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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gift Ideas from Minted

I have been compensated by Minted for this post, all opinions remain my own. 

Minted is one of those sites that I can swoon over for hours and hours.  They offer products ranging from beautiful stationary and invitations, art prints, home decor, and more. I often find lots of gift ideas on Minted and thought I would share some of my favorites. We still have a lot of bare walls in our new house. Any of these art prints would look gorgeous on our walls.


{this one really speaks to me, patience is a virtue I am still working on..}

I absolutely LOVE the gold foil stamped wall art. It is even more gorgeous in person! All of these prints come in a variety of sizes and frame options. There is sure to be something will speak to you and your personal style. 

I'd love to know, what are your favorite products from Minted?  Leave a link below so I can check them out. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Easy Bracket Basketball Party with Recipe for Carrot Hummus Dip

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always, all opinions are mine alone. #EasyBracketParty #CollectiveBias

If you visit us in the month of March, chances are you will find a basketball game on somewhere in the house. We often invite our friends over to watch the big tournament with us. Luckily it is easy to pull a full spread together with a one-stop shop like Giant Eagle right down the street.


Since we are going with a basketball theme here, I wanted lots of orange on my table. I used bright orange napkins, paper straws, an orange and white tassel garland, and orange polka dot snack cups. I also made for the first time an orange carrot hummus. You will find the recipe for the carrot hummus at the end of the post, I hope you try it, it's healthy and delicious! I continued my orange food theme by also putting out Colby Jack cheese and cups of carrots to dip in the hummus. Hummus, cheese, crackers, and vegetables are always my go-to snacks for parties.


Of course you need some sweets. The Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups are the perfect size for snacking. Trust me, these will be the first to disappear when company arrives. OREO Cookies are pure perfection by themselves.  I always just stack them like this on a milk glass cake plate. Now you have a beautiful (and ridiculously easy) dessert display in seconds. Seriously, these will be gone in seconds. Make sure you have extra to replenish your plate.




Don't forget to grab enough drinks. I typically buy mini cans of Coke for the kids (a Friday night special treat) and Coke Zero and Diet Coke for the adults.  When I have combined kid and adult parties,  I create a separate place for adults to mix drinks and grab ice.




Here is my recipe for Carrot Hummus...

Ingredients:

1 can Garbanzos chick peas
1/4 tahini (mix well)
1 cup carrots
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic glove
salt and pepper
Serve with either Ritz Crackers or Wheat Thins



I found all these ingredients and the rest of my party food at Giant Eagle in these aisles. Love how easy it is to find what I need so I can get in and out quickly.



Directions:

1. Cook carrots in boiling water for 5-8 minutes in boiling water until soft. Drain and set aside until cool.

2. Drain and rinse chick peas. 


3. Blend carrots, chick peas, tahini, cumin, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor until completely smooth.



4. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with Ritz Crackers or Wheat Thins.


 I've shared my family's game day traditions with you. I'd love to hear about yours! Leave a comment sharing your family traditions and what you will pick up from Giant Eagle. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentines in a Jar With Free Printable Mason Jar Tags

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? Here are a few last minute ideas that are simple and easy to pull off. I shared many of these ideas with Tori Spelling's readers on ediTORIal last week.

We all love glass jars, right?  So let's give someone special a jar full of love this Valentine's Day! The possibilities for filling your jar are endless... from desserts, to candy, flowers, candles, craft supplies, or love notes.



I decorated my jar with Valentine washi tape and a red enamelware jar lid from Factory Direct Craft.


Here is what you will need...

Materials:
Glass Jar
Candy or beads
Love Notes
Twine, Ribbon, or String
Washi Tape (optional)
Scissors
Hole Punch
Mason Jar Tag a limited time free printable by Piggy Bank Parties
Red Jar Lids (optional)

Directions for creating a Valentine Love Jar:

1. Write love notes, seal with tape or twine. 
2. Add notes to jar, fill the remainder of the jar with candy or beads. 
3. Print the free mason jar tags on card stock or kraft paper. There are two different tags to pick from, either "Love Notes" or "Filled with Love".  Both tags come in two different sizes to fit large and small jars.  


4. Cut out tags, punch a hole in the top so that you can string twine through. 
5. Attach tag to jar with twine, ribbon, or string. 


If you are looking for more great ideas, head over to Pink Heels Pink Truck for a Housewarming Party {Pink Edition} that includes my Pink Party from last Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Family Movie Night with The Boxtrolls

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BoxtrollsFamilyNite http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

My family calls every Friday,  fun Friday. We love celebrating the end of the school/work week with a family dinner and activity. Our Friday night plans range from board games, to Dance Wii competitions, and occasional trips for ice cream. My personal favorite family time involves the four of us curling up under blankets and watching movies together. It is the perfect way to wind down from a long, busy week.


My kids were bummed that we missed seeing The Boxtrolls in the movie theater. Luckily, The Boxtrolls came out on DVD this week so I ran over to Walmart to pick up the movie and a 10 count box of homestyle Pop Secret. We went all out and created our own Boxtroll popcorn boxes and designed our own fancy white hats for our family movie night.



Materials Needed:

empty cereal boxes
paper bags
scissors
tape
sticker paper or card stock
popcorn

Directions:

1. Remember in middle school how we covered all our school books with paper bags? Well, do this, only cover the cereal box instead. Don't forget to pull off the handles of your bag.


2. Your cereal box should look like this


3. Print your favorite Boxtroll character's graphics here and glue to the front of your popcorn box. Fill boxes with Pop Secret popcorn and enjoy the movie! I also put out some brie because the main characters are obsessed with cheese ("Prepare to say bye bye to your brie, cheerio to your cheddar...").


