Simply My Favorite Vase

Simply My Favorite Vase

Do you ever purchase something and end up using it more than you thought possible? I feel like more often than not, I buy something and really don’t get good use out of it. So, I wanted to share something that I love and have already used a ton! 

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I saw this Taylor Hurricane at Crate and Barrel in the fall of last year, and I loved it right away because of its price and simplicity. There are endless ways you can use this vase to decorate! I used three of them for our Christmas centerpiece on our kitchen table, but then used one for Valentine’s and also repurposed it yet again for Easter.

I filled each hurricane with a red flameless LED candle and mini ornaments from Target. I wrapped some garland (found at Hobby Lobby) around the three jars to tie it all together.

For Valentine’s Day, I used the same candle and added little heart ornaments (from Hobby Lobby).

And for Easter? Simple as little plastic eggs for a filler! It adds some nice color to the table and seems slightly more “sophisticated” than a basket.

I love the simplicity of this vase and already anticipate many more uses as the seasons of decorating change!

Valentine’s Day: Simple Gift Idea

Valentine’s Day: Simple Gift Idea

Valentine’s Day week is here, and if you are looking for a quick and simple last minute gift idea for any friends, I have just the idea for you! I put these little buckets together for a few friends this year and they were fun and super easy to do.   Inside of each is a EOS lip balm, an OPI nail polish (pink for Valentine’s!) and a little Target gift card. Throw it all inside a little heart bucket (from the Target dollar spot), add a cute tag and you’re all set! I know we are all busy and so simple ideas like these are always a win. And I guarantee the recipient will appreciate these little treasures!

 

Happy Tuesday!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

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Valentine’s Day: Easy

DIY Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day: Yarn Wrapped Letters

Friday Favorites: Valentine’s Edition

Friday Favorites: Valentine’s Edition

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I am linking up with AndreaErika and Narci to share my Five Friday Favorites this week! And because Valentine’s Day is next week, I figured, it would be appropriate to share with you some of my favorite Valentine’s things!

1) GAP’s “Love Collection”

I LOVE the GAP. My GAP credit card is the next most used card in my wallet (besides my normal everyday card). I get great rewards, shop online with awesome discounts and always get free shipping — I might be slightly obsessed. Their Valentine’s collection this year is so super cute! And to top it off, they are having a baby and kids sale right now! If you spend $100 or more you get an additional 10% off of their sale prices. Score!

Here are a few of my favorites for toddler girls:

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This tee is versatile, inexpensive and comes in a few different design options.

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These skinny jeans are year-round cuteness!

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Need I say more about these glasses? LOVE.

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I am also loving these jammies!

2) Romantic Comedies

This time of year always makes me want to snuggle up and watch a fun movie! My favorites this Valentine’s Day:

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I love Sandra Bullock and the combination of her and Ryan Reynolds in this movie is one of my absolute favorites.

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A classic.

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Did I mention I love Sandra Bullock? Oh, and Hugh Grant. This movie is the perfect combo of sweetness and comedy.

3) Date Night!

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I love that this is one time of year when I know Bryan and I will get a night out! It might not be on Valentine’s Day itself, but it will happen and it gives me something to look forward to. Having two young kiddos makes our time away extra special when it does happen!

4) Papa Murphy’s Heart-Shaped Pizza

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Bryan and I have always ordered a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s around Valentine’s Day for as long as we have been together! It’s a fun little treat and Maddy will get to enjoy it with us this year, too.

5) L-O-V-E

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I know it’s cliche, but truly, I love being able to spend the day with my little family. We get the kids a little gift, and spend the day “celebrating”! It’s a fun holiday and helps put a little spark into such a long, cold winter! (P.S. This picture is from last year…how did my Maddy girl get so big?!)

Happy Weekend!

xo,

Abby

Looking for more?

Valentine’s Day: Yarn Wrapped Letters

Valentine’s Day: Painted Mason Jars

Valentine’s Day: Easy DIY Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day: Easy DIY Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day: Easy DIY Valentine’s

In an effort to be consistent, I am going to stick with my Valentine blogging theme today, and give you a simple, budget-friendly, DIY Valentine idea! I wanted to be creative with Valentine’s this year (trust me, it might be the store-bought ones next year!), and this is what I came up with. Hugs & Kisses from both of my little kiddos!

Supplies Needed:

Treat Bags: Hobby Lobby.

Card Stock/Paper for Label

Baker’s Twine: Dollar Spot Target score!

Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses

I used Photoshop to create the label and then used a paper punch to punch it into a 2″ circle. I then used red card stock and a scalloped edge paper punch (2.5″) to create the red background. I glued both pieces together and hole punched the label. I filled the bags with some Hugs & Kisses and tied them up with the twine and attached the label. SO simple! There are so many ways to vary this idea too — you could handwrite the label, you could use different shapes and colors, etc. So many options!

(And my PSA for the day: If you haven’t checked out Target’s Dollar Spot yet for Valentine’s crafts, etc… go do it now! They have so many cute, practical, Valentine’s things (like the baker’s twine I used here) and when I was there last the supply was already dwindling. So, check it out if you haven’t already!)

Happy February!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Valentine’s Day: Painted Mason Jars

Valentine’s Day: Yarn Wrapped Letters

Conversation Heart Cookies

Valentine’s Day: Simple Gift Idea

Valentine’s Day: Painted Mason Jars

Valentine’s Day: Painted Mason Jars

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One of my Valentine’s Day decorating goals this year was to tackle our mantel. As I was picking and choosing what I wanted to do, I decided to try my hand at painting some mason jars. This is something I had wanted to try and just never made the time to do it! I am here to tell you today that this is probably the easiest project I have ever tackled and really truly takes minimal time and effort (outside of being patient and allowing the jars to dry in between coats). On top of being easy, it was so inexpensive too! And I love the idea of doing this again for centerpieces for parties or other holiday decor.

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I liked the idea of the jars having a “chalky” look to them, so I painted them first with chalk paint and then covered them with regular acrylic paint. I also slightly distressed the label on the front to the jar to give them more dimension, but you wouldn’t have to do this if you didn’t want that look.

Supplies Needed:

  • Mason Jars (I purchased mine at Target on sale, but you can find them pretty much anywhere!)
  • Chalk Paint for Glass (Hobby Lobby)
  • Acrylic Paint in colors of your choosing (Hobby Lobby)
  • Paintbrush/Sponge (Hobby Lobby)
  • Nail File

Instructions:

1.) Clean the outside of the mason jars with rubbing alcohol.

2.) Paint the jars with the chalk paint. I used chalk paint made specifically for glass, and I found a craft sponge to be the easiest way to paint for this step. The directions on the bottle said to allow the paint to dry for four days. Because I was not going to actually use the jars to write on with chalk, I allowed them to dry overnight and that was long enough.

3.) Once the jars are completely dry, (Again, I would recommend not rushing this! Let them dry overnight. If you don’t let them dry long enough the paint will just peel off and you will have to start over. Patience!) you can paint them with the colors of your choice. Start with one coat at a time, allowing to thoroughly dry in between.

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This is what the jars looked like after one coat of colored acrylic paint. I ended up doing three coats total on each jar. The amount you need will depend on how dark your colors are! You’ll know.

4.) Once the jars are dry, you can distress them however you would like. I found that a nail file worked really well and gave me enough control so I wasn’t scraping up parts of the jar that I didn’t want to.

5.) You can fill the jars with whatever you wish! I used flowers from the Dollar Tree because they were budget friendly, and actually cuter than what I could find at craft stores. You could leave them empty too, and they would look just as cute!

I am so happy with how these turned out and seriously, they were so cost effective! The mason jars were $0.75 each, the acrylic paints were $0.77 each and the chalk paint was $2.99 (less if you have a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby) for the bottle. And you can’t beat $1.00 flower bunches!

Our mantle is now officially up to speed for Valentine’s Day, and not a moment too soon as it is really just a couple of weeks away! (How is it almost February!?)

XO Sign: Hobby Lobby

Hello, Love Sign: Hobby Lobby

Candlesticks: World Market

Floral Balls: TJ Maxx

Heart Banner: Target

xo,

Abby

Looking for more?

Valentine’s Day: Easy DIY Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day: Yarn Wrapped Letters

Conversation Heart Cookies

Valentine’s Day: Simple Gift Idea

Valentine’s Day: Yarn Wrapped Letters

Valentine’s Day: Yarn Wrapped Letters

I don’t know exactly why, but I am really into decorating for all holidays lately. I am sure it is partially since I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I am home pretty much alllllll the time, but it is fun to “dress up” your house to match the season. All of our Christmas decorations came down and were packed away on January 1st and our house looked so bare! I decided we should put up some Valentine’s Day decor, since really, it is right around the corner and it helps bring me down gently from the Christmas decorating high I was on.

