On the fourth day of Homemade Christmas, we made Easy DIY Pallet Signs.
On the fourth day of Homemade Christmas, we made Easy DIY Pallet Signs.
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The days seem to be getting colder and colder around these parts. Jack Frost has visited a time or two and Santa will be here in just a couple weeks. With the weather getting cooler out that means for me I switch from drinking iced tea to hot cups of tea. For me there is something about drinking a hot cup of tea. There is nothing better than sitting down and getting all warm and cozy with a cup of tea. It is one of my favorite ways to take a break and relax.
With it being time for Christmas I have been trying to figure out what to get everyone on my list. There are just so many people on our families list. We have not only our immediate and extended family but people like my kid’s teachers. I have had to get creative over the years and one of my favorite and cost effective gifts to do is make our own gift baskets. This year my gift baskets will be focused on staying warm and cozy this winter. Really, who wouldn’t love a Warm and Cozy Gift Basket? I know I would.
My idea for the gift basket is centered on one of my favorite ways to warm up and relax, drinking a good cup of tea. Tea is at the heart of warming up, just holding a cup or mug of tea is all I need some days. So I headed down the road to Walmart to pick up some yummy, Bigelow Tea and to get the basket started.
Bigelow has so many different great flavors it was hard to decide on a single flavor so I picked a combination of their classic, Constant Comment, fall favorite, Pumpkin Spice and their yummy, Salted Caramel.
Since I was doing multiple gift baskets I created my own tea bag holders. They are VERY easy to make and take simply minutes to put together. The tea bag holders can serve other functions such as photo and gift card holders as well.
All that is needed is 12×12 Scrapbook Paper, Jute Twine (or ribbon), Scissors, a Ruler and tea of course.
To start I placed my tea bags on the scrapbook paper so I could visualize their placement. You don’t have to do this but I can be OCD. Next I cut my scrapbook paper in half. I used my ruler to make sure it was exactly 6 inches and as a straight edge.
Next, I folded the paper 1.5 inches to create the pocket where the tea bags would be placed.
If desired, glue the edges of the fold. Next I added the tea bags and evenly folded creating a 3 pocket tea folder.
Next I tie up my folder with the jute twine like a package. Since I did not glue the edges this will keep everything in the folder.
It also looks like a tiny Christmas gift! Perfect for adding to a gift basket!
Now all I need was to put my gift basket together!
Everything in my gift basket was purchased at Walmart except for the scones. I made those. I thought a yummy homemade baked treat would be a great addition to the basket. The Warm and Cozy Gift basket includes a Bigelow Tea Sampler folder, plush fleece throw blanket, some cozy socks, a mug , honey bear, homemade treats and strawberry candies. Total cost was approximately $25. There are items in the basket that will be used again for other baskets also.
All I had left to do was to put it all together so I crumpled up some tissue paper at the bottom of the basket and got to arranging.I think everything in the basket is perfect to keep you warm and cozy this winter. Some cozy socks to keep your feet warm, a cuddly blanket to wrap up in and then the perfect cup of Bigelow Tea with a snack. I know that it would warm me up! I hope the receiver of this gift loves it as much as I would!
What type of Bigelow Tea do you drink when you want to relax?
I have to say Pinterest is awesome and has become a go- to for me when I am searching for ideas for certain things. It is also a black hole sometimes where adhd takes over and I start pinning all the things instead of just what i’m looking for. You know how you start looking at one thing but somehow end up looking at something completely different. The thing about Pinterest though is you have to check to make sure the pins take you back to the correct link for the DIY or recipe because so many times they do not. Sometimes though I will keep a pin around thinking I can figure out how to do that myself. That is how I came up with these collage picture frame. The Pin’s I had took me to Etsy or to a slideshow of different picture frames but no directions on how to make the frames for myself. Well there should be directions so here are mine!
How to make a Collage Picture Frame
1. Prepare Your Frame.
After going to the thrift store or finding a frame around the house that you would like to use the first step is to prepare your frame. Remove any pictures and/or glass. Clean your frame and make sure it is dust and gunk free. If there are rough areas you may need to sand them a little bit. You will be painting the frame.
Once your frame is ready you will be painting it. It seems lately everybody is all about chalk paint but I went with spray paint. Yes, spray paint. After helping at a remodel of Restaurant Impossible and using spray paint to make light fixtures look new again I became a huge fan of the method. Spray paint works wonderfully for this.
