Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

2012. In just a matter of hours it'll be over. How about a look back at the top posts of the year?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Paint Chip Brooches

Last last-minute project of the year! We'll be heading down to the beach tomorrow afternoon to ring in the New Year. Since it'll be freezing cold down there, we'll be bundled up instead of dressed up. To add a bit of glam {and glitter} to our NYE outfits, I made these simple Paint Chip Brooches:

Grab your quick-drying glue, glitter, and a couple of coordinating paint chips and we'll get started!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Insta Replay - Christmas Edition

Your mind is not playing tricks on you, it is in fact Thursday but why not have a belated Inta Replay Monday anyhow? Especially when the goods include all of our Christmas Cheer.


Quinn bear. Jack the Elf & Santa. Milk & cookies for Santa

Presents under our tree. The Mr & I at The Nutcracker. Enjoying the snow!

Christmas breakfast. Winter wonderland. White Christmas. The Mr. and our nephew.

Did you post any holiday themed photos to Instagram? If so, follow me so I can check them out!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thank You Card Printable

After a day like yesterday, I'm sure we all have a lot to be thankful for. What better way to end The 25 Projects of Christmas than with a Thank You card?

Feel free to print one out for you or the kids to use this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Today is truly a day for joy, laughter, love and togetherness. While I did my best to remain wireless for the past few days, I wanted to take a minute to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and blessings galore in 2013. 

I hope your holiday was full of all things merry and miraculous. And to quote my favorite Christmas tale, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Our Christmas Party Spread

Tonight we will be having 30+ of our closest friends and family over for a holiday shindig and I could not be more excited. I'm a little stressed too but I can't help it... we haven't had people over since our rehearsal BBQ last year... geez! I thought that sharing our menu for the night would be an ideal second to last post of The 25 Projects of Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How To: Perfect Felt Bow {no sew!}

I finally wrapped a present. Yes, *one* present. Later tonight I'll wrap all of them but until then, I wanted to share project number twenty-three of The 25 Projects of Christmas: a tutorial for how to make the perfect felt bow. This can be used as a super simple gift topper, a brooch, or a hair accessory.

All you need is a small scrap of felt (double the width of the size bow you want) and a glue gun. I think we can all manage those few things.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gummy Bear Holiday Favors

Need a last minute treat for the kids' holiday festivities at school? These little snack packs are the perfect way to dress up everyone's favorite candy all while wishing their friends a very merry Christmas. Number twenty-two of The 25 Projects of Christmas are Gummy Bear Christmas Favor packs. 

All you need are my printable tags, some clear pillow boxes, and green/red gummy bears. How's that for easy? You could even put the gummy bears in some snack sized ziploc bags if you only have those on hand.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas Photo Mat

'Twas the Night Before Christmas was always my favorite Christmas story. When I was in kindergarten, we performed it for our parents and grandparents and ever since then, I've memorized every single line. Yep. Every. Single. Line. Quiz me, I dare you. Whenever I forgot the reindeer names, I'd go back and recite the poem instead (how crazy is that?). With Christmas only 6 days away, we are on the home stretch of The 25 Projects of Christmas. Number twenty-one is a festive way to frame your photographs -- a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Photo Mat

It's the perfect accompaniment to my favorite holiday picture of the Mr. and I. I think this would look adorable framing your babies on Christmas morning or sleeping on Christmas eve. Read on for how to make one for yourself!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Embellished Headwarmer & Glove Gift Set

Do you ever come across a really awesome tutorial and just know that you have to try it? That's the way I felt a few weeks ago when I saw I am Momma Hear Me Roar's rolled felt flowers. I couldn't figure out where I wanted to use them but I knew I would. When I stumbled upon a plain headwarmer and set of gloves in the dollar section at Jo-Ann's, inspiration struck. Number twenty of The 25 Projects of Christmas is the perfect last-minute DIY gift: an embellished headwarmer and glove set.

