Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Continuing our theme with easy no-bake treats that cost under $5 or less, I wanted to share with you my easy microwave peanut brittle for holiday gift giving. Making peanut brittle in the microwave is so easy and is the perfect gift to give for the holiday season. If you haven’t tried making microwave peanut brittle, you are in for a real treat.

This brittle makes a perfect guy gift to give paired with an inexpensive hammer tied with festive ribbon. I found my hammers at our local hardware store for $2.99 and found cookie sheets for giving at our dollar store for a buck. With a few simple ingredients in your pantry, you have the makings for an easy gift to give and to share around the holiday season.

The only trick with making peanut brittle in the microwave is keeping a CLOSE eye on it so you don’t burn your nuts. I used my Pampered Chef large batter bowl to prepare the brittle in and found that six minutes seemed to be just the right amount to cook it in the first stage. Microwaves and bowl sizes vary so check it after five minutes and see how the brittle is looking. 

Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
An easy peanut brittle that you can prepare right in the microwave. Package it with a hammer for a fun guy gift for the holiday season.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup lite corn syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Grease a baking sheet & set aside.
  2. In a glass bowl, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt.
  3. Cook in microwave for six minutes on high (keep one eye on it to make sure it isn’t bubbling over or burning the nuts). The mixture should be bubbly and the peanuts should be brown.
  4. Stir in butter & vanilla; cook for two to three more minutes.
  5. Quickly stir in baking soda, just until the mixture is foamy.
  6. Pour immediately onto greased cookie sheet.
  7. Let cool for fifteen minutes or until set. Break into pieces.
  8. If packaging for gifts, leave the brittle in tact and package with a hammer for gift-giving.

Looking for other easy & inexpensive gifts to give? Check out my tutorial for Sugar & Spice Nut Mix, Knitted Coffee Cozies, DIY Monogrammed Wine Glasses, Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows, Gingerbread Biscotti, Easy No Bake Cheesecakes in a Jar,  and DIY Mustache Mugs!

Not enough for you?? Here are 36 more holiday gift ideas!

Pin It

Sugar & Spice Nut Mix

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Not everyone is a baker and that is why I wanted to share with you an easy sugar & spice nut mix that you can pull together for your holiday giving that is as impressive as any holiday cookie. Making your own flavored nut mixes might not be something you have considered for the holidays, but once you try this delicious nut mix, you will have a hard time giving these sugared and spiced nut mixes away.

My variety of nuts include pecans, almonds, and walnuts. You can choose any combination of nuts that you might love or just keep things simple and roast only your absolute favorite. These nuts are then tossed with an egg white, water, sugar and some of my favorite holiday spices- cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and allspice.

Once you pull them hot out of the oven, I sprinkle liberally with kosher salt to add that sweet and salty combination I love so much in everything from my salted caramel mochas to my dark chocolate & sea salt brownies. The salt really adds to the flavors and helps make these even more addictive.

Package these nut mixes up in a pretty box tied with ribbon. I found these little Wilton boxes at our local grocery store, but I am sure they have something similar at your favorite craft store. I lined the interior of them with a little tissue paper and finished them with satin ribbon.

Sugar & Spice Nut Mix
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
An easy nut mixture to create from spices in your pantry and perfect for your holiday snacking or giving.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling
  • 2 cups pecans, halves
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 2 cups walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the beaten egg white, sugar, and all of your spices (except the salt).
  3. Add the nuts and stir until coated well.
  4. Spread evenly onto a greased cookie sheet or baking pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Spread out on parchment paper and sprinkle, while still hot, liberally with coarse salt.
  7. Package for your gift-giving needs.


 

Pin It

DIY Monogrammed Wine Glasses

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I wanted to continue our theme of easy DIY gifts and these DIY Monogrammed Wine Glasses are an absolutely easy gift to give for the holidays and require zero craft skills. You won’t believe how quick and easy these diy monogrammed wine glasses are to create and, if you are anything like me your girlfriends are anything like mine, they will use this personalized wine glass every night (*ahem*).

The thing that really makes these glasses special are the glittered monogrammed stems. My daughter Emily would call this oh-la-la fancy or Frenchie fancy (we talk a lot about Fancy Nancy and Paris around here).

Supplies Needed

Wine Glasses

Martha Stewart Stencils (these are the ones I used for this)

Martha Stewart Gloss Paint (any color)

Martha Stewart Glittered Paint (any color)

How to Stencil Your Glassware

1. Clean your glasses with soap and water, then rub with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining residue on the glass.

