Crafts & DIY

No Sew Fabric Christmas Trees

Happy December!!!!

I know I’ve just been all things Hallmark movies here on the blog lately….but I have been busy doing other more creative activities too.

I really needed to up my Christmas home decor game after watching all those beautiful Hallmark scenes for the last month and a half!

Enter these fabric/trim trees.

Now I’m sure you could find cones in the craft stores…..but I am nothing if not cheap…..so when I saw you could make them from poster board for some pocket change…..I began my forest!

I didn’t use a template at all…..just started rolling poster board into a cone…..taped it all up with good, quality packaging tape….and got to decorating. I got 2 large cones, 2 medium cones, and 2 small cones of varying sizes from one standard poster board.

With only my trusty glue gun as my weapon, I dug through my lace, trim ,and fabric and started construction from the bottom up.

The Lace versions are prefect for a softer look:

These are my kids’ favorites! The green was what I had left of this trim…..but I also love it so much, I might have to buy some more like that. And a straight-up peppermint candy quilting cotton is just glued down in strips.

I then proceeded to fancy it up a bit with the plaid. For this look, I cut 2 inch strips of fabric and ran a long stitch down the center and gathered for a ruffle. (I Know, I said no-sew….you could still totally hand gather the fabric as you glue….but I am all for quick and easy)

Those ones are my favorite!

I’d love to see what you come up with if you make some of your own!

My Hallmark Obsession

Hallmark Movie Review: Chateau Christmas

When you get Luke McFarlane and Merritt Patterson to star in your Hallmark movie, I can imagine you expect great things.

I don’t know if I expected GREAT things from this pairing, but I certainly expected more than we got. I was 100% more invested in the secondary characters’, Sam and Sarah’s, relationship than I was in the leads…so at least there’s that!

I’m not a dump on everything kinda gal….so let’s find some positives, shall we? Hallmark really dove into the Music this past weekend! Two movies themed around music….this one being instrumental (which also isn’t my jam). BUT, I loved the quartet! (and although Merritt Patterson doesn’t play piano for real….Luke McFarlane really is playing that Cello) Super cool to have the actors be able to showcase their gifts like that!

Let’s just get to it.

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So here’s how I’m going to break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each

CHEMISTRY (between the leads) ❤️ Margot and Jackson. I didn’t buy it for a second. I hesitate to even give this one heart, which pains me, but there it is. Even the ending scene seemed forced and awkward. 😦
STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️ A world famous pianist trying to find her passion…I get it….it seemed like she found it within her family though, so maybe that’s why the love story faded into the background? I don’t know. I tried.
SUPPORTING CAST ❤️❤️❤️ Best part of the whole film: Sam and Sarah. Get this couple a movie! How cute were they?!?!
FEELS❤️ I liked the idea of a Christmas Concert dinner. That would be a beautiful celebration to attend with family.
HALLMARK SURPRISE (anything that really jumped out from the “norm” Hallmark Movie equation) ❤️ I was surprised there was not much I liked about this movie. Also, DO NOT waste Jesse Hutch as a side character (Chateau PR guy) He’s leading man material! (See “Let It Snow” 2013 & “Harvest Moon” 2015)

8/25 ❤️ Next.

My Hallmark Obsession

Hallmark Movie Review: Christmas Tree Lane

CHRISTMAS NOSTALGIA!!!!

From the opening credits with the vintage home videos….to the ending scenes, if this movie didn’t take you back in time to Christmas past…you might have been sleeping.

Now, it’s my duty to say, once again….Andrew Walker cannot ever make a bad Hallmark movie in my eyes. He’s my fav. So, I will apologize if my bias shines through, but I guess you’ll have to live with that since it’s my review and I can fawn if I want to. Highlights of his character, Nate: his LOVE of sugary drinks with the all sprinkles and the way he looks at Meg. SWOON!

Oh, yeah, the other lead: Alicia Witt. She ain’t too bad herself. 😉 Honestly, when I see Alicia is starring in a Hallmark movie, I always expect fun, quirky, and playful…so this movie really did surprise me with how very heartfelt it was. And girl can sing! (which I knew from other Hallmark flicks) I was nervous after her first song…but the Concert Performance was beautiful! For those of you who don’t know, those are HER original songs! That woman is MULTI-TALENTED, and I LOVE HER!

SIDE BAR REAL QUICK on Nostalgia: John Black! What in the world?!?! Any Days of Our Lives fans out there? I would lie and say I almost didn’t recognize him with the white hair and without the squinty, serious stare…but, John, I’d know you anywhere!

Back to this movie: I love the feel of Old Time Shops….we have so many in our state of Wisconsin (even right in my hometown of Oshkosh) I truly miss the way that 2020 has taken some of that joy away 😦 That’s why I love that at least we can watch it on Hallmark and dream of the day we can experience it all again in person!

