Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Decorative Christmas Tree Stand

Okay, so I was going to wait to share this project until I was completely done with it, but I think it’s pretty awesome and needed to share it now.  With two little kiddos having a Christmas tree is a feat in itself. Every day I find ornaments all over our house, and every time I find one I try to stick it back on the tree before the kids can grab them again. 
The same thing went for our tree skirt. We had a really pretty, quilted gold one that went so nice with the glittery ornaments. Unfortunately, the kids thought it was their new blanket. Not cool kids, not cool. So I came up with a plan to ditch the skirt. No fuss, no mess.
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Now remember, I am NOT finished yet, so don’t judge till it’s done, okay?! I still need to paint the planter and finish decorating our tree. But I wanted to share this super easy project with you so you guys can make your own. You know, in case you’re having the same problems I am having with your wild kids too.
Things you’ll need:
  • A planter- I used a plastic one that I’ve been storing in our garage for a while. They’re inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Quikrete Mix, or any type of fast setting concrete/cement mix. We bought a 50 pound bag of concrete mix from Lowes, and it was only a few dollars.
  • Water- hot water if it’s cold where you’ll be mixing the cement.
  • A hollow PVC or plastic pipe.  Make sure the diameter of the pipe is slightly larger than your tree’s pole (that’s right, we have a fake tree!), and you’ll only need it to be as tall as your planter, or slightly taller. The pipe we bought was also only a couple of dollars.
  • A tool to mix the concrete with. Nothing fancy, we used a large kitchen ladle. (Cause we’re ghetto-crafty like that!)
You will position your pipe in the center of your planter, making sure it’s touching the bottom of it. It works best if you have someone holding the pipe in place.  Pour in some concrete mix, and your hot water. Stir until it looks like it is well mixed. You can add more concrete and water if needed.
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When you’ve got the amount you wanted in your planter, allow it to set up for about 40 minutes. Then you can place your tree pole inside the pipe. The planter will be heavy and sturdy enough to hold up your tree.
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See, fits snugly inside!
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Now there’s no need to worry about your kids dragging the tree skirt off, and it’s a lot easier to vacuum under the tree!
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AND…Once it’s painted it’s going to be pin worthy, right? RIGHT!
Decorative_Christmas_tree_stand (11) Linking to:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Page Christmas Ornaments

I love using book pages for different crafts. It’s inexpensive, or free if you have books you don’t want anymore, and they look so good and Anthro-y, right?  You know I speak the truth!  SO…thanks Anthropologie, for turning old book pages, and a gazillion other things into the trendiest things ever.  Us DIY-ers and crafty gals appreciate you making old stuff, and things we already have lying around our house, cool again.
For this project you will need book pages. Or scrapbook paper, or sheet music, or phone book pages…you get my point. Some kind of paper. I like to use dictionary pages. I’ve been using the same, old dictionary that I used to make my Christmas Banner, and last year’s Book Page Wreath, and Book Page Garland.
You will need craft punches. I used a few craft punches from Martha Stewarts line at Michael’s. I had bought a smaller snowflake one a couple years ago, and a circular one also.
But last week I got a box of goodies from Martha Stewart and inside was a larger double craft punch in the shape of a snowflake too.
And you will need some clear, ornaments that you can buy at Michael’s or another craft store. I loved all of the glass ones that came in different shapes and sizes, but because I have two littles, I decided to go with plastic ball ornaments instead. The plastic ones are great though. You don’t have to worry about the kids dropping them and breaking them, and you can actually let them help you make these ornaments. They were on sale for 59 cents (small ones) and 79 cents (larger ones), not too expensive considering what you’re filling them with is paper that you probably already have on hand.
Filling the plastic balls with small snowflakes was a job my 3 year old was quite happy to do.
When you’ve added all your snowflakes, or whatever punched out shapes you’ve made, put your top back on and hang it using a pretty ribbon or twine.
I love the way these ornaments look on our Christmas tree. They are simple, yet look so cute. And these would be fun to personalize and give as gifts! Inside each ornament you could add a personal message, or write the receiver’s name on a cut out. Or use some craft paint and paint a message or name on the outside. Anything goes, right?
Hope you like them!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Book Page Banner

