“To Go” container gift boxes

Looking for a simple way to give a gift card or small gift this year! Look no further then your restaurant supply store! Soup “To go” cartons can get all dressed up for the occasion and house your gift cards, jewelry, and tiny treasure gift givings!

These ‘to Go” soup cartons were the perfect size for gift cards! I purchased mine at Orson Gygi n Salt Lake City. For less then $10 I have lids and containers for 25! All that’s left is to decorate! Put those creative skills to work and go crazy!

This one is decorated with a felt flower, green tulle and rick rack! use your flower making skills for any fun flower topper! Add a leaf and some tulle for added texture and you’re set!

Twine and a simple baby blue ribbon make this one the perfect gift box! I hot glued the twine on starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top.

And lastly this crazy top was adorned with Silver ribbon, Green gingham ribbon, Silver tulle and red ric rack! A fun and festive top for a simple white container!

No more boring envelopes! Spice up your gift giving with these darling “To go” containers! The skies the limit!


Guest Post: Angry Birds FREE printable by My Concrete Sky

who doesn’t love angry birds?
last time i checked, they are pretty close to taking over the world…
(or at least pinterest pins, eh? ;)
well, if i’m being completely honest, angry birds aren’t quite my thing, but my 4 year baby boy is sure obsessed! and i have this 6 year old daughter, who kinda likes angry bird herself, but mostly just loves making stuff for other people!
so put the two simple joys together and voila!
a fun, handmade, mommy/baby nugget ANGRY BIRDS project/sibling gift!
i wish i was clever enough to claim this idea all as my own,
but instead i am just super grateful for the genius idea i found here
i changed it up and bit and instead of hand painting each can, i created some printable labels because a) i don’t have the patience to paint each one individually! b) my daughter could then do most of the project herself (since it is her gift to little brother…)
today i am sharing those printable labels with you so that you and/or your babies
can make a fun set of your own!

+ recycled soup cans (in the amount of ‘pins’ you want to make…we had 10 for our set)
+ mod podge (i favor matte finish, but i’m sure glossy would be fab too!)
+ green acrylic paint (’2553 lime green’ by folk art from walmart for $0.97 is a great match!)
+ sponge brush (to apply mod podge)
+ regular brush (to apply paint, but you could use a sponge brush too…just use whatever you have!)
+ printed labels (you need one for each can you have…download below!)
+ paint the cans (just the tops and about an inch around the top and bottom of the cylinder part…)
while you let the paint dry, cut out your bird labels
once paint is dry, generously apply mod podge (momma helped baby girl with this part…)
stick the bird labels to the mod podged cans
make sure the entire label is adhered to each can
apply coat of mod podge all over the now labeled cans (and to the painted can tops)
let it dry
stand back, admire and go gaga over your adorable creation
wrap it up pretty and give it to some angry birds addict who will love this real life set to bits and pieces!



after one trial and error can, i discovered the easiest method for applying all coats of mod podge that i must share with you! (see photo below…)

put your hand in the can opening while you mod podge then you can apply mod podge on the entire circumference of the can without getting it all over your hands! once i was done mod podging, i slid the can off of my hand using the counter’s edge so i wouldn’t ever have to touch the stickiness! (you can see two finished cans in the background on the counter’s edge using this ‘slide-off-of-the-hand method’ :)

also, mod podge both coats with the can’s ridges instead of against…much easier!
i bought an actual angry bird doll dude at a post-thanskgiving sale…if you’d like to make your own ‘bird ball’ there is a great tutorial from the same blogger that inspired this project herea big thanks to heidi for posting her project so others could pin it (thereby allowing me to find it ;)and to  freevectorsdaily.com, the site that so generously shared the angry bird images i used to create the labels…THANKS FOR SHARING!!

our little set turned out even cuter than i anticipated (that’s always a good thing isn’t it?)
hope you have as much fun as we did making this simple present!!
happy holidays from our home to yours!!
Download the FREE printable HERE!
alisa is living her dream and true calling as a full-time mommy/wife and as a nap-time artist/designer. She spends he days schnoogling her babies, avoiding laundry, finding order in the chaos, enjoying the journey, and cultivating a creative life. to see more of alisa’s work, please visit her at myconcretesky.com.

Mr. BCD gets crafty! Well…sort of!


Ya’ like that! I’m not the only one in the family that can get her craft on! Check out the crafty skills of Mr. BCD! And yes….that’s cement, screws and a pad lock in the center of his Pinewood Derby car! No rules allowed, anything goes! Made me laugh to see him get so in to creating this car! I had to make fun of him! Now he knows what it’s like for me when I’m trying to get a project done!


