03rd May2013

Infused Tequila and Cocktail ideas for Cinco de Mayo

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Jalapeno Pineapple Collage

Infused tequila is very simple to make and needs just a few ingredients.   Today I want to share how to make a roasted pineapple and jalapeno tequila recipe in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  Then, I will share four cocktail recipes that include your freshly made infused tequila!  These recipes are: 1) Roasted Pineapple Margarita, 2) Blood Orange Margarita, 3) Strawberry Jalapeño Margarita, and 4) Mango Jalapeño Margarita.  These fruit inspired cocktail recipes are perfect for your Cinco de Mayo party! Enjoy!

How to Make Infused Tequila: Roasted Pineapple & Jalapeño Tequila recipe

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Reposado Tequila
  • 3-5 jalapeños, washed and whole
  • 6-8 Fresh Pineapple (½-¾ inch thick spears)
  • 1 clean jar

Instructions:

Peel and slice the pineapple in spears about ½-inch thick or thicker. Don’t discard the core; just slice it along with the rest of the pineapple.

Grill the whole peppers and pineapple spears. Over medium heat, lay the peppers and pineapple directly on the grates. Grill until peppers have grill marks and are beginning to soften, taking care not to overly char them. Keep pineapple on grill until they’re nice and brown. Flip both the peppers and pineapple over to grill the other side. Grill another few minutes and remove from grill and into a clean glass container.

When cool, remove the top of the stem part from the pepper. Slice the pepper in half. Place the pineapple spears and jalapeños into the jar. Pour the tequila over the top and cover. Let rest for two weeks in the refrigerator. After the first remove the peppers and discard. I would avoid shaking mix while it sits.

If you prefer less heat, remove the seeds from peppers before adding into the jar. Also, there is no need to spend too much on your tequila choice. I used a reposado, the vanilla and cinnamon notes was what I was looking to add. However, silver tequila will work wonderfully.

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Infused Tequila Cocktail Recipes:

Roasted Pineapple Margarita recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Infused tequila
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • ½ oz. Fresh Orange Juice
  • 2 oz. Sour Mix

Instructions:

Build drink in glass you will be serving cocktail in. Add Grand Marnier, lime juice and tequila to the glass. Then, add ice, sour mix, and orange juice. Transport all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a salted rim highball glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Blood Orange Margarita recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Infused tequila
  • ½ oz. Solerno Blood Orange liqueur
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • ½ oz. Orange Juice
  • 2 oz. Sour Mix
  • Dash of orange bitters

Instructions:

Build drink in glass you will be serving cocktail in. Add Solerno Blood Orange, lime juice, bitters and tequila to the glass. Then, add ice, sour mix, and orange juice. Transport all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a salted rim highball glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Strawberry Jalapeño Margarita recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Infused tequila
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • 2-3 Strawberries, muddled
  • Dash of grapefruit bitters
  • 2 oz. Sour Mix

Instructions:

In a shaker muddle berries.

Add in agave syrup, bitters, and fresh lime juice. Then, stir items in shaker with a spoon. Add Grand Marnier, sour mix and tequila to the shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Mango Jalapeño Margarita recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Infused tequila
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • 3-4 Mango cubes, muddled
  • Dash of grapefruit bitters
  • 2 oz. Sour Mix

Instructions:

In a shaker muddle mango.

Add in agave syrup, bitters, and fresh lime juice. Then, stir items in shaker with a spoon. Add Grand Marnier, sour mix and tequila to the shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a salted rim highball glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMARTRock 2013!!Be Safe!!DON’T DRINK & DRIVEHappy Cinco de MayoViva Tequila 

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30th Apr2013

How to Make a Citrus Floating Candle

by Dinah Wulf

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My brother was on Facebook the other day and a friend of his posted a picture of how to make a candle from an orange.  I thought that several of these citrus floating candles would be perfect for an evening summer party centerpiece. We were visiting our dad recently and decided to try it out in his kitchen. Here is a quick tutorial on how to make a citrus floating candle.

Materials:

  • Orange
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon
  • Cooking oil
  • Water
  • Bowl or vase
  • Lighter

Step One: Cut an orange in half.

