Category Archives: DIY

No-Sew Tulle Tutu Tutorial

No-Sew Tulle Tutu Tutorial

Little girls love to play dress-up and a recurring favorite is the tutu. Tutus are dainty and different; they inspire dreams of dancing and glamorous ballerinas. Tutus also look spectacular in any photo shoot, especially on newborn babies. You can find tutu’s in all sizes, from baby to adult, and all costs. Fancier versions may have satin or lace, varying layers and colors. But when you get right down to it, most tutus are simply pieces of tulle tied around a waist band. This makes tutu-creating a fun DIY that little girls, ages 5 and up, can help with. I guarantee that you can copycat any design you or your little girl desires within a frugal budget and a couple of hours with this simple, no-sew tulle tutu tutorial. Continue reading

Fabric Banner Tutorial

Fabric Banner Tutorial

DIY Fabric Banner Tutorial

Whether you are adding a special touch to a bedroom or decorating for the holidays or a special party, a fabric banner is an easy and inexpensive way to add that festive touch your space needs. It is also a kid-friendly project to let your children get involved in decorating. Fabric banners are so versatile; you can design one to fit any décor, on any budget, from shabby-chic to refined and polished. Make a fabric banner for every season and holiday! Continue reading

Hot Apple Cider

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

This weekend we attended our neighborhood block party. We had such a great time chatting with neighbors and voting on the best light decorations. Each couple was asked to bring their favorite holiday dessert, cookie or drink. I opted to bring hot apple cider and a bottle of amaretto (in case anyone wanted hard apple cider!). You can buy bottled apple cider at most grocery stores, but I never like to serve this cider straight from the bottle; the flavors are too muted. I use this hot apple cider recipe to spice up my store-bought cider. The cider was a big hit, even though it was only 75 degrees outside. As the first few cups were served and the scent of cider wafted through the gathering, more and more neighbors ventured over to help themselves to this much-loved holiday treat. Serve this at your next holiday party to get family and friends in the holiday mood!
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5 Delicious Holiday Treats that Make Lovely Gifts

5 Delicious Holiday Treats & Gifts

If you are looking for some easy and delicious ways to tell a friend, neighbor or loved one that you are thinking about them during the holiday seasons, there is no better way to do so than with homemade baked goods. Easy enough to do on your own, but lots more fun if you have family or little helping hands with you, these five full-proof recipes and decorating ideas are sure to be a big hit. You only have to worry about having enough left over after taste-testing to give away! Continue reading

Scent of the Season: Stovetop Spiced Apple Cider

Scent of the Season: Stovetop Spiced Apple Cider

As a child in my household, come December, my first moment of morning wakefulness would be full of the tantalizing aroma of spiced apple cider. Though this concoction was potable, we rarely drank apple cider; instead, my mother simmered her stovetop spiced apple cider each day to fill our home with this pungent scent of the season. Spiced apple cider is an iconic fall and winter treat, and in our household it always reminds us that Christmas is near! The family recipe consists of readily available ingredients. Continue reading

Scent of the Season: Clove Oranges

Scent of the Season: Clove Oranges

The spicy and tangy aroma of clove oranges fills the air in my home every winter with this lovely scent of the season. My mother began the tradition when my brother and I were children. We would sit at the kitchen island in front of a pile of bright, fresh oranges and a bowl of cloves with Christmas carols playing over the stereo. The activity is fun, simple and a wonderful tradition for the family to enjoy. Continue reading

Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Many years ago, my Aunt gifted me a jar of peppermint hot chocolate. That holiday season I drank several steaming mugs of hot cocoa, and a new passion for this refreshing, peppermint-and-chocolate combo was born. While delectable hot chocolate may be a “necessity” in any cold (or cool…) climate, in warmer climates, I find it difficult to consume hot beverages to my heart’s content. The only solution was to eat it instead in the form of Peppermint Bark! This homemade peppermint bark recipe is a wallet-friendly way to satisfy your holiday cravings, or you can package it to gift to friends, family, coworkers and your secret santa this holiday season. Continue reading

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

Gift in a Jar Recipe: Homemade Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

Americans love peanut butter; our taste buds and statistics prove it. We buy it often and outlay a pretty penny to consume it regularly. So, it seems odd to me that there is not a great deal of product variety readily available at the grocery store. There are several brand names that offer Smooth or Crunchy, traditional or natural; but you have to really drive around town to find flavored peanut butters. If you want a specialty peanut butter flavor, you should expect to spend some time hunting down a (small) local vendor and pay twice the amount of a national brand. Or – you can make your own delicious peanut butter that is healthier than most store bought brands and more affordable than a specialty product. Around the holidays, I like to make (and gift!) homemade honey cinnamon peanut butter. The recipe is simple and you can alter it to suit your taste. Continue reading

Hershey Kiss Cookies

Hershey Kiss Cookie Recipe

Traditional flour, sugar and walnut cookies like the Italian Wedding Cookie are a staple in holiday festivities in many countries around the world. There are numerous variations on the recipes from the sugary sweetness to the extracts used (like almond, lemon and vanilla). Some variations that became popular with the success of the Hershey Kiss are the ‘Kiss Blossoms’ with a hershey kiss on top of the cookie and the ‘Hidden Kiss’ or ‘Secret Kiss’ cookies with a Hershey Kiss tucked inside. I prefer the Secret Kiss version because the kiss is baked inside the dough, giving the inside of the cookie a warmer, gooier feeling, which is heaven when combined with the flaky exterior of the more traditional Italian Wedding Cookie dough. It’s a delicious treat, suitable for cooks of all skill-level, and a fun way to let kids help out in the kitchen. Continue reading