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Photo Tips with Emilie: Perfect Christmas Tree Photos

Perfect Christmas Tree Photos

Capturing gorgeous photos of your Christmas tree is all about selecting the correct shutter speed.

Shutter speed is the speed that the shutter opens, lets in the image and then closes.  Shutter speed manages two elements of your photo: the amount of light in your image and the amount of motion captured in your image.

When the shutter speed is on a lower/slower setting the shutter is open a longer amount of time letting in more light.  The slower the shutter speed the longer the shutter is open and the more light that is let in to create your image.  When the shutter speed is on a higher/faster setting the shutter is open less time letting in less light.  The faster the shutter speed the less time the shutter is open and the darker your image.   When capturing your Christmas tree you want to let in lots & lots of light so you would select a lower/slower shutter speed.

When the shutter speed is on a lower/slower setting the shutter is open a longer amount of time capturing all the movement found in your scene.  The slower the shutter speed the longer the shutter is open and the more movement that is captured in your image.  When the shutter speed is on a higher/faster setting the shutter is open less time capturing a smaller amount of “time” in our scene, stopping any movement that is happening.  The faster the shutter speed the less time the shutter is open and the less motion is captures.  The higher/faster the shutter the sharper your image.  When capturing your Christmas tree you want to capture the “movement” of the lights so you would select a lower/slower shutter speed.

Notice 2 things in the following images.  Notice as the shutter speed increases the images becomes darker, also notice that the bulbs get smaller.
What do you do when you get images that look like this?…
End Result…
  Be sure to put my workshops on your Christmas list!
 Just a few of the things you’ll learn:
-Shooting in Manual Mode
-Perfect Lighting Every time
-My Favorite Poses
-The Magic of Photoshop
Photo By Emilie Workshops:
I couldn’t resist adding this next one.  When I asked my baby niece to reach up to the top of the tree she lost her balance and in slow motion starting timbering into the Christmas Tree.  My Sister In Law is one quick lady and caught her before she knocked the whole tree over.  Of course I captured the whole thing on camera.  Enjoy….

Holiday Decor: Using a color theme

It’s been a fun adventure over these last 4 years of being a full fledged home owner to decorate for the holidays and being a blogger it’s fun to look back and see what I was up to years ago as I decorated for the Holidays…

Last year my bright and colorful Christmas table scape was a blast to create pairing hounds tooth placemats, polka dotted glasses, candles, ornaments and a homemade table runner!

In 2009 I created my fun Paper Mache Christmas Ornaments! These whimsical decorations were a labor of love and so much fun to get creative and design! They still make me smile when I put them up around my home each year!
One year I even wrapped up Canvas Art Work with wrapping paper for some easy and affordable decor! Looking back I have loved seeing that my bright color scheme has been around for years! Each year I add new things but they all have one thing in common… “BRIGHT COLOR!” I love using color as a consistent theme!
Have you noticed that you do the same thing? Do you decorate for the holidays using a color theme? I’d LOVE to hear what your color theme is! Is it traditional Red, White and Green? Silver and Blue? Black, white and Red? Tell me!!!

Now I’d love to know, how do you spread real cheer with your holiday decorating? Show me with your photos! Click “Add me” in the Cheer Tree below to upload your holiday decorating photos and share them with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Be sure to click on “Special Offers” to unwrap the hidden coupons and deals exclusively from Sears. Keep checking throughout the holidays–new deals are unlocked every day! For all your holiday decorating needs and solutions, don’t forget to visit Sears and discover real deals, real cheer!

Drive Thru Service

I love this time of year because I think it has the potential to bring out the best in us!  It’s become a family tradition in our home to pick up the bill at a restaurant when we see a police officer, firefighter or serviceman or woman in uniform. This was a great tradition we learned from my husbands grandfather! It ‘s not often that we find ourselves dining with these deserving men and woman so around the holidays I try to find other ways to extend this random act of kindness in an attempt to surprise a stranger and put a smile on their face!

Last year I started doing “Drive Thru” service acts! One day when I was in the drive thru line at Taco Bell I noticed the lady behind me ordering looked sad. I couldn’t help but notice her in my rear view mirror. When I got to the window to pay for my order and pick up my food I asked to pay for the car behind me and simply asked them to tell her ” Happy Holidays and I hope she had a nice day!” I have no idea what she thought of this random act but I sure know how it made me feel!

All of us need that extra dose of feel good once in a while! I can guess that she felt blessed by that tiny act of kindness showed to her but I think I benefited from it most. I had my three smalls girls in the car with me and I told them how good it felt to do kind things for others!

I think service is almost more important to the one offering it then to those who receive it! It’s a wonderful reminder that we need each other and that we have the power to lift others, lighten each others burdens and be blessed in return!

