Wednesday, December 28, 2011

home: perking up the bedroom window

The ongoing to do list for our little house includes "master bedroom curtains" and I wasn't really looking to find drapes when I walked into Burlington Coat Factory during a craft stop next door at Jo-Ann. Have you ever been to Burlington? Then you know it's a small miracle that I actually found something that works for our sun and sand inspired bedroom. And for $20!


With a gift card received just 24 hours before, we picked up a curtain rod at Home Depot (and firewood, paper towels and a wreath storage container).


J went straight for a post-Christmas nap and I started measuring the wall to fit the satin nickel Martha Stewart Living curtain rod that we chose for our wall.


I had to move over my new Elise Blaha inspirational print (thanks!) but I love how the eyes of the bedroom finally have some eyeshadow!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pinterest-a-thon #2 Roundup

A full week is a very long time to ignore this blog and you, the reader. As you know, this blog is for the busy girl who still wants to find the time to be creative. Unforuntately, there just wasn't enough time in that busy schedule last week for a single blog post. Not even time to give air time to our linky party contributors.

On behalf of our Pinterest-inspired group, thank you to everyone who participated in the second Pinterest-a-thon, holiday special! Please check out the amazing creativity filling the Internet and visit our new friends below.


 

 





Thanks for stopping by and checking out our friends. We continue to be inspired by Pinterest and will stack up the projects in time for our next Pinterest-a-thon! Wishing you a wonderful week!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

diy: create your own holiday stockings

The truth is that I started this sewing project last year but finished it this year. And what makes this story more pathetic, is that this blog draft has been a week in the making ... bloggers get busy too! When I started making my own stockings for the mantel, the holidays were over before I knew it. This year, I can finally finish this blog post (December 23 at 11 p.m. is definitely still prime holiday season).

As is typical of most of my posts, I sought out guidance from someone and pinpointed my favorite tutorial at Prudent Baby. I didn't follow the directions completely but it got me through this project. Sorry most of the steps are left out, but the final details are key.

 

The planning on this project was not entirely thought out and I didn't add an identifier for the Mr. and Mrs. Fortunately for everyone involved, I did come across these cardboard cutout letters in my stash.


Everything looks better with glitter (Elmers glue as adhesive - so third grade) ... but my 30 plus self reminds you that glitter is still an outside toy.


... and leftover striped fabric from my Christmas tree skirt project glued to the back of the templates.


Attached to our stockings.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Pinterest-a-thon: a feast to warm the home

After the first Pinterest-a-thon, Cece said that I should take on a challenge by doing something that I'm actually not good at - cooking. And there's no better time than the holidays to try out new dishes and consume a few extra calories (wink). During this month's holiday Pinterest-a-thon, I'm getting in the holiday spirit by using my new pots and pans. Here is a glimpse of the inspiration that didn't burn the house down ..





Crockery Pot Clam Chowder from 50+ Friends Club Cookbook (Sorry, a picture wasn't taken before the chowder was devoured.) I skipped the bacon in this recipe so that my vegetarian BFF could enjoy my dish.



This all seems amazing, but the real powerhouse here is the fact that I actually used for the first time a lot of our wedding gifts: scone pan, food processor, garlic press (smashing candy canes), zester, potato peeler, serving platters, cheese dome, and crock pot. Yowwza!

Don't forget to link up before the clock ticks midnight. Click here to join in the fun! Need inspiration? Click here to see my Pinterest-a-thon collection.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pinterest-a-thon: sweet and savory treats for santa

Milk & Cookies Pretzels for Santa

When it comes to cooking and baking, I’m usually recipe challenged. Yes, this means it never comes out like the picture…until now that is! Thanks to some fellow “pinners” on Pinterest, I discovered some simple ways to make delicious holiday treats that ACTUALLY look like the pictures. These easy sweets are great to bring for a holiday party or you could wrap them up and give as gifts. I happen to think salty and sweet are just about the best combo around, so that explains the pretzel and chocolate theme. Sorry Santa, only milk and pretzels at our house this year!

