2015 Unique Gift Guide plus a free HOLIDAY Organizer

http://www.hubspeanuts.com/chocolate-peanuts.html

These are so good. I ordered about 15 cans of these this year. They are budget friendly and seriously delicious! Grown and made in Virginia. 

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Cuisinart AMB-14PP Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan

These pizza pans are the BEST. If you struggle with soggy bottom pizza, this is the solution. They really do the job well! Combine a pizza pan with your favorite marinara and good pepperoni for a unique gift.

Stitched Pendant
Hue Low Cut No Show Sock liners

These cotton socks are so great. Breathable but still keep your feet warm when wearing flats in the cold.

Birthstone Bangle, Stackable Bangle Bracelet $9

 

Snap-On 870930 LED Pocket Sticklight $6
Craftsman Quick Release Tear Drop Ratchet $15.99

My husband owns both of these items. The Craftsman ratchet “is the best designed tool ever” according to my husband. And the flashlight is perfect for storing in a glove box or in a nightstand for power outages.

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Paint Your Own Porcelain Vases

Pompom Throw $16

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3D Globe Puzzle

 

And if you need help getting organized this month go over to Day Designer to download a free gift organizer. I used it this year which hopefully means I didn’t forget any gifts like I did last year :(

click here for the free Holiday Gift Organizer

My Cheap Chic Wedding Outfit | thedomesticlady.com

Around Thanksgiving my baby brother James and his girlfriend  Virginia surprised my family with the news that they would be getting married Christmas Eve.

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While the fact that they would be getting married was not a surprise (they have only been “dating” since 6th grade or so), the fact that the formal wedding was only 30 days away was a surprise.

And like any girly girl my first thought was “What will I wear?”

And since it is Christmas time which is usually very expensive I set out to make my outfit as inexpensive as possible.

I purchased this jumpsuit from Target which I thought was really cute and appropriate for a formal evening wedding.

But unfortunately it had REALLY ugly buttons on it (not pictured in the photo online). They looked like spikes from a dog collar.

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So I took a trip to Hobby Lobby for some buttons for about $2.

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I simply replaced the buttons and had a new outfit for the wedding for under $25!

And of course I forgot to get a picture of myself in the outfit but I promise it was cute :)

Congrats James and Virginia!

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photo stolen from my sister-in-law’s facebook page :)

Food Christmas Gifts for 2014

This year I am putting together Christmas tins full of goodies for neighbors, friends, coworkers etc.

And you know the best part?

All the items (except for pretzels) can be made in advance and frozen making for a stress-free holiday season.

Here are the recipes I am using this year. I specifically picked items without frosting making freezing a breeze.

(click the photo for the full recipe)

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Funfetti Gooey Butter Cookies
Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks
Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks
Reese’s Pretzel Bites
Reese’s Pretzel Bites
Cinnamon-Chocolate Fudge
Cinnamon-Chocolate Fudge

And if your loved ones are not close enough to hand deliver homemade goods I highly recommend Dorthy Lane Market for shipped baked goods.

I have used them many times with great success.

Original Killer Brownie
Original Killer Brownie

How to Make a $5 Wreath

$5 wreath tutorial

Well it’s getting very merry around my house.

I thought I would share my outdoor wreaths that cost me $5 each.

And they really require no wizard-like craft skills.

Because I have no wizard-like craft skills.

I don’t even have the craft skills of a wizard’s assistant.

What I am trying to say is I am not crafty.

The wreaths are on their 3rd year and still going strong which means my $5 is really going a LONG WAY.

Here is the supply list:

  • $2.50- 18 in. grapevine wreath (craft store)
  • $1 – 9 ft. ribbon (craft store or dollar store)
  • $1- 12-15 jingle bells (dollar store)
  • $1- ready-made red velvet bow (dollar store)

Total: $5.50

I waited for the floral supplies to go on sale 1/2 price at my local Hobby Lobby before I purchased the grapevine wreaths.

Note: grapevine wreaths are not sold with the Christmas merchandise

What I love about the grapevine wreaths is that every wreath is unique so the finished product does not have to be “perfect.”

I simply wrapped the wreath in 9 ft of ribbon, attaching it to be back of the wreath with floral wire or even safety pins.

Then I wired the jingle bells on for a little bling. And finally attached the ready-made dollar store bow.

It does NOT get easier than that.

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How to Make a $5 Wreath- thedomesticlady.com

 I used Command strips or suction cup hooks to attach each wreath to the window.

