December 31, 2012

12 Most Talked About Projects of 2012

With tonight being New Years Eve I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the most viewed posts from 2012! I am constantly reminded of how grateful I am for my little space in the world that allows me to be creative.
Thank you.
12. $3 Christmas Wreath

Here's to ringing in a new year of inspiration and creativity! 
Happy 2013 sweet friends!

December 28, 2012

DIY Boot Stuffers

I bought a new pair of boots right before Christmas this year and was over the moon every time I wore them, a great pair of boots make me super happy. I wasn't so happy when I tried to put them away in my closet. EVERY time I attempted to prop them up they would fall to the side, leaving a crease in them. The same thing happend with my pair of Minnetonkas, leaving the leather fringe bent and weird looking. They say necessity is the mother of all invention, so I crafted a few bean-filled bags that I could stick in my boots to make them stand up and not crease. These stuffers are super simple and didn't require any materials that I didn't  already have in my craft closet.

You will need:
> Felt of any color
> Scissors
> Dry beans (I used pinto beans because that's what I had)
> Sewing machine or materials necessary to hand sew your stuffers
> Measuring tape

First you need to measure your boots to see how high your stuffer should stand. My boot stuffer was 18 inches long and 5 inches wide, while my Minnetonkas stuffers were 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide.

Cut your felt according to your chosen size.

Sew each of your stuffers leaving one side open to fill with beans.

Fill your stuffers with beans leaving about 1 inch to sew shut.

Sew your stuffer shut and your done! Use them to keep your boots crease free and happy, don't they look happier?

Happy boot wearing!

December 21, 2012

How to Use Your Leftover Wrapping Paper

I really dislike throwing any type of materials away, I'm not a hoarder by any means, but if I can think of any way to reuse something I will tuck it away for another project. Wrapping paper is one of my favorite supplies to buy, both kraft paper and patterned paper, and I'm always looking for new ways to utilize my stash. Here are a few fun ways to use your stash and save a little money as well.

You can frame a piece of wrapping paper as wall art.

Wrap paint cans, found at any home improvement store, or washed food cans for colorful storage. I think this would be adorable for my sons' desk.

Decoupage file holders for adorable organiziing, you can find these  wood files at Ikea.

Then you could make some matching pencils by the same author! These would make a sweet gift for some who loves to write.

Use your wrapping paper to cover a mat for a frame, and then fill with a family photo or print.

Make pinwheels or garland, click on the link below for a sweet tutorial.

Create festive lighting with paper lanterns.

This great tutorial will show you how to make paper beads! This is a super simple craft that's great for kids, I can remember making these when I worked at an after school program.

Are you ready to pull your rolls of wrapping paper from under the bed yet? Let's be creative and recycle!

December 18, 2012

Inspiration Tuesday Link Party

Welcome to Inspiration Tuesday, a link party to show off what you have been up to this week! I'm hoping that with a new link party and a new posting day I will be able to connect with new friends. I can't wait to see the projects you've been up to, especially with only ONE week until Christmas! I'll be making peppermint bark today for my husbands holiday pot luck tomorrow, of course setting some aside for me and the boys. Thanks for stopping by, stay awhile and be inspired!

Here are the details:
>> Link up your blog post not your general blog address.
>> Please link up any crafts, recipes, tutorials or DIY projects, please no giveaways or links to items for sale.
>> If you have any questions about how to link your post email me and I will try to help.

Features will be posted on Saturday, so check back then for more inspiration!

December 17, 2012

Share the Joy

When asked by Cost Plus World Market to give a gift basket of baked goodies to someone I thought could use some holiday cheer I knew I had to involve my boys in on the discussion. I sat down with my oldest, pictured below, and talked about what charity is, and how in our family the holiday season is more about giving than receiving. I know charity is a mature subject matter but no matter what age your children are you can modify the discussion to fit their level. I want to not only teach my boys about charity but appreciation, and during the holidays you need to be aware of those people around you who go above and beyond what is expected. I asked Kaleb if their was anyone in his life that went the extra mile for him, and he told me how amazing he thought his teacher was, and that all the teachers at his school deserved a special treat this season. 
Amazing right? Even at 11 he was able to grasp the idea of giving, he amazes me. 

Our first order of business was to go shopping to look for what we wanted to bake and fill our basket with. Let's just state that for every 1 thing I did purchase at Cost Plus their were 5 I actually wanted to bring home with me. Everything was so adorable. Here are a few things that didn't make it in my cart even though I wanted them to.

I loved all the bright colors and patterns they had in their dishware department, I mean, if I had the choice I would mix my cookie dough with a rainbow whisk. The end.

Kaleb and I roamed the store and decided to fill a basket of bread loaves and mini bunt cakes. Cost Plus not only had the pans I needed to bake our treats but they also carried the mixes. We chose French Toast and Gingerbread flavored mini loaves and Snicker doodle flavored mini bunt cakes. They all sounded delish! Lastly we picked out a basket, filler and were able to buy EVERYTHING we needed in one spot.