This is what I used. I liked the fact that it had a primer also.
With spray paint you just need to be careful to use nice even strokes/sprays so the paint doesn’t drip. You may need to go over the frames a couple times.
Then all you have to do is allow it to dry. I let my frames sit for 24 hours before proceeding to the next step.
3. Add Hemp Cord
Once your frames are dry it is time to add the hemp cord rows that you will use to hang the pictures from. Use a picture if needed and plot out your rows. Remember to allow space for the clips you will be using to hang the pictures up by. Once you have plotted your rows there are 2 methods that you can use to attach the rows.
In the first method you can use the staples that are in the back of the frame and tie tightly.
For my picture frames I was unable to do this because my staples were not even.
The second method is how I made both of my frames. I used a hot glue gun and hot glue. Yes, I use my hot glue gun for everything. Recently my big hot glue gun went to glue gun heaven so I had to pull out my back up mini glue gun.
All I did was add a drop of hot glue to the back of the frame. Place hemp cord in glue and hold tightly against frame until set. I then pulled the cord across and repeated. I then cut off excess hemp cord.
4. Add clips and Pictures
The last and final step is to add your clips to the hemp cord rows and then your ready for pictures! My clips came from Target in their dollar spot but I have found the mini clothespin clips at Walmart in the office supply section.
And there you go a super easy to make collage picture frame. All I need to do is go through the thousands of pictures I have and start to fill it up.
This month with Allrecipes we are working with Reynolds Foil a product that I use just about every day in my kitchen. It is also a product that goes way beyond just covering dishes and wrapping up leftovers. Reynolds Foil is perfect for using when you are having a BBQ. You can use it for every part of your meal from preparation,cooking and clean up! Today I want to share 10 of my favorite tips for using Reynolds Foil to make your next BBQ a knock out! As a added bonus I am throwing in a salmon recipe that my husband and second son really love.
1. Keep food from sticking
Are you making BBQ Chicken or Fish? Hate how it sticks to the grates on your grill? When grilling line your grill with Reynolds foil to help prevent sticking. Just poke a few holes in the foil to drain juices.
2. Keep food from falling into grill grates
Want to grill some shrimp or veggies but you don’t have any kabob skewers or a grill basket? Just use foil! It will keep your food from falling through your grill grates. I’ve even known people that use this method to make bacon on their grill for bacon cheeseburgers!
3. Individual Foil Packets
There are so many things you can make in foil packets. The possibilities are endless and delicious! Foil packets are simple and easy to make too. All you need to do is, place food on the center of two layers of foil Next top with your desired seasonings and oil. Finally bring the two long sides together, fold foil over the food. Fold over three or more times. Fold and crimp remaining sides and then grill as directed. Then clean up is easy peasy. Check out the recipe I have below for Salmon. I have issues making fish but with foil packets I can make it easily for my husband and son.
4. Keep Food Warm
If you need to keep food warm until serving time cover with some Reynolds Foil until serving time. The foil is also perfect for wrapping meats that need to rest before serving like brisket.
5. Easy Clean Up
Line baking pans and cookie sheets with aluminum foil to cut your cleanup later. This tip is perfect for times where you are making a bunch of burgers to grill. Just cover a tray with foil and discard once the burgers are on the grill. Your serving tray will still be clean for your cooked burgers.
6. Grill Scrubbers
Want to use your grill but it is a dirty mess? Use Aluminum Foil to clean your grill without chemicals. Just ball up a piece of foil and use tongs to clean the grill grates.
7. Make-shift Funnel
Want to transfer your favorite condiments into a different container for your BBQ but you don’t have a funnel? Make one with Reynolds foil! All you need to do is take a piece of foil and make it a cone shape with an opening at the pointy end. Secure it with a piece of tape and then you are ready to pour and transfer your favorite condiments.
8. Sharpen Scissors
Need to cut something and your kitchen scissors are dull? Fold a sheet of foil several times and cut through it with a pair of dull scissors to sharpen the blades
9. Pie Crust Protector
Making a classic apple pie for dessert for your BBQ? Another favorite Reynolds Foil use of mine is the pie crust protector. To prevent burnt pie crust edges, crimp foil around the edges prior to placing the pie in the oven.
10. Clean Baked on Food off Baking dishes
BBQ time is over and it’s time to clean up, Reynold
]s can help you there also! Use Reynolds Foil to scrub off baked on food instead of using steel wool. If you have food stuck to your baking dish or frying pan, wad a clean piece of foil into a ball, then use it with few drops of dishwashing liquid to scrub glass cookware clean.
