Since we’re not going big on the gifts for the adults this Christmas, I thought it would be fun to make them little baskets with some homemade food, candles and skin care. I have the food and candle ideas down, and now I’m finding inspiration for some skin care gifts.
And then if I like the way turn out, I’ll keep some for myself!
Here are a few good gift ideas for the skin:
DIY Vanilla Sugar Cookie Body Scrub / Photo Credit: Lindsey Johnson / Hello Natural
I love all the skin care recipes from Hello Natural, and this one is no different! I just need to get a few ingredients before I make it, but other than that, it’s stuff most people have in their house and it’s a simple and easy recipe. Can’t wait to try it out!
Homemade Fall Face Mask / Photo Credit: Alyssa / Alyssa & Carla
Hey, another excuse to use pumpkin in a recipe! This Fall Face Mask from Alyssa & Carla looks equally delicious and good for you. It’s a simple recipe with simple ingredients (that I actually have) so I think will be making this today.
I’ve been looking for a good lotion for a while and this Oatmeal Honey Shea Butter Lotion from Sincerely, Kinsey just might be it! If I can get the emulsifying wax in time for Christmas gifts, I’ll be able to make some lotions with this. If not, I’ll just make it for myself later!
I’ll be making some of these skin care gifts over the weekend and I’ll be sharing my experience with you on here! Maybe even do a giveaway for after Christmas, eh?
Have a fun DIY Holiday project, gift idea or recipe? Did you try any of these recipes? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
Today, I’m excited to have another guest on the blog! I met Deb Ray through my connection with Beers in Sac when I wrote an article that featured her, and we have remained virtual pals ever since! I met her in real life at a Beers in Sac event a while back, and she gifted me a grab bag of caramels and jams – every bite just as delicious as the next.
Deb has been canning since the early 90s and starting making caramels about ten or so years ago. She is certified as a master food preserver and using U.S. Home Preservation guidelines utilizes local, seasonal fruits to craft her jams in small batches and has won several Best Of and First Place awards at the California State Fair.
Earl Grey Tea Caramel topped with Preservation & Co.’s Citrus Rosemary Salt
Today, she is sharing a recipe for nut brittle and she is also offering a gift certificate for a dozen caramels of the winner’s choice of a single flavor! Check out the recipe and giveaway below!
I found this recipe online several years ago when looking for a brittle recipe to break out for the holidays. Most of the ones I found didn’t have the richness I was looking for. This one is all about the butter. An entire stick of it. It’s crisp, rich and thicker than a traditional brittle. And it definitely has that salty sweet thing going on.
Medium sized, heavy pot
2 c sugar
½ c water
1 stick butter
1/3 c light corn syrup
½ tsp baking soda
12 ounces roasted, salted peanuts, cashews, pistachios, singularly or as a mix (I use 2 c nuts)
Fleur De Sel or Maldon Salt
It helps to get your ingredients ready prior cooking. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter and corn syrup and bring to a boil.
Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is light brown and registers 300° on a candy thermometer, 10 minutes. Deb’s Tip: Once temp reaches 280 degrees, it increases very quickly to 300. Watch your thermometer!
Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the nuts, then immediately scrape the brittle onto a large rimmed, nonstick baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Deb’s Tip: Cover blob of brittle with parchment and use a rolling pin to roll into an even thickness. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break the brittle into large shards.
And now for the giveaway part! Deb is kind enough to offer a gift certificate for a dozen caramels of a single flavor of the winner’s choosing! This is valued at $15 and would be the perfect gift to yourself for surviving the holidays!
Here are the flavors to choose from. You can also find them on her website:
The Side Car – Brandy, Orange and a Twist of Lemon: a riff on the classic cocktail
There was too much going on over the weekend that kept me from blogging. Not that I minded, except for the homework part of course! I had my very first vending experience at a pop-up shop hosted by my friend Rosaura Unangst from Pigment & Parchment and then my friend Amy from Amy is the Party invited me to Holly Jolly Pop-Up hosted by Artsy Heartsy, where we made beautiful floral crowns, got yummy donuts and were inspired by the amazing holiday decor.
