Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Girlfriends Christmas Party

My friend Alisha and I enjoy hosting a party for our Girlfriends at Christmas as our "gift" to them. Here's what we did this year.

Wednesday night my friend Alisha and I hosted our 2nd Girlfriends Christmas Party. Neither of our days went as planned but we still had a great time and were happy with how everything turned out. When we were on the phone in the afternoon realizing how much was left to do in such little time I said "I think we might not be the super women we thought we were", she laughed at my drama.

These were the invitations we sent out.

We invited 6 friends to the party so there were 8 of us total. We started off with appetizers and punch while we played a little "get to know you better game". Okay, okay, I'll tell the truth, we started off with Alisha using my blender without putting the bottom of it on and then having quite the mess when she tried to take the blender off of the stand, after that our guests started arriving and we enlisted there help in some last minute food prep. THEN we enjoyed Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles, Veggie Pizza, Shrimp Dip and Frothy Pink Grapefruit Strawberry Drink while we played the "get to know you better game". Four of the girls won prizes which were either a bag filled with foot scrub, lotion, a pumice stone and pedicure kit, or a bag of chocolate covered pretzel rods rolled in toffee bits.

Then it was onto dinner. Alisha made the lime tower centerpiece and had extra berries left over that I used along with some ribbon and a tag to tie the napkins with. We served Christmas Salad, Barbequed London Broil with Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Crunchy Green Beans, Orange Rolls, and the most delicious and beautiful Island Fruit Cups you have ever seen (Alisha has an amazing gift for food presentation).

After dinner we did our dessert exchange. Everyone brought a fun holiday dessert on a new serving tray to give away! Here is a picture of them, I took individuals but most of them were blurry. Alisha made the Black Forest Cake, I made the tall cupcakes, Tanya made the Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Torte, Tina made the cutest snowman cupcakes, Kelly made her famous Peppermint Fudge Truffle Cake on a pedestal that I REALLY wanted, Lori made her own recipe of Ooey Gooey bars in this super cute candy cane tray, Heidi brought her favorite wassail recipe in this cute teapot, and Celeste made her famous cathedral cookies. Everyone was so excited to take their treats home to their families.

For the dessert that we actually got to eat Alisha made Double Chocolate Souffles.with Warm Fudge Sauce. And OH. MY. GOODNESS. Heaven in a bowl. Seriously a must try!

The last part of our evening was our little craft. We made these cute ornaments inspired by Becky Higgins. Each ornament has four pics of each child on it to remember this year by. Each person made them so differently and they all turned out so cute.

I had a great time and am so thankful for such good friends to share fun times with. I can't wait for next year!

submitted by Emily (

Packaging Idea

Looking for a cute and economical way to present all of those little gifties?

I found these great red lunch sacks at Target. They had blue as well. I can't remember how many were in the package but I want to say 50 for less than $2

Fold over the top, hole punch two holes, bring some fab ribbon through and add a tag. All set!

You could even jazz it up with a charm or ornament attached to the ribbon.

We like to do the ribbon through the flap side but you could do the backside as well.

We have used brown paper sacks too and they look great, as well.

(Our teacher gifts for Religious Ed were homemade cutouts cookies and hot cocoa packets.)

submitted by Carlo

A Few Fun Ideas

This first one is a scraplift from Becky Higgins blog, it is soo easy to make. Clear pebbles from your local craft store and scrap paper and ribbon and it is a great gift to give too. The second is a piece of wood, painted and I used rub on letters from my local scrapbooking store and rub on snowflakes and wrapped fabric around the edges. The third is an Ikea mirror frame which I painted a snowman on and used a wooden snowflake.

submitted by Joanne

Christmas Potpourri

his Christmas potpourri fills your house with a delicous holiday aroma. You will need: Fresh oranges, lemons and limes, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks (I got my spices in bulk and it saved me a ton of $). I got my cellophane bags at Michaels and you could attatch any sort of tag you wanted. I typed up these directions on the back of my tag:

Christmas Potpourri

1. Place ingredients in pot.
2. Fill Pot with water, covering potpourri mix.
3. Bring to a boil and turn down to low.
4. Let simmer & continute to add water as needed.