2. Apply the reusable adhesive larger stenciled letters for the monogram on the glass and then apply the smaller letters on the stems of your glasses.

3. Pour a small amount of gloss paint on a disposable plate and on another plate pour a small amount of glitter paint . Using your brush, apply a thin layer of gloss paint to your wine glass, doing your best to stay within the stencil. If needed, apply a second coat.

4. While your paint is still wet, carefully peel off stencil.

5. Using your glitter paint and an inexpensive foam brush, apply a thin layer of glitter paint on your wine stem. Travel the paint as high as you want it (the entire stem, just the base, or wherever feels like a good ending point for you).

6. While your glitter paint is still wet, carefully peel off your stencil.

7. Allow the paint to dry for one hour and then place the glasses on a cookie sheet.  Set the glasses in a cool oven.  Set oven to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes.  Glass must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage.  Do NOT place glass in a hot oven.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven off.  Allow glass to cool completely in oven.  Wait 72 hours before using.

8. Clean all stencils, brushes, and tools immediately after using them, before the paint has dried. You can use a stencil cleaner to clean. Let dry. Attach backing to stencils and then store for another use.

Looking for more inexpensive gifts to give this holiday season? Check out our Knitted Coffee Cozies Tutorial and check out our list of 36 handmade gifts to give this holiday season!

 

Pin It

Christmas Gift Ideas Under $25 For the Ladies

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Christmas gift ideas under $25 can be a hard budget to achieve. Today I wanted to share with you 12 great Christmas gift ideas under $25 that would be perfect for yourself, a great gift for your girlfriends, a sister, or a mother.

These ideas are actually something that I have been thoroughly enjoying this year and believe you will to! I only like to promote smart shopping so these have all been carefully hand selected and are gifts I believe anyone would love!

Small Homes Grow Tight Families Print- One of my favorite pieces of art in our home is this print that reminds me of our commitment to live in a smaller home. I ordered this for our house and it is now one of my favorite things in our home. You can personalize it with your own address and choose your own colors. Supporting Etsy sellers is always on my holiday to-do list for unique and thoughtful gifts. ($15)

Rice Cooker- If there is one appliance that gets a workout in our house, it is our rice cooker. If you eat a lot of rice or quinoa in your house, than this is a fantastic appliance to give or get. I put the steamer on the top to work for our family’s veggies and the bottom is where I make our brown rice. Once you have one of these little gadgets, you will realize just how much easier your dinner hour is and wonder how you ever lived your life without it. ($16.99)

Edie Bauer Polartec Power Stretch Gloves- I have gone through and lost a ton of pairs of gloves over the years, but I always am careful with this pair because they are my warmest and most comfortable pair. If you are looking for the perfect gloves to receive or to share, than these are the ones that I would recommend. My best friend had a pair and then she told me about them and I ran out and got a pair for myself. If you have a hard time keeping track of your gloves like me, you will love the little links on the side that click them together.  ($19.99)

Fleece Leggings (in charcoal and brown)- If there is one item that is my go-to item in the winter, it is my fleece leggings. If you have ever worn cheap leggings, you know how cold your legs can get without a warm layer. These are thin, but lined with fleece so it basically feels like you are running around in your pajama pants. I wear these with my sweaters, with my dresses, and with longer tunic tops. I am giving these to all of the ladies in my life this year and can’t recommend these enough. Once you wear these, you will never go back to cheap leggings again!

Flourish Boutique happens to be a site sponsor and  offers online shopping so if you don’t live around here, you can still partake in all of the amazing deals and steals that the store offers on their website. MomAdvice customers receive a 25% discount code. Just enter WEB25 when you checkout! ($16 BEFORE coupon code)

One Line a Day Journal- If you are anything like me, it is difficult to journal with such a busy life and schedule. I am absolutely in love with my One Line a Day journal because you have enough room to write a couple of quick sentences and at one glance you can see your sentence each day in a five year span on a single page. It’s fun to see how many sentences get repeated or what you did exactly one year ago in one spot. ($11.53)

Owl Mug- I bought this gift for myself on a girlfriend shopping trip, and it is one of my favorite things in my cupboards. You know when a mug is just the perfect size? Well, this mug is big and has enough room in it for loads of coffee and milk/creamer topping. I use this mug daily and would love to get a couple more in other colors, but even in a simple white it is a surefire day brightener ($10)

