Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers

iStock 000018297000Small Last Minute Stocking StuffersChristmas is just around the corner so it’s time to start putting together those last-minute Christmas stocking stuffers. We have rounded up multiple DIYs for you to try out this holiday season on your last few days before the gift giving begins. Follow these easy directions and your family will enjoy the perfect stocking stuffer they didn’t know they were missing.

Pumpkin Spice Lip Gloss
- 2 tbps of petroleum jelly
- 1/4 tsp of pumpkin spice mix
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Lip gloss container

DIY on:
Melt the petroleum jelly in a container in the microwave into completely liquid. Once liquified, add the pumpkin spice mix and the cinnamon and stir well. Pour the mixture into the lip gloss container and refrigerate for 20 minutes so that it hardens correctly.

Snow Globe
- Jar with lid
- Water
- Glitter
- Figurine (whatever you want that will fit inside the jar)
- Water resistant glue

DIY on:
Put some of the water resistant glue onto the lid of the jar where you will place the figurine. Apply the glue to the bottom of the figurine as well and glue the bottom of the lid and the figurine together. Pour however much glitter you want into the jar and fill the jar with water. Once you’re ready to put the lid on the jar, apply the water resistant glue around the edge of the lid then twist the lid onto the jar. By applying glue on the edges, you’re making sure no water will leak from the lid. Once you are satisfied with the tightness of the lid, flip the jar over so that it is standing up right from the lid.

Image Magnets
- Marbles with flat bottom
- Images (anything you want)
- Glue
- Scissors
- Magnets
- Pencil

DIY on:
Place the marble onto the image and trace around the marble. Cut out the shape of the image and glue it face up, to the bottom of the marble. By having the image under the marble, it will magnify the image. Then glue the magnet to the bottom of the image. Some great images would be animals, words, family portraits.

What are some stocking stuffers you’ve made for your family?

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Finger Foods For Your Christmas Eve Party

iStock 000013993617Small Finger Foods For Your Christmas Eve Party Cooking for a lot of people can be stressful especially if you’re cooking a full meal. To make things easier on yourself and your kitchen, prepare a multitude of finger foods for your Christmas Eve Party. Nothing screams party more than hors d’oeuvres.

Pea Crostini (serves 30)
Credit: Health
- 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen peas
- 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 1 radish
- 30 crostini

Cook on:
Combine the peas, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until?a rough puree forms. Spread the goat cheese on each crostini. Top each one with a spoonful of the pea puree and a slice of radish. Serve cold.

Caprese Skewer (serves however many you make)
Credit: Health
- cherry tomatoes
- arugula
- mini mozzarella balls
- skewers
- balsamic vinaigrette
- cookie sheet

Cook on:
Simply make a skewer in the following order: one cherry tomato, two arugula leaves, a mini mozzarella ball, two arugula leaves. Once you have made enough to cover the cookie sheet, place them on it and drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the skewers. Serve cold.

Crab and Avocado Toast (serves 32)
Credit: Gerard Craft
- 2 tbsps of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 avocados
- 8 slices of bread
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
- 4 oz of crab meat
- 2 tsps of lime juice
- baking sheet

Cook on:
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. With a biscuit cutter, stamp out four rounds from each slice of bread and put them on the baking sheet. Lightly brush them with olive oil and toast for 15 minutes in the oven.
In a small bowl, mash up the avocados, add a dash of salt and pepper. Place the crab meat in another small bowl and stir in the lime juice, season with salt. Once the toasts are finished, spread the avocado mix on top of them and add the crab mixture after. Serve warm.

Bacon-wrapped Apricots (serves 24)
Credit: Real Simple
- 24 fresh sage leaves
- 24 large dried apricots
- 8 slices of bacon
- 2 tbsps of pure maple syrup
- 24 toothpicks
- Baking sheet

Cook on:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the bacon slices into thirds. Place a sage leaf on each apricot and wrap it with the bacon slice. Bake until the bacon is beginning to crisp, turn it over and wait for that side to crisp. Approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove from over and brush with the maple syrup. Stab each one with a toothpick. Serve warm.

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Bring The Winter Weather Inside Your Home With DIYs

iStock 000029173278Small Bring The Winter Weather Inside Your Home With DIYsWinter can be a cold and dreary season. However, you can turn that negative thought into a positive one by inviting the winter season inside your home! Of course I don’t meant the actual weather, I’m talking about the beauty of snow and all things wintery. Here are some winter DIYs that are easy, creative, and will keep till next year!

