Thursday, December 3, 2015

GretchRuns Christmas : Part 1

Happy Holidays everyone!  I'm so excited that it's December, which means it's time to bust out those decorations, surround yourself with holiday music 24/7, sip on holiday drinks and eat your weight in cookies.

Today I'll be starting a new holiday series (check out my Thanksgiving posts here) for Christmas!  Each Thursday from now until New Year's Eve I'll be sharing a favorite song, craft, and cookie.  I'm really excited and I hope you enjoy this series!


Song : Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays (Nsync)

I suggest you play this song in the background while you're reading this post.  Nothing gets me in the holiday mood like this song!  This song brings back so many memories of being younger and listening to this song with friends.  I can't help but smile when this song comes on, so I had to have it as my first song!  P.S., when everyone starts clapping at the end of the song, you MUST join in!

Craft : Fireplace

I love to decorate my cubical at work, but it's hard to come up with clever ideas that don't involve bringing in a tree or a bunch of supplies.  One day, I saw an empty printer paper box laying around and got the idea to turn it into a fake fireplace for my extra monitor.  It turned out really cute and everyone stops by to comment on it!  It was really easy to make, and I was able to finish it during my lunch break one day!


office christmas decorations


Supplies :

Box with lid (I used a box that printer paper comes in)
X-acto knife or scissors
Brick print paper
Wood print paper
Construction paper or scrapbook paper


Directions :

Take the base of the box, and cut out a rectangle in the bottom.  This is where you can see the "fireplace", so it should be nearly as big as your computer screen, but still covers up the edges.  I used a piece of paper to trace a rectangle, but this depends on the size of your screen. 

Cut out a rectangle in a long side of the box.  This is a hole for the bottom of your monitor, so it doesn't have to be too big.

Completely cut out the other long side of the box.

I made a (horrible) Paint illustration to show you what the box looks like.  There should be a total of three cuts in the box.  The only sides that don't need to be cut are the two shorter sides.  The back should be open since there's a lid on the box. (all cuts are in orange)


Next, we're going to decorate the "fireplace"!  I couldn't find brick paper anywhere, so I printed out a brick wallpaper and tried to line it up as well as I could.  You could also do a stone fireplace!

Cover the lid with wood paper, or any paper that you want for your mantle.


Make decorations for the fireplace out of construction paper!  I made a mini paper garland and two stockings.

To assemble, slide the box in front of the screen.  If the hole in the bottom isn't big enough, cut it larger.  Place the lid on top, and get a fireplace background or gif!  You can also put decorations on top of the fireplace!

easy christmas decorations for work


Cookies : Festive Logs

These cookies were always my dad's favorite, so we make them every year.  Now they're also my favorite!  I love the rich chocolate paired with a buttery shortbread cookie.  These are really easy to make, look great, and are easy to customize!

Ingredients :

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate
4 teaspoons coconut oil
sprinkles


Directions :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add vanilla and flour slowly.  Mix until well combined.

Get a tablespoon of dough, and form into a 2 inch log.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and continue with the rest of the dough, placing an inch apart.  Bake for 9-11 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.


While cookies are cooling, boil water.  Place a bowl with chocolate and oil over pot to form a double boiler.  Stir chocolate until it's melted, and turn down heat.


Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate, and place on wax paper to cool.  Before chocolate melts, add sprinkles on the cookies.  (I usually do sets of 10 at a time and stir the chocolate before starting my next set.)


You can also make designs with the chocolate, or sprinkle other decorations on the cookies, such as walnuts, peppermint pieces, mini white chocolate chips, candied ginger, etc.  The possibilities are endless!


What is your song for the holidays?  
Do you have any cute office decorations?
What's your favorite cookie?

Linking up with Amanda and Kels
as well as Jess and  Ivanna for Try It Thursday

40 comments:

  1. playing that song now--excellent idea. love how your fireplace turned out!

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  2. I'm going to get a tree this weekend and bring it in. My cat brought the tree down last year, so this year my tree (and ornaments) will be safe in my office.

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    1. That's a great idea! If I had an office and didn't ride the bus to work, I would definitely do that as well :)

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  3. Your fireplace is super cute! You are so clever!

    I pretty much love all Christmas cookies! Especially snickerdoodles and these hot chocolate ones: http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2010/09/hot-chocolate-triple-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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    1. Thank you so much!! Those cookies look SO good. I think I might have to make them and feature them in an upcoming week...

