Easy Mini Winter Scene in a Cloche

by Dinah Wulf

Mini Winter Scene Cloche (2)

I think I have an obsession with all things mini and pretty things inside glass cloches. For example, I recently made these DIY Snow Globe Ornaments and these Mini Winter Forest in Vintage Tea Cups. I also made a few centerpieces like my Easy Gold, Black, and White Pumpkins DIY and for a bridal shower I made these Mad Hatter Tea Party Centerpieces & Ideas. Today for Craft Lightening, I wanted to share a simple fifteen minute Easy Mini Winter Scene in a Cloche for your Christmas decorations.

Here’s what I used:

  • Mini Trees
  • Mini Clock
  • Unfinished Wooden Bench
  • Paint Brush
  • Black Craft Paint
  • Printed Scrapbook Paper
  • Scissors
  • Fake snow

First I painted the little bench. I used what I had and painted it black. You can also stain it a darker wood tone as well (I had some stain but it dried out! Whoops!).

Mini Winter Scene Cloche

I found some scrapbook paper that I had that looked like newspaper. I cut out a small rectangle and then folded and rolled it to look like a mini newspaper to lay on top of the park bench.

Mini Winter Scene Cloche (1)

Desn’t it look cute? I thought it was a nice extra touch.

Easy Winter Scene in a Cloche

I put some fake snow on the base of my stand and made the little arrangements with three sparkling green mono trees I got last year to use for my winter forest display.

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Here it is! Super easy and took minutes. I realized the clock isn’t to the exact scale, but I thought it still looked cute. It was on sale anyway!

Easy Mini Winter Scene in a Cloche

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Be sure to visit the other blogs participating in Craft Lightening this week and head on over to our hosts, Country Chic Cottage and 30 Minute Crafts for more 15 minute Christmas ideas!

If you want to see some of my other 15 minute Craft Lightening crafts you might like:

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Easy Winter Scene

My Craft Room: Inspiration, Creativity, & Tradition

by Dinah Wulf

This article, My Craft Room: Inspiration, Creativity, & Tradition, is sponsored by IKEA. All opinions are 100% my own.

Craft Room - IKEA

My craft room is more than just a craft room. It’s a place of inspiration, a place of creativity, and a place of tradition. My daughter and I spend a lot of time in there. I keep it as well organized and neat as possible, and everything has its place. Over the past few years, I have shared my craft room sanctuary on my blog and social media and I have received several emails and messages with questions. So, I thought I’d share it all with you today.

A Place of Inspiration

When we first moved into this home and I found out I had an entire room devoted to crafting, I knew where I wanted to go to buy the furniture.  In fact, the furniture for this room was my Christmas present one year. Since I keep an IKEA catalog handy at all times, I knew what pieces I wanted to buy right away.

This is the view from the door. The table and shelving unit are from IKEA. I knew that if I had both beautiful and functional furniture, I would have no problems getting inspired.

Craft Table and Storage (1)

This is the view from the other side of the room.

Craft Table and Storage (3)

The table top is the perfect size for not only the room, but to spread out all my materials to do my projects.

Craft Table Top

A Place of Creativity

For me to have creative mojo, my supplies have to be in order and organized. Every pen, paint brush, and glue stick, has a special spot. I raided IKEA for different sized storage boxes to keep all my supplies in.

Craft Room Storage (2)

Craft Table and Storage (4)

Craft Table and Storage (2)

I also added magnets to small containers for smaller notions that I hang on this magnetic board attached to the side of the shelving unit.

Magnetic Board

I opted to add the drawers and doors to the shelving unit as well. I changed the knobs and decoupaged the front of the drawers with recycled maps.

Craft Room Storage (3)

For my sewing machine and sewing supplies, I bought a rolling kitchen cart that fits everything beautifully.

Craft Room Storage (4)

Here is the list of items in my craft room you can purchase at IKEA:

Furniture

Storage

A Place of Tradition

I think the best part of this room is that I get to share it with my daughter. Since we have lived here, we have created some new traditions sparked by our creativity. During the holidays, we make handmade Christmas decorations and ornaments every year together.

