Decorating with Easter Bunnies

Last week I shared a list of Easter ideas using carrots – of all kinds. So I thought it would be fun and most appropriate to follow up with some ideas for using BUNNIES among your holiday decor, gifts, and menu.

First of all, I’m dying over the cuteness in this photo. Just look at these bunny best friends…with beautiful floral headbands!! I wonder if my little Rosie would wear one of these?! {photo via}

Now here are five of my favorite finds. >>

{ONE} Bunny succulents

Can you believe how cute these are?! I didn’t know these succulents even existed until I saw a story on them in this article. Apparently they’re all the rage in Japan right now. And I can see why.

The official name is Monilaria Obconica, and I found an online seller through Etsy. I haven’t ordered any yet, so you’ll have to let me know if you find another good source.

{TWO} Bunny pops

What a smart (and darling) treat for little ones! Two safety pops have been wrapped together and made to look like a bunny with the help of a white pom pom glued on like a tail. Cutie-patooties!

{THREE} Bunny baked goods

Every year I’m on the lookout for something super easy and delicious to add to our Easter brunch menu. I loved these homemade cinnamon twists the moment I saw them – and thought you might, as well. Enjoy!

{FOUR} Bunny napkins

Love, love, love this idea. If you look closely, this is simply a white napkin and a pink napkin that have been layered and folded up into a set of bunny ears.

And how fun to wrap it around an Easter egg! I plan to do this – and add love notes and treats inside each egg for my family.

{FIVE} Bunny gift wrap

Aww. Wouldn’t these felt bunny bags make a precious addition to any Easter basket?

If you don’t have time (or the skills) to sew felt bunnies, not to fear. You could try DIYing some paper sack buns. I’ve seen several tutorials using brown paper sacks, but I love the white in this photo. Any supermarket should carry white bags, too.

That’s my list – for now. What kind of bunny goodness do you have up your sleeve for Easter? I’d love to know!

Blessings,

Kate

Share

5 Ways to Jazz Up Kraft Paper Wrap

Well, hello!! It’s Friday and I finally popped my head up from the flurry of activity around here. Holiday parties, school plays, and shopping pandemonium are all in full swing. Signs of December!

Now that I’ve done a little shopping and shipping boxes are arriving at my doorstep, I have some gifts to wrap this weekend. And I looooove wrapping presents!

I’ve decided to simplify things a bit this year and just use Kraft paper. I bought a ginormous roll from Hob Lob that should cover all of my gifts, and then I’ll embellish with things already on hand – like ribbons, fabric scraps, papers and even fresh greens from the garden. I can’t wait to get all MacGyver with my craft supplies. 

Here are five ways I plan to jazz up my packages >>

{ONE} Layer on the scraps

I have a stash of wrapping paper scraps, and I plan to use them like wrappers to add a splash of color to my brown paper packages tied up with strings. Or in this case, tied up with pretty white ribbons.

{TWO} Lace it up

I had all intentions of embellishing a t-shirt with strips of lace…nearly six months ago. The sewing part proved more challenging than I thought, so now the lace is going to make its debut on a gift – and hopefully make someone smile.

I added a green ribbon to make it more Christmasy, but I think a white satin ribbon would be nice, too. I could add a red or green gift tag to bring in the holiday cheer. Hmm…I might have to do that.

{THREE} Personalize with pizazz

The southern girl in me loves monogramming everything – especially gifts! Instead of spending tons of money on stickers, I cut this letter out of scrap paper and glued it on to the package. I think adding a super fun bow, like this tulle pom pom, makes it even more festive. Party!

{FOUR} Glitter and glam

I saw an idea on Pinterest that used strips of double-sided tape that was sprinkled with glitter to decorate a gift. I thought it looked so pretty, and I headed to the craft store to pickup some supplies.

As I stood in the glitter aisle, I spotted rolls of glitter washi tape. Um…bingo! So much easier, and I didn’t have to deal with a glitter explosion. I just secured a few strips of tape to the gift, added a gold sparkly bow and called it gorgeous.

{FIVE} Simple chalk talk

This miiiiight be my favorite idea so far. I’m really digging the black and white bow that coordinates with the chalk label. I bought these from Hob Lob, btw. They just stick right to your paper and you can write on them with chalk or a chalk marker.

