Last Minute Hostess Gifts on Pinterest #holiday #entertaining

Quick! You've been invited to a last minute celebration, and you have no idea what to take for the hostess! Here are five quick and easy projects to help you out


Clockwise from top Right

Rit Dye Note Cards by Snaps of Ginger - Simple and sweet, and if your hostess throws alot of parties, she will certainly appreciate some stationery!

Dipped Utensils from HGTV - An incredibly easy project, and one that can be delegated to your children if you are in an extra time crunch trying to get everything ready to go to the hostesses home! Just get some wooden utensils and paint from the dollar store, dip, and dry!

Antler Ornaments from Tatertots and Jello - With it being Christmas and all, some simple glitter dipped antlers add a charming touch to home decor and a Christmas tree!

Black and White Wine Carafe on the DecoArt Blog - One of my favorite projects and it was so easy to whip up. Bring a bottle of wine, or two plain glasses!

DIY Vanilla Coffee Sugar Scrub by designed by dawn nicole - Just fill a mason jar with the mixture, tie with some ribbon and you're good to go!


No matter which project you go with, your hostess will be pleasantly surprised, I promise you that! These also make great last minute gifts for any woman on your list, and great stocking stuffers too!
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A Great BIG #Christmas #Giveaway





This week, 24 friends and I have been sharing our best recipes, printables, crafts, decor, and holiday traditions. If you missed the posts, check them out!   My friend Steph, from A Grande Life, gathered a group of us together for a fun round up of Christmas recipes, decor, printables, crafts, traditions

AND an awesome giveaway! We are giving away a $250 Amazon Gift Card! Who's feeling lucky?  

Join us for ‪#‎25BlogsofChristmas‬ and who knows YOU may be the lucky winner of the Amazon Gift Card! Good Luck! $250 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

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Gifts for Him: Etsy Finds #etsy #giftsforhim #giftguide

In addition to my gift guide this year, I'm doing a few roundups of my favorite Etsy finds for Him, Her and the kiddos! Today is the Gifts for Him: Etsy Finds edition!


Clockwise from Top Right

Dell Cove Spices is a shop on Etsy that I found a few years ago, and I order something from them every year for my husbands stocking. Last year, I ordered popcorn seasonings and we loved them!

Coffee mugs are always an easy gift idea, but finding ones that are whimsical or hip can be a challenge. I love this one from Lenny Mud.


Every few years, my husbands wallet looks a little worn. I have so many of them in my favorites on Etsy, but this one from Sewlutions by Amo stands out. It is intricately and expertly crafted, and beautiful in its design.

Funky tshirts are something that always get rolled up and put in my husbands stocking. Banyan Tree Clothing has great options, including this vintage ship tee.

And, while my husband has yet to come over to the dark side of technology and embrace the wonderful iPhone, I love unique docking stations. This concrete iPhone docking station by fmcdesign is minimalist and pure.

In the past, I've found lovely pocket squares and handmade ties, as well as edibles for my husband for Christmas. Etsy is such a wonderful place to shop, where you know the items are handmade with care, and an extreme amount of attention to detail paid.
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Get your #Christmas Orders in NOW! #shopping #etsy

Christmas is right around the corner; have to figured out what amazing and unique gifts you're going to get for everyone on your list?


I always love giving really unique gifts at Christmas and for birthdays, so Etsy is my first stop. Whether it is a print or custom shirt, handmade jewelry or home decor pieces, I know that I can always find it on Etsy. And as someone with a shop, it's important to me that I support other hand made artists!


If you're looking at one of my pieces in particular for gift giving this Christmas, get your order in now! The Cutoff dates are....

International: November 21
USA: November 28
Canada: December 1st
Local Orders (free deliver): December 15th

And as always, custom orders are welcome!

Happy shopping!


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Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Quick! Do you have stocking stuffers for everyone on your list? Are there gaps that you need to fill??

Christmas stockings were a big deal when I was a little girl, and it's a tradition that I've carried on through marriage and now parenthood.