The last time I was at IKEA I found this fabulous white felt wreath. They have so many great holiday decorations this season.

Felt Poinsettia DIY  (2)

I made some felt poinsettia’s to embellish it. To make the flowers, cut ten small petals for each flower. Glue them together in groups of five to form a flower. Glue two groups together. Lastly, glue or sew on small beads or pearls for the center of the flower.

Felt Poinsettia Tutorial

I pinned three of them onto the wreath.

Felt Poinsettia DIY  (1)

Here is the result. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a beautiful addition to our Christmas decorations this year. I’m even thinking of making more to give as gifts.

Felt Poinsettia DIY  (3)

It’s amazing to me that one room could inspire so much. I look forward to many more early mornings and late nights in there creating new projects and traditions with my daughter.

Special thanks to IKEA for sponsoring this post.

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Last year was the first year to participate in this fun family Christmas tradition.  If you missed any of my other easy Elf on the Shelf ideas posts, here they are:

This time, I wanted to share some ideas that I actually did for my daughter last year, but didn’t get a chance to post (partly because I didn’t want to irritate you with a FOURTH Elf on the Shelf post last year). Here is the post of the others I actually did last year as well. All ten of these ideas take little to no effort except for one (No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt) which I have a tutorial you can check out.

Our elf had a couple run-ins with some reindeer that were chasing her.  The first she climbed up some books and onto some red ribbon and the second they chased her up a mini holiday tree.

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With a little bit of tape, you can have your elf, hang onto a stair rail or peep over a mirror.

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If you have already received some Christmas cards from friends and family, you can create a little tent for your Elf.  When my daughter found this one she said she needed a blanket and pillow… details details! I wonder where she gets it?

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This was one of my favorites. Our Elf crafted up a little skirt using some felt she found in my craft room {tutorial}.

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Here are four for those nights I was in a hurry or almost forgot!

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More Elf on the Shelf:

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

Easy Christmas DIY Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Easy Christmas DIY Ideas

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a time that I cherish tradition and time with family and friends. It’s a time of inspiration and creativity for me. I enjoy coming up with creative ideas for holiday décor, Christmas ornaments, and handmade gifts. Just last year I introduced the Elf on the Shelf tradition to my daughter when she turned 3 years old so now that is a whole new obsession as well! I thought I’d put together a round-up of easy Christmas DIY ideas of things I’ve done in the past. I hope you find some inspiration among these posts and tutorials.

Here you will find ornaments made from recycled items around the house, holiday party ideas, simple home décor ideas, and a couple easy DIY gift ideas… oh… and that dreaded and beloved Elf! Enjoy!

Tote-ally Awesome Tote Bag

by Dinah Wulf

Tote-tally Awesome Tote Bag

Today I just wanted to share a great deal going on at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores right now! These Tote-ally awesome tote bags are available at Jo-Ann for $9.99 with a minimum $30 in-store purchase! I have to say, they are the perfect size for so many things this holiday season.

I have several out-of-town family members staying with us this year; my mother and father in law, my brother and sister-in-law, and their three kids. I am SO excited about it. This is also the time that Mia’s cousins have visited us at our house ever and their first time in sunny California! Needless to say, we have a lot of things planned. This tote bag will definitely come in handy.

It’s the perfect size to…

  • Use as an overnight bag on short excursions.
  • Use as a beach or picnic bag (the weather is still amazing here in CA).
  • Carry gifts and toys to our friend’s holiday party.
  • Use as a carry-on for the plane on their way home to Wisconsin.

So don’t forget to stop by Jo-Ann’s to get your holiday decorations and crafting supplies and pick up a tote or two. They come in a few colors to choose from as well!

Oh! And don’t forget to down load your Jo-Ann’s app on your smart phone so you can use the coupons when you check out… I’d be lost without mine…

Thank you to Jo-Ann’s for sponsoring this post and sending me my very own tote-ally awesome tote bag!

