New Year’s Jar 2013

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 11:36 am on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My New Year’s Jar

Almost a year ago, I mentioned I was going to make a New Year’s Jar. You write down things that happen during the year and put them in the jar. Then on New Year’s Eve, you read the notes in the jar.

Well, I’ve been doing it:

Tonight we read the notes. I’m looking forward to it.

What about you? Did you keep a New Year’s Jar for 2013?

Turn Your Christmas Tree Into Spruce Beer

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 10:46 am on Monday, December 30, 2013

Don’t throw out your Christmas tree–make beer from it first. Supposedly, you can recycle some of the needles into Spruce Beer, according to this article.

Those who have a living Christmas tree can harvest the fresh new growth from their tree to make the following drink, which has been adapted from an 18th century recipe. It is also possible to use the needles from a dead Christmas tree, as long as they haven’t dried completely out and are still pretty green.

In fact, Spruce Beer is a very old drink. According to NPR, “Ancient Scandinavians and their Viking descendants brewed beer from young shoots of Norway spruce, drinking the beer for strength in battle, for fertility and to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages.” I suppose ancient Scandinavians had more access to spruce needles than the grain we use to make beer today.

Well, why not give it a try? Here’s a recipe from Andy Hamilton:

Spruce Beer

Ingredients:

    5 litres of water
    100g spruce needles
    20g hops
    One thumb-sized piece of bruised root ginger
    600g malt extract (alternatively molasses, treacle, or honey)
    1 packet ale yeast (available from home brew stockist or online)

Directions:

Bring the water to the boil and add the spruce, hops and ginger. Boil for 30 minutes. Stir in the malt extract and boil for a further 10 minutes. Strain into a fermentation bin or food grade bucket and, when cooled to room temperature, add the yeast.

Leave in a warm place for one week. Siphon into bottles. Will be ready to drink immediately.

No word if there is such a thing as Douglas fir beer yet.

Use A Pillow Case To Organize Your Sheets

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:25 am on Friday, December 27, 2013

I’ve recently started storing my sheet sets in a pillow case, like in the above picture. You fold the sheets and pillow cases and put them in one of the pillow cases.

That way when you make the bed, the sheets are already together in one bundle. Plus it makes your linen closet look a lot neater!

I can’t believe it took me so long to start doing this.

Merry Christmas 2013

Filed under: News — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:30 am on Wednesday, December 25, 2013

May your Christmas be filled with love, joy, peace, and family harmony.

Here is a video of people getting puppies for Christmas:

Christmas Posts Round-Up

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:23 am on Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I’ve written many posts about Christmas but have never done a Christmas Round-Up before! Here are some posts going back to 2008.

savvyhousekeeping strawberry santas

Food:

Strawberry Santas

10 Christmas Breakfasts

Peppermint Meringue Cookies

How To Roast Chestnuts

Traditional English-ish Christmas Dinner

Which Dessert For Christmas?

savvyhousekeeping holiday cheer cocktail

Drink:

Holiday Cheer Cocktail

Wassail Punch

Christmas Cosmo

Puerto Rican Coquito: Coconut Eggnog

savvyhousekeeping From plastic bag to gift topper

Gift Wrapping:

From Plastic Bag To Gift Topper

5 Cool Gift Wrap Ideas

Gift Tag from Paint Chips

How To Make Christmas Bows

Gift Wrapping Round-Up

The Cheapest Ways To Get Wrapping Paper

savvyhousekeeping shalkboard serving tray christmas gift present

Make Your Own Gifts:

10 DIY Christmas Gifts

10 More DIY Christmas Gifts

10 Fast DIY Christmas Gifts

My Christmas Food Gifts

Polite Ways To Reduce The Gift Treadmill

DIY Christmas

Five Tips for Saving Money on Gift Giving

savvyhousekeeping Miley Cyrus Christmas ball ornament

Ornaments:

Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball Ornament

3 DIY Christmas Ornaments

3D Print Your Own Christmas Tree Monorail

3D Print Your Own Poinsettia Ornament

savvyhousekeeping three christmas decoration ideas

House Decoration:

3 Christmas Decoration Ideas

Giant Balloon Ornaments

Easy Christmas Decoration

The Cost Of Running Christmas Lights

How To Save Your Poinsettia

savvyhousekeeping button wreath christmas

Wreaths:

Nightmare Before Christmas Wreath

Five Recycled Christmas Wreaths

3 DIY Christmas Wreaths

Knitter’s Wreath

From Dinosaur To Toothbrush Holder

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:20 am on Friday, December 20, 2013

Here’s a good idea from Family Fun Magazine: turn a plastic dinosaur into a kid-friendly toothbrush holder.

Pick a hollow dinosaur toy (they can often be purchased for about $1), trace the size of the toothbrush on the dinosaur, and use a craft knife to cut out the hole. Make sure to cut a hole all the way through the dinosaur for easy cleaning. Voila! A fun way to make tooth brushing more inviting for your kid.

Cool Geek Present: Beaker Mug

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:47 am on Thursday, December 19, 2013

Check out this Beaker Mug for the scientist on your list. (What? You don’t have a scientist on your list?)

I learned about from Linux Journal’s The Geek’s Guide to the Coolest 2013 Holiday Gifts. Click through to see more geek-friendly presents.

Print Your Own Poinsettia Ornament

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:54 am on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

If you have a 3D printer, this Poinsettia Ornament looks great on the tree. Here’s a picture of it printing out:

10 DIY Christmas Gifts

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:26 am on Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It has almost become a tradition around here. Here are 10 DIY Christmas gifts:

savvyhousekeeping 10 DIY Christmas present beer tasting flight

DIY Beer Tasting Flight

savvyhousekeeping 10 diy christmas presents shadow puppets

I posted about these Paris-themed shadow puppets. You can make your own shadow puppets and give them as a gift.

savvyhousekeeping 10 DIY Christmas Presents fox iPhone crochet

For a quick crochet present, try this red fox phone cozy.

savvyhousekeeping 10 DIY christmas presents crochet pot holders

Or these pot holders.

savvyhousekeeping 10 DIY Christmas presents cat bed

Or this cat/dog bed. (Okay, this one is not so quick.)

For the artist on your list, make a DIY leather pencil case.

savvyhousekeeping 10 DIY Christmas present travel photo diorama

Travel Photo Diorama.

savvyhousekeeping 10 diy christmas presents snapping paper towel

Snapping Paper Towel Set.

Natural Branch Coaster Set.

Finally, if you are bringing a gift, why not make your own edible arrangement?

WANT MORE?

10 More DIY Christmas Gifts
My Christmas Food Gifts
10 Fast DIY Christmas Gifts

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:25 am on Monday, December 16, 2013

I had leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving. After trying to dry them, I had leftover half-dry cranberries and determined there was nothing to be done but bake with them.

I decided on cookies, because ’tis cookie season. Because cranberries are tart, I wanted to balance that with a sweet flavor, so I went with white chocolate. The resulting White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. They are sweet, a little tart, and crumbly in a good way. Plus they are festive looking! Here’s the recipe:

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies:

Ingredients:

    1/3 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 Tbs vanilla
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    3/4 cup cranberries, dried or fresh
    1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Beat the butter and sugar until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until integrated. Add the cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Grease a cookie sheet. Roll the dough into loose balls about 1-2 inches wide and drop on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press down lightly so that they are slightly flattened.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or so, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy!

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