Typically, our stockings were filled with practical items. A new toothbrush, hair elastics, and always had a chocolate orange in the toe (I never did like those things...)

Here's a quick list of items that you can get at the drug store TODAY to round out the Christmas stocking that you need to fill!

- tooth brush
- toothpaste
- travel size items {my husband travels ALOT for work, so these are always a good idea}
- razor blades
- chapstick


- a new Christmas ornament
- their favourite candy bar
- magazine {my father-in-law ALWAYS puts People magazine with my mother-in-law's stocking}
- sample size perfume
- emery board
- nail polish


- makeup brushes
- bath toys
- goldfish crackers for toddlers {these are always a hit!}
- gift card for coffee
- bubble bath
- coloring books and crayons
- iTunes gift card
- jewelry from the cosmetic counter


No matter who you have on your list, you are bound to find some last minute stocking stuffers at your local grocery or drug store. My husband is notorious for being out there on Christmas Eve {in fact, he's probably out there as I'm pressing publish on this post!} and i have yet to be disappointed!

Merry Christmas!


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Christmas Dessert Roundup from Pinterest

We all know that holiday entertaining means hours spent in the kitchen, slaving over appetizers and desserts to delight our holiday guests.

Well here's a little Christmas Dessert Roundup, all from Pinterest, that are sure to dazzle your guests!

Peppermint Fudge Pie from Better Homes and Gardens

Chocolate Candy Cane cookies

Candy Cane Biscotti by Annies Eats

Christmas Poke Bake from All Free Casserole Recipes

Candy Cane Centre Brownies by Picky Palate

I think it's safe to say that chocolate and peppermint take centre stage when it comes to Christmas desserts.other popular themes are too-tall deserts in red and green, like what you would see on the table in Whoville, as well as hot chocolate bars complete with chocolate dipped marshmallows and spoons!

For more holiday inspiration, check out my Happy Holidays board on Pinterest.
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DIY Country Chic Christmas Stockings

This year for Christmas, I really wanted to get new stockings but I couldn't find anything that was perfect out there that matched our home decor and was a little rustic at the same time. So, I decided to whip up a quick and easy DIY project...one that you can definitely throw together in no time!

Materials

Stockings (the ones I purchased were from Walmart and were $8.98 each)
Burlap ($4 for a 18"x24" panel)
Wooden monograms ($0.67 each)
Paint
Twine

Your first step is to inspect your stockings. See anything out of place, discolored or torn? Fix it with the materials that you have. One of my stockings was missing a third sequin, so I popped them all off and added twine to the centre of the poinsettia's.

Next, paint your letters. I chose Deep Scarlet Multi Surface Satin. I absolutely love this paint. Depending on the color that you choose, you likely will only need one coat.

While your monograms are drying, get creative with your burlap. I entertained the idea of making burlap rosettes or folded poinsettia's, but figured that my husband would want something more masculine for his stocking (and our sons) so I just wrapped the top cuff with burlap. Glue it down with hot glue, and it makes this project even easier!

Once you're done that step, it's time to put your monograms on. At this point, I ran out of hot glue so I used Decoart Bead and Glitter Glue. It definitely did the trick and kept my monograms on! I used some heavy glass bowls to weigh them down while they dried.


Now, you're ready to hang your new stockings! I tied them with twine to a long branch that is up on our mantle, and voila! They're ready for Santa!


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Christmas Ornament Roundup from Etsy

Our house is full of Christmas cheer, and one of my favourite days is the one that we put up our Christmas tree and decorate it. Each year, we get a new ornament just like I used to when I was a little girl, so it felt fitting to do a roundup of my favourite ornaments that I've found on Etsy.

Four robin's nests from Fairyfolk

Personalized ornament from The Lonely Heart

Mini wooden snowflakes from Timber Green Woods

Jumbo acorn ornament from Smile Mercantile
Handblown glass ornaments from Kivaford

Where is your favourite place to get new ornaments? I love finding unique ones, and mixing them in with family favourites.

