Monday, January 13, 2014

A New Year, A New Life.

This is my first post in awhile...because I went and had a baby! <3 He's (super adorable) 7 weeks old and doing great.

In 2014 I plan to simplify. This includes:
  • De-cluttering my house. I want every thing to have its own place. Otherwise it will be donated or given away.
  • Using what I have first. This means eating the old cereal in the pantry before buying new breakfast foods for busy/lazy days as well as using up my craft supplies before buying more.
  • Planning ahead. Meal plans, to do lists, shopping early for gifts, etc.
Among those things I want to personalize my house a bit with decorated switch plates and outlet covers, art prints on the walls, framed pictures of us, seasonal linens (guest bathroom hand towel, the hanging oven towels, etc.) and maybe I will get around to replacing the boring dolphin overhead fan pulls.

And some miscellaneous goals and hopes:
  • Build our savings.
  • Continue to find ways to save money.
  • Participate in an elderly Angel Tree type event for Christmas.
  • Find opportunities to donate.
  • Blog more!
 Happy 2014 to you. What are your goals and hopes this year?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Skeleton Cupcakes Recipe for Halloween


It's not too early to start planning your Halloween treats for your office parties and kid's parties.

I came across these adorable Skeleton Cupcakes that I wanted to share.

Skeleton Cupcake Recipe

Makes 10 servings.


10 Chocolate Cupcakes
1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
20 brown M&M's
1 long strand black licorice
25 white mini jellybeans
10 mini Chocolate Cupcakes
1 (9 oz.) box chocolate wafers

  1. Beat together butter and shortening for 2 minutes. Slowly beat in confectioners' sugar. Add vanilla and salt; beat for 1 minute. Mound 1/4 cup frosting in center of top of each larger cupcake.
  2. For faces, add M&M's, pieces of licorice and halved jellybeans (see photo).
  3. For hats, dab frosting on mini cupcakes, invert and stick to chocolate wafers. Put one on each icing mound.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Halloween Gift Guide on Pinterest

Looking for a Halloween gift for a hostess or Halloween party? Do you like to be in the Halloween spirit all year long?

Check out my Halloween Gift Guide on Pinterest featuring items from the fastest growing marketplace for artisans, suppliers, and vintage sellers.

I will keep adding to it as I find more things to pin. Each item at the time added is available for sale.

Monday, August 19, 2013

50 Things to do to Un Bore Yourself

Are you bored? Are you mindlessly browsing the internet? Are you in need of a distraction? Here are 50 things to do something!

  1. Explore
  2. Write your Christmas cards now.
  3. Pick up 5 things in each room of your house and put them in their rightful place.
  4. Take a walk to somewhere you haven't been before.
  5. Look for blogs to read that pertain to your interests.
  6. Make a budget.
  7. Start a journal to record your thoughts and daily happenings.
  8. Talk to someone you haven't spoken to in awhile.
  9. Go to the library, grab a random book off the shelf, and read it.
  10. Pick up litter on the roads near your home.
  11. Ask a neighbor if they need any help.
  12. Rearrange the furniture in your house.
  13. Visit your favorite store to window shop.
  14. Take the practice driver's test online to see if you still have "it."
  15. Clean all of your appliances.
  16. Volunteer at your local thrift store, library, etc.
  17. Write someone a "thinking of you" card.
  18. Get rid of all your newspapers and catalogs.
  19. Look for things around your house that you aren't using and either sell or donate them.
  20. Write a meal plan for the week.
  21. Read the online reviews of local businesses to see what you are missing out on.
  22. Explore a local park.
  23. Read your local newspaper.
  24. Write a guest column for your local newspaper.
  25. Send an email to one of your favorite brands and tell them what you like about their product(s).
  26. Listen to music you listened to in high school.
  27. Bake bread from scratch.
  28. Wash your curtains.
  29. Write a letter to an overseas soldier.
  30. Find an email penpal.
  31. Dust every surface in your home.
  32. Grab two random objects in your bedroom and write a short story that includes both items.
  33. Gather flowers from outside to make your own bouquet to freshen up your kitchen.
  34. Take a short walk around your house and take pictures of anything that inspires you.
  35. Update your resume.
  36. Start a website or blog.
  37. Try out a new recipe.
  38. Throw a dinner party.
  39. Write out your 5 year plan.
  40. Go through old pictures to relive the memories.
  41. Draw something.
  42. Create a time capsule and stash it somewhere in your home.
  43. Offer to babysit for one of your friends or family members that never has time to go out alone.
  44. Go through all of your clothes and get rid of the ones you haven't worn in awhile.
  45. Learn to meditate.
  46. Play a game of cards.
  47. Take a nap.
  48. Try your hand at drawing; be it a pet, a portrait, or an object.
  49. Tackle a repair project in your home that you've been putting off.
  50. Wash all your windows inside and out.

What do you do when you find yourself bored? Feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

Friday, August 16, 2013

5 Ways to Store Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper is awesome, and I have found 5 different examples on how you can store it without it being an eye sore.

This first image is a storage rack made from curtain rods and wooden beams. I love the idea of the magnetic strip holding scissors.

This next idea is simple and clever using a mesh garbage can with wheels attached to the bottom for easy maneuvering. Click on the source link for information on how to make this yourself.

Use shelf brackets to display your lovely papers while keeping your area functional. I am personally on the lookout for interesting looking brackets so I can incorporate this idea into my own craft room.

Do you have wire shelving? Use hooks to hang your gift bags while folding tissue paper and wrapping paper over each wire. Clever and organized!

Corral your gift wrap using an over the door storage unit. Everything has a place, and it's all together. I love this idea.

How do you store your gift wrap? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Free Etsy Listings When You...

You get 40 free listings ($8 value) courtesy of Etsy if you convince a friend to open a new shop.

Sounds great, huh?

You get 40 free listings, your friend gets 40 free listings to begin their online selling journey, and together you added 80 more listings to the website, which leads to more traffic for the website.

In a sense it is great that the new people are all given the opportunity to test the waters. They get to try out first hand "what it would be like to open an online shop" without losing anything but time if it doesn't pan out. And it's great that many current sellers have a free boost to list fresh items in their shops.

But what about the buyer's point of view?

There is going to be a flood of amateur listings with bad photos and poor descriptions. There will be a tsunami of new reseller shops that will drown the real handmade items beneath their manufactured sea of crap.

Have you even tried to search for something on Etsy lately? It's hard to tell what's really handmade anymore, and that is sad.

I do hope that some of the new sellers take me by surprise and list amazing handmade items. I don't mean to offend new sellers. I used to be a new seller, and my pictures were kind of awful. Etsy is in dire need of real handmade. I admit I don't shop there nearly as much as I used to. I'd rather scour as their team actually responds to reports of non handmade items.

What do you think? Do the new handmade sellers have a fighting chance over the new reseller shops? Or is this generosity all in the name of more views, clicks, and revenue for Etsy's shareholders?

Are you looking for 40 free listings? Click here to claim them and open a new shop.

Disclaimer: I am aware that Etsy has amazing vintage and supply shops. I hope they keep doing what they are doing. My post was specifically in regards to handmade vs. resellers.
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