Winter Village Trapped in a Jar
- Glass jar with lid
- Epsom salts (for the snow)
- Ceramic people, houses, village buildings etc.
- Spray paint (green, silver, gold)
- Fake mini Christmas trees (two or three)

The size of your glass jar really depends on how big you want your winter village to be or how many items you want to put inside of it. A gallon to two gallon jar is probably sufficient. Spray paint your Christmas trees the various colors you have. If you want your village to look more realistic then go ahead and make them all green. Pour a thick layer of Epsom salt in the bottom of your jar and arrange your mini people, houses, and trees inside the jar however you’d like. Once you’ve ?reached a level of satisfaction, sprinkle some more Epsom salt on the trees and village so that it appears to have just snowed.

Winter Pine Cones
- Two or three pine cones of various sizes
- Paint brush
- Silver paint
- Glass, round vase
- Glass, clear marbles
- Plastic snowflakes
- Mistletoe

Craft on:
Place your marbles into the vase, make sure to not dump them or they could chip the vase. Paint the tips of the pine cones silver as well as the entire snowflake. Once they have dried, arrange them on top of the marbles for a pretty display and add the mistletoe in there as well. You can make several of these, of various sizes, and arrange them on your mantel!

Winter Candle Holder
- Mason jar
- Silver spray paint
- Thick painters tape
- Scissors
- Twine
- Mistletoe

Craft on:
If you would like a silver candle holder with see through snowflakes or a see through candle holder with silver snowflakes is up to you. Cut the painters tape accordingly. Once you’ve decided on a style and done the proper cutting, place the tape on the mason jar and spray paint it silver. Once it’s dry, wrap some twine around the top of the jar and tie it in a bow while slipping the mistletoe in there.

How do you decorate your home for winter?

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DIY Your Way Into Your Daughter’s Heart

iStock 000045641344Small DIY Your Way Into Your Daughters Heart It can be difficult finding a gift your teenage daughter will like because teenage girls are generally picky, about everything. But no worries! We have put together these DIYs that your daughter will find adorable and useful.

Twisted Headband
- Sewing machime
- Scissors
- Thread
- Stretchy fabric (color/pattern of choice)

Craft on:
Cut two 6″ by 22″ pieces of fabric. Fold each piece of fabric the long way and sew them shut so the pattern is continuous. Lay the long strips diagonally across each other to form an X then fold one side over the other. Do the same with the other side. Stack all four ends on top of each other and sew them together with one straight line. If you think your daughter will really enjoy these, get crafty and make them with different colors and patterns.

No-Sew Plaid Scarf
- 2.5 yards of flannel fabric
- Scissors

Craft on:
This one is even easier than the last one. Simply cut the edges of the fabric, using the plaid pattern as a guide. This is allow you to fray the edges. Once you’re done cutting, gently pull any threads sticking out on the edges and this will give you that frayed edge that can be so expensive in stores.

Word Pendant
- Gold wire
- Paper and pen
- Two pairs of pliers
- Wire cutters
- Gold chain

Craft on:
Write out whatever word you’d like onto the piece of paper. Some popular ones are “make”, “love”, “believe”, or you can write your daughter’s name. This will allow you to shape the wire with a model instead of in thin air. Use one pair of pliers to hold the end of the wire down and the other to shape the wire into the word. Before you shape the word, make a little loop with the wire so you can attach a chain. Do the same once you’ve finished the word. Once you’re done, cut the wire and attach the chain to the loops. Of course you can do all this with silver wire and chain if that’s what your daughter would prefer.

Share with us some DIYs you’ve done for your daughter.

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Decorate Your Tree With DIY Ornaments

iStock 000046970396Small Decorate Your Tree With DIY OrnamentsYou can’t have Christmas without a Christmas tree and you can’t have a Christmas tree without DIY ornaments. We’ve found some great ways to dangle your skills in front of everyone with these easy and fun DIYs.

Twine Ball
- Twine
- Balloon
- Modge Podge
- Gold string

Craft on:
Blow up the balloon to whatever size you’d like the ornament to be and tie it shut. Wrap the twine around the balloon leaving open spaces to give it that see through effect. Modge Podge the entire twine/balloon ball and let it fully dry. Once it’s ready, pop the balloon and pull it out from the twine ball then attach some gold string to it so it can have something to hang from the tree with. Feel free to make multiple different kinds with colored twine, or glittery Modge Podge.

