Posts from December 2015

Presence, Not Presents

December 16, 2015

Mom Kid Winter


As the holiday season has become synonymous with the shopping season, it helps to pause and remember what this time of year is about. Giving, family, love, children. And the gratefulness of it all…

A theme going around lately that we believe in is “Presence, Not Presents.”

Of course, we want to provide the best for our children and indulging them a bit at Christmas can be fun! We may rush to buy the toy that’s making the biggest buzz, or grab the latest American Girl doll and all her gear.

But the best gift you can give your children, whether toddlers or teens, is your time. Spend a day strolling around a museum. Take just one child on a lunch date. Make an intensive craft together.

As you share these moments together, whether chatty or quiet, you are building a bond that will last longer than the latest toy. When your child goes off to college, will she remember what present she got for Christmas in fifth grade, or the day she strolled around with just mom at the dinosaur museum? We bet that museum visit with you will be locked in her memory forever.

When your child becomes a parent, maybe those memories of special days with just mom will soak into her soul, and she will do the same thing with her daughter.

Because who needs presents, when you have your mother’s presence?

Favorite Holiday Scents for the Home

December 11, 2015
links i love, lovely

Favorite Holiday Scents for the Home - Joy of Mom


Relaxing in our living room next to the fireplace, soaking in all of the scents of the holidays is one of our favorite things to do this time of year. There are so many amazing aromas that remind us of the holidays, and there are lots of ways to use those scents in your home to give it an extra special warmth.

We love to shop small and support fresh indie mom based businesses, so we’ve rounded up six amazing products from Etsy sellers who use our favorite holiday scents!

One. This whipped peppermint sugar scrub from IV and Co. makes your shower, and your body, smell like a Christmas treat! The scrub includes crushed candy canes and peppermint essential oils, so it’s a peppermint lover’s dream!

Two. We love lighting candles during the holidays—they give such a warm feel! For this time of year, we love the mint berry soy candle from Hensley Asher Co. They’re also adorably displayed in mason jars, which we love even more.

Three. This colder weather makes us crave a warm, delicious cup of tea. Brewing up tea can also make your house smell amazing! There are so many holiday teas out there, but we specifically love this winter tea set from RosieLea Tea UK. This package includes three packs of tea: winter warmer, Christmas spiced, and white Christmas.

Four. Gingerbread definitely makes us think of Christmas! This set of Gingerbread Bath Bombs from PureGRACESoap is a fun way to use this holiday scent!

Five. Vanilla evokes the warm smell of a freshly-baked batch of holiday cookies! Because of this, we love to put a few drops of vanilla essential oil in our diffusers so the fragrance spreads throughout our homes! This vanilla oil from Alexandria’s Soap Opera is a great choice!

Six. This candy cane soap from Seaside Soap Kitchen isn’t just adorable, it also smells amazing! This would make a great stocking stuffer, gift for a friend, or treat for you! This soap is also handcrafted with an all-natural premium detergent and sulfate-free glycerin soap base, so it’s great for your skin!

We love making our home feel warm, welcoming, and cozy during the holidays, and being creative with holiday scents is a fabulous way to evoke that comfy feeling.

Finding Moments of Joy

December 9, 2015
family, inspiration, Uncategorized

Moments of Joy2


As the holidays approach, there are so many exciting activities that keep us busy as the days seem to whirl on by. Shopping for the perfect presents, planning lovely meals for your family, and decorating your home to feel extra warm and cozy. But as our to-do list grows there may be some days when our patience shrinks.

Christmas can be a time of hectic schedules and busy balancing acts for us moms, so we want to remind you that you can still find joy in places big and small.

Too much snow to shovel? There is joy in a toddler’s first little footprints in fresh fallen snow.

Kids home from college dumping all their laundry on you? There is joy in the fact that they still need you.

Getting up early so you can exercise before the kids go to school? There is joy in taking time for yourself so you can feel and be energetic for you and your children.

Run out of ribbons & bows while wrapping presents late at night? There is joy in having so many people to share gifts with.

Does the Christmas dinner menu feel overwhelming? There is joy in working over a hot stove as you cook a meal for your family made with love.

Does it feel like your baby is crying all the time? There is joy in that moment he stops fussing when you hold him in your arms.

