Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

I am all about beautiful and simple decorations for the holidays. Today’s tutorial is how to make a burlap wreath for the holiday season. This is a no-sew, no-glue, no-cut project that should be easy to create in about 30 minutes.

Walmart challenged me to create a DIY decorating project for the holidays and I immediately knew that I wanted to create one of those burlap wreaths that I had seen on so many other blogs. I really wanted to add a festive holiday spin to it, but one that would be easy to execute (and replicate!).

I began searching through blogs for tutorials on how to create my wreath, watched a million YouTube videos, looked at more blogs…and basically my eyes crossed and glazed over. Everyone does their wreaths differently and there is not one magic tutorial, BUT gathering those ideas, this is my version of the burlap wreath with a little holiday spin for you.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Supplies Needed

2 Rolls of Burlap, 5 inches wide & 10 yards long (here is what I purchased)

18″ wire wreath form

1 package of mini-clothespins

2 floral holiday picks (any variety)

3-5 holiday photos printed in wallet-size

Floral wire

Scissors

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

How to Make Your Burlap Wreath

1. To begin, select a few of your favorite holiday photos that can be attached to your wreath. The pictures I picked were from our family’s epic sledding adventure that you we do each year. Send these off to the Walmart Photo Lab and have them printed in wallet-size ($.58 each).

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

2. Now that you have your photos to decorate your wreath, let’s begin weaving the burlap through our wire wreath form. This is going to take a little time and practice with your first one so don’t get discouraged.

Easy Burlap Wreath TutorialBegin by folding your burlap in half, like I have shown above, and keep wrapping as we go. Select one section of the wire wreath to start in. Feed the beginning end through the wreath as shown above. Over the outer ring, under the next, over the next, and under to finish. Leave a little loose end to tuck in or you can wire it to the wreath with a little floral wire in the back. Now you have started your wreath- super easy!  This is the technique we are using throughout. I am showing it to you tightly so you can see how this will work, when you do this, you will be actually pulling out the burlap a bit to give it to that bubble effect that we are going for. 

3. Using the working end of the burlap, we are going to begin making the bubbled burlap right next to this row, within the same section of that metal wreath, but we will begin weaving in the opposite direction, continuing to pull out and bubble the burlap as we go, moving the working burlap into each section, weaving one direction than weaving the other direction.

4. When you run out of burlap (it should be when you are about halfway through covering the wreath), tuck the end towards the back and pick up where you left off. Again, you can wire these ends with a little floral wire on the back.

5. Once the entire wreath is covered, secure the final end with floral wire. Finish, by puffing up some of the folded bubbles (if desired) or you can leave them as is, if you prefer a more ruffled, rather than bubbly effect.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

6. Finish the wreath by gluing OR wiring two floral picks on the wreath. I just used a little glue, not too excessively like I usually do, so that I can remove these and switch my wreath up with the season (much like my yarn wreath that is STILL gracing my front door). Finish the wreath by attaching a few of your favorite holiday portraits with those mini-clothespins.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Once you are done, here is what the back of my wreath looked like. You can trim any of the pieces down that were wired to help your wreath lay more flush to your door.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Isn’t she lovely? With a little less than $20 supplies and 30 minutes of your time, you truly have a beautiful wreath for your front door, to grace your mantle, or to make a wall in your home more festive. Not to mention, wouldn’t this just make the most fabulous little gift for someone you love for the holidays?

I’m madly in love with it and I hope it inspires you to dress up a door in your home!

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Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.

It is officially holiday crafting season and I am so excited to show off these adorable knitted coffee cozie sweaters that I created for our teacher & bus driver gifts this year. These coffee cozie sweaters are so inexpensive to create, but have that “wow” factor that you look for in an inexpensive gift.

This month’s craft project was created for Walmart utilizing some inexpensive materials you can find at your store. I have a feeling that you are really going to love this project and here are some of the materials that I used to create these adorable sweaters!

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com. Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com. Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.

