I work with the middle and high-school age girls in our church’s youth program and last week we had a night to kick off our year and welcome all the new girls, go over activities for the year, and just enjoy being around each other. Our theme for this year is “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” –2 Nephi 31:20. We went with a tribal/arrow theme for the night to carry through the “press forward” theme. One thing we made to decorate for the activity was these mini teepees to go on the tables. They were so easy to make and would be so cute on the table at a birthday party, in a nursery, or in a doll house. Sawyer even brought up the Kelly doll from when I was a kid and put her in one to hang out for awhile.
So here’s how we put them together-
Supplies: Wooden Kabob Skewers, Scrap fabric, and twine.
The first thing we did was cut the tips off of the skewers. You could leave them on if you like the way they look, but I liked the flat look more. Then take three skewers and hold them together at the top like a teepee. Now take your twine, and tie it in a knot around where the three kabobs meet. Then just wrap and wrap and wrap the twine around the top and around the skewers until the structure feels secure. Tie a knot and cut the twine.
Next, take the scrap fabric, and you want to cut it into a trapezoid. I wish I had taken a picture of the fabric before I put it on, but here is basically the shape that I cut it to. Don’t worry about it being too precise, there’s plenty of room for error, but it’s a good idea to make a pattern out of an extra piece of scrap paper or fabric that you don’t care about.
Take your fabric, and fold the top edge down, wrap it around your teepee frame, and tie it with a piece of twine. Then you can tuck or trim any edges that look unruly or out of place and add little feathers, flowers, anything. So easy and fast to make and they are so cute. We made them in all different colors to add some pops of color to the table and represent the different parts of our theme.
I forgot to take any pictures at the actual activity, but luckily one of the other ladies shared a few of hers with me.
Am I the only one who has been swooning over all the new farm-fresh bouquet companies popping up lately like The Bouqs farm fresh flowers and Farmgirl Flowers?
With all their burlap and kraft paper wrapped gorgeousness, it’s no wonder they were tagged like crazy on Valentine’s Day and I’ve been dying to have one of their pretty bouquets on my table. I love having flowers around the house year-round and decided to try my hand at making my own farmstand bouquet. Floral arrangements are a lot easier than you would think, so grab some scissors and follow along for my DIY farmstand flower bouquet tutorial!
Alright, the first thing you do might be the hardest party of all of steps, but it’s also the most fun- head to the store. I went into the local grocery stores scouring for pretty flowers with a farm-fresh look. Most grocery stores buy from the same people and so they didn’t have too much of a variety, but, as always, Kroger had the biggest and most diverse floral section. The night before my wedding I ran to Kroger and bought my wedding flowers there; they’re that good. If you have a Kroger near you, check there first. I’ve heard that Costco has awesome flowers at great prices too, but we don’t have Costco here (horrible, right? When we go see my brother we always make a Costco trip).
When picking out flowers for farm-fresh looking bouquets, you want to make sure you get three kinds- Greenery, tiny flowers, and a couple of large flowers.
1. For your greenery, try to find a couple different kinds. Since you’re going for a farmstand look, look for pretty grasses, stems with big wide, leaves, and anything that looks like cabbage or lettuce. If they have anything that looks velvety, definitely buy it.These are called lambs ear and they are beautiful in arrangements! You want to try and get a good variety of textures and sizes. Farmstand bouquets are usually lush with greenery and the best part is it’s so cheap; for my bouquet I bought one bundle of greenery for $4 and another for $5. Definitely look for some of those cabbage too. They’re lush and definitely farm-y looking.
2. Tiny Flowers- I can make whole bouquets of small flowers. I love their delicate details and pretty, soft colors. For this bouquet I used spray roses (I use these for any bouquet I make because they are so pretty), very small carnations, and a few lilies. You really can’t go wrong with any color, although I loved muted, soft colors.
3. Big flowers- You want just a couple of big flowers to be the center point of your bouquet and to anchor it. For my bouquet I chose two stems of Hydrangeas (it was only $4 for the pair) and used my cabbage as a third large anchor. Other favorites I love to use are succulents, garden roses, magnolias, Peony’s (which are hard to come by!), Ranunculus, and Queen Anne’s Lace, which grows everywhere in South in the summer so you can just go flower picking and get it free!
