Sunday, December 21, 2014

Best of Elf on the Shelf 2

I'm in deep with Elf on the Shelf. I look at photos online for at least 30 minutes a day. Is there a helpline for this? Well, I am enjoying it and my child's reaction each day, which is why I do anything anymore. Check out these ideas.

Holding onto an empty toilet paper roll.

Rice Krispie cereal snow angel.

Candy sprinkles snow angel.

Crafted snowflakes from Q-tips.

Baking up a storm in the kitchen.

Hanging out of the ice dispenser.

Happy hiding!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick Teacher Gift

With just one day to go, I went to Dollar Tree and picked up four different chocolate truffle candles and a decorative box. It is a great Christmas gift. And what teacher do you know who doesn't love the smell of chocolate?

Remove candles from packaging.
Place candles in cupcake liners.
Place all in box and top with a sweet note:

"Enjoy these sweet smelling candles. Happy Holidays!"
"I found candles as sweet as you!"
"We all need chocolate to get us ready for second semester."
"You're the sweetest teacher!"

Last Minute Wreath

If you're entertaining like I am, you have to decorate beautifully for Christmas. My go-to color scheme is white and gold with small hints of red.

This last-minute decoration will be perfect for greeting guests.


It could not be easier! Using a round piece of foam, place mini marshmallows on toothpicks and press toothpick ends into form.

Finish it off with a ribbon and bow to hang.

I love this idea for hosting children. This can be done with a mix of mini and regular marshmallows. 

Think of other ways to decorate with these sweet white clouds:
  • Jumbo marshmallows become small snowmen when put on toothpicks or skewers. 
  • Mini marshmallows can line the bottom of a clear glass candle holder and topped with a flame less candle. 
  • Fill a bowl with jumbo marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey chocolate bars for a s'mores station. 
  • Dip the bottom of marshmallows in melted white or dark chocolate and crushed candy canes. 
The list goes on and on!

Happy Holidays!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fast & Easy Asian BBQ Sauce

This is my fast and easy go-to for BBQ sauce! In a desperate need to make chicken, I searched for a sauce recipe with ingredients I already have. Ketchup is the best base for the sauce, and I like the flavor from soy sauce. So, try this recipe for your next cookout.

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, optional
2 tablespoons mustard, optional
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon canola oil

Mix all ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for several weeks or more.

For less tang, omit mustard and Worcestershire sauce. The sweeter the better!


Easy Gifts to DIY

Things can get pricey around the holidays, everything from decorations to gifts. I want to give gifts to the people I really appreciate. Since I know a lot of coffee and tea drinkers, here are a few gifts you can DIY or purchase to make them happy.

The Mr. And The Mrs. Mugs

Sweater Koozie

Donut Mug - hard to diy, worth buying

Large marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate, rolled in crushed mint candy, and topped with small candy cane. Perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Chocoate Mint Brownies to go along with the mug - melt down Andes chocolates and add to batter

Happy gifting!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Best of Elf on the Shelf - Hiding Places & Mischief

Are you a part of the Elf on the Shelf community? I bet you are. We are all just loving parents who keep hope and Christmas magic alive in our children. After searching the web for the best hiding places and mischievous positions, I share them with you here. Which one is your favorite?

Spa day

Pooping Hershey kisses on cookies.

Candy poop in toliet.

Mini marshmallow bath in sink.

Cold/flu elf on tissue box bed.

Elf turned toilet paper rolls into snowman with marker.

Sugar snow angel.

Popping out of cereal box.

In kissing booth surrounded by Hershey kisses.

Hanging off top cabinet wearing a cape made from a coffee filter.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Decorating - Thrifty And DIY

I realized that it takes very little money to decorate your home for Christmas. It will cost you less than $10 and lots of creativity.

1. Wreaths

Dollar Tree sells snowflake ornaments in glitter. Glue them in a circle or on a thin piece of cardboard or forum board, also from Dollar Tree. Hang up with pretty ribbon.

Candy is in large supply, so glue some onto a wreath. I cut out a wreath shape from a pizza box and glued candies on top, but I prefer to keep candy in the wrappers. This DIYer hot clued mints to a foam wreath.

