A Little Claire-ification

bright ideas for the busy & budget minded…

The Holidays At Home – Best of The Weekend #5

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Happy Monday and welcome to the “Best Of The Weekend #5”!!  This one going up a bit later than usual today but, hey.

I was wrapping gifts.   (< — she’s lying)

Rats, foiled again!  Well I hope that you are all finished with your shopping because I, for one, am waaaayyyyy behind, this year.  And I will get it done online very soon but I keep getting distracted by wonderful posts like these below!!!

Alright, you know the drill so here we go, in no particular order – a handful of my favorites from this past week!!   As always, if you are featured or have been featured in the past, feel free to grab the button above and proudly flaunt it on your site.  I will be posting this on FB as well, so come on over and “Like” my page so I will know you saw it!  🙂

Edible Snowflakes @ The Mandatory Mooch

How beautiful are these??  And Nichi gives a great tutorial on how to make them.  I think these would look beautiful on any holiday treat platter!!

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100 Top “Dollar Tree” Decorating Ideas @ Fox Hollow Cottage

Ok, Christmas is about giving and, while my “Best Of The Weekend” normally highlights approx. 10 great posts.. this is like a little gift INSIDE a gift.  A little “nesting doll” (of 100 extra ideas!!) if you will. 😉   And Shannon’s rhymes for each entry made me laugh the entire time I was looking through this post.  Not to mention… HOLY cheap holiday decorating, Batman!  I have not gotten over to the new Dollar Tree that opened recently and I see a trip in my very near future.  As in 10AM tomorrow.

http://www.foxhollowcottage.com/2012/12/over-100-dollar-tree-Christmas-DIY-decor-craft-ideas.html

How To Make A Skirt from Ties @ Crystelle Boutique

So you might be thinking “What in the name of Rudolph does this have to do with the holidays?!?”  Well, I’ll tell ya’.  I want everyone to make one for meeeee for Christmas, that’s what!  LOL  I thought this was just awesome.  And how easy are ties to find at thrift stores??  Love this!   It is actually a really cute gift idea for any eclectic friends or hard to please teens.  😉

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Peanut Butter Christmas Trees @ Sweet Simple Stuff

Brenda had me at Reese’s… and another fun one to make with kids.  I, however, opt to make them alone so that nobody knows exactly how many are missing…

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Book Page Christmas Trees @ Alderberry Hill

The beautiful Miss Sarah is always hopping over there at Alderberry Hill!  I don’t sleep much over here but I am starting to think she might have a clone with as much as she has going on!! 🙂  Here is Sarah’s take on Book Page Christmas Trees  – I just  L-O-V-E the bases!!  Now I am not sure we have any “unused” books in our house, but I do see them all the time for less than $1 at thrift stores so that will be easy enough to find!!  Thanks busy lady!!

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{DIY} Pom-Pom Wreath @ Life In Grace

This is such a fun craft posted by an even more amazing gal!!!  To say that Edie is one of the most inspirational bloggers I have ever come across would be such a major understatement.  Right up there with “The sun is hot” and “I like cute shoes”. (Duh).  Whether Edie knows it or not, she has single handedly changed the way I look at life, one post at a time (and she was most likely wearing awesome cowboy boots the whole time!).   Edie and her family lost everything in a house fire just days before Christmas 2010…  her family’s journey to rebuild their home and their lives, as well as her faith in God, is just too hard to describe in words.  {Caveat Salutor (“Visitor beware”):   By clicking the link below, you acknowledge that you may spend hours on Edie’s site lost in all of her amazing posts and wonder where all that time went…  😉 }

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Ornament Display @ The Sweet Survival

Ok who else has a gazillion extra ornaments they bought at half off over the years???  Or am I just the only one with a problem here?  Hmmm.  Well if you DO have some extra ornaments, this display by Trisha is Ahh-DORABLE.

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Pecan-Praline Cheesecakes @ Crazy For Crust

Is there anything that Dorothy posts that doesn’t make me want to just lick the screen?  I daresay, “NO. No there is not”.   Girl may be “crazy for crust” but her recipes and beautiful photos are INSANE.  Keep ’em coming, Dorothy.  I’ll be fat and happy in my straight jacket… 😉

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DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments @ The Frugal Homemaker

I SO love mercury glass.  These are gorgeous!! Thanks Christina – I need to find my 40% off Hob-Lob coupon ASAP!!