Did your little ones trail flour and frosting all over your kitchen while baking cookies? There is joy in making memories that will last forever.

As you sink into the warmth of this holiday season, remember to wrap yourself in the love of these precious times. Sprinkle these little moments of joy into your heart and embrace the joy of the season with your family.

Festive and Warm Holiday Mantle Decor

December 7, 2015
DIY, inspiration

Festive and Warm Holiday Mantle Decor - Joy of Mom


There is nothing more fun and wonderful than decorating for the holidays. The sparkle of the lights. Glow of the candles. Holiday songs filling the air. And, of course, the perfect tree displaying your favorite ornaments.

But we cannot forget that centerpiece of the room that just begs to be beautiful and festive this time of year: your mantle.

It’s no wonder that “holiday mantle” and “mantle decorations” are top searches on Pinterest this month. Everyone wants their mantle to be festive and merry, but also have a little something extra that makes it an emblem for their creativity and family.

Here are a few elements that could make your mantle absolutely stunning and personalized this Christmas:

Greenery. Using evergreen branches and boughs are the ultimate tradition in decorating for the holidays. The green is the promise that while winter freezes nearly everything, the green of spring is always just around the corner. Drape a fresh garland across your mantle to add a bit of life and a delicious scent for anyone who draws near. Or, brighten your mantle with two small evergreen trees on either side, wrapped with warm bright white lights. Tie the bottoms of the small trees in burlap to add a touch of farmhouse charm!

Wishes. One of our favorite mantle trends is the use of words in decoration. Everything from wooden letters spelling “Joy” on the mantle, to paper bunting strung across with “Merry Christmas!”

If you have a place above your mantle that is perfect for hanging décor, find an adorable sign on Etsy that declares “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” or “Peace, Love, Joy”. The words that you choose to celebrate the holidays will personalize your mantle like never before.

Candles. There’s nothing quite like cuddling up on the couch, bathed in just candle glow and Christmas lights, listening to your favorite holiday music. Candles are an absolute must in any holiday decoration. And, even if you have very small children, the candles will be safe from curious hands if they are high up on the mantle.

Instead of digging out the candles you use every year, find a stunning set of monochromatic candles of differing heights. When they are grouped together and lit, your room will instantly become a warm sanctuary of Christmas love.

Now it’s time to grab your cup of hot cocoa or tea, put on your favorite carols, and create a mantle that is truly the heart of your home this Christmas.

Beautiful and Yummy Peppermint Treats

December 2, 2015
links i love, recipes



One of our favorite things about Christmas is the yummy flavor of peppermint. It reminds us of eating candy canes as a kid, visiting Santa, and all the warm memories of winter. It’s such a special flavor that goes hand-in-hand with Christmastime.

But not only does peppermint taste amazing, its cheery & festive red and white design is simply perfect. You can create amazing desserts featuring peppermint that are as beautiful as they are delicious!

One. This peppermint bark from Cupcakes and Cashmere looks divine! The directions say you can store the bark up to two months in a container, but we’re positive it we’d finish it in just a few days!

Two. These DIY Peppermint Spoons from Princess Pinky Girl are so creative! They would make a fabulous gift (especially for your neighbors or children’s teachers) or a fun activity with your children.

Three. Hot chocolate is delicious on its own, especially during these cold months. But this peppermint white hot chocolate from Gimme Some Oven looks ten times better! We can’t wait to snuggle up by the fire and drink a cup of this!

Four. The cold months are a great time to snuggle the family up for movie nights, and that means popcorn! This peppermint bark popcorn from Cooking Classy is a delicious twist on a classic movie snack.

Five. Craving something a little colder? This no-churn peppermint chip ice cream from A Family Feast is a great dessert idea! With plenty of flavor and a beautiful pink hue, this ice cream will definitely be a family favorite.

Six. Yum! This peppermint cheesecake dip from A Pumpkin and a Princess is such a fun party recipe. You can get creative with what you dip in it, but we have to admit those chocolate-covered pretzels look pretty amazing!

So cozy up to the fireplace with your family and indulge in some of these treats as you share memories of favorite winter moments and look forward to all the future brings. Wishing you a delicious Christmas!

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