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Step Two: Using a spoon, scoop out the orange leaving the center pith of the orange is intact. This will be used as the wick.

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Step Three: Pour cooking oil into your orange. Any cooking oil like vegetable, canola, or olive oil will work.

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Step Four: Carefully light your “wick”.  It may take several seconds to light (longer than a regular wick). Note: We sliced the bottom of our orange so that it would not roll.  Be careful not to pierce through the bottom.  You do not have to do this if you are going to place it in water.

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Step Five: Place your floating candle in the desired vessel with water.

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Ta-dah! We used a medium sized orange.  We were able to burn the candle for about three and a half to four hours.  Be careful if you are doing this project with your kids!

 

10th Apr2013

Cardboard Box Photo Booth

by Dinah Wulf

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I know Easter is officially over (hope you had a great one!), but I wanted to share this fantastic Cardboard Box Photo Booth idea from a friend of mine.  This is such a great upcycle and it’s perfect for any party, especially for kids.

My friend had a box from a large flat screen TV which was the perfect size for a photo booth for small children.  She saved it and realized that she could make a two sided photo booth for an upcoming spring party she was planning.  The larger the box, the better, of course!  She cut out one side, and covered the entire box in white paper.

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On one side, painted an Easter theme with a bunny, egg tree, grass, and Easter eggs and cut out holes for your head in the shape of a balloon and an Easter egg.  She painted more Easter eggs and glued them on to add dimension.

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On the other side, she cut out two sections and used two picture frames as a border.  She decorated it with bows and pinwheels from the dollar store.

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The party guests had a great time posing for pictures.

This Cardboard Box Photo Booth could go with any type of theme party, the possibilities are endless!  Consider draping it with material, covering it with patterned gift wrap, or painting it.  You can also place a box or basket of photo props like hats, boas, funny glasses, and masks.  I may have to steal this idea for my daughter’s birthday party this year!

 

29th Mar2013

Easy Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Plastic Easter eggs are EVERYWHERE during this time of year.  They are probably one of the most inexpensive, if not THE most inexpensive Easter decoration you can purchase at a retail store.  You can buy an entire bag for less than a dollar!  Being the cheapskate I am, I wanted to think of some Easter egg decorating ideas, particularly with plastic Easter eggs, because, well… I’m cheap.  Here are some fun and easy ideas that you can do in a jiffy just in time for Easter this coming Sunday!

Make a plastic Egg Garland.

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Unsnap each plastic egg and snap them back together around a ribbon to create your own Easter egg garland in minutes.  Hang it on a mirror, on your mantel, or use larger ones and drape them on your stair railing.

Embellish them with ribbon.

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Using some glue, ribbon, and rhinestones turn rather drab store bought eggs to fab store bought eggs that you can take out and use again next year.

Make a wreath.

Plastic Egg Yarn Wreath

Talk about a complete transformation!  Cover them in yarn and make a yarn Egg Wreath just like this whimsical one from The Sweet Survival.  I love how she used both small and large eggs.

Display them in glass jars.

easter-decorating-ideas

Gather similar color hues and display them in apothecary jars or vases.  Don’t be afraid to mix them up with natural glass fillers to match your décor.

Add your own artwork.

Sharpie plastic eggs

I may have saved the best for last!  Alisa Burke, took an ordinary plastic egg and used Sharpies to decorate her eggs. Mix the tops and bottoms when your done for a fun look!

Before you go, check out this 2 minute tutorial for a spring address wreath I made for Joann Fabrics!

 

14th Mar2013

Arrowhead Holiday Water Bottles

by Dinah Wulf

Holiday Bottled Water Collage

Did you know about Arrowhead® 100% Mountain Spring Water’s ReBorn™ Bottle made with 50% recycled plastic? By recycling more, you’re helping us get closer to our goal of making our 500mL ReBorn™ bottles with 100% recycled plastic! This isn’t Arrowhead’s first environmental initiative. And it won’t be our last. In fact, Arrowhead has a long history of treating Mother Nature right.