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{FREE} Video Message From Santa @ Portable North Pole {PNP}

This one is not a blog but I cannot say enough about how cute this is and how much my kids have enjoyed this for three years in a row – I had to share!  This is also not a sponsored link, and I can tell you that the guys at PNP also do NOT spam after you make a video.  This past year I got three emails.  One that included the link to the video I created.  One telling me my 2011 video was about to expire (maybe around March?).  And one about a month ago reminding me to create a new video for 2012 (thank GOD because I would have forgotten!).  Love this and it’s super easy, too – it only takes about 5 minutes or so.  Again, while they do offer some packages you can purchase, the basic video is free! (PS: Unless your child is an absolute SAINT, I recommend choosing the “Naughty/Nice” video.  Talk about keeping them on their toes!!)  (PSS: Since it’s a video template, I show my children their “videos from Santa” separately).

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Hope you are all inspired by some of these great posts! Have a great week!

xoxo,

Claire

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The Holidays At Home – Best Of The Weekend #4

I hope that everyone had a great weekend!  I know a lot of people said they were in “full-on decorating mode” so can’t wait to see more decorations, pictures and great ideas from your homes.

Ahhh.  The “Holidays at Home”.  There is something to be said for not traveling and just staying put for the holidays, right?  Snuggling up.  Hunkering down.  Nesting.  Whatever you want to call it…  it’s just so nice to wake up on Christmas morn in your own bed and thoroughly enjoy the day with family, isn’t it?

This past week I read more beautiful, inspiring posts.  Posts that just made me want to sit in our big, over-sized comfy chair and wrap up in a blanket and drink hot cocoa while listening to holiday music in front of a beautiful fireplace.  And, if you recall, I live in Florida, so that says a lot!   I love posts that inspire!  SO much talent out there.

So once more – in no particular order – a handful of my favorites from this past week.  If you are featured or have been featured in the past, feel free to grab the button above and proudly flaunt it on your site.  I will be posting this on FB as well, so come on over and “Like” my page so I will know you saw it!  🙂

A Beautiful Christmas Mantel @ The Lilypad Cottage

I just came across Kelly’s blog this past week.  I love this mantel.  You will see that I like a lot of mantels. Kelly also has a lovely “Home Tour” on her blog too!

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Homemade Vanilla @ Love Pomegranate House

This is a GREAT holiday gift idea  and I love good vanilla!!  Thanks Talitha!

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Sweet Candy Cane Sauce @ Echoes of Laughter

What an easy and sweet gift idea Angie has posted!  I can just imagine this over ice cream!  Yum, yum, yum!

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Easy Vintage Holiday Decorating @ Number Fifty-Three

First of all – our main tree is all greens and blues and silvers this year so I am WAYYY in love with the look of these vintage ornaments and the way Angela has used candlesticks to display them.  This one is definitely something I have to try out!  Beautiful!

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Hanging Greenery Pouch @ Under The Table & Dreaming

I think these would make a beautiful hostess gift!  So pretty and what a great way to recycle cardboard paper towel rolls! Think I will be using some of that extra burlap I have to make a few of these!  Thanks Stephanie Lynn!

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Tufted Wool Wreath {Anthropologie Knock Off} @ It’s Overflowing

I love great knock offs.  I love Anthropologie. And I LOVE that Aimee gives a video tutorial on making easy pom-pom balls.

That’s a lot of love.

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12 Days of Christmas “6 Geese A-Laying” Ornament @ 52 Mantels

It’s almost too hard to describe.  But as Emily says in her post “Feathers. Pearls. Glitter. Burlap. Lace. Yep, it’s all there.”

Too much fun – as is doing an ornament for each of the 12 days!

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Printable Reindeer Food Box @ A Typical English Home

This is so cute.  My kids love to sprinkle “reindeer food” on the front lawn on Christmas Eve (for us that is usually a mix of oats and glitter!) so I will have to print this one so we can have “official” reindeer food this year!

