Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Budget-Friendly Gifts

This time of year seems to be hard on the almighty dollar. I find gifts are becoming more expensive each year. I find the most important and most appreciated gifts are ones where the recipient feels this gift was made just for them. I tend to pick out one thing the person I am buying for really loves. For example, I love owls, so for me, I would pick out something that has an owl associated with the gift. Like this Woodland Owl Necklace or try my hand at making a cute Owl Brooch like this one found on Etsy. Tap into what they like, collect or appreciate and go from there. You can find any type of gift for a collector, just a bit of searching is all you need.
For the group gift, like co-workers, where you need to make a lot but have to pinch pennies, try a bulk gift, like Snowman Soup or DIY art on dollar store mugs for the creative artists out there. If you are more into giving a gift that would fill a belly (or an easy, fun treat for a holiday party), try making Girl Scout Cookie Samoas Bark, Santa Bread, or Golden Grahams S'mores Bars. I find that baked goods always end up being a great gift overall for those hard to pick for. Just a word of caution - some people have food allergies and you might want consider that before making a yummy treat they cannot enjoy.
Some of my favorite DIY gifts are the Reindeer Guiness, DIY Frosted Glasses, and DIY Ornament. All easy to make and super cheap to do and all great ideas for those on your list.

Remember, some of the best gifts are those straight from the heart. Happy Holidays & Happy Gifting!

Jewlery Kits & Christmas Gifts

The holidays are proving to be quite a busy time of year for the both of us. We are leaving shortly to pay a visit to Frog Legs' family for the holidays,  but before we go, we have been busy making and shopping for gifts. This is a great time of year to be crafty. All over the place, we have seen great DIY ideas for home decor, gifts and other decorations. And, we are excited to try our hand at it as well.
I decided first hand that I wanted to try my hand at making jewlery. I figured it was a good project to learn a vast amount of skills and still be able to make some pretty amazing gifts. I went to a local craft store and picked up this amazing kit. I will be sure to post photos soon of the finished projects. Let's just say, they are not so bad once you get a bit of practice in.
Meanwhile, Frog Legs has been busy with his hand at crocheting and knitting. He wants to make some awesome scarves for his family. They look similar to this pattern - however, he is trying to make them a lot bulkier, considering his family lives where it is quite cold.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Birthday and Local Letterboxing

I celebrated my birthday last weekend, and I must say, this birthday was one of the best.  I was so lucky to be able to share my birthday a day early with some wonderful close friends over dinner.
Unfortunately, I was not able to get photos with everyone together that stopped in but that is a-okay.
Luckily, the next day had such wonderful weather, the boyfriend and I decided we would venture out again for another letterboxing adventure. We found clues to two boxes on the campus of a local un university.
We were able to find both letterboxes!
 We had such good luck finding both letterboxes. Each one was quite easy to find and I was thrilled to have the beautiful weather for such a great day. Overall, a wonderful birthday celebration.

DIY Artwork

I am so excited to finally be able to share this with everyone. I had told y'all here that I was creating artwork for a couple of bare walls that we have in our place and I can finally share my project.
Simple Artwork
It was super easy to make, and it costs less than $25 to make. I purchased the canvas at a local craft store and purchased a bulk pad of scrap booking paper (with coupon) for the cut outs. I already had a heavy-duty punch for the project as well as heavy-duty spray adhesive (any kind will work, or you can use rubber cement).  All I did was punch two pages (12x12) scrapbook paper with my punch, and after gluing, laid each piece down to dry. **Tip: Let the project dry at least a few hours so as to not have any pieces falling off** And there you have an easy and cheap piece of artwork.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Family Member

Sir Bruce
I am so excited to announce the newest member of our guinea pig clan. His name is Sir Bruce. He is a recently adoption (an early birthday gift for me, if you will) from a local pet store. He comes with a sad back story. He was born with a really bad ear infection in his right ear that left his head permenantly tilted to the right. His owners were no longer able to care for him so they brought him to the pet store in hopes that someone else may care for him. The pet store took Sir Bruce in, cleaned him up, gave him a new haircut (he was apparently matted up very badly) and with a new home, placed him out for adoption.
My heart always goes out to those animals that were harmed/mistreated in any way. And, the boyfriend is no different. Knowing how many families of young children that will probably overlook this beautiful 8 month old pig for a younger pig without his special traits, we quickly adopted Sir Bruce and brought him home. Already he is showing so much improvement. With a new home purchased for him to sleep inside and a better bowl (so he can eat easier as a result of his head tilt), he quickly adjusted to his new home with happy squeaks as he ran around his new cage marathon-style.
Welcome to the family, Sir Bruce!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Early Birdy!

It is always exciting to spend a great evening with friends. The boyfriend, my friend AT and myself thought it would be fun if we spent on Saturday evening before the crazy holidays began to just spend time with those who do not have families that live by - be their stand-in family for the night. Thus, Pre-Thanksgiving Early Bird Dinner was created.  We were quite excited to get everyone together for a nice Thanksgving feast.
Some of the ladies of the evening....
I must say, for our first year doing this, it went off without a hitch! I cannot wait until next year. And, maybe, just maybe, we will celebrate our 1/2 Turkey-Palooza in the spring....... details to come on that (of course)!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Double Letterboxing

I told you guys in my first Letterboxing post how excited I was to discover a new and free way to not only visit areas of my city I had not ventured off to but to also be more active in the chillier months. This time we decided that we would try TWO letterboxing adventures to see if we could do it. Why not, right? So, we found our next two clues (to two parks we had yet to ever visit) and off we went.