I decided to add some holly leaves to punch up the holiday flair. I have a holly tree on the side of our house, so I plan to use plenty of boughs of holly this season 😉

Hopefully this sparked some ideas for you. My girls said they want to use stamps on their packages, which is awesome. I can’t wait to see how they’ll add their personal touch to each of their gifts.

Have an awesome weekend, my friends. Here’s to t-minus 16 days and counting ’til Christmas!!!

XoXoXo,

Kate

Fiveonfridayfriday-favorites-01-1h54f2_zpsc7e1f4e7-2

Share

Easiest End of the Year Teacher Gift to Start Now

I’m usually scrambling at the end of each year to find a gift for our teachers. And when I think about all of the time, love, and effort these amazing people have put into my child’s life for nine months, it makes me wish I had thought ahead!

So here’s what I’m planning. I’m going to start now with a gift that’s meaningful, easy, affordable, and surely appreciated.

A memory keeper.

memory keeper

This is a jar that will hold special memories from the year. And at the end, it will be wrapped and given to each teacher as their gift.

Both of my girls are super excited about this whole project. Our goal is to drop in a note at least once a week. It can be anything from their favorite lesson, funny story, or piece of wisdom that was shared by their teacher.

And we’re being relaxed (and realistic) about how often we’ll remember to do this. I told the girls if they forget a week, or don’t have anything specific to share, that’s totally fine. There might even be weeks they want to share more than one note. (Like the first two weeks of school!) I’m sure it will all work out, and these jars will be filled to the brim with cherished memories come time for 5th grade graduation. Sniffle.

Want to make one yourself? Here’s all you need…

teacher gift1

  • Glass jar: Large enough to contain a year’s worth of notes. You can even recycle something, like a large (and clean) Mason jar.
  • Label: I’m using a chalkboard label, but you could also use individual letters to spell out your message.
  • Maker: I have a chalk marker to write on my special label. (Remember when I used this for my mantel project last Christmas?!)
  • Paper scraps: We’re using bright colored paper so the jar will look festive when it’s finished. I found a pad of 4-inch square card stock from Hobby Lobby, which fits nicely in our container. Any scrap paper that’s trimmed neatly will work great.

teacher gift2

That’s it! Super easy, right? Oh, and we keep one for each teacher on the counter in our laundry room – which is a fairly high-traffic spot for us. 😉 That way they don’t become “out of sight out of mind.”

Have a great school year with your sweet kids, and here’s to making happy memories!!

XoXoXo,

Kate

Share

What to Say to a Graduate

If there’s a new graduate in your life, you’re about to celebrate someone who has just spent the last four years working hard, learning, exploring, questioning, and growing. Yes, they may have made some stupid mistakes along the way, but that’s part of life’s education.

They’ve made it this far, and they deserve some words of praise and encouragement.

Here’s a list of quotes if you want to say something more personal than “congrats, man!”

Also, some of these would make nice gifts on their own.

And lastly, to all of the graduates out there, here’s my personal message to you…

I can’t wait to see how you’ll change the world!

-Kate

Share

Friday Wrap: Teen Birthday

The big news around our house is that my son turned 13 this week. How the heck did that happen so fast? I promise not to get too sappy, but it’s hard not to feel a twinge of nostalgia and a longing for my sweet little boy to be, well, little again.

I have always loved this picture. Evan was about a month old and was chillin' in his swing on the back porch. The sun was setting, which made a halo on his fuzzy head, and his hands were folded in "prayer" like an angel. For the most part, he still is! ;)

I have always loved this picture. Evan was about a month old and was chillin’ in his swing on the back porch. The sun was setting, which made a halo on his fuzzy head, and his hands were folded in “prayer” like an angel. For the most part, he still is! 😉

This is Evan today. He loves soccer, which is why he's wearing the US men's national team soccer jersey.

This is Evan today. (He loves soccer, btw, which is why he’s wearing the US men’s national soccer team jersey in his school pic.)