In a matter of minutes you can transform some dollar store finds into something worthy of gift wrap.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Insta Replay Monday #13

Oh happy joy! That's not my usual greeting for a Monday but I'm using a full day of PTO and boy am I glad to be home for an extra day. Since I've got a ton of prep to do for the holidays and our Christmas party, I'm not really sure it's going to be a 'day off' but it'll be awesome nevertheless. I can't believe that Christmas Eve is a week away -- this time next Monday, I'll be prepping for an amazing afternoon in the city to see the 25th Anniversary showing of The Nutcracker. There are so many things to get done this week: cookies to bake, holiday specials to watch, presents to buy, and cards to send. 

Let's get to last week's instagram recap so we can get this week off to a productive start. 

Not going to share what I'll have in store for you this week but I can guarantee it'll be awesome! Check back tomorrow!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quick & Easy Appliqued Pencil Case

I've mentioned it before, and I'll mention it again -- I {heart} felt. It's soft, it's durable, and it never frays. In a world of fabric and fiber, it reigns supreme in my book. As a last minute stocking-stuffer for one of my favorite little girls, I added a fun woodland shape to a fabric pouch I got from the Target dollar section. Number nineteen of The 25 Projects of Christmas is quite the multipurpose gift!  

This little bag is perfect as a pencil case, makeup bag, coupon pouch, etc.  Read on for how to make the easiest no-sew applique ever!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Winter Wonderland Printable

I needed, yes needed, a winter wonderland printable for my office at work. Rather than search one out that had the colors and what not that I needed, I made one. Hopefully it'll be just what you wanted for project number eighteen of The 25 Projects of Christmas

You might be reading that and saying, "Jess... It goes Walkin' in a winter wonderland, not working." Yeah, yeah. I know. I told you I needed something specific. I did make other versions though so feel free to grab one of those.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pinecone Curtain Ties

Earlier this year I transformed our window treatments with huge poppy curtain ties. They made such a positive impact on the room but it was about time to switch things up a bit. My original inspiration came when I saw this wreath alternative here. I fell in lust but since I already made my Star of Bethlehem wreath, I scrapped that idea and went inside with the pinecones instead.  That's when I decided on number seventeen of The 25 Projects of Christmas: Pinecone Curtain Ties. These will surely delight throughout the rest of the season. 

While the Mr. is super nice about letting me have free reign when decorating the house, I try not to press my luck. "Pretty" things just aren't his style. While I'd say that these curtain ties are definitely on the pretty side, he doesn't seem to mind. Yay me! Read on for how to make your own!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DIY Faux Sweater Trees

Have you seen those adorable sweater trees floating around the blogosphere? I have and I adore them. The only problem is that I love all of my sweaters too much to cut them up. Oh, and our local thrift stores are closed on the weekend so no snagging them on my time off either. Instead, I came up with a nice fake option, but I'm fancy and I'll call them faux instead. These "sweater" trees are sweet sixteen of The 25 Projects of Christmas.

These are super easy and involve a technique that you probably mastered in day camp -- Finger Knitting.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Insta Replay Monday #12

Happy Monday! Can you believe that there are only two weeks until Christmas Eve? I've been counting down the days for about 3 months and now it's almost here. I know I should be excited but actually, I'm kind of bummed. Before you know it, the festivities will be over. I can't be the only one like this. Despite being busy and spending a lot of time prepping while the Mr. was away, it was fairly uneventful in terms of Instagram photos.

Work. Work. Work.
Dinner date with old friends.
Sleepover with one of my best friends.
Other best friend got a puppy from the same rescue we used. 
Babysat. Twice. Six little children.
Major haircut and color change.  
Driving to the city in the dark all by myself.
Christmas shopping, crafting, and home-cooked meals.
Yep, that's about it.

Have a wonderful Monday! Oh and don't forget to check back later this week for:

  • A new take on yarn wrapped trees
  • A simple stocking stuffer
  • A rustic pinecone decor piece

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Snowman Button Cookies

I mentioned on Monday that over the weekend the Mr. and I babysat together. It was a blast since we were with three of our favorite children (our ring bearer, flower girl, and their baby brother). I thought it might be fun to bake a little treat with them since we used to cook together all of the time when I was their nanny. Best decision ever. Today's recipe is the fifteenth of The 25 Projects of Christmas - Snowman Button Cookies.

