Category Archives: Gift Ideas

Yellow Schwinn, No Punchbacks!

YAY! I finally got a new bike! :D I am SO excited. This sunny Schwinn bike was my birthday gift this year :) I’ve wanted a cruiser bike for quite some time…every time we go to Put-In-Bay in fact, I come home wanting a cruiser bike because they are just so much fun to *literally* cruise around on (especially on an island).

Needless to say, this summer is going to be spent on many bike rides through the CLE Metroparks on this pop of color. The husband and I kick-started that goal the other morning too…we made ourselves some yummy egg and avocado breakfast sandwiches, rode to the closest coffee shop, and then headed down into the CLE Metroparks to have a little morning picnic. :) Maybe our next adventure will be a lunch picnic?

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14 Days of Valentine Ideas-Day 12

A sweet for your Sweet! This one is tooo simple, but sure to be appreciated by the special someone in your life.  Who doesn’t like to get a bag full of their favorite cookies?!  Uh, no one!

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Take a visit to your beloved’s favorite bakery, or bake them their all time favorite cookie and just like the popcorn post, put them in a cellophane bag, tie with a pretty ribbon bow and if you’d like, a hang tag with a cute little phrase like ‘A sweet for my Sweet”!

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You could also use these as party favors-with a ‘So Sweet of You to Stop By!’ tag, or add them to a cute Valentine’s day gift basket!

Stop back tomorrow for a Valentine’s Day fashion idea! :)

14 Days of Valentine Ideas- Day 10

‘You Make My Heart POP”!  A very simple Valentine trinket for your special sweetie.  Just pop some popcorn, melt a little chocolate, and type up a cute hang tag!

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I am a popcorn lover if you’ve ever met one, unfortunately, a ton of popcorn reaps havoc on my insides.  Regardless, the smell of popcorn is a yummy perfume to my nose…so when I make popcorn I like to make it the old fashioned way-on the stove.  So bring out your kettle, oil, and kernels and pop away!  I promise, the popcorn made on a stove is way better than the ready in a minute microwave kind.

-What you’ll need-

popcorn kernels

vegetable oil

salt and some melted butter

chocolate (optional)

cellophane party bags (found at party store or in the baking isle at the grocery store).

ribbon

hang tag and single hold punch

Pop the popcorn ( Note* Measurements should be on the back of the popcorn package-I recommend heating the oil first, and then throwing in a few test kernels before you throw them all in there).

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Make sure you don’t keep the heat very high, medium heat is fine.  After all the kernels are in the kettle, make sure you keep lifting and shaking the kettle so the kernels get evenly distributed in the oil and don’t burn. 

Melt your chocolate, in the microwave is easiest, but only melt it in about 30 second intervals so it doesn’t burn.  Lay your popcorn out on some foil or wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate all over your popcorn.

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Let cool, and then put into your plastic party bags.  Tie with a ribbon, secure your hang tag and finish your ribbon in a bow.

Now you’re all set to make your sweetie’s heart pop! (Not literally, of course ;) )

Another great use for bags of Valentine popcorn would be as your Valentine’s Day party favors! Instead, your hang tag could say ‘Thanks for poppin’ by! ;)

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Stay tuned for another yummy Valentine Idea tomorrow! :d

14 Days of Valentine Ideas-Days 9

This Valentine’s day DIY idea is for Valentine’s day cake parfaits! YUM! What a great idea! This would be a delicious little treat for your Valentine’s Day party, or as a dessert for your Valentine’s day dinner, especially if you’re making a homemade dinner. :d

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These may sound tricky, but they’re really not difficult at all. Here’s what you’ll need:

cake mix ( I went with Pillsbury Pink Lemonade flavor)

ingredients for your cake mix (*Note: Instead of the recommended 3 eggs, I used 4 eggs; instead of water, I used milk; and instead of 1/3 c of oil, I melted a full stick of butter–You would not believe how much fluffier the cake batter comes out! Give it a try!)

glasses/cups about 6-8

circular cookie cutter

cake pans

can of frosting and preferred toppings

large ziploc bag

cake frosting tip (find in your baking isle at the grocery store or craft store)

Ok, so first thing’s first-mix the cake batter and spread into 2 cake pans. (I used 8×8 pans).

