Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sea Salt Caramels

This year I gave largely edible gifts and these sea salt caramels that I ultimately dipped in dark chocolate were part of my goodie tins.  I was so excited to make these as I've never made candy before other than chocolate bark.  I was thrilled to use my new candy thermometer and I love the idea of embarking on a food journey...you never know what you may end up with!  

I used Ina Garten's recipe for Fleur De Sel Caramels, which I highly recommend as it's straightforward and the end result is a perfect sweet meets salt flavor.  I made one batch and they were pretty darn good, if I may say so myself; although, my fear of burning led to a "too light in color" caramel.  I'm okay with that result considering it was my first time...right?  I'm planning to make another batch for the New Year! 

What goodies have you been making to indulge in this holiday season?

Sharing with...
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog
Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland

 I just wanted to share with you a few pics from our Christmas Eve celebration.  We were graced with a "just enough" wonderful snow and I was lucky enough to grow up in the country where we can really enjoy it! 

I hope you have enjoyed the holiday as much as we have! I'm hoping to get back to regular posts soon; I have some wonderful sweets to share with you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wishing You All the Joy and Magic of the Season!

Just in case I do not get to my planned "seasonal sweets" post for tomorrow, I wanted to be sure and wish you, wonderful readers, a joyful and magical Christmas!  For us, it truly is a joy to share Christmas through the eyes of a 2-year old!

I participated in Shutterfly's blogger holiday card promotional and received 50 free cards this year.  It really was a wonderful gift and I love how our cards turned out this year!  You can see our previous Shutterfly holiday cards here.

Last Minute Gifts Worth Giving: Magazine Subscriptions


Magazines are gifts that keep on giving all year round; you simply can't go wrong here!  Right now, there is a wonderful assortment of bargain subscriptions at Amazon.com. If you still need a few gifts, pick one up for your mom, sister, and all your favorite girlfriends!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Minute Gifts Worth Giving: B. Toys

Have you heard of B.?

I first saw a few B. Toys at Target this past spring.

Immediately, my eye was drawn to the unique color schemes and well-designed packaging.  It was basically love at first sight, but, alas, the kiddo did not need a new toy at that moment.  

Not long after, I read this post on Design Mom and realized that the few toys I saw were actually part of a large, cool collection and behind them was a purpose. 

The genius and illustrious folks started B. toys to create earth-friendly, presentable, inspired toys that meet the needs of play-focused kiddos with their unique form and superb function.
1. Earth-friendly: Packaging is made from recycled materials and/or is recyclable.  No unnecessary packaging.  Packaging is re-purposable. 
2. Presentable: The packaging doubles as gift wrapping (How cool is that?) and it simply looks good.  Well-chosen unisex color scheme that blends into your home and actually can hold a place outside of the toy box.  Actually, I have three of those little boxes in my craft room that I use to store odds n' ends.
3. Inspired: The design, color and functionality of B. toys offer a lasting toys that will inspire hours of play in your kiddos. 

Recently, B. toys sent my son the B. Okideoke toy microphone. 
It's the fourth B. toy to add to our little collection and it is definitely a great addition!  He's been having loads of fun amplifying his voice and playing the tunes to "hum" along to.  It's a great twist on an old favorite and I'm sure he'll be playing with it for years to come.

If you're looking for last minute gift options for the kiddos on your list, visit B. toys and head out to Target to pick up a few.  Here are the last minute gift ideas (click here for his gift list)  I've had in mind for my son...he needs just one more present, right?



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guest Posting at Someday Crafts

 Find me today guest posting at Someday Crafts, a wonderfully awesome blog that compiles and shares excellent crafty ideas to make....someday! 