My youngest son had the task of helping me bake our goodies, I'm pretty convinced he's going to be a chef, or break dancer when he grows up, so he enjoyed pouring all the liquid ingredients needed for our bread.

I packaged each of the loaves and a few bundt cakes in cute little holiday treat bags so the teachers could either eat them right away or save them for when they had a free moment to enjoy their treat, maybe even with coffee the next morning. 
I tucked the empty boxes in the back of the basket so the teachers could see the flavors we chose and find it for themselves if they decided to make it for their family. 

I truly hope that we communicated how much we appreciate our teachers and office staff when we delivered our basket. They give their hearts and time to out sweet babies. Most people don't realize the effort given to educate our kids, they work long hours and sometimes weekends, and I definitely deserve some extra joy!

Cost Plus is having a Share the Joy Sweepstakes that you can enter today! You could win:
> Grand prize package includes: A $5,000 American Express Gift Card for you and $5,000 for a charity of your choice.
> You could be one of 5 winner (one winner per week).
> The Share the Joy Sweepstakes ends 12/21/12.

Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram

I encourage you to share some joy this holiday season, it's so sweet!

>> "This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own"

December 15, 2012

Donut Milkshake Recipe

I love playing around with new recipes, sometimes I pull out a bunch of ingredients from the fridge not really knowing how my recipe will turn out. I start with an idea and let it turn into its own recipe or craft. It's my creative process.
This donut milkshake started with leftover donuts we had from breakfast this morning. Sometimes my boys eat 1 donut and other mornings they want 300, so I try to buy extra donuts to avoid hungry kiddos.
You could even use donuts you have saved in your freezer! What a great way to use leftovers.

You will need:
> 1 donut of any flavor, I used sprinkled because it's what I had, but my next flavor will be apple fritter.
> 1 teaspoon milk
> About 2 cups vanilla ice cream

1. Cut your donut into small pieces.

2. Add all your ingredients to your blender or food processor and mix until smooth. You can adjust the amount of milk or ice cream to fit how smooth or thick you want your shake. I was able to drink my shake through a straw with the measurements listed above.

3. Enjoy!

Breakfast for dessert, I like it.

December 14, 2012

Sweet Saturday Link Party

>>I'm still in shock of the news in CT today. My heart is sick with sadness. Everyone grieves in different ways, some people find comfort in routine, and for that reason I decided to post Sweet Saturday. My prayers are with those families affected and their greater community. I hope you will join me in including them in your prayers as well. 

Welcome to Sweet Saturday, where you can link your creative projects, meet friends and find inspiration. 

Here are the details:

* Please link up your crafty, yummy or DIY post, not your blog address. 

* Every Monday I highlight a few projects from the previous week, so check to see if you were featured! 

Thank you so much for stopping by and linking up. This will be my last Sweet Saturday post, with the new year ahead I felt it was also time for a new link party! Starting Monday afternoon I will be posting Inspiration Tuesday, a link party for you to showcase yourself and your weekly projects. I hope you will find inspiration for your own home and family. 

December 12, 2012

Pastrami Pizza Recipe

This novelty pizza combines my favorite hot sandwich and go to Friday night easy meal. It would make a great family dinner or party appetizer.

You will need:
> 2 cups Pastrami, sliced into thin strips
> Mustard
> 1 cup Pickles, diced
> 1 cups Pizza sauce
> 3 cups shredded mild American cheese
> Pizza dough, either premade or homemade. I used Betty Crocker Pizza Crust Mix, its a dry mix that's super easy and yummy, you only add water.

1. Prepare your pizza dough according to the directions on the package and bake in the oven until golden brown.
2. Add a thin layer of pizza sauce and then a thin layer of mustard.
3. Sprinkle your cheese, pastrami and pickles onto your pizza and bake at 300 degrees until your cheese is melted and your pastrami has slightly dried out at the tips.
4. Cut into slices or squares and ENJOY!

I LOVE piling on my pizza toppings almost to the point of needing a fork just to eat it. If you aren't a pickle or mustard fan simply try the recipe omitting those ingredients or adding them to the side for others to add after the pizza is cooked.

This pizza is a unique dish that will wow any party goer or family member.

December 11, 2012

5 Creative Ways To Wrap Holiday Gifts

With Christmas being only a matter of days away I have a huge stack of presents in my closet that need to be wrapped. I've been looking for creative tutorials for great gift wrapping ideas, because I not only love handmade gifts, but also love handmade gift wrap!

Here are a few links I found that may spur an idea you have for your holiday gift giving.

