marshmallow snowman

With the snow falling and cold temps, it’s the time of year for snowmen and hot chocolate – and this DIY gift is the best combination of both. Call them ‘marshmallow snowmen’ or ‘snowman soup’ – either one works. This makes for such an adorable gift or party favor for friends, family or teachers this time of year.

You’ll Need:
small glass jars with lids
festive holiday socks
hot chocolate {individual packets}
bag of mashmallows
buttons for the eyes
orange crayons for the nose
hot glue gun
pom ribbon

How To:
Glue two buttons on the jar {where you want the eyes to be}.
Use a sharp knife to cut the tip off the orange crayon.
Hot glue the crayon in the center of the jar {where you want the nose to be}.
Fill the jar with one packet of hot chocolate mix.
Fill the remainder of the jar with marshmallows until it’s completely full.
Add the jar’s lid.
Add the sock {the top of the sock – where the elastic is}. If your sock is long like mine, just cut it to the length you want.
Use a piece of ribbon to tie around the middle of the sock, so the snowman’s hat is complete.
Print these tags, printed by Fleur de Lis, attach…and give away with a smile on your face! Seriously, you have to download the tags – the poem is so, so adorable!

{images via Tutto Bella}

i’m grateful for you {free printable}

Sometimes we just need to hear that we are loved. Sometimes instead of looking in the mirror and seeing the flaws, we need to see the beauty. And, sometimes, the best person to help us do that…is a girlfriend.

My girlfriends live far away, and with our busy lives, its hard to keep in touch on a daily basis. But, when we get together, we get right back to the place where we left off…and its rejuvenating and uplifting. I cherish my girlfriends, and am truly grateful for each and every one of them.

Here’s a fun way I told them I loved them, and was grateful for them, this Thanksgiving. And, the good news is, the printable is FREE, and you can do it too.

You’ll Need
A compact mirror
Painter’s Tape
Gold Leaf Paint
Paintbrush
Tags from Fleur de Lis {download HERE}

How To
Add tape to the mirror to create the shapes and/or design you desire.

Paint the Gold Leaf on the outer mirror shell. It’s a touchy paint, so brush stroke in the same direction, and wait between layers because it dries FAST.

Wait 12-24 hours to remove the tape.

Print tags and attach with a ribbon or place in a cellophane bag with seal, then wrap with a bow.

 You can also print these labels for your daughter or son, husband or wife, mom, teacher or friend. Everyone needs something to uplift their day, and serve as a ‘happy’ daily reminder  that they are special and loved.

{images via Tutto Bella}

paint chip madness

Paint chips are more than just samples to bring home to see what looks good on the wall next to your kitchen…they are the source of fabulous DIY, colorful projects! While I love so many day-to-day paint chip DIY’s, we love these particular projects for the upcoming holidays.

Paint Chip Table Runner, Eclectically Vintage
Impress your Thanksgiving or Christmas friends and family with a colorful, maybe even ombre table runner, made of paint chips.

Owl Paint Chip Wall Art, The Homes I Have Made
Owls are so relevant this time of year, and personally, I think they are hoot-rific. This framed Owl Paint Chip Art would look great for a fall entry.

Now that you have Owl art for Thanksgiving, you will need a framed piece of art for Christmas. This one is perfect by The Red Thread Blog

Paint Chip Trees, Hubby Made Me
Omg, we just LOVE these trees for gift tags! Cinnamon stick trunks – oh, what cuteness!

Paint Chip Gift box, How About Orange
Wrap your small gifts this year in a handmade, paint chip box.

Paint Chip Snowmen Bookmarks, Bam Crafty Mammas
These adorable snowmen are sold out, but you can totally re-create yourself! And, instead of ornaments, make them into bookmarks! It would be a great craft to do with kids on a snowy day. 

Paint Chip Banner, Rebekah Gough via A Bit of Sunshine When Skies Are Grey
This DIY would make for a lovely Merry Christmas sign, JOY banner, etc for the holidays
 

{images via Eclectically Vintage, The Home I Have Made, The Red Thread Blog, Hubby Made Me,  How About Orange, Etsy via Bam Crafty MammasRebekah Gough}

dancing safari

Every July we celebrate many important birthdays and anniversaries in our family…3 of them being my kids birthdays. Yes, I have three children with July birthdays. It’s a challenge every year to come up with a theme applicable to all three {especially that’s budget-friendly}, but with a boy obsessed with animals and all 3 that love to dance, a DANCING SAFARI made for the perfect theme this year.

