Happy New Year!
Hello, hello, and helllllooooo. How are all of you? I’m finally back after a very lovely, very long Christmas holiday and am so excited to start the new year. I have so many fun projects in the works to share with you, along with continuing old projects like the Quote of The Week and Organizing Your House series. I’d really love to start a makeup + beauty series again, and we have a lot of DIY projects in the works on my house, and I can’t wait to share what we’re working on in the coming months.
I have a new Quote Of The Week coming later today, but I just wanted to pop in and say I hope you had a delightful holiday season. I really do. And I can’t wait to jump right into the new year with you!
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Christmas just isn’t Christmas until I’ve made my famous homemade toffee. It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t make it and hand it out as gifts, my neighbors ask if everything is okay at my house. It really is that good, but it takes enough butter that I only make it once a year. It’s my favorite quick, homemade Christmas neighbor gift. And this year I added caramel popcorn for something a little extra delicious.
Here’s how the whole thing goes down:
- Use my homemade toffee recipe to make as many batches of toffee as you need. One batch makes about 1 pound of candy, so I make about 3-4 batches to have enough for about 15 neighbor gifts. This year I added caramel popcorn to the treat bag. It not only adds extra deliciousness, it also fills out the bag so the homemade toffee goes a little further. I got about 20 neighbor gifts out of 3 batches of toffee after I added popcorn.
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- Using any labels you want (I used Martha Stewart labels from an office store) write out your Christmas / holiday message.
- Stick label to a cellophane bag before filling.
If you are stumped on how to fill those stockings for your husband/wife/parent/adult offspring, look no further. We’ve compiled a guide to our favorite stocking stuffers for your favorite grown ups. Let’s start with the gentlemen, shall we?
- His new favorite shaving and skin care regimen. My husband loves this brand of shave cream, and many other items from their lineup, so I make sure to include it every Christmas.
- And for the guy that likes to look polished and dapper at all times, a suave shoe care kit will fit just right in his stocking.
- Something practical, perhaps? A slick little multi tool is perfect, and slides right into his wallet.
- A new book in his favorite genre–thriller, history, humor, whatever.
- For the guy that never quite outgrew legos, a nano block set is sure to delight–wildlife, architecture, or world travel themes available.
Now for the ladies.
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- For the gal that’s forever losing her hair pins and elastics, a sleek set of several will see her through the next year with every hair in place.
- The latest selection for her book club, or a beautiful copy of her favorite novel. I always love a great new book
In our line of work in South Africa, we have the amazing privilege of taking adults on trips out of the country for the very first time. Some of these adults are people who have grown up in African communities and haven’t ventured as far as Johannesburg (3 1/2 hours away) much less ridden on a plane to a faraway place. Anxiety often gets high in anticipation of hovering in the air for several hours. A couple of years ago, my son took it upon himself to help our friends out. His eight step airplane guide for first time travelers is out of this world. With the holidays around the corner and travel in sight for many folk, I thought I would share it with you in hopes that anxieties felt by people stepping on a plane for the first time would be eased.
Brace yourself. This is good. I’ve added my comments in italics.
1. Go through check-in and customs. This is obviously when you are traveling internationally.
2. Get a friend and walk the airport and look at shops and possibly get food and a drink. It always helps to have a buddy and a snack.
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It’s DIY time again. And today we’re DIY-ing some home made grapefruit bath + body sugar scrub. This stuff is scrumptious, no two ways about it. Whip it up to give to a friend, keep it next to your kitchen sink for after you wash your hands, stash it in the shower, or use it in the bath. This scrub is multipurpose and smells divine; you really want to get in on making this business for yourself.
Let’s get started, shall we?
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DIY Home Made Grape Fruit Body Scrub
Author: Allison Czarnecki - Petit Elefant
Recipe type: Sugar Body Scrub
Cuisine: DIY Beauty
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons Jojoba oil
- 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
- In a mixing bowl add the sugar and olive oil.
- Mix together sugar and oil until completely combined.
- Add Jojoba oil.
- Mix again until combined.