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So here’s how I’m going to break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each

CHEMISTRY (between the leads) ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Nate & Meg were SUPER adorable throughout this whole movie. THE PIANO LESSON SCENE. My Heart. They were so good together…but I couldn’t give them all 5 hearts. 😦 Nate brought it every time. Meg still had moments when I just wasn’t feeling it….gurl, it’s Andrew Walker, swoon a little more, please (also one of my brothers (Nate) is married to a Megan…so that was fun)
STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Loved it all. The whole theme of Saving of Christmas Tree Lane, the Music, the Family businesses, both leads shining in their respective careers. Every second of it was well thought out and flowed. It had my Christmas heart the whole way through.
SUPPORTING CAST ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Both families were played very well. JOHN BLACK, HOLLA! I don’t even remember his character’s name…and I don’t care. 😉 Nate’s dad was a tough cookie until the very end, though. Man, that was frustrating! Loved all the shop owners and friends coming together and helping with professional AND personal troubles. 2 special mentions yet: Kelly and her beautiful voice…and MABEL! The flipping cutest name for the cutest little peanut!
FEELS❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I’ve talked already so much about the leads chemistry, the Christmas shops, the music…so a couple more things that NEED to be said: THAT BLUE DRESS. Girl, WORE THAT DRESS! Nate said it best, “WOW!” also can we take a moment to remember the piano lesson scene…… 🙂
HALLMARK SURPRISE (anything that really jumped out from the “norm” Hallmark Movie equation) ❤️❤️❤️ This really did follow the norm of the Hallmark Movie equations as far as plot and conflict. I would have killed for a kiss by the piano or after one of their many “dates”…..my biggest surprise was something I should have expected. THE GAS LAMPS! I was too focused on the rest of the goings on that when they lit up, my heart exploded right along with Meg’s! Alicia Witt kills a surprise reaction every time!

21/25 ❤️ I wouldn’t turn this one off if it was on again. It would be a great movie to watch while Christmas shopping from your favorite local shops on-line 😉

P.S. Question for you Readers: In what world do we drink HOT COCOA WITH A STRAW???? That seems like a Burnt Mouth waiting to happen…..

My Hallmark Obsession · Uncategorized

Hallmark Movie Review: Jingle Bell Bride

ok, real talk….I need someone who lives or has lived in Alaska to verify:

DO YOU REALLY STOP AT MOOSE CROSSINGS without seeing actual MOOSE?!?!! If we stopped at Deer Crossings without ACTUALLY seeing actual deer in Wisconsin…we’d never get ANYWHERE!

And #2 WHAT ARE THOSE COOKIES….in what look like Pistachio Pudding Boxes???? I’ve never seen such a thing! Are they real? If so, they seem to very tasty…and I have to try!

ahhhhh…..Countdown to Christmas 2020….you have arrived and EARLIER than ever. I don’t hate it. I’m ready for all the Christmas feels. With 40 new movies though, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up!

I will, however, be watching 32 for sure….as this is the 2nd year I’m hosting a Hallmark Christmas Showdown Bracket Challenge (Shout out to my 53 Hallmark Showdown peeps!)

Let’s Jump into the Jingle Bell Bride, shall we?!?!

First impression: this was a mediocre at best Hallmark Christmas Movie. I feel like it’s going to get higher praise than it actually deserves because it has the advantage of being 1st. The excitement of the new premieres of the season really tend to cloud my eyes with Candy Cane colored glasses, ya know?!?!

I’ve come to realize…everyone enjoys Hallmark movies for different reasons. I’m 110% a romance girl. All the other Hallmarky-ness is just fluff to me….well, the FLUFF was this movie’s saving grace. I just wasn’t feeling these leads together…and believe you me, I REEAAALLLY wanted to. I mean, were you listening to Matt’s voice? I could listen to him all.day.long. Get that man on an audiobook or a podcast, and I’ll SUBSCRIBE!

