I’ve been putting a phenomenal amount of pressure on myself to do and make new projects for our first Christmas in Canada as a little family. Reality, however, always has different plans. The reality is that we moved into our apartment less than 2 months ago and there is SO MUCH I didn’t realise would be involved with starting from scratch with everything. I’m working on cutting myself some slack [and will be trying my best to actually relax over the holidays], but I still wanted to spread some Christmas cheer, so today I’m sharing a roundup of my favourite Christmas projects. And luckily, 50% of them are edible [my kind of project].
VEGAN BAILEYS – I made this recipe two years ago for Sadhbh of Where Wishes Come From’s Christmas Craft Advent. I promise this recipe legit tastes like Baileys. It was sooo good. But if the whole vegan thing isn’t your thing, two years previous to that I published my Nannie’s Knock-Off Baileys recipe.
STORMTROOPER STAMP TUTORIAL / STORMTROOPER WRAPPING PAPER – a really fun project I made for Wayfair a few years ago combining Star Wars and my affinity for wrapping paper. You could very easily use this stamp tutorial to make a stamp to create a wallpaper effect!
EDIBLE ORNAMENTS – another one of my favourite Christmas projects that I was hoping to recreate this year but never got around to it. I’ve made these zesty lemon Christmas ornaments a few times and they do not disappoint. They’re very easy to make and even more fun to eat straight off the tree.
SEASONAL SWITCH PLATES – this is an oooooold project [as noted by my photography ‘skills’], but making these seasonal light switch surrounds were one of my favourite projects years and years ago. I can’t wait for them to arrive in our container. Actually, I might have to make more to suit Canadian light switches as they’re a different shape … ANY EXCUSE RLY.
Those are my strictly Christmassy projects, but if you’d like to see all my DIYs, just check out my DIY tab. Merry Christmas / bottoms up!
Last week I was listening to a discussion on CBC Radio and they briefly mentioned the mental health benefits of candle light [I tried to find the discussion online, but since it was so briefly mentioned as part of a wider discussion, I can’t find it. Welp]. It was one of those things you do on a subconscious level but it never really registers with you until someone points it out. It got me thinking about how much I use candles in our home and a lot of the time it can contribute to making me feel better, as silly as it sounds.
There’s something about coming home after a long day to a dark and cosy room, splaying yourself on the couch, watching your favourite show / movie / series, light a few candles and create a bit of a calming ambiance [said Micky Flanagan style]. I’m sure there’s a science to it and candle light relates to our ancestral heritage before electricity or goes as far as cavemen and women, but there’s something that makes me feel better when there is a candle lit in a room.
I’m not ashamed to say I can have periods where I’m not in a great place. We’ve had a rough year and we’re still adjusting to living in a new city / country / continent far from everything and everyone we know. Some days are good, and others, not so much. If I’m too inside my head, I find a cosy space helps me put my thoughts in order. I feel more relaxed. I can put things into perspective. I’m able to let go of things and [try to] GTF over them. It’s like it’s my way of self medicating, but with candles. Is that a thing? I’m going to claim it’s a thing. Candles are my medication.
I find I’m much more of a winter person than a summer person in general. I prefer dark spaces and creating a cosy atmosphere. And snuggles and blankets and mittens and hot drinks and candles. I find it interesting that it all relates back to my design style, dark romantic luxe, that I time and time again come back to. Creating my own little space that helps me start to feel better, comfortable and safe [not that I feel unsafe, but you know what I mean].
Whatever it is that makes you feel better and helps you get into a better head space, do that thing. Whether it’s cheesy movies, board games, a giant meal or something as basic as candle light. Or all of the above and that is more than okay because I am right there with you on the couch eating all of the food.
*Please know that I am not suggesting buying a $10.99 candle instead of going to therapy. If you are in a very bad place, a candle alone won’t do the trick. I’ve been there and I’ve gotten help and trust me, if you think you need help then get it. Just know that I’m not belittling mental health and saying it can be cured by slapping a candle on it.
This Christmas we kept things really simple at home. I didn’t get around to decorating our apartment until the beginning of December, which by blogger terms, is so late I may as well have not decorated at all.
I stuck to my naked tree idea and [I think] it turned out really lovely. I decorated our tree with just two strings of lights – a solid set and a string of flashing lights, which ended up being Cora’s favourite piece of entertainment. Who needs a babysitter when you have a Christmas tree to entertain a newborn for hours!
After driving Cora around to all her visits over the next couple of weeks [we’re already her chauffeurs], I foresee lots of Netflix, eating waaay too much food, having an occasional glass of wine between feeds [#BadMom] and participating in as little physical activity as possible. I hope however you spend the holidays this year, you get to do a lot of what you want and a bit of what you need.
xx The Carberrys