  1. The new Reborn bottle material that can be recycled again and again, so there is no end to its usefulness.
  2. Arrowhead preserves and protects their carefully selected natural spring sources (and acres surrounding them) to sustainable sourcing of our waters
  3. Arrowhead uses LEED certified facilities to utilizing wind turbines for renewable energy
  4. Arrowhead is constantly improving packaging

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Join Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water in the recycling movement today!

I am so excited to have partnered up with Arrowhead in this recycling movement.  I wanted to share some creative ways to use plastic water bottles.  I had made this pineapple candy holder to give away as a gift but with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter coming up, thought I’d make some cute water labels for the get-togethers I’ll be attending.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Arrowhead® 100% Mountain Spring Water’s ReBorn™ Bottle
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Ribbon
  • Holiday stickers
  • Circle craft punch
  • Tape or glue

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I cut 9”X1.5” strips of paper or ribbon to fit around the Arrowhead bottle label and used tape to secure it.  I embellished the bottle with stickers and used circle craft punches for the medallion in the center.  These are inexpensive and easy to make and will add a little extra fun and personality to your St. Patrick’s Day and Easter get-together.

Join me and show your support for Arrowhead’s recycling efforts!  

A big THANK YOU to Arrowhead for sponsoring today’s post!

 

12th Mar2013

St. Patrick’s Day Craft: Pot of Gold

by Dinah Wulf

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Being a known craft hoarder among my circle of friends, I am often given a craft challenge.  For example, my friend Amanda gave me a sandwich bag of coin wrappers and I made flowers out of them.  Most recently, my friend Jenny gave me some baby food jars.  With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner I decided to make a little chalkboard paint pot of gold with chocolate coins to give out as a gift or use as a favor.  Here is a St. Patrick’s Day Craft: Pot of Gold.

Materials:

  • Recycled baby food jars
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Toothpicks or BBQ skewers
  • Cotton balls
  • Gold ribbon
  • Green ribbon
  • Any small craft punch related to St. Patrick’s Day or Springtime (I used a flower)
  • Glue
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Chocolate gold coins
  • Colored paper scraps in rainbow colors

First, clean remove the label with warm soapy water and dry your jars.

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To make the banner, punch out two of each color and use glue to attach it to your green ribbon.  Tie the ends to your toothpicks to make a small banner.

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Line the edge of the jar with gold ribbon by gluing it and glue on cotton balls to form a cloud on top of the lid.  Hot glue the sticks to the lid of the jar maneuvering it until it is sturdy.

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Paint the jar with chalkboard paint using a paint brush.  I painted my jar with two coats, allowing one hour in between coats.  Let the final coat of chalkboard paint dry for 24 hours, allowing it to cure before writing on it with chalk.

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Write the recipient’s name on your jar, or “Happy St. Patrick’s day” and fill it with gold chocolate coins!

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06th Feb2013

Recycled Pringles Can Gift Kits

by Dinah Wulf

I have seen a few Pringles can cookie tins on Pinterest.  They are cleverly wrapped and hold the perfect sized cookie.  I’ve seen them wrapped with Christmas paper complete with a bow and I’ve seen them wrapped like a Mummy for Halloween.   These lovely ideas inspired me to create these Recycled Pringles Can Gift Kits with a “pull me” tag and ribbon.  The long vertical shape is perfect for this.

Pringles Can Gift Kits

Here are the cans I used.

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I made these nail kits for a teenage girl is four easy steps.

STEP 1: Choose your gift.

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STEP 2: Make a “pull me” tag.

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STEP 3: Tie all your gifts together with ribbon.

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STEP 4: Insert them into your decorated Pringles can.

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Other Gift Kit Ideas:

  • Sushi Theme- chopsticks, sushi mat, soy sauce dish, packet of soy sauce, instructions on how to make sushi
  • Movie Theme- different types of candy and movie tickets
  • Spa Time Theme – loafa, travel sized soaps, bubble bath, bath wash, foot scrub, sponge
  • Tool Kit – screw drivers, nails, other tools
  • Sewing Kit – needles, thread, scissors, buttons
  • Makeup Kit – brushes and makeup
  • Creative Kit for Kids – crayons, markers, paints, brushes, stickers
  • Travel Theme – travel sized toiletries, tooth brushes
  • Puzzles – puzzle pieces and a photo of the completed puzzle
  • Bachelorette/Bachelor Party Kit- small liquor bottles, shot glass, cards, vail, sash, temporary tattoos, fun straws, games, etc.
  • Fourth of July- fill it with sparklers, snaps, matches
  • General- fill it with holiday themed candy and decorate accordingly

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials!