Now to arrange it all! I’m going to show you how I like to arrange flowers for bouquets that I’m giving to someone or taking somewhere. It’s so easy and anyone can do it. First prep your flowers and greenery by taking it all out of the wrappers, cutting off the rubber bands, and removing all the unwanted stems/leaves. On the flower stems, you want to pluck off any dead flowers and all the leaves that are about six inches down all the way to the bottom. The picture here show a carnation stem, I would pluck off both of those leaves. Taking off the unwanted leaves makes the bouquet look cleaner and nicer and it stays alive longer since there are no dead flowers to mold or leaves that will be below the waters surface drinking unnecessary water or molding.
Now lay down your burlap or kraft paper. Cut a nice big square of burlap or kraft paper (you can buy kraft paper at the grocery store in the school supplies section). Even newspaper makes a homey, fun looking wrap for a bouquet. Lay your square on the table and fold the top corner down.
Now you’ll start the flower part with your greenery. You’re going to lay it on the table with the stems together, making a fan shape with a nice arch, alternating your greenery. You can see how I did mine-
Now you’ll add a second layer made up of some of your tiny flowers. I simply alternated the stems of small flowers I bought on top of my greenery, but a couple of inches lower. I did spray rose, carnation, lily, and repeated. I used about 7 stems in this layer.
The next layer is where you’ll add in your big flowers, going down a few inches again. Working from left to right, I added a piece of greenery, one of my hydrangeas, the next hydrangea, and another piece of greenery. Then I layed my cabbage on top of the hydrangeas right in between them.
Take a look at your bouquet. If you see any gaping holes, you can fill them in with greenery or your tiny roses, if not, then you’re ready to tie it up and finish! You can either tie your stems together at the bottom or rubber band them. I used an office supply rubber band. They’re 44 cents for a 100 pack bag at the grocery store, so it’s a good option that’s easy if you are going to make a lot of them.
Next, tuck up the bottom of your paper or burlap and then wrap up the sides just like if you were swaddling a baby.
For your tie you can use anything from ribbon to baker’s twine to scrap fabric. I used a big red and white ribbon for Valentine’s Day. Now it’s ready to take to a friend or keep for yourself, or photograph for instagram
Super easy and BEAUTIFUL and it’s been so pretty on my table. All the happiness of a farmstand bouquet but from the store. If you make one, tag me on instagram or hashtag #goodmorningloretta! I’d love to see them and share them with everyone! And if your significant other didn’t get you the flowers you wanted for Valentine’s Day, email them the link to this post so they can do it right
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuggiesNewYear #CollectiveBias
One fun thing about coming from a big family is there seems to always be at least one pregnant person. Between Brandon’s family and mine, we have three pregnant sister-in-laws right now, and my best friend is pregnant. Now here in the South, we love to throw baby showers for every baby, and we’d love to celebrate all the babies in the family, but not everyone lives close enough to do that, so since my brothers wife is pregnant with her baby, I thought it’d be fun to send her a “baby shower in a box” filled with some of my favorite baby items.
I really wanted it to be something special, more than just a gift, and I wanted it to have wow-factor when it was opened. Since she doesn’t know what she’s having, I filled the box with pretty flowers, greenery, and moss and tiny details.
Here’s all the supplies I used, the only thing I forgot to include in the picture was the hot glue gun and tissue paper-
The first thing I did was add paper to the flaps. I traced each flap on my paper and then cut it out and mod-podged the paper on. I realized afterwards that each flap was 12X6 so I could have just used scrap book paper and cut each piece in half. That would have been easier, so measure first haha
Once I knew the flaps were for sure dry I used vinyl letters to spell out “Welcome Baby” on two of the flaps, covered the two I didn’t want to get paint on, and spray painted over the vinyl letters.
Make sure your spray paint dries completely through, I let mine sit a full 24 hours so it would cure and so the box wouldn’t smell when I packaged it all up. If it’s all the way dry, peel the letters off very slowly. You don’t want to accidentally peel off any of the floral paper or paint. Now you have pretty letters!
The next thing I added was moss to the insides of the box. I used rolls of faux-moss and hot glued them along the sides.
To finish off the inside, I put another 12X12 piece of the floral paper on the bottom of the inside of the box to make it pretty. Once it was dry I filled the box with all my go-to baby supplies. I ran to Family Dollar the other day to get some presents to go inside. They have a whole baby section with really great prices so I was able to get everything I needed there.
If you came to my house, you’d see it looks like a Huggies ad. I learned early on that having the right diapers will save you a lot of laundry. I got her Huggies wipes and diapers at Family Dollar to get her stockpile started. I like that they carry a lot of different size packs that I haven’t seen at other stores from really small packs to the big boxes, and they have all the sizes I need.