* potpourri will last approx. one week.

These can be used as visiting teaching gifts or little party favors etc. I think I spent around $14 to do approx. 40 bags. They are always a hit! Hope you enjoy!

submitted by Holly (

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Girlfriends Christmas Party Invite

Ok this isn't really a gift idea but its the invitation to my "Girlfriends Christmas Party" that I'm having next week... invitations are simple.. maybe too simple but they're done and in the mailbox.

At the party I'm serving dinner...

3-4 different homemade soups
homemade Parmesan breadsticks
strawberry spinach salad (because its Christmas colors and so yummy!)
Hot Chocolate bar (mints, marshmellows, chocolate chips, etc)
Caramel Apple Cider

and then for dessert everybody will be bringing their favorite homemade holiday treat

I'll also be doing door prizes every twenty minutes... I'll have questions made up before hand and every twenty minutes I'll draw a question and somebody will win a gift... gifts are Christmas items... most from the dollar spot (actually the $2.50 spot ) at Target... christmas towels, cookie cutters, a Christmas movie, a christmas apron, etc.

We'll finish off the evening with "My Favorite Things" gift exchange and everybody received an insert in their invitation describing what to bring.

I hope that it turns out well... I'm reallly looking forward to it!!

submitted by MaryRuth Francks

Christmas Pineapples

My friend Kristi has the best ideas! Every year she gives out pineapples with a big red bow attached.
They are simple, beautiful and an especially delicious treat for everyone. They make great thank you gifts,
are a great addition to any homemade meal you might be delivering, and are great as gifts for friends and neighbors.
The pineapple symbolizes hospitality. In colonial times, if a pineapple was placed at the entrance to a village or placed as
the main centerpiece on a dining table, it symbolized the utmost welcome and hospitality to the visitor.

Submitted by Liz Brown (

Christmas Card/Sucker idea

Here is one of mine from last year...sorry the photo of the actual item
isn't all that great, but they turned out really cute! We dropped them by
several neighbors and ward members homes and rec'd lots of calls asking how
we made the succors and the tags.

Chocolate Lightbulb Succors:
Candy Molds
Melting Chocolate (I used red and green for the bulbs & brown for the little
screw tip)
Succor Sticks
Candy bags for wrappers (or any kind of cellophane)
Treat Tags

Directions: Melt chocolate in microwave on 50% power stirring occasionaly,
until smooth. Pour into molds and lightly tap mold on counter to allow air
bubbles to rise to the top. Insert sticks. Let harden in fridge or freezer.
Candy should be ready to remove from molds in about 30 minutes.

Note: I purchased about five molds so that I could make several at a time. I
got the light bulb molds from Hobby Lobby, but you can get them at Michaels
or any type of Cake/Candy shop. With the molds and candy I believe I spent
around $20 and made over 100 succors.

Treat Tags:
I created the tags in photoshop using a few digiscrap supplies I already
had. I printed them in a 2x3 business card size and attached one to each
group of succors (Each group had a succor for each person in the recipients

I came up with the tag idea and got the light bulb strand from:

Submitted by: Jennifer Kesler

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Do any of you blogger savvy people know how to get rid of the blogger blue border that is around my banner?

Any help would be much appreciated.


Pilgrim Hats

I found a cute idea on the Family Fun Website. Tonight for Family Home evening we talked about Giving Thanks and for our treats we made these cute Marshmallow Pilgrim Hats. The kids had a great time and they even taste pretty good. I also thought this would be a fun Visiting Teaching Family Treat. All you need is: Shortbread striped cookies, milk chocolate chips, large marshmallows, and a tube of yellow decorators frosting.