What else can you do with a Pringles Can???

 

04th Feb2013

Valentines Day Craft DIY Garland

by Dinah Wulf

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This Valentines Day Craft DIY Garland is a fun and easy activity for kids.  It’s very easy to do and involves using recycled materials.  I always seem to work that in my crafty projects!  This was another one of those quick crafts that I made with items I already had.  My daughter and I always try to think of projects to do during the day and she had a blast helping me.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Paper scraps (I used pink and red)
  • Old book pages
  • Paper cutter or scissors (preferably a paper cutter because it would be a pain to cut all those strips!)
  • Double sided tape
  • Felt (I had felt craft birds from the dollar bin at Michael’s Craft Store)
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue

We cut several strips of paper and book pages into one inch wide strips in three different lengths with a paper cutter.  OK, I completely forgot to measure the lengths but if I had to guess I would say 6”, 7” and 8”.

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Fold each strip in half.

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Next, using a small narrow piece of double sided tape, bend the curve of the heart in and tape the ends together.

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It will naturally form the perfect heart shape.

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We decided to layer the large (red) and small hearts (book pages), attaching with double sided tape.  Using a hot glue gun, I glued a small felt bird with a gemstone eye to the tip of the heart.  If you can’t find felt craft birds, you can always cut and make them yourself with a simple bird silhouette and felt.

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We punched a hole in the last two hearts, and tied ribbon to it.

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We attached the hearts together with tape and voila!   You have a whimsical recycled heart Valentine’s Day banner.

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{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

28th Jan2013

DIY Candy Valentines with a Free Printable

by Dinah Wulf

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Even though my daughter is not yet old enough to be in school, I thought it would still be fun to come up with some DIY Candy Valentines with a Free Printable for my DIY Inspired readers.  I figured my daughter and I could pass the ones I made for this post out to friends and loved ones.  I have done a candy sayings post in the past to help cheer up my husband when he hurt his foot last year, so if you need more inspiration or want to use different candies check out that post.  If you like these, please help yourself to this free printable!

DIY Candy Valentines with a Free Printable

Here are the sayings that I used this time.  I tried to be creative and funny.  Let me know what you think!  If you have other ideas, I’d love to see your sayings in the comments below.

  • Fruit Snacks – “Orange you berry happy I’m your Valentine?”
  • Blow Pop- “Life without you would blow.”
  • Almond Joy- “You bring me so much joy it’s nuts!”
  • Chiclets- “You’re a sweet chick.  Will you be my Valentine?”
  • Pop Rocks- “You Rock, Valentine!”
  • Whoppers- “You’re a Whopper of a Valentine.”

I used favor bags, scrapbook paper, and ribbon to embellish them.  Double sided tape makes it easy to assemble.  Here are a couple more photos.  I had a lot of fun making them.

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I hope you print them out! Enjoy and don’t forget to leave your candy sayings!

***Bonus alert! I am so excited to share two more bonus Valentine’s Day crafts from my friends, Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box and Barbara from Chase the Star!***

Here is Barbara’s adorable Valentine’s Day Banner!

Vday Banner Cover

And here is Loren’s cute Cupid Felt Valentine’s Snow Globe!

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Happy Crafting!

 

 

25th Jan2013

Budget-Friendly DIY Valentine’s Day

by Dinah Wulf

Valentines cookies

This Valentine’s Day, don’t spend money on cliche roses and boxes of chocolates. For a fraction of the price you can make your own gifts, foods and fun decor. Here are a few ideas for a Budget-Friendly DIY Valentine’s Day.

