...because sometimes all you need is a little inspiration...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Advents

I LOVE Advent Calendars! But, let's face it, most of them are really hokey. So, I've been on the hunt for some great ones. And here's what I've come up with so far:

Here is Martha's {Baby Sock Advent}. Click on the link for a tutorial. She says to put a little gift for baby in each sock - one a day until Christmas. It's cute, huh!?
I don't think it necessarily has to be baby socks, or have presents just for baby either. You could do things for the whole family - in big size socks.

Here is a cute idea from {Ali Edwards}
She just numbered different size and colored boxes and tacked em to her wall...

Isn't this train to die for!!??
It's sold out at {Impression}. But, it really looks kind of easy to make. Ok, maybe not easy, but all you'd have to do is get a wooden toy train red and white, then stick on those numbers. I just think it's adorable!! Wouldn't this be cute going around the bottom of your Christmas tree??

{Jordan Ferney} came up with this beauty!
Well, I guess it was her and Potterybarn. That's where she got the shelf. Seems like you could make one pretty easily. She fills her beautifully wrapped presents - I KNOW - with things like this:
December 1: Go Ice Skating
December 2: Watch It's a Wonderful Life, make spiced cider.
December 3: Exchange gifts
December 4: Make Christmas Cookies for friends.
December 5: Find Mistletoe, hang it in our house and kiss under it.
December 6: Address and Mail Christmas Cards
December 7: Go to Borders and Pick out one new Christmas CD.
December 8: Go to The Nutcracker
etc. etc. etc.

So, most of them are things to do together, which I really like. Go {here} for her full list of ideas.
And here are some family friendly ideas from The Idea Room:
1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
2. Write letters to Santa.
3. Build a snowman.
4. Have a snowball fight.
5. Make Christmas cookies and surprise a neighbor or two with a plate.
6. Sing Christmas Carols together.
7. Write Christmas letters to relatives we will not see for Christmas.
8. Watch a Christmas movie.
9. Visit Santa at the Mall.
10. Take a drive to see the Christmas Lights.
11. Clean out old toys and donate to Goodwill.
12. Make a gift for kids teachers.
13. Make some Christmas Candy.
14. Play a game in front of the fire.
15. Watch The Grinch.
16. Learn more about Jesus.
17. Sleep under the Christmas Tree.
18. Do a secret service for someone in the family or a neighbor.
19. Make a gingerbread house.
20. Read an extra Christmas story.
21. Make some reindeer food for Christmas Eve.
22. Read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2 and other scriptures.
23. Act out the nativity scene.
24. Listen to Christmas music.
25. Set out cookies and reindeer food for Santa and his reindeers.
26. Read the notes in our love socks.
27. Watch a Christmas special on television.
28. Go sledding!

You could of course do this idea without the 25 box frame. Just number the presents and set them out on something pretty like this image from {BHG}.

And here is probably my favorite idea that I got from this Potterybarn image. I'm totally doing this.
Hang an ornament on your Christmas Tree every day until Christmas. I think if I were to make this, I'd just attach knobs to a wooden board of some sort and just hang the ornaments from each knob. I also would have the ornaments mean something. I love this idea from {Keepin the Castle}. Each ornament has a scripture about Christ associated with it. What a great way to make sure you're focusing on the real reason for this holiday, which I think is all too often forgotten.

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I love sipping Wassil this time of year. It's great at any Autumn or Christmas party. Especially when served with yummy doughnuts, apples, and cinnamon sticks.

1 pint cranberry juice coctail
1 6oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 12oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 pint apple juice
3/4 cup water + 1 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
8 orange slices
10 whole cloves
cheese cloth
Combine orange juice and 3/4 cup water in a large pot or sauce pan. Add cranberry juice. Add 1 1/2 cup water, sugar, allspice, lemonade, and apple juice. Simmer. While simmering, wrap cloves and cinnamon in cheese cloth. Float in pot while simmering. Put an orange slice in each cup when serving. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beautiful Fall

Happy Thanksgiving. Don't you just love these beautiful fall colors! I've never loved carnations so much.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simple Elegant Thanksgiving

I love this beautiful thanksgiving table from Martha Stewart. It's really simple, but really pretty, don't you think. I really like the little white pumpkins made into candle holders - some just one pumpkin, some two stacked on top of each other. And they're just set on top of upside-down pie tins covered with leaves. So pretty and inviting!

I also love this idea - using pears as place cards. Those cards you can buy just about anywhere. They're really simple, but they look so pretty hanging on that pear stem. Maybe I just love pears...but I think it's so elegant!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beautiful Thanksgiving Table

This is the prettiest Thanksgiving table set up I've ever seen! It reminds me of Christmas. And who says we can't have Thanksgiving be as pretty as Christmas!?? Love the use of twinkle lights and candles. Love the pumpkins and lanterns on the table. Oh, how pretty!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kids Thanksgiving Table

I love the way this looks! And the kids could have set this table themselves, which I also love. I think it would be a good idea to have them write or draw what they are thankful for during the Thanksgiving meal, too. Good way to keep them busy, don't you think?

And while we're on the subject of kids...

Aren't these turkey cupcakes adorable!!?? Found them on {Family Fun}. Check out the link for the recipe. So cute.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Playdough

Pumpkin Spice Playdough

2 cups water
orange food coloring (or combine yellow and red)
1/4 cup + 1 TBSP oil
1 cup salt
4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 cup pumpkin spice
2 and 3/4 cups flour

Combine all ingredients in large pan on stove. Over medium heat, stir until most of the lumps disappear and it thickens up to a dough-like consistency. Put on countertop and knead like bread dough. Store in a air-tight container.