Instead of using wrapping paper, I cut squares of vintage floral fabrics and tied the wipes up in them. I took the diapers out of the package and tied them with fabric scraps and put a flower in the knot. Whenever I see vintage sheets in pretty patterns at the thrift store, I grab them and save them for things like this. I love the dainty patterns and pretty colors. I also got her some paci’s, baby socks, teething toys, and more baby essentials and some little party supplies like a party hat and added it all to the box.
I filled in all of the gaps in with faux-greenery and flowers. I feel like as a mom of all boys, I never get to play with flowers and pink things, so I went all out on the florals. For the garland that opened with the box, I made a garland with doilies and mini-fringe tassels. I simply cut a small piece, of tissue paper, folded it in fourths, cut the tiny little fringe, and glued it shut.
I used washi tape to attach baker’s twine to the box on the outside of the two flaps that didn’t have words and clipped on the little tassels with mini-clothespins.
I folded small doilies and added them to the twine in between the tassels.
Honestly,I kept staring at it because it was so pretty. Like I said, I don’t get to make things look floral and pretty very often, and I love love loved this box, I can’t wait for her to get it!
I’m excited to send it off to her and hopefully we can skype while she opens it. It’s my brother and her first baby together so we’re all really excited for them, do you have family having babies far away? How do you share in the celebrations for new baby from afar? Any other mama’s who always gift Huggies out there?
Thanks to Collective Bias and it’s advertiser for sponsoring this post. All opinions and fun are mine alone! #ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias
One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to go ding-dong-ditching treats to neighbors, people who might need some cheer during the holidays, people who were super great to us over the year, or just totally random houses. Brandon and I started doing it back when it was just the two of us, and now we have three boys we’re passing the tradition down to. Now that Sawyer is old enough to really help and understand what we’re doing, it has become even more fun and he’s been looking forward to it ever since I told him he gets to ring people’s door bells and then run away.
This year I decided to make Cream Cheese and Cinnamon cookie/danishes. My Aunt made them for us last year and Brandon has been asking for them ever since. I wanted to make something similar to her recipe but tweak it a little so they could be dipped in hot chocolate. I love love love sitting and sipping hot chocolate and dipping something not-so-healthy in it, it helps the Christmas season feel more winter-y when it’s been very warm. These are so easy to make and most of the ingredients, if not all, you probably already have in your home.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Danish Dippers for Hot Chocolate
Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets
A bag of Peppermint White Chocolates
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 cup of Brown Sugar
8 oz package of Cream Cheese (softened)
1/4 cup of Powdered Sugar
1 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
Flour your surface and take out the puff pastry sheets. Let them thaw until they are pliable but still cold. While they are thawing, unwrap your Peppermint White Chocolates and put them into a bowl so they will be ready to melt and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Next, take the remaining ingredients and mix them with a blender on medium until smooth. Once your pastry sheets are thawed for working with, cut the sheets into 9 squares and roll them out to be a little thinner.(note to self- stop forgetting to buy a rolling pin when at the store!)
Once your squares are rolled out, spread a line of the cream cheese filling from one corner to the other, and then simply fold one bare corner in and roll it up! Place it on a non-stick cookie sheet. Repeat for all of the other squares, placing them about 3 inches apart. Cook for about 15 minutes until crispy light brown and take out. While they are cooking, microwave the Peppermint White Chocolates in 15 second increments until melted. Use a spoon to drizzle over the baked pastries and they’re done and delicious!
Now since we would be transporting these and leaving them on people’s doorsteps, I wanted to put together a cute but dependable packaging. When I was in Walmart I saw Rubbermaid’s holiday TakeAlongs containers that came in red, green, and holiday prints and knew they would be perfect. They come in a bunch of different sizes an shapes (deep bowls, rectangles, squares, even egg carriers) that are perfect for any holiday treats (or leftovers!) so I grabbed a pack of the deep squares and a pack of the rectangles in all green.
I used the rectangles to hold my Danishes in a single layer, that way the drizzle wouldn’t get messed up or stuck to one on top of it.
They fit perfectly! To complete the package, I filled my squares with marshmallows and put enough hot chocolate packets for their family on top. I tied a wired green burlap ribbon around the sides to hold it all together, and topped it off with a star to make-
Little Christmas trees! How fun for the holidays is that? I added little tags that said Merry Christmas and wrote a little note on the back of some of them thanking them for everything they’ve done for us this year (but didn’t sign them, we’re all about anonymous ding-dong-ditching). As an extra cute bonus, the stars are simply ornaments that I attached to the ribbon, they can be hung on their Christmas tree after they get their treats.
