Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Can't Miss Post-Christmas Deals

I love post-Christmas deal shopping. Christmas clearance racks can be a gold mine for items you use routinely throughout the year. With the big move only a few weeks away, I'm laying off stocking up this year, but if you're out making returns or picking up a few gifts Santa forgot to bring for you, take a quick swing through the Christmas aisle for these sweet deals:

1. Gift wrap and ribbon
Gift wrap is expensive! But, you can get gift wrap and ribbons/bows for 50-75 percent off after Christmas, and there are several options that people will never associate with Christmas. If you don't believe me, check out the photo below - all three roles for 50 percent off after Christmas.

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Do you really think Christmas comes to mind when you use silver wrapping paper for a wedding gift in June?

2. Storage containers
A couple of years ago I made a haul on clear, plastic storage containers that were all 65 percent off simply because they had red or green lids.

3. Window clings
Window clings can be an inexpensive way to add a little Christmas touch to everyday items when you decorate next year. I actually got this idea from my mom, who uses window clings to decorate containers in her kitchen. As a bonus, storing window clings is much easier than shorting a bunch of Christmas-themed containers that you only use one month out of the year.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pampering in a Jar

I have three great ladies at work who support projects I work on, and I wouldn't survive most days without them. I was trying to think of a way to show them my appreciation when I came across this idea on Pinterest - Pampering in a Jar.
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I included socks, bubble bath, lip balm, hand cream and chocolate.

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It was a small gesture to show my appreciation, but will hopefully provide them with a little pampering. They certainly deserve it!

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Check out The Gunny Sack for more unique gifts in a jar. They are all easy and affordable, perfect for last minute gifts. The site even has free printables for your jars!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ribbon and Bead Necklace

I'm less than a week away from my 30th birthday, and trying to come up with a clever treat to bring to work on birthday. The only thing I could find was a bouquet of suckers with a tag reading, "30 Sucks." But, I'm looking forward to my 30s, so I'm instead leaning toward bringing a collection of 80s snacks

Speaking of birthdays, my friend Melissa is celebrating her's tomorrow. I usually sew her something in honor of our shared nostalgia over sewing 4-H projects. With my sewing machine hiding behind a mountain of boxes I have in storage. I had to find an alternative this year. I decided to go with a beads and ribbon necklace.

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These are really easy to make. You just need a needle, embroidery thread, ribbon and beads.


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My other ribbon and beads necklace just wrapped the ribbon differently around the beads. The purple one was slightly easier. With the green necklace, making sure that the length of ribbon between each bead is equal was a little harder than with the purple one.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Sprite Christmas Gift

This is the last of the gifts I made for my mom give for her secret Santa program at school. It would be a great last-minute gift for a neighbor. Simple attach a label to a bottle of Sprite that reads, "I hope your holidays are merry and 'sprite.'

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Speaking of holidays that are merry and bright, I'm kicking off my hard-core holiday celebrating this weekend with Christmas baking with mom on Saturday.

On Sunday, Blake and I are going to a potluck and play. Blake's teacher is in A Christmas Carol and has graciously invited students on the nursing college board to come to the play at the Mayowood Stone Barn and enjoy a potluck at his home beforehand. The barn was originally owned by one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic, and I really wanted to have our wedding there. Unfortunately, it was out of our price range, so I'm really excited to have the opportunity to visit the Mayowood Stone Barn. I think it will be a magical place to watch a Christmas play!

Blake's been bragging up the pineapple stuffing he's bringing. He isn't known for his cooking abilities, so hopefully it turns out for him.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reindeer Bath Set

This is such a fun idea and I've been excited to share it all week! This reindeer set is so easy to make kids could do it as a gift for teachers.

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Take a bar of soap (I used a fancy, lavender scented one), wrap a washcloth around it and secure with a rubber band. Make antlers our of pipe cleaners and secure with the rubber band. Attach eyes and nose with washable Elmers glue (that way it washes away and they can use the washcloth). You could easily cover up the ugly rubber band with a red ribbon, but in my current living situation, I couldn't easily get to my ribbon - it is tucked away in a giant pile of my belongings in my parent's basement.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Button Christmas Tree Ornament

Up next in the affordable, easy to make gifts is an ornament that I assembled in less then 10 minutes. 


All it required was three green buttons of different sizes, 5 pearl beads, a star button (I couldn't actually find a star, so I opted for the glitzy button above) and fishing string.  String them on and tie it up. That's all there it to it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snowman Chocolate Bar: Affordable, Easy to Make Christmas Gift

Next up is a Hershey bar dressed up like a snowman.


I simply wrapped the Hershey bar in white paper, made a scarf with embroidery string and card stock paper for the nose, eyes and mouth (used a hole punch to make circles). I found these on Pinterest and they originally came from non other than Martha Stewart. There is also a Santa version.




In non-craft related news, Blake and I got to meet the owners for the home we're buying in January. They have done a great job of maintaining the home, and I'm afraid we'll disappoint them! Among the domestic things my new home is forcing me to learn to do is taking care of cork flooring (which will be delightful for baking marathons), redecorating a 70's era home (we have wood paneling in the basement) and gardening (yikes!).

Blake is thrilled because we are getting bar and a bumper pool/poker table with the house. Neither is exactly aesthetically pleasing, so it increases my decorating challenge. But, he is thrilled!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa-tizer: Affordable, Easy to Make Christmas Gift

We don't do secret Santa's at my workplace, but my mom and her colleagues do. As I'm still living with my parents and this stuff is right up my alley, I asked if I could take over gift creation duties! This week I'm going to be featuring, the gifts I've put together for her to give to her co-worker, who happens to be a teacher. So, many of these gifts would also be great for your child's teacher or even a neighbor.

First up is Santa-tizer.


As you've probably guessed, this is just hand sanitizer wrapped up to look like Santa with card stock paper and black ribbon.

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