- Add essential
This adorable little Christmas wreath craft is possibly the easiest Christmas craft ever. It requires only 3 supplies and a pair of scissors, and is not only cute and festive, but it’s great for kids. Um, hello, room moms in charge of class Christmas parties? This is perfect. It’s low cost, low maintenance, and doesn’t involve any glue, glitter or paint. Hallelujah.
To begin, gather your supplies
Green craft felt
Red or other festive ribbon, about 5/8″ thick
Green pipe cleaners
Scissors (fabric scissors are optional)
Rotary cutter and mat–this is optional, but I found it really make quick work of cutting up that felt
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- Cut your pipe cleaners in half and form them into circles, twisting the ends over. You can also use full length pipe cleaners to save a step, but you’ll have more excess on the ends to twist over–a 2-3 inch circle is just about right.
- Cut your felt into strips, 4 inches-5 inches long by about 3/4 inch thick. A little wider or narrower won’t matter at all. Closer to 5 inches makes them a smidge easier for little hands to manipulate, and they can always be trimmed off the finished product. Estimate about 12-15 strips
Beauty gifts are perfect for giving because they range from small to big, inexpensive to expensive, lipstick to hair styling, and everything in between. I don’t think I have one friend that doesn’t like getting new beauty products. Even girls that aren’t obsessed with makeup have a or few items they love to use. Cosmetics and styling tools make an ideal gift for just about any gal on your list. Here are some of our top picks from bargain brands to luxury labels.
1. Contour Blush: Contouring made easy with this gorgeous blush and bronzer duo from NARS. They’re kinds of the best.
2. e.l.f. Studio Brush Set: The most inexpensive but also high quality brushes out there. These are my fave, and so budget friendly.
3. Smashbox Lip Set: A glossy lip color for every day of the week! This is really a fabulous set.
4. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray: If you’re going to splruge on one hair item, this is the one! Plus it smells incredible.
5. CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara: The BEST mascara for under $7! Volumizes, lengthens, and lasts all day.
6. Mistral Holiday Bar Soap: These lovely soaps make perfect gifts or stocking stuffers with their beautiful … >> find out more...
It’s holiday gift time and I have a gift idea (for under $10!) to make everyone on your list delighted. Seriously. Teachers, boys, girls, husbands, wives, mother-in-laws, co-workers; anyone and everyone you can think of. A cute little Burt’s Bees holiday beauty gift kit (it fits right inside a stocking, I’m just saying) with travel sized lip balm, body lotion, hand salve, cleanser and foot cream to boot (for those poor winter feet). See what I did there?
On top of being adorable, travel sized, and perfect for a car or a desk, a purse, a briefcase or a backpack, all these delicious Burt’s Bees goodies smell absolutely delightful. I’m personally pretty partial (alliteration, anyone?) to the coconut foot cream + the vanilla bean lip balm. YUM.
Here are the details of all this delicious bath + body goodness:
In addition to smelling delightful, the coconut foot cream has coconut oil (so moisturizing!), rosemary, and peppermint extracts. Who doesn’t want lovely feet, I ask you?
The lip balm is like your trusty mainstay Burt’s Bees lip balm, but with a delicious vanilla bean flavor. Yum.
Enjoy natural face cleanser? I thought so. This cream cleanser … >> find out more...
Don’t our sweet boys deserve the best? Spoil them this Christmas with these great gift ideas! I’ve heard people say that girls are easier to shop for than boys, or that it’s more fun to shop for girl stuff. But I disagree! There is something perfect and totally cool for every boy on your list in this guide. The builder, the athlete, the reader, the chef, you name it! Our holiday gift guide for boys is all you need to fill those Christmas wishes.
1. Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven: Little chefs will go crazy over this play oven! Every kid should get one for Christmas at some point in their lives.
2. LEGO Minecraft Creative Adventures Crafting Box: Combining two all-time favorite boy activities into one awesome toy. Your boys will build all day with this LEGO set.
3. Over-the-Door Hoop: Buy this for your future basketball star! He’ll love it. He may even get those dirty socks in the laundry basket…
4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Since books always make the perfect gift, no gift guide is complete without at least one. Your bookworm won’t be able to stop turning pages in this classic novel that … >> find out more...