Warm Regards Tights- Now that we are moving down my list, you can see my love for all things fleece and warm. I bought two pairs of the Warm Regards Tights when I was visiting our local Francesca’s, on impulse,  because they were on sale 2 for $12. When I slipped them on, I realized they were lined in fleece and the best invention ever in the world for chilly church mornings. These tights make wearing a dress more of a daily event for me in the winter because I am toasty warm in these and my boots. ($12)

Spotify Premium Membership- I am a huge music lover and Spotify is where I listen to all of my favorite music and create my playlists for great music to listen to throughout the day. Unfortunately, I have the free membership so I have to listen to annoying ads throughout the day. Ever have an elegant dinner with your family and have a tampon ad blasting in the background? It’s a mood killer! I am hoping that Santa will be good to me this year and bring me a premium membership so I can take my playlists with me in the car and can take advantage of some ad-free listening. This would be a great gift to give to any music lover in your life ($9.99 per month)

Microwaveable Rice Pillow- You might laugh, but my rice pillow is my most favorite handmade gift that my mother-in-law made me for me a few years ago. These pillows are filled with rice and can be zapped in the microwave or popped in the freezer for a cold or hot pack for all sorts of body aches and discomforts. In the winter, I zap mine three or four times a day and put it on my feet while I work or knit. When I’m sick, it is the first thing I reach for to warm me up. There are a variety of Etsy sellers that you can buy this from although anything in a houndstooth pattern takes this thoughtful gift to another level ($22.95)

Celestial Seasonings Holiday Teas- My new favorite treat to myself is a cup of tea in the afternoon and I have fallen in love with these Celestial Seasonings Holiday Teas. It is just like drinking the holidays in a mug and my latest favorites are the Gingerbread Spice and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. These teas would make a great stocking stuffer or would be a fun addition to your grocery cart to take home when tackling all of those endless holiday errands ($2.99)

Picky Palate Cookbook- If you are going to add any cookbook to your Christmas wish list, can I recommend the Picky Palate Cookbook? This cookbook is filled with tried and true recipes that any picky eater would love. The cookbook offers beautiful photos and real family recipes that any home cook would love to create. Usually when I flip through cookbooks, I see one or two dishes that I might like to create. In this cookbook, there is not a single recipe I wouldn’t want to try making for my family. Jenny’s personality really pulls through in this book with her sweet spirit and references to her sweet family. I am lucky enough to call her my friend, but if she wasn’t, it still would be a cookbook that I would recommend buying for this holiday season! ($13.79)

The Good Life for Less- You knew that this would have to be on the list, right? I am so proud of this book and really feel like it would make a fantastic gift for anyone looking to live a beautiful life on a budget.  The book is filled with great recipes to share around the table, how to celebrate all of life’s big and small occasions, and how to do it all within a budget.

The book will be out on bookstore shelves on January 2nd (a slight shift in dates due to our reprinting), but is now available for pre-order.  Here are some options for great places to order it! I also encourage you to hit your local bookstore to pick it up! 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Walmart

Powell’s

Indiebound

What are you hoping Santa will bring you this Christmas? Any gift suggestions you would like to share?

Pin It

How to Make a Homeless Care Package (Free Printable Supplies List)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

One thing that you may not know about our family is that we are really passionate about caring for the homeless. Creating a homeless care package can be one fantastic way that your entire family can be involved in caring for the homeless. Today we want to provide a checklist of supplies for the homeless, a local resources sheet you can print out (if you are in our area), and some tips for involving the whole family in this project.

This month Walmart let me choose a project that I was passionate about for the holidays and showcase how families could recreate it in their own homes. As I always disclose, I am compensated for my writing, BUT instead of accepting the compensation, we invested what I would have earned along with the gift card budget Walmart gave me to give back to the homeless in our community. 

These homeless care packages can be prepared for your local homeless shelters or kept tucked away in the trunk of your car for those you may see on the street looking for your help. I love feeling armed in these situations and these kits are a simple way to show how much you care.

I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you that my husband inspires me every day with his giving heart. Last winter, he was coming home late from work because he would see people in need and run to stores to get them supplies and gift cards.

That is his heart.

That is why I love him.

If there is one thing I firmly believe in, it is that giving should be a family affair. We have to lead our children by our example. I want my children to remember that what made our family special is that we always gave with our whole hearts.  

My kids assisted in every aspect of this project. My son came with me and did the number crunching on a good old-fashioned calculator, my daughter helped sort and organize all of the items we bought, and both kids helped fill the bags with all of the necessary items.