Pillows by Ikea. (here and here)

http://www.notjustahousewife.net/2014/12/december-2014-linky-party.html

Retail Therapy: Books for Christmas Gifts 2014

Christmas 2014

Happy day after Thanksgiving.

I hope you were thankful and are still full of turkey and cranberry sauce.

I rounded up a few of my favorite books from this year that are unique and make perfect Christmas gifts.

(click each photo for the link)
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Consider this a little girl’s devotional book. The illustrations are gorgeous!

 

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If you are on facebook, I am sure you have heard of Humans of New York .

Well Brandon, the photographer, put out two books in the last two years, and one of them is for children.

Little Humans of New York is GORGEOUS. Full of different nationalities and religions. It’s the best picture book I have seen in while.

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The idea behind this book is so unique. See the video below to watch BJ Novak (Ryan from The OFFICE) reading the book at a school. The laughter is contagious.

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The illustrations in this book are amazing. And the writing is so beautiful!

“Light glared and it glimmered. It flared and sparked. And wherever the light shined, dark stopped being dark.”

download

While this cookbook maybe a little wacky, it is FULL of clean eating recipes. Perfect for beginners.

I also this one would be great for someone living on their own.


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I love that this has ALL THE MEATS. It is perfect for any cook, novice or chef. You can’t go wrong with an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.

Also the ATC Cook’s Illustrated magazine is another great gift. I LOVE the reviews of kitchen products and packaged foods.

download (4)

 

This is just an all around great decorating book. I need one on my coffee table!

download (2)

 

If you are offended by a few bad words this book is not for you, but it is HILARIOUS. Love me some Amy Poehler.

download (5)

 Annie Downs has written several Bible study books for teens and young women. I love her Grace story and this book does not disappoint.

Also her instagram is super fun to follow. Makes me want to live in Nashville.

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 I am a huge Garden and Gun fan. I LOVE their magazine. And the dog stories are some of my favorites. This makes a great gift for men or woman. If you are a male on my Christmas list expect to receive this.

download (10)

 

I am a pretty big Dave Ramsey fan. We are in fact working on getting out of debt. 7k down and 5k to go.

This is a great book for any age or gender. Great business advice with a honest approach.

Chic Unique Gift Guide for 2013- under $50 plus two gifts with charities in mind

Present Collage 2013

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1. I actually saw this jewelry stand in the store and almost bought in on the spot for myself. I think it would also be great to use as displays for food at parties etc. It is BEAUTIFUL!

2.  I have blogged about Old Money Corp jewelry before, but because I am still in love with their products I am featuring them again. I just can’t get enough!

 3. I am always a fan of monogrammed bags as gifts, but these stylized burlap bags personalized with last names are so chic. If you are staying in someone else’s home for the holidays, I think this is the perfect host gift for the family.

4. My niece may or may not be getting several Melissa and Doug puzzles for Christmas this year. This dress-up bear family puzzle is like sturdy paper dolls:)

5. I mean I can’t imagine how many more peas your kids would eat if their fork was designed like a bulldozer!

6. Like I said, I am a sucker for monogrammed gifts. And 24 oz Tervis tumblers perfectly hold ice and one can of my current drink of choice, grapefruit sparkling water with one sweet ‘n low. :) I think these would make perfect teacher/friend gifts.

7. This guitar pick punch is a fun gift for music lovers. You can turn any old credit cards or membership cards into a pick.

8.  My husband spotted these belts at Mast General Store a few weeks ago. He really liked them. We aren’t cool people, but I thought they seemed pretty cool. :) He is probably going to get one in his stocking.

9. (not pictured) Olganna etsy.com shop has tons of beautiful things. I have ordered from her in the past and am never disappointed.

Two additional ideas:

10. A few years ago my extended family gave eachother a card for Christmas. In each card was a note stating that money was given to a charity in their name. I love that idea because we really don’t need anything. And it was neat to see all the different charities that were given too.

11. If you do like the idea of giving to a charity as a gift, purchasing gifts/gift cards to charity businesses is a great idea as well. And this does not only include thrift stores.

There are lots of new businesses trying to make a positive difference by employing people and giving them hope.

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Dewdrop Necklace

Noonday supports entrepreneurship internationally and by doing so helps alleviate poverty in especially poor nations, and their products are gorgeous!

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The Open Arms Shop employs refugee women in America a living wage (the baseline hourly income necessary for food and shelter [including housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs]) which typically runs $3-$7 above the federal minimum wage.