Need some Christmas projects to inspire you?

Mini Winter Forest in Vintage Tea Cups

by Dinah Wulf

Tea Cup Christmas Decor (3)

It’s the little things like this that make me happy… a good deal, an old treasure, a stranger’s artwork. I found these two little vintage tea cups at a thrift store. They stood out like sore thumbs in a sea of saucers, other tea cups, and coffee mugs. I picked them up without a thought and put them in my cart.

Here they are… so pretty and dainty.

Vintage Hand Painted Tea Cups (2)

Vintage Hand Painted Tea Cups (1)

I looked closely and saw they were hand painted by someone named G Harris. It made me smile. I’m not sure if they are worth more (or less), but the $2.99 price tags made me happy. I couldn’t find anything online. I purchased them, excited to bring them home.

Vintage Hand Painted Tea Cups G Harris

I had some fake snowflakes and craft trees left over from the DIY Snow Globe Ornaments I made. I decided that they would look cute in these tea cups… why not? With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it be a very cute addition to my holiday décor.

Winter Forest in Tea Cups

Tea Cup Christmas Decor (2)

Here are a few other photos.

Winter Forest in Vintage Tea Cups

Tea Cup Christmas Decor (1)

Winter Forest in Hand Painted Tea Cups

It’s a simple and unique décor idea for the holidays. Hopefully somewhere out there G Harris will be happy knowing their tea cups made it to a good home!

Need some more Christmas projects to inspire you?

DIY Snow Globe Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Snow Globe Ornament (6)

I have always wanted to try to make these, ever since I made my winter forest in my apothecary jars last year. I’m sure there are several ways to make them. The way I tried it, worked pretty well, and I did this project is just a few minutes. Here is how I made my DIY snow globe ornaments.

Materials:

  • Large plastic ornament balls
  • Small craft trees
  • Chopsticks
  • Glue stick and glue gun
  • Artificial snowflakes
  • Funnel
  • Ribbon
  • Twine
  • Scissors

I found these little trees in green and white.  There are so many different kinds. Just make sure they will fit through the ornament ball opening.

DIY Snow Globe Ornament

Carefully pinch one tree from the top, until you feel you have a good grip on it. For me, it took a couple adjustments.

DIY Snow Globe Ornament (2)

Carefully add a dab of hot glue on the bottom of the tree. Quickly and carefully, place your tree inside the ornament. When working with plastic and hot glue, it attaches right away, so once the glue hits the plastic, there is only about 2 seconds (literally) to place and adjust.

DIY Snow Globe Ornament (1)

Repeat until you are satisfied with your mini forest.

DIY Snow Globe Ornament (3)

Using a funnel, fill your globe with artificial snowflakes.

DIY Snow Globe Ornament (4)

The chopsticks come in handy to help push the snowflakes into the ball. Gently shake the globe to get the flakes to spread out evenly.

DIY Snow Globe Ornament (5)

Tie ribbon and twine to your ornaments.  These would make great Christmas gifts or even a neighbor or teacher gift.

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Here are a couple after photos.

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Here are a few other DIY ornament ideas:

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt

by Dinah Wulf

Elf-DIY-Apron (4)

If you love the Elf on the Shelf tradition at Christmas time like I do, you know where I’m coming from on this post! Being the Crafty Mom I am, one night last year, had Josie our elf make her own no sew Elf on the Shelf skirt. I felt that Josie was a little naked with no clothes AND I wasn’t about to spend $10 on a pre-made skirt at the store.

She does look a little naked here doesn’t she? This was one of her antics last year:

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If you missed any of my other Elf on the Shelf idea posts, here they are:

To make the apron you only need three items:

  • Red and white felt
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue and glue gun (OK four items…)

Instructions:

Cut out these three shapes out of the felt.  I literally “winged it” on this one as far as the pattern and size goes. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I actually used felt scraps. You don’t need much for that tiny Elf waist!

