amazon easter basket filler ideas for toddlers.

Hello there! My greatest wish is that you and your family are staying healthy and happy during this particularly challenging time for most or perhaps all of us.

On a lighter note, with Spring and Easter right around the corner, I’ve created a few lists on Amazon with some fun Easter basket and filler ideas for toddlers to tweens.

First up, some great ideas for toddlers. Our littlest is almost two and a half, so this list was created with him in mind, but it could most definitely be suitable for both boys and girls, ages 1 to 4.

Below are some of the things that I have recently added to that list, but click here for the entire list. Items will also continue to be added between now and Easter. Yay!

Link to all of the items above by accessing my “Easter – Littles” Amazon list.

Stay wishful and well! xoxo

marshmallows. this year’s homemade valentine treat.

Last Valentine’s Day I made these simple name chocolates for my littlest valentines. So this year, I thought I might make a tradition of it and attempt another homemade treat. And really what better excuse than perhaps the “sweetest” day of the year to finally try my hand at making marshmallows (and use a candy thermometer for the very first time 😊) . . .

I used this recipe included in Susan Branch’s book Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.

The taste, the look and the feel of them are so dreamy! Eating them or drizzling them with chocolate = the perfect pair.

Making them was definitely much simpler than I’d assumed. Even the clean up wasn’t so bad. Once warm water hits the mess, it simply melts away.

My favorite thing about Valentine’s Day is that it’s a great excuse to be a little extravagant and do the unnecessary. Now go make some marshmallows!

~xoxo-~

“so happy to gnome you” valentine. diy and printable.

I “heart” Valentine’s Day for one main reason. Pretty paper and cute cards! Almost always a staple of the simple yet sweet holiday.

My ten year old little lady is the only one that will need class valentines this year. Her only request was nothing too “mushy”.

Out of several random ideas, gnomes (“especially their cute noses”) made the cut . . .

We made our gnomes into magnets that are conveniently a clip. If you can’t find the large clips (I’ve linked them below), really anything solid yet lightweight can be used as the base to make your gnome magnet. The clip is just an added bonus.

To make your gnome magnet valentines. . .

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hole Puncher
  • Cardstock
  • String
  • Faux Fur
  • Felt
  • Small Buttons *optional
  • Large clips / clothespins or wood rectangles
  • Craft glue or hot glue
  • Magnets
  • Round wood balls or small felt balls would work too
  • Printer and Valentine card pdf *optional

gnomevalentine

Directions:

Step 1 – Cut out a small piece of felt and fur. I cut and used a 3.25 x 3.25 inch piece of felt (for the hat) and then a piece of fur a little longer and just a tad wider than my clip. So if you are using something other than the clips that I used, cut your felt and fur accordingly. *Cut your fur a little longer than your clip or base so that you are able to trim and shape (your beard) later on.

Step 2 – Glue the fur onto your clip or base. Then fold about a quarter of an inch or so of the felt upward onto itself and glue down. Wrap your felt around the front portion of the clip only, and then overlap and glue onto the clip and then together in the back. (My hat went about a half to three quarters of an inch down onto the clip over the fur/ beard). Glue your overlapping felt together all of the way up the backside of your hat. Roll the top down once and glue and then once more and glue it again. I used hot glue for all of this (for fast drying purposes).

Step 3 – More Glue. Embellish your hat with a small button or felt heart (that you have cut from your scraps). Glue them onto the hat with either hot glue or craft glue. Lastly, glue your cute little wooden nose just underneath the hat. I used craft/ tacky glue for this so that I didn’t end up with hot glue in my beard. Once your glue has dried and everything has set, turn your gnome over and glue a small magnet onto the back of your clip or base.

Step 4 – Give your beard a trim. Ours ended up being all shapes and sizes.