And to top it off, all the fabric used in their products is recycled or donated.

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Napkins Fall Chevron

The Things I Am Thankful For That I Will Not Be Mentioning At The Table This Holiday

I am thankful for many things this year.

But life has been a little too serious for my liking the last few months; so my list this year will be the things that I won’t be mentioning at the obligatory “what are you thankful for this year” statement before the meal on Thursday.

  1.  I am thankful for indoor plumbing. During our recent slight flood during our bathroom remodel we went without water for about 36 hours. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to turn on the faucet only to remember that we had no water.
  2. I am thankful for my new refrigerator. It is a beast in the best way possible.
  3. I am thankful for Amazon. That website makes my life much easier. From soap to Christmas presents, Amazon always comes to the rescue.
  4. I am thankful for my dishwasher, after living without one for almost two years.
  5. I am thankful that Publix and Target are less than five minutes from my house.
  6. I am thankful for the wool socks I wear to bed at night.
  7. I am thankful that my husband puts up with my bountiful shoe collection.
  8. I am thankful for the little birthday celebration that my sister-in-law threw for me this week.
  9. I am thankful that we are going to be beach right after New Years.
  10. I am the most thankful that we get a four day weekend starting today.
  11. I am glad that I remembered to do all my holiday grocery shopping on Saturday so I am not fighting the crowds today.:)

But most of all, I am thankful for my family- my husband, stepsons, parents and siblings.

Because I don’t believe the saying,”No matter how bad things get, family will always be there.”

Your family does not always have to be there for you. It’s their choice.

And I hope I never take for granted the fact that they choose to be there for me.

Thanksgiving Collage 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Holiday Giveaway: The Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Cookbook (Winners Announced)

******Winners Announced******

The randomly selected winners are Joyce Mundy and Michele. Ladies, I will send you an email shortly requesting your addresses. 

Thanks, random.org.

******************************************************************************

My husband surprised me last weekend with the new Pioneer Woman’s holiday cookbook.

(I am on to his ways of these “gift” cookbooks; I just think he wants me to cook for him:)

I have already read it cover to cover, and I know it’s her best book yet.

It’s a year of recipes for every holiday with time schedules to help you with planning each meal. In my opinion is takes all the stress out of hosting a meal for a crowd.

I roasted a turkey breast last week and whipped up a version of her leftover Thanksgiving turkey panini. It was delish!

Leftover Turkey Panini

And I am excited to try the watermelon pico de gallo from the Cinco De Mayo recipes.

And while some of the recipes are not “new,” I love how the book is formatted and organized. I will be using it A LOT. I can tell already.

Okay, all you have to do is tell me your favorite holiday in the comment section below and you are entered to win one of the books.

If you find it in the goodness of your heart to share the giveaway on Facebook that would be lovely too but not required.

One entry per day. The winner will be picked Monday morning, Nov 11 (aka my sister Annie’s birthday, and of course Veteran’s Day).

Two winners will be picked by random.org.

Good luck!

PS. I am not compensated for these giveaways. I just like spreading the love of cooking.

PSS. I will even ship this internationally for my non-US readers (spammers I am not taking about you) :).

A Holiday Giveaway: The Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Cookbook

My husband surprised me last weekend with the new Pioneer Woman’s holiday cookbook.

(I am on to his ways of these “gift” cookbooks; I just think he wants me to cook for him:)

I have already read it cover to cover, and I know it’s her best book yet.

It’s a year of recipes for every holiday with time schedules to help you with planning each meal. In my opinion is takes all the stress out of hosting a meal for a crowd.

I roasted a turkey breast last week and whipped up a version of her leftover Thanksgiving turkey panini. It was delish!

Leftover Turkey Panini

And I am excited to try the watermelon pico de gallo from the Cinco De Mayo recipes.

And while some of the recipes are not “new,” I love how the book is formatted and organized. I will be using it A LOT. I can tell already.

Okay, all you have to do is tell me your favorite holiday in the comment section below and you are entered to win one of the books.

If you find it in the goodness of your heart to share the giveaway on Facebook that would be lovely too but not required.

One entry per day. The winner will be picked Monday morning, Nov 11 (aka my sister Annie’s birthday, and of course Veteran’s Day).

Two winners will be picked by random.org.

Good luck!

PS. I am not compensated for these giveaways. I just like spreading the love of cooking.

PSS. I will even ship this internationally for my non-US readers (spammers I am not taking about you) :).

Giveaway has ended.