Since I wanted to keep the cost factor low on these, I used the inexpensive Red Heart Super Saver yarns. As you can see from the photo I snapped in the store, these are priced right in my budget at $2.47 and come in a variety of colors. I took a picture of the labels if you would like to replicate the colors that I used for your own creations.

I happen to love acrylic yarn for projects like these because they really hold their shape well and you can create a lot of adorable cozies for a very small price. You are looking for a medium weight yarn on this project (#4- as shown in the label above) to replicate how I made these.

Knitted_Sweater_Coffee_Cozies-3

I wanted to pair these with a sweet treat and found these yummy Starbucks Hot Cocoa packets over in the Coffee/Tea aisle of the grocery section. Eight come in a package and they run $5.38 a box. The reusable coffee mugs were priced at just $4.98 each and are located over in the Housewares section of the store. You may recall, I did a similar gift last year with these super easy coffee cozies with a rosette!

I tied up my cocoa packets with some chunky yarn I had leftover from the boot cuffs I knitted last month!

Knitted_Sweater_Coffee_Cozies-2

Modifications Were Made to The Featured Pattern. Please Read Carefully!

The pattern is available on Ravelry for $1.99. You will need to purchase this pattern to make these cozies. Instead of making them for a mug with a handle, I knitted these in the round for a travel mug.

To make this size, you need to size up those needles and add stitches! Instead of casting on 28 stitches, cast on 36 stitches. I used my 12″ circular needles in Size 10! The other pieces were knitted with Size 5 straight needles to create the mittens, sweater arms, and pockets! 

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.Grab the Pattern HERE on Ravelry (for purchase for $1.99).  Don’t forget to friend me while you are there! I love new knitting buddies! Oh, and here are 54 MORE Handmade Gift Ideas to get you thinking about crafting this holiday season!

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5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies

Monday, November 11th, 2013

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com.

The holiday preparation continues this week on the blog. Today  I want to showcase 5 easy ways to decorate store-bought pies for the holidays. Supermarket pies can still look beautiful and will taste even better with my ideas for some fun toppings and additions.

Walmart challenged me to share a fun Thanksgiving project with you and I knew that this was a topic that I have been thinking about a lot. Although we have a fantastic pumpkin pie recipe on here and even a step-by-step picture tutorial for making the perfect pie crust, I know that many of us just don’t have the desire to tackle pie baking. This post is especially for you and I hope you can create a swoon-worthy dessert table that will leave people guessing if you made those pies or not.

Spiced Whipped Cream

Add a Delicious Homemade Topping

Although your pie may not be homemade, your toppings can really stand out with just a few simple ingredients that will add a lot of flavor to your pie. One of my favorite toppings is a Spiced Whipped Cream that gets its hint of spices from ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and a little sugar. It is the perfect accompaniment to your store-bought pumpkin or pecan pies for the holidays.
Cranberry Crunch Pie ToppingAnother idea for layering on the flavors is to add texture through a fun crunchy pie topping. One of our favorites that I created for our pies last year was an easy Cranberry Crunch Pie Topping made from amaretto cookies and fresh cranberries.

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com.Add Unique Details

One of the greatest tools that I got for my holiday baking this past year was a set of piecrust cutters that I found on Williams Sonoma. Not only are these great tools to keep handy for masking any flaws on your homemade crusts, but they can double as a great detail to adorn store-bought pies.

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com.

Purchase pie crust from the refrigerated section of the store and then roll out on a lightly floured surface. Dip your cutters in a little flour and then push down and press these cutters to create your shape. Bake these adorable details in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Allow these to cool and then decorate the tops of your pies with these.

These little details are also so pretty to sprinkle on your dessert table and add that extra festive touch.

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com. 5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com.

Make a Mini Pie Spread

When I spotted these adorable mini pies in the bakery section, I knew this would be another fun spin on pies to try for the holidays. These mini pies are only $.68 each and come in a variety of flavors year-round. For smaller families, these store-bought pies offer the perfect serving size and give everyone exactly what they love the most.

