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I am lucky enough to have my mom in town for Mother’s Day this year. Keeping that in mind, I wanted to do some sort of fun mother/daughter activity. After a little research and some online browsing, I decided to rent a tiny house for the two of us in Ybor City, FL and then journey over to Weeki Wachee Springs (where the mermaids live). The only problem was the tiny house was only available for next weekend which left me gift-less for the actual holiday itself. Naturally I decided that some sort of craft/homemade treat was in order, and I hit the inspiration jackpot when I came across this Instagram page. Monogram Cupcakes. Exactly the sort of thing that I was looking for! I did make a few adjustments, you know, to Julie-fy it a bit. I shrunk things down and made mini cupcakes, added a few sugar wafer butterflies here, a strawberry cookie mushroom there, but all in all, I was really pleased with how it turned out.
My mom was so excited when she saw it. 10/10 would make again. Of course you know this didn’t exactly fix my “no gift on actual Mother’s Day” since I gave it to her already. Clearly I didn’t think that one through. Oh well, we’ll just have to do brunch on Sunday. Oh no! Not brunch! Anything but brunch! Is it still considered a gift if it’s also sort of for you?
One of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year was to regularly indulge in self care. This is especially critical this time of year when things are insanely stressful at the office. One of the things I’ve discovered that works wonders for me is a nice long soak in the tub. It helps the tension in my neck and shoulders release, it increases circulation, AND with this awesome bath soak I’ve been making, it keeps my skin super soft. Which normally isn’t a big problem since Florida is incredibly humid, but we had a surprisingly cool dry winter and my poor skin was in bad shape. Nothing is as distracting dry itchy butt that you can’t scratch, am I right? TMI? I digress. When I first started using this soak, I didn’t add any scent because I thought the coconut was lovely on its own. Now that the weather is warmer though, I wanted to add something extra. I took inspiration from one of my favorite parts of Practical Magic, the scene where they make Midnight Margaritas and sing about putting the “lime in the coconut”.
- 1 cup Epsom Salt
- 1/2 cup Pink Himalayan Rock Salt
- 1/2 cup Powdered Coconut Milk
- 6 drops of Rose Hip Oil
- 10-15 drops of Lime Essential Oil
*Combine all the ingredients together in a large baggie and shake until thoroughly combined. Store in cool dark place for up to 3 weeks.
Super simple, and your skin will feel amazing. I catch myself absentmindedly running my hands over my arms or legs after I get out. How do you exercise self care in your routine?
There are few holiday tasks more daunting that hosting Thanksgiving dinner. All those people, all those dietary restrictions, and all those expectations! Regardless of how laid back your guests are, we all know that people can be a little judgmental when it comes to things that are so steeped in tradition. In all honesty, 9 times out of 10 I serve things up buffet style and astound people with the fancy disposable plates and flatware I manage to procure (seriously, it’s a skill). I do know, however, that many of you dream about that perfectly executed Pinterest worthy table, complete with seasonal centerpiece and coordinating linens. Not always possible, but a quick and relatively easy way to elevate your holiday table is place cards. Place cards let your guests know that you gave them a little extra consideration and they also make a great keepsake for anyone who likes to save mementos from these type of things.
Place cards also give you a little extra control over you holiday table. You can manipulate your seating chat to keep your aggressively alt right uncle away from your vegan lesbian friend Kate… or not if you want to keep things lively. You can also make sure that any newcomers don’t find themselves ostracized at the far end while everyone else is chatting it up in the middle. I also like to consider guests with any disabilities or who are a little older to make sure that they get up and down as easily as possible, not to mention closer proximity to restrooms.
Thank goodness for the internet, right? Hopefully, this will help you get inspired for your own table. I am, fortunately, off the hook this year as we will be heading to NC to spend some time with Andy’s parents. So I wish you good luck and happy crafting!
So it’s the day before Halloween and you don’t have a costume; no worries, I have the solution: Skeleton/Sugar Skull. That’s right, and you can whip this bad boy up with a quick trip to the store and an about an hour start to finish. To kick things off, we start with a spiffy DIY from the craft queen herself, Ms. Martha Stewart, a quick and easy skeleton shirt (video tutorial here). I found this project perusing Pinterest for a non-facepaint way to add a bit more pizzazz to Andy’s Halloween costume (a black Sith Lord robe). I modified the technique a bit to make use of the supplies I already have on hand (you can see my notes below), but the end result was exactly as Martha intended.
Print front and back rib cage templates. Trim first page on solid line and match to dotted line on second page; tape together.
Pinch front of white T-shirt at center of neck and pull forward, lining up sleeve and side seams, to create a fold down center front of shirt. Lay T-shirt flat on a cutting mat with this fold to the right.
Spray repositionable adhesive on back of front rib cage template. Place on folded front side of T-shirt, lining up vertical line with fold.
Cut horizontal rib lines with a small rotary cutter. Leaving T-shirt flat, cut curved areas with fabric scissors.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create ribs on the back of the T-shirt, using the back rib template and lining up vertical line with back fold.
Peel off templates. Unfold T-shirt and wear over a black shirt.
- I lacked the repositionable spray so I adapted by cutting out the black parts of the template, securing the half way line with straight pings and the tracing the shapes onto the fabric with chalk. As far as I can tell it’s wasn’t any more difficult than the original method.
If you want something simple you can stop here, but if you want to take you look to the next level, follow this tutorial for Dia de los Muertos Makeup and throw on a flower crown. Easy Peasy and fairly inexpensive.
When it comes to crafting, I am not afraid to put in some serious effort if it means creating something I really want. However, when it comes to something that is more of an obligation than a “want”, I prefer to work smart instead of hard. Halloween is one of those times for me. I love the candy, the spooky decorations, and the pumpkin carving madness, but costumes tend to be more of a burden than anything else. I mean, I’ve been a cat 3 times in the last 5 years. I never know how to quite get that crucial mix of cute/sexy/cleaver/funny/office appropriate. Now the ladies behind Studio DIY are experts when it comes to whipping up a great costume, but they also have some wonderfully quick and simple DIY costumes that can be thrown together the night before. I find their fruit costumes delightful and very a-peeling (that one is for you Andy) 😉
So cute, right!? I think it would be a lot of fun to do with with a large group of friends or coworkers. With a little construction paper and hot glue, you can have a whole produce section in a couple of hours. Now if you’re not really feeling the fruit vibe, you can check out all of the costume DIY’s here.
Note: The Kiwi and the Watermelon were part of a series of classes they did for Good Housekeeping that are no longer available, but if you scroll down the page, they’ve made a list of supplies and a brief how to so you can still make it work.