Use Leftover Sparkly Wrapping Paper to Make Party Decorations

Looking for a great way to use leftover wrapping paper? Try making this super easy and very flashy mobile decoration. It’s perfect for hanging over a food table. Simply use chipboard (or leftover microwave popcorn package like I did) and cover it with leftover sparkly wrapping paper. The flashier, the better. My wrapping paper had a gold side and a silver side, so I covered either side of the chipboard with the alternate color. Then cut out circles. I used cookie cutters in different sizes to draw my circles and then cut out with scissors. Hang together with fishing line. Don’t space the circles too far apart, or it looks kinda cheesy. Voila! Splashy new decorations for your party for less than $1!

How to Update a Headband with Curling Ribbon

Looking for a way to update an old headband you’ve got laying around? Why not recycle some curling ribbon or use that extra roll you’ve got in a closet to make a super cute headpiece?

First, hot glue the end of the ribbon to the underside of one end of the headband.

Wrap the ribbon around the headband. Take care to make them fairly tight so as to avoid bubble ups, but don’t worry about exact precision.

When you’ve wrapped all the way around the headband, hot glue the end of the ribbon to the underside of the headband on the other side. Don’t worry if the underside is a little bubbled up. You won’t feel it when wearing the headband. I guess unless you’re super sensitive. ;)

Next, curl small pieces of ribbon into curlicues. Gather them into a bundle. Using a small piece of ribbon (curl this one, too), wrap it around the center of the bundle and knot.

Hot glue the ribbon bundle to the top of the headband. Off center it a bit for flair, or cover over a spot you may have bubbled up on.

And bam! One super simple and cute headband. Try experimenting with different colors for a different feel. The gold ribbon makes it a little classy, but bright pink would give it a completely new look.

mmm button

How to Make a Super Easy Photo Collage

Ugly frames can become something wonderful when you make them into a super simple collage. For this example I chose a photo of my husband and me on a trip to Vermont. I added some heavy paper in a deep purple and green, as well as some extra embellishments such as ribbon and sheet music. I also decorated with stamps in green and purple ink. Since the papers were so dark and rich, the stamping added a subtle touch that really makes the photo stand out. I chose to center the embellishments around letters and music because these represent the two of us.
 Cut the Background Paper to Fit the Frame
 Stamp the Main Word – Love – and Cut Out
 Stamp the Bottom Portion of the Background with Letters
Add Embellishments: Ribbon, Rhinestones, and a Flower Made From Sheet Music

Three Tips to Save Time & Money

I love saving money. And time. I’m a big deal shopper. I also lived in Alaska for a few years, where everything is super expensive. Think about how long it takes to get fresh food up north… So I tried a few things that really did save me both time and money. Maybe you’re already familiar with them, but if not, try them out too. I think you’ll find they do help. And please share your tips in the comments.

1. Buy ground meat in bulk when it’s on sale. Sure, that’s a given. Everyone knows that, you say. But here’s my super saver tip: cook it before you freeze it. My husband and I love tacos. It’s how we use the ground beef we buy. So I cook it up on an afternoon when I’m doing housework and whatnot, drain it, and freeze it in meal-size portions. Then, when it’s a rushed evening, and I don’t have time to cook, I toss a bag of pre-cooked meat into the microwave, defrost it, and season it. In 15 minutes I have tasty tacos all ready to go.

2. Make extra waffles and freeze them. I love doing this. I make my waffles from scratch using sourdough starter. They are so delicious. I just make extras, divide them into quarters, and freeze them. I like to stick a square of freezer paper in between so they don’t attach themselves to each other. On hurried mornings we toss our frozen waffle squares in the toaster, and voila! Super quick and homemade breakfast on the go.

3. We also like to have beans on hand for tacos or chili. But canned beans can be expensive. It’s much more cost-effective to buy the dried beans. You can buy a pound of dried beans for the same price as one can of beans. But who has time to cook those? You do. Soak them over night. Then on a housework afternoon (maybe while you’re already cooking hamburger; see above), simmer your beans for a couple of hours. I then freeze them in meal-sized portions. Once again, I’ve got easy to use, cheap protein that’s ready for a quick meal.

Sledding Day

 The Sledding Hill at Catherine Creek
Like I said, we went sledding today. It was a blast! Sledding is probably my favorite winter activity. And bonus, no major injuries. Just a couple of small crashes. We had a big bonfire in the snow and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. There were tons of cookies and good things to eat being passed around. And lots of hot cocoa!
Erik and I Coming Down the Hill, Backwards