Holiday Style With Lilla Rose

Holiday Style With Lilla Rose

Lilla Rose is one of those companies I had never heard of before entering the blogging world. I did a giveaway series last year and one of the giveaways was for a Lilla Rose flexi clip that I received to review. After trying it out, I ended up signing up as a consultant because my girls and I loved it.

I’ve accumulated a small collection over the last year and in that time also found the world of Polyvore. Strange segue? Sorry, I’m awkward sometimes.

Polyvore is this fun place where people compile collections of items to make outfits. Kind of like a dream board for fashion. I found them through Pinterest last year when I was filling my New :: Style board with ideas for updating my lacking wardrobe.

Today, I have put the two together and have created some sets built around some Lilla Rose products. You can order them at my Lilla Rose Shop if you find one that strikes your fancy.

First up is Ruby Bouquet, built around the Ruby Bouquet flexi clip.

Ruby Bouquet

 

Next is one that is a little more glitzy, but not terribly flashy. This one features the Lovely Circle Gold bobbies.

Simple Glitz

 

You can check out the rest of my sets on Polyvore, too. I have a few so far.

Please tell me what colors you like to wear during the holiday season! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Don’t forget, you can pick up all of your Lilla Rose needs through my link. ;) If you have any questions, please let me know!

DIY Gifts for Kids Book List

DIY Gifts for Kids - a book list

Creating gifts for kids can either be exciting or overwhelming. Kids have a wide range in likes, but knowing the kid will take you far in deciding what to make. While some kids may be harder to find a gift to MAKE, the reward of giving a gift that is tailored to the receiver is always worth the effort.

Today’s Crafty Christmas installment is a list of books to help you create those perfect gifts for kids. DIY gifts for kids is the name of the game today!

As always, you can look for these books at your local library or find them on Amazon.

DIY Gifts for Kids Book List


Ultimate Papercraft Bible: A Complete Reference with Step-by-Step Techniques edited by Marie Clayton – Papercrafting isn’t just awesome cards. This may be a great book to consider using as an experience gift for a kid, taking the time to make something out of the book would be a great gift for a crafty kid who simply wants to spend time with you.


The Big Book of Socks: The Ultimate Beyong-the-Basics Guide to Knitting Socks by Kathleen Taylor – Most kids I know love funky socks. If you can knit, this could be a great option.


Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothes by Carla Hegeman Crim – If you are a sewer, making some clothes may be the option you want to take. There are so many awesome choices for fabrics – beautiful fabrics for tween girls, fun and funky for boys, and sweet prints for toddlers. You can easily customize a clothing gift to the child.


Palm-Size Softies: Patterns and Ideas for 44 Stuffed Pets and Dolls That Fit in the Palm of Your Hand by Hitomi Jakahashi, Mikiko Matsui, and Akema Tsubo – These little critters are adorable.


Chic & Unique Beaded Jewelry edited by Naomi Abeykoon – If you have a tween girl on your list, this could make a great gift. Actually, this would make a great option for just about any girl on your list.


Felt Toys for Little Ones by Jessica Peck of Sweetie Pie Bakery – I just love felt food. This book is a great collection of ideas for play sets to spark imaginative play in toddlers and preschoolers.


Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining, and Party Fun! by Courtney Cerruti – Washi tape has been all the rage in the crafting world for a while now. This books has a lot of fun ideas to try.

Don’t let crafting for kids intimidate you! Think about the kid you are giving the gift to and then try to find some ways to make them something special. A little extra thought goes a long way!

Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

Pumpkin is such a fall favorite. Previously, I shared a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls and for Pumpkin Pie S’Mores that were a hit.

Today, I have a short post for you that is really a tip.

These pumpkin pie sandwich cookies pictured are super simple to make. You just take the pumpkin graham crackers from the s’mores and then slather some of the pumpkin pie spiced icing from the rolls and boom! Pumpkin sandwich cookies.

Two recipes, three results. I love when that happens!

Try it and let me know what you think!

DIY Health & Beauty Gifts

DIY Health & Beauty Gifts for gift giving fun!

Crafty Christmas was born out of my ever-present desire to make the gifts I give. Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop for gifts, too. There is just something about adding a handmade gift to the mix that makes it extra special to me.

Last time, I covered books with ideas for gifts kids can make and give. This time, we are talking about DIY health and beauty gifts for your gift giving needs. Next time, I will cover books with ideas for homemade gifts to be given TO kids.

Now, this series may be called Crafty Christmas, but these gifts are not seasonal in nature. They would make excellent birthday or even just because gifts, too. Don’t feel limited to this time of year, spread the love all year long!

Many of these gifts will have ingredients that you may not know where to find locally. Here are a few resources for buying them online:

  • Bulk Herb Store – They sell a variety of bulk herbs and mixes. They also sell heirloom seeds.
  • Mountain Rose Herbs – They also offer a selection of herbs and other ingredients, but they also have a great selection of containers, too.
  • Amazon – They truly have just about everything you could ever need it seems.

Now, on to our list!

DIY Health and Beauty Gifts

I’m organizing these a bit to make them easier to reference. If you find one you really like, be sure to pin it on Pinterest so you don’t lose it!

Body Needs

For the Face

Bath & Shower Gifts

Health Related Gifts

Any one of these would make a simple gift for a friend or you can bundle them together in a cute basket and really make an impression. You can see these and many more options on my DIY :: Health & Beauty Pinterest board. So be sure to follow that (and the rest of my boards).