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Memory Ornaments @ Calico & Cupcakes

This was actually posted in October but I just stumbled across it this past weekend.  What a wonderful idea to do with your kids or even just an annual tradition with your significant other – place all of the best memories from the past year into a keepsake ornament.  I love this!

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No-Sew Ruffled Tree Skirt @ I Heart Naptime

This is an adorable project and no sewing machine required!  Think of all the fun patterns and textures you can mix up! Thanks Jamielyn!

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Hope you all have fun looking through these creative ideas and if you make any of them, make sure to send me a picture!  I may have to go back and do “reader side-by-sides”!   Have a great week and stay inspired!

xoxo

Claire

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30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 25 – Best of The Weekend #3

Wow!!!   So many inspiring & creative posts this past week and I am so excited to share some of them here.

First, today I am thankful for those that teach our children.  Teachers are generally under paid and under appreciated.  I am very grateful that my boys have some super teachers this year and that they are all doing so well in school.  Thank you to all teachers!!

Now that does not in any way mean that the kids are ready for the Thanksgiving break to be over, mind you.  🙂

So here we go, in no particular order, with the “Best Of The Weekend” – a handful of the “bestest” and “funnest” things that I have come across this past week.  We’ve been traveling this week so, while I may not have had time to post much myself (I’m asking Santa for better “planning ahead” skills this coming year!), I did still find some time in the wee peaceful hours to hop all over the glorious web and check out some great things!  If you are featured or have been featured in the past (hey, even if you just like the cute lightbulb – knock yourself out), feel free to right click on the button above and slap it right on your (“claire”ly fantastic) post.  Or your fridge.  Whatever makes you happy.

Felt & Jute Christmas Trees @ Living Well, Spending Less

I simply adore these.  Ruth gives a great tutorial with beautiful pictures (as always!).  I may have craft envy. 😉

Beautiful Holiday Gift Wrapping @ Red Head Can Decorate

Julie has some gorgeous gift wrapping tips.  I am currently plotting and scheming a way to convince her to come wrap all of my presents for me!!

Christmas Decorating Inspiration @ Perfectly Imperfect

Well, if you aren’t quite inspired to decorate this might just help.  Shaunna’s amazing style and beautiful pictures would inspire even the grumpiest of elves!  And while you’re over there, make sure to read her posts about her beautiful new store she just opened a couple of weeks ago in Troy, AL.  I cannot wait to visit someday. Gorgeous!

How To Make Mercury Glass Plates @ The Shabby Creek Cottage

I am just in awe of Gina and this post.  Are you kidding me how easy and inexpensive this is??  My head is already full of spin-off ideas (and THAT, my friends, is what real inspiration is all about!!)

Simple 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken & Vegetable Pot Pie @ Atta Girl Says

Not only do I love pot pie, but Amy’s posts are just plain funny and fun to read.  And, in case you are wondering, I was born under “the sign of pizza” (but you’ll have to read her post to understand!).  😉

DIY Advent Calendars @ The Sweetest Occasion

My kids are already asking when we can bring out the “calendar with the little doors”.  🙂   And I’ve seen several posts about DIY Advent calendars but haven’t seen so many ideas in one convenient post.  Definitely some great ones that I have not seen before!

Ballard Designs Holiday Table Runner Knock-Off @ At The Picket Fence

I bookmarked this a week or so ago and just remembered!  How cute is this runner that Vanessa made?  I absolutely love Ballard Designs – my catalogs are dog-eared (and drooled on) and, as you can tell by my hand painted holiday pillow, I also love great knock-offs, don’t you?

Whimsical Hand Painted Christmas Chairs @ Lake Girl Paints

These just make me want to whip out my brush and paint anything that is wooden and not nailed down.  Deb did a great job on these and who doesn’t need a little holiday whimsy?

Holiday Burlap Bunting @ Shabby Art Boutique

Lots of “Shabby” cuteness in this post, no?   I am just love, love, loving the burlap this year. This is super cute and easy to make.  Thanks Kerryanne!

50 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Teenage Boys @ Silver Boxes

Being a Mama to three boys, one being a very hard to buy for teenager (yup, I am just surrounded by testosterone on a daily basis), I especially appreciated this post!   And in a more recent post there is also a list for Teenage girls too.  Great ideas, thanks Steph!

