Guest Room Makeover in a Historic Mansion

It's been a little while since we checked in on the progress of the young couple that is restoring a historic mansion in small town Indiana. To help refresh your memory, Christian and Dea Rust purchased this home that was built in 1871 and have since been doing their best to restore it to it's natural glory in the eighteen months they have lived here. I have loved seeing the transformation as it unfolds and I hope you have too! I'm a sucker for an old home, having grown up just a few blocks from this house in a historic home of our own, I would often find myself riding my bike past this house and staring mouth agape on more than one occasion in elementary school. There has been a lot of wallpaper striping and painting in the home but out of all of the rooms we have seen transformed so far {parlor, living room, foyer, master bedroom}, this update was mostly cosmetic, but what a change!

diy, home improvement

Just so you can get an idea of what the room look liked before, here it is in all it's blue and floral scalloped border glory! It's not hard to be able to look past the ugly color and the dated wallpaper to see the beautiful moldings, the tall doors and that marble fireplace. I'm a sucker for a transom window too! 

before image, diy, home improvement

Here's another side by side of the transformation. Not to worry.  There is plenty more where that came from! Come see the update of this guest room. Wouldn't you love to be invited to stay for a bit? 

diy, home improvement, marble fireplace


Lime Mocktail Drink Recipe

It's just about time to celebrate and ring in the new year. Can you even believe it? I really think that 2016 was the fastest year in history. Anyone else with me on this one? I'm always excited for a new year and the new opportunities and exciting things happening in the coming years so why not celebrate a great year behind us with a festive drink.  Or maybe 2016 was a crappy year and you want to bid it adieu. I'm sharing how you can make these lime mocktails for everyone to enjoy or I will tell you how you can add a little something something to make it a fun adult drink.  Out with the old and in with the new!

vodka, cocktail, new year

Top Blog Posts of 2016

I can hardly believe how quickly this year flew by. I had a crazy year with a few lows {this was one of them} and some pretty awesome highs.  As for the blog, it's been a pretty amazing year. Almost three years ago, I started to realize that I could turn my hobby blog into my business and have been working towards that goal since. In the past year, I became an LLC, rebranded from Holy Craft to RachelTeodoro and have been hustling to make my blog my full time job. It's been a lot of work, but it's been so very rewarding for me.  For the past seven years, I have been wrapping up my year of blogging with the top posts from that year. It's always fun for me to look back on the year and see what I have done. So let's take a stroll down memory lane with me, won't you?


Easy to Make Cinnamon Citrus Holiday Air Freshener Simmer Pot

Do scents evoke the warm feeling of the holidays to you, too? At this time of the year, there’s nothing nicer than walking into a home and smelling the seasonal scents of cinnamon and spice. Making your own natural air freshener is simple with this cinnamon citrus recipe. Your guests will love the smell without being overwhelmed by the fragrance, after all, it’s natural. 

all natural, essential oils


Chocolate Glazed Donuts

I think the bears have it all figured out when they go into hibernation for the winter. Some days don't you just want to curl up in your jammies and stay warm and cozy inside? I know I do. Usually on those days I love to whip up some yummy homemade treats to snack on and play a game with my kids while sipping on hot cocoa. If you have never made homemade donuts, you will love how easy and fun this chocolate glazed donut recipe is. So stay in your jammies all day and whip up a batch!

recipe, homemade,


Using Leftover Ham from the Holidays

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If turkey is the signature dish of Thanksgiving, then ham is the signature dish of Christmas. It's so easy to make a Smithfield Signature Spiral Sliced Ham but it feels so very special for the most special people in your life...the ones gathered around your holiday table! No holiday is complete without a Smithfield ham. And with the busyness of the holiday, there couldn't be anything easier to make.  And let's be honest, Christmas day is busy enough, we all need easy. The best part is having ham leftover after the holidays. It's simple to add leftover holiday ham to all kinds of dishes. I'm going to show you a few different ways that you can add your leftover holiday ham to spice up after holiday recipes. You can use every last bit of the leftovers down to the ham bone for soup!


