Phee & Santa

So glad that Phee's school has Santa pictures one day in November. No fighting the crowds for us. At least until next year when she's in Kindergarten.


Stocking stuffers for readers & writers

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Last year, Doug got me some funny little stocking stuffers that I just loved. See those tattoos and bandaids below? They're awesome. I mean, who wouldn't love a little Edgar Allan Poe on their arm? He'd found some funny stocking stuffers for everyone since the family was all together, but these were, in my completely biased opinion, the best ones.

And so, I thought I should really share them so you can make the readers and writers in your life laugh when they open their stockings this year. There are so many fun little things you could get for that particular group, from paper and pens to page markers, sweet treats for an afternoon of reading and, especially, coffee.

So, here's a fun, and fairly funny, list of stocking stuffers you still have time to get for the writers and readers in your life. Enjoy!

Stocking stuffers for writers and readers ~ Life in Random Bits #gifts #christmas #presents

Personalized notepads from Tulaloo
You can never have too many notepads around when inspiration strikes, when you need to make note of some books, or you want to save a quote.

Edgar Allan Poe bandaids
Adults should get fun character bandaids, too!

Handmade ballpoint pen from Wortheffort
These gorgeous pens are great for jotting down a quick note, making notations in a favorite book, or sending off a quick note to a friend.

Jane Austen tattoos
Temporary tattoos are just fun. And these are particularly cute!

Waterproof notepad
You never know when inspiration will strike! I know I do a lot of good thinking in the shower. And then promptly forget it all once I'm dried off.

Hemingway quote keychain from Fragile Elite Design
I love the little ballpoint nib charm on this key chain. And the writers in your life will appreciate the quote!

Funny page flags
Leave notes for yourself with style. Or at least humor!

And, of course, there's always tea or coffee. You need a warm drink to curl up with that book in winter!

What great things have you found for the readers and writers in your life this year?


Chocolate Covered Ritz Cookies

Last night I hosted a Christmas cookie party. Cookies and cocktails are a big hit and I was treated to a houseful of friends for a fun evening. Our little dining table was covered in delicious cookies!

It's such an easy and festive party to host for the holidays. Everyone wants Christmas cookies and what better way to show off your favorite family recipe or to try that new recipe that caught your eye on Pinterest. I'd love to show you a bunch of photos of my living room full of friends and laughter, but I was so busy talking and munching on cookies that I never once got my phone out for pictures. I checked with friends this morning, and they didn't take pictures either. I think it was a good party!

If you want to host a little cookie get together, it's something you still have time to pull of this month. Invite your friends, have everyone bake a couple dozen of their favorite cookies, and be sure they bring some copies of the recipe! Get some festive plates and napkins and lots of bags so people can take extra cookies home. Then, you just need to add some drinks. You can't go wrong with cocktails, but you'll probably want to throw some coffee and milk in there, too, just in case.

Chocolate Covered Ritz ~ Life in Random Bits #recipe #cookie

I made chocolate covered Ritz cookies, one of my favorites. My mom makes these cookies every year, and has for as long as I can remember. It's a fairly easy recipe and the only thing that really takes a lot of time is dipping the cookies in chocolate. You could certainly make them any time of the year, but they always mean Christmas to me. I added some holiday sprinkles to my finished cookies as a festive topper.

What's your favorite cookie to make at Christmas? Do you have old family favorites that you make year after year, or are you more adventurous, trying out new recipes instead?

Chocolate Covered Ritz ~ Life in Random Bits #recipe #cookie

Chocolate Covered Ritz Cookies

  • Ritz crackers
  • peanut butter
  • chocolate chips
  • Crisco
  1. Spread peanut butter on Ritz crackers and make little cracker sandwiches.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, adding 3-4 T Crisco to thin it enough for dipping. Add more Crisco or chocolate chips as needed.
  3. Dip cracker sandwiches in chocolate, covering each one completely.
  4. Place dipped cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets. Add sprinkles if desired. Cool in refrigerator.
  5. Store in fridge. Can be served cold or at room temperature. 

Chocolate Covered Ritz ~ Life in Random Bits #recipe #cookie

Linked up at Memories by the Mile, Kenarry, FoodySchmoody, The Country Cook, The Evolution of Mom, Tip Toe Fairy, MamaBuzz, Live Laugh Rowe.