Here Are My 3 Essential Elements to a Great Homeless Care Package

Feed Their Needs- One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone who is homeless is personal hygiene items and food to nourish their bodies. Begin by picking up items that will satisfy this area in their life first. Simple items like shampoo, a razor, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, a bar of soap, and tissues are great items to keep on hand.

Food like granola bars, crackers with peanut butter, trail mixes, dried fruits, and a bottle of water are also great items to tuck into your bags. If you have the funds, small denominator gift cards (we did $5 Walmart gift cards) can also be great to give so that they can pick up a meal or item(s) they might need.

Provide Warmth- We live in Indiana and the winters here are brutal. I can’t imagine how cold it would be to stand on the streets without the proper items I need for warmth. Add items like thermal boot socks, gloves, scarves, and hats to your gift bags. Items like these may seem out of your financial reach, but I found all of these at the dollar store and the sets of gloves were a mere $.50 each.

Feed Their Souls- I am sure it goes without saying, but feeding someone’s soul is just as important as feeding their needs. You can feed their souls in a variety of ways depending on your families beliefs and resources. We created a local resources list (available for local residents to download) that they can tap into for further resources in our town. A note that lets them know that they are on your prayer list, a note of encouragement by your children, or a scripture that you find comforting can also be excellent additions.

God has been so good to us, but 10 years ago we were in a very different place than where we are now.  My husband was unemployed for almost an entire year, our financial situation was a house of cards, and my heart was in a bad place. Although I don’t like to admit it, I wondered what my purpose on this earth even was. I never have forgotten that dark place and it is why we still try to be so careful with the resources we have been given and why I have such a tender place in my heart for those who are struggling.

Being careful though doesn’t mean that you can’t be a giver. There are fantastic ways to give, both big and small, around the holidays. Be sure to check our list of ten painless ways to give back to charities to help you get started.  I call these smaller ways to give the, “scraps of life giving.”  I have talked a lot about that with my partnership with Pure Charity this month as well! 

One more thing, did you know today just so happens to be GIVING TUESDAY? It is the perfect day to start a giving project with your family! 

We want to help you give back to your community! Here are some resources to do just that!

Grab our Free Homeless Supply Checklist for your your care packages. Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Grab our Local Resources List for your care packages (if you don’t live in Michiana, you can use this as a template for your own sheet)!  Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

 

How do you give back in your community? How do you teach your kids to be givers?

 

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 aiding our area homeless.  My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

Pin It

“Use What You Have” DIY Advent Calendar

Monday, November 26th, 2012

 

It is that time of year again and that means another Advent season.  You don’t have to have a fancy advent calendar to celebrate the advent season, in fact, I have a DIY Advent Calendar made from items you already have in your home. This free DIY Advent Calendar is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season without breaking the bank.

Today I wanted to share with you a “use what you have” Advent calendar that we created last year. It was such a hit that I plan to make another one for this year! This requires no pricey materials and is based around what the holiday season should be all about… being together!

In the years past, we have always had a Christmas Jar of activities. Each day we would randomly draw from a set number of activities and enjoy a holiday activity together as a family. This year, our life with our two children has become increasingly busy and scheduled. We have two school schedules, extracurricular activities, homework, holiday programs, holiday family events, and so much more going on. Our life of leisure seems to have taken a detour and I have had to be more thoughtful in our approach towards carving time out for what we would hope to accomplish this year.

I wanted to create our own countdown to Christmas in a creative way, but I didn’t want to spend any money on it. I decided to use what I had to create our homemade Advent filled with fun activities and wanted to share with you what we created!

 

Homemade Advent Calendar

Supplies needed:

A large circle punch (in scrapbook supplies at craft store) or a jar or glass for tracing
Tape
Scrapbook or festive holiday gift wrap
Ribbon
Marker
2 Muffin Tins
A picture frame stand or a place to prop your finished tins


I began this project by punching out 48 circles. On half of these write the numbers 1-24 and on the other half you can write fun activities to do with your children in anticipation of the big day.

Stick your holiday activity folded up inside of each muffin tin and then attach the numbered circles to each individual muffin tin. Secure with tape on both sides to hold your activities in securely.

Break out your trusty calendar and jot down the activities for each day to remind yourself what you need to plan for and what supplies will need to be purchased to accomplish the activities.

Add a little festive ribbon to the top of your muffin tin. Display the muffin tin by using a picture frame stand or finding a sturdy wall to prop it up with. Have your child draw an activity each morning to complete as a family.