Adorn these with the smaller size pastry cutouts and add a bowl of spiced whipped cream in the center so that everyone can create their own pie experience.

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com. 5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com. 5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com.

Give the Gift of Pie

One of my favorite things to give as a hostess gift is a sweet treat for their hospitality. Nothing is sweeter than a little individual treat just for me after entertaining, at least that is my opinion, and one of my favorite gifts to give happens to be my little peppermint cheesecakes in a jar.

If you are short on time though, consider purchasing these mini pies as hostess gifts for the holidays. Dress it simply in some festive ribbon and tie a bow around it to create a sweet little gift to give for the holidays.

At just $.68 each, these are a sweet way to say thank you without spending a lot.

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com.

Create a Beautiful Display

I love that when I posted a picture of this pie display on Instagram & Facebook that people were asking if this was even real. I think it really goes to show that with a few easy details and staging, you can take store-bought pies to another level.

With this display I used mismatched cake stands in varying heights to create a display. Don’t be afraid to drape a cloth napkin over a stand to make it cohesive or even create a stand out of a teacup and plate and cover it with the cloth napkin, if you are short on serving pieces. If you have multiple dishes out, consider adding these cute chalkboard label frames to help people navigate the dessert table.

Sprinkle pastry cutouts along the tablecloth to decorate the display and pull in leaves, bare branches, or create a unique centerpiece like I did this year to add some color to the table.

I hope these ideas are inspiring and that you will find a new way to love store-bought pies this year with these creative details!  Oh, and enjoy all that free time you have now that you aren’t baking this year.

Winning!

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54 Handmade Gift Ideas

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

54 Handmade Gifts from MomAdvice

Handmade gifts are one of my favorite things about the holidays – well, okay, any time of the year really! They are such a terrific way to show extra love to the special people in our lives, aren’t they?

And you know on Mom Advice we’re all about easy diy projects and loving our families and friends, so creating gifts for them is a no-brainer. Over the years I’ve shared many projects with you that I have personally given (or used myself!) and I’m excited to put them all in one place to give you some ideas and inspiration to make your own gifts for the holidays – or any occasion.

With an idea list this long (54!), I’ve decided to organize the list into four categories to help you find the perfect gift you’d like to recreate: knitted gifts, food gifts, gifts for the home, and personal gifts.

Happy crafting!

Knitted Gifts

1. Dovetail Cowl
2. 6-Stitch Knitted Ruffled Scarf
3. Knitted Coffee Cozies
4. Quick & Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs
5. Knitted Anthropologie-Inspired Scarflet
6. Cabled Knitted Headband
7. Waffle Stitch Fingerless Gloves
8. Gap-Tastic Cowl
9. Knitted Dishcloths (Part One)
10. Knitted Dishcloths (Part Two)
11. Knitted Ruffled Scarf
12. Gorgeous Gathered Scarfs
13. Merci Scarf
14. Shades of Gray Knitted Headband
15. Cozy Knitted Fingerless Gloves
16. Knitted Prayer Shawls

Food Gifts

17. Gingerbread Biscotti
18. Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
19. Sugar & Spice Nut Mix
20. No-Bake Peppermint Cheesecakes in a Jar
21. Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle
22. Candy Bouquets
23. Honey Nut Granola
24. Cinnamon Delight Bread
25. Light Banana Oat Bread
26. Peppermint Syrup (for Homemade Peppermint Mochas)
27. Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies
28. Hot Cocoa Mix
29. Oreo Biscotti
30. Spiced Pumpkin Bread
31. Vanilla Scented Granola
32. Vanilla Chai Mix
33. Snickerdoodle Biscotti

Gifts For The Home

34. Paint Dipped Spoon Sets
35. Book Page Flower Bouquets
36. Pom Pom Flower Bouquets
37. DIY Monogrammed Wine Glasses
38. Chalkboard Conversation Bubble Cookie Jars
39. Coffee Filter Wreaths
40. Yarn Wreath For All Seasons
41. Hand Painted Mugs 
42. Yarn Ball Wreaths

