Posts made in December, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone!

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is watch holiday movies. I’m a sucker for it – I’ll watch almost anything if it’s at all related to Christmas. A few years ago, though, we quit cable at our house – we don’t get any regular TV channels at all; instead, we stream TV and movies using Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime (yes, all three, and it’s still WAY cheaper than paying for cable).

Holiday movies without cable


But at this time of the year, my holiday-special-lovin’ heart gets a little sad, because I don’t have access to “25 Days of Christmas” (and “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas,” don’t think I wasn’t over the MOON when they started doing that one, because I totally was) on TV. I don’t have a different holiday classic automatically scheduled to my screen every night during December.

If you’re in a similar situation, you’re in luck! I’ve rounded up a bunch of holiday favorites you’ll be able to find on the streaming TV services I’ve listed above*. So let’s get in the holiday spirit, shall we?

*Note: I’m only including the good ones here, and that’s a totally arbitrary definition based on my own experience as a fanatical lover of holiday movies. There are others that I’m not listing, because I wouldn’t watch them so I assume that nobody else would either. ­čśë

Holiday Movies on Netflix:

  1. Mr. Bean’s Holiday
  2. Lady Gaga and the Muppets: A Holiday Spectacular (Here’s a tip – put the Muppets in anything and I will watch it, every time.)
  3. Holiday in Handcuffs (Melissa Joan Hart &┬áMario Lopez, my 90s-TV-watching tween self can’t resist)
  4. Christmas with the Kranks
  5. Mickey’s Once Upon (and Twice Upon) a Christmas
  6. Muppet Christmas Carol (Hands-down, my favorite holiday movie OF ALL TIME.)
  7. Nightmare Before Christmas (a close second)
  8. Ernest Saves Christmas (I’m sorry, I had to. I love Ernest – know what I mean, Vern?)
  9. White Christmas (Danny Kaye + Bing Crosby = WIN.)
  10. Scrooged (I also love almost every version of A Christmas Carol.)
  11. Babes in Toyland
  12. Love, Actually


Holiday Movies on Amazon Prime:

  1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular (featuring The Rockettes)
  2. Jack Frost (the Rankin & Bass classic)
  3. Jack Frost (the Michael Keaton movie)
  4. He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special (Right?!?)
  5. Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version)
  6. Yes, Virginia (an adorable animated tale)


Holiday Movies on Hulu Plus:

  1. Care Bears Nutcracker (in 3 parts)
  2. The Christmas Toy (more Muppets!)
  3. All the South Park Christmas episodes (and I’m not sorry)


Looking at this list, I’m realizing I need to just suck it up and pay for some of my favorites – namely the other Rankin & Bass classics. What are your go-to holiday flicks?

photo credit: <a href=””>Huge Cool</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

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#MakersWednesday: Long Mitts

#MakersWednesday: Long Mitts

Posted By on Dec 17, 2014

Happy Wednesday, Makers! Welcome to our grown-up version of Show & Tell!

MakersWednesday button

This week I’m sharing the knitting project I’ve been working on most recently – a pair of long fingerless gloves for my best friend. In order to knit these gloves to her specified requests (as long as possible, with a thumb), I started by dividing my yarn ball into two equally-sized balls of yarn. Then I knit the gloves from the top down (using this pattern as a general guideline for structure, changed to suit my gauge). I used ribbing from another pattern (this one), so these became a sort of franken-project. I chose stockinette stitch for the body because I planned to knit these gloves as quickly as possible (so as to get them onto the hands of the recipient that much sooner), and I wanted to be able to knit them in the dark movie theater without having to worry about stitch patterning. I made the cuffs come up extra high on the fingers for added warmth, and then they can be folded down, as pictured. I think it worked out pretty well!


A photo posted by Jessica Cook (@storiedyarns) on

So, what have you been working on? Are you frantically making holiday gifts (like me), or are you beyond all that and enjoying the season with projects of your choosing? Share with us on social media and tag it #MakersWednesday!

