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brown paper packages: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{closet door beds}

In our house in Michigan, I used old bi-fold closet doors that I found at the Habitat Re-store for a headboard in our guest room, and LOVED them.  When we bought our house here, we would no longer be using that bed, and those closet doors had to find a new home.

Our girls also needed new beds, and I knew just how I wanted to use those closet doors!  With the addition of some 4x4 posts, 2x4's, and a few other pieces of wood, these darling beds came to be.  They are perfect in their room, and including the paint, cost about $75 to make.  Oh, and these pictures were taken the day after we moved in to our new house, so I hadn't hung anything on the wall yet, so ignore the plainness. I also have a really fun idea for above their beds...stay tuned!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

{3 ingredient no-churn ice cream}

My dear, dear friends.  How would you like to have rich, creamy, delectable ice cream, using only three basic ingredients, a hand mixer, and your own freezer? Sound too good to be true?  Well, I'm here to tell you it's not!  

This ice cream is super fast and easy to make, and can be kept on hand for all ice cream emergencies. (Which at my house happens quite often.)  You can add any mix-ins you can dream up!  When it comes to homemade ice cream, I'm a simple vanilla girl, and I love adding fresh berries to the top.  YUM!  

If we're having it at home, I just freeze it in plastic containers like Gladware.  For entertaining, I love using mason jars.  I freeze the ice cream right in the jars--the small 4 oz. jelly jars are my favorite--and you can serve them right out of the freezer! SO cute! It does need to freeze for 6-8 hours, so you'll need to stick it in the freezer at least the night before.

{3 ingredient no-churn ice cream}

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Any flavorings or mix-ins you want!

Beat the heavy cream in a large bowl until it starts to form soft peaks.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, and beat for about a minute more.  This will make a basic vanilla ice cream--at this point you can  mix in whatever toppings you want. Fruit, oreos, chocolate chip cookie dough (w/out eggs), melted chocolate & peanut butter, nuts, mint flavoring and chocolate chips...the sky's the limit!  

Scoop the ice cream into either a plastic container or individual mason jars. Freeze for 6-8 hours.  If it's really hard right out of the freezer, just let it sit on the counter for a couple of minutes for serving.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

{styled by tori spelling} product review

Are you always looking for perfect fun piece of jewelry to add a fun pop of color or depth to an outfit? I am! I also love having a lot of jewelry to choose from, but unfortunately I have a budget to consider, and food to buy for my kids.  :)  I also don't have much time to search a lot of different stores, and many times I'll get frustrated when I can't find what I'm looking for.  Well, I've recently discovered a new line of jewelry that has helped to solve both of these problems, and I am in love! I couldn't wait to tell my friends about it, and now I'm sharing it with you!

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{winner} ooh baby designs

 I'm so excited to announce the very lucky winner of the darling tote from Ooh Baby Designs!


Congrats!!!! Please e-mail me at within 48 hours, or I'll need to select a new winner.

Friday, July 27, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} the crafting chicks

Hello! I'm Becky, one of the 5 Crafting Chicks. I'm so excited to be guest posting today on Brown Paper Packages!


Hopefully you have seen our site, but if not, stop by, say "hi", and see what we are working on. :)
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

{silhouette fabric interfacing + a brand new product + awesome promo!}

I was thrilled when Silhouette added their line of fabric interfacing--I really love having the ability to use fabric in such a variety of ways--and so quickly.  It has saved me a TON of time--I'm able to create much more elaborate projects in a much shorter time frame.

It comes in both sewable and a thicker, no-sew clean cut version, which provides even more versatility.

Some of the ways you can use the interfacing are:

Adding fabric to items that can't be sewn on

I really wanted to add fabric ruffles to the front of this bag, but since it was already sewn together, I couldn't sew on just the front.  Enter in the clean cut fabric gives you the ability to add fabric to something that you might not be able to otherwise!  