The gift bags for my visiting teaching ladies turned out great! I even created a great tag with the instructions on Photoshop! Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!!

submitted by Emily H.(

Sparkling Cider Gift

We did this one year for neighbor gifts and I thought I'd share the idea...

I bought tall skinny bags (meant for wine, I think) in the Christmas section at Target and put a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider in it and attached a homemade tag that said:

"Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Sparkling New Year!"
Love, the Browns

submitted by Shelly(


Here's another great link courtesy of Hilary!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More Online Tutorials

this blog: is also doing 30 Days of Homemade Gift Ideas. They're intermingled with her regular blog posts... but she has some links to fun tutorials!! And they're not all sewing! (phew!) I like sewing but I'm not as talented as Little Miss Shelly! ;o)

submitted by Hilary


Okay, in the last post Shelly shared a tutorial from a cute bag she found online. The site she found it on is sharing 30 days of gifts to sew for the month of November. So if you're the sewing kind this link is for you!

Tote Bag

Click on the link below for a step by step tutorial on how to make this adorable bag that Shelly ( found on the internet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Don't Forget & Helpful Info

Hello All,

My friend Kelly had a great suggestion and I finally figured out how to do it. So, if you look on the sidebar you will see a section titled "click here to view ideas by category" and then below you can click on whatever type of ideas you're looking for like Halloween, visiting teaching, etc. I try to label each idea for all it's possibilities. You can also do a search in the box in the top left corner to try and find something specific you might be looking for.

I also wanted to remind all of you that have submitted ideas for this blog to occasionally check the comments on your ideas posts. Some readers leave questions about your gift there and are hoping you'll answer!

Thanks, and keep the great ideas coming!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Holiday Frames

What a cute, easy, inexpensive way to doll up a multi-opening frame. This example uses Making Memories prodcuts, which I love.

Source: Unknown. (thus the smearing of the faces)

submitted by Hilary

Nativity Blocks

This is a fun idea for nieces, nephews and even your own kids. I saw this on a message board and asked the girl if I could share.

Paint blocks with a few coats of paint. Then apply the stickers. Ink or sand the edges to distress. Then put a coat of Mod Podge on them to seal in the stickers. Let dry.

This particular set of stickers is by Me & My Big Ideas (MAMBI). They are no longer made, so if you like this set you just have to hope a craft or scrapbook store still carries this line. I've done extensive searches online and they are hard to find! However, there are other brands of Nativity stickers. You could probably even find cute nativity clipart.

submitted by Hilary

Halloween Treat "Hand" bags

Ok, I know Halloween is over, but this was such a hit at my daughter's Kindergarten class party, that I had to pass it along.
I got the idea from Family Fun's website, which has the best ideas! Anyway, it is super easy and fun!

Here is what you need:
clear, plastic food handlers gloves (I found mine at the Dollar Store)
Candy Corn
Twist ties

Take the candy corn and put one in the finger of each glove. Then fill up each glove with the cooled popcorn, and really stuff it in there.
Then twist the hand closed with your twist tie. You are done! The kids loved them and they are sort of spooky too! I will warn you, that it
took me about an hour to fill about 15 bags, the popcorn was kind of hard to stuff into the fingers.

Submitted by Liz Brown (

Decorative Glass Blocks

I just made these this week, and I thought they turned out really cute! They could be for a gift or a decoration for your home. My sister's ward did this at a Super Saturday and she sent me the stuff to make my own!

Buy a 3 or 4 inch wide Decorative Glass Window from Lowe's. The 3 inch is $3.33 and the 4 inch is $4.28. Choose a saying from a Vinyl Lettering place and a color that you want to put on the window. I chose "Give (orange) Thanks (brown)" and "Silent Night Holy Night(navy blue)." Buy some ribbon to match the Vinyl lettering colors! Buy the ribbon the width of the Glass Window. You need one strip of ribbon to go around the window, and another strip to make a bow! Put the vinyl lettering on and then glue the ribbon on the window and make a bow!