Next, we designed our own fancy white hats. Everyone in the movie covets the fancy white hats!



I drew large hats on white card stock paper. The kids designed their own fancy white hats. We cut the hats out and taped paper straws to the back.




Grab some Pop Secret popcorn and The Boxtrolls DVD while supplies last at Walmart and make your own family memories!

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year, New Grab N' Go Organization!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Wayfair, but my opinions and commentary are entirely my own.

I am a little nervous to share this with you all. In all my years of blogging, I have never posted pictures of my closets. When Wayfair asked me to chat about closet organization, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to get my most unwieldy closet under control. I really had no idea how bad it was until I started pulling everything out.



  This is a truly untouched "before" photo of my utility closet. We shoved things in this closet when we moved in last March and never took the time to organize it. This utility closet is located in my laundry room. It is perfect for my cleaning supplies, light bulbs, paper towels, and other daily essentials. When we designed this closet I wanted shelving on the right and open room on the left for brooms and mops. As you can see the broom side really needed a wall mounted broom holder.


STEP ONE: Empty the closet. I sorted the massive mess into keep and trash piles.



Apparently, I hoard cleaning supplies.


And worse, I hoard empty bottles of cleaning supplies.



Now that the closet is a clean slate, here is how I organized it. 

STEP TWO: GRAB N' GO ORGANIZATION... Okay, I am pretty proud of myself for thinking of this idea. I hooked my most essential cleaning supplies right on the top shelf. So easy to grab n' go clean! I also placed things I use/need most at easy to reach places. Things I do not use as often were placed on the highest and lowest shelves.


My mops and brooms are much happier on the wall mounted holder. Notice my darling new burlap bins? I seriously love the chalkboard tags. They help me keep items organize and labeled. My new bins and wood boxes both have plastic liners inside so I am not worried about leaks or debris getting on them.


Ta-Da! A cleaner, more ogranized space.


Shop This Look from Wayfair
Here are the items that helped me get organized:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Entertaining With Gloria Ferrer Wine

'Tis the season for holiday entertaining... endless cookie plates, appetizers, and wine!
 

We finished construction on our new house in March and haven't had a chance to host an official house warming party yet.  We decided that Christmas was the perfect time to welcome our friends, family, and neighbors over for a good old fashioned Holiday Open House.
In a very uncharacteristic move, I decided not to decorate for the party. Our existing Christmas decorations were more than enough. I am probably the only one who noticed that my usual coordinating food labels, welcome signs, and favor tags were missing. I channeled all my energy into the food and drinks.


Our guests loved sampling all the different Gloria Ferrer Sparkling wines. Our favorite was the 2006 Royal Cuvee. It paired perfectly with my favorite appetizer Brie En Croute-  a Paula Deen recipe of brie topped with toasted walnuts and cinnamon, baked in a puff pastry. Absolutely delicious!


The night was so successful that our friends and family have deemed us the official hosts of this party next year. Good wine, good food, and good friends and family make beautiful memories.


If holiday hosting stresses you out, here are a few tips:

1. Invitations (whether emailed, mailed, or word of mouth) are extremely important. The more information you provide your guests ahead of time, the less questions you will get before the party.

2. Stay organized. Write lots of to-do lists as well as grocery lists so that you are not running out to the store 30 minutes before your party starts.

3. Accept help. If guests ask what they can bring to the party, graciously accept and offer some suggestions.

4. Know your guests dietary needs so everyone feels welcome and can enjoy your food and drinks.

5. Relax, enjoy the party. Hosting duties are a constant job, but try to have fun and enjoy your guests too!


Gloria Ferrer provided the sparkling wines and other freebies for my party. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Silhouette Black Friday Deals and DIY Personalized Baking Dishes

I am currently on a huge baking kick. In October we turned up the Christmas music and snapped holiday family photos to create these amazing personalized cookie plates. I am continuing the baking theme into my DIY gifts this year. I have always loved personalized baking pans that I have seen online and wanted to try and make some as gifts this year.

 
 
Thanks to my awesome Silhouette Portrait & Etching kit, I created a personalized pie plate for my Grandma Smith's famous apple pie and 9 x 13" baking pans for my mom and sister.
 

 
Honestly, I was a little nervous about etching on glass (and screwing it up), but it was so super easy. Silhouette offers very detailed instructions and even a DVD to watch first. I am totally in love with my new Portrait. It can do so many fun things from vinyl, banners, labels, glass, and so much more.
 
 
I love my machine so much that I wanted to share Silhouette's Black Friday Deal going on from
Nov. 26 to Dec. 8, 2014

USE PROMO CODE: CTPARTY

HERE ARE ALL THE SALES BEING OFFERED!
 
 
Portrait Bundle
- Portrait machine & 1 free year to Club Silhouette for $179.99
 
CAMEO Bundle #1
- CAMEO machine, Designer Edition software upgrade, Dust Cover, 4 Tools and $25 Download card to the Silhouette Design Store for $269.99
CAMEO Bundle #2
- CAMEO machine, Design Edition software upgrade and 1 free year to Club Silhouette for $299.99
CAMEO & Portrait Bundle (One for you, one for a friend!)
- CAMEO machine, Portrait machine and 2, $25 Download cards to the Silhouette Design Store for $299.99
 
Already a Silhouette user?
 
Use code: CTPARTY to receive 40% off at SilhouetteAmerica.com (*excluding machines, design downloads, download cards, subscriptions and gift cards) PLUS Free Shipping on orders over $25 for the lower 48 states
 
50% off all designs at SilhouetteDesignStore.com – no code needed!
 
Happy Black Friday shopping!  I'd love to hear about all the good deals you find!
 
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