Monday, November 24, 2014

Enjoying "Me Time" During the Holiday Season

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media®, PEOPLE® Magazine and The Hershey Company®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #HolidayMeTimeMags

Last year for Thanksgiving our family was getting used to going from a family of three to a family of five just a few weeks prior to the holiday. We were sleep deprived and I was so grateful that my dear parents brought an entire Thanksgiving meal to our home already prepared. It was so sweet, but it was hardly the best opportunity to set aside some time to myself.  I think anyone who has been around an infant or even twin infants for that matter can agree that me time is a rare treasure. This year we have been able to get the kids all on a great afternoon nap time schedule, and this truly allows me to have the me time I have put aside for the past year. I love these kiddos, but I do enjoy having some time to myself.

Last weekend, I headed to Safeway to purchase some ingredients for the the various upcoming holiday festivities.  While I was there I picked up a few rare treats for myself to enjoy while I got to planning out my holiday gift list ideas. I purchased a delicious King Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pack and a People Magazine. I considered this combo to be a mid-day reward. I have not bought a magazine or candy item in the Safeway check out line in years, and usually it is Wynn attempting to grab something for herself.

Everyone deserves to have a chance to enjoy me time during the busy holiday season. Head on over to Safeway's Coupon Center to obtain a great $1 off coupon on the  purchase of People or Sunset magazine and one Reese's, Hershey's or other selected King Size candy bars.  You must register with the Safeway Online Portal to obtain the coupon, and the coupon is valid from 11/21/2014 through 12/19/2014 while supplies last. It is easy to do, and you could also print off some other great coupons for your grocery shopping list. You will need to register with the Just4You site.

My favorite part of the me time was that as I was reading the People magazine I came across the crossword puzzle. Years ago I remember I would love completing these puzzles whenever the People would be delivered to my mailbox. I was especially excited because there were several questions related to one of my favorite television shows, The Sopranos. It was so great to be able to enjoy the me time with two treats for myself. I hope you will take some time for yourself soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pottery Barn Inspired Place Card Holders

I saw some very cute place card holders on Pottery Barn's website, and thought it would be a great DIY project.  PB sells them for approximately $5 a piece.  I made them for under $2 a piece. That means I can make enough for our entire table at Christmas for the price of one box of four from PB.

Snowy Tree Cloche Placecard Holder, Set of 4

I purchased glass bottles with cork tops, some jewelry wire, sisal Christmas trees, and some fake snow. All together it was approximately $25 and were all purchased on Amazon.  This made twelve total place cards instead of only four. I only used about 1/20th of the bag of fake snow, and so I did not include this in the total cost since I will use it for other projects. 

I simply wrapped the jewelry wit\re into a small circle pattern, and then stuck the end of it in the top of the cork. I then added the fake snow and tree to the inside of the bottle. I cut out a small piece of paper to add to the top to indicate the name or intial of the person.

These took only about ten minutes to put together, and they will look great on your Christmas table. I can imagine they can be redone for various occassions too.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your holiday season.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Burlap Holiday Wreath

HomeGoods recently opened up in our town and it was a big deal. Generally we have to drive about a half an hour or so to the closest one. I know that does not seem like a lot of time, but it will be nice to have one about five minutes away. I am not sure my wallet will believe that though.  To be honest the only item I purchased was a wooden deer head for $7.  I was not quite sure what I was going to do with it, but I decided it would be incorporated into my holiday mantel.

I have often admired Laura from Top This Top That's beautiful wreaths. Following her amazing tutorial I created this wreath. I am not including the step by step instructions here, so click on the link I just shared for the tips you'll need to create your own.

I used some leftover chevron burlap (4 yards) and approximately 16 yards of plain burlap to create a beautiful wreath.  I used an 18" wire form to make this particular wreath.   The chevron burlap is from Hobby Lobby, and the other materials are from Michaels.

I hung the deer head from the buralp string it came with to attach to the wire frame. This will be headed to my fireplace mantel along with a few other items.

Rob was making a beautiful set of stocking holders today when he unfortunately cut his fingers with his biscuit joiner.  Fortunately, we live close to the hospital and was stitched up quickly.  I told Rob that it may be easier to just purchase the stocking holders I originally shared with him as inspiration.  Thank goodness for great medical attention.  Thanks for stopping by.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

First Birthday Party Inspiration

In two weeks we will be in the midst of the first birthday party for our boys. I thought I would share some great ideas that I have come across while I have been searching for party inspiration.

Simple, modern first birthday for Owen from Shannon Michele Photography | 100 Layer Cakelet

Photo Sign

I cannot wait to see the boys at their first birthday party. They did turn one last Thursday. Here is a picture by my friend Michelle Albright who is a Maryland photographer. Check out her site.  

Thanks so much for stopping by! Looking forward to sharing their party details in a few weeks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reindeer Ornament - Baby Food Pouch Lid Craft

I am back yet again with another idea for how to use the tops of baby food pouches. The boys have not eaten baby food in a while, but I still have quite the collection of tops.  

These ornaments are easy to put together and are definitely kid friendly. I used felt, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, food pouch tops, and craft glue. I cut out some light bulb shaped felt pieces.  Then Wynn wrapped the pipe cleaners around a pencil to make them resemble antlers.  We used the craft glue to attach the antlers to the backside of the felt piece, and then glued the second felt piece behind it.  Then we glued the eyes and nose as well. I ended up adding loops of ribbon at the top as well in order to hang them.