Elf-DIY-Apron

I used a hot glue gun (because it’s quick and easy) and glued it together like this.

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I tied it around her waist as shown.

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It turned out great and the red and white felt match her perfectly.

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Here’s what I set out the night Josie made her own skirt for my daughter to find the next morning.

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More Elf on the Shelf:

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

The Ultimate Holiday Hostess Gift Idea

by Dinah Wulf

Ultimate Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas (10) (650x487)

This post, The Ultimate Holiday Hostess Gift Idea, is sponsored by Rich Product’s Give Bakery Because. It’s Gifting Made Delicious. campaign. All opinions are 100% my own.

Each holiday season, we all spend a considerable amount of time going to holiday parties. But figuring out what to bring for the party hostess can be a daunting task that ultimately ends with the purchase of the traditional bottle of wine or box of chocolates. This year, be the hostess gift hero! Create a unique breakfast basket full of baked goods and other goodies that the hostess can enjoy the next morning. Better yet, visit the bakery department of your local grocery store to find a variety of treats that can be gifted. With simple creative packaging, a baked good can become a personalized (and delicious) gift that will make hostess’s day a little brighter. It’s simple, easy and affordable—no baking required!

I found these cookie jars at the thrift store for next to nothing. 

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After I washed and cleaned them, I decorated it with green burlap ribbon and red felt ribbon.  I made a tag that says “thank you for everything”, and tied it on along with a pretty glass Christmas ornament.

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Next, I went to the bakery of my local grocery store and bought some fresh baked goodies. I bought a variety of bagels, croissants, and rolls.

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I filled each cookie jars, which kept them fresh.

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Now for the ULTIMATE hostess gift…you can include your goody-filled cookie jar in a basket with champagne and orange juice for mimosas, and even some champagne glasses (plastic will do!).

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Now, after weeks of party planning, and a successful party night, your Host or Hostess can enjoy breakfast the next morning thanks to you!

Looking for more homemade hostess gift ideas? Try these!

Thank you to Rich Product’s for sponsoring this post! Be sure to visit the Bakery Because Pinterest page for more inspiring ideas!

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition

by Dinah Wulf

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Last year was my first year doing the Elf on the shelf tradition with my daughter… and I LOVED it.  I think I went a little crazy! Ha! Some of you love it and some of you can’t stand it and I am proud to say I am a part of the former.  In fact I shared three posts on it last year and they were shared thousands of times in just a few days! I couldn’t believe it.

If you missed any of my other Elf on the Shelf idea posts, here they are:

I didn’t, however get to share my final night of our visit from our elf, Josie. I’ll share some others from last year soon as well. Josie left some cookies and Mia a little note that said:

Dear Mia,

Thank you for being a good girl this year. I hope your Christmas is full of cheer. I made you these cookies for you to enjoy. I’ll report back to Santa to bring you a toy! Merry Christmas!

Love, Josie

This is her when she found it that morning.

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To make the “cookies” all I did was wrapped a small piece of cardboard in foil to look like a cookie sheet.  Then I placed four gingerbread man cake embellishments I found at Walmart (they come in a package of 12).

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My daughter ate them that day. When we came back from the store later, Josie magically made another batch for her when we returned!

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More Elf on the Shelf:

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas – This post shows the first night our elf showed up and nine other adorable ideas including a letter our elf wrote after a day of my daughter misbehaving.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

Recycled Carton and Straw Treat Box

by Dinah Wulf

recycled-carton-valentine-treat-boxes

Being a craft hoarder at heart, I went to throw away this juice carton and in mid throw I stopped myself. I decided to myself up to the challenge and upcycle it. I stared at it for a bit and stared some more. After a few minutes knowing that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner I willed myself into a trash to treasure making a Recycled Carton and Straw Treat Box.

Materials:

  • Clean milk or juice carton
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Straws (the pretty paper kind!)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Large plastic treat bag
  • Ribbon
  • Washi tape

Here’s the juice container that taunted me.