Triple Chocolate Stuffed Cookies

'Tis the season for cookies! I am pretty sure that's what they are talking about when they sing "it's the most wonderful time of the year." It's really all about the cookies. Baking cookies is such a fun Christmas tradition and having a nice selection of them around the holidays always makes for a quick and easy dessert when you have unexpected guests or carolers {people still go door to door and sing Christmas carols don't they?} drop in. You can complete your Christmas cookie tray for Santa with these yummy triple chocolate stuffed cookies.

christmas, cookies, santa, holiday baking, recipe

Marble Cookies Recipe

One of my favorite traditions at Christmas has been a yearly delivery from a few of the younger women at our church that my husband and I have invested in. These girls get together every holiday with one of the grandma's and they bake cookies and fudge and holiday treats that they package up and deliver in a tin just when you least expect it! Seeing the girls at the door is usually a break from the rush of holiday chaos our family is usually in. This past summer one of those girls became a wife, and the other is darn near close. The annual cookie delivery tradition has taken a little break, at least from those two girls who are now figuring out what life looks like as adults. Perhaps it's something I should start up with my kids.  If you need a cookie to exchange at your cookie exchange, or a dessert to bring that can be easily munched on this season, consider making these marble cookies. They are delicious!

cookie exchange, Christmas, santa


Snickerdoodle Cookies with a Free Printable Label

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of McCormick®. All opinions are 100% my own.

I can't think of a Christmas when I didn't do some kind of baking. I love cookies and how easy they are to serve to holiday guests, which is why I think that they are a holiday favorite.  Not only are they easy to serve, they also make a great homemade treat to gift to friends and family. Today, I'm sharing with you an easy snickerdoodles cookie recipe. I love the buttery cookie taste with the cinnamon and sugar coating. Not only that, I love the smell of cinnamon baking in my home. Flavors and aromas have the power to transport you back in time or trigger memories. I think that cinnamon is the quintessential holiday scent of the season. I love using McCormick spices because that's what I remember using when I was a kid. That red cap always brings me back to my childhood!

I've even got a free printable label you can use when you gift your cookies. The labels make this holiday classic that much more festive and fun to give.


How to Pick the Perfect Christmas Tree

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Thank you to the Christmas Tree Promotion board for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

I love Christmas. I look forward to the season all year long. I have fond memories of celebrating Christmas and all it's traditions when I was younger. Growing up my uncle had a tree farm. Our family would pile into the station wagon and drive a little over an hour to pick out our Christmas trees. Yep, plural. We usually had two or three live trees in our home each year. My mom liked to have a small one that had all of her pretty ornaments on it in our dining room. In our living room and often times in our parlor {seen below}, we had a 12-foot-tall tree. The home I grew up in was built in 1860 and we had TALL ceilings and lots of room! We would decorate the downstairs trees in the living room and parlor as a family and would put all of our kid ornaments and hand made creations on the bottom half of the tree.  Even with a step stool we couldn't reach too high!

In our living room, the Christmas tree would sit inside the bay window that had a built in seating area. It made the perfect ledge for my brothers and me to climb and walk 360 degrees around the tree. We loved to play in and around the tree so much so that one year we got a little too close and the tree fell crashing down. After that my dad started using several ropes to stake the tree to the wall and I'm pretty sure it was off limits to walk all the way around the tree after that. Looking at this picture, I still remember many of these ornaments. Some of them have even made it into my own collection that I put on our family Christmas tree.

This year our family Christmas was going to look a little different. Our oldest son is nearly 3000 miles away at college and we are all adjusting to him being gone. His absence means that our own family traditions are changing and evolving a bit. Sometimes change is good, but this year I wasn't really looking forward to the start of the holiday season. But, something awesome happened and we did something we haven't done in years!

Harvest Turkey Chili

I'm always cold during the fall and winter, which is why some form of soup, stew or chili is part of our weekly dinner rotation. Not only does it allow you to use up ingredients that you may have in your refrigerator or pantry, but I almost always have the ingredients on hand since so many of the ingredients are staples in my home. When meat is on sale, I always cut up, dice up or brown portions that are perfect as soup additions so that it helps the dinner making process go that much quicker. This harvest turkey chili is the perfect fall soup that will warm you up from the inside!

recipes, soup, food


Lighted Christmas Tree Truck

I love to decorate for Christmas and it seems like every year I make something new to have around the home. This year, I think the Target One Spot out did themselves providing some pretty awesome blank surfaces and cheap goodies to decorate and craft with. I walked around picking up just about one of everything including a blank wooden charger and some battery powered lights that were $3 each. I knew exactly what I was going to do with them and couldn't wait to start creating with my Silhouette. I keep a stash of vinyl on hand at home so I had everything I needed to get started. Come see how I made it and how you can make your own too! I'm also joining in with some other creative Silhouette creators so you will find plenty of holiday inspiration you can whip up and craft yourself all right here!


