Friday Favorites – Week 400 – How to Make Rustic Christmas Ornaments

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Friday Favorites – Week 347 – Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Friday Favorites – Week 346 – Printable 2017 Planner Pages

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Dawn at LeroyLimeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

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Quick and Easy Steps to Making Your Own Candles

Quick and Easy Steps to Making Your Own Candles

I enjoy DIY projects.  But, I should explain I do not enjoy projects that have too many moving parts or require too much work on my part.  So, if you ever see me share a project or a recipe, you can be sure of two things.  It will be quick and it will be easy. Today’s DIY is no different.  I will confess this isn’t the first time that I have made my own candles.  But, it literally was back in 2008.  And, back then I was making them as gifts, so I rarely enjoyed them myself.

Fast forward to this summer, as I was making my summer bucket list.  I tried to come up with projects that I thought the kids would be excited to be a part of.  Now, I know you are probably thinking kids and hot wax, but I promise I did that part all myself.  So, let’s get started.

Moving Parts aka Things You Need.

Moving Parts

  1. Glassware of Some Type
  2. Microwaveable Soy Wax
  3. Candle Wicks with Metal Base
  4. Plastic Mold Sealer (to secure Metal Base)
  5. Straw or Pencil
  6. Fragrance
  7. About 10-15 minutes

I used Mason Jars, because… well I love Mason Jars.  The Microwaveable Soy Wax was Quick and Easy.  The directions on the packaging shown in the first picture.  Indicates that it will take up to a minute to melt.  It took me about 3 minutes to get it all the melted.  I have a Microwave that I don’t use to cook in so I used that for this project.  I am mentioning this because, of course you probably don’t want tomorrow’s left overs smelling like wax.  But I am sure if you give it a good wipe down right after you would be fine.  Candle Wicks, this is one of those things where you will have choices galore.  This go around I used the Soy Wicks with the tabs.  But, if I was to do it again, I would do the braided wicks, because I like the way that they burn better.  And, I would probably go for the simple white wicks just for a cleaner look.  I used a small piece of the Plastic Mold Sealers to secure the Metal Base of the Wicks.  This is not something you have to do but, I feel better knowing that when I start pouring the wick will stay in place.  My favorite part and the reason I made the candles in the first place is the fragrance.  But, I am going to warn you fragrance is NOT CHEAP.  And, if you want a noticeable scent.  You may want to pour between 3-4 bottles of 1 oz  Liquid Candle Fragrances into the melted wax and stir well, for even distribution.

OK, so that explains all the things you will need EXCEPT for the Pencil or the Straw.  Now the first time I did this, I bought longer wicks, so I simply attached the Metal Base and tied the remaining wick around a pencil centered on top of the jar to keep it centered.  This time the wicks I purchased were shorter was shorter, so hubby “jimmy- rigged” it.  My Mommy would always tell me necessity is the Mother of Invention, and she would be right.   He came up with the idea to puncture a hole in a straw and thread the wick through it and then center it on top of the jar.  I was skeptical, but he was right.. hes good with these things.

Making Candles

So there you have it, go forth…and make some great smelling candles.  Not to mention how impressed all your friends and family will be.  I find that these candles are always a most welcome Hostess Gift.  With the holidays coming up, it’s something to consider.  Slap a Personalized Sticker on here or dress it up with a ribbon or two.  Don’t say I never told you anything (smile).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

 

Hubby’s Holiday Gift Guide with clickable links

Hubby's Holiday Gift Guide HERO

My husband is hard to shop for, and I guess so am I.  So for the last five years or so we have come up with a Christmas List for each other.  We never buy everything off the list.  But, it gives us some direction and help us pick out gifts the other will love.  You know #happyhusband + #happywife = #happylife.  LOL.  But, really his choices have always been so out of the box, that people started asking me for ideas on what to get their significant others.  This year, I asked him to come up with a list that I could share, and this is the end result.  As I was typing this, I jumped over into another browser and purchased a few of these to go under the tree.  Shhhh…. don’t tell.

Hubby's Holiday Gift Guide

A. DXRACER Gaming/Office Chair
B. Disaronno Roberto Cavalli Limited Edition
C. Timberland Earthkeepers Stormbuck Duck Chukka
D. Stelton’s Pure Black Knives
E. EcoCity Vintage Canvas Backpack
F. Wilson Connected Basketball
G. Wander & Rumble Growler
H. Burberry Heritage Check Cashmere Scarf
I. Warby Parker Old Fashioned Fade

Only you know your hubby, but I hope that this takes some of the Guess Work out of your holiday shopping!!