Now that’s a whole sleigh full of fun stuff right there, huh?  Hope you enjoy looking through it all and please let me know if you have any great holiday crafts or recipes, etc.  that may inspire me and everyone else who pops in!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, my friends!

xoxo,

Claire

3 Comments »

30 Days Of Thankfulness: Day 18 – Best Of The Weekend #2

It’s another beautiful day – chilly and windy but sunny.  I am enjoying my coffee on my back porch watching as the wind blows through the tree branches and makes ripples on the lake.  I don’t see the ducks this morning… probably because they are smarter than I am and are huddled together under a tree somewhere down on the bank, heads tucked in and snoozing.   The water reflecting an amazing palette of greens and some yellows reminds me that we have such an amazing Creator.

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised”. (Psalm 113:3)

Today I am thankful for another day and for the gift of sight to take it all in.  No matter what your beliefs, if you are sitting in front of a computer or any electronic device reading this, you probably realize that even in the toughest times, we have so much to be thankful for.

Now on to the Best Of The Weekend #2!  I have once again been blown away and so inspired by so many beautiful decorating ideas and delicious recipes I that have seen this past week.  As always, some of these posts may have been posted prior to this week, but they are ones that I have just found and enjoyed so I want to pass them on.  I try to keep it at 10 posts but will break that rule if I ever can’t just narrow it down!  Claire, the little rule breaker.  That’s me.  So here we go in no particular order at all.  If you were featured last week or today, feel free to right click and grab my “Best Of The Weekend” button above and tack it on your post.  Sorry I don’t yet have an official button.  I’ll figure that out some day.

Nesting Place – Fall Decorating With What You Have

The Nester has a beautiful blog and if you haven’t ever stopped by, you really should!  I love this post about using what you already have to subtly “Fall-ify” your home for the holiday.  This is great advice for Christmas as well!

Mom On Timeout – Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

These make me want to lick the screen, y’all.  Trish always has great ideas!

Nap-Time Creations One Yard Summer Dress

Two things. Well ok, three.  First, yes I know it’s almost Winter.  Second, I have three boys so I have to just sit back and wait for the possibility of Granddaughters one day (please let it be at least another 10 years).  Third, how stinking CUTE are these little dresses??  So now you have all Winter to make some for your daughters or Granddaughters.  So adorable.

Miz Helen’s Cauliflower & Goat Cheese Gratin

Ok, sweet Miz Helen had me at “cheese” – this looks so yummy (and also a sneaky way to incorporate some cauliflower in the mix!  Smother it in cheese?  Brilliant!)  Can’t wait to try this one. Miz Helen was also so nice to feature my Chocolate Orange Snickers Cake on her “Full Plate Thursday” post on 11/15.

Junk Chic Cottage – Vintage Holiday Home

I am just in L-O-V-E with every single eensy little detail pictured over at the Junk Chic Cottage.  To say that Kris has a beautiful way with style and interior design is the understatement of the year.

Real Housemoms – Super Juicy, Brined {Roasted} Turkey

Anyone else ever get intimidated by “the bird”?  My experience with brining has always turned out great, juicy turkeys.  Stacey & Aubrey over at Real HouseMoms always have some great recipes and this humorous post links up to a great recipe for a perfectly brined bird every time.  Who’s getting hungry??

One More Time – Sweater Christmas Trees

A funny little story about these… a few weeks back I saw some sweater Christmas trees at Target.  I immediately went and thrifted a few sweaters and even bought a few styrofoam cones.  If you saw my hand-painted Target knock-off holiday pillow a few days back, you know I like to see if I can make it myself!  Then literally the next day I saw THESE little beauties that Tammy over at One More Time posted.  They are SO much more gorgeous than the ones at Target so once I get around to finally making mine, I am happy to say it will be a “One More Time” knock-off instead of Target!  🙂 Thanks Tammy!

Funky Junk Interiors – Holiday Entertaining {With Nature & Junk}

There’s a reason Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors was featured in the FOLK magazine 2012 Christmas issue.  Her ecclectic “junky” style makes me want to go raid every garage sale and thrift store in a 25 mile radius to see what “junk” I can repurpose!

