handcrafted for the holidays

It's crazy that Christmas is less than a week away!  I spent today stamping kraft paper to pretty it up as wrapping paper, and wrapping a few presents.  Our tree looks less naked now that there are presents underneath, even though almost all of them are for other people.  Dan and I usually agree that our annual rock gym membership is our Christmas present to each other and try to forego superfluous presents, though as Christmas gets closer I have a hard time not buying a couple fun presents for him.  Last year for Dan I splurged on a bottle of fancy Bruichladdich scotch the night before Christmas while on a grocery run, and it actually turned out to last nearly the whole year!  My parents mailed us a couple presents, though, so at least we'll have something to open on Christmas day.  It's hard to "open" a rock gym membership, and it also lacks the element of surprise which is half the fun.  I'm a purist when it comes to shaking or peeking at presents, or opening them early.  Last year I wouldn't let Dan give me my birthday present early even though he told me it'd be super practical.  I did end up opening it a bit early, and I wish I'd caved and opened it even earlier because it was an electric blanket and at the time we were living in the coldest house ever!  Sometimes being a purist doesn't make the most sense, practically speaking.


dress + cardigan/via swap :: hat/Dan's :: scarf/h&m :: boots/courtesy of minnetonka
tights/target :: coat/coldwater creek :: beach photos by Dan

Last month Minnetonka asked if I wanted to be a part of their Handmade for the Holidays lookbook by sharing some handmade holiday traditions and DIY's.  We don't have a ton of holiday traditions, but I knew there was one that I wanted to share that is a couple generations old in my family.  Every year for Christmas morning my Mom makes a Swedish Tea Ring for breakfast.  Since Dan and I have done our last two Christmases up in Alaska with my family I haven't yet had to take the reins on this tradition, but this year we'll be here in Tacoma, so I have to make my own tea ring this year!  My mom actually gave me her Betty Crocker cookbook, edges frayed from 30 years of being cracked open, with this recipe in it as a wedding present.  There's something so special and unique opening a cookbook passed down, and reading the same ingredients and directions as the women before me.  I love the internet and being able to look up pretty much any recipe my heart desires, but there's no substitute for the generational ties folded between the pages of an old cookbook.

Head over to the Minnetonka blog to find the recipe and another little (more boozy) holiday tradition of ours!