Unique… basically free Christmas gift

Keeping up with the Jones’ can be difficult, especially at Christmas time.  You don’t have to spend money to give a unique gift… and newsflash unique is not code word for ugly homemade gifts!

Chances are if you are reading this blog you are probably the creative one in your family.  Are you the one taking a million pictures at parties?  You can make anything look cute.  Did I get it right???  This gift idea is for you.

Look over the pictures you’ve taken this past year.  Pick out a bunch of your favorite pictures for each family you are gifting.  Burn those pictures on a CD.  Using a CD sleeve, cupcake wrappers and some twine, wrap it up!  It’s perfect gift for any occasion!  And if you do it right, didn’t cost you a dime.

Who wouldn’t love a CD of pictures of their family from the past year?

bcuzuluvme

Best gift ever.

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.

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 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

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!

From Santa Tags

I miss the little details I use to put into Christmas for my kids.  Now that they have gotten older I just wrap prettier…boring!!!  I was so good at wrapping the Santa gifts so they would look like the came from Santa’s Workshop.  I hid the wrapping paper, used special tags, tied big fun bows, totally over the top.  They had no clue!  Now I am enjoying it once again for my nieces and nephew.

Don’t forget the little things.  Here are a few Santa tag ideas for you to use.   I am sure some of you creative type can create you own version… Make Christmas extra special for you little ones.

Santa Tags

Three Little Monkeys Download

Santa tags

Father Rabbit  Tags

Santa tag

Wood Santa Tag

Santa Tag

Design Corral Tag

Halloween Treat bags out of Dollar Spot Deals

Hello my name is PJ and I’m a sucker for the Dollar Spot section of Target!  Who isn’t?  You can find just about anything in that section for your holiday needs.  Right now, it’s full of fun and fabulous Halloween themed items!  I’m always trying to find new ways to dress up treat bags for my kids to take to their classes.  I swear their is a secret competition between the moms in the classes to see who makes the cutest/coolest goody bag!   Well, here is my latest goody bag creation.  I got the bags at the Dollar Spot section of Target. They came in quantities of 4 per package.  I then just added some plain cardstock borders that I punched out with various Martha Stewart Halloween punches. I also used those border punches to make the rosettes and lastly added some tulle and twine that I had lying around.

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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!

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!

Cupcake Liners* DIY Gift Wrapping*

Brown paper packages tied up with string… make that twine, and gussied up with cupcake liners these are a few of my favorite things.

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Ordinary folk will see cupcake liners and pass right on by thinking to themselves ” I am not baking cupcakes anytime soon” and not buy any.  Extraordinary people will see cupcake liners and buy all the patterns because they need to wrap a gift, need to gift a jar of jam, need to make a garland, or they need to make a birthday card.  Why on earth would they need a cupcake liner to wrap a gift you ask??  Because it’s CUTE!  Seriously why would we want to make something look ugly?  Cupcake liners make everything super cute.  When in doubt add a cupcake liner…you have never heard anyone say “that’s too many cupcake liners”.  Stay tuned for some more decorative ways to use cupcake liners!!

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Pick Your Plum * Discount craft Supplies * Deals *

Pick Your Plum Bcuzuluvme Blog

Pick Your Plum is a website that offers a limited number of items at a significant discount.  Each morning they release what is “on sale” for they day.  They go to great lengths to secure these deals for you.  What exactly do they sell?  everything from headbands, personalized baseball bats, washi tape, cupcake liners, personalized wooden buttons, scarves, and that was just in a week.  You have to be on your toes with them, where the motto you snooze you lose should be a disclaimer on their website.  If you ever see something you like you have to snag it up and quickly!  Here are a few words from Pick Your Plum themselves:

We have. We know. Join us.

Get it before your neighbor does:

We have limited supplies on some of the most swank supplies. We have agents out in the field who find killer deals on high quality products.
We delicately slap prime-o pricing on crafting, clothing, baking supplies, home decor and other fabulous finds. Stellar pricing. Cool.
We sell it ’til it’s gone or ’til time is up.
You leave feeling like you just won Martha in a crafting contest.
The supplies arrive in 7-8 shipping days and you’ve just picked your ‘plum’! Doesn’t it feel good?
Sign up for Instant Alerts so you always know ‘The Deal’. Don’t blame us if you overdose. We only sell products we would use ourselves. We enjoy quality.

The relationship isn’t over once you buy something from them… they have great Pinterest boards too!

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Go to the website now and register to sign up, this will get you alerts or emails each morning on what is being sold for the day.

Cookies by Kerri * Southern California Baker*Cookies*

Cookies.  Who doesn’t love a great cookie?  What is more important these days is the presentation of that cookie.  The most detailed decorated cookie often times tastes horrible.  We have learned that sometimes a pretty cookie is going to taste gross.  Well I have found the miracle bake… she has been the answer to my prayers!  She not only can decorate a cookie like no other but the taste amazing!!!!  No lie…often times I will buy her broken cookies or practice ones because the taste so darn good!  My family has cravings for these things!  With the back to school coming up I thought it would be cute to show you her school themed cookies.  What a great surprise it would be for your little one to get one of these in their lunch pail… or start the year off right and give a few to the new teacher or office staff.  It’s never to early to start kissing school butt!

Cookies by Kerri

^^^^cookie masterpieces^^^^

cookies by kerri

She will even wrap them individually for you!  She gets booked sometimes months in advanced so if you are interested in an order… GET IT IN NOW!  Check out her Facebook page for more of her themed creations.