Now here is the Salmon recipe I was talking about above. When I was a kid I had food poisoning from fish and since I have not been able to eat or really cook seafood but with foil packets I was able to easily make this for my husband and son. They loved the salmon this way!
Grilled Salmon Greek Pitas
recipe from Allrecipes.com
Looking for more great Reynolds recipes? Check out their webpage.
Last week in the early hours of the morning my husband was getting ready for work and accidentally spilled his coffee. He did put a towel on it and soak it up some but he didn’t have time to clean it properly. When I came down later that morning I saw the towel and spill and planned to clean it up as soon as I got the kids all on the bus to school. It became one of those days where things just were not going as planned and when the kids got home the spot was still there and remained there until today. With 4 kids and 3 dogs messes are not uncommon and I have a little green machine to spot treat as well as a full size steam cleaner. We have light colored carpet that I have grown to hate because it is a dirt magnet so cleaning carpets happens on a semi regular basis around here. The only problem is I have yet to find a cleaning solution that works well. I have used different store-bought solutions hoping each one was better than the next but I never found one that got my carpets really clean. I then started trying different DIY solutions that I found by Googling or by Pinterest. Want to know what happened when I put solutions with dawn dish soap in my carpet cleaner? Bubble-geddon, that is what. It was a combo of bubbles coming out of the machine and dumping the dirty water container because it wasn’t full of dirty water but soap bubbles. While it took longer my carpet was cleaner than when using the different store- bought solutions but I wasn’t thrilled with the results. Back to the internet I went searching for a solution. While searching for a solution I repeatedly read that soap leaves behind residue that attracts dirt! My journey then became how to clean my carpet without detergent. What I found were different combinations of borax, oxyclean, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, fabric softener, baking soda and hot water. So I experimented and found a combination that worked well and is now my go-to Homemade Carpet Cleaner.
After cleaning up an almost week old black coffee stain with ease I knew this was the homemade carpet cleaner for me!
Homemade Carpet Cleaner
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is Reindeer Food. On Christmas Eve my kids
sprinkle throw Reindeer Food all over our front yard to help guide Santa’s reindeer to our house. Santa’s reindeer are attracted by the glitter that sparkles in the moonlight and the smell of the oats. Hey, Santa get’s cookies and milk, I think the reindeer deserve a treat as well. After all pulling Santa’s sled all night long has to make them hungry.
Making Reindeer Food is simple. You only need Oatmeal, Glitter and a Jar or other container.
First add your oats
and then your glitter
and then shake
and maybe shake a little more
until the glitter is evenly distributed
If desired make up a tag for your reindeer food. I made this in Word and cut with scrapbooking scissors.
On Christmas Eve, Sprinkle this magic reindeer food on your lawn. The shiny glitter will spark in the moonlight and the smell of oats will guide Rudolph to your home.
Reindeer Food is perfect to package up and share with your child’s friends and classmates. If you do not want to make your own printable you can find several on Pinterest.
1 cup oatmeal
1 TB glitter
1. Add oats and glitter to a bag or jar
2. Shake well
3. Spread all over your yard on Christmas Eve to guide Santa.
For the first day of homemade Christmas we have Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments! These ornaments smell great and are super easy to make. Plus they are cheap! You can find everything you need for them at the dollar store. From the applesauce and cinnamon to decorations. Kids love helping make these ornaments too!
Step one: mix 1 1/2 cups of applesauce (this is 3 individual cups) with 2, 3 oz bottles of cinnamon
be careful pouring the cinnamon to avoid cinnamon dust going everywhere.
Mix well and form a dough
Use a rolling pin to roll out dough thin.
Cut using your favorite cookie cutters. This was one of my grandmas.
poke a hole in tops of ornament large enough to put twine/yard or ribbon through. Next allow to air dry for a couple days or bake at 250 for 2.5 hours.
Once dry add twine through the hole so ornament can be hung.
Decorate to your hearts content. The possibilities are endless!
We kept ours simple.
Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2 3oz bottles of cinnamon
Mix applesauce and cinnamon together until it is thick and forms a dough. Roll out mixture on a flat surface and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place ornaments on a parchment line cookie sheet. Make hole with a toothpick to hang ornaments. Dry 2-3 days or place in a 250* oven and bake for 2.5 hours