Personal Gifts

43. Rosette Bib Necklace
44. Felt Fabric Brooches
45. Rolled Ribbon Rosette Hair Accessories
46. Close to My Heart Barrette
47.Treasure Chests (For a Boy or Girl)
48. Personalized CD
49. Movie Lover’s Gift Basket
50. Photo Journals With a Unique Spin
51. Oatmeal Cookes & Milk Bath Soak
52. Stretchy Ribbon Bookmarks
53. Rolled Rosette Rings
54. Candy Cane Bath Salts

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All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

When Fall comes along, I love to be prepared for those cool temperatures with a fresh new scarf or cowl for the season. Today I am sharing my Dovetail Cowl that I knitted up for this season’s cooler temperatures.

The Dovetail Cowl pattern by Carina Spencer is a beautifully written pattern that breaks down a complex-looking pattern into smaller sections thanks to stitch markers. The pattern is only knits and purls, making it a perfect pattern for a beginning knitter who is looking for something a little more complex to tackle.

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

The stitching on this cowl is completely reversible and is textured. The pattern is written in a smaller version (not pictured here) and the larger version (shown above) and can be worn several ways thanks to it being completely reversible.

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

Poppy Dovetail Cowl

Pattern: Dovetail Cowl

Needle Size: US  7 (40″ circulars work well for this project so you can spread your knitting out and keep an eye on your stitches)

Yarn: Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton in Poppy Red (2 skeins)

Notes: 

I was excited to create a cozy cowl for Fall. I purchased this Dovetail Cowl pattern and paired it with the Cascade Pima yarn for a beautifully textured cowl that would not be too itchy.

This pattern is beautifully written. Using the guidance from the pattern for marking each section off with stitch markers, it makes it very easy to follow and to stay on track with your knitting.

I did the Large size pattern which took me about six weeks to complete in the evenings. Although the pattern is easy to do with just knits and purls, it does require some attention to it to stay on track with your pattern.

I am awfully pleased how this turned out. Two skeins was just enough yarn for me to complete the project, even doing the rolled edge!

If you do the advised yarn on this one, I would just do the shorter version otherwise it might be too much bulk to wrap this scarf twice, unless you are looking to leave the scarf unwrapped. Thanks to the scrunchy cotton yarn I used, I am able to wrap this two or three times around my neck.

You definitely want the longest circulars you have for this one because of the amount of stitches and having enough space to knit this in the round. I used my 40” bamboo circulars, which worked perfectly for this type of yarn and project.

I am in love with this cowl and would highly recommend this cute pattern for a fun holiday gift or for a gift to yourself. I look forward to wearing this a lot this Fall!

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Disclosure: The links to the knitting supplies are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily. Feel free to order your supplies elsewhere, but we always try to highlight the best deals when we see them.

 

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on and be sure to friend me on Ravelry if you happen to be a knitter too! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

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7 Easy Chalkboard Paint Crafts

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Chalkboard_Paint_Crafts The back-to-school season is in full swing and to honor that oh-so-wonderful time of year, I thought we could talk about fun chalkboard paint crafts today on Goodwill Tips. What could be more fun than chalkboard paint projects and what better time to tackle a project like this then when the kids return to school?

Head on over to the Goodwill Tips blog to get the scoop on 7 EASY Chalkboard Paint Crafts to try with items you often will find at your local Goodwill store! You won’t want to miss this fun post!

I have received compensation from Goodwill  for my time and effort in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Easy Hostess Gift: How to Make Paint-Dipped Spoon Sets

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Neon_Paint_Dipped_Spoon_Set_4

With summer comes many summer parties and opportunities to share those warm days with friends. Today I wanted to showcase an easy hostess gift that you could create to show your appreciation for those hosting your family at their next party.