Scrap Ribbon Tree
- Small stick
- Various scraps of green ribbon
- Thin twine
- Glue gun

Craft on:
To make this a crafty ribbon tree, select green patterned ribbon, solid ribbon of various shades of green. It will make it more interesting to look at if each section is a different ribbon. Simply tie the ribbon to the stick in a tree shape. Leave equal amounts of ribbon on either sides of the stick and make the ribbon larger as you go down the stick. Once you’ve finished, glue some twine in a loop to the top of stick so that it forms an tree attachment.

Candy Cane Ball
- Styrofoam ball
- Red and white striped fabric
- White ribbon
- Mistletoe

Craft on:
Place the styrofoam ball in the middle of the fabric and cover it with the fabric, leaving a gathered end at the top of the ball. Tie the fabric with the white ribbon, into a bow and leave enough hanging out to make a loop for the tree attachment. Stick the stem of the mistletoe through the bow and leave the leaf part hanging out above. Now you’ve got an excuse to steal that mistletoe kiss!

Glittered Snowflake
- Glue gun
- Wax paper
- Silver glitter
- Silver string

Craft on:
Lay out enough wax paper so that you don’t get any glue on the table. Shape the silver string into a loop and began your snowflake from the ends of the string. Simply glue gun the shape of a snowflake onto the wax paper. Sprinkle glitter onto it before it dries then allow it time to harden. Once the glue is cooled off and solid, remove it from the wax paper and hang it up!

What’s your favorite Christmas ornament to DIY?

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3 Easy Home DIY Gifts

iStock 000019902472Small 3 Easy Home DIY GiftsTwenty-two days till Christmas! But who’s counting… It’s great getting store-bought presents that are exactly what you wanted but sometimes you want a little more heart put into it. We’ve come up with a great way to do that: DIY gifts! Here are some of our favorites that are perfect for the house if you’re wanting to give a practical gift.

Animal Bookends
- Two animal shaped paper weights
- Wood glue
- Paint (any color you’d like)
- Paint brush
- Two piece of rectangular shaped wood (big enough for the paper weight to fit)
- Sand paper

Craft on:
Sand the bottom of the piece of wood so that it doesn’t scratch whatever surface you decide to put it on. Glue the animal shaped paper weight to the top of the piece of wood and let it dry completely. Paint the entire piece of wood and paper weight the color of your choice. Once it’s all dry you can start on the other bookend to have a complete set!

- Small square tiles
- Square pictures (a little smaller than the tiles)
- Modge Podge
- Carpet
- Glue gun

Craft on:
You’re probably thinking that this looks really complicated because there’s tiles and carpet involved but it’s actually super easy! Cut the carpet so that it covers the bottom of the tile and glue it to the bottom with the glue gun. Make sure you glue the bottom of the carpet to the bottom of the tile so the fuzzy side touches the table. Modge Podge the picture to the top of the tile. Once it is dry, it is done!

Wooden Cutting Board
- Pencils
- Wooden cutting board
- Excellent etching skills

Craft on:
The kids can help out with this one! Have them draw something on the cutting board with pencils. If there’s multiple children, give them each a section to do their own thing. Once they’re gotten all their creative juices out, go back over all the designs with a safe and sharp tool to etch out the design. This way there’s a guarantee it’ll stay forever.

Share with us how you DIY home gifts for your loved ones.


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I’m Dreaming Of A Decorated Christmas Home

iStock 000029774152Small Im Dreaming Of A Decorated Christmas Home That’s right folks, it’s Christmas time! Our favorite holiday of the year when there’s eggnog, chocolate, and Christmas cheer. Put on your Celine Dion Christmas album and get your elves to work, it’s time to decorate.

Pine Cone Christmas Tree

- Pine cone
- Forest green paint
- White paint
- Gold paint
- Paint brush
- Mini plant pot
- Mini star
- Glue gun

Craft on:
1. Paint the entire pine cone green.
2. Once dry, paint the tips of the pine cone white.
3. Paint the mini star gold.
4. Glue gun the star to the top of the pine cone.
5. Place the the pine cone on the mini plant pot and you now have a Christmas tree!