Oh my word. Hold the phone, these fabric wrapped gifts are amazing! They have a vintage feel, which I love, that would make anyone feel special. By: The Merriment Blog

I'm totally going to pick up a few sweaters the next time I go to my local thrift store, run them through the wash and make these bottle sweaters! I think they are classy and simple. By: Grey Likes Weddings

I LOVE these super cool gift bags made from newspaper! You can find the tutorial, with measurements, on the blog How About Orange. What a great was to recycle!

This sassy spiked bow has a step by step tutorial and would look great in a shiny silver or bright sold color. By: Handmade Gifts

Here's another printable template that you can use to make petal pusher gift boxes. Use these to wrap single serving desserts and small gifts. I big heart these. By: Create Studio

I hope these links inspire you to think outside the box this holiday season with not only your gifts, but the way your wrap them as well.

December 10, 2012

Sweet Saturday Link Party Features

Happy Monday! Did you have a productive weekend? I was invited to a "favorite things" party for the first time this past weekend with some other local bloggers, and I had soooo much fun! I was able to share MY favorite thing (nail polish) and come home with 5 favorite things of other people. I was introduced to a few new products and crafts, super fun. 
Thank you to everyone who took the time to link up and share their projects this weekend, here are a few features from this past weeks' link party. 
If you haven't linked up yet you can HERE.

I love this snowflake banner by Creatively Living.

What a great idea! How sweet is this snowy Christmas scene in a glass cake stand?

I need these for dinner RIGHT NOW. Seriously. 

If this is death by chocolate then sign me up! These sweet cookies would look adorable on any cookie gift tray.
By: Eliza K

ALL of the men in my family would LOVE this bread! This is on my list to try the week of Christmas when my husband is home from work.

Cheers to everyone featured!

Hop on over HERE to enter to win a $50 store credit to KHB Print Shop!

December 7, 2012

Sweet Saturday Link Party & Giveaway

Happy weekend friends! I'm really excited for todays' link party because I have an AWESOME giveaway for you! Enter below to win a $50 store credit to KHB Print Shop! Kristin creates amazing silhouettes, custom monogrammed kids art and holiday prints. Here is an adorable chalkboard graphic that I added to my own holiday decor.

Want to see a few more awesome prints?

Just imagine what you could use your credit for! I'm thinking about a custom silhouette of the boys or maybe an advent calender, hey, it's never to late right...
This giveaway will run through December 14th. Good luck!
* The winning entry will be verified, so make sure you play by the rules...thanks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now on to the link party!

Welcome to Sweet Saturday, where you can link your creative projects, meet friends and find inspiration. 

Here are the details:

* Please link up your crafty, yummy or DIY post, not your blog address. 

* Every Monday I highlight a few projects from the previous week, so check to see if you were featured! 

Thank you so much for stopping by and linking up, I hope you have an awesome weekend! Don't forget to stop by on Monday for the features! 



December 6, 2012

Photo Drop

Just dropping some photos off for you this mornin. Here's what my life has looked like lately....all via Instagram.

My sweet baby boy, ok, not a baby but still little, loves to sleep just like me. Dylan is a night owl at heart and loves to sleep in until 9 in the morning. He pulls the covers over his head and says "just 5 more minutes". If you follow me on Instagram you'll see I am constantly posting pictures at 8 a.m. of Dylan begging me to leave him alone. I can totally relate, I'm always secretly wishing I could crawl in bed with him.

I REALLY wish I had a Sonic near me. I'm super jealous of people who live in areas of the country where a Sonic is within minutes. Here in California they are few and far between, the closest one to where I live is 30 miles away. When I DO get Sonic you would think they were delivering diamonds to my car I'm so excited. 

There are times when I find vintage lovelies and I just HAVE to keep them for myself. I found these round crocheted pillows a few weeks ago and I could.not. list them in the shop. I just couldn't. They live with me now, and the boys lay their sleepy heads on them when they watch TV. 

If you knew me in "real life" you would quickly realize that I am super clumsy. I fall down, knock stuff over and hit my head on everything. I may have dropped out tree topper that was and angel on the ground last week. She may have had a ceramic head that broke off. I decapitated our angel. Awesome.
I redeemed myself by buying another angel from the thrift store this week and she is completely plush and April-proof.

These amazing hobnail milk glass gems were given to me by a family member. I plan on finding homes for them in my open cabinets in my kitchen so I can admire them daily. I love thrifting vintage, but when they come from a family member passed down from a loved one they mean so much more. 

Ahem. My newest obsession is aluminum platters. They don't sell very well online but I swear I CAN NOT pass them up! I use them to decorate bookshelves, table settings and floating shelves. You could easy spend a few bucks on 5 of these platters and decorate an entire room!

I hope you have an awesome day! I have a HUGE giveaway planned for Sweet Saturday that I will post tomorrow afternoon via Rafflecopter. You don't want to miss it!

Check out my new listing in my Etsy shop HERE and follow me on Instagram via @gingerbreadblog.