Winter Pearl Wreath

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I've been dreaming of doing this project for several years now…but the stars never quite aligned in my favor. This year, however, I made it happen. It was a real labor of love, but I'm so happy with the results. I designed and made these wreaths for a display window of a brick and mortar store in my hometown. The whole window was done in frosty whites, pearls and tiny white lights, and turned out really beautifully, if I do say so myself.

Pardon that scrawny red bow on the wreath. I needed something so I could snap a quick photo before I sent these babies onto their final destination, and red was the best I could do. But the finished product actually has a beautiful white bow at the top, so just use your imagination. Thanks. 

Anyway, if you'd like to make a pearl wreath of your own, here's how I did it: 

Supplies: wreath forms (I used 18" white foam wreaths…the biggest I could find.) Keep in mind, though, the bigger the wreath, the more pearls you need. White grosgrain ribbon, pearls (I used an assortment of 4mm – 16mm white glass pearls, and lots of hot glue. Right now, let me do you a favor. Go get your little namby pamby mini craft glue gun. Walk it out to the garbage bin and drop it right in. Now go get yourself a rough, tough glue gun at the hardware store. You're welcome. 

Seriously, I used my mini craft glue gun for 2/3 of my first wreath, and it was terrible. The glue wasn't hot enough to hold the pearls and those things were bouncing all over my kitchen. Bad news.

Step 1: Wrap the foam wreath form with grosgrain ribbon. Use hot glue to secure the ends. This makes the back look a bit prettier since you don't cover the back with pearls.

Step 2: Start gluing pearls to the front of the wreath. I worked in about 2" square sections. Squeeze the glue onto the wreath form, and stick pearls into the glue. I started with the largest pearls to cover the most space, then filled in with the smaller ones. I started with the face of the wreath, then worked on the outside and inside sections last. 

For a 18" wreath, I'd say it took me about 5 hours…so it's definitely not a quick, easy project. But it's definitely worth the time and effort. I'm actually making another one to layer over the top of the mirror in my entryway. I've also got some little foam cone shapes I'm going to turn into little pearl "trees" using the same concept.

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Happy Crafting!

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Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com

Peppermint Popcorn

I like to have a couple tricks up my sleeve this time of year for easy entertaining or quick neighbor gifts. This is one of my favorite holiday tricks. I keep the three ingredients for this easy peppermint popcorn on hand so I can whip up a fabulous snack at a moment's notice. 

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Ingredients: 

Popcorn (2 bags microwave; about 3/4 C. kernels if you're using a hot air popper)

White chocolate chips (1-2 bags)

Candy Canes, crushed

Get to work:

Start by unwrapping and crushing the candy canes. (My kids love to help with this step).

Pop the popcorn and put it in a big bowl.

Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, add a little vegetable oil to smooth out the chocolate as it melts. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds. 

When the chocolate is melted, pour over the popcorn and toss to coat. (Use the second bag of chocolate chips if necessary).

While the chocolate is still melted, pour in the peppermint pieces and stir.

Spread the popcorn out on waxed paper until the chocolate sets up.

When the chocolate is dry, put it in a festive bowl and enjoy!

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This recipe is easy, fast, and inexpensive. But the finished product looks impressive and festive. Box it up cute and deliver it to teachers and neighbors, or whip up a batch as your cousins are headed over. Happy Holidays!

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Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com

DIY Peppermint Body Scrub (Oh so Christmassy!)

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After learning, this spring, how easy it is to make body scrubs (check out the recipe here for our wonderful rosemary sage scrub), the kids and I keep experimenting with different recipes. For winter, peppermint seemed like a much needed ingredient, perfect for teachers' gifts.

Here's our (rather imprecise) recipe:

PEPPERMINT BODY SCRUB

1. Fill a mason jar approximately 1/2 to 3/4 full with sea salt (the coarser, the better).

2. Slowly pour Almond Oil Sweet Oil over the salt, until it just covers the top. (Note that the scrubs photographed above have way too much oil, so we drained a lot of it off (and added more salt as well)).

3. Add about 5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

4. Shake.

5. Smell. Add more peppermint if necessary. If the scrub is too oily, pour off some of the top oil.

6. Scrub. If you don't want to use this as a body scrub, it also works great on hands (just keep it next to the sink). I love making it with the kids because they can "help" and it's almost impossible to mess up. HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE!!

Post by Darcy : No Monsters in My Bed

 

Christmas Lunchbox Jokes

Tis the season for some Christmas-themed lunchbox jokes!

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My favorite one: “What kind of money do elves use?” Answer: “Jingle Bills” HA HA HA HA!!!

Or forget lunchboxes and put them on your tree along with our fun foil ornaments. They look pretty cute, right?!

Enough joking around… download your freebie printable Christmas Lunchbox Jokes here.

Reposted with permission by Aimée Lowry & Bettijo B. Hirschi from PagingSupermom.com