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  4. I don't know if the cookies or the decorations are more adorable, but I want to do both! I'm pretty much the social chair of our office. I throw all the parties and decorate for all of the holidays (I'm the youngest probably by 15 years) so I need to get on these ASAP! I love Gretchruns Christmas can't wait for part 2!

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    1. Thanks Margaret! I'm the social chair as well! I love putting together potlucks and volunteer activities and holiday get togethers! I'm so glad you like this :)

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  5. Love this series idea! So fun to see your baking, craft and song favorites. :)

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  6. Love the idea of doing a series like this!! I'm all about Nat King Cole around Christmas... something about the old school music just really puts me in the spirit. As for cookies, I'd have to go withhhhh.... gingerbread? SHORTBREAD! No... probably those soft, chewy gingerbreads :D

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    1. NKC is the best!! I love his daughter's voice as well. Gingerbread is coming next week..shh!

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  7. UM You are amazing. Simply amazing. That fireplace!

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  8. OMG, that fireplace monitor is too cute. I did heed your advice & turn N'Sync on. Good call. I feel more festive already.

    No decorations up at my office, or my house either for that matter. The holiday spirit hasn't hit me quite yet.

    But my favorite poppy Christmas song is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRZ8Ys1-r5A&index=11&list=PLa78OVeQN1N4EDQkTNTVS7_Gg1ObfHL2M
    Not a traditional song, but kind of funny. :)

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    1. I'm sure the holiday bug will hit you soon enough! And if not- that's more free time for you! I'll have to listen to that song when I'm home :)

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  9. oh my goodness... that craft fireplace you made... SO DANG CUTE!!!!

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  10. Ooh that craft fireplace is really cool! My sister has been doing so many crafts. She is REALLY good, and our house/bedroom look really cozy and so inviting. Also, those logs. Yes please. :-) Christmas cookies = my favorite.

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    1. I would love to see pictures :) I don't bake cookies any other time of the year, but at Christmas I go CRAZY!

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  11. Wow! You are so creative! That fireplace is awesome! I don't decorate at all, but I enjoy everyone else's decorations! I need to get started on my baking. I used to try to make 12 different kinds, but it takes so much time. I'm late this year so will definitely be making less!

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    1. 12 is a lot!! If you need help eating them let me know :)

      Thanks for the nice comment Jennifer!

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  12. My song for the holidays? "This is the New Shit" by Marylin Manson. HA HA. Kidding. Okay so I do like talking cookies. Imma have to try those chocolate logs! I make these butterhorns that are to DIE FOR. They're just cottage cheese, butter and flour, rolled out, rolled up, baked and then drizzled with icing. I could eat two sheets of them in the blink of an eye.

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    1. Wait- cottage cheese in cookies!?!? I have to admit that I looked up a recipe because I was sure it was a typo and you meant cream cheese, but you were right! I'm so intrigued and I have to try them out!

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    2. P.S. everytime I see that word all I see is "butt horns"

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  13. I *love* your fireplace!!! So cool! My favorite Christmas song is "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," preferably the Sarah McLachlan/Barenaked Ladies version. We are working on hallway of clinical support services stockings in my hallway at work...and now I'm thinking we need a fireplace to hang them on... :) Although Christmas is definitely a season of homemade baked goods, I just can never resist the peppermint joe joes from TJ's!!

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  14. I also love that Nysnc song! Another favorite- Ave Maria by Beyonce. Oh my gosh I'm obsessed. That fireplace is so cute!

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    1. I don't think I've listened to that song! I'll have to ASAP. Thank you Amanda!

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  15. Uhm, that fireplace is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. So creative!

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  16. look at your fireplace! that is awesome. i would do that, but i don't want everyone to stop and comment hahaha jk.

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    1. I do have to admit sometimes it's a bit frustrating! I never have privacy now!

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  17. Cookies! Now I must go bake cookies!!! You have given me a craving.

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  18. I love that song by 'N Sync! I used to be obsessed with them when I was a teenager and I still love their Christmas album.

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  19. That fireplace cover is such a clever idea! Love it! And you did such a great job!

    I had a student ( a foreign student who has only been in this Country a year) ask me today why all Christmas songs are slow songs. I put on the Nsync song for her to show her that there are some catchy Christmas tunes!

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    1. Thank you! There are definitely a lot of fun, happy Christmas songs. Most of the famous ones are slow though so I can see her point of view!

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  20. Thanks for linking up, my friend! I LOVE that NSYNC Christmas Song. I'm listening to Michael Buble on repeat :P

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