Hey there! How’s it going? 😀
So, I recently received Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to review as part of my application to join the Schoolhouse Review Crew. This fairly short and quite sweet e-book is available to everyone in the Schoolhouse Store.
Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter is a seasonal e-book filled with ideas from seventeen contributors for making the holidays memorable, meaningful, and fun. It includes craft ideas, recipes, family traditions, games, and more. Both the crafts and recipes range in difficulty, with the crafts in particular including ideas that are doable with all three of my littles (ages 2 – 8), as well as advanced craftery requiring far greater skill than I will ever possess. That said, I’m pretty craft deficient and way better at drinking coffee than sewing a cute scarecrow. 😉
I liked the e-book’s idea for a “Thankful Bulletin Board,” but I don’t actually have a bulletin board. Fortunately, there were a handful of suggestions for tweaking the idea to make it work for you.
We decided to make a thankful tree. Boo and Artist had a lot of fun tracing and cutting out leaves, and Smiles enjoyed playing with the pieces of paper that ended up all over the table. 😉
We wrote things we’re thankful for on the leaves, ranging from the basic, God, family, food, etc. to concepts such as encouragement and beauty. We all had a great time, and the tree is on the wall in our dining room where it serves as a great gratitude reminder. It may not be the most fantastic looking tree you’ve ever seen, but as I learned from Myquillyn Smith last year, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
We had fun playing “Thanksgiving ABCs” which is a twist on the classic ABC car game (where each person names an item beginning with the next letter in the alphabet, after painstakingly trying to remember everything those before them have said). I
may have definitely needed an extra cup of coffee to stay focused, but we enjoyed naming items we’re at least theoretically thankful for (I’m not sure how personally grateful I am for Eucalyptus trees, which was Artist’s choice for E, but hey, they’re nice and all). In any case, it ended up being my favorite version of the game ever. 😀
We also tried out the “Lentil Soup” recipe. Boo wants to be a chef when she grows up, so she always enjoys helping prepare meals. The recipe called for some celery which made her particularly happy because it’s her favorite vegetable to chop.
Honestly, it wasn’t the best soup I’ve ever eaten in my life, but it was inexpensive and filling, and not an epic fail like some Pinterest recipes we’ve tried in the past. I think the suggested cornbread waffles definitely would have kicked it up a notch, but I don’t have a waffle iron. So, yeah…a waffle iron would make a good Christmas gift for me if anyone is taking notes. 😉
Unfortunately many of the recipes contain gluten, and since that makes Misteris sick, I pretty much stick with gluten free dinners. I’m pretty sure I can tweak quite a few to exclude the called-for gluten. That said, several of the highly glutenous dessert recipes look so delicious I may have to try them when he’s not home and then hide the leftovers. Or consume every last crumb in one afternoon. Whatever.
I’ll probably try one or two of the other ideas in the fall section at some point, and will definitely be opening the e-book again after Thanksgiving to dive into the Christmas section, which fortunately includes some super simple no-bake treats, recipes for toffee and wassail that look amazing, and at least a few craft ideas that we can probably manage not to butcher (and even if we do, I’m sure my girls will have a blast trying their hand at them, which is way more important than how they actually turn out, right? If you just said, “right,” please remember this if you receive
mangled unique gifts from us next month).
All in all, I think Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter would likely be more appreciated by someone better than I am at, well, making stuff without it ending in disaster. If you’re one of those people, and you probably are, because I’m just exceptionally bad at all the crafty and cooky things (not to be confused with kooky things, which I’m actually rather good at), then you’ll probably enjoy the e-book. 😀
And even if you’re somehow just as untalented in those areas as I am, my favorite parts of the e-book were actually the family traditions shared and the simple ideas for spending quality time with your kids, having fun and making memories. That’s my main goal this holiday season. I want my fall and winter to be as relaxed as possible, choosing a smaller number of simple activities as opposed to cramming in tons of extravagant nonsense. I’ll never do all the things in Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter, but I’m looking forward to giving my favorites a try…and not to be an epic tease, but it’s given me an idea for a new Christmas Eve tradition that I think my family will really love!