YOU’RE A SUP ‘HERB’ TEACHER

It’s teacher appreciation week around our house and we have lots of fun things planned for our teachers. One of my favorites is this very simple fresh herb gift. I LOVE how simple and cute this turned out! Teachers love things that are usable and fun and this meets both of those requirements!

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All you need to make this quick and easy teacher gift is a brown paper lunch bag, some small decorative clothespins (I found mine at Michaels), a fresh potted herb (I found organic ones at Wegmans) and a gift tag. Here is the link if you want to print out the gift tags I used. Just print on card stock and cut them out. I used the gift tags on the second page and a 3 inch round punch to cut mine out. 

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First, you will fold down the paper bag about half way by 1 inch increments. This does not need to be exact. Since not all potted herbs are in the same size container, just fold the bag down until you are covering the small plastic pot the herb is in. I had to fold mine down about half way.

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My fresh herb came in a plastic sleeve so I just rolled it down around the base in order to keep the instructions in there. Next, place your herb into the paper bag.

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Lastly attach the gift tag with a fun clothespin and that’s it! Aren’t they just so cute???!!!

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I hope you love these as much as I do!

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ST. PADDY’S DAY LUCKY PENNY

I’m not quite sure how we got to the middle of March already since it seems like it was just February about a minute ago. One of my favorite things about March is St. Patrick’s Day. Our family isn’t Irish but we love to celebrate this holiday with the best of them! Actually, we celebrate every single holiday we can think of! We are just THAT family.

I have my favorite St. Paddy’s day treats, food, drinks, and crafts that we do every year. For breakfast we make green shamrock pancakes and green milk. We make rainbow fruit kabobs and for dinner, I make Reuben sandwiches and homemade coleslaw. My hubby doesn’t like cooked cabbage so when we started dating I came up with this non-traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage so that we could celebrate the day in style! It is so good that we look forward to it all month long. I’ll post the recipe for this very soon, I promise!

We’d love to hear about your St. Patrick’s Day family traditions too.

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This year, we decided to make a fun treat for our school friends to celebrate the holiday. While searching Pinterest for ideas, I found this great St. Paddy’s Day Lucky Penny craft on the See Vanessa Craft blog.  She includes detailed instructions and a free printable too! Thanks Vanessa for sharing this wonderful craft idea with us!

I simply downloaded her free St. Patrick’s Day Lucky printable, printed on cardstock and then cut out using scissors.  It looks best to use shiny pennies for this craft so we conducted our very own science experiment! We collected all the pennies that we could find around the house and in the bottom of my purse. Then we mixed vinegar and salt together and cleaned our pennies to bring back their shine. The kids loved this part of the craft the most. Have you ever tried this? The old pennies are covered in copper oxide which will dissolve in the vinegar and salt mixture.

Here’s what you need:

Lots of pennies

White vinegar

Salt

Tupperware container

Paper towels

Here’s how you do it:

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Mix together 1/4 cup of vinegar and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Make sure you are using a plastic tupperware container for this. Drop 5 – 6 pennies into the mixture and gently shake the bowl for 10 – 15 seconds. Rinse pennies with tap water, set on paper towels and pat dry. Most of your pennies will shine like new. Those that don’t can be set aside.

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Check out how shiny our pennies got using this nifty trick! We used our shiniest pennies for this craft.

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We attached shiny pennies to the center of each shamrock using hot glue. I tried letting my oldest use the glue gun and she barely burned the tip of her finger on a bit of the glue. I felt bad because I know how much this hurts. I’m sure this won’t be her last injury since she is quite the crafter like her mommy.

 

The kids are very excited to give these lucky pennies out to their friends this week!

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CORK WINE CHARMS

Today I wanted to share with you a fun and simple wine cork craft that I put together. These cork wine charms are just so cute! Now most of you probably have wine corks laying around the house and if you’re anything like me, you save them all for crafts.  Over the years I’ve made all sorts of wine cork crafts including ornaments, pumpkins, monogram letters, coasters, cork boards… You get the idea! This is my latest creation and I wanted to share it with all of you!

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The best thing about this craft is that you can customize these wine charms with any kind of a scrapbook paper that you already have on hand or for a theme or holiday. For today’s project I created a couple different versions and they turned out great. You will need a few supplies in order to make these.

