My Favorite Things Party by Elevate Blog Conference & The Printed Palette

I have been counting the days until Friday, November 15th.  The Elevate Blog Conference & The Printed Palette My Favorite Things Party.   Basically you are to bring 5 of the exact same items (your favorite items ever) with a value between $5-$7. Now for the most interesting part, it said  “be creative in your selections and packaging“. Yikes!! I’ll be surrounded by super creative people what am I to do?

You all saw my post yesterday on what I brought.  The mason jars filled with a ton of my favorites!! If you didn’t get a chance to see check them out here.

The night started out with some mingling, crafting, and eating. SO many pictures to post but I just couldn’t bear to choose.  If you look up the hashtag #elevateconfftp on Instagram you can see the whole party.

After all that fun, the presentations of gifts began.

The first was from Dana and here gift had a great message.  We all never really stop and take the time to just take a picture of what is real.  WIth our phones and digital cameras we are obsessed with taking the perfect picture instead of taking a picture of the moment.  No retakes, just a real picture.  I loved the idea!!!  She gave us a disposable camera, and a list of treasured moments to capture.  Brilliant for that person that needs to stop and smell the roses.

mft#1 Collage

 Next, I was presented by Jen from Delightful Deets gift. I loved the simplicity of how she wrapped it!  It was a bag of her most favorite chocolate chips wrapped with a paper doily, and tulle with a gift card to her favorite store TARGET!  DUH!  That is everybody’s favorite store right??  This would be a super cute idea maybe instead of a Target gift card it could be to Williams Sonoma, or Trader Joe’s, or a cute bakery.

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Personal handmade gifts are some of my favorite gifts ever.  And you all know my obsession with kraft paper!!  When I received this bag of goodies from Jenilee from Squint Paperie I literally squealed with joy!!!  First off it was wrapped in a little brown paper bag, second she hand-lettered the phrase on the bag!  WOW!  Inside was more kraft goodies and a white pen.  I LOVE white pens!!!  So cute!  Personal stationery is a fantastic gift for anyone.

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I love the idea of wrapping up goodies in gable boxes.  Dress it up with some washi tape and add a handmade tassel and boom… instant success! Summer of Made by Munchie’s Mama put a bunch of goodies together in this adorable box.  I couldn’t help but to gravitate to the nail polish and nail decals!  How fitting considering I live in a house with three daughters!  Nail polish is a staple in out house.  What a great idea!  You could do this gift on a budget… think dollar tree nail items.  What gal doesn’t love goodies for her nails!

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I love how Darcie from Juneau Luxe used the gift wrap box from Sephora in her own way.  Lots of time I shop at places that I know will gift wrap or include packaging.  Darcie could have wrapped it like she was supposed to but instead she left the top opened and poofed out the tissue paper.  It was such a cute little twist to what could have looked like an ordinary gift box.  You don’t have to follow the rules of gift wrapping… do whatever is going o make it look super cute!  By the way she included the best hand and nail lotion from Sephora EVER!!! MFT#5 Collage

There was so many more great ideas out there!  Look up the #hashtag I mentioned to see them all.

Just when we though we were done for the night The Elevate ladies along with The Printed Palette gave us a bag full of swag…. FULL!  The Printed Palette had these gorgeous bags made for us especially for the event.

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One of the best parts of the night was being able to spend it with my friend Michelle Hill of Polka Dot Whimsy… and what was even better was we made so many new  friends!  YAY!!!!  Hope these $5 gift ideas inspired you to stay within your budget this year!  Now hurry go look at Instagram at all the other greatness from the night!!

me and Michelle

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Mason Jar Gift Wrapping

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending The My Favorite Things event by The Elevate Blog Conference  in Carlsbad at The Printed Palette.  We had to bring 5 of our “favorite things” to trade with 5 other people, all while being creative in the packaging.  Want to hear more about this awesome event?  Check back later this week, I will be doing a whole separate blog post about the event.   For now I will be giving you a little teaser on how I packaged my favorites!

I love mason jars.  I use jars for everything.  They are in my craft room and help me organize things.  I always give away my homemade salsa in them.  Last year even started giving my cookies away in them as well.  This year I wanted to take it a step further and start packaging non edible items in them as well.  I decided to package my items in mason jars.  Genius right??  YES!!!!!!

mason jars

First off,  if you know me you know I love Mary Kay Eye Make Up Remover…like LOVE the stuff.  But I knew I couldn’t buy and give that out to everyone (we had a $5-$7 cap).  I also use Ponds cleansing towelettes, they have been a favorite of my especially when I travel.  Those I could buy (in the travel section for $1).  I knew they would be a perfect fit in the jars too!

mason jar

Between scrapbooking and my photography business I use my camera stamp almost daily.  I love it so much so I knew I had to include that in there.  What else is my trade mark style?  Tickets… I always use them as my to and from tags on gifts… and we cannot forget my love affair with kraft paper, so I included a few mini kraft bags.  Boom done!

mason jars

I couldn’t stop there, I had to decorate the jar itself.  I always have a massive stash of paper doilies and cupcake wrappers on hand. I cannot pass cupcake wrappers and not buy them… they are a total weakness of mine.  I just went with the whole “blue ribbon” look and  layered it all together and attached it to the lid of the jar.  I made the tails out of a pages from a vintage book I have been using to create with.  I added some pom-pom ribbon and a bottle cap with the same vintage paper and DONE!  I am mason jar wrapping hooked.  I am now going to wrap everything in a jar!  Don’t be surprised what I will now stuff into a jar.

mason jar

Looks cute right?  I know you all have jars in your cupboards.  Get them out and start using them.. like NOW!