DIY Doll bed

We like DIY around here. A lot. I make things for the house, but my favorite thing to do is to make things for Phee. I've made her so many little things over the years... her own key chain, a book of colors, her own lovey necklace. It's a lot of fun and especially awesome when I hit upon something that she uses at the time, but keeps coming back to months, or even years, later.

For a couple years now, I've tried to make at least one of her Christmas presents. It's fun for me and I like the creativity it sparks in Phee. We've been making things together for years now, and her first instinct when she wants something is to ask if we can make it. So, I keep making things to keep us both on our toes when it comes to being creative, reusing things at the house, and thinking outside the box.

When I was little, my Grandma Helen made me a baby doll carrier out of a fruit basket. She covered it with fabric, lined the basket, and made a little pillow and blanket to fit inside. I loved that basket and it's still at my mom's house for Phee to play with. Two years ago, I made Phee her own little bed for her babies. It's been a hit and it gets used as so many things... baby bed, cave, wall in a fort... the possibilities with Phee's imagination are endless.

DIY doll bed you can make for your kids ~ Life in Random Bits #diy #toys #crochet

This is a great little gift you can make on your own. And you can customize it so many ways. You can either put together a lot of ready-made pieces, or create a lot of pieces yourself. I did half and half. I picked a nice little basket from the Container Store. I used a travel pillow and pillowcase as the mattress. I used white felt and craft stuffing for the pillow. And then I crocheted a tiny blanket to complete the bed.

DIY doll bed you can make for your kids ~ Life in Random Bits #diy #toys #crochet

It's the perfect little bed for almost all of Phee's stuffed animals and babies. Two or three have been known to sleep in there. Phee keeps it on the floor next to her bed. It's really cute and I've always loved that she enjoys this gift so much.

Do you like to DIY gifts for your kids? What sorts of things have you made for them, or for anyone? I love to see the fantastic things that people make.

DIY doll bed you can make for your kids ~ Life in Random Bits #diy #toys #crochet


DIY glittery Christmas decorations

I received a box of Christmas goodies from Dollar Tree to create this post. Opinions and ideas are all mine.

We love decorating for Christmas. The fact that it's a really short month between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is driving us nuts. We got our Christmas tree immediately after Thanksgiving so that we could enjoy it for as long as possible. It still might not be enough time!

Phee has totally gotten into it all this year. She made some different decorations and ornaments in her last acting class and she put those on the tree as soon as it was up and lit. She has her own little pink tree in her room, too, and that has become a bit of a campfire in her games. It's also covered in ornaments she made.

It's so much fun to see her enthusiasm and excitement for the holidays and then to see the pride on her face when she has an opportunity to display her crafts and projects. I'm thinking she gets part of that from me. I love it when I have time to make fun things for the holidays. This year, after making some great Halloween decor with items from Dollar Tree, I was invited to participate in their Christmas promotion as well. A box of Christmas goodies to go crazy with? Sign me up for sure!

I got all sorts of great things- ribbon, ornaments, wreaths, glitter covered everything. We're big fans of glitter in this house. Well, maybe not Doug so much, but Phee and I will use it whenever we can. After I sorted the box, I got to work grouping, organizing, thinking, and generally just playing around with the designs and colors.

Glittery ornament centerpiece ~ Life in Random Bits #decor #christmas #diy

And then I made one of my favorite decorations. I have a heavy black tray I use on our dining room table to hold a plant on regular days, or decorations for holidays. But it wasn't being used for anything Christmasy. Well, no more! It's now a fabulous decoration that will be carried right into the new year. I emptied all the silver ornaments I received onto the tray and then nestled two votive holders in the center of the tray. With a LED candle in each one, it's a glittery decoration that I love to look at. It catches the light from the votives, the tree, and the living room and looks beautiful on the table.

Glittery ornament centerpiece ~ Life in Random Bits #decor #christmas #diy

I couldn't resist using some of the glittery items as well, so I made a wreath, too. I wrapped some candy-cane type ribbon around a wreath form and hot glued a big red bow to the bottom. After taking apart some decorative sprays, I regrouped the pieces I wanted into a smaller spray to one side of the bow. The final touch is a little gold bird happily sitting on the top of the wreath.
Glittery candy can inspired wreath ~ Life in Random Bits #christmas #decor #diy
These both turned out so well. And you can't beat easy and inexpensive when it comes to decorating. Honestly, you could make either one of these for $5. You can check out the Dollar Tree website for more decorating ideas, too!

What projects are you working on for the holidays this year? Are you making any decorations? Or gifts for anyone? I love making gifts!

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