DIY Christmas Countdown

Christmas Countdown DIY 1 DIY Christmas Countdown

My oldest daughter is getting big enough to really start counting down the days until Christmas. And to be honest with you, I’m so excited about her excitement that I’m counting them down myself.

It’s such a simple thing to get excited about, but it makes the waiting for Christmas to come a little more exciting. ‘

I’ve seen the little blocks that count down the days. I’ve seen the little advent calendars and all the other little ideas, but none really scream exciting to me. Sure, some have little candies and treats every time you open a door, but I remember caring more about that when I was a kid than really knowing how many days there were until Christmas.

So I set out on a DIY mission to make a countdown for my girls. One that hopefully would last for years to come. We don’t have a mantle or fireplace. Which I’d say that a lot of people can relate to this, which makes hanging stockings and garland a little difficult. So I made my own way of hanging this thing and here’s how I made it.

Christmas Countdown DIY 2 DIY Christmas Countdown

I started with an extra piece of wood that I had in the garage. I don’t know it’s exact measurements, but it was about 3 feet long.

I spray painted the entire board white, then used painter’s tape to create stripes. I then spray painted it red which left red and white stripes like a candy cane.

Then, using the same method as my DIY Mug Holder for transfering text to wood, I added the Christmas Countdown words to the board. The white words really got lost, so I added little red polka dots to help it stand out a little.

Christmas Countdown DIY 4 DIY Christmas Countdown

Next came the numbers.

I am NOT a sewer (yet). Though I may someday learn, right now I’m sticking like glue to my hot glue gun. The numbers were way simpler than they look. Plus they only cost me about $3.

I purchased about 4 pieces of red and white felt at Walmart for $.23 each. I also purchased a couple of fat quarters of fabric for $.97 each. I cut out the squares and hot glued the fabric squares to the felt squares to make sure the numbers had good support.

For the actual numbers, I simply printed off the numbers in the font and size that I liked and then tape them to the felt. I then just cut them out using the paper numbers as a template. Voila! I had numbers.

I then hot glued them to the fabric and boom they were done. The clothes pins were $1 at Dollar Tree! Even the cute garland was a buck.

Christmas Countdown DIY 5 DIY Christmas Countdown

I debated over and over about how many hooks I would want for hanging the garland. I didn’t want it to look too tight, but I didn’t want it to be too lose either. So I ended up with 5 hooks (leftover from another project that just screw right into the board), but only used 3 total. I like the looser look.

Christmas Countdown DIY 7 DIY Christmas Countdown

Then as we began to take off numbers in our countdown, I realized we had nowhere to store the numbers that were coming off. I glued to ends of some leftover felt together to make this little pouch. I added some little pieces of fabric cut out into droplets to embellish it a little.

Voila! A numbers pouch to keep up with them once they come off.

Christmas Countdown DIY 3 DIY Christmas Countdown

Each morning, Addie is absolutely ecstatic about taking off a number. This morning she said “Momma, there are only EIGHT days until Christmas!”

It’s awesome to have something that we can use over and over again and know that I created it! Anybody can make this and I hope that this gives you ideas if you’ve considered making something like this for your home!

Does your family have a countdown that you use each year?


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YumEarth Organic Candy Review and Giveaway

YumEarth 251x300 YumEarth Organic Candy Review and Giveaway

We’re at the grocery store picking up our weekly groceries. There’s but one thing that I can guarantee that my daughter is going to ask for….

Gummy snacks.

We’re talking fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, gummy bears, and you name it. She’s going to request that we throw it in the buggy. Yes buggy. That’s what we call them here in the south y’all. I don’t usually mind grabbing some for her snack box at school or perhaps something to snack on in the afternoons. But sometimes, I have to draw the line. She would eat them every second of every day if I let her.

I often find awesome deals on YumEarth Organic Gummy Bears on Amazon so I was thrilled to get a chance to try these out for myself. And to let my little gummy connoisseur try them for herself.