GingerSnap Crafts – Festive Christmas Countdown

This is actually a post from 2011 and I can’t even remember where I just saw it this past week but I bookmarked it because it is too cute!  Ginger gives a great little tutorial on “how to”.

Crazy For Crust – Blueberry Slab Pie

There are so many reasons to love all posts over at Crazy For Crust. I think I gain a pound every time I click on one of Dorothy’s beautiful pictures.  Frankly, it was a toss-up between this and her more recent “Pie Round Up”  post but The Husband loves blueberry and this is on my list to make.

Ok, post-edit here.  I am already breaking the rules but just saw these and MUST.  Share.  So here’s #11:

Hungry Happenings – Cheesy Crescent Roll Leaves

You might have noticed by now that I am a complete SUCKER for cheesy goodness.  How yummy do these look??  And how darling on your Thanksgiving table?  If they even make it to the table…  Thinking I would eat very last one.

Hope you are all feeling the urge to create or bake something fabulous and that you all have a beautiful and inspired Thanksgiving week!  Make sure you comment or throw a picture on my Facebook page and show me what you create or something that inspired you!

xoxo,

Claire

18 Comments »

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 12 – Best of The Weekend #1

Today, I am very thankful to have “met” so many amazingly talented and sweet bloggers (albeit virtually) over the last 5 weeks.  And of course, thankful to continue being inspired by some that I have followed for almost two years!

 

 

Today is my first ever “Best Of The Weekend” post – a list of 10 blog posts that I read this weekend that inspired me the most-est, even if some were posted prior to the weekend.  DIY projects, fantastic food or recipes, crafts and everything else in between that just tickled my fancy or touched my heart and made me want to bookmark it.   I’ll start by saying that I will probably always have more food posts than anything else because I love to cook and I love to eat good food but I do try to highlight a great variety of things!!

Oh and you should also know – there were WAY (way, way, wayyyy) more than 10 posts that I bookmarked and so enjoyed reading this weekend.  Like, a LOT more, but I have to narrow this down somehow!  Here goes, in no particular order:


Simple Living & Eating: Ground Beef Stroganoff

Not only does this look delish, I was also  touched by Diane’s story about her family being without power for 7 days after “SuperStorm Sandy”.  Her pictures of her family cooking up the contents of their fridge and freezer reminded me of what we went through in FL after Hurricane Charlie with no power for 6 days.  But we weren’t freezing cold!

Fairhope Supply Co. : A Veteran’s Day Story

So glad to have read this today…

Lizy B: Fall Leaf Cookie Tutorial

I am definitely trying these (gorgeous) cookies out ASAP!

Life In Grace: 12 Days of {Handmade} Christmas

All I can say is that I am SO making some of these felt scarves for me AND for gifts.  Talk about adorable AND thrifty!  LOVE!

Country Cleaver: Breakfast Reuben Sandwiches on Pumpernickel English Muffins

Kill me now.  I cannot wait to try these.  I am thinking about Christmas morning with my Dad’s hash browns.  You might see this one again before Christmas!

Living Well Spending Less: Operation Christmas Child

I posted this on Facebook and I will say it again – this is a FANTASTIC way to teach your family about the importance of giving back to those in need!  Ruth gives all of the details out in her great post – check it out and start a new tradition with your kids!

Today’s Creative Blog: Washer Lined Tray

I love this and I know it’s something I could make too!  Pretty darn cute!

Home Is Where The Boat Is:  Mini Pumpkin Pies

I make all kinds of “pumpkin-y” goodness between now and Christmas so these are right up my alley!

Fox Hollow Cottage: Decorating With Thrift Store Finds

Fantastic – I love finding something at a thrift store and turning it into something new!  Great for holidays on a budget!

Life As Mom: Busy Holiday Cooking Plan (Freezer Cooking)

I know – food again!  But, as a working Mom of three boys I have an extra fridge/ freezer AND a chest freezer in my garage – I don’t mess around!   I love to cook and we love to portion things out and freeze them for meals throughout the next few months.  I coupon shop the sales and freeze items for later.  I’ll be posting about this within the week as it pertains to our holiday prep!

I hope you all have a fantastic and blessed week!

xoxo,

Claire

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