The 2015 Holiday Play List

2015 Holiday Play List found on stage-presents.com

Stockings are hung by the Chimney, the decorations are up, your whole house is smelling like William Sonoma, and you’ve already started planning out your Menu.  What’s left?  The perfect backdrop to the Season, your 2015 Holiday Play List.

I am always chomping at the bit to throw on the Christmas Music.  So hubby and I collaborated and came up with this list of Our Favorite Holiday Songs.

  1.  All I Want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)
  2.  This Christmas (Chris Brown)
  3. Someday at Christmas (Stevie Wonder and Andra Day)
  4. My Favorite Things (Luther Vandross)
  5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  (Ledisi)
  6. Give Love On Christmas Day (Johnny Gill)
  7. Let It Snow (Boys II Men)
  8. Away in A Manger (Tamar Braxton)
  9. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (India Arie & Joe Sample)
  10. Mistletoe (Justin Bieber)
  11. Where Are You Christmas? (Faith Hill)
  12. My Grown Up Christmas List (Kelly Clarkston)
  13. The Christmas Song (Whitney Houston)
  14. Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt)
  15. Winter Wonderland (Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga)
  16. Wonderful Dream (Melanie Thorton)
  17. Silent Night  (The Temptations)
  18. Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday  (‘N Sync)
  19. Little Drummer Boy  (Destiny’s Child)
  20. I’ll Be Home for Christmas  (Lady Antebellum)
©2015 Stage Presents

©2015 Stage Presents

What are your favorite Holiday Tunes?  Share them with us in the comment sections below.

Veteran’s Day Coloring Sheet

Veteran’s Day is tomorrow, November 11th, this year.  Over the years, I have tried to explain the importance of those who have served Our Country to my little ones.  It certainly is not an easy conversation, so this year, I searched for some ideas and ran across this amazing article on some ways that you can have this conversation and engage your kids.  Check out this link on “Teaching Kids About Veteran’s Day” found here on FantasticFunandLearning.com.  It’s Full of Ideas and Books that will make it both fun and interesting.

In Honor of Our Veteran’s  – Let’s Celebrate all that they do for our Country with this “Veteran’s Day” Coloring Sheet.

Celebrate Veteran's Day with this Free Coloring Sheet - www.stage-presents.com

©2015 Stage Presents For Personal Use Only. Not to be Altered and Or Redistributed.

Download Here – Right Click Save and Print.  And, to Our Veterans, we salute you.

Switching things up a bit… for Cinco de Mayo

Do you ever tire of eating and cooking the same thing week after week? This is one my biggest challenge in the kitchen. So, I have been reaching outside the box to try new recipes that I think the family will enjoy. Since today was Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would try out some traditional Mexican Cuisine.  I got the recipe from Betty Crocker, so I am not sure just how traditional it is.  But, last night I tried out Betty Crocker’s Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Recipe found here.  In addition to this recipe being super easy and delicious, it was very inexpensive to make.  It got both the Kids and the Hubby Seal of Approval, so its definitely going on my Tried and True List.

Cinco de Mayo Quick and Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas - stage-presents.com My Notes on this Recipe: For a family of four or more, consider doubling this recipe.  Also, for my own personal preference I added sauteed onions and peppers to the mix, as well as to the top as garnishment.  Also depending on how Spicy you like it.  You can choose to go with a different enchilada sauce, I chose the Mild because I have small children at home.

And, then just because you can’t do Cinco de Mayo without Margaritas, we also tried out this recipe for a Strawberry Margarita “Mock-tail” Recipe that the whole family can participate in found here.

Cinco de Mayo Strawberry Margarita Mocktail - stage-presents.com

 Photo Source:  First Picture in this Collage was found here:  The last three are my Pictures.

My Notes on this Recipe:  This drink was very sweet to me.  Of course, I am diabetic, so I pretty much consider everything too sweet.  But, I would definitely cut down on the Orange Juice which is high in Sugar.  I would only use 1/2 of the Frozen Limeade and you could always go with a Diet Lemon Lime Soda.  I really enjoyed the little taste I had, so I will be working on a Diabetic Friendly version.  So check back I will share that as soon as I can perfect it.

So there you have it, a Quick and Easy way to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home.  I should add that the only ingredient needed to change the Strawberry Margarita recipe from a “Mock-tail” to a Cocktail is your choice of “Grown up Juice”, as we call it at our house.  Fiesta… Fiesta!!

You have just finished reading Switching Things Up A Bit…. for Cinco de Mayo.  What is your favorite Mexican Dish?  Would you consider leaving a comment?

Fun Friday – All About V-Day!!