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Bake your cakes. When they are done, let them cool for about 20 minutes. While waiting, using a spatula, scoop the frosting into a large ziploc baggie (make sure you clip the corner and put the frosting tip in first) This will make it easier to get the frosting into the cup/glass.

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Flip your cakes onto two plates, and using the circular cookie cutter, cut circles out of your cakes. Put one cake circle into a cup, and then squeeze a layer of frosting. Then another cake circle, and another layer of frosting. Sprinkle your toppings on the top layer of frosting on your cake parfait and you’re ready to enjoy! :d

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Enjoy your cake parfaits!

14 Valentine’s Day Ideas- Day 7

Wow! Already on Day 7 of 14 Days of Valenetine Ideas!! Thanks for sticking around!! Remember, there’s still 7 more days of ideas coming your way and you won’t want to miss them! Today’s Valentine idea is LOVE magnets! 

I took this idea from my own wedding reception!  As part of our favors, we made these little love magnets for our guests.  Each one had a different LOVE quote or lyric, which makes them perfect for a Valentine’s day idea too!  Instead of using framed magnets, you can also do this with picture frames-just in case you can’t find framed magnets.

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-What you’ll need-

Framed magnets or picture frames (Here in Northeast Ohio, we have a grocery store called Marc’s that sells close-out merchandise too, which is where I found the framed magnets, they were very inexpensive at about $.25 a piece)!

Favorite LOVE quote or lyric.

There’s really not much instruction to this one other than to print out and place the quote or lyric in the frame! Simple as that!

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Stay tuned tomorrow to see what you can use those adorable vintage valentines for! :)

14 Days of Valentine Ideas-Day 6

Get out your Modge Podge, it’s time to start decoupaging!  This DIY is a bit more time consuming than some others I’ve listed, but it’s one that would make a great Valentine’s Day centerpiece on your kitchen table!

A decoupaged heart votive! 

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-What you’ll need-

construction paper

scissors

Modge Podge (craft store, with glues)

a small votive candle

candy message hearts

a sponge brush

 

Cut out several different size hearts from your construction paper.  Dip the sponge brush in the modge podge and paint over the hearts onto the votive where you’d like them.  Use as many or as few hearts as you’d like! 

Note* After I applied the hearts to the votive, I brushed modge podge over the entire vase again in order for it to look more finished.  The modge podge will dry semi clear with a bit of a milky finish.

 

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Fill the votive with some candy message hearts for an added holiday touch! :)

14 Days of Valentine Ideas-Day 5

There is so much you can do with burlap.  And the greatest part about it is how inexpensive it is!  This Valentine’s Day idea is for burlap placemats! 

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This one is a simple décor idea.  Just a little something Valentine’s themed to decorate your space.  And not very hard either…  Here we go!

-What you’ll need-

About a half yard of Burlap fabric (about 3.99/yard at the fabric store)

2 sheets of felt (found at craft or fabric stores…about $.35 a sheet)

Fabric paint

Acrylic paint

Sponge brush

Thick thread or string

2 paper doilies

Use the felt sheets as a template to cut out the shape of burlap.  I cut about 2 inch borders around the felt.

Pin the felt pieces in place onto the burlap.  Stitch the felt onto the burlap using the thick thread.

Using the fabric paint, draw a couple hearts in the corners.

Using one doily per placemat, lay flat on the placemat where you’d like the pattern to show.  Using a sponge brush and acrylic paint, brush paint all over doily so the pattern shows through onto the placemat.  Keep dabbing the brush over the doily, making sure the paint is getting through.  When you remove the doily, the pattern should appear on your placemat!

Let dry and use for your Valentine’s Day dinner!

