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brown paper packages: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

{mother's day ideas}

Mother's Day is right around the corner, and I thought I would post some of my favorite ideas from the past, perfect for Mother's Day gifts.

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My overall favorite is my wooden stool makeover. I love it even more now, because my kids are a year older, and my babies especially have grown so much.

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One of my mom's favorite things is personalized notepaper. My kids love designing, and she loves having a little piece of them right by her phone.

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These purse-sized photo holders are always perfect for any mother! They can fit as many pictures as you want them too, and they easily into any purse. You could even make it into a little book--with your favorite things about her, accompanied with pictures. SO fun!

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I {love} these flour sack dishtowels, and how fun would it be to make a matching set for her kitchen? You could even personalized it, which you know I love to do. :)

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This paper sack scrapbook is in my top 5. I just love it. I made this one years ago, but it still remains one of my favorites. Easy, simple, lots of ribbon, and the fabulous look of paper bags. Any mother or grandmother would love getting a personalized book like this.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

{a place for everything} featuring oopsey daisy

A huge welcome to Alison, from Oopsey Daisy!!

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Once upon a time, I was a first grade teacher. Naturally, I collected A LOT of books... Can you believe that I've had over 1,000 books just sitting in plastic tubs in our garage?! They have been in desperate need of a little organization!



I finally collected ALL of my books, cataloged them, and color coded them so that even my 2-year-old Little Man can put them away.


The first step was cataloging every.single.book! I decided to organize the books by author's last name. But I also tagged the books by topics, series, holidays, etc. so I could easily find books that I want to pull for a special occasion. Now I can easily check to see if I have a book before purchasing a duplicate copy!
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

{buttercream by the pound}


I {adore} frosting. The more the better. (Cake? What cake?) I'm also a homemade frosting girl. It's what my mom did, and what her mom did before that. I can count on three fingers the amount of times I've purchased canned frosting. However...one of my most favorite things is the buttercream frosting on cakes from Sam's Club. (Costco too.) And no offense to those of you who love the whipped topping, but YUCK. :)

Did you know that Sam's Club sells their big buckets of frosting? Yes, it's true. I know, because my friend Erica (also a buttercream lover) and I bought a 28 pound bucket of it a few weeks ago. We did ask at our local Walmart first, but they didn't sell it. Perhaps one of your local grocery stores would be willing to sell it too--it's worth an inquiry!

It's also a bargain! It ended up being only $1 a pound, which is generally cheaper than buying canned frosting at the grocery store. Erica put it all in gallon freezer bags (about 2 pounds per bag), which works perfectly, because they stack and lay flat in the freezer.


When you're ready to use it, just take a bag out of the freezer, and let it thaw for an hour or so. The consistency of the frosting is just right for piping, and I like just snipping a corner of the bag that it was frozen in. You can also remove the frosting from the bag, place it in a bowl, and add any color you like.

I still use homemade frosting most of the time, but when I need to quickly frost a batch of cupcakes, I head straight to the freezer.


YUM!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{simple thank you jars}

What a week. Sick babies, and no time to do much of anything else but hold babies and do laundry. I have a pile of projects waiting to be worked on, but they are on hold until we can get everyone better. I did want to share with you a super simple but fun thank you idea...

My cute friend and I wanted to do a small thank you for some ladies that were presenters for us at an activity we planned. These mason jar thank you's are really simple, but so cute!

I {love} mason jars. I use them for just about everything--drinking glasses, decorations, storage, gift-giving, and anything else I can think of! I collect vintage jars, and anytime I can find them at garage sales I'm a happy girl. I also love new, shiny jars! The small half-pint size is perfect for our project today.

They can be filled with anything you like, and decorated with any type of ribbon, fabric, or twine. We tied ours with fabric strips and jute that were leftover from that evening's decorations, and it was fun to continue the theme.

I also discovered that my 2 inch circle punch is the {exact} size of the half pint jar lid! I created a "thank you" in photoshop, printed it out on cardstock, punched it out, distressed the edges with distress ink, then used double stick tape to adhere it to the lid.


That's it! Simple, quick, and oh so cute!




Here are the images for the thank you's...just right click and select "save as". Save to your computer, then insert into a Word document (or similar). Re-size, then print!



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Have a great day!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

{featured guest} Creative Juices Decor

I am so excited to do a guest post for Kierste!


I'm Selina from Creative Juices Décor.
What you will find on my blog is lots of inspiration for all your Creative Juices! I am an interior designer by degree and LOVE home design/decorating, thrift store shopping, healthy recipes and crafting. I have 3 young kids so I also have fun crafts for them too. Come stop by, I think you’ll be inspired!

Today I am going to show you how I turned a $2.00 thrift store map into a large piece of art!

map canvas 001
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Friday, April 22, 2011

{sparkly onesies}

When Silhouette sent me their rhinestone starter kit to try, I have to admit the thought of rhinestones made me a little nervous in the beginning--mostly because I had never worked with them before.

After getting some great ideas from my girlfriends, I decided to make some onesies for baby gifts.I'm so glad I tried it, because I absolutely love how darling they turned out! I'm so excited to give them to my friends that have just had sweet baby girls, although I'm kind of tempted to keep them for myself! Seriously...sparkly onesies? {LOVE} the little bird. And the butterfly. And the ladybug. And the monograms. LOL.

Now I have a list a mile long of things to sparkle up, because my girls fell in love with them too.



Let me tell you how it works:--
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{pick your plum...new sponsor!}


Pick Your Plum is a brand new site, with a really cool twist. Ready for this?