20 White Elephant Gifts You Will Want to Keep

I love a good white elephant gift exchange. It seems like every holiday season we get invited or go to at least one of these themed type parties. If you have never participated in a white elephant exchange, let me explain what one is. There aren't really any hard and fast rules to the exchange but there is usually a price limit that is set {typically under $20}. The organizer sometimes sets up special instructions, such as bring a gift that is funny or impractical. Most times the only rule is that the gift must be interesting. There are often other house rules to follow on the acquisition of the gift but they almost always start with the gifts being generically wrapped and placed in a pile in the center of your group. Every game is different with gifts being opened and stolen in an attempt to acquire the best white elephant gift that has been brought to the exchange.  I scrolled for hours looking for 20 white elephant gifts I thought would be fun for you to bring to your next white elephant gift exchange. Come see what I came up with. You are going to want to end up with your own gift at the end of the evening!

animals in clothes, amazon, gift list, gifts to give

Create a Holiday Bacon Bar and Enter to Win a Year of Bacon

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This is a sponsored post for Smithfield written by me. All opinions are 100% my own.

I think bacon is at an all time high in the popularity contest. I don't know a single person who doesn't love bacon. Not one. Which is why it's often at the top of my list as an ingredient in my holiday appetizers. It seems like friends and family are gathering often this time of year and food is usually at the center of it all. I am always looking for those crowd pleasers and bacon never disappoints! I've partnered with Smithfield to share some ways that you can treat your family and friends to easy-to-make, delicious bacon recipes. Smithfield has created a fun twist on holiday entertaining that you can recreate at home. It's easy for you to create your own Bacon Bar with free printable labels, decor ideas and recipe instructions so you can give your Bacon Bar a personal touch. You can even enter to win one Smithfield Bacon For a Year coupon booklet valued over $400! Just keep reading and I will tell you how!


8 Tips For Staying Connected To Your Tween

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This is a sponsored post by The Carpet and Rug Institute. All opinions are 100% my own.

When my kids were younger I used to be afraid of the teen years. Parents would always talk about them like they were the worst years you could imagine. Your sweet loving hand-holding kids would suddenly be full of hormones and mood swings and your home would be filled with door slamming and curse words. I feel like there are a lot of negative perceptions about parenting during the teen years and it's safe to say now that I am knee deep in them and have two teenagers myself {with one more in the tween pipeline}, they have been some of my favorite years of parenthood.  I think that by facing those fears head on when your children are tweens you can connect with them and prevent some of the rougher issues ahead. While the tween years can be a time when kids start to pull away, I have a few tips for you to still stay connected so that you can enjoy those teen years with your children and not enter into them with fear and trepidation. It's possible to still get in quality time with your children as they grow older and I'm sharing my 8 tips on how to do that and provide them with a soft place to land as their world starts to get more complex.

parenting, carpet, home,

Loaded Sweet Potato Bites

Did Thanksgiving catch any of you by surprise? It seemed to sneak right up on us and now once that holiday comes and goes, it starts the flow of non-stop parties and events until well after the new year. I'm often asked to bring an appetizer either to meals or to a gathering, so I put together this appetizer of loaded sweet potato bites. They are the perfect mouthful of yummy goodness. Make these for game day, Christmas day, or any day because they are just that good!
appetizer, recipes, thanksgiving, game day, whole food, clean eating,

Creating a Wall Hanging from a Placemat

A few weeks ago, I completed decorating my son's bohemian bedroom on a budget. I was able to stay on budget because there were many handmade elements that went into creating this room, including using a placemat I found on clearance at Target as a wall hanging. For under $3, I created a piece of art that adds texture and makes a statement on the wall. I'm showing you just how you can do it too!

bohemian, bedroom, decorating
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