Maybe I just had the best helpers ever, but these cookies were perfect for little hands to make. You can make this with any prepackaged cookie mix or your favorite cookie dough. And they are just so darn cute, why wouldn't you want to make them?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Color Block Circle Scarf Tutorial

I meant to do this post yesterday, but I'm a procrastinator. If you're anything like me, you have big plans for homemade gifts this Christmas but have barely started. Whoopsie. The fourteenth project of The 25 Projects of Christmas is the perfect gift for the trendy lady in your life: a color blocked circle scarf. Color block, color blocked... Honestly, I'm not sure which one it is so I'll use them interchangeably haha. You may remember seeing it pictured in the gift I made for my handmade gift exchange partner. It's also kind of a double dose of scarves today because I shared my 30-minute crocheted infinity scarf at Kristina J.; check it out!

Would you guess that this was made out of two $2 t-shirts? Thrifty and cute, what's not to like? Let's get started!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange - What I Gave

You might remember that I was super duper excited to participate in Craftaholics Anonymous' Handmade Gift Exchange - Holiday edition. I still haven't gotten my gift, but mine was sent on it's way last Tuesday. Names had been drawn a couple of weeks ago and and we were tasked with creating a gift for our secret someone. I was assigned Gina B. of Florida. 


Well, I don't know Gina B. of Florida. Gina B. of Florida was a very elusive creature in my book. I decided just to wing it. I figured since she was doing this exchange, she must be like me in some way or another so I made gifts that I would have liked to receive: a simple but pretty tote, a necklace, washi tape bookmarks, and a jersey circle scarf.

After finishing the first three presents, I happened to get a response from one of my anonymous questions... Yippee! Well, that excitement was short-lived. Turns out that that her favorite color happened to be green. There's nothing wrong with that except the fact that nothing at this point had been the right color. I put my original fabrics away and went back to the drawing board for the scarf. I opted for a navy and green color combo used 100% cotton jersey since it would be perfect for the Florida weather. 
I would have kept all of those things for me but I can't be a Grinch. I hope Gina likes them though. I'm eagerly awaiting my own gift but I'm sure I'll love whatever it happens to be. 

By the way, check back soon as I'll be sharing a tutorial for how to create your very own color-blocked circle scarf to gift! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sugar and Spice Pecans

On a normal day I'd much rather craft than cook, but at the holidays, spending time in the kitchen is my favorite. I'm pretty sure there's nothing better than cookies, cakes, candies, and nuts. Nuts? Yep, I'm nuts about nuts. I might be biased, but I have the best candied pecan recipe ever. I think everyone else agrees, too. Last year, I made these as gifts for neighbors and coworkers and received rave reviews. So, are you ready for number thirteen of The 25 Projects of ChristmasSugar & Spice {and everything nice} Pecans!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Insta Replay Monday #11

Pardon me while I mope a little bit. The Mr. is away on business all week so I'm bummed. We haven't spent more than one night away from one another in nearly three years. Is that weird? I guess I'm looking forward to eating all of the stuff that he doesn't like: broccoli, couscous, curried peppers and onions, and brussel sprouts. Yep, all that healthy stuff that he pouts about haha.

Anywho. We had a pretty nice week and I am pumped for December. Some highlights:
  • I finally ordered our Christmas cards
  • We had the first snow of the season!
  • I am one gift away from wrapping up my shopping for the Mr. 
  • I met a blogger in real life for the first time! - Megan from A Girl and Her Hound
  • The Mr. and I babysat our three favorite kids together. The practice is good for him haha
  • I went to my very first photography workshop and it was practically life-changing
  • And last, but definitely not least, we celebrated my bestie's birthday with fondue. YUM!

So, what was the highlight of your week? Tell me all about it :)
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