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DIY Homemade Peppermint Salt Dough Ornaments

Tis the season for getting your preschoolers and toddlers into the kitchen and creating some fun salt dough ornaments.

To put a spin on the traditional variety, I added pure peppermint extract to the recipe so they have a hint of minty freshness.


Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tsp pure peppermint extract (I added this to the water, then mixed the wet ingredients with the dry)


Mix together, then knead into a ball. This takes some time, and don't be too worried if the salt doesnt dissolve into the dough 100%.

Once you have kneaded the dough into a ball, you have a couple of options. You can either roll out the entire dough and use cookie cutters, or you can break off pieces, reknead them and flatten them with your palm. We opted for the second option, and Owen used mini cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes.


We also made some handprints, which he was very excited about.

Bake at 200F for 2 hours.

Once hardened completely, pull out some paint and decorate! I opted for DecoArt 3D Gloss Enamels Writers in red, white and gold to decorate the trees, mittens and Santa hats.


The writers make precision work really easy. I was able to decorate all of the ornaments really quickly, with no mistakes and very little clean up.

Leave to dry and then you're ready to string with ribbon, then hang on the tree!







Happy holidays!



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My Christmas Wishlist

Compiling my wishlist for Christmas this year was a bit of a challenge. Did I want to focus on running gear? Pretty things? Supplies for my studio?

Usually, I just tell my husband to fill my stocking with bottles of paint and I'll be a happy camper.

Last year, he went all out and got me these stunning Kate Spade earrings


They've become the earrings that I wear for special occasions, and I just love them!

So, what's on my list this year?

Christmas Wish List for Mom 2013




1. A new set of pots and pans. The ones that we have are about 8 or so years old, and many have cracked lids, or no lids at this point!! I'd love a new set, and have been in love with the Jamie Oliver set that my mother-in-law has since she got new ones a couple of years ago.

2. Tieks. *sigh* Durable, beautiful ballet flats. Navy. Teal soles. Need I say more?

3. Hubs has a Keurig at work, and everyone seems to be raving about them. Since getting to taste their products at BlogHer this past summer in Chicago, it's been in the back of my mind to put on my wishlist this year. I love their fruity energy drinks for #BrewOverIce, and coffee selections to make ice cubes for my morning shakes.

4. A new pair of sparklies from Kate Spade. LOVE these ones and their subtle color is perfect for going into spring.

5. A funny running tank. I saw this one on Etsy and loved it; definitely made me giggle. Other options would be pretty much anything from Ruffles With Love

6. An oversized clutch. Great for everyday, and for evening events as well!

What is on your list this year??


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Decoart Holiday Ornament Collection and Giveaway

Decoart has done it again with an amazing giveaway for the holidays! But before we get to those juicy details, a little DIY for you!

Each and every year, I either make or get new ornaments for my husband, son and myself. It's a tradition that my parents did with me, and one that I wanted to continue with my family.

This year, I was really excited to put the DecoArt Multi Surface Satin and Gloss Enamels Writers to the test.

Materials

Clear Glass Ornaments
DecoArt Multi Surface Satin (I chose Deep Scarlet to match another project I completed recently)
DecoArt 3D Gloss Enamels Writers in Opaque (I chose Gold and Silver)


First, pop the silver top off of your ornament. Next, pour some of your Multi Surface Satin into the glass ornament and swirl it around to make sure you've covered all of the ornament. Sometimes it helps to add a little bit of water to the paint to thin in out so it covers more easily. One of my ornaments is covered completely while the other one didn't turn out so well.


Flip it over and let the excess drain out, and allow to dry (mostly...it's not super important that it be 100% dry on the inside, as you're done with that surface now!)

Once your ornament is mostly dry, use your 3D Gloss Enamels Writers to draw on your designs. I went with a milkglass inspired look, so lots of staggered dots.


Allow to dry completely.

Once they're dry, you're good to hang them on your tree, put with your garlands or even in a glass bowl as a beautiful centrepiece!! Easy peasy, and oh so beautiful!