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I cut it in half by measuring and marking with a pencil and ruler and cutting with a craft knife.  I measured about three inches from the bottom. I washed and dried my new box… oh and the craft knife and ruler too because they got sticky (apparently I didn’t rinse out the carton well enough).

recycled-carton

The straws are a little over seven inches, so I ended up cutting them into three and a half inch pieces. To make it easy, I used the ruler each time and cut.

upcycled-straws

One by one I hot glued each straw to the carton. You can kind-of-sort-of create a pattern by arranging the stripes as you go. Make sure you know which side you want to show before you add the hot glue since it dries so quickly.

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A large treat bag fits perfectly over the treat box. I filled it with Valentine’s day heart shaped cookies from my bakery (no I didn’t make them!). I closed the top with a little bit of fun patterned washi tape and tied a pink ribbon around the outside of the plastic bag.

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There you have it! Instant treat box! You can use these for any holiday or occasion and switch up the straw colors. I thought that this one would be cute for Christmas as well. 

Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece

by Dinah Wulf

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You KNOW I love a good Mason jar craft.  I’ve even done a round-up of Mason Jar Crafts in the past. Most recently, I glittered some for to look like candy corn for Halloween and Fall. This time, I wanted to come up with something quick and easy.  Specifically, I wanted to make this Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece because it was a great décor piece to transition from Christmas to New Years. As an added bonus, it only take about 15 minutes to make!

Here’s what I used, but you can make any variation to fit your décor.

Materials:

  • Mason jars or Recycled sauce jars
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Raffia and twine
  • Tea lights
  • Silver serving platter
  • Gold and silver ornaments
  • Tea light holders

My favorite jars to save are the Classico sauce jars (notice I don’t have any recipes on this blog… yes, I use sauce in a jar a lot of the time!) They come in a couple sizes and they are pretty without the label. Also, the label comes off SUPER easily. All you need is a little hot soapy water and the abrasive side of a sponge and you are good to go!

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I sprayed the jars upside down in a well-ventilated area. I only needed one coat for these.

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The jars look plain but I wanted to add a little raffia and twine to the top.

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I found the platter and ornaments at the 99 cent store… SCORE! I thought it turned out quite nice for a 15 minute craft project!

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Check out more of my Mason Jar Crafts!

 

Three Holiday Party Tips with The Bouqs

by Dinah Wulf

Thank you to The Bouqs for sponsoring this holiday party tips post. All opinions are 100% my own.

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When hosting a dinner party, there are several tips that I personally like to keep in mind.  Today, I wanted to share some Holiday Party Tips with Bouqs. Why Bouqs? Here are three reasons:

  1. The Bouqs cut only what they sell. Other providers source from a supply chain that sees 1 in 3 stems wasted. Across hundreds of thousands of bouquets a year, that’s a lot of wasted land, resources, labor and fuel. They cut only when you order and avoid the waste.
  2. The Bouqs also save energy through their direct-from-the-farm supply chain. The standard supply chain must keep stems cold for up to 2 weeks, meaning hundreds of hours of refrigeration and the associated energy use. They use cold storage for only 4 days from the Volcano, and not at all from California, resulting in a lot of energy savings.
  3. Finally, The Bouqs farms provide living wages, childcare, healthcare and adult education. And their growing business supports farm communities, so you can feel good about shopping The Bouqs Company’s flowers.

Not only does Bouqs source only from eco-friendly, sustainable farms that respect the environment and their workers, the process of ordering and delivery experiences are great too.  I have never received flower delivery quite like this.  The flowers were packed in a way that they cannot get damaged.   

Holiday Party Tip #1

Make serving convenient.  I created a mini self-serve salad bar as the first course.  Not everyone likes all the toppings, dressings, and vegetables you like. Let your guest make their own combinations. You can also do this with dessert bars as well. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. I just used a small long and narrow tray.