Yummy Earth 1 281x300 YumEarth Organic Candy Review and Giveaway

I didn’t actually tell her that these were organic before she tried them. I didn’t think it would matter and I was right! She loved them and so did I.

I will say that I was a little thrown off by their color. They seemed a little drab in color and not as bright as most gummy bears, but that didn’t mean they tasted bad. They were still really yummy. They reminded me of a cross between gummy bears and fruit snacks. Gummy bears tend to be tougher and fruit snacks are usually soft. This was a blend of the two. Either way, it only took us a couple of days to go through our tasty bag of 10 packs.

Come to find out, YumEarth was founded by two DADS who were on a mission to share wholesome treats with their kids. YumEarth is dedicated to making delicious treats and sweets with all-natural ingredients, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no major allergens, such as gluten, nuts and dairy. Pretty sure that most anyone can eat these and not have to worry about any funky ingredients.

There are tons of everyday stores that carry these. So be on the lookout at your store or find out where you can locate them here.

In the meantime, you wanna win a FREE bag of these for yourself? It’s a GIVEAWAY!

____________________________________________________________________

YumEarth Organic Gummy Bear Bag Giveaway

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me who you think would eat these if you won!

Optional Additional Entries:

This giveaway will end on December 20th at 11:59pm CT. I will contact the winner on December 21st and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them in 24 hours, I will name a new winner. This giveaway is open to those in the US only.

This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are 100% my own. All prizing for MSM giveaways is handled by a third party unless otherwise noted. For this reason prize fulfillment can take up to 90 days after the winners information is received.


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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Gift Jars

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Jar 2 Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Gift Jars

I’ve recently gotten the nickname “Becky Homecky” from my mom. Had you asked me 5 years ago if I would be creating recipes, crafts, and projects then I probably would have said absolutely not. Not just because I was working at the time, but also because I never really had the urge to do anything so Betty Crocker-ish. These days I find these things to be completely stress-relieving and better yet, fun.

Whodathunkit?

Every Christmas for the past 5 years, I’ve said I’m going to make homemade Christmas gifts to save money and to put a little thought into my gifts. And almost every year, I get down to the wire and never get around to it. This year, I’m determined to make it happen.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Jar 1 Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Gift Jars

I’m starting with these gift jars. There are about a million combinations for gift jars these days. You name it, you can gift it in a jar. My daughter suggested that we try Banana Bread Gift Jars the other night. I told her that I wasn’t sure that you could do that because bananas can’t rightly be put in a jar and keep.

Then I came across this recipe at Recipe Goldmine for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Jar. Never having made mixes in a jar like this, I wanted to go with a tried and true recipe before branching out into experimentation. I found it interesting that using dried banana chips for the banana part actually ended up tasting like regular bananas.

And the chocolate, come on. YUM is the only word to describe chocolate and bananas.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Jar 4 Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Gift Jars

I got my jars at Walmart for around $8 for 12 of them including tops. I used some fabrics pieces that I already had along with some red string to dress the jars up a bit. I printed out the instructions for making the bread and glued it to a piece of scrapbook paper. Then punched a hole and tied it to the jar.

Aren’t they adorable?

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Jar 3 Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Gift Jars

These make such great gifts for teachers and coworkers. And they are inexpensive too. My favorite part!

Recipe courtesy of Recipe Goldmine.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Gift Jars
Recipe Type: Gift, Bread, Snack
Author: Reipe Goldmine
Easily create homemade gift jars for yummy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried bananas, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups Bisquick
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Layer all ingredients in a quart-size jar in order they are given. Press the layers down firmly before adding next layer.
  2. Attach gift tag with these instructions:
  3. In a large bowl, place the contents of this jar. Make a well in the center. Mix 1 1/4 cups milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 eggs (slightly beaten) and 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened) into dry mixture. Stir until completely blended. Spoon the batter into a large loaf pan that is well greased with wax paper in the bottom. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack before removing.