They came out so cute and were so easy to put together. I love that the TakeAlongs containers are made to keep food secure and prevent spills since our kids would be helping carry them as we ding-dong-ditched the treats to people. Goodness knows we aren’t very inconspicuous with three little boys, but spilling food all over someone’s lawn would definitely have given us away.
We headed out in the not-so-cold 75 degree Georgia weather to deliver our little packages-
Sawyer was really excited to get to run and leave treats on people’s door steps, so we explained to him how it worked, and let him have at it. I documented it (of course), so here he is in all his adorable glory ding-dong-ditching treats for the first time ever:
We had the best time, and probably will go again before Christmas. The boys loved it and it was so easy to put together. The Rubbermaid TakeAlongs have an Ibotta offer running right now for $1 off any 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs containers just at Walmart so you can pocket some extra holiday money while at it! Our Walmart had them in the holiday section towards the front of the store.
We love doing the same Christmas traditions every year, do you go ding-dong-ditching? If not, what do you do, we’d love to add to our families traditions and try something new!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheJoyOfPie #CollectiveBias
We started another fun holiday tradition at our house over the weekend, in our home we LOVE pie. So much so that for our wedding, we had pies instead of wedding cake, it’s that serious. Every year, we make gingerbread houses with the kids, but this year my husband upped the ante and thought of doing gingerbread villages on top of pies so over the weekend we got crafty and had so much fun making them. The kids helped decorate (and clean up any unwanted candy) and we had fun getting a little competitive about whose gingerbread roofs were going to be better.
I could totally see having a party and making these and then eating them. Making it on a pie is not only cute, it taste amazing afterwards. Let’s be honest, no one ever eats their gingerbread houses, but if it’s on top of pie, it’s will be devoured (especially in our house).
If you want to make these at home, it’s simple and fun. Here’s what you’ll need: Pies- we used Marie Callender’s® Cherry Crunch Pie and Marie Callender’s® Southern Pecan Pie Reddi-wip® 4 Eggs 1 tbl spoon lemon juice Powdered Sugar Things to build your village- we used Shortbread cookies, graham crackers, licorice, m&m’s, sprinkles, gummi bears, sour patch kids, animal crackers, and snowman peeps.
To make the icing that holds the houses together, take the 4 eggs and get rid of the yolks, you’ll only need the whites. Mix the egg whites and lemon juice with a mixer. Then, add in the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until the consistency resembles peanut butter. I then put it into 5 sandwich bags so everyone could have their own, just have a pair of scissors out so they can snip off the corner and decorate!
Make sure you cook your pies first, I used Marie Callender’s® frozen pies which were super easy to pick-up at Wal-Mart in the frozen food section.
Once the pies were ready and cooled, we went to town making our villages. I started with my houses, putting the bottom part together and then decorated some of the ground while the icing set. The icing takes about ten to fifteen minutes to set and then your houses should be really strong. Once the icing set, I put on my roofs and decorated more.
The final step I did was taking the Reddi-wip® and filling in anywhere you could see the pie so that it looked like snowfall. Ta-da! So cute and Christmassy!
Three houses with driveways, a pond, and caroling gummi-bears! Here’s my husband’s finished pie:
We had so much fun making them! On the table I had also made cute signs for the decorations
These were super easy and fun to make. You only need a few supplies: cardstock, washi tape, glitter, and glue. You can start with your own words printed off, or download mine here and here. Cut the pages down the cut lines. Don’t worry about cutting off the cut lines, they’ll covered by the glitter.
Next, I folded them in half, and began covering the words with the washi tape and creating a design. Anywhere the washi tape covers will be white so I cut my down smaller so my design would have skinnier lines. I wanted a lot of glitter.
That’s what they looked like when they were ready for glitter. I used a piece of cardboard to spread glue on them and then in and then went to town with the glitter. I did all of it in a cookie sheet for easy clean up.
Once the glitter and glue was dry, I peeled off the washi tape for my finished product! Make sure you don’t take the tape off too early or it can mess up your paper or design.
I thought they came out great and would be cute if you had a gingerbread pie decorating party. You could also make one and deliver it to someone. It’d be a really cute way to show someone you were thinking of them and encourage them to #pieitforward! Another fun idea is to give some one a basket with a pie, homemade icing and all the supplies so they can make a gingerbread pie village!
Check out Marie Callender’s website for more recipes and a coupon for the pies so you can get started making your own! There are some awesome things you could make on your pie- a nativity scene, a beach scene, a sky-scraper! I’d love to hear yalls gingerbread pie ideas!