I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make the felt flowers for these lovely baubles, specifically the cream and green felt flower headband.  
Head on over to Someday Crafts and check it out!
If you're new to the30girl, welcome!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Paper Strips and Painted Glass Ornaments

  As I already mentioned, I had been moving a plethora of these glass craft ornaments around with me since graduate school.  This year, I've finally used them all. First, I made the book page ornaments .  Then, I painted these using basic acrylic paint and added strips of red card stock inside.  They are perfect for my red and white themed Christmas tree in our dining room.  
This tree was a great thrift find for me.  On a day of thrifting with a friend I mentioned that they only thing I was looking for was a white flocked Christmas tree like my Grandmother used to have (she decorated it blue, white and green).  Low and behold, I found one with the tags on it for $20.  Not the cheapest thrift I've ever made, but a wonderful find nevertheless.  Next year, I'll have to make a little garland and a star for the top.

For more photos of my ornament making process, read on after the jump and if you would like to read more of my 30 holiDAYS post click here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Gift Guide for a 2.5-Yr Old Boy with the Initals CAB

I'm so excited about this kiddo's gifts this year.  Truth be told, I wish he loved playing with wooden blocks, but he is a big fan of Lego Duplo vehicles.  He is going to be so excited about the Road Construction Set.  I'm also excited about the I Spy books; he loves to look for the hidden treasures in these books and I think this set will begin to develop his phonics skills. The awesome Skuut bike is a purchase from Zulily, which I got at a super discount.  While I enjoy the design of the wooden Skuut's, this metal one has a bell and a brake, which will make him feel like a "big boy" in the neighborhood this spring and summer. Well, we simply had to add a little Toy Story to the mix with the helmet and pads.  Lastly, I think I will be equally as excited to play with the P'kolino crayons and coloring book! 

Finally, my wonderful aunt passed my younger cousins' puppet theater and puppets
 to my little guy.  We've been hiding it in the basement and we can't wait to bring it up Christmas Eve.  I cannot wait to see his reaction on Christmas morning...he is really going to go wild over it!
 So...what's on your kiddo's Santa lists this year?

Clothes Pin Wreath

I'm excited to share my tutorial for making this clothes pin wreath with you; I took a common idea and added some flair! 

Making this wreath is very simple.  The base is made with:
1 12in diameter flat floral wreath
22 clothes pins
metallic silver spray paint.

First I hot glued the clothes pins evenly spaced around the wreath.  Then, I spray painted it silver. 

You could stop here.  However, I felt like it was too bare to wait for holiday cards.  So...I added some ribbon rosettes and book page leaves. 

I will share a tutorial for making these easy and versatile rosettes soon.   

See tutorial for making these leaves here

To finish it up, I hot glued the rosettes in the spaces between the pins and pinched the book page leaves in each clothes pin.  I've been slowly removing the leaves as each new holiday card arrives. 

I was really please at how it looked with the book page ornaments and tree

Sharing with...
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Power of Paint at Domestically Speaking 
Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gift Guide Round-Up

Still looking for the perfect gifts?  Peruse these well-curated and delightful gift guides for some inspiration and ideas.  You may even find something for yourself.  

Top Bloggers' Holiday Wish Lists at iVillage--It's fun to see what all our favorite bloggers are liking.
Gift Guides at Design*Sponge-Great ideas at varying price points and just plain inspiring for your list.  
Gift Guide from Design Mom-Lovely ideas and helpful comments to inspire your picks.
The Cup of Jo Gift Guide-I love all the ideas here as well as the recipient descriptions.
Holiday Gift Guide from Village-For a seriously lengthy and daily updated collection of gift guides from around blogland.
Handmade Holiday Gift Guide from In Honor of Design-I really love this.  Support handmade goods and/or become inspired to make some of your own. 
DIY for Everybody from Mint-I will be doing the chalkboard idea.  
Simply Lovely's The Gifts Guides Part I and II-Love the tape from West Elm, star headband, LEGO's architecture series, and the tea towels. 
Christmas for a 3-YR Old Boy from Say Yes To Hoboken-I will be making note of these ideas for my 2.5 yr old.
You+Me*'s Un-gift Guide-Ideas to "help you slow down and make merry".  We all need that...don't we!?!
And Everything Nice's Give Back Gift Guide-Wonderful list here.  What Give Back Gift would you add to the list?
Lastly, for your last minute stocking stuffers that you secretly want yourself, visit Design is Mine's 30StockingStuffers

Stay tuned this week for a few of my last minute gift suggestions.
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