 

Here are 24 Ideas for Advent Activities

1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
2. Big bubble baths with holiday music playing.
3. Go to the library to pick out holiday books.
4. Special popcorn and hot cocoa snack with a holiday movie.
5. Head to a holiday concert.
6. Decorate gingerbread houses.
7. Make Christmas cards for your special friends.
8. Watch a holiday movie.
9. Color a holiday coloring page.
10. Bake Christmas cookies.
11. Go see holiday lights.
12. Go see Santa in your local downtown.
13. Write a letter to Santa.
14. Pop popcorn & play a board game together.
15. Host an ornament decorating party.
16. Make gingerbread waffles or gingerbread donuts for breakfast.
17. Wrap holiday gifts while listening to holiday music together.
18. Go to the dollar theater and see a movie.
19. Go see the Christmas lights in your pajamas.
20. Deliver holiday treats to your friends & the firefighters in town.
21. Watch your favorite holiday movie.
22. Open one gift early.
23. Go caroling.
24. Do a holiday puzzle together

Total cost for this project was zero and very little money will be spent to do these activities together. The memories I hope to create with my children though, I hope those will be priceless!

Do you do an Advent calendar or have a special way your family celebrates the countdown to Christmas? I would love to hear your ideas!

Pin It

No-Bake Peppermint Cheesecakes In A Jar

Monday, November 26th, 2012

I have a theory that any gift given in a little jar is a tad more special and certainly cuter if it is packaged sweetly in a jar. These no-bake peppermint cheesecakes in a jar are a perfect gift to give and full of that peppermint flavor we crave around the holidays. The best part about these isn’t the jar though, it is the, “no baking required,” feature that I happen to love the most.

This year I wanted to create holiday hostess gifts that would long be remembered, but quickly be used. What could be more memorable or useful than a tiny cheesecake in a jar?

The possibilities with this fun food craft are endless. Convert your favorite no-bake cheesecake into a sweet gift and decorate your jar with your favorite craft technique whether it is spray paint, decoupage, or a scrap of fun fabric.

These gifts can easily be personalized and will be a fun treat for whoever you might share them with. I guarantee if you made me one of these as a hostess gift, I would have you over and over again…just for that Oreo crust alone!

Make a batch of these and keep them on hand for those unexpected occasions where a gift is needed! It also could be a lovely reward for yourself after all of that hard holiday preparation you have been doing. You deserve it.

5.0 from 1 reviews
No-Bake Peppermint Cheesecakes In A Jar
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
A sweet & simple no-bake cheesecake in a jar that you can give to someone special for the holidays. This is the perfect little hostess gift, teacher gift, or neighbor gift to share!
Ingredients
  • 10 Half Pint Ball Jars
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 cups of chocolate sandwich cookies (approximately 17 cookies)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream, whipped
  • Red food coloring
  • 20 peppermint candies
  • 3 freezer bags
  • 1 rolling pin
  • For decorating jars (optional): Red Spray Paint, Green Grosgrain Ribbon, and Hot Glue
Instructions
  1. Place your chocolate sandwich cookies in a freezer bag and use a rolling pin to smash the bag of cookies until they become cookie crumbs. Add your melted butter and sugar to the bag and mash the bag in your hands until the three ingredients pull together to create your crust and are well incorporated.
  2. Take the lids off of your glass jars and place them on a cookie sheet to contain the mess. Spray each of the jars with cooking spray. Put two spoonfuls of cookie crumbs into each jar and use the back of the spoon or your hands to press the crust into each jar. Slide the cookie sheet of jars back into the freezer to chill while you prepare the filling.
  3. In a large bowl, beat your cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in a can of sweetened condensed milk until it is smooth. Stir in your peppermint extract and red food coloring, approximately three drops, to achieve a pale pink color. Mix all of these ingredients well. Fold in your whipped cream.
  4. Remove your tray of jars from the freezer. Using a standard ice cream scoop, add one scoop of filling to each of your jars. Use the back of a small spoon to smooth the filling on top until it is level and smooth.
  5. Remove the wrappers from your peppermint candies. Place the peppermint candies into a double-bagged freezer bag and use your rolling pin to smash these into small pieces to garnish your cheesecakes. Sprinkle the broken peppermints on top of each one.
  6. Screw the lids back on your jars and put these back into the freezer. Freeze for two hours or until firm.

 

How To Decorate Yours Jars:

Remove the bands from the jars and set aside. Outside or in a well-ventilated area, spread your jar lids out on newspaper. Shake your spray paint well. Slowly and evenly, spray your spray paint back and forth until all of the lids are covered with the spray paint. Allow these to dry for at least thirty minutes.