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{whitewashed farm table}

When we bought this house, I quickly realized that the square counter height table we had wouldn't work in the rectangle dining room we would have now.  As soon as I saw the space, I knew exactly what I wanted--a large, farm table with benches with a whitewashed finish--perfect for our family and entertaining friends. My husband made the table & benches the week we were moving, and I finished the whitewashing literally as they were getting ready to put it on the moving truck. I absolutely LOVE the finished product, and it was so worth hurrying to get it done before we left!     

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Monday, July 23, 2012

{giveaway} ooh baby designs!

I am so excited about today's giveaway!!!  

Ooh Baby Designs is an etsy shop that sells the most darling totes and scarfs, in the most yummy fabrics, including the popular chevron print.  I was lucky enough to receive one in the mail last week, and can I just tell you...I LOVE it.  Totally love it!  She sent me the large tote in the brown chevron print, and it is a great size.  It's definitely very roomy, with longer straps that I can either put on my shoulder, or cross shoulder if I need to.  They are made from decorator weight cotton fabric, and the lining is made from a water resistant vinyl---perfect for a beach tote, church bag, or anything else you like!  It's my new favorite bag!  
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Friday, July 20, 2012

{diy numbered barstools}

I really needed barstools for our new kitchen, but hated the price tags of all the ones I liked most--especially when I needed five of them.  So, I made my own.  ☺ I made them before we left Michigan, and I loved them then, but now that they are finally in our house, I love them even more!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

{HUGE Silhouette sale...40% off!}

You guys!!!! Are you ready for a FABULOUS Silhouette sale?  We're talking 40% off all Silhouette products (excluding the Cameo, downloads, download cards, subscriptions, and gift cards)!!  This is the perfect and best time to stock up on vinyl, heat transfer, fabric interfacing, and everything else!  This sale doesn't come around very often, so take advantage of it while you can! It runs from July 17th through the 21st.

Just head to the Silhouette site HERE and use the code BPP!


I also wanted to let you know that I'm going to be gone for the next few days. After a crazy month in a hotel, the movers are here! I will be spending the next couple of days unpacking---without any internet service.  I will be back Thursday or Friday once our internet is up...with a favorite project I did for our new kitchen!

See you soon!  ☺

Monday, July 16, 2012

{silhouette tutorial} grouping, ungrouping, and why they matter!

I've received so many e-mails recently, asking questions about how to do certain things with the Silhouette, and how it works.  I really love getting these questions, and I'm always happy to answer them, but I thought it would be a good idea to start posting some basic Silhouette tutorials, so they can be kept here on file for reference anytime.  

Today I'm going to talk about grouping and ungrouping.  This is a skill that you will really want to utilize, and will save you a lot of time.  It's easy to do, once you know how!!  

When do you need to group and/or ungroup, and what does it mean? 

Okay, take a look at this Christmas tree from the Silhouette online store.

This tree is made up of lots of little pieces. When you download it from the online store it's one solid image, but let's say you don't want it to say Merry Christmas, or you don't like so many polka dots.  Well, you can change that by ungrouping the image, erasing what you don't want, then grouping it again.  

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Friday, July 13, 2012

{fit friday...a new series!} summertime snacks

I'm SO excited to introduce a brand new series here on Brown Paper Packages! I created (and named ☺) this blog so I could talk about and share all of my favorite things, and one of those is living a healthy lifestyle.  I love running, exercise, and healthy eating, and then there's my what seems to be my eternal goal to lose those last 15 pounds. So... "Fit Friday" was born, and dedicated to all of those things. As busy moms, grandmothers, and women, trying to find a balance in all of the craziness of life can be a challenge, and I know how hard it can be, which is why I'm really looking forward to this.

 I immediately knew who I wanted to be the monthly contributor and author.  Her name is Erica, she is my bestie, and our shared love of running (we trained for and ran our first marathon together last year) and healthy eating is just one of the many things we have in common.  She is uber talented at so many things, including crafting, and you can also find her on her blog, Snippets of Wonderful.  I'm thrilled to have her here, and I just know you are going to love her, and all of her ideas!
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} a little tipsy

Hi there! Michelle here, from A Little TipsyI am so excited to be visiting for such a fun series based on one of our favorite songs on one of my favorite blogs!