Paint-dipped anything is quite the trend this year and so are those vibrant shades of neon. It was with those color trends in mind that I created this easy paint-dipped spoon set that embraces those fun colors and I also have found a fun way to package it that any hostess would flip for.

Neon_Paint_Dipped_Spoon_Set_5

Head on over to the Kenmore blog to find out how I created this adorable hostess gift today!

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Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care PackageHave you ever received or sent a care package? There is so much joy in the giving and the getting of unexpected mail anymore. Today I want to share how to mail the perfect happy mail care package.

We talk a lot about caring for others whether it is making care packages for the homeless, embracing the scraps of life giving philosophy, knitting chemo caps for others, or how we teach our children compassion and gratitude for what they have.

There are millions of ways to give and we try to live our lives in the “pay it forwardness” philosophy. 

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

It is no secret that our family endured almost a year of unemployment and a mountain of credit card debt that came along with it. I often look back on that time in our lives and wonder how we ever did it.

How did we make that situation work?

How did our marriage survive it?

How did we manage to keep our home and our car?

Do you know someone that is struggling? Sometimes the littlest things can mean the most and today I wanted to show I wanted to share with you some ways you can make a difference in the life of someone who is undergoing financial struggle or unemployment.

Walmart gave me the chance to showcase a project that I was passionate about and I wanted to think of a way we could bless someone else in our life. We decided to make the ultimate care package for someone we love and wanted to show you some ideas of things you could add to a care package for someone YOU love!

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

Pack Something Fun

What fun would a care package be without a few fun things in them. When we were struggling financially, one of our our favorite things we would indulge in was board games in the evenings. Board games, puzzles, a gift card to Amazon or Netflix, or a month of Hulu could all be fun things to share in your care packages.

Make your gift even more fun with personal notes, pictures, party confetti, and fun tissue paper. I found birthday candles that spelled, “Happy,” to decorate the top of our gift. These fun additions really make it feel like a real present.

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

Pack Something Delicious

If there is one thing that I truly love to share, it is my passion for food. Food gifts are the ultimate in surprises and can be inexpensive to create. In this package, we mailed off my favorite Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies and paired it with some Tazo Chamomile Stress-Free tea.

Other fun food gifts that would be easy to mail are my Sugar & Spice Nut Mix, Honey Nut Granola, Peppermint Marshmallows, Oreo Biscotti, Hot Cocoa or Vanilla Chai Tea Mix, Snickerdoodle Biscotti, Monster Cookie Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, Microwave Peanut Brittle, or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Cookies…just for a few options to start with!

Be sure to pack them snugly so that they can withstand their travels. I found these smart round foil pans with a sturdy cardboard lid in the baking supplies section of Walmart. I wrapped our brownies snugly in parchment paper and placed our, “happy,” label on the outside.

Although, I understand despite my best efforts, things got damaged in route. If I was doing it all over again, I would secure the entire tin with a good wrap of packing tape around the outside!

If you are mailing these treats to a college student, be sure to snag our cute free printable college coupons for future deliveries!

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

Send Something Practical

Gift cards are a wonderful gift to send in your care package. If you have their address, you can look up what stores are nearby to the area, or ask them where their favorite place is to shop. Choosing a gift card to a superstore is always a nice option because it can be put towards any of their immediate needs around the house or what they might need in their fridge.

Don’t focus on how little or how much you can give on the gift card. ANY amount is always appreciated and will put to good use.

ANY.

 

Mailing the Perfect Happy Mail Care Package

You can make an incredible difference in the life of someone who is struggling financially or unemployed and, in most cases, it won’t even cost you a dime!

Here are some other ideas of how you can help whether you are near OR far! 

Lend an Ear

The most important thing you can do for someone who is having a hard time financially is to just sit and let them talk. Let them share with you the anger that they have over their situation, let them cry tears of grief over the struggles they are enduring, and celebrate with them when those times turn around.