Christmas Wreath

- Different colors and shapes of ornament balls
- Glue gun
- Foam ring
- Thick Christmas ribbon

Craft on:
1. Glue gun the various ornament balls to the foam ring, switching up the sizes and colors next to each other.
2. While the glue is drying, form a giant bow with the ribbon and leave the wings falling down.
3. Glue gun the bow to either the top of the ring or the bottom. It just depends what look you prefer.

Twine stars

- Twine
- Ten pop-sickle sticks
- Glue gun

Craft on:
1. Glue the pop-sickle sticks together in the shape of a star.
2. Glue the end of the twine to one of the points of the star.
3. Wrap the twine around the entire star
4. Once the star is completely twine wrapped, glue the second end of the twine to the back of the star.
5. If you want to hang the star up, leave a bit of twine left instead of cutting right at the star.

Wooden Christmas Garland

- Twine
- Saw
- 9 hook screws
- Sharpie
- Small log

Craft on:
1. Saw the log into 9 even circles.
2. Screw the screws into the log circles.
3. Write “Christmas” on the log circles, one letter per circle.
4. ?String them along the twine and admire your DIY work!

Window Snowflakes

- Puff paint (various colors of your choosing)
- Wax paper
- Marker

Craft on:
1. Draw different shapes and sizes of snowflakes on the wax paper.
2. Go over the drawings with the puff paint of your choice.
3. Once the puff paint has dried, peel it off the wax paper and stick it on the window

Share with us your favorite DIY Christmas decorations

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Your 2014 Christmas Gift Guide

iStock 000014667409Small Your 2014 Christmas Gift Guide Thanksgiving and Black Friday are the only two holidays that stand between you and Christmas. Granted it’s still a month away but no one likes doing their Christmas shopping the week of. Whether you’re a husband looking for his wife or a girl looking for her furry friend, we’ve got you covered! Check out our 2014 Christmas gift guide below for some great ideas that will blow any past Christmas into the snow.

For Her
-Plaid Heath Scarf
-Kate Spade Sailor’s Know Earrings
-Mar Jacobs Watch
-Fitbit Flex Wristband
-Michael Kors Clutch
-Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Robe
-Teacup candle
-Sharpie letter mug
-Quote pillow

For Him
-Corniche Heritage 40 Watch
-Bespoke Post gift card
-Beats by Dr. Dre
-Moscow Mule Mugs
-L.L.Bean Signature Leather Duffel
-Mr. & Mrs. etched wine glasses
-Liquor bottle soap dispenser
-Beer bottle glasses

For Girls
-Disney Frozen Sparkle Princess Elsa Doll
-GoldieBlox and The Builder’s Survival Kit
-Disney Frozen Sparkle Anna of Arendelle Doll (can’t have one without the other)
-Pretend & Play Doctor Set
-American Girl Pom Pom Scarves Kit
-Build & Imagine StoryWalls
-Jewelry holder
-Painted Keds
-Felted owl

For Boys
-Disney INFINITY Marvel Super Heroes
-LEGO Juniors Knights’ Castle Building
-Disney’s Karaoke Series: Frozen
-The Puzzling Professors Puzzles For Kids
-Zoomer Dino Boomer
-MarMarvel Captain America Super Soldier Gear Battle Helmet
-Super hero mason jar banks
-Sock monkey
-Comic book coaster

For A Friend
-Canvas with photo of you two
-”You’re My Person” mug
-Long Distance State pendant
-Gold infinity bracelet
-Friends photo album

For Your Pet
-Star Wars Chewbacca Plus Dog Toy
-JW Pet Treat Tower Dispenser Dog Toy
-Petstages Catnip Plaque Away Pretzel
-Grreat Choice Wobble Cat Toy

For Your Teacher
-”You are the key to my success” keychain
-Smart clip table cup holder
-”It takes a big heart to shape little minds” canvas
-Hot cocoa kit in a jar
-Crayon candy dish

Of course there are thousands and thousands of gifts you can get someone you love but some of the most memorable gifts are memories. Here is a list of unforgettable activities and experiences you can do with your friends and family:
- Ornament decorating
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular
- Cookie decorating
- Tree picking and decorating
- Christmas day volunteering
- Christmas symphony concert
- Holiday carroll singing

How do you make Christmas special for your loved ones?

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Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving

1. Find a buffer

That’s right, you need to find a buffer friend. Someone who will keep you sane around your insane relatives. People act differently and well-mannered when they’re around someone they don’t know. Try this tactic out this year and see how much more smoothly your Thanksgiving day goes.