Supplies

wine corks

sharp kitchen knife

0.5 inch jewelry eye pins (I found these at A.C. Moore)

jewelry hoop with loop (20 mm) – I found this to be the smallest size available at the craft store but any size will work

needle nose pliers

gloss mod podge

small craft paintbrush

cutting board

1/2 inch craft punch

thick scrapbook paper (you will need four different patterns/items for four wine charms)

 

Here is a close-up of the eye pins you will need. If you are unable to find the correct length, just purchase longer ones and cut them down to the correct size using wire cutters. You just need them to fit inside the cork without sticking out the bottom.

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Here is a close up of the jewelry hoop with loop. Again, you may not find this exact size but it doesn’t really matter because these simply fit around the stem of the wine glasses. Get something as close to this as possible.

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To get started, you need to look through your wine corks and find some that don’t look extremely dried out. These will make the best wine charms for this project. Also, make sure you use real corks and not the plastic or rubber ones. Using your sharp kitchen knife, slice off the very end of the wine cork and discard. Next, cut four even slices of the wine cork. These will make four wine charms. I have found that I can get 4 circles out of one wine cork and so you will use one wine cork for a set of four wine charms.

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Now that you have your cork circles, you will want to put a good coating of mod podge right on top of the cork circles. Once these are dry, you will want to quickly put a light coat of mod podge around the edge of the cork (the sides). Let these dry completely and then flip them over.

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Next, take your 1/2 inch craft punch and punch out circles from your scrapbook paper .  Make sure you have four different patterns or items.

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Next, put mod podge on the unfinished side of the cork circles.  Then put mod podge on the back of the paper circle and press firmly onto the cork circle. Make sure to press the edges firmly down. Then coat the entire top of the circle with additional mod podge. At this point you will probably be concerned that everything is coated in white glue. But, do not be disheartened. The mod podge will dry clear and give it a glossy finish.  Repeat until all four circles are done.

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Once these have dried you’ll be ready to assemble the hardware. I have found that it is much easier to insert the eye pins using needle nose pliers but I have also done it by hand.

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Firmly grip the top of the eye pin and push it into the wine cork at the top. Make sure that you have pressed it all the way down and that the only part that is sticking out of the wine cork is the little metal circle. Repeat this for each cork circle.

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Now you will want to work with your jewelry hoops. You will need to bend the very end of the hoop with your needle nose pliers so that you create a way to hook it into the loop. You basically want to grip the very tip, possibly 1/8 ” or less, hold it firmly with the needle nose pliers. Bend the wire back toward you in a swift motion to create a very small 90° bend in the wire.  Now you will have a way to securely close your hoops around your wine glasses. It’s a bit hard to see the detail in the picture but if you look closely, you can see the bent wire right in front of the loop. This will be pushed up into the loop to secure it around the wine glasses.

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Once you have finished all four of these, you can hook your cork circles onto each one of the hoops and they are ready for use. Voila, you now have beautiful wine charms for your wine glasses!

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I really love how these turned out! Check out my polka dot wine charms that are great any time! These look really cute on my wine glasses. You can also turn these into adorable gifts by tying them onto a small piece of paper with a piece of raffia.

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Here are the ones I made for Christmas gifts! So, super cute!

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TOILET PAPER ROLL TURKEY

We’ve been making these fun Toilet Paper Roll Turkeys for several years and they are so much fun. You can make them as fancy or crazy as you would like. They make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table. img_4196

You will need empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls (cut to the size of a toilet paper roll).

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Begin by cutting a large, skinny triangle down toward the bottom of the roll, stopping about 1/4 of the way from the bottom. This will form the head of the turkey. It will look like this.

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Next, you will need to cut out and remove an upside down triangle from each side of the turkey’s head. These are exactly the same size as the turkey’s head but upside down. These can be thrown away. Here is what it will look like.

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Cut a triangle identical to the turkey’s head on each side of the opening that you just created. These will form the arms and will look like this.

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Once the arms are cut, you will cut straight lines down the back of the turkey, stopping at 1/4 of the way from the bottom (lining up to all your other cut marks). Cut lines about 1/4 inch apart. These will form the feathers for the turkey. Your roll should look like this now.