This is a simple and inexpensive way to bring a lot of Christmas cheer into your home.
This is a simple and inexpensive way to bring a lot of Christmas cheer into your home. All you need are book pages, a hot glue gun, and some chipboard letters.
Start off by ripping out some pages from a book.
Then fold each page using an accordion fold.
Fold each one in the middle. And hot glue the middle seam together.
I used 3 pages to make each one of my circles. Depending on the size of your pages you may need more. You will hot glue each of the pages to each other to make a full circle.
I took a small piece of scrap felt and hot glued it to the back of each one of my circles to help make it more stable.  You can used scrap paper as well.
I chose some red glittery chipboard letters from Michael’s for the wording on my banner. I believe they run about $6.99, but if you use a 40% off coupon for them, then you’re only spending a few dollars for them.
I put hot glue all over the back of them and then put the letter on the front of each one of my circles.
I used turquoise yarn to string together my banner. Who doesn’t love turquoise and red for Christmas?!
Once it was done, I hung it up over one of our windows.  It’s cute, festive, and super cheap to make!
Wishing you guys lots of PEACE & JOY this Christmas!! Linking up to: Tip Junkie handmade projects Linking to:

Easy Christmas Gift Ideas- #PeetsCoffee

I know I have already shared that Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, but it’s not just because I love the music, or twinkling lights, or cold weather… It’s because I get to give people some holiday cheer and fun gifts! This year I am all about making gift giving easier on me, and still keeping it fun. I am taking my love for handmade goodness, and combining it with my love of coffee!  And not just any coffee, I’m giving #PeetsCoffee, their Holiday Blend!
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I decided to throw together some of my favorite things, and crafty projects to put a smile on a few people’s faces this Christmas. And while putting together my gifts, working on crafts, and Christmas decorating, I had to try some Peet’s myself.
I know it’s such a simple idea, giving a bag of coffee for Christmas, but you can go from simple to holy moly cute, when you add some cute mugs and matching coasters to your gift! The coasters are handmade, using some inexpensive ones from the 99 cent store, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and an acrylic sealer. I tied a set of 4 together to make it even cuter.
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Next, throw in something edible that you made! You guys saw how easy the chocolate dipped pretzels I made were. How about making some and giving them in cute bag along with the coffee. No one can resist their deliciousness.
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I know there is someone in every person’s circle of friends, or family, that would love to get a basket of goodies like this, right? This first basket is going to someone special, hopefully she loves it! I’ll let you know later this week, if it was a hit, okay?
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And I’d love it if you would join me on Tuesday for the #PeetsCoffee Twitter party -- November 29 at 10pm EST.  I’ll be tweeting with friends and hopefully you, all about the holidays and Peet’s!

R.S.V.P. For the #PeetsCoffee twitter party HERE. And trust me, you want to R.S.V.P. so you can win prizes.

And if you want to check out the fun I had shopping for Peet's you can take a look at my outing in my Google+ album, HERE.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions and ideas for gifts are my own.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and a Giveaway

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When you’re in the mood for a salty and sweet treat, there is no doubt that chocolate dipped pretzels are the way to go. Perfection, really.

Last night I decided to make up some goodie bags filled with chocolate dipped pretzels to give out to friends and neighbors for the holidays. With just two simple ingredients I was able to make up the best chocolate dipped pretzels I’ve ever eaten.
I had a fun opportunity to be featured on the Frito-Lay Snack Chat Blog as a Fan of the Month a couple of weeks ago, and Frito-Lay sent me some awesome prizes, one of those happened to be a American Express gift card. I used part of my gift card to buy a bag of Rold Gold Pretzel Rods and Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Because you know dark chocolate is the only way to roll.
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I melted my chocolate using a double boiler on the stovetop, well my makeshift double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, all you have to do is fill a small pot with about an inch of water and put a glass bowl over the top of your pot. Pour in your chocolate and turn your burner on medium or medium low.  Stir the chocolate around to make sure it’s all melting.
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Once all of the chocolate is melted you can cover your pretzels with it.
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Lay them flat on a baking pan, lined with wax paper.
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When you’ve dipped all of your pretzels, put them in the fridge or even the freezer for a faster set up time, and leave them in there for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. When they come out they will look like this:
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You can serve them up at a party, or your can do what I did and throw a bunch into a clear goodie bag to be able to hand them out to neighbors and friends.  I tied my bag with some cute ribbon and added a hand sewn felt heart ornament to the package. How cute is it going to be to give those out too?
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Frito-Lay also let me have 5 coupons, that are good for ANY Frito-Lay product, to give out to my readers. Nice, right?  I like when I get to give you guys stuff.
Here is the simple part, if you would like a coupon, just leave me a comment on this post.  I’ll use Random.org to pick 5 people who commented on this post to give a coupon to.  Be sure to leave your email address in the comment, or make sure it’s connected your profile, so I can contact you and send your coupon.
This little giveaway starts today, November 23, 2011. And it ends Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 11:59 PM. Winners will be chosen on Sunday, November 27, 2011, and messaged that day also.

Disclosure: I received a $50 gift card, a chip and dip serving bowl, and 5 Frito-Lay coupons to share as prizes for being chosen as a fan of the month for the Frito-Lay Snack Chat Blog. This post and my opinions in it are honest and completely my own.