A Denver Home Companion | 2013 downloadable monthly calendar

you may know by now that the only way my home stays clean is by sticking to a daily 20-minute cleaning schedule i ripped off of apartment therapy. i’ve relied on this schedule (which i hang up on my fridge) for three years now. every december i search the web for a good-looking printable monthly calendar set. this year i teamed up with one of my favorite bloggers and IRL gal pal, amanda from the petrichor, to create our own calendar that YOU can download too!

it’s a clean, modern, simple monthly calendar. and did i mention it’s downloadable and printable and free?!

2013 monthly calendar

what would you use monthly calendars for?

also, congratulations to jenny who won my eBags giveaway! are you all following my guest board for eBags on pinterest? you should. i’m having lots of fun doing it.

i am no no no good at keeping my whites white. this was made even harder when ramona came around. she is active and into everything. so there are stains on the knees of her pants and on the belly of her onesies. and now that’s she eats what we eat? forget about it. food is everywhere.

i recently discovered iDye at my local art supply store. it’s a dye that is done in the washing machine. i’ve never dyed clothes before, RIT or otherwise, but this looked relatively easy and painless so i thought i’d give it a shot to hopefully extend the life of some cloth diapers and white onesies. besides their stains, they were in fine condition.

simply follow the instructions on the back of the package. make sure you have at least a cup of kosher salt on hand. voila. new clothes. they didn’t turn out perfect but i also didn’t pre-wet them AND i put the dye in after the clothes when the package clearly stated to put the dye in first. what can i say? i have a problem following rules.

you have to stay close to the washing machine to make sure it’s agitating the clothes for about an hour (for me this meant resetting to the wash cycle every 15 minutes). ramona and i took this opportunity to play in the basement stairwell where she could ham it up and have a moment with my barn clogs.

every december, when i was a child, my mother had a simple but beautiful advent calendar. i can’t remember it exactly but i do recall a wood one, where behind each intricate door were nice chocolates that my mother would have picked out. as exciting for her as for my brother and i. mama, please correct me here. either way, each day of december, our little family of four would open the number of the corresponding day and have a treat. simple as that.

jp’s family had a different activity every night for advent. his mother, he recalls, planned items and outings and foods for the whole family to partake in each day leading up to advent. he doesn’t remember the advent calendar.

i’d like a mix of both; simplicity and surprise.

with our little family, each holiday i feel this intense urge to create our own powerdriver traditions. ramona is still young and, essentially, oblivious. but soon she won’t be. and she’ll be excited about the little things our family does each year. so last year i made stockings and this year i made an advent calendar. bc i wanted to take the tradition of my mother’s thoughtful and beautifully made advent calendar and jp’s mother’s tradition of nightly activities based on what was opened each day of advent. ramona won’t care much for the advent calendar i made. at least not this year. and she won’t care much for the activities, except for the hot cocoa. at least not this year. but they’ll be there. the traditions. at least the start of them. and my humble attempts at making our little family our own.

this year i made a simple, modern advent calendar based on the tutorial from weekday carnival. jp helped me diagram the triangles on a piece of wood that we had initially planned to use for our bathroom vanity. i used gold nails, fancy black & white twine, and numbers printed on heavy cardstock. (my strings weren’t all as taut as i would like so, if you try this for yourself, make sure you pull your strings tight and double twist at every nail).

here’s what i have planned for each day of december (written on the back of the respective day) to get in the christmas spirit:

  1. decorate house for christmas (it’s small so we only need an hour!
  2. watch “a christmas story”
  3. make paper snowflakes
  4. make popcorn and watch “a charlie brown christmas”
  5. buy new toothbrushes for the family!
  6. write a christmas wish list and include non-tangible things
  7. read the birth of Christ in the gospels
  8. spend special family time with the farm yard animals
  9. have a candlelit dinner
  10. hang mistletoe
  11. have a sweet treat for breakfast
  12. make pepperkakor cookies
  13. declutter for christmas (boxes of vintage stuff, mo’s toys. basement)
  14. make an egg nog cocktail. egg nog for the little ones.
  15. go on morning winter hike
  16. go for a drive to see christmas lights
  17. drink hot cocoa while watching yet another christmas movie
  18. enjoy hot cocoa for breakfast
  19. go thru and read winter and christmas books
  20. bake some more christmas treats
  21. put coins in strangers’ meters
  22. determine new years resolutions
  23. have a sweet treat for breakfast
  24. take a photo w santa

here are other posts i used that have additional festive ideas for how to celebrate the days leading up to the 25th.

need ideas for christmas gifts? don’t forget about my giveaway from artifact uprising. leave a comment on this post to be entered to win.

Hi, foxy readers. My name is Cora and holy smokes I’m excited that Emily invited me to guest post here!  You can find me over at Miles, Papa and Me blogging about my dreamy baby Miles Waylon Wolf, my ginger fella Steve, and all of our fun thrifting finds. Fortunately, I’m a stay-at-home mama so to keep ourselves busy and earn a couple bucks I decided to open a space at an antique mall here in our hometown of Portland Oregon. Between wrangling an active one year old and cooking dinner I try to squeeze in a little craft time a few times a week. Since the holidays are here and gift giving is approaching, I wanted to share with you a quick and easy DIY to dress up your favorite night cap.


  • cork stoppers (available on Etsy)
  • crystals (check your local rock store or bead shop)
  • hot glue gun
  • paint


  1. Start off by painting the cork a color of your liking.
  2. Once the paint has dried, hot glue the top of the cork and press the flattest side of your rock to the glue.

Voila! Super easy and fun for your holiday party!

*Feel free to keep your cork its natural color or add lace. After finishing my stoppers I realized they were too big to fit in a wine bottle, so I would definitely suggest buying tapered corks for a better fit.

Thanks so much for having me here. Come say hi over at my blog or on Instagram (username milesmama)!

thanks, cora, for spending some time here today! i love love love this project.


courtney, from (she always loved) larking, wrote about making your own fingerpaints. i was inspired to try fingerpaints with ramona and max, who have recently shown a bit of interest in coloring and making marks and scribbling.

so during their nap time, i whipped up some edible finger paint in the kitchen (i used the finger paint recipe that courtney referenced). it was easy!

or so i thought. the babes, who usually sleep an hour and a half (maybe two) for their morning nap, ended up sleeping nearly three hours. by then, the fingerpaint i had made had gelled a little bit and was not very paint-like. still, i took the two little ones outdoors where some craft paper had been laid out and stripped them down to their skivvies. however, max wanted nothing to do with this paint and ended up toddling over to the goats. ramona showed a little bit more interest but didn’t seem to get the whole point of “painting with fingers.” instead she wiped it around on her belly and then proceeded to freak out when i wiped some on her arms. she, too, toddled away to the goats.

it’s not the paint’s fault (though i wish we could have had a chance to play with it sooner before it turned to gel), or the recipe’s fault, or my fault, or the toddlers’ fault. they just would rather play w goats and frolic in the yard than smear colorful cornstarch on paper. we’ll try some artistic action again later but i think, until they show a little bit more sustained interest, i’m going to stick with the simple stuff i don’t have to make, like crayons.