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Now for the fun part! Fold down the head of the turkey about halfway.

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Fold down each turkey arm all the way down to the bottom of the cut line.

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Push the back feathers outward with your hand to help fan them out.

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Paint your turkey all over in metallic paint (or any paint of your choosing).

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Once your turkey is completely dry, hot glue googly eyes and two small red pompoms to make the gobbler.
Voila! You have beautiful and fun turkeys to add to your holiday decor.

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10 SIMPLE ELECTION PARTY IDEAS

Need some last minute inspiration to throw an easy Election party for your family? If so, look no further! I’ve gathered some fun ideas to help you throw that perfect last minute party.

 

GAMES AND DECOR

1. Patriotic Banner

by Tatertots and Jello

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This America banner will look great hanging from your mantle or gracing your party room. Check out the full blog post here for the free printable.

 

2. Photo Booth Props

by Mama Cheaps

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These photo props by Mama Cheaps are great and although a few of them are specific to 4th of July, most of them can be used for Election day. These are worth printing out for adults and kids to use! Get the free printable here.

 

3. Flag Jars

by Left on Peninsula Road

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I love these flag jars by Left on Peninsula Road. They are simple, but best of all, I have all of these supplies already in my house and I bet you do too! Check out the full blog post here.

 

4. Easy Crepe Paper Backdrop

by Burlap and Blue

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This crepe paper backdrop by Burlap and Blue is amazing and so easy to make! Check out the instructions here. You will love adding this to your Election day decor.

 

5. Election Night Coloring Map

by Urban Bliss Life

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This Election coloring map by Urban Bliss Life is a great way to get your kids involved! Download the free printable here.

 

FOOD AND DRINKS

1. Patriotic Gin and Tonic with Berry Ice Cubes

by Tasty Bev

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This festive cocktail by Tasty Bev will help you make it through the night! Check out the full recipe here.

 

2. Blueberry Caprese Salad

by Love and Olive Oil

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This Blueberry Caprese salad by Love and Olive Oil looks delicious! Check out the full post here.

 

3. Red, White and Blue Burgers

by Tbsp

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I love this festive red, white and blue burger from Tablespoon. It’s a fun twist on a traditional burger and perfect for Election night. You can even make these as mini sliders!

 

4. Patriotic Fruit Salad

by Family Ever After Blog

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This fruit salad by Family Ever After Blog is healthy and a perfect way to use up all those apples you have in your fridge! Check out the full post and recipe here.

 

 

5. Election Day Cupcakes

by Oh Happy Day

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These cupcakes are a perfect treat! Check out Oh Happy Day‘s blog post here for the printable. To make things easy, buy plain white frosted cupcakes at your local store, add blue and red sugar sprinkles and top with cupcake toppers!

OUR THANKFUL TREE

I’m so excited about how my thankful tree turned out! You can make this in under 30 minutes and it will add a beautiful touch to your space.

When we first moved into our home, I added an antique table to the entryway that I found at Goodwill for just a few dollars. I decorated it with a large vase and branches from the Japanese maple tree in our front yard that we had just pruned. I had learned how to make crystal droplets at a crafting party earlier that year and decided to add some of these to my branches to add a bit of flair and fun to the entryway. I have loved this little space in my house so much! Sometimes it’s the littlest touches that speak loudly in your home.

Now that it’s Fall, I couldn’t wait to add a bit of Autumn touches all throughout our home. We finally finished putting in our hardwood floors downstairs and I cleaned all the dust (so much dust!!!!!). Really, I can say that I have not deep cleaned like that in a REALLY long time. But, that gave me even more motivation to start decorating. Here is the “after” of our new floors! EEK…..so exciting!

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Since I’m totally a Pinterest addict (yes, I admit it!), I started looking there for ideas first. I saw so many great autumn leaf tutorials on there but I decided that I wanted to make my own oak leaf printable for this. I’m really excited about how these turned out and I’ve decided to make the printable available to you here. leaf-printable-image-copy This project is simple to do. I printed my oak leaf template on white cardstock paper. Then I added a fun twist to create a beautiful and warm effect. I used a small paintbrush, a glass bowl, water and DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Rich Espresso (I think any metallic fall color will work though).