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Baby Shower On A Budget

Baby Shower On A Budget 15 Baby Shower On A Budget

I have been dying to share this stuff with you for weeks, but just haven’t had a moment to sit down and get it all together. Is it just me or is time beginning to move faster and faster? I barely have time to finish a thought before I move on to my next one. And with the holidays quickly approaching , things are sure to get even faster.

One of my dear friends is expecting a little bundle of joy next month and when it came to her baby shower, I knew that I wanted to be the one to throw it. This, ahem, was my very first shower to throw. I’ve helped out with others and attended plenty, but I’ve never had one here at my home. So naturally, I wanted it to be perfect.

Well….as perfect as one can be with an 18 month-old and 5 year-old running around while preparing. I can’t complain. They were both angels the entire time that I put this together. And thankfully, another friend of mine helped out with food and planning so it wasn’t ALL me. Sheesh, I think I’d go nuts if it was!

So I thought I’d share with you a few of the frugal touches that I used to make this shower special for my friend. At this point, I’ve only included pictures, but I do have some pictures for a tutorial if anyone is interested. Just let me know!

Baby Shower On A Budget 6 Baby Shower On A Budget

The first thing that I did was to make up these adorable little food tags and cupcake flags. SUPER cheap to make. Don’t you DARE go and buy them! Especially if you’re a scrapper, chances are that you have some extra scrapbook paper. And that, my friends, is a party planner’s best friend.

I did buy a new set of scrapbook paper with assorted colors for $5. It covered the entire party. I was able to make markers for all of the dishes and snacks along with the super cute cupcake flags.

I simply printed out the words with cute font on my printer, cut them out, and attached them with tape to the scrapbook paper. The food markers were folded in half so they stood up.

All in all this only cost me the $5 for the paper.

Baby Shower On A Budget 3 Baby Shower On A Budget

I even made a cute little tag for the party games that we played. I used an old pickle jar to hold the words and just tied a cute little bow around it to dress it up.

This didn’t cost me anything!

Baby Shower On A Budget 4 Baby Shower On A Budget

I picked up some hot pink tissue paper at Walmart for $.97 and made up a few of these tissue flowers to make a few decorations. It looked really cute attached to the punch.

Baby Shower On A Budget 2 Baby Shower On A Budget

Ok, don’t judge me but I had a lot of time on my hands. My husband went out of town and I ended up writing a poem.

Yeah, yeah, I’m a little overachiever.

It was SO cute though. I dropped into Dollar Tree and got a frame that I painted with pink paint that I already had. Printed the poem out and attached to scrapbook paper to make a nice addition to the shower table.

$1 added to the cost.

Baby Shower On A Budget 1 Baby Shower On A Budget

I found a tutorial on how to make a brown bag flower decoration on Pinterest and I HAD to try it. I always have brown bags on-hand.

In like 5 minutes flat, I had this darling flower that I simply spray painted and added a little glitter to. I tied it the ceiling and voila!

Baby Shower On A Budget 7 Baby Shower On A Budget

At some point in time, I have become obsessed with food in jars. I know I’m a little late on that, but I’m only human and my brain takes a little longer to process than most. 😉

I made cupcakes regularly in a muffin pan. Then I cut them in half placing the bottom layer in the bottom of a 4 oz jar. Added frosting, then added the 2nd layer. I then topped them once again with more frosting. These were homemade devil’s food and vanilla buttercream cupcakes and they were AMAZING.

Don’t the flags add a nice touch?

I did buy the jars just for this event, but they will be around for use later on so I’m considering them to pay for themselves. But since I did buy them, we’ll add $7.97 to our total.

Baby Shower On A Budget 11 Baby Shower On A Budget

These White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Wafers were so easy, but looked like a million bucks. I bought them at Dollar Tree. I tinted some white chocolate chips pink and drizzled it along with some sprinkles all over. Snazzy huh?

$2.29 was all that they cost me.

Baby Shower On A Budget 10 Baby Shower On A Budget

With all the scrapbook paper that I had, I knew I wanted to serve some things in cones. I simply rolled up the scrapbook paper cut to size and then taped them in place. The box they are standing up in? Oh, it’s the box from the 4 oz mason jars! I used a knife to poke holes in it so the cones could stand up.