This is one of my favorites tape together candy canes and hang with string. I will make this tomorrow!

Accordion fold book pages or coffee filters and adorn with embellishments.

2. Pinecones

Take pine ones from outside and add nail polish. I prefer gold or silver glitter polish.

Perfect to decorate with.

Hang with ribbon from kitchen pulls and doorknobs.

Hang in multiples with pretty ribbon. Screw in small hooks to the bottom of each pinecone.

Dot with white nail polish and glue to a wreath form. Add a ribbon and look elegant.

3. Fridge

Decorate your fridge to look like a snow man. Cut circles from black construction paper and attach with double-sided tape. Use large buttons glued to magnets. Use whatever you have handy.

Glue magnets to regular round tree ornaments. 

Simple burlap or ribbon in the fridge door looks great. Adhere thin magnets to the ribbon, or use strong  tape. I like the idea of adding small wreaths or bows to the cabinet doors.

4. Ornaments

Cover plain or mismatched ornaments in nail polish.

Glue white cupcake liners to a foam ball and use around your living room or hang on the tree.

Vases and apothecary jars are great for snowy vignettes. Spread out cotton balls at the base and top with ornaments.

Tie ribbon around each dining or kitchen table chair. Add some pinecones or sweet bells.

Hang cotton balls on string and tie a knot in between each to prevent slipping. You could also glue them in place. Use as garland anywhere.

Keep presents wrapped in coordinating colors. I wrap empty boxes and decorate the home with them. Very cheap and lovely. Stack boxes for a great effect. I use shoe boxes and cereal boxes.

Find butcher or brown paper at Dollar Tree and dust fake snow on top. You could also glue glitter to the top of each present.

Have a merry time decorating for Christmas. Spend money on the gifts and feast, not the decor!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cheap Tax Documents Storage

I am constantly updating my orgranizing systems. First, I was loyal to binders. Binders all over the place. Then, I swore by manilla folders in crates with nice labels. Now, I have fallen in love with simple folders that force you to not over do it with paperwork.

I found these great folders at Big Lots for $2 a piece.

They are made by BridgePort. These 10-pocket folders are great because you don't have to hole punch a single sheet. Plus, you don't need sheet protectors. Each folder is poly and flexible.

Two pockets on each page, front and back.

Thick enough to hold all your important tax documents. Buy one for each year. Always keep your taxes going back 7 years. A relative was audited last year and he wishes he had listened to this tip.

I will move my documents in folders into these 10-pocket folders. I will store them in the crates that are holding my manilla folders now.

Life is all about improvement. Always improving.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

DIY Office in a Box

I have a feeling that you collect these flip-top Nike shoe boxes too. Am I right? I just love them. I have seen them covered in fabric, wrapping paper, and washi tape. I will cover mine in Duck Tape. In the meantime, I had to organize it. It was a catch-all for, well, everything. I dump my purse out in it when I get home. I had a ton of receipts, rubber bands, hair ties, discount cards, envelopes, stickers, and my label maker. Oh, you don't carry around you label maker? Must just be me.

This is what I started with:

Then, I did this:

Instead of it being my catch-all in the kitchen, it is my little "office in a box". I have flash drives, pens, earplugs, stickers, envelopes, and my lovely label maker.

Have you made an office in a box? Let's share.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Junk Drawer Organization

I just moved to a new city and state, and none of my storage space in my new apartment is like all my storage space in my old house. I downsized from 2,000 square feet to 900 square feet, so I am trying to cope.

The junk drawer is always a hassle. It won't open well, it won't stay shut, or you can't find anything.

Dollar Tree to the rescue! I purchased plastic skinny storage containers and poster tack (putty) all at the dollar store. For less than $5, I have this now:

No labels needed. Each container had very little in it. One for pens, index cards (used for shopping lists), measuring tape, tape and stapler, mini flashlight and box cutter, and letter opener and hole punch.

Simply cut a dime-size chunk of poster tack. Place it on the bottom corners of your containers. And, place the container in its rightful spot. When you open the drawer, nothing moves or jingles. So nice!!

Let me know what you've done to tame your junk drawer.