You could also use hot glue or any other type of adhesive. Since I was working with a four year old it made sense to use craft glue with her. You could also use these as present toppers as well.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.   It is a tough day in our house. We lost our first family pet yesterday. Our Lance was nine years old, and a sweet & gentle giant.  He will be missed by us all.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Guest Plate for Parties

For the baby shower I helped host recently I was inspired by ideas on several blogs to come up with a different type of guest book. I thought a guest plate could be something that could be displayed in the baby's room for years to come.  

Using a sharpie paint pen you can purchase at Michaels I had guests sign their name to the plate. I added a simple adhesive vinyl cut out from my Silhouette Cameo machine. On the back of the plate I wrote down the details of the shower. I purchased this plate from Target for under $5.

You could also use a plate to commemorate a birth of a baby. I purchased an additional plate at Target and used the same Sharpie pen to create this cute plate. This plate was on clearance and an even better deal.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Place Card Napkin Wraps

I am sharing a super easy way to dress up your holiday table with napkin wraps. I was inspired by the buckle on a hat of a pilgrim to create these cute napkin wraps.  Wynn helped me put these together, and requested that I share her napkin wrap on "the computer" aka the blog.

I cut out strips of black scrapbook paper. I got about four napkin wraps from one 12 x 12 sheet of paper.  I had a scalloped edge square on my images on Silhouette Studio, and I cut out a few squares that would fit perfectly in the width of the strips of paper.  I used one total piece of gold scrapbook paper for the small cut out squares. You could always cut out a solid shape with a square punch if you have one handy or use scallop edge scissors as well.

Using a paint pen I then wrote the name of each of the guests on the paper in the middle of the square cut out.  I am beginning to have quite a collection of these paint pens. They are a lot of fun to use when crafting.

I wrapped it around a folded napkin, and used double a small Velcro circle to attach the paper together. The Velcro circle will allow me to reuse these later on with using tape or glue.

Quick and cute! You could have kids help make these as well. It will keep them busy while you are making your recipes or getting ready to have guests.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Add Some Spice to Thanksgiving with Target Wedding Registry & Giveaway

With the holidays coming up it means that you will more than likely be cooking in your own home or even bringing a dish to share with someone else.  This post is #sponsored by #Targetwedding.  Target Registry is a wonderful way to stock your home full of holiday entertaining essentials.  What are some of your essential Thanksgiving tips? Be sure to share your Thanksgiving tips in the comment section below to be entered to win a Target giftcard.
Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Target Registry is a wonderful way to stock your home full of holiday entertaining essentials.  Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware set is a great starter set for any family. It gives you a lot of versatility in the kitchen when you are cooking for any number of people.  One particular stainless steel item by Calphalon that is available at Target is the Pour and Strain Saucepan that is essentially two items in one. It allows you to cook, and then drain without using an additional colander using the side slots on the lid.  I used to to help create a delicious Old Bay Mac and Cheese recipe that is sure to be a hit at any holiday or casual get together.  The other dish I made that is a wonderful holiday side is an Apple and Cranberry Oatmeal Casserole baked in the Corningware casserole dish from Target.  

The saucepan along with a few other wonderful dining essentials are a great gift idea. I put together this Thanksgiving inspired table with items from Target and in my own home.   The gold chargers and Threshold Round Beaded Dinner Plates are available in store, and can easily be used for any type of occassion.  I also included some white pumpkins from a local farm.  I like that the baking dishes and plates are white, which means they can be paired easily with many different table linens and decorative additions. I used some simple ribbon to tie the utensils on the placemat.  I also added my grandparents wedding drinking glasses to the table setting as well. They are almost in perfect condition almost 70 years later.

The Apple and Cranberry Oatmeal Casserole is a dish that I remember my sweet Aunt serving every year at Thanksgiving. I always looked forward to having it in her home.  It was always the first dish on my plate, and I was always heading back for seconds for sure.  It brings back memories of spending time with my family.


1 c whole cranberries
1  1/2 c chopped apples with peel
3/4 c of white sugar
1/2 c of chopped nuts
1/2 c of brown sugar
1 stick of melted butter
1/2 c of maple brown sugar oatmeal (I use one packet)
2/3 c of flour

Combine first three ingredients in a prepared pan. Then mix other ingredients and place the mixture on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.

The other dish I am sharing is a delicious Mac and Cheese that is spiced up with a family favorite.  We put Old Bay seasoning on everything we can in this house. Mac and Cheese is the perfect dish to be combined with Old Bay.  It actually reminds me of summer, and eating crabs on the back porch. Now, that the weather has changed to cooler temperatures Rob and I love to have the taste of summer in our food.


1 lb of elbow pasta
4 c of milk
8 tbsp (one stick) of unsalted butter
2 tbsp or more if wanted of Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 c of all purpose flour
1 tbsp of kosher salt
10 ounces of aged sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 c of panko bread crumbs

Heat milk in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once it is simmering remove from heat and set aside.  

In a second saucepan melt butter over medium heat, and then gradually add flour by whisking it in. 

Whisk constantly for a few minutes until the mixture is a light brown.  Gradually whisk milk into the first saucepan with the flour and butter mixture.  

Return saucepan to medium heat, and continue whisk it until it thickens. Stir in one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.  Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Use the Calphalon Pour and Strain saucepan to boil water, and cook the elbow macaroni.  Once it is cooked to close to al dente rinse the pasta in cold water in the saucepan.  

Then pour the pasta into a prepared casserole dish, and pour in the cheese mixture. Mix together well so that all the pasta is coated.  Cover the mac and chese with the panko bread crumbs and one tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.  I am sure you will find the Old Bay adds the perfect spice to this dish.

Bake the dish at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I hope you check out Target for your own personal wedding registry or to purchase a gift for someone you know. It is easy to pull together a gift that will be used for many years to come.  Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today.  Be sure to share your Thanksgiving tips below in the comment section for a chance at a Target giftcard.