Thanksgiving Printables

Just in time for you to start decorating.  You know,  you don’t need to go all out decorating for every holiday right?  Sometimes a few printables displayed in some cute frames is all that adorns my house during some holidays.  For reals… believe it!!  We are helping you today with some awesome free printables for Thanksgiving.  I have a frame on an easel in my entry way that I just interchange to suit the right occasion. I leave all the holiday prints in there so there is no searching for them.  I splurge and spend the $1.35 for a print from Costco (they just look better than printing it from my printer)  These also make great hostess gifts if you’re going over to someones house for Thanksgiving.  We are giving you options… print them.

Thanksgiving

Find it here.

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

Find it here.

Thanksgiving

Find it here.

Thanksgiving

Find it here.

Thanksgiving

Find it here.

Thanksgiving

Find it here.

Thanksgiving

Find it here.

4 minute Halloween Banner

You read it right!  4 minutes from start to finish.  Teresa Collins is a genius when she designed this paper.  Why not embrace a project that takes less than 5 minutes or less?  You always have the option to embellish on the design and make it as intricate as you would like.

 

 

 

 

teresa collins

 

In my case I just wanted it simple.  All I took out was my paper trimmer, some twine, and my Crop-a-dile hole punch.

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Sometimes finished is better than pretty.

Halloween Treat Bags

Halloween treat bags are officially being made, and what a great feeling that is.  Candy isn’t always first on the list at Halloween, occasionally it takes a backseat to baked goods.  You all know that the normal kraft bags show grease spots or basically any spot once you put food in it.  Wax bags or glassine bags come in handy for baked good items.  I made these bags because I knew they would be the perfect size for brownies, a slice of banana bread, cookies, becuzuluvme blog coffee cake slice… ok you get the picture.

becuzuluvme blog

becuzuluvme blog

I am notorious for buying paper so I can cut it up and use it as embellishments.  The tickets… cut from a 12×12 paper, the Frankenstein head?  Cut out from a 12×12 paper, The witches wart circle?  Yep,  you guessed it cut out from paper.  Do you see a pattern here?

becuzuluvme blog

becuzuluvme blog

Everything on this treat bags was cut out or stamped.  Super easy, super simple, totally doable.

Now get to creating!

Cocktails and Scrpbooking Don’t Mix

With all this talk of cleaning and organizing, working, painting,and more cleaning I have ended my evenings with a drink in hand.  Out here in SoCal our evenings have been HOT, and unfortunately I am not the “pass me a beer” type of girl.  I need something a little more sweeter than that.  My go to drink on an evening like this is a glass (or bottle) of Stella Rosa

Stella Rosa

You have no idea how happy this image makes me.

But some days are crazier than others and on other days I just feel flat-out fancy.  On days like these fancy drinks are in oder.  That’s when the following drinks are on the list.

cocktails

Freeze coffee as ice cubes and toss in a cup of Bailey’s and Vanilla Vodka.  Seriously?  All of my favorite things.  Speechless.

Rum Cocktail

1 oz. light rum
* 1 oz. Malibu® coconut rum
* 2 oz. fresh or frozen strawberries
* 1 small banana
* 2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
* 2 oz. coconut cream

The only thing holding me back from drinking this one everyday is maraschino cherry juice (yep straight from the jar).

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 Rum, cranberry and pineapple juice,  grenadine, a blood-red pomegranate syrup.

Ok that’s enough for today, I have a few drinks I need to make.  I must tell you I never, ever drink and … scrapbook.  I have tried it and I don’t recommend it ( I once scrapped the same page twice.. yep I will have to show you all one day two exact pages in my scrapbook!!!)

Stonefire Flatbread: Naan

Do you ever wonder sometimes what you are going to make for dinner on busy nights?

I must admit that usually a few times a month I run into Fresh & Easy Market for a “fake” home cooked meal.  Now I don’t mean fake like we are eating rubber food, “fake” as in I cheat my family into thinking I slaved on the meal forever.  They sell meals kited together for a no brainer meal.  I am serious… they have a pot roast meal that sell for like $14 and it comes with the roast, veggies, and seasoning!  Yep all I need to do is add water and cook.  Well today was one of those days, I knew this week was going to be one of those crazy, limited on time, but my family still wants to eat wholesome food kinda week.  Into Fresh & Easy I go, planning on just going down the prepackaged meat/meal isle my ADD look over there something is shiny-itis kicked in and I walked down every isle.  Along with my hatred of fast food is my dislike of paying full price… on ANYTHING.  To my surprise a red clearance sticker appeared, and it was on something we really like!  Dinner was created in an instant!

