Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Contest Winner

Before I announce the winner I would just like to say thank you to everyone who participated. You guys really did what I asked and engaged with one another in the comment section. So thank you for being a part of this Blogmas community this December!

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Now, to the contest!

There were many great submissions but my top three included:

Third Place:

The Ultimate Secret Santa Gift Guide by A Teen Called Tara: Looking for some great gifts for the loved ones (and not so loved ones) in your life? Secret Santa should no longer be difficult with these gift ideas from Tara! Check her out!

Second Place:

How to Survive (the family) Holidays – 13 Joyful Hacks – by A Fish Named Karen: While I am blessed to get along really well (with the majority) of my family, I know that this is not the same for everyone. Struggling to get through the holidays? Take a read, Karen’s got some great tips!

That mean the First Place Winner is . . .

Do You Believe? Written by the wonderful Eugenia

“Santa’s sleigh topsy-turvy

leaving a swath

of holiday drama.

Splendid gifts wrapped with care

lost in a quilt of clouds

for evah and evah!

But, wait! Elves to the rescue

and every gift retrieved!

Hey, li’l children

gather around coz

’tis no fallacy the

miracle on 34th street

is to be believed.”

Thank you again folks to everyone who participated! I hope that you all had wonderful Christmases.

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Blogs / Life

Blogmas: Our First Christmas Tree

This Christmas will be the first year that I am a wife. It’s the first Christmas that I will be able to wake up and say good morning to my husband right away. This Christmas, although we will still enjoy time with our families, we are finding new traditions of our very own.

One major tradition change this year is the cutting down of our own tree. In my family we always had fake trees (less expensive and less of a fire hazard), but my husband adores real trees. He had been talking about cutting down a real tree for our first marriage for years. I couldn’t deny him this Christmas magic and so we went off in search of a little tree that could fit in our small studio.

It was harder than I thought it would be since we both were drawn to the tall, looming, expansive trees. I was often the voice of reason (“No, my love, a 13ft tree cannot actually fit inside the house unless you’d like to remove the bed.”)

Finally we found the perfect one!

We each took turns cutting it. (Okay, I took a very, very short turn and then gave the saw back to my husband. In my defense, I was also fighting a sickness that day.)

Finally, we had our tree ready to take home!

I was still a little nervous about it fitting in the small spot we had set aside for it, but of course, the hubby was right! It fit perfectly so we set to decorating it!

This is my favorite new tradition.

What are some of your favorite traditions for the Christmas season?

Blogmas 2019

More than a Manger…

Matthew 2:1-3, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.” 

Around the holidays, there is inevitable controversy about one thing or another: Starbucks cups, Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, the actual date of Jesus’s birth, etc., etc., etc. This is nothing new.

Christmas has always been controversial. – Pastor Matthew Brown

One of the greatest controversies perhaps is concerning Jesus Christ himself. Jesus Christ is more than just a baby in a manger, in fact, his life did not start in that manger. Long before that manger, Jesus existed as the Word.

I John 1:1-5, “In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him (Jesus). The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and his life (Jesus’s life) brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” 

Indeed, Jesus did not come into existence, instead He existed with God in the very beginning of God. Jesus is the guiding force behind all creation.

  • The book of Matthew starts the story by tracing Jesus’s lineage back to Abraham (the father of Judaism)
  • The book of Luke starts the story of Jesus by tracing his lineage to Adam (the father of mankind)
  • The book of John starts the story of Jesus by going back to the Beginning – Jesus has always existed

“In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed.” John 1:1.

700 years previously, the prophet Micah shared God’s words, “But as for you, Bethlehem . . . Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2

Jesus, having always existed, humbled himself and reduced himself to a human baby born in an unknown town. Christmas may cost you money, it may cost you time, but for God, it cost him everything to send his son to live among us and to share his good news.

To Watch this Excellent Message for Yourself, please click here

You can attend online like me!

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Just included this song because I love it

 

“. . . Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the
World

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth . . .”