With Kraft paper, animal print accessories and fabric, duct tape, a disco ball and creativity, this year’s party was a hit. Here’s the details…

APPETIZER TABLE
Fabric {from Hobby Lobby} cut into strips and then stapled over already existing curtain rod for a backdrop.

I revamped existing lamps and lampshades into Safari Hats by adding rope and a strip of Kraft paper around the lampshade. Just simple clear packing tape was used to keep the rope and Kraft paper in place.

We served Hippo’s Favorite, Avocado Salad, a Lion’s Share of beef and chicken sliders {toothpick with duct tape pressed together and cut into the shape of a flag}, Animal Artichoke Dip, a Cheetah Cheese Plate, Elephant Broccoli Salad and African Fruit Salad.

DINING TABLE
I used a strip of cheetah print fabric for the runner, and then placed an antique piece of wood on top of it. I lined the wood with candles, giraffe bowl and figurines {from a dear friend, Sandy, who carried them with TLC all the way back from Africa} and a bark vase filled with local mountain wild grass.

Place settings inside were made from Kraft paper and on each of them, I used animal stencils to paint giraffe, zebra, lion and hippo silhouettes, and used my alphabet stamp set to add an animal fact to each one.

DANCING DETAILS
I made the dance floor using cardboard and animal print duct tape. I bought cardboard boxes for .60 cents at Wal-Mart, and cut out each square side. I placed duct tape in rows to cover the cardboard, and once all the squares were complete, I laid out each square on the floor, and used black duct tape to ‘tape’ it all together. And, no dance party would be complete without a Disco Ball. I found the Disco Ball for $15 from Party City and used a hook to hang it from our outdoor patio roof.

OTHER DETAILS
The lemonade table is an antique wine barrel {$30 from Wal-Mart}, just turned upside down. The large Mason jar drink dispenser for the lemonade is from Pottery Barn.

For more DIY details, I taped a cardboard box together to make a box, and then wrapped it with Kraft paper. I added the words, “BEWARE” and “DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS” with black acrylic paint. And, I saved a large branch from my yard that I spray painted black to add a more ‘outdoor’ touch.

I covered the back of an antique window pane with Kraft paper and added photos of my children on the front, in each window pane opening. With bright animal print paper, I cut triangles to create a banner to add to the window pane, and a larger banner to hang from the curtain rod in the dining room.

My husband is a builder, so it often comes in handy when I need pieces of wood {conveniently and sometimes inconveniently located on my garage floor}. I used Acrylic paint to write my kids names on antique pieces of wood, and next to each name, my hubby nailed a wood number {from Hobby Lobby} for their age. This matched the look of the invite too!

Guests were greeted with a custom hand-painted wood arrow sign that read, “dancing safari” and an easel with a hand painted photo of an African scene.

FAVORS
Each Safari Adventurer  received a burlap bag with a water bottle and an African animal {hippo, giraffe, zebra, lion and rhino} and each family went home with a CD of all my kids favorite songs {think popular POP artists} to keep the dance party going at home.


VENDOR LOVE
Invites: Custom made by Jenna at Fleur de Lis, a paperie
Cupcakes: Mountain Cupcakes

spread the love…and the pesto

This summer, I’ve been obsessed with fresh basil. I’ve always loved it, especially fresh pesto. Basil has been one of my successful herbs in the garden this summer, so I’ve experimented with pesto recipes, and since this week is all about the garden, today I’m sharing a pesto recipe and how to make it a lovely hostess gift, or party favor. Because who wouldn’t love fresh pesto and an easy, already-prepared dinner for a gift?

{Sandy’s basil plant}

Basil, Spinach and Walnut Pesto
yields 1-2 cups
{I usually make Pesto with basil and pine nuts, but since I was out of pine nuts and I wanted to add Spinach for the kids, I modified it}

Ingredients
2 1/2 cup fresh Spinach
1 1/2 cup fresh Basil
1/3-1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup walnut
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

How To
Add basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a food processor, then add salt and pepper.
Puree until smooth.
Find a cute mason jar or small container for your homemade pesto, and if you want to dress it up a bit, add a bow and a label or Kraft paper like I did with ‘grazie’ stamped on it.

 

Other DIY Garden-Inspired Hostess Gifts
Give an upcycled mini herb garden.
This Lemonade Summer Cooler idea is absolutely adorable.
Personalized Coasters is a lovely gift and a fun DIY project for fresh drinks from the garden.
We love this hand-tied bouquet, wrapped in a nice tea towel.
Hot pads with fresh baked bread is yummy and useful.
DIY homemade Lavender Linen Spray sounds blissful…and necessary for my bedtime routine.

{images via Tutto Bella}