FREE Goodies for the Holidays!

This post is for all the “last minute” chefs and entertainers out there… several free recipe e-books and holiday recipes and planning guides that just might come in handy over the next couple of weeks!

First up, a “Gifts In a Jar” e-book from Heavenly Homemakers.

Click HERE to download this free E-Book filled with “gift ideas such as pudding mix, bath salts, diaper rash ointment, cookie mix, seasoning mixes, chai mix, soup mixes, facials, hot fudge and much more”.


If you are looking for free holiday recipes, you might be interested in this FREE Christmas Recipes E-Book, from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures:

You need to subscribe to the blog to receive the book for free, but that’s a very SMALL “price” to pay for 54 pages of recipes!


A must-have for the Holidays, is Paula Deen’s Holiday Hosting Guide.  This free E-book is packed with Paula Deen’s recipes, ideas and tips and recipes for the Holidays.

Click HERE to download Paula’s Hosting Guide.


Have you made a Gingerbread House yet this year?  If not, here is a FREE E-Book with 23 different Gingerbread House ideas!  Recipes, templates, ideas… SUCH a great resource!

Click HERE to get your copy of the Gingerbread House E-Book.


And one last resource for those of you who may be on the hunt for gluten-free recipes, a free Gluten Free Holiday Baking E-Book, from the Baking Beauties:

Click the image above to get the free Gluten-Free Holiday Baking E-book!


Have YOU found any free resources this season?  We’d love to hear about them!


Thrifty Thursday – Make Your Own GLAM Christmas Ornaments

I have so many lovely DIY Christmas ornament projects to show you today, I’m going to just hush and show you already!

Check out these gorgeous DIY Christmas ornaments from Better Homes and Gardens:

A post from Bower Power has several fabulous ideas for making handmade Christmas ornaments.  I think my favorites are the ornaments decorated with glass stones.  You could do a variety of colors for your ornaments if you prefer, since the stones come in all shades.  You can find these glass stones at Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Joanns.  They are also available online – click HERE for the red version.

From the Crafty Chicks, a VERY affordable, but gorgeous DIY Christmas crafts idea.  These are made from juice top lids.  Yes, you read that right!  Juice Top Lid Glam Ornaments:

From Centsational Girl, this DIY Christmas project, a lovely “kissing ball” ornament tutorial:

And also from Centsational Girl, glittery cookie cutter ornaments:  (Centsational Girl has several other fabulous ideas – be SURE to click on over)

How about a DIY Toile Ornament, from Better Homes and Gardens.

If you aren’t a fan of the toile, you COULD use this tutorial to make all kinds of variations.  Just find your favorite design on a paper napkin, and you are in business!  These glass animal print Christmas ornaments could be easily reproduced with animal print napkins, and a bit of glitter:

And finally, from Real Simple, this isn’t exactly a DIY on making an ornament, but rather a DIY on making an ornament chandelier.  Gorgeous!

Will you be making ornaments this year?  We’d love it if you leave a comment and tell us about *your* DIY projects!

Thrifty Thursday – Last Minute DIY Thanksgiving Fun

We’ve got one week, peeps.  One week until the big Turkey Day.  I am mostly ready, but I can’t help myself when it comes to looking for last minute ideas to make the special day just THAT. MUCH. BETTER.  (It’s a sickness, I know).

But, you benefit from it… because I found some super fab easy-peasy ideas for DIY Thanksgiving – and I’m sharing them with you!

First up, mini pumpkin piesclick HERE for the details:

But, if a mini pie isn’t your thing… how about a lovely Thanksgiving pie topper instead?  Get the DIY instructions here

Carrying on the pumpkin theme, how about a gorgeous pumpkin vase as a centerpiece?  You can read the quick instructions HERE (and as a special bonus, there are FIVE other Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas to check out when you click that link).

One more pumpkin centerpiece idea, but with mini pumpkins… and goblets… and candles.

And, we can’t forget the kids at Thanksgiving. Look at the fun printable Thanksgiving placemat for kids I found from Whatever Dee-Dee Wants.  If you click HERE, you’ll get an entire post full of free Thanksgiving printables to go with this place mat.

Have YOU found anything just perfect for decorating on Turkey Day?  Please share… we’d love to hear!

Thrifty Thursday – Glam Winter Weddings

A few great finds for you today!  They involve glam… winter weddings… and inexpensive DIY!

First up, a gorgeous Christmas wreath, made from faux jewels.  It would be lovely to have these wreaths adorning the walls of a wedding rehearsal, OR hanging pew decorations, or even laying flat as centerpieces on reception tables.  Click HERE to read the description.

Secondly, a wonderful keepsake or even wedding gift for the winter bride.  A sentimental wedding invitation ornament!  Click HERE for a great DIY blog post on how to make them:

A very simple way, but absolutely GORGEOUS way to illuminate the aisle… varying heights of candles and rose petals… photo by Aaron Delesie:

I found this DIY tutorial on gift wrap, and instantly thought glam FAVOR boxes, or bridesmaid gifts! Click HERE to read the tutorial.  Aren’t these beautiful for a cream and white wedding or bridal shower?

And these shoes have absolutely NOTHING to do with DIY, but I saw them, and just had to share the photo, because I loved the idea:

Something BLUE!

Last Minute Halloween Printables, Easy Halloween Decor, and More!