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: Christmas Cookies

Another thing that I love about Christmas (and any holiday) is the cookies! This year I’m doing my best to learn how to do make sugar cookies with royal icing.

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Here’s my nifty little station to work at 😀

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And here’s the end result! I’m still learning, but I think they came out alright!

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Sticky fingers and sticky hands

So much, for the best laid plans

To be honest though, I don’t truly mind

As long as our sticky fingers are intertwined

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: Top 12 Christmas Songs

Well here it is, I did warn you that I would be posting all about my favorite Christmas Songs! If you have the time, at least listen to #3 since I’m betting you haven’t heard it before! Here are my Top Twelve (I couldn’t narrow it down to 10 haha) Christmas Songs:

12. Carol of the Bells (It’s a classic!)

11. Let it Snow performed by Jessica Simpson (don’t hate on me just yet, I really love the upbeat feel to her version)

 

10. Do You Hear What I Hear? performed by Carrie Underwood

9. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (come on, it’s fun! The Duck Dynasty version is also hilarious with Uncle Si)

 

8. Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix 

 

7. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy performed by Lindsey Stirling (I enjoy many instrumental Christmas songs, but I really love this song and Lindsey’s performance!)

 

6. Where are you Christmas? performed by Faith Hill

 

5. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (I prefer the Idina Menzel or Elf versions, but my boyfriend loves the Glee version)

 

4. The Christmas Shoes by NewSong (This song breaks me every time, but I love it!)

 

 

3. His Favorite Christmas Story by Capital Lights (if you have never heard this song, I beg of you, please listen until the very end. I promise chills and tears <3)

2. O Holy Night performed by Josh Groban

 

1. Mary, Did you know? by Pentatonix 

I have always loved this song, but their rendition is truly beautiful.

 

Let’s take a vote! Out of these Top Twelve Christmas songs, which one is your favorite?

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: My Favorite Christmas Mug

Happy Blogmas!

Today I am sharing my favorite Christmas mug and believe me, it was a difficult decision. I’m that person who has cupboards full of mugs. But here he is, my favorite Christmas mug who is both adorable and efficient.

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He never topples

Nor does he tumble

He sits there and smiles,

Blushing and humble

My little snowman

Guardian of my tea

Who keeps the precious liquid

Warm for me

 

What is your favorite mug? Tell me about it below or link back to your own Christmas Mug post!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: A Time to Remember

“Howling wind slows mid-flight

At the sound of the infant’s cry

It too must take a breath,

To watch a miracle unfold.

The baying mule pauses its whine

When it hears the baby’s laughter.

He wonders who is the cream-colored creature

Asleep in his trough of hay.

A young mother pauses her prayers

To meet the heavy eyes of a father.

Their journey reflected in his joyful eyes;

A journey of trial and triumph.

Angels of fire and light release

A breath held, a too-long pause.

Their voices crescendo, shaking the Heavens

and waking sleeping men.

Magi with presents that shine

And shimmer; complete the fervent

Journey to bow in wonder

At a bundle swathed in cloths.

And now we students pause,

Suspend our studies, to remember

A story, to take a moment to praise

The birth of a Savior.​”

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: Top 5 Christmas Movies to Watch in December

It’s December, it’s almost Christmas, it’s cold enough to cuddle with blankets, so you best believe that I will be watching my Christmas movies (and binge-watching Disney+) with pleasure!

So grab your own blanket, slip on those fuzzy socks, pop the corn, and take a seat with me. Take a vote and tell me below which of these five is your favorite!

5. Frozen (the first one, I haven’t seen the second one yet!) (While it is not technically a “Christmas” movie, the snow and ice is enough for me to consider it a December must,

 

4. 2003 ELF  (I’m not always a fan of Will Ferrell, but he nailed this role!) Plus, Buddy is pretty much a modern-day Rudolph (the comparisons are solid, trust me, I did the analysis).