2. Activities

The kids can get a little too hyper around each other usually. They feed off of each other’s never ending supply of energy and there’s days when you envy that but this is not that day. You want to pig out and relax! The best way to keep them contained is to have activities ready for them. Set up Dance Dance Revolution in your basement for them to let out all their energy. Have them play outside if it’s not too cold or board games if they can concentrate for that long.

3. Plan but don’t plan

That probably sounds confusing. What we’re saying is that you can plan when people will arrive, when the food will be served, when the dishes will be done, and when everyone will leave but the likely hood of that working out is slim. No matter what time you set, someone will be late. No matter when you want the food out, a dish will take longer to heat up than you expected. And no matter how much you want people to leave, they won’t. But that’s okay because Thanksgiving is about being thankful and spending time together.

4. Eat slowly

If you’re worried about gaining that Thanksgiving 5 then eat slowly. You will feel fuller faster if you take small bites, chew an excessive amount, and put your fork down in between each bite. Once you’re done with your first plate, wait 20 minutes before going for seconds so your stomach has time to realize what’s going on. The worse feeling is when you eat too fast and it all hits you at once and you want to dive into the couch. This technique will make sure you have a slim yet satisfying Thanksgiving meal. And don’t forget there’s always leftovers for the week that follows so you can have Thanksgiving everyday!

5. Be thankful
There are very few times in a given year that you will be with your whole family. Cherish that time together, find out what’s going on in their lives, what they’re doing after they graduate or retire. It doesn’t matter that the apple pie burnt, what’s important is not burning the relationships you have with the people you love.

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Your Guide To A Successful Black Friday

48526432 thumbnail 1024x1024 Your Guide To A Successful Black Friday Black Friday is the best shopping day of the year because of the insane deals you can get. However, it can also be overwhelming due to the amount of people and offers there are on the big day. We’ve put together a list of the major retailers and what they will have as well as a Black Friday survival kit so that you can shop prepared!

Xbox One for $349.00
Samsung 46″ HDTV for $528.00
Sony 48″ LED LCD HDTV for $348.00
Nextbook Tablet wwith 8GB Memory for $49.00
Frozen Light-up Dress for $28.00 (this will be a huge hit for families with little girls)
Barbie Dreamhouse for $120.00
Graco Travel System for $99.00

Element 40″ LED HDTV for $119.00
Beats by Dre Solo HD Drenched for $97.00
Apple iPad Air 2 16GD with $140 gift card for $499.00
Playstation 4 500GV Console Bundle for $399.00
GoPro HERO3 with $50 gift card for $249.99

Best Buy
Panasonic 50″ 60Hz 1080p LED TV for $199.99
Beats by Dre Solo HD on-ear headphones for $79.99
iPad Mini 3 16GB for $324.99
Microsoft Surface 2 32GB for $299.99

LEGO Star Wars Palpatine’s Arrest Set for $69.98
Disney Pixar Brave Merida and Queen Elinore gift set for $9.98
Despicable Me Dancing Minion for $24.99
Fisher-Price Cruise and Groove Ballapalooza for $29.98

JC Penney
Sunbeam Heritage Series Stand Mixer for $99.99
70% off Samsonite Soar Luggage Collection
Bulova and Citizens Mens Watch for $99.99

Survival Kit
You will never be ready for this crazy holiday but there are ways to be as prepared as you can be for it. The first thing to remember is that you will most likely be camping out all night till the doors open to your favorite retail stores. Since you’re going to be sitting there for a while, invite a friend to go with you so you’re not bored, make it an adventure! Stay hydrated. We cannot stress this enough because when you start shopping, you won’t be doing anything but shopping so you need to hydrate before the day begins. Thanksgiving is the day before so you don’t have to worry about eating before you go because that’s all you’ll be doing all day, the day before. However, bring snacks to re-energize yourself throughout the day if you plan on skipping breakfast (which we don’t recommend doing). Speaking of food, don’t forget about lunch! It will be a long day, a good way to break it up is by stopping at your favorite restaurant and grabbing a meal with your friend.
The last thing to remember, is to not get caught up in the Black Friday Deals once you’re in the store. If you’re going with a budget and need to stick with it then bring someone along who can hold you accountable. Oh and of course don’t forget to have fun and shop away!

Share with us your Black Friday Survival tips in the comments!

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