Being a stay at home mom has had its advantages. I’ve been privileged enough to be there to see my boy hit every milestone and spend every night cuddled up to him (yes, we co-sleep). That’s not to say that there aren’t any disadvantages. We’ve had to tweak a few things around here so that I can continue to enjoy my special moments. For example, we are now having to live on just my husbands salary alone and we’ve had to make quite a few cuts in our budget. Gone are the days when we’d eat out a few times a week or pick up a few unnecessary items just because they were cute. I’ve had to get creative with our budget to still be able to afford a few little luxuries.
Take Christmas gifts for example, I know that I could easily explain to my family (all 100 of them, ok, I’m exaggerating, but I do come from a very large Mexican family) that gifts for all of them just aren’t going to happen this year. To be honest, I should have cut many of them off years ago. I have quite a few nephews and nieces that are in their 30′s and would understand if I skipped their gifts. After all, isn’t Christmas more about the kids anyway? So this year I’ve decided to still buy the kids presents and make gifts for many of the adults. I’ve made plenty of things in the past; my poor family members have had to tolerate all my crafty phases. I still remember a few funny glances I got from my nephews when they opened up the scarves I knitted them a few years ago. Let’s just say, heavy scarves aren’t a necessity for southern Californians (in my defense, I was living in NYC at the time). I myself have always preferred to get handmade gifts. There is nothing more special then someone taking the time to pour their heart and talent into a present for someone they care about. I cherish every handmade item I’ve ever been given.
So I’m taking to the internet to find some great DIY ideas. I’m thinking, baked goods, condiments, marinades and maybe some very easy crafts (I do have a 6 month old after all!). I’m ready to pour my heart into some gifts for those I love.
A few months ago, I got a huge bunch of kale in my organic vegetable delivery and I was
curious to find a new way to cook it. I did a google search for “kale recipes” and up popped cookieandkate.com. Cookieandkate.com is an amazing food blog that shares the fun and funny adventures of Kate (a twenty something vegetarian) and Cookie (her sweet dog) all the while sprinkling in some fantastic recipes. This food blog has probably been my favorite this year for healthy recipes. Not only is the photography beautiful but every recipe on this site is vegetarian and made with 100% whole grains so it’s easy to overindulge and not feel too guilty. I get a kick out of reading Kate’s posts and since finding the site I’ve experimented with about 6-7 of her recipes. Her recipes are pretty easy to make and I love that you don’t have to drive all around town going to specialty stores to find the ingredients. I already had everything I needed already in my pantry. The recipes are fantastic! I have yet to be disappointed. Some were so good I’ve actually made them twice, so it’s only natural that Kate’s blog would be the first place I look to for inspiration. She did not fail me.
Kate has a direct link to all of her recipes and wouldn’t you know it – the baked goods section is right on top! Smart move Kate!! With recipes like, Pumpkin Pecan Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies), Heavenly Lemon Blueberry Scones and even Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies, what’s not to love? Kate has gotten me inspired to get started on some yummy and healthy goodies. Thanks Kate!!
I’m sure there are few crafty folks and awesome foodies out there that are dying to share some great ideas for DIY Christmas gifts. C’mon, I know you wanna! Please feel free to share those ideas, or even photo’s in our comment section, I’m dying to hear what you got!*Photo credit: last 3 from CookieandKate.com