❤ Valentines ❤

Posted by Michelle on February 14th, 2018

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Valentine’s Day is this week and I’ve got some fun packaging for your heartfelt gifts.
These Casablanca bags in pink and red make wrapping up stickers for my kids a cinch.  I finished them off with gift tags and Divine Twine with a little stamp action plus some punched-out hearts that I made out of an old Victoria’s Secret bag.

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Anything pink or red goes for Valentine’s Day.  So for larger gifts I used these polka dot Bigger Bitty Bags.

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Walmart had these great little gift cards for Valentine’s Day and I love that you can add any amount to it.  Even $1.  These are great gifts for the littles – add a buck or two and they can go pick themselves up a treat.

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I had some pretty heart paper that I used to wrap a square gift and topped it off with another handmade gift tag.
So fun.  And so easy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


Crafty Christmas Gift Wrap.

Posted by Michelle on December 25th, 2017


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When it comes to Christmas – or any holiday, really – I try to deviate from the norm when it comes to gift wrapping.  Don’t get me wrong, I have just as many rolls of gift wrap and pre-made bows and gift bags as anyone else, but sometimes it’s fun to be different.  And it makes the gift feel a little more personal.

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Take this little gift for my son’s Godmother.  I put it in to this fun, red Casablanca bag, topped it with a tag that I made from a large white gift tag, a pre-made diecut, I busted out my old-school Dymo labeler for the name sticker, and then tied it off with some Gold Metallic Divine Twine.

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I did pretty much the same thing with this gift for my cousin.  Only I used a Gold Metallic Bigger Bitty Bag.

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I love these little gold clips.  I found them on back-to-school clearance literally years ago and I’ve been hoarding them ever since.  Finally put them to good use today 🙂

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Here’s a gift for my aunt with the same pieces and techniques.

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My husband has 4 aunts that live in Wisconsin.  They all get the same gift (but in different styles and colors).

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I kept it simple stamping Aunt on a large white tag and putting a cardboard glitter sticker with their initial on it.  It’s clean, but sort of elegant too with all that gold and the bit of glitter.

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When you order a cosmetic from Macy’s, they send you a little goody bag with free samples in it.  I’ve held on to the bags, and repurposed them for a couple of teen girls’ Christmas gifts making a simple tag and tying off with some fun Divine Twine to go with the colored tissue on the inside.

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I hope you have a beautiful, memorable, and delicious day!


Fall Birthday Happy Mail.

Posted by Michelle on November 6th, 2017

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m big on Happy Mail and celebrating others and trying really hard to make people feel special.  Especially on their birthday.  And doing so doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.  My husband has many aunts who are getting up there in years and don’t really need anything or have the space for anything but I still want to send them a little something for their birthday.  For the 2 aunt birthdays in the fall I picked up some lip moisturizer knowing that getting in to the winter, chapped lips and dry skin is a challenge for a lot of people.  And then I shopped my stash for how to package it all nice and pretty for fall.

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I knew I wanted orange for fall, of course, but I didn’t want to pair that with black or it would be too Halloween or brown because it would look too Thanksgiving.  So I found some dark pink elements to coordinate with my orange Casablanca Middy Bitty bag.  I found some dark pink tickets in my stash along with some pretty place cards that I bought on Easter clearance at Target for like 10-cents a pack and knew I had to use them as well.

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I stamped Aunt on the front of my place card and then I glued my tickets on a large white tag and tucked that in to the middle of the place card.  And then I adhered the entire piece to the front of the bag.

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The last step was to finish it off with some orange and white Divine Twine.

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I’ve really been trying to be mindful when selecting gifts to send to people of the size and weight of them.  Mailing has gotten so spendy, and sometimes the postage costs more than the gift itself!  For example, I found a tabletop baseball game on clearance at Target for $5 that I was going to send to my nephew in California for Christmas.  But it’s big and it’s a little heavy.  I know full well it’s going to cost at least $20 to ship it.  So now it’s going to be a donation item and I need to come up with a plan B for his gift.  But these little packages are small and light and will fit in to a plain catalog envelope and should be under $3 to ship.  I can handle that.


Slow Cooker Soups.

Posted by Michelle on September 18th, 2017

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Fall is coming and the season of soups and stews is upon us so today I’m sharing 2 super easy and delicious slow cooker soups with you.
I bought the gigantic bag of onions at Costco and haven’t been going through it as fast as I should be so I decided that soup season would start now.  Fancy a little French onion soup?  Full recipe at the end of this post.