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14 Days of Valentine Ideas- Day 3

A Valentine’s Day classic is a bouquet of a dozen red roses!  This year, instead of giving your sweetie real roses, opt for paper roses!!  With paper roses, your love can save them forever!

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This particular bouquet was made by me!  I’ve started making bridal accessories and paper flowers!  It can be found in my Etsy shop here.  Hope you enjoy! :)

10 Classic Christmas Gifts

Classic Christmas Gifts
I’m not sure if I’m a lone ranger on this one, but I’ve been finding gift ideas to be awfully hard this year.  I’m not sure why exactly, but it got me thinking of the more ‘classic Christmas gifts’ that we either follow every year or maybe tend to forget about.
1. Cookies! Everyone (okay…almost everyone) loves cookies!  How about a cookie jar and cookie cutters for the cookie lover in your life?
2.  Speaking of the cookie lover in your life, what about the foodie in your life??  Of course! Recipe cards!  Even if they’re a foodie and have extensive recipes, they could probably always use some extra recipe cards.
3.  In my collage, it’s actually a set of cards…but some cards are great to frame and give as gifts! Wall art and other home décor items are a great gift idea.  *Also a good idea of what to do with all those beautiful Holiday cards you get every year and don’t want to throw away or display on your mantle until March.  Frame them and use them as décor for the next Holiday season!*
4.  Next year’s calendar.  Always a great gift idea.  Everyone could use a calendar.  Definitely something we all tend to overlook from time to time.
5.  A sweater! It doesn’t have to be an ugly Christmas sweater, but generally I think most people appreciate getting something to wear.  It’s always nice to have another sweater to keep warm in the frigid months.
6.  A fruit basket.  A major classic.  Seriously, who doesn’t want a basket of fruit?!  The more apples, the better! ;)
7.  Ornaments.  A stocking stuffer staple.  I think it’s a great idea to give an ornament to your children every year…that way when they’re all grown up, and ready to decorate their own tree, they already have an ornament collection of their own.
8.  Candles.  I love this cute fir tree candle…a great one to build your dining room table holiday centerpiece around.
9.  A watch.  Everyone needs to know what time it is, am I right?  This one is becoming more of a classic now that most people just use their cell phones to tell time. :p
10.  Finally, a sled!  And a classic sled.  Those babies are the ones that really fly. ;)
Hope you find my list helpful! :))  Happy shopping!

DIY Foiled Picture Frame

Just recently, I learned how to decoupage using a common kitchen item: Aluminum Foil. (Thanks, Aunt Gina!)  I’ve been calling it ‘foiling’.  Today, I’m going to show you how you can ‘foil’ a picture frame!  In just a few steps, the result is a metal looking finished piece.

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–What You’ll Need–

-Bare picture frame (no glass or mat)

-Aluminum foil

-Tacky glue

-Black acrylic paint

-Sponge brush

-Cup of water

-Dish or plastic plate for paint

Directions:

1. Find an open space you can use to lay out some newspaper, or cloth or something to work on.

2. Unroll about 2 or 2 1/2 feet of foil and tear it off with your hands, don’t use the serated edge on the box because you want to have uneven edges since they blend better.

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3. Crumple up the foil into a loose ball. Don’t make it really tight.

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4.  Uncrumple the foil ball, so you have a wrinkled looking sheet of foil.

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5.  On the matte side of the foil, spread tacky glue.  Use the sponge brush to spread the glue all over the sheet.

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6.  Drape it over the frame and press, making sure you’re pressing in any ridges from the frame and so the foil is as tightly pressed down as you can get it.  Do this over the entire frame.

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7.  Here’s what your frame should be looking like… and if you need to, patch any necessary areas around the frame after you have the whole thing covered.

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8.  Water down some black acrylic paint, and use the sponge brush to paint over the entire frame.

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9.  If you painted it on a little too thick, you can use a rag to soak up any extra paint.

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10.  Let dry, and you’re ready to frame your favorite photo!!

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:) As always, let me know if you try it and show me how it turned out!

Cal