Chocolate Pretzel Bites
This is seriously the easiest way to make chocolate pretzels and so good! I used holiday M&M’s to make the pretzels look for festive. My Pinterest inspiration came from Music City Foodie.


Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of pretzels
  • 1 bag of Hersey Kisses (you could use hugs too)
  • 1 bag of Holiday M&M’s (you could use any flavor, I did plain)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Place the pretzels on greased baking sheets and put a chocolate kiss in the center of each pretzel.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 2-3 minutes or until chocolate is softened.
  4. Remove from the oven. Place an M&M on each, pressing down slightly so chocolate fills the ring. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
When I saw these, I knew I had to try them. Add peanut butter to anything and you take things to a whole other level. These are insanely simple and delicious! This Pinterest inspiration comes from Sweet Pea's Kitchen.


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bag of pretzels
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
















Directions:
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter and butter until combined. Scrape down bowl, add sugars and beat until combined. You should be able to roll the mixture into balls without sticking to your hands. If needed, add more powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.
  3. Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball, and place on prepared baking sheet. Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Dip each pretzel bite halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set.

Milk Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
These pretzels are so divine and simple to make. I switched the recipe up a bit and used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips…amazing! I also added some Christmas colored sprinkles to make them festive. My final Pinterest inspiration comes from In the Wabe.


Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of pretzels
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 container of holiday colored sprinkles
















Directions:
  1. In a glass bowl, heat a bag of chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes. Stir until mixed together. If needed heat for 15 second intervals until all of the chips are mixed in and the chocolate is smooth.
  2. Dip pretzels half way in the chocolate and place on a wax covered cookie sheet.
  3. Add sprinkles while the chocolate is still warm.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.

Display and eat these yummy treats, wrap them up and give as gifts, or leave them out for Santa! Enjoy!


- Carrie
Check out Carrie on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pinterest-a-thon: christmas projects on the cheap

Banister Oh La La!
When Debbie first announced our Christmas Pinterest challenge, I was totally stoked! I asked myself what projects could be done on the cheap! So, if you like DIY's that don't cost a lot, read up! My first project was inspired by this pin from Better Homes and Gardens.


Materials:
  1. a banister (sorry Debbie, that probably hurts)!
  2. free tree trimmings
  3. ribbon
  4. small balls (hey, i know what you're thinking, keep it clean)!
  5. fishing line
  6. glue gun
  7. scissors or tree trimmer
I drove to a local tree farm and picked up free douglas fir trimmings (they even held my baby while I went dumpster diving)! I then walked to my neighbors, batted my eyes and acquired free holly from his tree and bare branches from our yard.

I cleared off my dining room table (I highly recommend you don't do this. A garage or backyard would be far more appropriate). First, I layered and trimmed the branches, then the tree trimmings, and lastly the holly. Then, I tied everything together with a ribbon.


I decided to hot glue the glass balls together, just because I feel really powerful with that gun in my hand. And because I'm kind of lazy, I glued the glass balls onto the ribbon, which turned out to be one of the smartest ideas I've ever come up with (copyright).


With the fishing line, I evenly spaced out the works of art and attached them to the banister in two places. Voila! Although time consuming, this was a super fun and cheap project that I will definitely repeat next year!


Christmas Card Tree
Let me be the first to admit that I apparently don't have as many friends as the tree on Pinterest! Seriously, this was so easy an 8-year-old could have done it (no offense to 8-year-olds). This idea was inspired by the pin from Martha Stewart.

Materials:
  1. branches
  2. friends (for your christmas cards)
  3. hole punch
  4. ribbon
  5. vase
  6. ornaments
  7. tree trimmer for branches
Once again, I ventured into my yard with my husband's tree trimmer and rain boots (I can imagine my neighbors standing at their windows cracking up at me in such a scene) and got myself some branches! Then, I filled my glass vase with sand to keep the branches in place. I added the branches, did a little trimming, and tied the red ornaments to the branches. I hole-punched my favorite Christmas cards (please don't hate me if you mailed me a card and it's not up there), tied a ribbon through the hole, and hung them on the tree.