I have a few ideas to share with you all later, but I wanted to get this post out now in case some of you are looking for some relatively easy projects for Valentine’s Day decor! I saw this blog post on Pinterest from My Sister’s Suitcase, and I loved the idea and decided to give it a try. It was a fun project, and took a couple of nap time’s to complete, which wasn’t too bad from a timing perspective.

Supplies Needed:

Yarn: I used Crafter’s Secret from Hobby Lobby, but anything will work. You can do different colors like I did to create an ombre effect, or you could do the letters all one color.

Letters: I used wooden letters from Michael’s. You could use paper mache letters, as well.

Hot Glue Gun/Glue

Scissors & Tape

Instructions:

1. Pick a letter to start with. I went in order of the word, so I started with the “L”. The hardest part about this project is figuring out which way to wrap the yarn so that the entire letter gets covered. The “O” and the “V” are the simplest. The “L” and the “E” are more complicated. For the “L”, I cut small pieces of yarn to hot glue to the top and bottom of the letter.

2. You will glue those small pieces super tightly together at the top (or bottom depending on where you are starting). Once the ends are covered, you can trim off the excess and glue down the sides (shown in the second picture). Make sure you put them as close together as you can so it gives the appearance of being tightly wrapped.

3) For the “L”, I then wrapped the red vertically on the bottom first. Then, I wrapped horizontally on the side part of the “L” and the bottom to make sure it was fully covered.

4) To create the ombre effect, when I was getting close to switching colors, I left some space in between the wrap that I could fill in with the next color so it looked purposeful.

I taped down the end on the back.

5) The letter “O” and “V” are easy to wrap, and for the “E”, I wrapped vertically first, then horizontally, as you can see in the picture here. I know it seems kind of confusing, but once you start wrapping, you will get the hang of it.

Each letter probably took around an hour to complete, on average. But, I love how they turned out! The yarn gives them a cozy feel and they really brighten up the room.

Let me know if you decide to make these and how they turn out! These would be fun to do for other holidays, too — I’m thinking like a black and orange wrapped “BOO” for Halloween!

P.S. Thank you for all of the kinds words and encouragement about Gavyn’s DocBand — we are so appreciative of the support. We have his second appointment this week and I can post an update then!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Valentine’s Day: Easy DIY Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day: Painted Mason Jars

Conversation Heart Cookies

Valentine’s Day: Simple Gift Idea

Conversation Heart Cookies

Conversation Heart Cookies

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I had no formal plans for Valentine’s Day this year, so I decided that I was going to make a special dessert to celebrate. I frequently follow the Brown Eyed Baker blog (www.browneyedbaker.com) for recipe ideas, and I found a recipe I was actually brave enough to try! If you want to be brave like me, you can find the link and instructions for this recipe here.

I had never attempted, nor really heard of, royal icing before. Needless to say, it was quite a challenge! Luckily I had the help of my sister to get these cookies finished and I am so thankful to have had another person baking with me! For your visual enjoyment, we took some pictures along the way.

Here are the heart cut-outs before we put them in the oven:

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This is what our cookies looked like before being iced. My sister taste-tested them and approved!

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Here is my sister outlining a cookie, using a #3 tip:

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Below is what the cookies looked like when we were flooding them with the icing:

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And now the fun of adding the cute and silly words:

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While taking on this project, there were a couple of things I found out along the way, that I think are useful to note:

  • My sister and I wanted to have lots of cookies to share, so we doubled the recipe found on the blog. For the icing, we used 1.5 times the recipe, and that seemed to cover the cookies well.
  • I didn’t spend a lot of time making sure the icing was evenly split between the four colors I wanted to use. Therefore, we ended up with two much yellow icing and not enough blue icing to make the number of cookies that we had outlined already by those colors. Next time, I would be more careful in making sure the icing was a little more evenly split.
  • I only purchased two #3 tips to do the outlining for the icing. I used two #2 tips for the other two colors. I would have rather used the #3 tips for all of the colors, because it really did make the best outline.
  • I used gel to do the writing and I found that the gel did not harden on the cookies. If I made these again, I would have made more icing in red and used that with a #1 tip to the writing. It would have hardened better and ultimately would have made for nicer looking cookies after they had been packaged.

But, to sum it up: These cookies were DELICIOUS. I shared some with family and friends, and everyone seemed to really enjoy them. Plus, they were so fun to make! The cookies held their shape and stayed soft, and the icing was the perfect texture and sweetness. If you find yourself looking for something fun to make (and eat!) for Valentine’s Day next year, I definitely think you should try these out…you won’t be disappointed!

xo,

Abby