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Holiday Party Tip #2

Fresh flowers are THE BEST centerpiece, in my opinion when you host parties. I have had two parties so far and my bouquet is still lasting and pretty! You can use them not only on the dinner table, but everywhere in your home. I chose the yellow-green, Hydrangea Antique with Green Solidago for my centerpiece.

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Holiday Party Tip #3

Think simple when it comes to small details to make your party stand out, intimate, yet won’t kill you! I simply placed colorful festive scrapbook paper under the plates as a charger.

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I also used small photo frames as name cards.  Just print the name on your computer and add a glittery backing.

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Love what you see about The Bouqs and want to brighten your or a loved ones holiday table? Create an account to receive a 20% off promo code, then order your favorite Bouq for your holiday table or to give to a loved one. Also, The Bouqs wants you to spread the love! Refer friends to Bouqs and they get $10 off their order and you receive a free Bouqs for every two friends that make a purchase.

Enter The Bouqs Giveaway! Win 12 Months of Bouqs!

Register to The Bouqs to receive their 20% off discount code and browse the site to see all of the great Bouqs you can give as a gift to a gracious host or to use to decorate their table for a party.

To Enter:

Answer below in the comments: WHO would you gift a Bouqs to, WHY, AND which Bouqs would you choose? Leave a link or the name of the Bouq. Make it a great comment because that’s how the winner is chosen!

The contest ends on Monday, December 23rd at 10am PST. The winner will be announce the winner at 3pm PST Monday, December 23rd.

Good Luck!!

Thank you to Bouqs for sponsoring this post!

Preparing Your Home for Holiday Entertaining

by Dinah Wulf

I LOVE entertaining, especially for the holidays. Every year my best girlfriends and our families get together for an annual Christmas party. In fact, I plan weeks in advance for every detail to make my home warm and inviting for them every Christmas. There are always a few things I keep in mind while preparing my home for holiday entertaining.

Deck the Halls

Oh boy!  One of the reasons I love entertaining is because it’s a great excuse for decorating… I literally DECK the halls, the staircase, the mantel… EVERY room! Showing off my crafty touches excites me (I’m such a Geek).  I of course have to start with the front door. The hanging pinecone wreath was one of my favorite tutorials last Christmas.

This year I’m adding a small tree in addition to the big tree filled with homemade vintage inspired ornaments like these.

Last year I made this Holiday Joy Wreath that I put up to decorate the coat closet door.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I think soft music playing in the background is a must to help get your guests in a festive mood while you are entertaining and holiday music is my fave!  This past Friday at 3pm, a local radio station started playing non-stop Christmas music. Oh how I counted down the minutes! They will play it all day every day until Christmas. Guess which station all the radios in my house are tuned to?

Sweet Holiday Treat™

Every season Glade® comes out with fantastic seasonal scents.  This year, they have a special scent, Sweet Holiday Treat™. Talk about Indulging in the irresistible scent of rich cocoa, toasted nuts and creamy caramel! I love scented candles like this burning throughout the season.  I like to light them in the evening during my parties to not only make my home smell great, but to create a comfy ambiance through the candle light.

Additionally, Glade® has a product for every moment. Every Glade® product brings true-to-life fragrance into your home, while the wide variety of devices assures there’s one for all your life’s needs. Some additional scents are:

  • Glade® Apple Cinnamon CheerTM
  • Glade® Sparkling SpruceTM
  • Glade® Pure Vanilla Joy
  • Glade® Frosted Berry Kiss

Sweepstakes Alert!

Real Simple is running a Glade® sweepstakes from November 14th to December 16th {here}. One hundred winners will receive a $10 Target GiftCard to purchase a Glade® Winter Collection product, plus a copy of Real Simple Celebrations!

Christmas is right around the corner!  I hope these tips help with your next holiday party!