Step 5 – Print and Attach. Print out the cards and sign (I have formatted the pdf so that you can print four cards onto a letter size piece of cardstock). Or simply use small blank pieces of card stock and write your own message to include with your gnomes. I have used a small hole puncher and attached mine with some string, but do as you wish here. Put the card and gnome in a small bag or simply clip the gnome onto the card.

The End!

In other news, we’ve had plenty of winter weather here as of late. School has been cancelled the past two days. Two kids have been at home with me watching the rain, snow and ice fall (while the other ventured to D.C. for a planned school field trip). It’s been all things cozy – especially potato soup and blueberry muffins + warm coffee. I’ve been enjoying it so (maybe a little too much) but I’ve also been missing some routine. High hopes that we keep some of the “cozy” while some shadow of a routine returns next week.

P.S. – Wander by next week for one more Valentine idea! 💌

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week four – “common goods” for the kitchen.

Hi there! This week is the last week of our “thrifted and made” series. How fun it’s been! The theme for this week’s gift is “common goods” for the kitchen. The possibilities are really endless.

Thrifted goods:

(basket, glass juicer/ reamer, and pretty cutting board)

Handmade goods (except for the felted ornament):

(stitched linen towel, recipe cards, a sweet treat, and countertop cleaner)

When it comes to both the thrifted and made there really are endless possibilities when it comes to common kitchen goods.

For the thrifted portion of the gift, a basket or something to hold all other parts was a must. A wood crate would be beautiful as well, but baskets are so easy to come by when thrifting. However, seek one out that is quality made, that has a unique shape or weave pattern and/ or one that can easily be used for storage or decoration.

The cutting board was simply too pretty to pass up. My thoughts were even though your giftee might not prefer to use it as an actual cutting board, it would be beautiful hanging on a wall or used on the table to set a candle on or for holding an appetizer.

The glass juicer is something that even when it’s not being used is so lovely as a display piece. If a juicer is hard to come by, a pitcher or canister would work wonderfully as well. You could then fill it with a favorite seasonal goodie.

As for the made goods, I used this tutorial for the linen towel and modified (simplified) it a bit by doing minimal stitching. If you didn’t want to add any decorative stitching, a towel made of beautiful fabric is lovely left alone.

My other common made goods included a countertop cleaner made of one part distilled water, one part white vinegar and several drops of tea tree oil (thieves is also a favorite for this). If you don’t have any amber bottles, reuse any empty glass container or spray bottle and label it with a small tag or sticker. Use what you have – most likely you can make an all purpose cleaner out of things you already have in your pantry.

Lastly, I included some recipe cards. Find the template here – recipecard.pdf

Filling the cards out with some of your favorite seasonal recipes (sweet treats, cookies, your favorite holiday casserole dish, an appetizer, etc) would be a lovely idea. And then you could also include some blank extras.

I also included a simple sweet treat – orange cranberry pistachio fudge. I mean, “common goods for the kitchen” had to involve at least some bit of food.

The one “new” item I included was the felted swan ornament. She was the perfect fit!

All of the goods mentioned above can be gifted or keep it simple by pairing just a couple of the items together. For example, a lovely handmade towel and a pretty board or platter with a sweet treat on top would be just as wonderful.

Such a joy this “thrifted and made” series has been. Hoping your blessings are many in the weeks to come and that your holiday season has been bright thus far!

-xoxo

P.S. – The format of the recipe card is four by six inches.

for the stocking. a few ideas for the tween girl.

The stocking! It will always be my most beloved part of Christmas gifting (and morning). And searching for fun finds for tween girls is one of my favorite pastimes! Ahhh, how it takes me back . . .

1 – Bombas Socks – great quality socks for all. For every pair purchased, a pair is donated to the homeless.

2 – Posca Paint Pens – these were on my daughter’s Christmas list. You can use them on a variety of surfaces – including glass, wood, metal and plastic. I’m also excited to give them a try!

3 – Noonday Destiny Necklace – I’ve purchased several items from Noonday over the years. Love their mission and their goods!

