Gratitude

Wow, Thanksgiving was a busy week around here.  We had a houseful, 11 people!  Plus my mom and dad had a houseful and served the meal.  It was so delicious and we had a great time with family!

Now I am in Christmas mode, we are already decorated for the most part.  Usually it doesn’t happen this early but I was ready plus our December weekends are already booked!

The good thing about the busyness of this season is that it makes the pregnancy go by fast too.  I’m so excited to meet our little girl and so is the whole family!

I am super grateful for the time I took away from blogging which gave me extra time to spend with my family who lives far away.  But I do have some fun projects in the works so I hope you will stay tuned throughout this holiday season!

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Gift of Gratitude

I love the idea behind the hostess gift.  The idea that we are giving something just to say thank you is so simple and pure.  The hostess gift doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant, it can even just be a note of gratitude for the event you were invited to.

Luckily for most of us hostess gifts are not expected at all.  This is good because I have never actually given one!  My problem is I never have anything extra around to give as a gift and so I end up going empty handed or I just plain forgot.  What if we started giving them again?  Don’t you think it would make a difference just in our small circle of friends?  If we started being more grateful for the simple, everyday things maybe we would rub off on our friends and family.

An idea I had was filling a little mug with goodies.  I tried out this simple gift and decided to share it with all of you in case you would like to try sharing hostess gifts too.  You can even skip the whole DIY step and buy a pretty mug to begin with!

Supplies:

  • Mug
  • 1 inch fabric strip
  • mod podge
  • foam brush

I found this mug at the dollar store.  You could also look for a fancy tea cup or mug while thrifting around.

Mine had a little dotted pattern which was the perfect size for a strip of fabric to sit in.

All I had to do was mod podge between the dots and start pressing my fabric down into it. Make sure to smooth out bubbles as you go.

Let it dry for a few minutes and then mod podge over the fabric as well.  I ran my finger around the edges to push in any frays and prevent any more from starting.

I’m not sure how well this will withstand washing so it may need to be more of a decorative mug than a drinking mug.

You could fill it with a tiny plant or succulent, dish towels, hot cocoa and stirrers, spices, tea, or kitchen utensils.

Just to show you how cute it can be I filled mine with a dish towel and whisk.  Add a handwritten tag and you have a perfectly simple and cute hostess gift for your next gathering.

What do you think about hostess gifts?  Have you ever given or received one?

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5 Simple Thanksgiving Place Cards

I’ve seen so many cute, simple place card ideas around the web this year so I thought I would round them up in one place for you.  Some of these would take 10 minutes or less to throw together.  That’s my kind of project for the holiday season!

Place cards may not seem like a huge thing but I like to think that it is all in the details. When you pay attention to the little things, even if your guests don’t realize why, you’ve made them feel more at home.

Pumpkin Place Card by Oh Happy Day

Bittersweet Ball Place Card by Karen Lidbeck-Brent

Fruit place card by Sew Many Ways

Napkin Placecard by Country Living

Quick Place Card by Martha Stewart

All of these place settings are so fun, it’s hard to choose one of them.  Which one is your favorite?

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Easy Bunting Tutorial

Here is the bunting tutorial I promised from the chalkboard command center wall.  It was super easy to make, only one line of sewing!

Supplies:

  • Fabric for flags – size of banner will determine how much fabric you need.  You can mix and match or do all the same like I did.
  • Fabric for binding – 3 inch strip x length determined by length of wall or mantel you will be decorating
  • Thread
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine

1. Cut out your flags – I am not a perfectionist so I pretty much eyeballed the cutting of mine.  I did use a rotary cutter because the lines are straighter than with scissors, but scissors work well too.  The first flag I made ended up being my template for the rest.  You could make your template from a piece of cardstock so you don’t waste any fabric if you make a mistake.

2. Cut out your binding strip – I cut out a 3 inch strip because I knew I wanted to fold it over multiple times to hide raw edges but I only wanted to sew one line.

3. Fold and iron binding strip – Fold your binding strip in half, iron as you go so that it holds it’s new shape.  If your flags need to be ironed you can do them at this point too.  

4. Fold and iron again – Fold raw edges up into the middle of the strip and iron again to hold shape.

5. Sew flags to binding strip – Pins can come in handy during this step.  You are going to line up the top edge of your flag to the raw edges in the middle of your strip.  I laid all of my flags out to make sure they were spaced evenly and pinned them in place.  Fold the top edge of your binding strip over to meet the bottom of your strip.  You can iron again at this point or use pins or just start sewing.  Sew one nice long line about 1/8 inch from the edge.

That’s it.  This was a quick project for me so I didn’t hem edges or anything.  If you want to use some fray check on the edges you can.  Since I knew mine would be high up and just used as decoration so I didn’t worry about it.

If something doesn’t make sense just let me know and if you make one I would love to see it!

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Everything In It’s Place

Having things organized in our homes leads to more intentional living.  When I know exactly where the stamps are or a screwdriver or a certain spice to cook with it saves me time.  Saving time leads to less stressful moments and smoother days.  For me anyway!

I recently organized our junk drawers, yes plural, it was that bad.  Are you picturing yours in your head right now?

We have been in this house a little over a year and this is the first time I actually went through the stuff that had collected in there.  I realized half of it belonged in other places and that led me to believe I could purge some more and condense it all into one drawer.

The spice problem is what started all of this.  I needed the baskets in this drawer to hold the spices so then the drawer ended up even messier and I knew there had to be a better solution.

Here’s the before:

Those two drawers were condensed into this one:

That’s a lot of batteries!  We aren’t usually stocked so well but my mother in law was just in town.

What I purged:

  • pens, markers, and highlighters that weren’t working anymore
  • items that belonged in other areas of the house (printer labels, an extra drawer organizer, kid pens, random nails and screws)
  • old printer ink
  • extra calculators
  • old budget sheets

Once I had purged those items it was really easy to organize it into one.  Now I have an empty drawer, which is awesome, but I need to figure out a purpose for it or it could become overflow junk again.

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