Gift Ideas

Love Coupons: You can find love coupons at the store for $12 or more. But you can make your own for a few bucks by using scrapbook paper, embellishments, stamps and markers. Take a hint from Ed Young and make a coupon to spend Valentine’s Day in bed. His book “Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse” details a challenge of spending a week in bed together and encourages more sex. Pastor Young said in an interview with Stephen Colbert that sex is the “Super Glue of marriage.”

Valentine-Gram: This simple and cheap Valentine’s Day gift idea turns an ordinary brown bag into a fun valentine-gram.

Directions: Take a brown paper bag and stamp or write any sentiment you wish. I prefer “Be Mine” with hearts. Once you’ve done that, fill the bag with candies, treats, lip balm or anything else you wish to put in the bag. Fold the bag so it closes and use a small hole punch to punch two holes on the middle of the fold. Use bakers twine or red ribbon to tie the bag shut.

Love Card Deck: There are a million reasons why you love your significant other, but you can express to them 52 reasons by using a deck of cards. This fun romantic gift will be a card scrapbook of sorts, and once he plays cards with his buddies he can read your reasons of love at the same time. This project is free if you already have a deck of cards!

Directions: Write 52 things you love about your man think about trips, special events, pets, favorite gifts. Use a fine tip Sharpie pen and write one reason one one card. Repeat this process until you have written on every card. For an extra personal touch print out a few small photos of you guys and tape them to the box.

Sweet Treats

ValentineS’more Bites: These little bite-size S’mores will transform the traditional campfire classic into a little piece of Valentine’s heaven. These delicious treats will have you wondering why you never made them this way before.

Recipe Courtesy of SomewhatSimple.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Dipping chocolate
  • Heart shaped marshmallows
  • Heart shaped cookie cutter
  • Sprinkles

Directions:

Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Spread them evenly onto a foil lined 9″X13″ pan, press down firmly and place into the freezer for an hour. Use a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out graham cracker hearts. Next, dip the very bottom of the marshmallows into melted dipping chocolate and place them on top of the cut-out graham cracker crusts. Once cool dip the whole thing back into the dipping chocolate, place on wax paper and top with sprinkles.

Holiday Dcor

Love Wreath: This fun and simple wreath only costs a few dollars to make and will be a fun and romantic addition to any space. All you need is a heart-shaped foam wreath (any size will do, it just depends on how big you want your wreath), a paperback book (or vintage sheet music, magazines or vintage books), glue gun and glue sticks, and some distressing ink. Idea courtesy of Makelyhome.com.

Directions: Tear out some pages and distress the edges with some distress ink. I like to use an ink with a vintage, rustic brown color but you can use any color you choose. Next, roll your paper into any method of your choosing. . . cone, ribbon, circle, or any other way you like to fold the pages (You can see paper-folding tutorials anda variety of ways to roll the paper).

After rolling the page, apply some glue at the end of the roll and glue it to the wreath, make sure all the distressed edges are facing up. Apply pages around the whole wreath in one layer. Once you’ve completed your shape, flip the wreath over. That will now become the bottom layer. Continue rolling pages for your wreath and fold a little tab on the bottom edge and apply glue to the tab. Always finish one layer before moving to the next.

Once you reach the inside of the wreath glue pages to the inside and place as many pages as you wish. Once you’re done you might need to go back and fill in some sections. Use a piece of ribbon and attach it to the back of your wreath for hanging.

11th Jan2013

Decorating After the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

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I don’t know about you but I love decorating for Christmas.  I even had two Christmas trees this year (side note: this year my daughter is two and she asked me if Santa was going to put presents under both trees…doh!).  Anyway, after the New Year and I take down my decorations, I always feel like the house looks so bare. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d write a post about some ideas for decorating after the holidays.

Inexpensive Glass Fillers

As you can see by the photos in this post, I have apothecary jars all over the house.  They are so convenient, and I have to say a great investment for your home décor.  By simply changing the contents, you add instant style to your surroundings.  Here is a photo of these jars during Christmas at my house.

Decorating for Christmas

Winter Floral Arrangements

To be honest with you, I NEVER bought flowers until I moved into my house last February.  Now, thank you to the past residents I have beautiful flowers to pick and prune to display in my home.  Consider colorful winter flowers such as pansies or snap dragons.  Put them in Recycled Mason Jars or tin cans for an inexpensive display.