Our first trek took us to a park the boyfriend had closely ventured to, but was not even aware it was in the area. How exciting to find a new amazing park. We were thrilled to know this adventure of letterboxing included a beautiful trail walk. Along our walk, we found our first letterbox of the day!
Hiding under a fallen tree!
I was excited since I was the one to find the box this time. We like to take turns finding the boxes and leading the way. We both enjoy the chase of the boxes and it is so much fun to 'discover' a hidden secret.  We were upset to not find a stamp in their box (maybe someone had taken it?) but we left our notepad with our stamp and note so they knew we had stopped by.
Our second adventure of the day was a bit harder to find. We apparently had bad directions thanks to the boyfriends GPS on his phone, so we ended up about 5 miles away from where our next letterbox was located. After being pointed in the right direction by some locals that apparently went to this second park, we found our staring point and began our next journey. We went on a rather short walk this time, compared to some of our other hikes and found our box not too far from the tennis courts in this local park.
He found it hiding under some thorned vines and a tree stump!
This one was a bit harder to get to. The prickly vines cut my hands up so I had the boyfriend grab this box. My hero!! It was exciting to find this one since it was so far off the beaten path. This one we would mark is very EASY to find.
I will say, you can do more than one letterboxing adventure in a day, if you wanted to. I think from now on, we will just save our adventures to one letterboxing at a time.
So, for those of you that letterbox out there, Happy Hunting!!

Bacon Strips  & Frog Legs!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Recipe: Wagon Wheel Chicken Chili

Wagon Wheel Chicken Chili
Now, I swear, you are just going to have to trust me on how wonderful this recipe truly is (unless you want to make it yourself). It was super easy to make and it was so amazing.

Wagon Wheel Chicken Chili is one of those recipes you find that you are just dying to make- simply out of curiosity of how great it is going to taste. If it is anything like the pictures shown, your mouth just drools at the thought of it. I have to say, I have never seen the boyfriend eat a meal so quick before. I slightly adjusted the recipe to include some yummy peppers we are growing in our own garden- for a bit of heat. However, the recipe alone is just as great.

Hint: If you want to add some pizazz to the meal, making some corn bread or adding tortilla chips (like we did) would put this recipe over the top! Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY: Recycling Onions

I must admit, I had never heard of recycling any food until I was lucky enough to stumble across this website during my lunch break at work. Now, I am a believer that this works! I have to share with you my little 'secret' garden I am growing at home.

I have a bit of a green thumb, and whenever I know I can grow a plant (and do it well), I often try to continue my efforts. I love to cook and I enjoy recycling. Unfortunately, I am unable to compost at my apartment - there is simply not enough space to do it. So, I figured after reading that article on growing your own onions from scrap cut onions, I figured I would try myself.

About a week ago, I found myself cutting up a few sweet onions I had purchased that were about to spoil. I chopped everything, leaving a small amount of onion attached to the roots of the original onion. Instead of throwing this piece away (as I have typically done), I placed the old roots from the onions in a small bowl filled with water. After about a week of letting the roots grow (with a daily change of the water so my kitchen would not smell like onions), I was finally able to plant them in a medium-sized pot. Sitting them near my sunny door, I slowly watched in anticipation.
They are growing!!
Aren't they wonderful!! Each one has a few green sprouts coming from the center of the originally cut up onion. I am so excited and this is only after one week. How awesome is it that you can do this! At first, I was quite skeptical about being able to grow new onions from old ones, but I like this. Now I can save a few pennies by growing my own!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Inspiration Turned Artwork

I am not sure how familiar ya'll are with Pinterest. It has become one of my favorite inspirational websites for almost anything (from outfits to home decor, and everything in between).

I have been keeping a few boards of ideas for the house and I am excited to share with ya'll my first mini-project. I love art, but most of the time cannot afford the stuff I really love, so making it seems like something that is more personal and affordable (and a little fun too!). It is based on this DIY project and I cannot wait to share it.

Details to come so stay tuned!

Monday, October 17, 2011


I must admit, I had never heard of Letterboxing until the boyfriend had mentioned possibly trying it out. “What is Letterboxing?” I said in the car one day. He explained it best by saying it is a treasure hunt during a nature walk. Okay. Sure. So, I did my research and came across this amazing website of places in our area we could try to find these ‘Letterboxes’.  To my surprise, our first Letterboxing trip went rather smoothly. We found our first Letterbox at a local park.
Found our first Letterbox!
This past weekend, after some searching on the site we had previously been to, we figured we might want to consider searching yet again for another box. So, off we went to our selected location, a local library, and found our next letterbox. This one was way too easy.
Found it!
One of the reasons I really enjoy Letterboxing is it is super easy and cheap to do - it does not cost anything but the gas you use to get to your location and the stamp you purchase. We purchased our stamp (called "Birds of a Feather") on sale at Michael's for a mere 2 bucks (on sale plus coupon, and we got the stamp pad free). Lucky find!

Eventually we are going to place our own Letterbox for finding, but until then, we just enjoy this easy outing. The closer to chillier weather we get, the more exciting these finds become. If you have never tried Letterboxing, go to the site I did and do your research. You may find you enjoy it just as much. And, for those of you out there who have families, this is a kid-friendly idea. Happy Letterboxing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Welcome's and Hello's

Hello! Welcome to my corner of the woods. I have truly been inspired to finally take all my creative ideas and sneak them into the electronic pages of this blog. This is the place to find creative interior design ideas, DIY tutorials, yummy recipes only a southern gal can provide and so much more.  So y'all sit down, squat down or lay down, but make yourselves at home.