It’s almost here… Halloween!  My kids have been counting down the days since October began, so other than getting a couple more bags of candy (to replace the candy we are bound to eat this weekend), my family is pretty much ready for the 31st.

Even so, I couldn’t help looking around for some last-minute ideas for Halloween crafting and celebrating and Halloween party planning.  I was specifically looking for last-minute Halloween printables to keep the kids busy while we wait impatiently for Monday, but I found…oh, so much more!  Check it out…

Adorable Pretzel Skeleton Homemade Halloween Treats perfect for the school party:

Candy Corn Parfait, from

Easy Halloween Cupcakes, from What the Fruitcake: (SO cute)

And check out these amazing candle holders… they are APPLES!  Perfect for the harvest party decor:

Speaking of candles, I am SO in love with these Frosted Glass Candle Holders for fabulous and easy Halloween decor… read HOW to make them HERE:

I couldn’t pass up sharing the next photo.  Talk about a simple way to decorate the house with mini-pumpkins.  DIY jack-o-lanterns, made out of ORANGES!

I promised printables, didn’t I?  Well, how about these free Halloween Printable Silhouettes from No Biggie:

AND…these Halloween treat bag toppers from Blooming Homestead:

Yeah, I just THOUGHT I was ready for Halloween.  How about you?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Thrifty Thursday – DIY Party Lantern and Pomanders

I’ve got a couple of quick, easy, and LOVELY tutorial finds for you today!  First up,  DIY Paper Lanterns:  (click images to reach the tutorials)

This could be done in so many ways and themes – perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, and even just a sweet decoration for your home!

Second, how about some DIY Tissue Pomanders:

And, to “round” it out with three, here’s a fab tutorial on DIY String Chandeliers:

Why yes, I do realize all three tutorials are for ROUND objects.  Should I do squares next time??

Happy Thursday!

Thrifty Thursday – Halloween Decorating

The other day a friend asked me if I was all ready for Halloween, and if I was done decorating.  And then she launched into a story about how she and her husband use the Halloween pumpkin decorations for both Halloween AND Thanksgiving by simply turning the jack-o-lanterns around after the 31st.  Apparently besides all the pumpkins they use INSIDE, they also have a 5 foot jack-o-lantern that sits outside… with his toothy grin showing until the day after Halloween… and then he sits backwards through Thanksgiving.

I blinked a few times as she spoke, and realized (quietly in my own head)… I don’t really do that well when it comes to decorating OR preparing for Halloween.

In an effort to do a better job THIS year, I’ve been scouring the Internet and bloggy world and Pinterest, looking for cute… inexpensive… easy… ideas!

You want to see what I found, right?

From, a tutorial on how to make these adorable peek-a-book pumpkins:


Table of Treats idea, from Gordon Gossip.  She used a photo from Good Housekeeping as an inspiration, and explains how to re-create it!

Monogram Pumpkin Tutorial, from the Butlers blog.  We have been painting pumpkins pink around here, but I think I’m just as in love with these white monogrammed pumpkins.

Halloween Flowers, from One Charming Party.  Talk about a fabulous look!  She details the individual flower arrangements, so be sure to click through to see more!

And as I look back through these photos (and the other links I bookmarked but didn’t share), I realize I’m a white and black Halloween kind of girl.  Over half of my links show classy black-and-white decorations! Maybe next week I’ll share the few COLORFUL Halloween decorating ideas I found.

What are YOU doing to decorate for Halloween this year?

Thrifty Thursday – Hurricane Vases

Are you ready for a gorgeous centerpiece idea that will cost you very little?  Welcome to Thrifty Thursday!

I went looking for unique centerpieces for fall parties (or just every day), and I found this from Williams and Sonoma:

Looks expensive, yes?  (They are!)

Well, check out this post from 320 Sycamore.  Get a similar look for just a few dollars!

I also found a blog post by my blessed life.  She shares a fabulous tutorial on how to make these hurricane vases. (You’ll have to click on over to see her photos – they are worth the click!)

And two twenty one has a twist on the same idea – hurricane vases with split peas!  Yes, you want to go see… you know you do!

I told you… gorgeous!


How are YOU decorating for your events this fall?  Any fun AND thrifty ways to decorate?  Feel free to share!

Thrifty Thursday – Paper Flower Tutorial

I promised it yesterday, and here I am with a THRIFTY THURSDAY post!

It’s the post each week in which I show you how to make something fabulous, creative, and elegant… for very little money (and occasionally little effort).

Ok, I’ll be honest.

I might not always be the one to SHOW you… but I can certainly LEAD you to a tutorial that WILL show you.  I’m helpful like that!

Today’s DIY Paper Flowers tutorial comes from one of my favorite blogs, titled simply, MADE.

I can promise this won’t be the last time I post a tutorial from Dana’s lovely blog.  I don’t know which I like more – her writing or her photography – and I bookmark blog posts regularly.

So, today!  I’m going to share with you a favorite – simple and elegant and easy.

Wallflowers… made from paper napkins.  Like tissue paper flowers, but with some durability.

Dana’s tutorial shows you various ways to create these lovely handmade paper flowers.


And spiky…

And more!  You’ll feel like you are back in elementary school again, only your end product will be so much more fabulous!

Check out Dana’s tutorial, and let me know what you think?