Friday, December 19, 2014

Dollar Store Gold & Silver Nutcrackers

Want a quick and easy way to class up your holiday decor this year?  Add a beautiful silver or gold accent without the golden price.  These nutcrackers were just a dollar apiece plus paint cost.

I found these small wooden nutcrackers at the Dollar Tree.  The fur beards and hair weren't working for me, but they easily peeled off.  Make sure to remove any stickers or loose pieces that won't paint well.

I used metallic gold and metallic silver spray paint to cover all sides of my nutcrackers.  Allow to dry.  Add a second coat if necessary.  These would also look great in white or any solid color to match your holiday decor.  Want a little sparkle?  Use glitter paint!

Your nutcrackers are ready to create a festive look in your house.  The perfect little accent to add a touch of class to any nook in your home.  Small ornament painted nutcrackers would be the perfect gift topper as well.

Happy Decorating!

Shared at:  Tatertots & Jello

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cherry Ball Jell-O Shots

We are halfway through December, which means we are deep into party season.  Lots of gatherings, potlucks, and company parties.  It also means that Christmas is getting close.  I love Christmas and all the activities it brings, but it can also be a bit stressful trying to fit it all in, buying the right gifts, and trying to make everyone happy.  

Maybe instead of bringing a casserole to your next party, the guests would appreciate these Cherry Ball Jell-O shots instead!  They really are quite easy to make and a fun treat to serve.

Cherry Ball Jell-O Shots
by Love Bug Living

1 cup Fireball whisky
1 cup boiling water
1 3 oz pkg cherry jello

Mix your cherry jello with your boiling water.  Stir for 2 minutes, until dissolved.  Add your Fireball and mix.  Pour into individual cups and refrigerate until firm.  

I attended a Cookies and Cocktail party last night.  I made both these Cherry Ball Jell-O shots and my Champagne Jell-O shots.  For cookies, I made a milk chocolate version of the Toffee Cookies and Peanut butter chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies.  Yum!  Have a great time at your parties!

Shared at:  Tatertots & Jello

Friday, December 5, 2014

Handmade Christmas Gift List

If you haven't started already, now is the time to start making your Christmas gifts.  I've started my planning, but really need to get going on the completion part of it!  Christmas time really flies by for crafters!  Shopping takes some time, but shopping for supplies and actually creating a gift from the heart is even more time consuming.  However, some of us are just gluttons for punishment.  Kidding, kind of!  I love making gifts, I just usually bite off more than I can chew and end up procrastinating and stressing to get it all done at the last minute.  If you love making gifts but don't have much time to make them, I have some ideas for you.  There is something for everyone, and they can be made pretty quickly.  Happy crafting!

Shared at:  Tatertots & Jello

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hers Embroidered Towels

Today I wanted to share these embroidered bath towels that I made for some friends as a wedding gift. I don't have an embroidery machine, but my Mom does. I love to embroider everything and have even started a Pinterest board to save all the things I want to make. My Mom lives two hours away, so I usually show up with a project ready to go. I love that you can take an ordinary item, and make it customized for that special person. Don't have an embroidery machine?  Ask around to see if you have a friend that will let you use theirs. Otherwise you could do it by hand. 

These embroidered bath towels are a great gift for a wedding or house warming. Everyone needs towels, and white matches everything. If they are registered, you can check their list and find towels to match their color scheme. 

The hardest part of machine embroidery is making sure you get the set up just right.  After that, the machine does all the hard work.  Choose the person's name, a descriptive word like Fierce or Love or His & Hers.  There's the perfect word for everyone.  Make your gift towels today

Shared at:  Tatertots & Jello

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dollar Tree Gold Pear Place Card Name Tag

Just about two weeks until Thanksgiving!  I'm sure everyone is looking for recipes to make for the big day.  You can't really start cooking yet, so now is the time to plan your table and decorations.  These Gold Pear Place Card Holders are a beautiful way to lead your guests to their seats and a copy of much more expensive look.  This is a simple and easy way to class up your table, without breaking the bank.  This DIY holiday decor will also work for Christmas time or end of the year festivities.

I found these plastic pears and foam pumpkin at the Dollar Tree.  They also had apples and peppers.  Pick your favorite fruit or veggie.  Next I used gold metallic spray paint to coat my pears and give them their shiny gold color.

I love the look of this metallic spray paint.  It also comes in silver, chrome, brass and copper.  It not only makes your items look gold in color, but also gives it that shiny look as well.  Allow your pears to dry and respray as necessary.  Remember that it is better to do multiple thin coats to avoid drips.

Now time to make your leaf tags.  Fold a piece of white paper or cardstock in half lengthwise.  Draw your leaf along the folded edge.  Make sure your leaf stem is long enough to wrap around your pear stem.  Freehand your leaf shape in a longer or even heart shape.  Cut out your leaf.  The stem part of your leaf will attach the front and back pieces.

Label your leaf with your guests' names.  Wrap the leaf around your pear stem and use a glue stick to glue the front and back of your leaf together.