I made up some popcorn that I already had and drizzled in pink tinted white chocolate to it all. It came out to be super tasty Pink Popcorn! I even added pink sprinkles too.

Total cost for this was $1.29 for the white chocolate chips. Aldi has the BEST price y’all!

Baby Shower On A Budget 9 Baby Shower On A Budget

I made these mini cupcake bouquets with the help from Dollar Tree. I got 2 vases and used 2 foam flower arrangement thingies (that’s a technical term) to place toothpicks in. The bottom is a couple of small pieces of tulle that I had on-hand to dress them up. I then made my cupcakes and stuck them all over onto the toothpicks.

I also added a few pieces of tissue here and there to fill it out.

Total cost for these was $4.

Baby Shower On A Budget 8 Baby Shower On A Budget

Of all the elements to this shower, THESE were my favorite. I saw a picture of these somewhere out in cyberspace recently and decided to give them a go. Without even glancing at the directions, I was able to whip up 25 of these in no time at all.

All you need is a package of napkins (your choice of color) and the appopriate amount of safety pins. SO easy and they make any treat that you’re serving look completely adorable. Obviously the smaller your napkins, the smaller your little diapers so buy the size according to what you are going to serve in them.

These also make awesome party favor bags!

Total cost for these? $2.

Baby Shower On A Budget 12 Baby Shower On A Budget

I also made a small diaper cake as you see in the upper right that was about $6 for the diapers. I made a coffee filter flower for the top. And the little name plaque with baby’s name on it was just $.97 at Walmart! I had the paint already.

Many of the little cupcake and serving stands that you see I made out of saucers and dessert cups that I hot-glued to each other. I get a lot of those materials at thrift stores and then paint to make them cute. So affordable and look so fancy.

All in all, what you see here cost me only around $30. And every bit of it was special because it was made with love and thought. That’s always the best gift!

What about you? Are you throwing a baby shower soon? Have any frugal baby shower tips to share?!


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$50 California Wine Club Giveaway!

CWC ScriptLogoBottles 1024x672 $50 California Wine Club Giveaway!

You may have read my last post and review about the California Wine Club. Do you know someone who has a plaque or perhaps a magnet that says “Life is Too Short to Drink Bad Wine”?

Yeah, this just might be the perfect Christmas gift for them. Or hey, if it’s YOU with that magnet, we’re not going to judge. Go on ahead and grab yourself a membership. 😉

Basically, you get 2 bottles of homegrown, not-sold-in-stores, even award-winning wine each month delivered to your door. What a concept!

BP Best 1961 $50 California Wine Club Giveaway!

This is Bruce and Pam Boring. Their last name may sound less than enthusiastic, but their desire for wine certainly is not! They are the ones behind this specialty club and the tasters that bring you the unique wine each month. Isn’t it nice to have a face to go with a company?

I was recently sent another shipment from the California Wine Company with a Merlot and a Chenin Blanc from David Grehrs. Both of which I never would have had the opportunity to try if it wasn’t for this club! I’m not much a Merlot drinker, but I really enjoyed the Chenin Blanc. Nice and sweet, but not overly.

If you’re thinking about getting someone a unique and fun gift this year, be sure to check out the California Wine Company. Here’s how:

Wanna check it out for yourself? Here’s how to find them:

www.cawineclub.com
California Wine Club Facebook
California Wine Club Twitter

Now, how about a FANTASTIC giveway?! The winner will receive a $50 credit to try it all out for themselves!

__________________________________________________________________________

California Wine Club $50 Credit Giveaway

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite kind of wine. Or one you’d like to try!

Optional Additional Entries:

This giveaway will end on December 12th at 11:59pm CT. I will contact the winner on December 13th and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them in 24 hours, I will name a new winner. This giveaway is open to those in the US only. 

This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a 2 month Membership to the California Wine Club for the purpose of this review.


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