Now...for the giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I am a part of the DecoArt Core Blogger Program and was compensated for this post and project. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Silver Gold and Red Glamorous Christmas Tree 2013

When I was growing up, we had two Christmas trees. One was in our family room and was full of rainbow colored lights, a new ornament every year, tinsel and a big star on top. The other, in our front sitting room, was all white and sat on top of our cherished train set.

This year, I am seriously considering getting a second tree. My husband and I have the tree that I grew up with, and it's full of whimsical, funny, and sentimental ornaments.

What I crave is this

Red Silver and Gold Glamerous Christmas Tree 2013



A beautiful tree covered in glittering stars, snowflakes, a Polar Express bell, and glass balls. Topped with a shimmery glittery star, and embellished with swirling ribbons.

We have the perfect picture window for it too, where I hang ornaments from the top of the window sill! How beautiful that would be!!

I cannot wait to decorate for Christmas...only 4 more days to wait!
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Fabulous Finds Friday: Luminaries

Picture this...

A midnight dinner party for your very closest friends
Everyone dressed in beautiful glittery cocktail dresses
The table set with candles and clear glass

Leading them up to your door, in the moonlight...




Very simple...white bags with a stamped tree and fringed top {folded over to create a pennant effect}. Pop in a tealight candle, or even a votive and you have a romantic and beautiful way to light the path for your guests!

Local Orders...extended!

Still wracking your brain for the perfect gift to give this holiday season? Fearing that it's too late to pick up a beautiful piece of statement jewelry or a gorgeous painting?

Well, if you're in the London area where delivery is always free, you still have time to order!


Place your order before DECEMBER 20th to ensure delivery by the 24th!

Ho Ho Ho! Free Christmas Printable

What better way to welcome the big guy in red than with a free printable?






A charming felted red background, with a swirly snow overlay. Embellished with a white tag border, and the words Ho Ho Ho! in a lovely forest green!

Just download, print and frame in a white frame...then place lovingly next to a glass of milk and plate of cookies!

Yours free for the taking, here!

Fabulous Finds Friday: Green Christmas Wreath

Every wonder how to spruce up your front entry way or porch for friends and family during the holidays?

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it would make an excellent addition to any porch or entry way.






A hulla-hoop, covered with faux greeney, with lovely white and glittery ornaments hanging down. Then, tie beautiful white ribbons and hang from a light fixture {if safe} or the rafters and beams {if you have them}

Really really beautiful, and oh so simple to make yourself!

Avent Calendars...on sale NOW!

Last year, I was in search of a more whimsical advent calendar for our mantle.


By handpunching circles out of cardstock and stringing them on ribbon, I've created some really beautiful advent garlands.


Then with coordinated papers, pouches are attached to the back for you to slip in little notes for activities to do as a family! our notes last year were things like "Pictures with Santa", "Go See Happy Feet2", "airplane rides" and "pick up mommy at the airport" {since we were on holiday in Florida}


Advent garlands are now on SALE for the season!!Originally $21.99, now on sale for $15!

Currently in stock, I have icy blue tones with metallic grey, brown and bronze, brown and green, and whimsical pinks. That being said, a custom advent garland can always be created, at no extra charge .

Order today to ensure December 1st delivery!

Fabulous Finds Friday: Advent Calendar Alternative

One thing that I loved as a child was the Advent Calendar. Waiting in anticipation for the next morning, opening the little door to reveal a sweet chocolate surprise.

One thing I love even more is getting creative with my son's advent calendar. Last year, we had a fun garland with a different family activity to do everyday. This year...maybe more of the same, or maybe something fun like this fabulous find on Pinterest



I can only imagine his excitement with opening a new book every day up to Christmas. Educational and fun all wrapped with kraft paper and embellished with wrapping paper leftovers, ribbon and numbers. And it can be something super economical as well with books at the dollar store, maybe coupons to go to the local library, or even a book or two to donate to a family in need during the holidays!