I've heard of other people drilling a hole in the top of the window, and adding Christmas lights to it! I think that would be really pretty!

submitted by Kris

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gumball Can

Saw this on Heather White's blog ( This little treat really shows that it's all about the packaging. I mean seriously, no one would think "hmmm, I'll take my Visiting Teacher some gumballs", but when you see it like this, it sounds like a great idea!

submitted by Emily (

Halloween Bears

Saw this on Hilary's blog and thought it was cute. What a fun party favor for a kids party or fun for a class party.

I think DeMarle makes a Teddy Bear mold like this?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cookie Dough Jars

Instead of taking over a plate of cookies... take a cute jar full of your favorite cookie dough. This way the recepient can bake at her leisure. Make sure to include baking directions. The jar that is pictured in the latter picture can be found in the kitchen section at Wal-Mart for $2.86.

Other fun ideas would be to do sugar cookie dough and attach a cookie cutter. Or fill a shaker jar with fun sprinkles and attach a recipe.

Submitted by Hilary
(second picture & idea found at which is an amazing blog.)

Snowmen Donuts

I thought this would be a cute neighbor gift or FHE treat. They just make me smile! Idea found on web somewhere...

submitted by Hilary

Home Tiles

I think this would be a great gift for a friend or family member. I saw these pictures on Karen Russell's blog (I don't know her). She bought them like this, but I snagged it as an easy idea to recreate.

Michael's has tin tiles (as do other craft stores and boutiques. Some are silver, others are distressed and painted already)... letters of different fonts are easy to find anywhere... Simply adhere the letters (I was imagining Liquid Nails for maximum stick-ability!).

Submitted by Hilary

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Ideas PLEASE!

Okay, I'm starting to feel like an idea hog on here. And I know you all have great ideas. So please, please share them. If you don't have pics it's okay, just type up the idea and then if you make it later on in the season take a pic and I'll add it then. Don't be shy!

Halloween Treat Baskets

A kind lady in our ward always has a little something special for my kids on the Sunday before Halloween. This was her sweet treat this year. I thought it would make a great party favor so I took pics to remember the idea. The baskets are made out of black cardstock. The rectangular boxes are just little match boxes covered in paper. Then inside there is a little candy bar. The round treats have a mint sandwiched in between the paper circles and they all fit nicely in the cute little basket. I'm guessing the stamps came from Stampin Up.

submitted by Emily (

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Frames

This year we hosted a Family Halloween Party. Each family dressed up and had a theme to their costumes (The Wizard of Oz, Pirates, etc.) and I took a picture of them as they arrived. I thought it would be fun to give them a little something to remember the evening by so I made these frames for the pictures to go in.


wood frame (I got these at Michael's, they are made by Provo Craft, and they are normally about $7, but I had coupons)

orange craft paint

black craft paint

alphabet stamps (I already had these they are the foam stamps made by Making Memories)

45 inches of ribbon

glue gun

sand paper

To assemble simply paint the whole frame orange and let it dry then lightly sand around all the edges of the frame. Sstamp the word "Boo" on the lower right hand corner. Cut the ribbon into one 21" piece and one 24" piece. Hot glue about a 1/2" of the shorter ribbon on the back left side of the frame and do the same with the larger piece on the right side, both about an inch down from the top. Then tie in a bow off to the left side and then secure the back of the bow to the frame with some glue. Easy, fun, and festive!

submitted by Emily (

Thanksgiving Cards

We moved recently between Christmas and New Year's. Due to the chaos, I never got Christmas cards sent. I love receiving Christmas cards and was nervous that some friends who are "Christmas card friends" wouldn't know my new address in order to send ME Christmas cards, so I came up with Thanksgiving cards.

It was fun to get fall dresses (any excuse for matchy-matchy girl clothes!) and use fall colors. I had the letter inside be based on what each of us was thankful for that year. It was really fun and it felt so good to be completely done with Christmas cards before Thanksgiving even hit! (I have a love/hate relationship with making Christmas cards!) Give it a try!

Submitted by: Hilary