Alright, let’s do this thang:

So here’s how I’m going to break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each

CHEMISTRY (between the leads) ❤️❤️ Matt & Jessica…you had a few moments. The Northern Lights scene…the Bouquet of Blessings at the dance….but when you had your MOMENT TO BRING IT HOME….ya tanked it. The Man FLEW from Alaska TO New York on CHRISTMAS to surprise you…and Jessica….you’re reaction was underwhelming to say the least. We could have used an OVERreaction there, my friend. Just wasn’t feeling the love in this one.
STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️❤️ I actually really like this story. Motivated career woman…getting it done, while trying to find that balance. I loved that she still accomplished what she set out to do…but still had her heart changing moment.
SUPPORTING CAST ❤️❤️ Matt’s aunt and cousin were super sweet. The Alaskan townspeople were super sweet. Jessica’s sister, you guessed it: super sweet…. nothing really stood out. We had a little bit of a Villian in Rebecca…still, not really played up. I will say, I Loved the diversity of the cast…AND the Español that was spoken was a delightful treat! oh, one more thing: I was REALLY hoping the pilot was going to plant a big ol’ smooch on the mayor….another Mistletoe Missed Connection 😦
FEELS❤️❤️The only REAL feels I got was from the Christmas Decor. The Home Decor, the Christmas Church Wedding, and the DANCE! Oh, you better believe I took a screenshot of those wooden tree shelves!!!!
HALLMARK SURPRISE (anything that really jumped out from the “norm” Hallmark Movie equation) ❤️❤️ the surprise for me was that the ending was so lack-luster. There was SO MUCH POTENTIAL. Oh, well. We still have 39 more new premeries to get us revved up Christmas, no? I also to have to mention that the biracial couple as leads is relatively new for Hallmark too, and I’m here for it!

11/25 ❤️ Wouldn’t say I’d watch again….unless I lose my tree shelves screen shot…better put that here so I don’t forget

My Hallmark Obsession

2019 Hallmark’s Christmas Movies: Which one’s are worth Watching?

It turns out, you might need a little guidance this weekend…

As you may or may not know, my love for Hallmark Movies got very real this past Countdown to Christmas when I reached out to the friends in my Facebook universe.  I posed the question: Who loves Hallmark Christmas movies…and who would love to play a game with me?

Out of the handful of people that shared my love/obsession… 21 people (including myself) decided to jump on board with my crazy idea of hosting a

Hallmark Christmas Movie Showdown Bracket.

Basically, I took 24 of the NEW movie premieres and paired them up against each other in a Bracket.  We watched them.  We voted.  People either donated $$ to participate or a prize to be given away.  It turned out WAY more amazing then I thought it would!  It was not only fun to play, but it was fun to discuss the movies and get to know some awesome people that I didn’t typically interact with before.

I DO have plans on hosting again this 2020 Christmas Season (God-willing), but for now…

If you haven’t heard, Hallmark is airing their Countdown to Christmas Movies this weekend as a Marathon!  Now, I know you might be game to just sit down and watch them all.  And, to that I say, “GOOD ON YA!”  They’ll bring you happiness and joy!

If, however, you are thinking…“Geez, I wish I knew which one(s) are actually good…”

I AM HERE FOR YOU!

(to be fair, our Hallmark Christmas Movie Showdown Group is here for you) Because thanks to our hours of dedication and sacrifice from October 2019-December 2019.

We WATCHED THEM ALL!  

and BETTER YET….we discussed, voted, and ranked them all!

I won’t reveal all of our secrets, because I didn’t ask if I could share identities…but I will share our FINAL vote.

In order to determine the “REAL” Hallmark Christmas Movie Winner, we voted on the TOUGH, hard-hitting question:

Would You Watch It Again?

Below is the  Final List:

Out of 21 voting Members, the number Listed is the Percentage of Participants that would, in fact, RE-WATCH the movie.  (and with all the options out there, that’s some High Praise for a Hallmark flick, if you ask me)

  • 71% Merry & Bright
  • 71% Christmas Scavenger Hunt
  • 62% A Christmas Love Story
  • 57%  Christmas in Evergreen; Tidings of Joy
  • 52% Christmas Under the Stars
  • 48% A Gift to Remember 2
  • 48% Christmas Town
  • 43% Write Before Christmas
  • 38% Check Inn to Christmas
  • 33% Double Holiday
  • 33% The Christmas Club
  • 29% Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses
  • 29% Picture a Perfect Christmas
  • 29% Mistletoe Secret
  • 19% Christmas at Dollwood
  • 19% It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • 14% Our Christmas Love Song
  • 14% Christmas at the Plaza
  • 10% A Christmas Duet
  • 10% Christmas in Rome
  • 10% Holiday Date
  • 5% Nostalgic Christmas
  • 0% Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays
  • 0% A Cheerful Christmas

 

There you have it folks!

My personal opinion…I would watch ALL of the movies on the above list that scored 33% or more.  This is the VERY HIGHLY regarded opinion of the Hallmark Movie experts I gathered.  Do with it what you will!

Also. This is only our opinion of whether or not we’d watch it again…if you’d like further clarification on a specific movie…or pros/cons to this/that.  I am happy to help!  I understand what pressure we are under to choose wisely in a home that shares limited screens 😉  Feel free to ask away!

Hope They Spread some JOY to you this Weekend.

Happy Social Distancing &  MERRY CHRISTMAS!