4 – Florence by Mills – clean beauty products for tweens/ teens by Millie Bobby Brown (or Eleven – for those of you that are or have a “Stranger Things” fan in the home). My tween loves the face wash and moisturizer.

5 – A Customized Paint By Number. Also available on Amazon. This is my first time ordering one of these. Hoping it’s a hit! Such a neat idea.

6 – Mom and Me Art Journal or this one has writing prompts. Really looking forward to doing this in 2020 with my tween lady.

7 – Needle Felting Kit or there some really sweet ones available on Etsy as well.

8 – Candy Scarf. This shop has so many beautiful and one of a kind hand made items!

9 – Wood Wand – Harry Potter inspired. Harry Potter is all the rage again and my tween is in the midst of reading the series. A wand was also on her wish list as well! Hoping one wave of it = a clean room. 😉

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

-xoxo

P.S. – My “tween” just asked for zipper earrings. Should’ve saved mine. 🙂

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week three – thrifted shirt bunting and a few homemaking pretties.

Happy Tuesday and Merry December!

My thrifted and made gift idea for week three of this series is a handmade bunting made out of a thrifted shirt (or shirts you were about to take to the thrift 😉 ). I went with traditional seasonal colors but feel free to go with colors that don’t necessarily speak winter or Christmas. Think Spring – pinks, greens, yellows. Or muted tones that would easily match any decor or time of year. Also, if you have scrap fabric lying around, feel free to use it as well. Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of having to sew something, you can also do a no-sew bunting by simply using fabric glue to attach the flags.

The bunting is such a sweet gift given alone or pair it with one or two other thrifted goods. Depending on how well you know the person you are gifting, you can pair it with a pretty platter, pitcher, a small art piece or print, a tea kettle or pot, a small indoor planter, a wool blanket or afghan, etc. With a just a little effort, these are all easy to find pieces at your local thrift store or estate sale. A few things to keep in mind – vintage tends to be more unique, quality over quantity, and purchase items that have multiple use potential. For example the old bread pan below makes for a great candle or trinket holder, the pitcher can be used not only to hold cream or milk but pencils or other goodies, and the platter is beautiful for serving treats or simply as an accent piece on a coffee table.

Thrifted goods:

Handmade goods:

Supplies:

  • thrifted shirt (made of quality shirt fabric)
  • a couple yards of ribbon, lace, binding or small width rope
  • scissors
  • pencil, pen or marker
  • sewing machine or fabric glue or sewing needle
  • thread
  • measuring tape
  • bunting flag template – buntingtemplate.pdf

Instructions:

1 Print and cut out bunting flag template.

2 – Trace and cut. Lay shirt out as flat as possible and trace around the template onto the shirt with a sharpie, pencil, etc. Repeat. I used a larger boy’s shirt and was able to get at least 12 flags out of it.

3 – Fold and Iron. Fold the flags in half doing your best to get the back and front edges as even with each other as possible. Then Iron each flag.

4 – Measure and Place Flags. Lay out your lace, ribbon or binding on a large table or floor. Place flags evenly along it. I ended up using 10 flags. I left about 20 inches on each end and around 3 inches between each flag. You could pin your flags or I just placed small pencil marks along my lace where each flag would begin. (If you are using glue instead of sewing, you can go ahead and just fold each flag over your ribbon at this point, place glue along the edges of the flags, press down so that the front and back edges are even and then repeat for each flag.)

5 – Sew. Fold the flag over your ribbon or lace. Starting at the top of one edge of the flag, sew down one side of the flag and then up the other edge or side. I just kept the foot of my machine even with the edge of the fabric – so I got somewhat of a straight line. I used a zig zag stitch but a straight stitch would be perfect as well. Keep it simple. (If you are hand sewing, I would use an embroidery floss and just do long stitches.) Continue doing this with each flag.

6 – Done! Now gift or hang.

