Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift Tags

Well, we're nearing the point now where we shift focus from shopping and Christmas cards to wrapping and hiding our loot.

I love wrapping gifts. 
I don't do anything fancy or frilly.  I don't even add ribbon usually - but something about crisp corners and the image of the recipient's face just makes me happy.

We wrap all of our gifts and put them under the tree as we get them.
Evil parents - I know - but the girls know that it's usually Santa that brings the "good stuff", so they don't squeeze or maul the packages too much.

Come on now - squeezing and mauling is one of the best parts of being a kid at Christmas isn't it?  
My brother and I even figured out how to carefully peel the tape off of  the presents to peek inside, and then re-seal it without anyone being any the wiser.
That's what memories are made of!

I digress....
After my Christmas card bonanza of a couple of weeks ago, I had a LOT of leftover paper.

Some are large enough that I can make the post-Holiday thank you cards with, but then there were these little guys - 1 3/4" wide and 2" wide on the purple.

PERFECT for gift tags!
I cut them all to match the smallest one;

Then chose a border stamp to run across the bottom edge.
I can't remember the name of this set - but it's from Papertrey Ink (my favourite company).

I was going clean and simple here - no bells, whistles or loud colours - just purple, cream and silver.

Cut the corners on an angle to make them look like tags, adhere them to the coloured backings and punch a hole - easy peasy!

I still had paper leftover so I thought I'd try a few more...
Not as pleased with these though - I think I was trying too hard to impress you.

At our house Santa usually delivers his gifts in a different gift wrap that the girls haven't seen before - so I'll have to come up with a "Santa tag" for those ones.

To be continued....

That's more than $110 in product!

Three entries possible today and more if you come back each day!

You have to try this stuff - and Alanna is giving you the opportunity FOR FREE!

Here's another option;
Seacret is offering 60 - 75% off of their Holiday Gift sets!
Enter to win, then buy one for a friend!

Contact Alanna

Have a great one!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Vignettes

I've been surfing Pinterest again (uh oh!) and it's come to my attention that I've been decorating the house all wrong....
Christmas decorating that is.

I was putting my little tchotchkes and ornaments here and there and incorporating them into my existing decor.
Turns out, the "correct" way to decorate is to create little vignettes here and there.
Clear out your regular items and create little "vignettes" (strategically placed and visually appealing groupings) in different locations.

I'm not sure I have it down yet - but here are a few of my attempts:

A little basket of pine, candles and a giant mercury glass ornament on the sofa table.

I was planning on cleaning off all of my bookshelves and re-staging them with Christmas items - but I have to be honest and say it looked like too much work.  
Maybe I'll start earlier next year.

These guys are a vignette in themselves I think?  These are my singing angels and I love them so much, I leave them out all year.

Does this count as a vignette?

This last one is a "vignette of candy"

My Aunt makes these gorgeous gingerbread houses and each year she comes over to make one with the girls.
Of course she was mortified at this creation (no doors, windows, icicles, pathway etc) - but I reassured her that the real goal of any gingerbread house is to cram as many candies onto it as possible.  The memory you're creating is excitement and childhood dreams (of candy gluttony) - not perfection over the architectural details.
Frankly, the girls left it a little sparce for me, so I ramped up their candy vignette by squeezing more M&M's into every nook and cranny. lol

I like the idea of vignettes, but I need more....

How about curated vignettes interspersed with Wannabe-Griswold decorating?

That's more than $110 in product!

Three entries possible today and more if you come back each day!

You have to try this stuff - and Alanna is giving you the opportunity FOR FREE!

Here's another option;
Seacret is offering 60 - 75% off of their Holiday Gift sets!
Enter to win, then buy one for a friend!


Contact Alanna

Have a great one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seacret - The $110+ GIVEAWAY!

I've done a bit of research on these next products...
Personal research in that I've been testing them on my own face.
Yes, I love you THAT much, that I would sacrifice my chubby cheeks to a possible outbreak or allergic reaction, just to provide you with a first-hand account of a product.

Since Alanna introduced me to the Seacret Mineral-rich Peeling Gel about a month ago, and then the M4 Magnetic Mud Mask, I've been smitten.

The top 4 products in the 
SEACRET™ line are the Mud Soap, the Clarifying Mud Mask, the Mineral-rich Peeling Gel and the Intensive moisture cream.  This combination is the lethal four for your skin;  exfoliating, de-toxifying, cleaning and then moisturizing.  
These are all you need in your skin care regime.
While I can't personally vouch for every product in the SEACRET™ line, I can tell you that I have broadened my repertoire to include the above to both "test" for you, and in the hopes that they were as nourishing and rejuvenating as the first two I tried.

First thing that impressed me - the ingredients: 

SEACRET™ Mud Soap contains dead sea mud, dead sea minerals, witch hazel and palm oil and it is 100 percent all natural.

I can pronounce, and even spell, all of those words!

The first three ingredients on my Oil of Olay soap: Sodium laurel isethionate, paraffin, sodium cocoglyceryl ether sulfonate.  The first is derived from an acid family, the second is a petroleum product and the third... I couldn't find.  

Should I be concerned about this?  
Not that I can't spell or pronounce any of it - but that I'm putting these things on my skin?

One bar of Seacret Mud Soap costs ~$17 and will last you six months - no automatically renewing subscription that you have to remember to cancel, no further sign-up or sign-in required - buy a bar, try it, like it, buy another bar.

