5 MInutes that will Change your Holidays FOREVER

I am really not joking!  I just completed a project on the fly that will change my holidays forever!!

So if you are like me, every year you get all these amazingly beautiful holiday cards from all your family and friends.  I love looking through them, seeing their beautiful families, and displaying them for the season.  But then I have this huge internal struggle every year right around January 1st.  I start to take my decorations down, pack them up oh so carefully, and store them away for the year.  I always save the card holder and cards for last because I just don’t know what to do with them.  Some years I threw them away…feeling guilt all along the way because I also send out cards and know how much time, money, and love was put into the effort of sending them out.  I finally couldn’t take the guilt any more and just started saving them in gallon Ziploc bags, telling myself “I will find a way to use these in a purposeful way”. 

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So that was great – no more guilt about throwing away holiday cards…but now I had a new problem.  I now had three years worth of holiday cards starting to take up a shelf on my craft table.  Um, Hubs already gives me crafting boundaries so these cards had to find a purpose…today!  I mean I really need that highly valuable craft retail space for other projects!

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So here comes the 5 minutes that will change your holidays.  I literally made this little project in 5 minutes, start to finish for BOTH years!!  I started by stacking all my cards from the same year together.  I put the largest sized card on the bottom of the stack, and my personal family card (I always keep one copy) on the front (as the cover so-to-speak).  And then I just hole punched them all!

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I punched holes in ALL my cards from that particular year, the family pictures, the bi-fold cards, the child-made cards…all of them.  Then I just lined up the holes, put book rings through them, and set them up on small plate holders!  Ta-da!  A perfect way to display our cards from year to year.  Now we can go back and look at them like a book each holiday when we get them out for display.  It will be so fun to see how our family changes on the cover, and how all of our other family and friends have as well.  I even know the perfect spot to start displaying them!

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Oh yeah – and as an after-thought I noticed that I am the only looser that doesn’t put the date on my personal holiday card!  So I just flipped over the first “page” and wrote the year on the back.  This way when I am super old and can’t remember anything (like this Christmas probably) I will be able to know when each group of holiday cards were very first enjoyed.

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Happy Valentines Day

Yes, I know, Valentines Day is one of those holidays that people think retail made up to doop people like me into spending more money.  But, I will use any excuse to spoil my boys and let them know how much I love them!

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I started by making some yummy treats for the boys!  My bestie and her precious little one came over last weekend and we made some super yummy deliciousness for the boys (and her family).  The chocolate dipped strawberry sugar wafers were a HUGE hit!  And who doesn’t love a good ole’ fashioned rice crispy treat?!

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Then I had this sweet little surprise for the boys as a special way to let them know I love them and think that they are my world!  A dozen roses?  No, but much better!

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For M – Gummies, gum, and gobstoppers

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For Hubs – White Chocolate Cookies and Cream (his favorite), Twix, and Kit-Kats

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I love my boys more than anything!  I hope they like their little bouquets!  And of course we couldn’t leave out my girls!!  A special treat for them too!

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Here is the Dog Cookie Recipe:

  • 3 cups of whole wheat (or regular) flour
  • 1.5 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, dissolved in 3/4 cup warm water

Mix all ingredients until well blended, scoop onto a cookie sheet (or into the Bake-a-Bone, like I did) and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

 

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Please take the time to tell your loved ones how special they are to you!  Not just today, everyday!

Happy 4th Folks!

Happy 4th of July everyone!!  I hope you all take a few moments today, as you cook out, spend time on the lake, and watch fireworks, to remember that today (237 years ago) we became a free nation.  Don’t forget how blessed we are to live in a free country and by all means never forget all the men and women who fight daily to keep it that way!!

As I am getting ready to enjoy time with my family and friends today, I pulled out all my front porch decorations from last year.  I figured I would do a re-share with you.  Enjoy the patriotic front porch reveal from July 4th 2012!

So today is exciting for me because I get to share my front porch make-over with you guys!!  I am sure you remember me mentioning that one of the number one reasons I fell in love with this house was the front porch.  We have spent a LOT of time out on that sweet little front porch and I really wanted to give it a little more of a “homey” feel.  We did a lot of DIY projects and purchased a couple of items to complete this transformation, and we are so pleased.  I think we are spending more time out there now (if that is possible) than we did before!  By stopping by my blog home today you also get to see all the little patriotic touches we have added to the porch to show our excitement about the 4th!  Enjoy!

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Yay!  Isn’t it so pretty and welcoming now!?  Below are pictures of the details.  I want to mention a few things before you get to the details….1)  Please don’t judge my dying flowers.  It has been between 105 and 110 degrees every day here over the past week (no joke) and my poor flowers are just not taking the heat so well.  2) I will be posting all month long to show you how we made all of these little details, so if you see something you like, please keep coming back! :0)

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The sweet little table between the rockers (above) was a donation from my grandparents when I moved out to attend college.  A coat of black spray paint and it was ready for its new home on the front porch.  Its little shelf holds a lighter for the citronella candle, and a fly swatter, both very necessary in the humid Georgia summers.  The planter below has cat nip on the bottom for Enzo and was supposed to have lemon grass on the top to deter the mosquitoes, but since we couldn’t find lemon grass the monkey grass will have to do for now.