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Handmade Love: A Time to Plan

Handmade Love: A Time to Plan

Posted By on Dec 15, 2014

Weekly Planner Roundup

I don’t know about you, but I may have a big of a problem, and it rears its ugly head this time of the year: I am obsessed with planners. It’s a digital age and all that, but I still prefer to make my To Do lists with pen and paper. I use a weekly planner to keep track of the hours I spend working for my clients, the To Do lists I have to check off for work & home, and the appointments and meetings I need to go to for and with the kiddos.

So with all of that to plan, I’m pretty picky about the planner I choose to use. Here are a few requirements I’ve used in the past to evaluate my options:

  1. Good paper. I’m a paper snob, and I don’t want my planner to be printed on the cheap copy paper from a mass retail store. I want a sturdy, thick page that feels good under my pen.
  2. Spiral binding. I want to be able to have my planner laid flat in front of me or on the side of my laptop, so I can’t have a binding that doesn’t open completely flat.
  3. Monthly and weekly pages. I want to be able to see the whole month at a time. I use these types of pages to mark important holidays & events, and then at the beginning of the month I transfer those dates to the weekly pages for that month. I find it’s easier from year to year to just look at the monthly calendar pages to transfer important dates into a new planner, so that’s why I like that format.
  4. Plenty of size. I tend to like a full-size (8.5″x11″) planner. I want plenty of room to keep track of day-to-day events and also my To Dos for the week.
  5. Creativity. This one is hard to pin down, but I don’t like to stare at a boring planner every week. I like to have some sort of inspirational quotes inside, or a nice font or layout of some sort. Maybe even a spot for me to doodle!
  6. Printed for me. There are a ton of great print-your-own planners on the market. But I figure that by the time I’m finished paying for the file and then having it printed for me at a copy place on good paper, and spiral bound with a cover, I might as well just pay someone else to print it for me so I can save myself all that hassle.


With all that out of the way, let’s look at some of my favorite planners from the handmade marketplace for 2015 (and stick around, at the end I’ll show you how I broke several of my own “rules” for the planner I’m getting this year!):

  • This Owl & Squirrel weekly planner barely fits any of my requirements, but it’s so irresistibly cute! I think some people would like being able to tear off the page when you’re done with it, though the down side is that you can’t flip back to it later.
  • I love the colorful layout of this Custom Dot planner, and the fact that you can add sections that you need before it’s printed for you!
  • This customized planner from Melvedy Designs is the one I’ve been using all this year (different cover, same planner). I love the Flexgrid layout because it allows me to keep track of whatever I want to keep track of, and I can change those things from week to week if I want.
  • I’m not sure what it is about these mini kraft paper planning sheets but I’m smitten with them! I can just picture using my favorite fine-tip Sharpie markers to write on them! They won’t really work for all my needs, but I could see punching them into a binder to keep them in one place if you wanted something you could refer back to.
  • These Little Otsu planners have always been a favorite of mine. I love the artistic illustrations, making every page an inspiration!
  • The gorgeous covers on these handmade leather planners make it a big win for a sophisticated style. There are several options to customize the pages, too.

So, after all that, do you want to see the planner I ordered for myself for 2015? It’s this one.

I know, right? It’s tiny! I realized this year that as much as I love my big planner, I don’t use more than half the spaces on the pages. What I really need is a place to keep track of my daily “time card” for each client and a place to write a To Do list for the week. With the weekly planner pages on this I can keep track of my time & my appointments, and with the free note pages I can track my To Dos. It’s an adorable package that won’t take up much space, which I love. I’m switching to a wall calendar method for monthly things, as I like to have something colorful on my walls and I always find myself looking up at a wall calendar for things like figuring out the dates, anyway. So, we’ll see where next year’s adventures in planning take me!

What’s YOUR favorite way to plan? Share it in the comments!

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