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I added a few drops of paint and water and mixed well. Adding water to the metallic paint will create a shimmery watercolor effect. Using my paintbrush, I painted over each leaf quickly, making sure to cover the entire leaf including the stem.

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I wiped the leaf with a paper towel to remove any excess paint and then repeated this step for each leaf. You will notice that each leaf is a slightly different shade which is wonderful!

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Once the leaves were dry, I cut them all out and gave a quick coat of paint to the backside of each leaf. Voila, I had all the leaves that I needed to create a beautiful thankful tree.

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Using baker’s twine, I tied each leaf to the branches in my entryway and secured with a small bow.

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This is a close up of the unique lamp that we added to our space. I fell in love with lamp that I found at Goodwill last year. It was really, really ugly at the time but the bones were good. Someone had created a lamp out of an old GE watt meter and it actually told you the wattage that you used when the lamp was turned on. I brought the lamp home and cleaned it thoroughly. I found the perfect new shade and finial to update this piece. Now it is a gorgeous addition to our entryway.

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And of course, my handknit pumpkin found it’s perfect spot on our newly decorated table! Did I mention that I love Fall and pumpkins???!!!!

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I found this beautiful “Oh, hello Fall” printable here courtesy of Thoughts From Alice and trimmed it to add to a frame that I already had. It was a perfect little touch!

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I absolutely adore this little nook under the steps in our entryway!

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RUSTIC FALL TABLESCAPE

You will love this simple and rustic Fall tablescape that is simple to make!

I absolutely love FALL!!! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons, but I think my love for it begins with all the decorations that I pull out once October arrives. It’s a wonderful time to reset my home after the chaos of summer and I add little touches all over my home.

I‘ll let you in a little secret of mine….shhhhh….. I have an obsession with pumpkins! Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! I love to place them all over our house in various displays. I buy them all year long and hide them in the attic so that my hubby doesn’t see that I bought even more pumpkins. Ha ha ha!

This year, I’ve created a rustic look for our dining room table to display the pumpkins and I absolutely love how it turned out!

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I started by using my “go to” table runner. Then I added a rustic mahogany board and added some of my many ceramic pumpkins and faux leaves.  You can find my tutorial for the rustic mahogany board here.

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I absolutely love how this tablescape turned out!

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RUSTIC WOODEN PLANK TUTORIAL

I’ve been really wanting to make a rustic wooden plank now for a long time and decided that this Fall, I would tackle this project. So, I drove over to Lowes and bought a simple pine board that measured 7 1/2 inches x 48 inches x 3/4 inch. This cost less than $8 to purchase and I already had the rest of the supplies on hand.

The first thing I did was to give the board a quick sanding with 120 sandpaper to remove any rough edges. I made sure to get all the edges too to create a more “softened” look.

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Next I dug out an old piece of chandelier chain that I had laying around and I started whacking the board with it. This part is so much fun!!!! The more dents, the better in this case. Your board will look great when it is finished, I promise!

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Here’s what it looked like when I was finished. All of these dents will make the finished board look old and rustic!

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The next step is to use a good pre-stain wood conditioner for wood. This is so important to ensure that you have a nice and even finish on your final product. I used Minwax Pre-Conditioner and applied it using gloves and a clean cloth. Simply wipe all over the board and allow to saturate for 5-15 minutes (I waited 15 minutes) and then wipe off any excess.

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Once the board seems dry (I just waited a few minutes), apply the stain. For this step I used Minwax Red Mahogany 225, an oil based stain. You can only use the wood conditioner if you are using an oil based stain.

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Using a clean cloth and gloves (don’t forget the gloves!!!), wipe the stain onto the edges of the board first.

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Then apply the stain to the top of board, making sure to go in the direction of the grain and pressing down into each groove and dent to cover all the wood with stain.
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Once I have stained the entire board and edges, I went back over the top quickly with a bit more stain to ensure an even coat. Then I allowed the board to dry for several hours.

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You can add a polyurethane coat to the board when you are finished. Make sure to follow the instructions on the can of Minwax Polyurethane for proper technique and drying time.  You can use this rustic wooden plank tutorial for many different projects. I used this board to create a rustic Fall tablescape in my dining room.

Check out my finished product! I love how it turned out! Find the full post here.

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