Vintage and Flea Market Finds

I heart vintage flea markets! I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty great ones.  Look for items such as old ice skates, wooden sleds, or galvanized tubs to add to your décor.

Incorporate Winter Colors

My favorite winter color (or lack of color!) schemes are an all neutral and white pallet, gray and white, or silver and white.  There is a certain sophistication in those combinations that I love.  Are those too stark for you?  Think cozy, warm, deep colors like deep purple or red.

Decorating after Christmas

Use Natural Elements

Did you know that pinecones, branches, and acorns are free??? I steel them from my neighbors all the time!  Display them in pretty bowls or glass vases and jars… easy and did I mention free???

 

Enter your email address:Thanks for reading!

 

28th Dec2012

Kids Craft Ideas New Year’s Noise Makers

by Dinah Wulf

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (2)

Ever since I had my little nugget, New Year’s Eve hasn’t been quite the same.  Since it is extremely difficult to find a baby sitter on this popular night out, we have had to fit our little one into our New Year’s Eve party plans.  My friends who also have young kids will likely get together to celebrate the New Year at one of our homes.  To keep the little ones busy, I decided to think of some kids craft ideas.  This year, I thought it’d be fun to make New Year’s noise makers out of recycled items from around the house to help ring in the New Year.

Step One:

Gather your recycled containers.  Any plastic or cardboard box will work.  Make sure it’s small enough for little hands to hold and shake.  Check the kitchen, bathroom, and pantry.  I used a cracker box, soup can, medicine box, and aspirin bottle.

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Step Two:

Gather your embellishments.  Think vibrant, glittery, metallic, and bright…anything fun for the New Year!  I used glittered animal print scrapbook paper, neon paper, and glittered craft foam numbers.

Step Three:

Gather your noise making materials.  Look for anything around the house.  I used bottle caps, paper clips, elbow macaroni noodles, and coins.  The bottle caps make a nice chime sound in small cardboard boxes.

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Step Four:

Gather some basic craft materials like glue, tape, scissors, rulers, pencils, and craft punches and let the kids have at it! My daughter loved helping me.  She is learning to count so she had a great time counting each macaroni noodle or bottle cap and putting them in the box.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (3)

 

25th Dec2012

Merry Christmas 2012

by Dinah Wulf

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

24th Dec2012

Silent Night: Christmas Eve Sleeping Tips for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

Christmas Eve Sleeping Tips for Kids

For children, going to sleep on Christmas Eve can be difficult. After all, there is much to be excited about. For parents, it may be difficult to remember those days when all you could think of the night before Christmas was what Santa may possibly leave under the tree. If you are having difficulty in getting your children to sleep on Christmas Eve, there are a few tricks that you can try.

During the Day

  1. Keep them active – Keeping children active during the day will help to ensure that they are tired enough to actually go to sleep despite all of the excitement. Plan activities for the day of Christmas Eve and ensure that they get plenty of exercise.
  2. Don’t Overdo – Your children are bound to be excited but you can help to curb that excitement just a bit. Try not to overdo stimuli that could promote anxiety. Moderate your activities and try to avoid anything that may make your children, particularly younger children, a bit more anxious than they need to be.

During the Evening

  1. Warm bath – A warm bath is just the thing that your children need to relax them before bedtime. If you have a normal bedtime routine, stick to it. Altering from that routine can cause even more excitement which can be difficult for children to overcome.
  2. Warm milk – Warm milk is another great way to make them sleepy before bedtime. Milk has tryptophan in it that causes sleepiness so offering them a glass with a Christmas cookie after dinner can help them to fall asleep sooner.

At Bedtime

  1. Let them sleep – You may be tempted to keep reminding them that Santa is on his way but this may only lead to their restlessness. Try to avoid bringing on any more excitement. Simply close their bedroom door and allow them to drift off.
  2. Let them start early – It is customary in many households to open a gift on Christmas Eve. If this is feasible, allow your children one gift before bedtime to help curb their excitement. They will be thinking more about the gift that they opened than those that are soon to come and will fall asleep faster.

