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Author Archives: Mary

Free Wallpaper: Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Love

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As we enter this new month, we can’t help thinking about the lovey-dovey holiday many of you celebrate on February 14th. That’s right, we’re talking about Valentine’s Day! We elves get tickled pink at the sight of all the heart decorations on display all over the world—and at the North Pole. Raymond the reindeer is feeling especially affectionate this year and wanted to shower you all with love. So, consider this wallpaper a token of his affection that you can enjoy all month long!

To download the free wallpaper, click on one of the sizes above and then right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the image and choose “Save Image As…”

Enjoy this heartwarming wallpaper from northpole.com!

Free Wallpaper: Welcoming a New Year

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As we’re sure you can understand, all of us elves were rather pooped after the holiday season. Now that we’ve had some rest and relaxation, we thought we’d share a 2016 calendar with you! In this wallpaper, Raymond the reindeer is accompanied by one of his little penguin pals who is visiting from the South Pole. We can’t handle the cuteness overload! ;)

To download the free wallpaper, click on one of the sizes above and then right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the image and choose “Save Image As…”

Enjoy this wintery wallpaper from northpole.com. Be sure to check back at the beginning of each month for a new calendar wallpaper!

(Psst… If you want to learn how to make your own penguin pal, check out this craft in the Craft Cottage.)

Think Thankful Thoughts This Christmas

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Photo Credit: Caitlyn Regan. License: CC BY 2.0

It’s Christmas Eve, and we couldn’t be more excited! The day we’ve been anticipating all year is almost here! I’m sure tomorrow morning you all will be thrilled to see what prezzies Santa brought for you and your family. After the wrapping paper settles and your gifts are stacked in glorious piles, consider taking a moment to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
–William Arthur Ward

And I don’t mean the presents that you’ve unwrapped (although, certainly be grateful for those, too!), but rather the intangible things and the “small” things that we can often take for granted. This includes things such as expressing love and appreciation to your family or acknowledging the support of a special friend.

“Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.”
–Tom Hopkins

I have heard of gratitude being compared to a muscle. When not used often, it’s weak, and it might feel a bit awkward when you try to use it. But when exercised, it grows, and over time it becomes easier to flex that gratitude bicep. Plus, when we become more grateful for what we already have (or for people as they already are), we also become happier and have more joy!

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

All this talk about gratitude makes me want to start a gratitude journal—or better yet, I’m thinking I might write Christmas or New Year’s gratitude notes. Are you feeling inspired, too? I hope so, but if you still need a little nudge, here are a few prompts to get your gratitude juices flowing:

  • Reflect on the past year’s events. Does anyone come to mind? Is there a friend or mentor who has been there for you during a tough time?
  • Think back over this past month. Has a friend or neighbor extended a helping hand this holiday season?
  • Consider this past week. Has your significant other or a coworker been especially supportive as the holiday week mounts?
  • Write a thank you card, leave a note on a chalkboard, or send a text message and let someone know how much they mean to you.

Do you have any other suggestions for spreading gratitude? Let us know in the comments below!

Etsy Item of the Day: Chunky Knit Hood Hat

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Isn’t this hat divine? It’s made with a bulky, wool-blend yarn, which makes it look so soft and plush that I just want to put it on my head! The elongated side tassels are super fun—I’m imagining swinging them around my neck or batting a friend with the pompoms ;) This chunky knit hat would be perfect for someone who loves fun winter caps or somebody who can’t get enough of woolly accessories.
Chunky Knit Hood Hat

Etsy Seller: KnittingCrochetKLM

Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Christmas Gift Tags

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Christmas is just four days away! (Insert squeal of joy :) ) If you’ve got some last minute wrapping to do, perhaps these printable gift tags will come in handy. Maybe you’re up late wrapping gifts and ran out of gift tags? No need to make a midnight run to the store to buy more; simply download the PDF and print as many as you need. Easy peasy!
Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Etsy Seller: Sam Osborne

Rare Full Moon on Christmas Morning

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Full Moon on Christmas Morning 2015
Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Many of you might be sleeping at 6am on Christmas morning, but the rare full moon is a good reason to get up early… even if you go right back to bed for a few hours. ;) It’s been 38 years since the full moon occurred on Christmas day, and NASA predicts this won’t happen again until 2034.

The moon will reach its peak at 6:11am ET. Whether you crawl out of bed early Christmas morning or try to catch a glimpse of it before you snuggle under your covers on Christmas Eve, make plans to see the full moon. So, go ahead and mark your calendars or set a reminder in your phone so you don’t miss this extraordinary event!

Frozen Festiveness

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I’m a huge fan of Disney’s animated films, and even though I’m not a child anymore, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying movies like Frozen. The chipper tunes and clever lyrics especially bring a smile to my face! (And I’ve been known to belt out some songs, too. I’m not the only one, am I? ;) ) If you share my affection for the story of Anna and Elsa, I’m sure you too will love these videos of Christmas lights synced to Frozen songs.


What’s your favorite Frozen song? Let us know in the comments!

Etsy Item of the Day: Beau Ties and Beauties

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I’m gushing over the cute bows and bow ties in this Etsy shop, and I can’t get over the clever names! The precious “Beauties” for girls and dapper “Beau Ties” for boys are too much for me ;) If I had kids of my own, I would totally add these bows to their Christmas outfits. Pictured below are hair bows for little girls, and make sure you take a gander at the bow ties for wee gentlemen.
Beauties Hair Bows

Etsy Seller: Bear & Fox Designs

So Many Ways to Drink Hot Chocolate!

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I’m sure someone somewhere has already said this, but I declare hot chocolate the official beverage of Christmas! Perhaps you like a good ol’ plain cup of hot cocoa… There’s nothing wrong with that, but I often want to snazz things up a bit and treat my taste buds to a sweet mouth-watering treat. This handy infographic is a quick-reference guide for custom cocoa creations. Enjoy!

SO MANY Ways to Drink Hot Chocolate!
Click on the image for a closer look! Infographic via SheKnows.com

Do you have a yummy recipe that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments below or add your special recipe to Mrs. Claus’ Cookbook!

Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Christmas Wrapping Paper

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I just love the simple yet fun design of this wrapping paper! This is a digital download, so you’ll receive the file instantly and can print it right away. I really like how the design looks on plain white paper, but you could print it on any colored paper, such as a minty green or holiday red. This Etsy shop also sells adorable matching gift tags so you can complete the look of your wrapped presents.
Printable Christmas Wrapping Paper

Etsy Seller: Das Himmlische Kind
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