Here are some photos from all the weekend fun we had:
Handmade Holiday Pop-Up on Saturday, followed by Christmas lights with the little one
So, there’s my makeshift booth at the Handmade Holiday Pop-Up. Sold a couple things and shared a patch of grass with Lemonee on the Hills, who I met for the first time. She is awesome, and so are her pillows, totes, therapeutic bags and more – all made with her photography!
Sweet Dozen was there, with this masterpiece. I grabbed a six-pack of donut holes (the only kind of six-pack I can get right now) and they were so good with my coffee this morning! And with my cider yesterday.
More styling inspiration from Artsy Heartsy, my fun and lovely mess from the Scarlett & Grace floral crown workshop and our swag from Paper Heart Patisserie, Compliment and more!
Now, time for the DIY post of the day.
After you make your beautiful DIY Christmas gift, you need something to put it in. And no ordinary, run-of-the-mill gift wrap will do for a unique gift like yours. Luckily, there are plenty of fun gift wrap options you can make that will probably cost less than the store-bought kind.
DIY Gift Wrap / Photo Credit: Carmel / CRAFT
This simple gift wrap from Carmel of Our Fifth House on CRAFT is wonderfully easy – all you need is some Kraft paper, fabric scraps, bakers twine and little sprigs of greenery! She also includes a tutorial for making a fabric scrap bow. Perfect!
DIY Craft Scraps Gift Wrap / Photo Credit: Mandi Johnson / A Beautiful Mess
Gift Tags from Magazine Pages / Photo Credit: Lisa / Decor8 Blog
I love these gift tags from magazine pages! I have so many magazines I never use anymore and these would be the perfect excuse for hoarding them all this time! Check out the full tutorial from Lisa of the red thread on Decor8!
Ok, I hope you enjoyed this super long post and got some inspiration from it. Tomorrow, I’ll have a delicious nut brittle recipe and a chance to win a gift certificate from Rebel Confectionery!
A room in the house that frightened me before, the kitchen has become my sanctuary. I love getting in there and focusing on creating something from scratch, with my hands. Now that we have our own kitchen in our own house, I’m starting to pick out more and more items for this space to make it all my own.
My newly developed love for this magical area has inspired my post today – DIY gifts for the kitchen lovers. We all have at least one in our family.
I have been wanting to get into creating with wood for a while now, and this would be the perfect time to get going on this. I love this cutting board tutorial from Amy Christie on Design Mom because her work is so inspiring and she shows you many options for how to design your boards. You can literally do anything with this, as long as you can etch it in wood.
If you’re not comfortable with drawing on the board or you want to try a different approach, read this post on Wood-Transfer Monograms from Fairgoods.
I could probably write an entire post on different ways to make tea towel gifts, but why do that when Apartment Therapy has done it so well. I love these stenciled tea towels from Lovely Indeed because they look rather easy to do, only take about a half hour, and are completely customizable. What more can you ask for, really?
DIY Pallet Coffee Cup Holder / Photo Credit: One Little Bird
I’m going to be honest when I say that this is probably not something I will get to this year. We’re now officially less than two weeks away from Christmas (scary, I know) and I just won’t get to it in time. But how perfect would this DIY Pallet Coffee Cup Holder from One Little Bird be for the coffee lover in your family? I have so many of them. I’d actually make one for our house too – once I got around to it.
And for an added bonus for all your Sacramento people:
Handmade Holiday Pop-Up Shop / Image by Pigment & Parchment
Holly Jolly Pop-up Shop / Image by Artsy Heartsy Events
My lovely friend Amy from Amy is the Party got 2 VIP tickets to this Holly Jolly Pop Up on Sunday and she invited me to go with her! It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun – there will be food, drank, vendors, workshops and more! You can get your tickets here and all the proceeds go to Sacramento Steps Forward’s Winter Sanctuary – providing Sacramento’s most vulnerable residents some essential services during the coldest months to help them get on the path to self-sufficiency.