Place your Gold Pear Name Cards on your table setting.  Your guests will love your beautiful gold accents.  Gold not your color?  Pick a metallic shade to fit your look.  If you want plates that also match your decorative pear and surrounding tablescape colors, you can easily create personalized plates on Shutterfly.

Prepare your feast and enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Shared at:  Tatertots & Jello

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Peanut Butter Avocado Smoothie for Williams-Sonoma Smoothie Week

It's Smoothie Week!  I don't know about yours, but my kids love smoothies!  I grew up on them! This was before you could find a smoothie shop in every food court. Our typical smoothies are a base of juice or milk and then filled with as many fruits that we have on hand.

When Williams-Sonoma contacted me to be part of their Not Your Typical Smoothie Challenge, I started thinking about what fruit I hadn't used before.  The avocado has a high nutrient content, making it quite healthy.  They are loaded with nutrients, healthy fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They may also lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, relieve symptoms of arthritis, and even help you lose weight.  This makes it the perfect fruit to add to our smoothie, not to mention the added creaminess it adds to the texture.  My other favorite ingredient?  Frozen bananas.  Whenever I see our bananas getting just a tad bit too ripe, I peel them, wrap them in plastic wrap and pop them in the freezer.  When you are ready to make your smoothie, just break off what you need and add them to the blender.  They make your smoothie thicker and cold, without having to add ice.

A smoothie is best when you can add a bit of protein to keep your energy up.  I love drinking smoothies for breakfast or an afternoon pick me up snack.  Peanut butter is a great way to add protein and keep you fuller longer.  If you have a personal blender, it is the perfect snack to make to bring on the go!  Looking for a new blender?  Williams-Sonoma has a great selection.

Peanut Butter Avocado Smoothie
by Love Bug Living
Serves 1

1 c. milk  (or milk substitute)
1/2 small avocado
1/2 frozen banana
2 T peanut butter (or 1 heaping scoop!)
Handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Add your milk, avocado, banana, and peanut butter to your blender and mix until smooth.  Toss your chocolate chips and pulse until blended.  Pour into a glass and serve.  Enjoy!

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Felt Team Spirit Banner

The soccer and volleyball seasons are coming to a close.  Two weekends ago, we had Spirit Day.  Everyone is supposed to dress in their team's colors and show team spirit.  I had some green hair chalk that we put in the girls' hair.  I found some crazy green striped socks to wear and we all wore green and black to represent each of the girls' teams.  I wanted to do something more.  When I was growing up, one of the moms always made the best team banners that they would put up on a PVC stand for each of the games.  I had wanted to do this in the past, but never got around to doing it.  Spirit Day was the perfect day to get motivated.  Of course, I came to this thought at 7pm the day before!  But when I decide to do a project, I pretty much just go for it!  

I ran to JoAnn's that night to buy felt.  I had two team banners to make, so I had to get busy!  Luckily for me, the bolts of felt were on sale.  I needed a piece about 36" x 28" for the background piece.  I then bought smaller pieces to use to cut out my letters and other decorations.  After cutting your background piece to size, fold about 3 inches of the top edge over to the back and stitch across to create a channel to slip a PVC pipe through.

I printed out block style letters in Word to spell out the team names.  I also searched for pictures of balls on the internet, as well as pictures of our team mascots.  I saved the images to a Word file.  When I went to print, I chose the Properties button on the Print screen.  Halfway down that page, you will find the Multi-page option.  This will allow you to print one image onto several pieces of paper, making it big enough for your banner.  I chose the 2x2 Poster option.  Click on Print Preview as well so you can make sure the image will print how you want.  After printing it out, cut out your image and tape the pieces together to create your pattern.  Use your pattern to trace your image onto your felt and cut them out.  I was able to see the black lines from the ball patterns through the white felt, so I traced them onto the felt with a black sharpie, coloring in the black sections of the soccer ball.

After tracing and cutting out all my felt letters, balls and mascots I figured out my layout.  Now is the time to try out what you like and figure out what looks best.  Then it's time to glue.  I used a tacky glue to keep all the pieces in place.  I was only planning on using these for the day, so I didn't think they would have to last long.  The team liked them so much, they requested to have the same team name and color for next season so we could continue to use the banner.  I may go back and stitch everything in place.  I could do it with a sewing machine, or just use a few hand sewn stitches instead.  

Look at my little soccer star!  She's a natural and has her Mom's talent.  Just don't tell her Dad I said that.  She is a quick thing too.  She looks happy here, but she can get quite pouty when someone takes the ball from her.  

After soccer, it was time to head inside to volleyball.  My daughter had her best game of the season and decided the green striped socks must be good luck.  Whatever works!

Despite the fact that I didn't start making these team banners until the last minute, I was pretty happy with how they came out.  They came together pretty quickly (although I was up until midnight).  I would just recommend planning ahead a bit.  If I make these for the season next year, I will definitely make a PVC stand that will hold the banners for all the games.