Friday, November 30, 2012

New Custom Initial and Charm Necklaces in the Shop

Today is going to be filled with hot chocolate, decorating to Christmas music and baby giggles, and uploading new jewelry goodies to my Jeweled Ambrosia etsy shop!! My new favorite... super SWEET and AFFORDABLE Custom Initial Necklaces... perfect for stocking stuffers and major customizable with tons of bead options. Need an extra initial? Letter add ons are in my shop as well!  I'm wearing my kiddo's initials now and it feels so 'maternal' to have their letters so close to my heart.

I'm all about lots and lots of choices and customizing lately. Like these super cute and affordable Design Your Own Charm Necklaces below! You pick one charm and any two beads, fun stuff!

I don't know what my deal was today with coral, salmon pink, aqua, turquoise and robin's egg blues, but it seems that those shades kept popping up in lots of my designs. Lots of arrows, antlers, cameos, rhinestones and all sorts of glitz will be featured... Stay tuned, these and many more are being added to the shop as you read this post.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Sweet Treats: Perfect and Easy Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip and Blackberry Muffins Recipe

The pumpkin muffin bandwagon is hopping this time o' year. So, I made this recipe with my own spin.

The EASIEST method is to mix 1 can of pumpkin with 1 box of spice cake mix and THAT IS IT!!!

If you only have yellow cake mix, (like I did), just spice it up. A mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and/or pumpkin pie spice will do the trick and THAT IS IT!!!!

If you want to up the yumminess factor, than go cray-cray with some add ins. My weapons of choice: Chocolate chips and blackberries. (Cranberries, walnuts, raisins, strawberries, mint or white chocolate chips, anything would be good). I mix in about 3 cups of chips, then after the mix is in the muffin tins, I cut the blackberries in half and dot them on the tops of the muffins. Then, bake at 350 degrees till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and the muffins pull away from the sides. Easy, peasy and soOooOOoooOoooo delicious.

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Homefront: Thanksgiving 2012

I do hope that everyone had a fantabulous Thanksgiving! My sister and her family came down and what adventures we had! Six days wasn't enough :) My sis and mom got massages, we went to Bass Pro Shops, ate a lot of food, stayed up till 5am talking, dressed Lil' Bit like a diva princess, watched Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Brave, Spiderman and tons of YouTube, celebrated our freedoms...

 We found this working air hockey table on the side of the road. Score!
 Blocking the driveway so they could ride around.
 Hubster prying the kids away from electronics with an impromptu shooter game.
Addicted to MINECRAFT!!!
 Her first time feeding herself in a booster seat~  mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Yumm!!
 The clan... we always get lots of looks when going out with all "the boys"!
 Her first Santa experience. My usually happy baby, well... she cried. he boys were so impressed.
These creepy little elves were everywhere. I totally want one.. or three.
 She kept staring at the reindeer, so I had to flip her around to get a good shot... until the elf came 'round and told us to move b/c we were in the Santa shots... ooopps!!
 He's doing Mr. Gold/ Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon a Time here...
Her daddy does a great job dressing her!
Bit Bit's excited face.
 Spontaneous zombie action.
 Yes, they are a family of clowns.
Let the Madness of the last of the holidays... begin!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Memory and Gratitude Jar Craft Tutorial

 This memory and thankful/gratitude jars are extremely easy and simple to make. You can spend next to nothing, or go all out on supplies. Most of the time, you can just find things around the house to use to embellish your jars.

These would make great gifts! Imagine, a teacher gift, where the students write down things they appreciate about the teacher. Or a grandparent, and each grandchild/child write down things they love about grandma and a happy memory. Ooh, or a baby or bridal shower, where each person in attendance writes down a fond memory of the guest of honor and a word of advice on motherhood or marriage! It would make a touching memorial for someone who has passed on, filled with memories and trinkets of that person. The jars can hold, candles or flowers, and would look lovely on a wedding table. You can really do anything with them. And best of all, they are really fun to make with family and friends! It would be fun for a little girl's birthday party activity! Everyone just brings some ribbon, lace, twine, odds and ends and have fun together.

In my memory jars, I use items to decorate based on that memory, then fill the jars up with photos and memorabilia. Here, I have a baby and wedding jar. The butterfly pin I wore on my wedding dress and the one in the jar was on my cake. The ribbons are fragments used in my bouquet. NUME is a silly little inside joke with my husband. For the baby jar, I put her baby bow on there, and tied it with trim and ribbons. Inside, is the fabric trim we used on her blessing headband, that also matched her blessing dress that her aunt made her. I still need to fill these jars up, but you see where I am going with this. Imagine having a shelf or  with lots of little memory jars, for births, vacations, special occasions, or just because.

For the gratitude jar,. you fill it with paper scraps. You can have some method, like every Sunday night, each family member writes something they are thankful for, and include special memories or funny conversations with your kids on the paper scraps. You read them all together at Thanksgiving. Then, you can staple them together in a paper chain for your Christmas tree. Start the tradition each year and add to your paper chain for a fun, annual activity. Reading old memories and moments of gratitude from past years will really bring back some tender and silly moments each year that otherwise may have been long forgotten.

Hot soapy water and vinegar are both great for cleaning sticky labels off of the glass. Lightly sand your jar lid if you want, prime with spray paint, then spray paint your desired color. A few very light coats makes for a cleaner look and better coverage than a thick coat of paint. I used hot glue to secure the cut burlap strips, then the ribbon can be glue on or tied on. Any kind of embellishments work. Making your own embellishments, such as rolled fabric flower s (tutorial) are easy and cheap. There are tons of tutorials on how to make paper and fabric flowers, or you can just buy some as well.

I even made a plain jar, with holiday themed 'corsages' that I can change throughout the seasons. There is no right or wrong way. We made these at a recent craft night and everyone's jars turned out wonderful. I would love to see if you make one and how you use it :)

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