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-~

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. 🙂

a “homey” and cozy advent.

With the beginning of advent less than a week away, I have found myself thinking more about the moments and memories of this year, the things I want to accomplish during this next month and in particularly this sweet season – such a beautiful time to reflect and prepare. While as a family we try to focus together on the weeks of advent with extra prayer and intent, I find this “countdown” to Christmas also a fun time to do something special for the kids in hopes it will encourage them to do something special for others. Especially as the bigger two have gotten older, during advent, the daily small gifts or bits of candy have gotten less and the things we can do together to perhaps make other’s seasons more memorable and meaningful have increased. Examples of some of the things we did last year included baking cookies for the neighbors, being extra kind to someone at school, helping Mom or Dad with a task around the house, do something nice for your brother/ sister, etc.

This year, our countdown consists of colorful and cozy house tags that make for a colorful and cozy corner. 🙂 Please feel free to download for your own use or to gift to someone special. You can get them here – houseadvent.pdf. Just cut them down to size and hang as you wish. I obviously went for wonky and haphazard this year. Well, every year. 🙂

Last year’s Advent: Advent 2018

And if you wish for something a little more simple (yet still sweet), I have used these (tagsadvent.pdf) in years past. Pair them with some linen, muslin or even parchment or paper bags. I also love using these as gift tags.

Next week, I will continue with week three of the “gifting- thrifted and made” series.

Week One : https://plaidpocketsandpinkshoes.com/2019/11/12/thrifted-and-made-holiday-gifts-week-one-the-smell-of-christmas/

Week Two: https://plaidpocketsandpinkshoes.com/2019/11/20/thrifted-and-made-holiday-gifts-week-two-a-blessing-book-and-a-little-brass-and-cloth/

I hope you have much to be grateful for this week!

~xoxo~

P.S. – Let me know if you have any trouble with the downloads. My apologies for the house numbers being a little out of order.

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week one – “the smell of Christmas”.

As we are getting our first real winter weather of the season today, I find myself suddenly yearning for the cozy of the holidays (unlike yesterday where it was nearly seventy and I wanted nothing to do with it). Therefore to better prepare myself and perhaps you, for the next month, I am going to be sharing some simple yet lovely gift giving ideas that are a little thrifted / a little handmade. Think teachers, neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc.

Week One: “The smell of Christmas”. A festive pot (thrifted) paired with items to make a homemade potpourri (handmade).

It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Items needed:

  • thrifted pot
  • an orange
  • one to two cinnamon sticks
  • a handful or two cranberries
  • greenery
  • a small bag or parchment or scrap fabric
  • an instruction card (I have included mine below if you wish to use it)
  • scissors and a hole puncher (optional)

The red pot was thrifted for a dollar or less and all the other items can be found at your local market, in your fridge or pantry, around the house or in your backyard. I’m thinking this enamel pot once had a lid and was perhaps part of a fondue set; however my thoughts upon finding it automatically turned to the holidays and how pretty it would be on a stove simmering with the smells of the season (cinnamon, orange, cranberries, evergreen). Keep an open mind when thrifting. Your pot doesn’t necessarily have to be red or “Christmasy” or in great condition. A black and white worn enamel pot would be perfect as would just a simple metal or copper pot. Look for something that is a bit unique and nicely made.

As for the brown bags, I had them and just dressed them up a little with a simple tree. However, you could use cellophane, parchment, or even some scrap fabric to enclose the potpourri items in as well.

I grabbed the greenery from the backyard and tied a few hand torn pieces of scrap fabric around the handle. The key (and the fun part) is to just use what you have – all of those odds and ends you have in your craft or sewing cabinet leftover from other projects or from the kids past projects.

Lastly, include an instruction or recipe card. A handwritten one would be sweet but if you wish to use it, I have provided mine below.

Printable instruction card: smell-of-christmas-potpourri.pdf

*You will need just a half of a sheet of paper and it will print two copies.

Enjoy!

-xoxo

P.S. – Now off to enjoy the smell of my bathed babe’s head as he drifts off to sleep in my arms one last time as a one year old. Life is so fun right now, may our days with him as a two year old be even sweeter!

sweet little things. via hallmark baby.

Littlest man is now almost just a week shy of eighteen months. Ahhh, how can that be. At about six months pregnant, I stumbled upon Hallmark baby. It has since been one of my most adored places (on the web) for purchasing sweet little things for sweet little ones. See below for just a few of the clothing, nursery and gift items you can find on Hallmark baby. A random post, but definitely a noteworthy website if you’ve got little ones in your life.

(all items and so many other sweet little things can be found on Hallmark baby)

bunny hair clip. a sweet & simple diy.

Supplies & Materials:

  • a stiff felt (I used these that I had leftover from another project, but any stiffer felt will work. You don’t need much at all. Also, see note below.)
  • small faux pearl beads (I used these but in an off white/ ecru. You can find these at any craft store in the jewelry making section.)
  • flat alligator clip (2.25 inches or smaller) (A pack of these can be found at your local craft store or on amazon for a couple of dollars and I find all sorts of uses for them.)
  • bunny and ear template – bunnytemplate.pdf
  • hot glue
  • a clear drying craft glue, fabric glue, or an industrial glue (like e6000)
  • scissors
  • a pen or pencil

* Chipboard or a heavyweight cardstock could also be used instead of felt. Leave as is or paint whichever color you prefer before proceeding with the steps below.

Instructions:

  1. Print & cut out bunny and inner ear template.
  2. Trace templates. Trace templates onto your felt or chosen material. Then cut out.
  3. Glue. Glue inner ears to the bunny and then glue beads. I used a fabric glue and completed sections at a time – the head and then the body. Use a substantial amount of glue. You may want to have a tweezers handy to place and move the beads. I just used the tip of my pencil. 🙂 Once all of your beads are in place, go back over the beads with glue filling in the gaps.
  4. Let dry. This is the longest and most important step. Let the bunny dry overnight before moving.
  5. Add clip. Make sure all of your beads are secure, flip the bunny over and then hot glue your alligator clip onto the middle of the underside of your bunny.

The End! You have a really sweet and simple accessory for Easter Day or any day. It took less than fifteen minutes to make and even better, the hardest part was waiting for it to dry. The key to keeping it simple and low cost is to adjust the design according to the supplies you have around the house. This clip would be lovely a variety of ways using a variety of supplies. What about a little brown bunny accented with a patterned fabric instead of the pearls and a little bow on its neck!

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

~xoxo~