly and enjoy filling our home with pretty things. We want our accessories to have stories behind them...we don't want "stuff" we want treasures. And in the mean time, we make do with what we have!


Now what could this be for?

So after almost buying a rather pricey bag of spiced pine cones at the store, I thought I'd try spicing my own! I worked on them today, and had so much fun, I thought I'd share how I did it! All you need are some pine cones, water, an oven, newspapers and spices.....


Pine cones are easy to find this time of year, right? Ben's family very kindly gathered these HUGE ones from their property in the mountains and brought them down to me.

Step 1 ~ Rinse pine cones in water to remove any ickys...a nasty beetle thing came crawling out of one of my pine cones! *shudder*

Step 2 ~ Place pine cones onto old baking sheets (or cover the baking sheets in foil) and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.

In the meantime... Hey, what's this?!?!

Step 3 ~ When they're done baking, remove them from the pans and place them on newspapers.

Step 4 ~ Spray them with warm water and sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves. Shake off excess spices.

Step 5 ~ Use them in potpourri, on your mantle, as a centerpiece or decorate however you want to with them! Get creative and use ribbons, beads, cranberries, lace cuttings, greenery! I grabbed some gold trim that somebody gave me, cuttings from a tree in my yard, glass beads, cinnamon sticks, and cranberries! I might even glitter them later on...

So there you go! An easy, aromatic, budget friendly Christmas decoration idea!

And when you're done, treat yourself to some fresh out of the oven Cranberry-Orange Scones and tea!

13 comments:

Kathryn Grace said...

We LOVE buying spiced pinecones at the store... they smell soooo good! But we've never tried making them. Great idea (and those are monstrous!).
So when is your due date??

Jessica McDonald said...

Oh what a good idea!!! I wonder where I could find pine cones laying about around here...*thinks*

Looks like fun, Tiff! Keep posting - I love reading and seeing the pictures. :)

Love you! xoxo

Jean said...

Pretty sad that we've never thought to use our own pinecones. Sigh. Maybe you should have put them in the oven BEFORE you rinsed them, so that the little critters didn't attack you.:)
I like the idea of the scones. Ymmmmm.

Hmmm. Do they have pinecones in the midwest?

LY, Mumsie

Mrs.Rabe said...

Love Cranberry Orange scones and tea!

This is a wonderful idea...I may try it tomorrow! It would be wonderful to share at our church's ladies tea Friday night!

I am speaking about Keeping Christ in Christmas with a Simple Christmas...all about decorating with nature, things you already have etc...this would be a perfect fit!

Thanks!

Anthony said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! A bug in the kitchen!? I would have...well never mind about that. Did you kill it? I hope you did. Those scones sound really good.:)I never thought about using the pine cones sitting in the yard. Sounds interesting though.

Anton, Esq. to be

Simply Tiffany said...

Kathryn,

Yeah, I get tempted to buy them every time I walk by them...... Mmmmm, they smell SOOOOOOOOOOOO good! I'm thinking about using essential oils next time around... :) My due date is April 4th....not too much longer, I guess! So much to do to prepare, though!

Jess,

There are pine cones around there somewhere...I know I've seen them... In Mr. Vogel's yard? They were really fun to do, and it makes my living room and dining room look oh-so-festive!

*laughs* I'll try to keep posting. Ben has a post or two up his sleeve...so we'll see when I can get him to pull them out! Love ya lots and see you in 19 days!!!!!!!!!!! <3

Mumsie,

Now I need some evergreen clippings from the ranch... :)

Hehe...maybe, but a baked bug doesn't sound very good...he might have smelled up my house! :) You'll get some scones on Saturday!
Love ya!

Mrs. Rabe,

Oh, what a wonderful idea! I love keeping the holidays simple, and incorporating family traditions in everything... *sigh* It's such a beautiful time of year..and now I get to share it with my special someone! :) I hope you can use it!

Anton,

*laughing* Yeah, I shrieked...it scared me. Me!?!? Oh, yes, I pulled out my oh-so-handy vinegar and soaked him in it! Then I disposed of the evidence... :) Pine cones, greenery...yeah, nature is fun! As long as the bugs stay outside, that is! :)

Hec @ 19 said...

Baked pine cones with cinnamon! Sounds tasty, and they are high in fiber! The bugs add protein and are quite palatable when marinated in vinegar.

Laura said...

My Sam (now 11) was due on April 4, but made his grand arrival on April 9. You look great and it was nice to read a new post from you. We love gathering pine cones to throw in our fireplace. Spicing them up is a great idea. Stringing popcorn and cranberries is always a yearly Christmas tradition in our home.
Enjoy your first Christmas together!
Blessings,
Laura

Stacy McDonald said...

Okay, the bug crawling out of the pine cone nearly ruined it for me! ;-) I'm with Jean - roast the critters first!

When I was growing up, Mimi often used pine cones in our fall/winter decor, even though we hardly had a fall or winter in Texas! LOL In school, we used to decorate them with glitter, sequins, and beads as if they were little Christmas trees.

It was great seeing all the photos and hearing how much fun you're having homemaking. :-) POST MORE OFTEN!

I love you,

Mom

Sallie said...

It's such a great idea to scent them yourself... now, why didn't I ever think of that?!

Martha A. said...

This sounds like fun!!! Another way to get some cheap decorations for next year is buy them after Christmas for next year. i spent like pennies on Christmas things at 90% off at Target last year!

kymk99 said...

Great post Tiffany! Slowly but surely you will add items to make your home very Christmas-y. The cranberry scones sound yummy!

Simply Tiffany said...

Pops,

Hey, Sid the Sloth said that pine cones were good! Or was tasty his description? I guess these are the dessert version. :)

Laura,

Well, I'm hoping that she decides to make her big arrival earlier. :) I have selfish reasons, though... I've heard that the popcorn cranberry strings are fun! I'll have to try that sometime.

Mom,

*laughs* I almost gave up, but I was determined to finish what I had started! Besides, I couldn't leave the pine cones in my sink...

Oh, how fun! I might try decorating them next year. They'd be so cute! *laughs* Kind of like a Christmas here. Still green, and we had more rain today. We're not in Illinois anymore!

I'll try to keep things up... :) I love you, too!

Sallie,

Hope you had fun!

Martha,

Yes, I was going to try that, but we were out of town. I'm sure there are still things out there, though...I just have to get out of the house. Now that I'm feeling better that should be easy. :)

Mrs. Reynolds,

Thanks! Yes, starting small and slowly adding sounds like more fun...more memory makers that way. :)

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