Free Valentine's Day Pencil Tag #valentinesday #valentinesdaygift #valentinesdayideas

Wow, did this week fly by for anyone else but me?  Today’s Fun Friday is ALL about Valentine’s Day!!

Do you miss those days when it was just the two of you?  But, that just isn’t the case anymore, now that you have little people running around, who seem to be sapping your romantic flow.  But, you want your guy to know that he is still #1 in your book.  No matter how tired you may be.

Most men are simple.  And, most men don’t really give a hoot about Valentine’s Day.  Even still, you care, so make sure he knows that you do too.  Keep in Mind, that this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday (what a treat). So, you have the whole day to make your love feel special.

Here are a few Quick & Hopefully Not Too Dirty Ideas:

Start with Breakfast — In Bed or Out (your choice)

It doesn’t have to be anything GRAND, you know your guy. Add a Sweet Card, a Love Note, or even an IOU (for later fun).  Running low on time in the morning, consider prepping your guys breakfast the night before.

Breakfast in Bed for Valentine's Day

Babysitter or Not –

Can you get a baby sitter to stay with the kids so you can have some alone time? What works better for your family?  Are you going to hit the movies with your honey during the day, or are you going to make it an official date night and don the heels and flirty dress??  Whatever you do, make sure the plan is put in place long before that weekend.  Remember reservations are nearly impossible to get around this time of year.

Of course, if a Baby Sitter is not an option for you, then you have to either plan V-Day around the kiddies, or include them.  When my oldest daughter was much younger, we both dressed up one year and had dinner with my hubby.  It was super sweet and we all enjoyed sitting at the table together for dinner. She enjoyed being included and making a Valentine for her Daddy.

Here are some fun ideas for sharing V-day with your little ones, that I found around the web.

12 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Kids

4 Sweet Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Kids

To Dine –

If you are lucky, maybe you are one the of the couples who manage to get time alone, reserve your table far enough in advance, and are dressed to impressed for a Night On the Town.  Leave everything else on the back shelf for the night.  You have pulled off a major coup!!  Make tonight only about YOUR LOVE.  No talk of work, daycare, or diapers.  Relax and Enjoy Each Other.

Every Day is Special with the One You Love, but Valentine’s day should be even SWEETER.

V-Day Stories –

Sad Valentine's Day Story

Funny Valentine's Day Story And, if you got all the way through this post, Good For You!!

So as promised, here is your Free Valentine’s Day Pencil Tag (PDF File) with instructions.  Click to Download and Enjoy!!

Valentine's Day Pencil Tags

Tips for getting back on track after Winter Break….

Are you struggling with getting things back on track after the Break?  Here are some quick and easy steps to get your Over The Hump!!

As much as I love Christmas, I for one am elated that Christmas Break is over.  So much so, that I got up this morning and got my little one ready for school.  Got dressed and drove all the way to school, only to realize…  today was a Teacher Work Day and not the kid’s first day back at school.  Thankfully, I caught on before I dropped her off.  So, I laughed it off, but to be honest, when I got back in I sat on the sofa for a good 30 minutes talking myself out of wanting to lay on my back, kick my feet up and have a full blown temper tantrum. Ugh!! As you can see, I am still struggling with things not going as I PLAN.  After deciding that no real purpose would be served by that, I moved on with my day.  *It was like having your Mind and your Mouth set on that last piece of chocolate you have stashed in the refrigerator and when you reach in to get it… you realize that someone got to it first. (Even after you hid it soo expertly.)  This Mommy really was looking forward to some peace and quiet.  I just knew that today was going to be that day.  So, I regrouped, and rescheduled.

Getting Back On Track After Christmas Break - stage-presents.com

  1. Start your day out with purpose.  For me that means reading my Devotion and prayer.  For you, that may be meditation and clearing your head.
  2. Regroup and Evaluate. Where were you before your vacation?  Where do you want to pick up?  Are you just jumping back in or have your priorities changed?
  3. Create a Rolling To Do List.  Over the next 30 days, what are your Goals and Objectives?  Separate the Business from the Personal.  I am a list maker.  So you best believe, I have two separate lists going at all times.  I never realized the beauty of a Rolling To Do List, until I had to plan the days of others, as well as my own. Check out this article CBS published on how they keep you organized and productive.   As much as I hate to say it, whatever you don’t get done today, will get done tomorrow (unless your have a deadline in place).
  4. Create a Weekly List.  Prioritize. Decide What is of the Utmost Importance and start crossing off each item as you go.
  5. Lastly, Work Your Plan and Breathe.  What will be… will be.

Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams.  Live the Life you have imagined – Henry Thoreau