We are a Disney loving family and are so excited to be able to visit the new Cars Land in the fall. In the meantime, we made a little Cars fun of our own. 

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Monday, July 9, 2012

{change of address cards} free printable!

One of the most time consuming parts of moving can be contacting everyone you know and changing your address. I've been doing that this week, for the financial aspect of our lives. Now it's on to family and friends! 

I created a simple, yet darling printable, and I'm so excited to share it with you! What I love about these is that they are so versatile. They can be sent out as a paper card, photo, or e-mail--depending how much time you have, if you have Photoshop--there are options either way--and your personal preference. I also have both 4x6 or 5x5 files to choose from.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} icandy handmade

Hey Guys!
I'm autie from over at iCandy and I'm excited to be a part of Kierste's series this summer!

Well, what do we do in the summertime?

at iCandy, we spend most of our days lounging in our beach chairs, drinking diet cokes and watching our kids play for hours at the beach!  So, my summertime craft for you is just a quick something that is making my life a little easier, and my car a little less sandy!

 I just needed a bag that would successfully store all of my sand buckets, shovels, rakes, and other sand accouterments, would be easy to carry, would allow sand to filter out, and still allow the wet sand to dry out. 
check, check, check and check...

All I used was a cheap, mesh laundry bag from Target, and a clearance-d cut of utility fabric (you know, the kind they use to make re-usable grocery bags?) and I'm loving the results.  
This just might be genius!  :) Want to make one yourself?
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

{lemon cream cake}

I'm just going to preface this by saying that this is EVER.  I got the recipe from a friend several years ago, and it has been my absolutely favorite ever since.  Every time I've made it, or been at a gathering where it's been served, it's a hot commodity, and the recipe is widely requested.  I especially love it because it's so easy to make, even though it doesn't look like it!  

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

{silhouette ideas + current promo!}

First of all, let's talk about this week's promotion!  It's featuring one of my absolute favorite products that Silhouette has to offer--the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition Software.  I LOVE LOVE it.

It contains all the same functionality as Silhouette Studio, but with extra features, including:

*Ability to open, manipulate, and cut .svg files
*Rhinestone tools to convert designs into rhinestone templates and create your own rhinestone designs
*Sketch tools to convert designs into several styles of sketchable art
*Creative knife tools to allow you to clip designs using different patterns
*Enhanced eraser set to modify designs with more precision
*Built-in ruler and guide lines for precise alignment and drawing

The built-in ruler is a personal favorite, and it really does make a huge difference when I'm creating projects. It's one of the main reasons I love the software so much.  I also really like the sketch and rhinestone features, because it opens up so many more possibilities. 

I'm excited to tell you about the totally awesome savings---you can save $80!  (MSRP $350)

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

{last minute 4th of July ideas}

Let's face it...we're busy! I love making holidays special, even it's something small, but sometimes life takes over and time quickly starts to run out.  I really feel that way this year, since we're celebrating from a hotel room! Fortunately, some of the best ideas are simple and easy ones, and can be done a day ahead, or even the day of. 

 If you want to make something fun for your 4th of July celebration, but haven't had the time to put anything together yet, take a look at these adorable and easy ideas.  I love them all because of their simplicity, and they are each things that can be done fairly quickly.  If you're looking for food ideas, simple decorations, or yummy "take with you to the fireworks" treats, you're in the right place!  


Family Fun

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Monday, July 2, 2012

{our town memory book}

 We moved away from our town this week...after ten years, a lifetime of memories, and gaining the most incredible friends a person can have. The tears have been ever present this week, and I know many of you can relate to what I'm feeling.  We love this little town, and it will forever be a part of our hearts.

One of my closest friends gave me the most thoughtful gift, and I love it so much, I just had to share it with you.  She created it for our family, with especially my children in mind, and it is a treasure.  She captured all of our favorite places in photos, then put together a picture memory book so we can always remember them. I've looked at it over and over, and over again, and I'm so excited to surprise my kids with it on the plane.  I know it will be as special to them as it is to me.

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