Let them talk about what they feel like talking about and try not to push them to tell more than they feel comfortable with. It is a very brave thing to do to open up and tell someone that you are struggling and it takes time and trust for them to want to share this private information with you.

Offer To Babysit

The #1 cause for divorce is money problems. When a spouse is unemployed, particularly the male in the family, it is such a difficult time in a marriage because so much of one’s pride and self-esteem comes from being able to contribute financially to the family.

The best thing you can do to keep that marriage growing strong is offer to support them by babysitting for them. Give the family the time they need to have a date night or just to have time to quietly do some job searching.

If you have the finances to offer a gift card for a night out, that is a wonderful and thoughtful touch. Think of fun budget-friendly things they could do like going bowling, or a gift card to Barnes & Noble for books or coffee, or a gift certificate to the movie theater.

Better yet, supply a gift that they could use for several nights in like a new board game, an electronic game, a Netflix membership, or ingredients for a fun meal that they could make at home. These are simple gifts that could supply many nights of fun for them during a difficult patch in their marriage.

Meals on Wheels

One of my favorite things to do for people during these times is to just drop off a dinner to them or to bring a meal when I come over to spend time with them. Try to make a big batch of food that could get them through one or two nights when money is tight.

If you lack the cooking gene, head over to the supermarket and pick up a take-and-bake pizza, popcorn, and some break-and-bake cookies. These are likely fun food that have been removed from the grocery budget and will be just as much appreciated as a home cooked meal.

Hire the Unemployed

Check around at your own place of unemployment, contact your friends through social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, and tap into as many people in your network as you can to find a job for your loved one. Do your part to get their resume out there!

If you aren’t able to find them a job, consider hiring them for some odds and ends jobs around your house. When one of our family members lost their job, we offered to hire him to remove wallpaper and paint our bathroom. It was a job in our house that we were not looking forward to doing and he was looking for a way to make some extra money. We both felt really good about the project and, in the end, it was the money that helped put the Christmas gifts under their tree. In my opinion, that is a total win-win situation!

Be an Anonymous Giver

Pride gets in the way of sometimes getting the help that someone might need. No one wants to say, “I don’t have money for groceries this month. Can you give me some?”

I have some very prideful people in my life who would never tell me when they were struggling. I have learned that anonymous gifts are sometimes the best kinds of gifts to give in these situations. Mail them a gift card or leave pantry ingredients on their doorstep.

Little Things are Sometimes the Best Things

There are so many little ways that you can help those that are struggling that can add up in big ways. Clean out your pantry and bring over the extra food to someone who is struggling, pick up a movie for them, stock them up on diapers for the baby, buy them detergent or paper products that can typically drain the grocery budget, offer to babysit while they run resumes, pass on your old magazines or books for a sweet little pick-me-up, weed through your children’s clothes and share those hand-me-downs, send them a card that you are thinking of them, pray for them daily, and cheer them up when you talk on the phone.

Even though I don’t like to focus on the negative, here is a little advice on things not to do-

  • Don’t harass them every day to ask if they have found a job yet. Know that you are likely going to be one of the first people that would be contacted and let them talk about their successes when they occur.
  • Don’t criticize their unemployed spouse. As I have said before, marriage is hard when a spouse is unemployed and it is important that you do your best not to contribute to the negativity. Allow them to vent, but don’t fuel the fire.
  • Do your best not to chastise them if they are angry or hurt over what is happening in their lives. Many well-meaning people try to correct anger instead of letting them work through it. Simply saying, “I know this must be tough!” will go a lot further in these situations then correcting their feelings.

As someone who has been on both sides of the fence, you will never know what it will mean to that person to be a steady rock for them to lean on. Try to think beyond yourself and do one nice thing for someone who is struggling (health-wise, financial, job loss, etc..)  today. It will mean more than you will ever know!