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Slice as thinly as possible 4 large onions.  (You can use a mandolin, we have one, but it scares me.)

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Sautée the onions in the butter until they are nice and golden and browning.

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Transfer onions to a slow cooker, and pour in your liquid mixture.

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Tie your thyme together with Whisker Graphics Divine Twine and drop it in to your slow cooker.  I love the addition of fresh herbs, but who wants to bite in to them?  Tying them up with Divine Twine and then pulling it at the end is so easy and you get the addition of fresh herb taste!

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8 hours later you have the most amazing, warm, comforting, salty and slightly sweet French onion soup.

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Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

4 large onions, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
32 oz. carton of beef broth
Thyme (I pulled about 5 stalks of fresh thyme from my garden)
Salt to taste when finished

On the stove top, in a large pan, sautée the onions in the butter until they are nice and golden and browning.

While onions are sautéing, mix the flour, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, pepper, and beef broth in a mixing bowl.

When onions are finished caramelizing, transfer them to a slow cooker.

Add liquid mixture to onions in slow cooker.

Bundle thyme together and tie off with Whisker Graphics Divine Twine.

Drop thyme in to slow cooker.

Set slow cooker for 8 hours on low.

When slower cooker is finished, remove thyme, add salt to taste, and enjoy!

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I kept seeing this foil package in the freezer and never thought about what it was.  I asked my husband about it and he reminded me that it was the leftover ham bone from Easter.  And just like that, my dinner decision was made.

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Full recipe at the end of this post.

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Sautée your mirepoix (celery, carrots, and onion) in butter with salt and pepper.

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Transfer your mirepoix to a slow cooker and place frozen ham bone on top of it.

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Add beans, chicken broth, and your fresh herb bundle tied together with Whisker Graphics Divine Twine and drop it in to your slow cooker.

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8 hours later you have an amazing fall dinner!

Slow Cooker Ham & Bean Soup

1 large onion, sliced
1.5 cups petite carrots
3 celery stalks
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
Frozen, leftover ham bone
3 cans of beans (I used 2 white kidney and 1 white cannellini)
32 oz. carton of chicken broth
Thyme (I pulled about 5 stalks of fresh thyme from my garden)
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste when finished

On the stove top, in a large pan, sautée the onions, celery, and carrots until onions are translucent.

Add garlic to pan and sautée for just a few minutes more.

Transfer vegetables to a slow cooker.

Place frozen ham bone on top of vegetables in slow cooker.

Rinse beans, and pour them around the ham bone.

Pour chicken broth over all.

Bundle thyme and bay leaves together and tie off with Whisker Graphics Divine Twine.

Drop herbs in to slow cooker.

Set slow cooker for 8 hours on low.

When slower cooker is finished, remove herb bundle, add salt to taste (mine didn’t need it – remember, ham is salty), and enjoy!


The first gifts of Christmas are done!

Posted by Michelle on August 22nd, 2017

DISCLAIMER: I am a hyper-prepared gift and gift-wrapping fool.
I am super organized about gifts and have Christmas and birthday and Mother’s Day and Easter (and every other occasion) gifts bought, made, or otherwise planned months and months – sometimes years – in advance.

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I always like to do some crafty wrapping with my gifts too.  Don’t get me wrong – I do “regular” gift wrap too, but sometimes regular wrapping paper and store-bought bows get tired.  And too – sometimes there are those odd-shaped gifts that are hard to wrap.  Like lotion.
I found these Martha Stewart lotions online at Macy’s for super cheap and snatched them up for my husband’s aunts and my mother-in-law.  But they would be a little difficult to wrap with regular gift wrap.  Bags are perfect for odd-shaped things.  So I reached for these gorgeous gray Casablanca Middy Bitty Bags from Whisker Graphics and coordinating large gray gift tags.

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I ran my gift tags through my Big Shot with an impression plate just to get a raised pattern on them for some extra interest and texture.

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And then it was as simple as coordinating with a fun ephemera collection (I’ve used pieces from Fancy Pants Designs here) and layering it all up.

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I also stamped a little on the bag in lieu of a to/from tag.  My finishing is done with Silver Metallic Divine Twine (also from Whisker Graphics).

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And if you don’t have time for that, or you feel like you’re not crafty enough, just buy a pre-made tag and smack that on your Whisker Graphics bag.  Your gift will still stand out from the crowd!

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