This is a key test for me - the "after the eyebrow wax" test;

every time I get my eyebrows waxed I break out.  EV-ER-Y time!  I've tried toners, clearasil, astringents, everything I could think of to balance (or aleviate) the oil that seems to surface, but nothing's worked.
Until now!
After leaving my aesthetician's, I came home, washed my face with mud soap and then applied a little of the Essential Moisture Face cream - and NOTHING!
Seriously - no breakout at all!
I'm floored - this has been a 20 year tradition - wax on, zit on.

This has been long-winded - I'm sorry - I'm just so excited to have found something that works so well and is all natural!

My face feels like a baby's bum - quite literally - and has this soft, milky texture.  I'm in LOVE!

Now it's your turn!

People are hesitant to invest money in something without having tried it (or having read a glowing review), so Alanna has generously offered a GIVEAWAY!

Yup - the lucky winner will receive a Seacret Mud Soap AND a full-sized jar of Seacret's Intensive Moisture Face Cream.

That's more than $110 in product!

Three entries possible today and more if you come back each day!

You have to try this stuff - and Alanna is giving you the opportunity FOR FREE!

Here's another option;
Seacret is offering 60 - 75% off of their Holiday Gift sets!
Enter to win, then buy one for a friend!

Contact Alanna

Have a great one!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Great Gift Idea: - For those that have suffered a loss this year

I'm part of an AMAZING Facebook group.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share the name, but I have to tell you, it is fantastic.
People send referrals to each other, ask for ideas, tips, help and even offer up services to each other - and it is reciprocated and responded to (not all that common in the Facebook world).
This past weekend a brilliant artist named Michelle posted an ornament that she had made a few of and asked if anyone wanted to buy them.

Based on the FB thread - she will be working from now until AFTER the Holidays to fill all the orders she received.

Want to know what it was she was offering that had everyone raising their hand so eagerly?



It's a glass ornament with a white feather inside and a poem that reads:  

Feathers from an Angel
are ones we rarely see,
but this one is quite different - 
and special as can be.
This feather is a reminder
of a special someone's love
who is now your Guardian Angel
watching from above.

Check out Michelle's story on her blog Day to Day Dreams.  (thank you  Michelle for sharing!)

She also has a contact link there so you can reach her if you want one of your own.

Have a great one!

Oreo Truffles

Last week Lovely Lisa was over and she asked if we would "Guinea Pig" a recipe for her - Oreo Truffles.

I had to taste-test these 3 or 4 times - you know, just to be sure.

I guess this pin is all over Pinterest, but seeing as I'd never seen it, I thought perhaps some of you might not have either.

Lisa had a cookie exchange last week and was kind enough to photograph her process so I could share it with you.

You will need:

1 package Oreos
1 package cream cheese
chocolate chipits or chocolate melts


Crush up the entire package of oreos - including the centres. You can use a food processor if you have one or, what we did, was use a meat tenderizer to crumble them up.

Mix in softened cream cheese and thoroughly combine.

Roll them into balls and place on parchment paper.  Put them in the freezer for 10 minutes or so to harden them up a bit.

While they are chilling, melt your chipits or chocolate melts in a double boiler.

Dunk the oreo balls into the melted chocolate and return to the cookie sheet.


I had to try these myself, so I made two batches on the weekend - approximately 80 truffles - I gave out about 2 dozen to a few friends....
Which reminds me!  I should warn you - these things evaporate if  left unattended.

Fifty-six truffles disappeared SAME DAY!  (I didn't do it, honestly - it was the other wolves in this house)
I didn't even get a chance to photograph mine, they were gone so fast.

These are Lisa's little beauties:

They really are THAT good!

Lisa, thank you so much for introducing me to these magical bites and thank you even more for taking the time to document it for me!

Have a great one!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Great Gift Idea: for Kids

This is something your kids won't ask for, but will LOVE once they receive it;
an atlas of the world today with vibrant pictures of the wildlife, exports and people of each area.

This would be such an educational fun read for kids and adults to do together.
(heaven forbid you tell a kid that something is educational)

I went to order mine online and the shipping and duty on this were ridonkulous - so I'm recommending that you contact Heidi directly to place your orders.

This isn't a sponsored post - I'm just trying to save you a few bucks.

Can't wait for ours to arrive!

Barefoot Books

Have a great one!

Linked to:
Between Naps on the Porch

Mason Jar Salads - Jennifer Johal's Kitchen

Coming into leftover season, this post from Guest Contributor - Jennifer Johal -couldn't come at a better time!

Mason Jar Salads are a great way to use leftovers, and also to prep a healthy lunch for several days - for the salads pictured, I actually made extra chicken from my Southwest Chicken blog, sliced it up and made 3 days worth of salads for lunch!  Leftovers are great for these - get creative with your ingredients!

Rule of thumb for layering is as follows, to prevent things from getting mushy or wilted:

Meat/Beans (whatever you put here will soak up the dressing so be careful)
Anything soft like tomatoes or cheese should go on the top. Anything like croutons are best left out, just put them in a small container and dump it in when you are ready to it. 
When you dump it all into a bowl, it mixes perfectly with the dressing

I only make up to 3 days worth of salads. Three days is my general rule with any leftovers.

Here are some of my other go-to recipes. 

Lastly, here are some basic dressings. I never buy salad dressing, it is so easy to mix up fresh and delicious concoctions:

  • DIJON VINAIGRETTE: Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, olive oil
  • SWEET DIJON VINAIGRETTE: Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, olive oil, honey
  • BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE: Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil
  • SWEET BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE: Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, real maple syrup
  • HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE: Fresh lime juice, olive oil, pinch cumin, honey
  • ORANGE DRESSING: Fresh orange juice (from an orange, not a box), olive oil, honey

Thank you Jennifer!

Have a great one!

Linked to:
Between Naps on the Porch