Have a fun DIY Holiday project, gift or recipe to share? Did you try any of these tutorials? Know of anything cool going on in Sacramento this weekend? Share any and all of that in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
Popcorn is such an underrated snack food. It’s easy to make and pretty darned versatile. You can eat it plain, make it spicy, make it savory or make it sweet. You can use it in a mix of pretzels and chocolate and it’s the perfect finger food for parties. So, to give popcorn the credit it deserves, I’m sharing a few flavored popcorn recipes.
Oh, holy moly. This peppermint bark popcorn from Cooking Classy looks delicious, and a perfect dessert option on Christmas to go with your cupcakes, cake, brownies, cookies and whatever other delicious treat is at your dinner. This is also perfect to bring if you’re a guest at someone’s holiday party.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn / Photo Credit: Two Peas and their Pod
My love for peanut butter and chocolate is like no other. And this is yet another amazing recipe from Two Peas and their Pod, which they adapted from The Kitchn. I will definitely be trying this recipe, for Christmas and beyond.
Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese Popcorn / Photo Credit: Melanie / It Happens in a Blink
This pepper jack cheese popcorn from It Happens in a Blink is a perfect appetizer for those of us who like things a little on the spicier side. Pepper jack cheese is my all-time favorite cheese and I have all of these ingredients already, so I might be doing a test run of this recipe…today.
And for another savory recipe, one of my beautiful partners Heather Leigh is sharing a her favorite flavored popcorn recipe on the blog today:
Get a bag of popcorn or pop your own, and…
1/4 cup dry Italian Seasoning (or the equivalent mixture of thyme, basil, and oregano)
1/4 cup taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on your taste buds)
Mix together and sprinkle on popcorn to taste.
The extra can be stored in a jar in your cupboard.
You won’t need butter, and it doesn’t take much salt, so it is a great snack. Hope it comes out good!
Have a fun DIY Holiday decor project, gift idea or recipe? Did you try any of these recipes? Share it here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest! Interested in becoming a partner? Find out more here and check out the December special!
When I saw a post on Handmade Ornaments from Poppytalk yesterday, it dawned on me that it was something I had not even thought about yet! Maybe it’s because we’re waiting until the week of Christmas to get our tree (a whole lot cheaper, and much less of a chance of our toddler annihilating before Christmas) but I am just now thinking about ornaments!
After reading the post on Poppytalk, I found a whole array of ornament tutorials. In fact, there were so many cute ideas to share that I decided to break it up into groups. Today, I’m sharing ornaments that can be made from either clear or colored glass ornaments.
I can’t remember when I last painted my nails. I think it was for a wedding. I like to spend the small amount of quiet time allotted to me either working on something or doing nothing at all, except watching TV. So this tutorial from Gina Michele is the perfect way to use all that nail polish going to waste. If you don’t have any to spare, acrylic paint will work just the same. Teal and gold, anyone?
Perhaps it’s because I’m eating cupcakes leftover from my daughter’s birthday party, but I’m loving these cupcake ornaments from Jade Harrington of Jaderbomb on ILovetoCreate.com‘s blog.
DIY Black, White and Gold Ornaments / Photo Credit: Homey Oh My
There is something special and beautiful about simple and elegant ornaments. They’re so classy. I feel like I should be shopping at Williams Sonoma or something when I hang them up. This tutorial from Homey Oh My is easy to follow and you can do with it what you will, you can do geometric shapes or clean, simple lines like these.
Dang it. Now I want to go get a tree and a whole bunch of plain ornaments to go to town on.
Our poor entry way has been ignored until we hosted Cecilia’s birthday party over the weekend. Until then, it was shut off by another door so it didn’t get much attention, and it smelled like it, too. The previous owner painted some weird fake brick decor which I just can’t get behind and it did not feel like part of the house.
Just get a load of that beautiful brick design!
When getting ready for her party, we took the door off and I added some decor to make it feel like it was part of the house. But it still feels a little left out so I’ve looked some ways to add some holiday cheer to its otherwise mundane existence.
DIY Holiday Decor for Small Spaces / Photo Credit: Erin Boyle / Gardenista
I love this simple yet beautiful DIY Holiday wall decor from Gardenista! Now that we’re getting older and feeling a little more mature, we’re getting more and more holiday cards from family and friends, and it would be fun to add other little bits of celebration on the wall as well.