*They have limited supplies on some of the most swank supplies. They have agents out in the field who find killer deals on high quality products.
*They delicately slap prim-o crafting supplies on our site at a stellar price!
*They sell it 'til it's gone or 'til time is up.
*You leave feeling like you just won Martha in a crafting contest.
*The supplies arrive fast and you've just picked your 'plum'! Doesn't it feel good?
(from Pick Your Plum, Who we Are)

So, each day at 6am MST they post a new product for KILLER prices. They only have a few in stock, so heading there quick is a must. Make sure you sign up for their e-mail alerts, so you can be the first one there. And beat your neighbor. :)

Today's deal? Darling chalkboard labels for only 75 cents!!!


Go check it out today!!

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Are in interested in advertising on brown paper packages?

After a lot of thought (and more thought), I am now accepting sponsors. If you are interested, please contact me at brownpaper_packages@yahoo.com for statistics and rates.


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

{oreo chicks}

Spring is here, and I thought some cute little Oreo Chicks would be SO fun!



These are so so easy, and kids love helping and eating!

How perfect for school classrooms, Easter parties and egg hunts, and even as favors at your Easter table.


ITEMS YOU NEED:
  • Double Stuf Oreos
  • Yellow Candy Melts
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Orange candy melts OR white chocolate chips & orange food coloring
DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the yellow candy melts according to package directions.

2. Dip Oreos into the chocolate, using whatever means necessary. :) I ended up just holding one end with my fingers, dipping it in to cover most of it, then using a spoon to coat the rest. Lay them out on a piece of aluminum foil.

3. Use the mini chocolate chips for eyes, and break the pretzels into small pieces for the legs. I placed the pretzels into the middle of the cookie when they were still wet. I did have a couple fall out, so I just dipped them into the chocolate and stuck them back on.

4. You can do a couple of things for the orange beak. You can use orange candy melts, or melt white chocolate chips and add orange food coloring. I actually used some white buttercream frosting that I had, and used food coloring to get the color I wanted. Whatever you decide to use, place it in a small sandwich bag, and push into one of the corners. Snip a *tiny* piece of off the corner, and pipe on the beak.

5. Let dry completely, then EAT!!


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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

{older than dirt}

Tonight we went to a surprise party for one of our closest friends 40th birthday, and it was just SO fun. He was totally surprised, and his wife did a fabulous job planning and executing it. We laughed and laughed, ate a ton of yummy food, and did A LOT of teasing.




You can't have a milestone birthday without some ribbing!

We did use actual dirt, but you could also crush up Oreos instead, to make it edible!

You could also do several of these jars, and use them as centerpieces for a milestone party...

ITEMS NEEDED:
  • mason jar
  • dirt (or crushed Oreos)
  • ribbon
  • tag--scrapbook paper, card stock, distress ink
  • vinyl (I used the Wish I Was Taller font)

You can download tags for the 30th, 40th, 50th, and 60th birthdays.

Just insert them into a Word document (or similar), and re-size it as necessary. Print, cut, and mat it on cardstock, distressing all the edges. Mat it on scrapbook paper, punch a hole in the corner, and tie it on with ribbon.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

{giveaway} Shabby Apple

****GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

How would you like to celebrate spring with a darling new dress?

I would!

Shabby Apple has THE most darling women's dresses. There are just SO many that I love.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

{facebook}

Guess what!?

Brown paper packages is finally joining the rest of the world, and now has a facebook page!
Wahoo!

I'd love to have all of you like me. :)

Check out my left sidebar, I made it easy for you.

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In other news, I went through my second ipod in 7 months today, thanks to the rain.

It was raining while I was running, but it wasn't a downpour. I had it either under my jacket, or zipped inside the pocket the whole time.

Ugh.

Right now it's sitting in our 50 lb. bag or rice, and I'm hoping it will magically bring it back to life. I don't think my husband will be too excited about buying a third one in less than year.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

{yummy easter menu ideas}

Don't you just love holidays? It's all about the food, baby. I love deciding what we're going to eat, and whether it's trying new recipes, or enjoying our family favorites, it's wonderful!

Easter is one of my favorites, because I love ham. In fact, I'm still trying to get my family to eat ham on Thanksgiving, but so far that's a no go. It's also springtime, which is my second favorite season (after fall), and that means that the world is starting to be green again, and that lemon, and strawberries, and bright fresh flavors are sounding perfect.

So...I went on the search this week and just looked for recipes that caught my eye. I found SO many that I wanted to try...HOW do I choose? Whether you're having an Easter breakfast, brunch, lunch, or fancy dinner (or all of the above!), check these out!

Southern Deviled Eggs
Paula Deen


Lemon Drop Cookies
The Girl Who Ate Everything


World's Best Dinner Rolls

Our Best Bites


Classic Egg Salad
Brown-Eyed Baker


Dark Chocolate Chip Scones
Brown-Eyed Baker


Lemon Cupcakes

My Baking Addiction


Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Strawberries

Two Peas and their Pod


Chantilly Potatoes
Mel's Kitchen Cafe


And for even more ideas, check out these two sites for lots and lots of delicious options!

Mel's Kitchen Cafe, Easter Dinner Delights

Brown Eyed Baker, 50 Easter Recipes

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Happy Eating!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

{little boys' faux ties}

It's a tradition--new ties for Easter. The girls always get new dresses, and I try my darndest to get them all to "go" together. It wouldn't be so hard, except that my oldest (a boy) refuses to wear anything pink. LOL. This year I decided to make it easier on myself and skipped the pink--the girls are in pale yellow and white, while the boys are in navy and white.

Am I the only one that makes myself crazy trying to find Easter outfits?

Autie, over at iCandy handmade shows us how to make these darling faux ties...




I just might have to pull out my sewing machine for this one! Think of all the possibilities...any fabric you want! Even pink!

Click HERE for the tutorial!


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