I saw this recipe on {The Idea Room} and had to catalogue it for future reference. I really want to try this. I love the idea of edible playdough, because don't all the kids eat it anyway?? And the only other recipe I've ever seen is made with peanut butter. But, with a husband allergic to peanuts, that's not an option around here. So, here's a great alternative. And she says it smells divine. Imagine playdough that smells good! She said this would be a great thing for your kids to play with while you got Thanksgiving Dinner ready. I think that's a great idea!!

Here are a few more yummy playdough recipes I've found recently:
From the {Foothill Home Companion}

Chocolate Play Dough
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup salt
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Mix dry ingredients in a medium size pot. Add wet ingredients and stir together over low heat until a ball of dough forms. Remove play dough from pot and knead by hand until dough is smooth and evenly colored. Store in airtight container.
Gingerbread Play Dough
They also made some gingerbread play dough, which doesn't smell quite as good as the chocolate, but is still nice and spicy. To make gingerbread play dough, use the same recipe as above but omit the cocoa powder and add 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon ginger.

So much fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Autumn Inspired Party

Want to have a mid-day get together this month? Make sure it looks like this! I love this tiered planter!! Love the pots full of golden flowers. Love the apples and pumpkins. Love the cookies and pie. Would love to have a party looking just like this!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Autumn Inspired Centerpieces

Here are some pretty centerpiece ideas for your Thanksgiving Table.
Love the use of fruit and vegetables as candlesticks and vases.
It reminds me of cornucopias. Don't they look cute!?

Here's a pretty one. A candle in a vase, with a pretty wreath around it.
Looks easy - just get a cake stand. Plop a wreath on top. and but a votive or vase in the middle.
And I love these hurricanes with layers of rocks and fall foliage. Pretty.
And they just changed the fall foliage to winter flowers, cranberries, and pebbles to make it look like Christmas.
Very pretty.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Petal Shirt

I adore this shirt the girl at {The Pleated Poppy} came up with. Check out that link for the detailed tutorial.

She had a shirt got some jersey fabric. Then, she cut random sized circles out of the fabric like so:

She used a needle and thread to sew a pleat into the middle of the circles:and then attatch them to the shirt:

And she ended up with this:

But she wanted it to lay more flat, so she used her sewing machine to go over the petals in a random swirly pattern until she liked what she saw:

Don't you love it!! I'm totally going to do this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Countdown Blocks

Another great idea from {The Idea Room}. You just use blank blocks and some sort of base for them and modge podge paper or stickers to the face.

She says: "You will need these numbers for the first block: 0,1,2,3,4,5 and these numbers for the second block: 0,1,2,6,7,8. Make sure that the font you choose allows the 6 to be able to be turned upside down to double as a 9."

I like how this is season-neutral. You could use it for anything!

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Shirt Refashion

I've been really inspired lately by the posts at My Momma Made It. I finally decided to try the whole shirt refashion thing. And I got my inspiration for this one from {This My Momma Made It Post}. I just found this pretty ribbon at the fabric store and sewed it on like she did.
So this shirt used to just have a plain collar - it was already really cute, but now...

Isn't it pretty?

It dresses it up quite a bit.

And it was so easy!! I just tacked the ribbon at different points on the collar.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Savvy Pot Rack

I love this idea! If I had a kitchen with a spare wall like this one, I'd totally do this!! Just get a coat rack and use it as a pot rack. Genius! Oh, I just love it!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Personal Pies

I saw this cuter than cute idea on {Our Best Bites} and I wanted to save it on here so I can use it over and over again.

Using these squatty half pint jars, she filled them with pie dough:

Then used the jar lids to cut out tops for the pies.Then she filled them with pie filling.

And put the lids on.

All different kinds of lids. :) And then she froze them. All of these directions are layed out on her site, which is linked to this post above.

When you're ready to eat them, bake them frozen and they turn out like this:

I love this!! I think it's a really cute gift idea since the Holidays are approaching, but really this is something that could be done all year, right? You can give it to them frozen with the baking instructions. She says you can eat it right out of the jar, or turn it out and put it on a plate. They remind me of those cookie in a jar gifts that I used to see all over. But I like this better. So cute, huh!?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Children's Art Smock

Want to learn how to make one of these for your little arteeest!? {Make It And Love It} has a great tutorial.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Shirt Texture

So see the origin of this post, click {here}

Using this lovely from JCrew as inspiration, the gal at {My Momma Made It} has made an awesome textured shirt using two shirts she already owned. She cut some strips out of one that was stained and some strips of gossamer.

Then she layed the gossamer on top of the tshirt strips and sewed them around the collar of her other shirt.

Doesn't it look awesome!!? She did two rows of it for more texture.

Seriously easy, too, if you know how to use a needle and thread and some scissors. Click on the link above for her tutorial.

She and I must be on the same wavelength, but she's actually making stuff and I'm still just ooohing and ahhhing.
Here's another lovely that {My Momma Made It} has done recently.

Isn't it pretty!?

She's amazing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

There are tons of Christmas Advent Calendars out there. Why not have one for Thanksgiving as well. I love this idea. I think you could really get your family to appreciate the value of giving thanks and having gratitude by doing this. {The Polka Dot Chair} had this idea and on their blog they have SEVERAL ideas for what to do on each day. My favorites are the gratitude quotes and projects. You should check it out. There is a tutorial for how to make this calendar on {Moda Bake Shop}.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ruffle Collars

As you know, I'm on the lookout for diy shirt texture ideas. Here are a few from {Say Yes To Hoboken}. She tells us how she did them also, so for the tutorial for this one, click {here}.

And to get this one, you can go {here}.

Isn't it lovely!!?

And since we're on the subject, here's another great one from My Momma Made It.

She's on a roll!
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