Wooden Crate Christmas Tree / Photo Credit: Sincerely, Kinsey
Unfortunately, I know the cost and trouble of trying to obtain a number of wooden crates. But, seeing this beautifully done Wooden Crate Christmas Tree from Sincerely, Kinsey is almost making me forget all of that agony.
Pallet Christmas Card Display / Photo Credit: The Thinking Closet
I recently got a couple of free pallets from my dad and stepmom and have been thinking of how I can put them to use. This is a wonderful idea from The Thinking Closet, not sure it will fit in the corner that I’m planning on using it for, but if not…I can still hang it up in the house!
I’m going to use some of the ideas from my DIY Holiday Bar Cart Decor post to pretty up the small counter space we have in there, too. Can’t wait to share my after photos!
I remember when I was a young girl and my mom’s friend always gave us cookie mix in a mason jar. My mom always baked, and 99% of what she made was from scratch, but on the days that we just wanted something quick, or I wanted to make cookies while she was out, we would pull down a mason jar mix.
Last year, I gave my mom a jar of hot chocolate mix since it’s something she loves and it’s not always readily available. I have no idea if she ever used it, but it gave me the idea to make a couple cookie and cake mixes in a jar this year for the adults in the family since we’re focusing on the kids.
The mason jar cake and cookie mix thing is huge. There are so many recipes and ways to do it, but for me – it’s all about presentation! I picked two that I really liked based on how they were presented, and I’m thinking of some recipes that my family uses often that I could use in my own jars.
Rocky Road Brownies in a Mason Jar / Photo Credit: Sweet Phi
I’ve never made rocky road brownies, so this recipe from Sweet Phi would be fun to try, and to share with family and friends!
Brownie Mix in a Jar / Photo Credit: Rachel / Evermine
I love the recipe label on the front and the cute tag attached with baker’s twine on this mason jar gift from Evermine. A measuring spoon or cookie cutter would be fun, too.
Here are a couple recipes I’m thinking of using in my jar:
Red Velvet Cupcakes / Photo Credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Red velvet cake is a huge hit in my boyfriend’s family, so this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction will be perfect for them!
Carrot Apple Bread / Photo Credit: Averie Cooks
This carrot apple bread from Averie Cooks looks delicious! Another recipe to try and gift!
Vanilla Butter Meltaways / Photo Credit: The Taylor House
These vanilla butter meltaways from The Taylor House would be perfect for any time of year. Valentines cookies, anyone?
If your family or friends follow blogs like you do, then be sure to add the blog you got the recipe from so they can discover a new blogger and hopefully get some more delicious recipes!
Last year was the first year I did my own gift wrap. And oddly enough, as simple as it seemed, it was kind of a disaster. I waited until the last minute to do it, the tape I had wasn’t strong enough to hold the Kraft paper together and I painted on each gift wrap, which seeped through the paper and onto the gifts.
What a mess!
I love the idea of making my own gift wrap and I think I found the perfect solution:
DIY Gfit Wrap / Photo Credit: Amanda Drost / The Pretty Blog
I love this idea because you can make a variety of stamps for a lot cheaper than you could buy them, and they would all be your own designs and creations! Thinking of making a couple designs for the adults and children we’re gifting.
And just in case you’ve missed any of the DIYs this week, here’s a rundown:
Today is my beautiful, crazy daughter’s second birthday. I know I should be cleaning and decorating like a madwoman right now but I wanted to soak up the few moments of peace before the storm. So, in honor of her birthday, this post will be short and sweet…and perfect for her.
Homemade Crayons / My Frugal Adventure
My little girl loves coloring. She brings her crayons with her everywhere she goes, and has taken to coloring our walls, furniture and just about anything else she can find. I’m constantly stepping on little crayon bits all over her room and finding them in our couches and in some other random places, like the bottom shelf of the fridge.
This DIY project from My Frugal Adventures would be such a fun and easy project to make for her and her cousins with all the little crayon pieces I find. And just think of all the cookie molds out for the holidays right now!