There is no right or wrong way to put your children to bed on Christmas Eve. If you are concerned about them falling asleep, get them up early on the morning of Christmas Eve or use any of the steps above to help calm their excitement and promote a better night’s sleep.

This article was provided by The Odd Mattress Company. Get more tips for a good night’s sleep by visiting their website today.

 

 

 

22nd Dec2012

10 Creative Ways to Display Your Christmas Cards

by Dinah Wulf

Martha Stewart Christmas Card Displays

It’s that time of year when our letterboxes are inundated with little gestures of goodwill in the form of Christmas cards. For many of us, these cards tend to accumulate in a pile on the sideboard, but giving them pride of place around your home is easy and can become an interesting part of your festive decorations. Here are 10 Creative Ways to Display Your Christmas Cards.

1. To display your Christmas cards with minimal effort, just slot your cards in the picture frames and mirrors around your home.

2. For an interesting way of displaying cards with objects you can find around your home just tie a piece of string across the door frames and use pegs to secure the cards in place – a little Christmas card washing line!

3. Many shops also sell ready-made card-hangers to which you can simply fasten your cards. Keep a look out in your local store.

4. Fasten a little piece of ribbon to each of your cards and hang them around your home. Put a rustic-looking tree branch in a big vase for an interesting place to hang your cards.

5. If you have an empty wall, stick your cards to make the shape of a Christmas tree or a star. This can make a great feature for an otherwise un-used space.

6. Tie ribbon around your cupboard doors and use safety pins or paperclips to secure your cards in place.

7. If you have a pin board in your home, this makes for an easy space to display your cards. A cork board can easily be covered with wrapping paper for that extra festive feel.

8. Attach ribbon to a coat hanger and hang your cards anywhere in the house!

9. If you have garlands running around your fireplace or staircase these can make a great place to hang your cards.

10. If you have window shutters in your home, or an old pair hanging around, you can slide your Christmas cards into the grooves.

Hopefully these ideas will give you a bit of inspiration this Christmas. Many Christmas cards have such beautiful designs it would be a shame not to display them!

 

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21st Dec2012

Puerto Rico’s Eggnog Coquito Punch Recipe

by Dinah Wulf

coquito

If you would like to try something different from the Christmas eggnog that you prepare every year; I suggest you try the Coquito. Puerto Rico’s eggnog and it is delicious. Traditionally it is served in Puerto Rico during Christmas, New Year and The Three Kings Day. However, it’s also a great celebration drink for any occasion. Here is Puerto Rico’s Eggnog Coquito Punch Recipe.

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Happy Holidays••• Feliz Navidad•••Feliz Año Nuevo!!!
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Coquito Recipe (Puerto Rico’s Christmas spiked eggnog):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Coconut Cream
  • 1 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Dark Rhum
  • 1 cup Spiced Rhum
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 4 Egg Yolks, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish.

Instructions:

Boil the water and the cinnamon sticks, then allow to cool to room temperature (don’t forget to remove cinnamon sticks). In a blender or food processor combine the coconut cream, evaporated & condensed milk, salt, egg yolks and vanilla, and blend at high speed for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth. Add the dark rhum, spiced rhum, orange liqueur, and cinnamon water; blend for a few seconds longer until ingredients have blended completely. You need to add the water because it will get thicker later in the refrigerator. This is also the best time to taste and add more rhum (rum) if you wish to have a stronger batch. Pour the coqui into a glass container, preferable bottles (easier to pour into glasses at time of service). Refrigerate the coqui for 4-6 hours, or until it is thoroughly chilled. Remove from refrigerator about 15-20 minutes (if too thick) before serving, then shake bottle well. To serve, pour the Coquito into a chilled parfait or punch glasses and sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg.

In a pinch martini or short juice glasses will do :)
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Whenever using an electric blender or food processor always check the manufacture manual to verify safety precautions and or you can crush ice safely when using ice or any hard food substance.
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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!HaPpY HoLiDaYs!!!

Check out all of David’s FANTASTIC cocktail party recipes!  Find the perfect one for any occasion.

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