I hope we can find opportunities to serve others… even if it’s in a Drive Thru!

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Show and Tell

Time to get your link on! Have you created a fab project you want to show off!?! Link it here and get seen by thousands. I’ll often feature favorite links on Facebook and twitter and on my site so by linking you give me full permission to shout your praises and feature you and your post! Consider it FREE publicity!


Girl time and goodies! A Holiday must!

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There’s no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! www.duncanhines.com.

Ahhh man! There is nothing better then getting together with a good group of girlfriends! I LOVE my Girls Nights Out and hanging out for a late night of visiting, yummy food and no kids! The above shot was taking at a gathering with my fellow SNAP Conference girls!

This time of year makes it a little more difficult to gather so it’s time to get creative! Seems like we all have tons of obligations and shopping to do and things to check off out lists before the year ends! It also seems with all the stress and obligations is when I need my girl time the most! YOu know…just a break from it all!

So here are my fun ideas for squeezing in a little girl time and treats!

Why not host a gift wrapping night where your girlfriends gather and bring their gifts, wrapping paper, and their favorite treat to share! Make it a late night gathering after all the kids have been put down! You can share gift wrapping supplies and shopping horror stories!

Do you host a regular play date at your home or are you apart of a rotating one? Next time you’re hosting invite the moms to stay! Have a fun craft project or new game for the littles to enjoy while the moms enjoy a sweet treat and just relax and visit!

Take the time for a late night get together with desserts and a movie at someones home! It will be less stressful if you don’t have to head to the theater! Grab a favorite classic or a new blockbuster! Treat yourself to the break and I’m sure it will energize you for the busy weeks ahead!

I don’t know about you but my girls nights are a must even during this busy time! Friends and food are my stress relievers! Do you guys feel the same?

Remember to check out Duncan Hines’ website www.duncanhines.com to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.


Snowman Cups

Ever seen such an adorable little face! Well if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may have remembered my “Chinese take out Snowman gift box” and these I guess you can call their little offspring!

I thought I could come up with a smaller version perfect for sending little treats to my girls school class rooms! These darling little Snowman fit the bill and were a breeze to create!

6 oz Styrofoam cups and lids found at Orson Gygi were just what I needed and you can’t beat the cost of this project. 25 pack of cups: $1, 100 pack of lids: $1.55,  stiff felt: $1. And we all seem to have paint on hand! Even if you make 100 little gift cups it would cost you about $7 before you fill them with goodies!

First things first! Fill all your cups with goodies and close them with the lids! This makes them easier to hold when you paint them giving the super light Styrofoam a little more weight and with the lids on you can stack them!

Using pink paint and a small round sponge, you’ll  add your rosie cheeks! Next you’ll use the end of a paintbrush and black paint to add your coal smile and eyes! Lastly you’ll hot glue on your felt nose cut from a sheet of stiff felt. I painted all my cheeks then all my mouths and eyes and then glued on my noses. By the time I moved onto the next step, the step I just finished was dry!

I loved this little army of smiling snowman!

It took me about an hour to create 75 Snowman cups! These are perfect for Holiday classroom party favor or little treats for your kids to pass out to their friends!






This post brought to you by PartyLite Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you guys ever heard of PartyLite? I was recently introduced to PartyLite and I was so excited to learn more about this company! PartyLite is a home based sales company that beautiful home decor, food goodies and a huge variety of decorative and fragrant candles! I’m a sucker for anything that will fill my home with a yummy scent so when I had a change to book a party of my own I jumped at the chance!

Hosting a PartyLite home party is like any other home based party! The hostess gets fun perks for opening up her home by earning incentives. For hosting I automatically earned $50 to spend on anything I want! I’m loading up on their famous scented votives! PartyLite offers endless scents from fruity to woodsy to fresh and Seasonal! These scents are a great way to easily change out the mood in your home by introducing a new scent especially around the Holiday seasons!

This gorgeous Enhanced Winter Snow Votive Holder is calling my name! I love how it looks and think it would add a charming look to my home during the winter months!

PartyLite is hosting a fun PartyLite Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes  that I entered and so should you! You could win an amazing prize and shop till drop out of the Winter/ Spring PartyLite Catalog which launches Dec. 16th! Sweepstakes is open till Dec. 15th!

I’m excited to host my PartyLite party next week and to have my neighbors and close friends over. It’s a great excuse to get together for great company, yummy treats and shopping! You should host a party too and invite your girlfriends over for a fun night in! Don’t forget about the hostess perks!

PartyLite would like to giveaway $25 to shop online to one lucky winner! Simply follow PartyLite Facebookpage and leave me a comment on today’s post! Winner will be announced on the Blue Cricket Design facebook page on December 16th.

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