Personally, I like the tree from Pinterest better, but everyone who has seen my tree thinks I'm brilliant (we don't have very smart friends). Give it a try and see what kind of Christmas card tree the unique branches in your yard create!

Merry Christmas!  - Kimie

Check out Kimie on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pinterest-a-thon: have you hugged your wreath today?

I am so happy to be back here to share not one but two yarn wrapped holiday wreaths because I just couldn't stop at one! Here is my Pin-spiration:

1 | 2

The original idea was inspired by IHB back in September when we had a craft day where she made this warm fall wreath and I made these yarn wrapped letters. I have quite a bit of leftover yarn that made the move with me. As the holidays approached I knew exactly how I'd be using that extra yarn. With so many great ideas and plenty of yarn, I decided to make one for our front door and one for my office door.


I absolutely love how they turned out and if I had more doors might make more (slightly kidding).
Argyle Wreath
After you've wrapped your wreath in yarn.
  1. Using two colors of felt, cut 10 diamonds. I drew a diamond on paper and used that as my guide for measuring/cutting. Space out diamond and loosely glue to wreath.
  2. Pin (ha!) your yarn on the backside top of the wreath and begin to wrap around the front of the wreath at an angle, making sure you and crossing in front of each diamond.
  3. Pin your yarn again in the same place and begin wrapping around the front at the opposite angle. You will see your argyle starting to develop. Pin the yarn one last time. Put a dab of hot glue on that pin to hold it all in in place.
  4. Give your wreath a hug (isn't it so soft?). Now hang it on the door to be admired. 
Holiday Berries and Rosettes
After you've wrapped your wreath in yarn...
  1. Create several felt rosettes using a variety of colors of your choosing. Want to know how to make those rosettes? Felt flowers tutorial on Blue Cricket Design . I also free-hand cut a few leaves to balance things out a tad.
  2. Place berries on wreath and glue down.
  3. Arrange rosettes on wreath, rearrange 5 times until you feel they are exactly where you want them, and hot glue into place.
  4. Carefully hug your wreath (not quite as hugable as the argyle, but still soft). Now hang it on the door to be admired.
Sending you warm holiday wishes from my craft room to yours! - Michelle @TWE

Check out Michelle on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pinterest-a-thon: sweet smells and skin

Project One
I am very excited to be back but not excited with the holiday theme. As most of my friends know, I cringe during the holidays and all of the craziness that comes with it. However, I do appreciate the lovely holiday scents and the creative ideas that people come up with for homemade gifts. So my first project was to create a festive homemade scent, but it needed to be inexpensive, natural and appropriate as a hostess gift. I was inspired by the following pin but used my favorite spices.


My inexpensive version included a bag of oranges, and picking up the spices at the dollar store and a Mexican market (a bag of cinnamon sticks for $1.99!).

  • 1 orange cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
Put all of the ingredients in a small pot, fill it with water (just enough to cover the oranges) and heat on low (simmer). Enjoy the fragrance as it fills your home!

Project Two
I have very sensitive skin which tends to get dry during the winter, and can be easily irritated by most products. For the past few years, I have spent around $20 per sugar scrub. When I saw this pin, I committed to making my own after realizing how inexpensive it was to make.


The scrub only requires a few ingredients and I didn't have to go out and buy one single thing because I found all of the ingredients at home.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the following:
  • 1 ½ c sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • a few drops of peppermint extract (you can use vanilla or even a massage oil)
  • a few drops of a lavender lotion
  • 2 pinches of dried rosemary which helps with exfoliation and smells lovely
  • I left out the food coloring.
Mix all ingredients very well and put in a container (I recycled my expensive sugar scrub jar and put my new sugar scrub in). I will never buy another expensive sugar scrub and I can also make them for friends and give them as gifts.



Put your homemade holiday gift in a cute package inspired by Pinterest!

 
- Cece
Check out Cece on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!