DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags

DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags

With Christmas right around the corner, there are a million things to do in the way of decorating, list making, gift buying and travel planning. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve resolved to have a handmade holiday.  Because DIY projects can be a bit of an investment and a little more work, I like to focus on ones that will serve me year round (while staying season-appropriate).  It’s easy to get lost in the idea of “doing it yourself” in order to save money and vent some of that creative energy, but the “saving money” part can get tossed out the window fast if a lot of your projects are only useful once or twice a year.  On that note, I’d like to introduce Cereal Box Gift Tags!

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Knife Block Redo

I haven’t had much time lately to tackle the big DIY projects at my house. I have furniture, pallets, burlap, paint and all kinds of other goodies in our garage just waiting to become some wonderful DIY creation. I keep reminding my hubby that I DO have a plan for that pallet and those scraps of wood – and that huge old junky looking window I convinced him I needed.

I’ve finally accepted the fact that I just don’t have time for those big projects right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping all those amazing supplies. I just have to be more realistic with my DIY projects at the moment. So this week, instead of stressing about finishing of my big furniture projects, I decided to check some smaller, more realistic projects off the list.

After initially seeing this idea on Pinterest and a host of other blogs, I decided to redo my knife block. It’s one of those boring wood knife blocks that wasn’t really much to look at. I wanted that functional block to become a fun pop of color my kitchen desperately needed.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Soap

This past weekend, one of my best friends came to visit. She and I have known each other since those uncomfortable junior high days of braces, over-sized glasses and zero sense of style. Fortunately, we survived the preteen years and have come out the other side with an awesome friendship and (hopefully) a little less adolescent awkwardness.

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We spent this past weekend hanging out downtown, eating great food, reminiscing about old times and of course, crafting. I couldn’t wait to share my new love of soap-making. I’ll admit, after my last soaping mishap I was a bit nervous to create my own recipe. But when you’re crafting with friends, the mistakes are half as frustrating and the successes twice as fun, so why not give it another shot?

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Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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Vote for our DIY Holiday Wreath over at BuzzFeed Shift & Enter Our Wreath Contest to Win a $50 Michaels Gift Card!

About a month ago we were asked to create a fresh DIY wreath tutorial for a Holiday Wreath post on BuzzFeed Shift.  We were SO excited and got right on it!  We tossed around a few ideas before we landed on the “Minimalist White Wreath” made out of paper plates, old t-shirts, tape and rubber bands.

We love this wreath for 3 reasons: 1.) It’s CHEAP! The only thing we needed to buy was a pack of heavy duty paper plates, which we usually have on hand anyway.  2.) It’s VERSATILE!  You can use any t-shirt color(s) you want and you can even add your own flare by pinning on other embellishments like paper flowers, string bows, etc.. sky’s the limit! 3.)  It’s QUICK. Including the time it takes to gather your materials, you can have this wreath hanging on the wall within an hour.  Does an adorable homemade piece of decor get any easier??

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An Inspiring Home

An inspiring environment breeds creativity.  I realized this for the first time fresh out of high school when I decided to redo my bedroom.  Picking out paint colors, carpet textures, a bed set and some new furniture was so exciting.  Once the room came together I felt so cozy and motivated to create.  I started to draw more, I started to get into crafting more – my life just felt more organized and productive.  Ever since then, it’s been my goal to curate an inspiring space wherever I live.

We made these shelves from apple crates that we ironed with vintage logos and stained to finish!

My tastes definitely drift and change at times, but I’d say my overall style is clean, bright, rustic, vintage and natural.  I love the rough textures and warm tones of reclaimed wood paired with whitewashed walls and brightly painted pottery.  I love chipped and worn wrought iron chairs with a ruffled floral vintage apron draped over the back.  I love quirky little gadgets like misfit toys that have found a home on my shelf.

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Offbeat’s Picks: Pomegranates

Only recently have I started eating fresh pomegranates. It began about a year ago when my husband, Colson, and I were looking for an inexpensive date night idea. We decided we’d make dinner together but we wanted to add a little twist to it: mystery ingredients. We decided we’d go to the grocery store and each pick 1 ingredient without the other person knowing what was chosen. When we got home, we’d reveal our choices and cook one meal incorporating both mystery ingredients.

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Fall Decorating: (Free) Mantel Makeover

A few weeks ago I spent some time helping my mom put out her fall décor. Growing up, my parents’ house always looked festive – not overdone, but cozy and inviting. In the fall, the house would be full of pumpkins, scarecrows and candles that smelled like freshly made Thanksgiving pies.

As part of my attempt to recreate the coziness of my parents’ house, I decided to give my fireplace mantel a little fall makeover. For this project, I had one goal: only use items I already have at home. I was determined not to spend ANY additional money on this project. Honestly, it was really hard! I mean, you can really do a lot to your mantel if you at least spend some money on garage sale items. But no, I knew I had too many odds and ends kicking around the house to allow myself to buy anything else.

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DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

Am I the only one who stands in the middle of the grocery aisle Googling for DIY and/or substitution recipes once I find out whatever I need is out of stock? Hopefully not, because it’s proven to be super helpful 99% of the time – like today. I ran to the store for pumpkin pie spice and it was the only empty slot in the entire spices section. Lovely. So I Googled “DIY pumpkin pie spice” and one of the first results was a great little recipe from Annie’s Eats. The best part… I already had all the ingredients at home!

If you find yourself in need of pumpkin pie spice this season, check your pantry for these common spices before shelling out a few bucks for something you can mix yourself!

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice
From Annie’s Eats

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1½ tsp. ground allspice
1½ tsp. ground cloves
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix them all together and store in an airtight container!

Do you have a favorite money-saving DIY pantry tip?

Offbeat’s Picks: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix

I love the smell of freshly baked bread. Add in the crisp fall air and make that a sweet pumpkin bread, and you’ll have one delicious morning. But sometimes there’s just not enough time to make sweet bread from scratch. Or maybe there’s time, but let’s be honest – you just don’t feel like it.

In comes Trader Joe’s to the rescue. I love their sweet bread mixes, especially the Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix that comes out in the fall. You only need to add water, oil and eggs and you’ve got freshly baked goodness in no time.

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