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This beautiful porch swing (below) was a birthday present from my hubby!  I am in love with it!!

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The hand-painted rug (below) was an extra special touch which I feel really completes the look!

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You are all welcome to come enjoy a little sit down on the porch anytime – come on over! :0)

Handmade Gift Tags

This year I chose to muted color palette for Christmas decorating.  I wrapped all my presents in brown packing paper this year, and I just couldn’t find any gift tags that I liked.  So when you can’t find it, you make it!  I started by picking up a packet of Avery Eco-Friendly White Shipping Labels (48165).  These are full-sheet labels and perfect for the job at hand.

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I typed out my gift tag to’s and from’s and printed them on a regular sheet of paper to test out the size and spacing before printing it on the label paper (that label paper is too expensive to waste!).  Once I was sure it was perfect, I printed my labels and then used a punch I already had to punch out the individual labels.

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I had to do some of them regular and some at an angle to fit in all the words.

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Then I used a gold sharpie to draw a simple border around the label before peeling off the backing and adhering them to my gifts.

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I think they turned out just PERFECT and go wonderfully with my overall look.  Plus each one is personal.  In our family we do 4 gifts for each person (something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read) so I could type their “something…” on each tag.  Love them!

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Simple Centerpiece & Shabby Chic Table Runner

I will preface with the fact that I am in love with my dining room table!  Hubs and I spent a LONG time hunting down our perfect table when we moved in and we finally came across this beauty!  It is a taller height than most tables and it has an extra sleeve built right into the table (I remember all the Christmases that my parents were hunting down the sleeve of their dining room table and trying to remember where they stored it last year).  Now, even though I love this table, it has a LOT of surface space, which makes centerpieces and table runners hard to find.

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I saw a box similar to this online and thought it would be perfect for our long table!  Hubs put together a simple box that we custom measured to fit on our table, and I stained it.  I have used this box for two different purposes already (stay tuned in January to see the other use) and because it is so simple, I could just change out the insides for each season.

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For Christmas, we added some simple white candles and some cheap ornaments I picked up at Walmart.  I love the look at night when the candles are lit up.

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For a my table runner, I will give you one guess to figure out what material and method I used…yep, painter’s drop cloth and the projector/sharpie method.  I sewed a simple hem around the edge before I projected my design on both ends and traced them with a gold sharpie. 

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I am kind of in love with this simple look, and I am really looking forward to filling the table up with food and family in a few short days!

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A Special Little Christmas Tree

I am so excited to share this with you today!  This is by far one of my favorite little decorations I made this year. 

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Yep, that’s right….it is a Christmas tree made out of book pages from an old children’s book.  I picked up a book from Goodwill, and proceeded to measure, cut, measure, cut, layer, measure and cut until my sweet little tree was complete.

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You can find the full detailed directions (which I followed exactly, except for I omitted the “snow” part at the end) here at Lovetaza!

This Year’s 2Teachers2Dogs Christmas Card & Simple Card Holder

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We love our super simple card holder!  Hubs built a simple frame, I stained it, then we put ribbon stretched from side to side and stapled to the back. 

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I added a handful of paper clips for hanging the cards.  It is hung with 3M strips, so we can put it wherever we want for the season and not leave holes in the wall all year!

Speaking of card holders….I was super excited about our Christmas Cards this year!  I was able to get all my cards for absolutely FREE (I didn’t even pay shipping!).  I got super lucky with a one-day coupon code for Cardstore.com.  I will say that even though I got these 40 cards for FREE, I was so pleased with them that I will definitely use Cardstore again next year, even if I don’t get a great FREE code. Smile

Cardstore has so many awesome designs, but here are the photos and designs that we finally decided on this year. * The first one is my absolute favorite! *

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We had fun with our 2Dog photo shoot.  It is super hard getting two young pups, full of energy, to sit pretty for the camera (especially when there are other people around to chase and kiss!).  Here are some outtakes from our family photo shoot this year.  Enjoy!

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“Oh look mommy – there are kids on the playground” Too many distractions, move to a new location.

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“Please don’t make me sit on this rock…it is soooo scary!” said Harley.

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“Willow!  PLEASE STOP KISSING ME!!!”  “Sorry Mommy, I can’t help it.”

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“ Look, people walking!” said Harley.  “ Look, a squirrel!” said Willow.

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Oh no – the photographer dropped her “attention getter” into the creek.  No fear, Willow is here!

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Harley pulling Mommy!

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Willow pulling Mommy!

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Oh no – a yapping little dog…let’s get it!

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“Harley, please get up on this bridge!”  “No mommy – it is scary!”

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Daddy gets control in the end!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!