Stonefire Naan Flatbread

Stonefire

Have you had these?  OMG they are awesome!!  They retail for $1.99, even at that price is great.  Do you know what I paid for them? $0.30.  Can you believe it?  If the rude taller man (refuse to call him a gentleman) didn’t reach over me (yes they were on the top shelf and I am super short….like Snooki short) and grab them all I would have bought the whole shelf (they freeze wonderfully). I was only able to snatch 3 packs.  Best $1.20 spent.

Stonefire bread

Isn’t that the best sight ever?  It only takes a few minutes to heat up.  And it was made to be frozen??  Aka it’s family friendly!

Stonefire bread

Next was a bag of mozzarella cheese,a jar of pasta sauce,  some mushrooms and a bell pepper.  $8 and dinner was bought.

Should I rub it in that prep time took me 5 minutes? I scoped out tablespoon of mariana sauce, added some sliced mushrooms & bell peppers, and sprinkled some shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

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Stick these beauties in the oven for 8 minutes and dinner is served.  For reals.

 Plates and napkins are optional.

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I don’t even want to call them pizzas.. they were little bits of flatbread heaven…. topped with veggies.

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Ask me how many times they told me dinner was delicious….. yep they are still telling me!!!  Moral of this story is try new things for dinner other than the drive through take out window.  You will be happy you did.  Check back and see the panini’s I am planning with the Naan flatbread!

Ingredients:

  • Stonefire Flatbread Naan
  • Jar of pasta sauce
  • Bag of mozzarella Cheese
  • Your favorite Veggie Toppings

Instructions:

  1. 1 tablespoon pasta sauce on top of the Naan flatbread and spread evenly
  2. Layer your favorite vegetables on top of the sauce
  3. Sprinkled desired amount of mozzarella cheese on top of the veggies
  4. Bake on 350 for 8 – 10 minutes
  5. Eat up!!!!

Halloween Treat Bags

For most of us we are still swimming in our pools, blasting our air conditioners, and working on our tans.. but fall is coming.  It will be here before we know it.  We wanted to show you how easy it is to make simple treat bags out of a few dollar store items and a few things you probably already have at home in your stash.

We all know the Dollar Tree carries crepe paper… they will have Halloween colors out soon if it’s not already out.  Brown lunch bags, you might have them at home if not get them at the dollar store.  Next just some scrap Halloween themed scrapbook paper and punches.

bcuzuluvme blog

bcuzuluvme blog

Martha Stewart has great edge punches and their not just for borders.  You can use them for the details on rosettes, or on the top of the treat  bags as well.

martha stewart punch

Lay the brown paper bag flat (don’t open it) and punch the top of it with the border punch. You do not have to keep the bag tall,  you can cut the bag down and use Martha Stewart’s haunted fence punch then it would look like a graveyard!  Use this same technique with the snowflake punch in winter, the leaves punch in fall…. you get the picture.

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Next take out all that old scrap Halloween themed paper (you could even use gift wrap) and just cut some circles for an added focal point on the rosettes.  All this cuteness for a couple of dollars at the Dollar Tree.  No need to buy fancy gift bags.  It can get expensive when you have to make 20+ treat bags for your child’s classroom.  You can still make it cute without spending $20 on bags.

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 Have fun creating treat bags this season!

Baby Shower Games are Out Crafts are In

We can call it a sign of the times… or everybody is on Pintrest so their events are getting better.  Either way we have all been to a baby shower or two that lost our interest as soon as the cheesy games came out.  Am I right?

If you come to a shower that I am hosting you can count on not playing any games whatsoever, but you can count on being crafty.  I have hosted my fair share of showers and if you have been a guest at any of my events I am a social butterfly.   Stopping to play games that no one really wants to play cramps my social butterfly-ness, not to mention the guest of honor usually can’t play and then I feel guilty if everyone does not walk away with a prize.  If I am hosting a shower I set up crafting areas throughout the party.

 At this particular party I set up a Bow Bar, Burp Cloth Corner, and a Onesie Table.

bow bar Collage

Gusts are allowed to graze the sumptuous buffet, chat while crafting, and sip on beverages.  There is no stress about finishing the crafts in a certain time frame in fact some guests were so into it they were still crafting while watching the gifts being opened.

I always have a little sign with steps and or instructions in plain sight.

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Everyone is always afraid that their “Great Aunt Ida” will create a hideous bow and that you will have to put it on your sweet baby cause she will ask you about it… you have nightmare about this scenario.  I put those fears to bed by already layering cute patterns in a “so one will create an ugly bow”  because well it’s just not an option now.  All they have to do is glue it on the ribbon covered hair clip.  Everyone wins… they feel awesome about themselves because they created a great looking bow, and the guest of honor feels great cause she now has a ton of super cute bows!

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Guest had the option to making all the crafts or picking one they felt comfortable making.

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During the party we had tags to fill out with their names once they completed a project.  We attached them to each project so the guest of honor knew who created it.

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Not to mention it looked super cute just hanging there!

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You can use this set up for bridal showers too!

Just think dish towels, pillowcases, aprons…. get my drift?