3. 1990 Home Alone (Yes, he is a total brat in the beginning who needs a good spanking, but you gotta love his ingenious booby-traps and the humor. Plus, he learns his lesson! Kind of…)

2. 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (I swear this is one of Jim Carrey’s finest roles! I usually watch this movie multiple times during the holiday season. Plus, you have to enjoy the humor snuck in there just for the adults.)

1. 1994 The Santa Clause with Tim Allen 

By far, this is the best Christmas movie. When I imagine “Santa Clause,” Tim Allen is the only face I see. For all I am concerned, he IS Santa Clause. It deals with real life issues like divorce, it has holiday joy, it has snarky sarcasm, and it leaves me with a happy feeling inside.

 

What do you think? Am I missing any of the classics? What is your top holiday movie?

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Craft #2

Hey Everyone!

The Snowman craft post was a ton of fun, so I thought I’d continue my Christmas crafts and show you how you can create a more “sophisticated” craft this Christmas.

Step #1: Acquire, clean, and paint your bottles

Now, I’m not suggesting that you become an alcoholic, but you are going to need some empty bottles: wine, liquor, whatever. (While it’s more fun to use the different shapes for the snowman, you will want to use similar shapes and sizes for the JOY decor)

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After you’ve collected your bottles, you will need to spray them your preferred color (white). Let them dry and then spray them again. You will almost always need 2+ coats of paint.

Step #2: Acquire Craft Supplies

For these “JOY” wine bottles, you will need three wine bottles of similar height, three branches of red holly, a branch of mistletoe (which you will cut into smaller branches), a glue gun, stencils of your choosing, red glitter squeezable paint, and a ball of twine. (These supplies can range anywhere around $15-$70 depending on what you get and how much you get)

Step #3: Creating the Design

After stenciling on the letters of your chosen styling, you will need to fill in the letters with red glitter glue. Make sure to give a thick layer as it will flatten and thin out as it dries. (These will take a full 24 hours to dry).

joy

 

Step #4: Seal in the Design

A full 24 hours later, your glitter letters will have thinned down and you will want to spray the whole bottle with clear sealing spray paint. After this coat has dried (another hour or so), using the hot glue gun you will apply layers of twine to the top of the bottles.

twine

Step #5: Become the Florist Your Always Wanted to Be

Remember those holly berries and mistletoe branches from earlier? Create a lovely Christmas-themed floral arrangement coming from the tops of those bottles as your finishing touch!

There you have it! The whole process takes about 2-3 days and the various supplies can be found at most craft stores.

They make great presents too!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: Christmas Craft

Today for Blogmas, as my present to all of you, I thought I might show you all how you can create your very own snow man to sit on your mantle. This craft is so easy, you could do it with your children!

Step #1: Acquire, clean, and paint your bottles

Step #2: Acquire Craft Supplies

For these snowmen, you will need a hot glue gun, spray paint, ribbon, berries, pine leaves, paint markers, and bottles. Now, I’m not suggesting that you become an alcoholic, but you are going to need some empty bottles: wine, liquor, whatever. (The fun shapes are more fun than just the standard wine bottles in my opinion).

After you’ve collected your bottles, you will need to spray them your preferred color (white). Let them dry and then spray them again. You will almost always need 2+ coats of paint.

pens (1 black, 1 orange), ribbon of your choosing, a glue gun, holly, and mistletoe. (These supplies can range anywhere around $15-$50 depending on what you get and how much you get)

Step #3: Use Stencils to Sketch Out Design

Step #4: Apply Ribbon and Mistletoe

AFTER spraying your snowmen with a clear coat of spraypaint–

Using scissors, cut the ribbon to your desired length. Using the glue gun, apply the ribbon like a cute little scarf for your snowmen. Then using the glue gun, apply your mistletoe.

Step #5: Admire Your Cute Army of Snowmen

There you have it! The whole process takes about two days and the various supplies can be found at most craft stores. These little cuties look great on fire place mantles, or anywhere else really!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.