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. For this project, all compensation was invested in our care package.  My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

 

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How to Make a Candy Bouquet Gift for Father’s Day

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

How to Make a Candy Bouquet

I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are so blessed to have such an incredible Dad. He is the ultimate go-to guy from helping the kids with their homework, to kicking around the soccer ball, to indulging my daughter in her fancy tea parties, to the ultimate bedtime storyteller.

This Father’s Day we wanted to make a gift that we just knew he would love to show just how special he is to us. Our Dad happens to have a sweet tooth so we decided to make him a candy bouquet that he could place on his desk at work when those sweet tooth cravings strike!

The best part about this gift though is that it only takes fifteen minutes to create, costs about $20 in supplies, and can be created with your kids in honor of their favorite Dad.

To find out how to make this easy craft, head on over to the Kenmore Blog to get the supplies list and directions for making these sweet candy bouquet gift for Father’s Day.

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A Monster of a Father’s Day Gift: Monster Cookie Bars & Monster Printable Cards For Dad

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.Father’s Day is just around the corner & today we wanted to share a monster of a Father’s Day gift with a cute spin on the monster theme with easy monster cookie bars and printable monster cards for a special Dad in your life.

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

This week’s challenge from Walmart was to create an inexpensive Father’s Day gift that would wow your Dad. Well, if your dad is anything like our Dad, he is certainly wowed with homemade treats and funny cards with a great sense of humor. Our idea was to mix up a batch of thick and delicious Monster Cookie Bars made with rolled oats, peanut butter, mini M&M’s (found over in their candy aisle), and chocolate chips.

Monster Cookies can be a bit of a monster to create as a drop cookie because of their monster size. I choose to echo the words of an amazing woman I once heard speak these wise words…

“Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Wise, right?

Bar cookies get a big fist pump from this busy mom and if a celebration requires a cookie, I often rely on these chocolate chip cookie bars to get us through whatever baking requirements are made for those occasions. These Monster Cookie Bars are equally delicious and offer that crusty exterior with that soft interior that makes, in my humble opinion, the perfect cookie.

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

What Father’s Day would be complete without a card to accompany your sweet gift? We are so excited to debut these adorable Monster cards that you can print out to attach with your Monster Cookie Bars for your favorite Dad. We have included three fun printable cards for Father’s Day and then 1 that could be used for any occasion to accompany your sweet treat. Print these printables out on white card stock  and you will be all set for this Father’s Day!

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.



Printable Monster Cards from MomAdvice.com.

Download Your FREE Monster Card Printables HERE:

Happy Father’s Day From Your Monster FREE printable card

Your Gift is a Monster! FREE printable card

Eat All the Cookies FREE printable card

We Are Your Spawn FREE printable card

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

I can admit that this family has had Monsters on our brain after getting a sneak peek at the Monsters University movie that is set to hit theaters on June 21st. While our family was at the Disney Social Media Moms conference, we got an exclusive sneak peek at the film. It is FANTASTIC, and dare I say it, even funnier than the first one. I have no doubt that your family will love it!

Our Monster Cookie Bars would really pull together a fun family night out to see this fantastic film and you can find loads of fun Monsters supplies in the party favors aisle of your Walmart store including fun cups, plates, and other party favors for an inexpensive night to enjoy while tackling your summer bucket list or our 100 Days of Summer Pinterest Board.

Now that you have the printables, here is the deliciously easy and tasty recipe for these Monster Cookie Bars. We recommend preparing these in a metal 9×13 pan for best results!

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Monster Cookie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 15
 
Monster cookies made easy in a bar cookie. Be sure to pair these easy cookies with our free Monster printables.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups creamy peanut buter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini M&M's (approximately half a bag)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until blended. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Mix in oats until well combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and mini M&M's
  7. Press dough evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and set in the middle. Let cool completely in baking dish then cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

 Happy Father’s Day to all of our Dad readers (I know you’re out there!) and here’s hoping you get spoiled by a few of your favorite monsters!

Be sure to check back this week for more great Father’s Day gifts on a budget!

 

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