Plug in your glue gun and allow it to heat up. Tie grosgrain ribbon (any width you desire) into a small bow.  Place your spray-painted lids on top of your jars and screw the bands into place. Squirt a tiny dot of hot glue on the back of your bow and place it on top in the center of your lid.  Hold it in place for a minute. Sit back and bask in your crafting glory.

 

Looking for more sweet Peppermint Gifts to share?  Take a peek at our recipe for Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows, Candy Cane Peppermint Bath Salts, and DIY Peppermint Mocha Coffees you can enjoy or share this holiday season!

Pin It

Creatively Wrapping Gifts With Goodwill Items

Friday, November 16th, 2012

If there is one thing I love even more than creating handmade gifts, it is wrapping gifts especially for each recipient with creative gift wrapping. Today I am over at the Goodwill Tips Blog to share with you some beautiful ways to wrap your gifts with thrift store items. You are going to absolutely love these ideas and you will especially love the savings you will experience by buying your materials at the thrift store instead of the gift wrap aisle.

Can’t wait to hear from you over here on your creative wrapping ideas!

 

Pin It

Knitted Coffee Cozies

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The giving season is just around the corner and for those that make handmade gifts for the holidays, it is time to start our engines! Today’s craft project is for easy knitted coffee cozies that can keep your coffee nice and cozy during the cooler seasons. These coffee cozies are the best mindless-activity-my-kids-have-hours-of-sports-or-I-need-an-excuse-to-catch-up-on-t.v.- and-sit-on-my-couch-without-guilt type of knitting project.

Why should you throw this on your knitting needles? First, it is a great yarn stash buster. You know all of those tiny balls of leftover yarn that you don’t know what to do with? You now have the perfect excuse to use them up!

Trying to think of the perfect gift to give to your child’s teacher, principal, bus driver, hostess gift, postal worker, best friend, or your mom that will cost you $5 or less? Well, this is the perfect project for you.

Looking for a gift for the person who has everything? I bet they don’t have a cute sweater for their coffee!

If you know how to knit in the round, you can do this project.  If you don’t know how to knit in the round, YouTube and Knitting Help are your BFFs.

I do not love knitting on three needles and I have not mastered magic loop knitting yet so I like to knit on tiny 12′ circular needles.  This is the exact set I bought and they are what I use when knitting all tiny knitted projects like this. These are one of the best tools in my knitting arsenal and help keep me out of practice with double-pointed needles.

I found my coffee cups and individual packets of Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Hot Chocolate at our local Gordmans. If you don’t have one of those stores, I am sure you could find something very similar at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.

Use more of your scrap yarn to tie your cocoa packets or make your own homemade hot cocoa mix or homemade vanilla chai tea mix to include with your gift.

This gift cost me about $5, but I’m not telling the recipient’s that. I love when I spend $5 and make someone’s day. I have a feeling this little treat is going to do that for a few of the special helpers in our lives.

Rest assured, many $5-10 gift features will be happening these next two months! In the meantime, be sure to visit my list of 36 handmade gifts you can create for the holiday season!

Don’t forget to friend me on Ravelry! It’s where I share all of my fun knitting projects that I have been working on!

 

Grab the free and easy pattern over here!

 

Disclosure: The knitting needles are an affiliate link and is provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily!

Pin It

Creative Father’s Day Gifts Your Dad is Sure to Love

Friday, June 8th, 2012

t’s no secret that I love my dad like crazy!  Last year we got the opportunity to celebrate him at a dinner in honor of his 35 years of employment with Bayer. This picture of my sister & me with him is one of my favorites from that evening together.  Sadly, for us, our brother has moved to New Orleans so one piece of our puzzle was missing in this picture. He actually has three kids that are so proud of him and adore him!

I had a blast sharing with you my gift ideas for Mother’s Day, over on the Kenmore Genius blog,  and I can’t wait to showcase some of my favorite Father’s Day gifts that I have given my dad over the years. I hope you will find these ideas inspiring for this gift-giving season.

Head on over to my article on, “Creative Gifts Your Dad is Sure to Love,” to learn about my favorite gifts that I have given my dad(s) over the years!

Don’t forget that this year I also have an awesome DIY Chalkboard Conversation Bubble Cookie Jar that you can make and fill with your dad’s favorite cookies. I highly recommend these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip & Sea Salt Cookies for the perfect sweet and salty combination!

Pin It