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Mason Jar Teacher’s Survival Gift Kits

by Dinah Wulf

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My daughter is only three years old but she is in her first year of pre-school. So, this is the first time she’s really had teachers AND the first time I’ve gotten to make a teacher’s gift for the end of winter break. I decided to break out the good old recycled Mason jars and make Mason Jar Teacher’s Survival Gift Kits for her teachers, Mrs. Shelly and her assistant Mrs. G.

Materials:

  • Mason jar per gift
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Paper cutter
  • Double sided tape
  • Paint
  • Brush
  • Circle craft punch
  • Computer and printer (optional)
  • Felt ribbon
  • Gifts (see below)

I started off by using two spaghetti sauce jars.  I had to REALLY wash them because they smelled like sauce!

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I decided to buy some fun small things to fit inside like, candy, mints, gum, note pad, pen, lip balm, mini lint roller, hand sanitizer, lotion, and band aides. The possibilities are endless for this gift.  Gift cards and movie tickets are great too.

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Next I designed, printed, and cut out my scrapbook paper to cover the jars. Since they are pre-school teachers I picked little blue mittens and red stockings for my decorative paper.

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I stuffed the jars and everything fit nicely.

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I added them to the jar and painted the lid blue and used a circle craft punch to cover the top with corresponding paper. I love the combo of blue and red.

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Finally, I used felt ribbon to mimic a scarf for the ribbon around the lid. That’s it! I thought they turned out so cute.  I really hope Mrs. Shelly and Mrs. G love them!

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Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

OK, so I warned you on my first Elf on the Shelf post that I may be posting 2-3 Elf on the Shelf posts! I SWEAR this one is my last one (for the year…hee hee).  If you missed my first two here they are:

Both of these posts I wrote as inspiration to myself as to ideas I could do for my first year of this awesome tradition with my three-year-old. This post is what I’ve actually done this year (some of the ones in the previous posts I ended up doing too). If you follow me on Instagram you already saw these. So here we go!

The first night Josie showed up, she came in on a sleigh and reindeer.

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That day, for some reason, my daughter was having the WORST day of crying, whining, and tantrums.  SO, the next day Josie showed up with this letter from Santa:

                Dear Mia,

                Josie was watching and said you were bad. She told Santa and it made him sad. You better shape up and all will be fine, if you want toys at Christmas time.

              -Santa

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She saw this and shaped up! She has been pretty good so far!

Here, Josie roasted mini marshmallows with a couple of Mia’s stuffed toys.

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The next day she took a “bubble” bath in mini marshmallows on our stove in a pot.

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She got creative this day and ate some candy and a made little mini toy car out of a mini candy bar, marshmallows, toothpicks, and a Starburst.

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Josie was kind enough to sweep up the pine needles from the Christmas tree. Too bad she couldn’t get the dog hair!

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Josie enjoyed the SoCal sun this day.  She laid on a kitchen towel and borrowed some toys (water bottle, blanket, Frisbee, and basket.)

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Josie played dress p and raided the jewelry, mirror, and comb in Mia’s purse (Yes, my daughter is SUPER girly).

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Josie played a trick in our guest bathroom and had some fun with the toilet paper.

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Lastly, Josie (the Elf UNDER the shelf) made a swing out of some left over ribbon and a toilet paper roll.

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More Elf on the Shelf:

Ten Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas – From being chased by reindeer to building a fort with Christmas cards, these ten ideas are clever, but simple.

No Sew Elf on the Shelf Skirt – The Elf on the Shelf clothing you can buy at the store is so expensive. This is a quick and easy no sew tutorial for how to make an apron skirt for pennies.

The Elf on the Shelf Tradition – I wrote this after my daughter’s first year of Elf on the Shelf. This post includes a cute goodbye letter for the final night, including a special “baked” tray of mini gingerbread cookies.

Two Dozen Easy Elf on a Shelf Ideas – Two dozen ideas that are helpful, especially when you forget and need a quick move!

Elf on a Shelf Ideas – This is the first Elf on the Shelf post I ever wrote and includes 7 ideas incorporating my daughter’s toys and games.

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