So sweet of you to follow along! Whether you are budgeting this Holiday season or simply enjoy the idea of giving handmade gifts, I hope my ideas are providing your with a little inspiration.

-xoxo-

Thrifted and Made gift idea – week two.

Thrifted and Made gift ideas – week one.

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week two – a blessing book and a little brass and cloth.

Week two’s thrifted and handmade holiday gift idea combines a simple yet lovely pair of slim brass candlesticks (perfect for this time of year), an old linen calendar/ decorative towel, and a handmade 2020 blessing book. I also included a pair of candles that I had, but some handmade beeswax ones would be the perfect addition (if you’re a candle maker).

Thrifted goods:

Handmade goods (excluding the candles):

If you should have a hard time locating some pretty candlesticks, a pair of mugs with a bag of coffee/ tea or some pretty plates for hanging or filled with goodies are also a lovely idea. These are both easy thrift finds! And as for the towel/ cloth, think something vintage, perhaps embroidered, quilted or simply the colors of the season (somewhat why I chose the one I included). Below are examples of the mug and plate ideas.

As for the “Blessing Book”, inspired somewhat by Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, it’s a handmade booklet where one can write down a few words to describe a blessing or gift from that particular day. It’s straightforward and simple enough for them to stick to and it’s small enough for them to throw into their purse, briefcase or bag and later to hold onto as a keepsake. Such a beautiful idea to look back on “blessings” from year to year and to see how they might change based on age and time!

Supplies:

  • paper – one piece of lightweight card stock (6.25 by 8.25 inches) and six pieces of regular printer paper or something like the weight of a resume paper (6 by 8 inches)
  • twine or string
  • pdf’s – inner pages and cover page (find them at bottom of post
  • printer
  • paper cutter (or you could use a rotary cutter or scissors to cut paper if no paper cutter is available)
  • long arm stapler or hole puncher
  • scissors

Instructions:

1 Cut all of your papers down to size. For inner pages, cut down to 6 x 8 inches and for the one cover page 6.25 x 8.25 inches. Remember the cover or piece of lightweight card stock needs to be slightly larger than the inner pages. I say lightweight because if you use papers that are too heavy in weight they will not fold as easily. However, because you are printing front and back, you may want something just a smidge better than regular printer paper for your inner pages (so that you can’t see the other side through the paper).

2 Print pages. Open the pdf for the inner pages. Once open, it looks a little tricky and confusing, but they are ordered in front, back page order. For example, pages one and two are the front and back of your page 1, pages three and four are the front and back of your page 2 and so on. If you’d like to print all pages at once, print all of the odd pages, place pages back in printer and print all even pages onto the backs of the printed odd pages. How you place them back in your printer (which side is up, etc), is determined somewhat by your printer settings. Once all of your inner pages are printed, print your cover page.

3 Fold all pages in half separately and then place them together like a book and continue to fold. Keep working the fold until you have a really good crease.

4 Stapling or securing book. Make sure that all of your folds are lined up nicely. Line up your long arm stapler with the crease or fold. Then place two staples along the crease or fold of the booklet. To further adorn or secure your booklet, tie some string or twine around the stapled fold. *If you don’t have a long arm stapler, you can simply use the twine to secure your book, use a heavy duty small size hole punch and thread the twine through the holes, or you can even sew the book together with a machine or by hand (this is a nice touch if you have the capability to do so).

5 The End. Enjoy gifting!

Now, hopefully you have a pretty little book(s) for gifting and to pair with your thrift store goodies! I hope you’re having a beautiful November! And please, let me know if you have any questions about the making of your blessing books.

-xoxo- and many blessings to you!

blessingbook2020innerpages.pdf

blessingbook2020cover.pdf

Find week one’s handmade and thrifted gift here.

P.S. – Speaking of thrifted, I found the cutest set of Christmas glasses last week. That little yellow house- swoon. If you are in need of glasses of any kind, secondhand stores always have a great selection.