In researching this post, I came across what looks to be a fabulous resource for those wanting to make their own health and beauty products. It is an eBook called DIY Organic Beauty Recipes and you might be interested in checking it out.

DIY Organic Beauty Recipes

New Sides to Try This Thanksgiving

New Sides to Try this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about the food. You may have tried-and-true recipes that you rely on each year or you may be more adventurous and like to try new recipes each year. Today I have a list of sides for your Thanksgiving dinner planning consideration.

Salad Sides

Slow Cooker Sides

Traditional With a Twist Sides

Tell me, are you a more traditional dinner fan or do you like to mix it up and try new things?

31 Days Celebration Giveaway!

$50 Gift Card Giveaway to Celebrate 31 Days of Homemaking & Homeschooling With a Happy Heart

I am so excited. I set a pretty lofty goal in September. I wanted to re-focus things here on the blog and the 31 Days Writing Challenge seemed like a great way to jump start that. When I set that goal, it seemed huge. It still feels huge to me.

In June through September, I averaged something like 2 posts each month. So to set a goal of writing 31 posts in 31 days was a HUGE jump in writing. But I did it!

I started the month with 12 of the 31 posts written and scheduled. The other 19 were written in October. You can see them all at a glance on the first post where I explain a bit more on the why behind it all. For now, let’s celebrate!

I would like to give away a $50 gift card to the store or restaurant of the winner’s choice. The only catch is, I have to be able to buy it on Amazon so I can send it easily. You can see all the available gift certificates, just scroll down to Shop Other Brands if you don’t want an Amazon card.

It is easy to enter, just fill in whatever entries you want on the Giveaway Tools widget below. Giveaway ends November 7, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

When Convenience Becomes a Crutch

When Convenience Becomes a Crutch | Vicki-Arnold.com

I make it no secret, I’m not the best housekeeper. I struggle to stay on top of things and sometimes with even the desire to do it because I get easily discouraged when I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.

However, I never let that stop me from trying to do better. And, believe me, I am better than I was years ago. I’m glad that God hasn’t given up on me through the years.

One area I struggle to stay on top of is my kitchen, particularly the dishes. Ever since we went camping in August, I’ve been pondering the idea of ditching our dishwasher. I never really felt brave enough until last week, when I mentioned it to my husband.

Our dishwasher is not terribly old (9 years), but it has never really cleaned our dishes really well. They had to be rinsed thoroughly before going in and if someone didn’t do this, it meant that dishes would have to be hand washed AFTER they came out.

So we ditched the dishwasher mostly, we have only ran it twice in the last week or so to help with catch up after the fridge was cleaned out and after company. For the rest of the dishes, we have been hand washing them. What happened kind of amazed me, but was what I was hoping for.

We don’t have more dirty dishes sitting around than usual and I’m making progress in training the kids to wash their own dishes. This means that the ever present stack of dirty dishes in my sink and on the counter next to it is slowly, but steadily improving.

Amazing!

As I’ve been doing dishes this week, I got to thinking. Don’t worry, it didn’t hurt too bad.

When we had the option of the dishwasher, the dishes were never a priority to anyone immediately because we had to wait for a full load to run it. So the dirty dishes sat and waited. When someone didn’t rinse their dish, which was very, very often the case, those dishes then often enough had to sit with water in them to soften the hardened food in order to be rinsed to put in the dishwasher to be washed.

Just typing that is exhausting.

The convenience of the dishwasher had become a crutch, a procrastination enabler, if you will. So we ditched it and I think we will be better for it in the long run.

What about you? Are there any conveniences holding you back?

Pen Pal Writing Tips and Resources For Kids

Pen Pal Writing Tips and Resources for Kids | Vicki-Arnold.com

Pen pals are a fun way for kids to practice writing skills. My kids have had a couple over the years and it is something they always enjoyed. It’s something I enjoyed as a kid, too. I remember one in particular that I traded a few letters with that lived in Spain.

How to Find a Pen Pal

You can find a pen pal a few different ways:

What to Write About

Depending on your comfort level, the sky is the limit. As a parent, I would caution children to not divulge TOO much information, particulars of regular habits like shopping at such and such every Tuesday or a special event before it happens. Writing about events afterwards allows you a chance to give more details without risking your safety.

Ask questions and then answer them yourself. “What do you like to do for fun? I like to read and ride my bike.”

Tell about something special that happened recently. Maybe you attended a wedding or someone you know had a baby that you got to visit.

Talk about the general area in which you live. Maybe there is a famous landmark near you that you have visited.

Ways to Make Pen Pal Writing Even More Fun

Write in Code

Create a key for your secret code and mail it separately. Then write each other in your very own secret spy code! You will need to assign a code mark for each letter of the alphabet, like A=5, B=9, C=22 or something.

Take Turns Writing a Story

Write the opening paragraph to a story and send it to your pen pal. Have them write the next paragraph and send it back to you. Keep adding to it until you feel it is finished.

Mail Something Unusual

You don’t have to send a letter in an envelope every time. Here are a few things you can mail through the postal service:

Get Creative With Your Envelopes

Try decorating your envelopes for some added fun. Try using washi tape, creative letteringuse your envelope as your canvas for some artwork, or don’t even bother with an envelope.

A Couple More Resources

I came across a couple other resources while writing this post that I thought I would pass along, too.