Now 11 days away from Christmas, the pressure is on to make sure your decorations do their job in getting you in the holiday spirit. So for a low-cost and family-fun activity, bring out your art supplies for some 'do-it-yourself' holiday fun for the whole family.
With fewer Christmas events taking place in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, this is one way to have fun at home with the family. Even if you're not the most crafty, crafting is a fun activity to do with family and friends.
Here are some DIYs you may like to try this holiday season:
Spray painted Christmas pillows
Is there such a thing as too many decorations during Christmas? If you're looking to add a touch of christmas spirit to your home, try making these cute and easy DIY spray-painted Christmas pillows. This DIY is a perfect activity for kids and anyone looking to add a sophisticated (but totally Christmasy) look to your year-round couch or chair. You can find how to make this DIY here.
Christmas Scrabble tile coasters
With all the hot chocolate and fun holiday cocktails you'll be drinking in the next week, it might be time to swap out your everyday coasters for these fun Christmas Scrabble tile coasters. This DIY is simple, and can be customizable to fit any room in your home. You can find how to make this DIY here.
Mason jar lid wreath ornaments
If you're looking to use the last of those craft supplies at home, this might be the DIY for you. Simple, uncomplicated and cute, these ornaments could be the final touch to your Christmas tree this year. This craft uses only mason jar lids and any craft supplies you can find, making it an inexpensive and fun project for the whole family. Personalize your ornament to fit your personality and show off your craft talents. You can find how to make this DIY here.
Dried orange garland
Everyone loves a good candle, but how does having a decoration that can make your house smell like citrus sound? This DIY is completely inexpensive, easy to make and can add a fun pop of color to any home. The holiday season is filled with fun and bright things, so why not add a natural element to it? You can find how to make this DIY here.
To add a final touch of holiday cheer to any home, Christmas wreaths are perfect DIYs to show off your decoration skills. Just like Christmas lights, a wreath can add that final touch to any front door. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, a wreath is a must for any home. This project can be customized to fit your taste and the decor of your home. You can find how to make this DIY here.
Check out your local craft store for the supplies you need to start one of these projects.
This is part of a holiday series counting down to Christmas so make sure to visit Austonia tomorrow, as we reach 10 days until Christmas.
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For years Austin has been one of the top 5 places to live in the U.S., according to an annual ranking from U.S. News and World Report. But this year, Austin dropped out of the top 10.
The publication ranked Austin at No. 13, down from No. 5 last year, No. 3 in 2020 and No. 1 in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Cities ranking in the top this year were No. 1 Huntsville, Alabama, No. 2 Colorado Springs and No. 3 Green Bay, Wisconsin.
So why did it rank lower this year?
The hot housing market is part of the reason. The report states "Austin offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income."
Still, Austin was the highest-ranked Texas city on the list. Adding to its desirability are its live music capital roots and the growing tech scene. The next Texas area on the list was Dallas-Fort Worth coming in at No. 32.
U.S. News says it analyzed 150 metro areas in the U.S. to make the list based on the quality of life, the job market, the value of living there and people's desire to live there.
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Austin parents and grocery store shelves are feeling the effects of a nationwide baby formula shortage.
Caused mostly by a February recall due to contamination issues, followed by the Abbott Nutrition factory closure in Michigan, the shortage has left Austin shelves barren. However, earlier this week, U.S. officials announced a plan with the facility to restart production.
In the meantime, local parents in crisis have turned toward the Mother’s Milk Bank to keep their babies fed.
HEB on East 7th has been picked clean of formula and is limiting purchases. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
The milk bank—which takes donations from lactating mothers and dispenses milk to babies in the NICU—has been helping feed upwards of 30 families in need as the formula supply tightens.
According to the bank’s executive director Kim Updegrove, Mother’s Milk Bank has seen an uptick in calls from parents with healthy babies in need of help since the shortage began.
“We aren't used to hearing from families with healthy infants,” Updegrove said. “They're typically very upset, angry, frustrated, sobbing—it's scary to not be able to feed your infants. So in the past few weeks, those calls have been significantly increasing.”
Mothers are only able to donate if they are within a year postpartum, so Updegrove said they are constantly bringing on and retiring donors. While donors had been on a 30% decline leftover from 2021 when the shortage began, Updegrove said the shortage has led to mass community interest and more than 90 prospective donors in just the past few days.
“We and other milk banks are experiencing significant interest from the community—becoming milk donors and helping to turn around this crisis,” Updegrove said. “Every infant needs to be fed, every one of us can relate to that need, and we need to make sure as a community that it happens.”
Whole Foods downtown was also cleaned out of typical formula. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
While you may still be able to find formula at places like Whole Foods—which currently has goat milk, soy and plant-based formula in stock—Updegrove said it might not be what a baby needs.
Updegrove said it is best to buy types that say “infant formula,” as they are FDA approved and will provide the nutrients, vitamins and minerals a baby needs. Plant-based, homemade, non-cow's milk or diluting formula may not provide the same nutritional value.
As the community navigates the shortage, Updegrove said the most important way to help out is to not panic buy or stockpile.
“This is a crisis for families,” Updegrove said. “This is the time for the community to gather together and figure out what everyone can do to help families with young infants.”