As my first child, Evan’s birth day changed my life forever. I became Mom. And like all other moms who were created before me, I experienced a level of love, joy and fear I never thought possible.

happiest day

{My forever message to sweet E.}

Now that I have a child who is officially old enough to see a PG-13 movie, not only do I feel old and wonder if I’ve outgrown headbands, but also feel unsure about what to buy for his big day. (His party is tomorrow!)

He wanted to update his room, so we bought a handsome new comforter and rearranged his furniture. Other than that, he just wanted gift cards or cash. Sigh. At the very least I will wrap those gift cards like nobody’s business. It’s a celebration, and there will be things to rip open. With that said…

Here are five ideas I’ve gathered for making gift cards and cash an exciting thing to behold.

{ONE} Glitter Balloons

I love the fact that someone has to pop this balloon in order to retrieve their gift. I imagine money would be easier to stick into a deflated balloon than a gift card. This balloon has been painted with glue and dipped in glitter after inflation, which is super cool.

{TWO} A Hidden Gem

There’s more to this jar of M&Ms than meets the eye. There’s a gift card hidden down in the center of this chocolately goodness. The original idea says to include a poem and give this to a teacher, which is a darling idea that I might also have to do. For a birthday treat, you could wrap the jar with tons of curly ribbon and tuck it into a gift bag.

{THREE} Personal Touch

Wouldn’t this be a sweet gift idea from a sibling? I might have Avery & Clara pose for a picture with their hands out to their sides (like the one on the right) and then tape a gift card on top. I would then put this in a small gift bag, so there would be some “opening” to do.

{FOUR} Paper Tube Money Holder

This idea gets two thumbs up because 1) it recycles a toilet paper tube and 2) it’s easy and cute – which could actually qualify as three thumbs if I had them. I’m thinking it would be easier to fold money into the center of this packaging, since the tube is a tad smaller than a gift card.

{FIVE} Creative Money Card

This is another creative way to give cash. Roll some bills into the shape of birthday candles, and put string through the center as the “wick”. Then tie them all to a card. Voila!

Now that I have Evan’s gift figured out (with plenty of ideas on how to wrap it), and all of the party supplies are purchased and ready to roll, I can sit back and remember with a full heart, the moment I met my son…

on the night you were born

Happy birthday, Evan. Momma loves you to the moon and back.

-Kate

Fiveonfriday

The Diary of a Real Housewife

 

Share

Lovely Pots of Potpourri

I was looking for a simple, yet thoughtful gift that I could make in batches for our friends and neighbors. When I came across this recipe for Christmas potpourri, I knew it was a sure-fire winner.

It’s the perfect blend of cranberry, cinnamon and citrus that will spark the Christmas spirit in any home. I brewed myself a batch just to make sure. Wasn’t that so nice of me? 😉

This was found on Yellow Bliss Road, which is a wonderful blog if you haven’t hopped over to see all of the delicious recipes and crafty ideas. I made several batches of the potpourri today, and I can’t wait to make like an elf and deliver my handmade goods.

Here are three quick tips for assembling these gifts.

{ONE} Get the right size jar

ball jar

You want to be sure all of your ingredients fit inside. If it’s too small, you won’t get your orange to fit. If it’s too big, it will look like you’re being chintzy with your potpourri. I found that a 16 oz. jar was just right. I had a few on hand with white lids, and then I bought the rest from Hobby Lobby just like the one shown.

{TWO} Use small oranges

Cuties

Cuties ended up being the perfect size for a 16 oz. jar, as well as the perfect amount of citrus for the rest of the ingredients in the jar. You don’t want anything to overpower. Equal fragrance for all!

{THREE} Throw all of the spices together

christmas potpourri

You can kind of see all of the spices at the bottom.

The recipe called for smaller, plastic bags to contain the “powdery” ingredients. I just put everything directly into the jar to keep it simple. No-fuss is a must in my life.

This is what my gifts looked like when they were finished.

christmas potpourri

I tied the recipe on the jar with a ribbon and used round Avery labels for the lids to add a touch of holiday flair.

christmas potpourri

Here’s the top view that shows the Christmas label. <3

Happy gifting! Only three more days ’til Christmas. Eeep!

-Kate

Share

Five Fun Gift Toppings!

Yesterday I shared some of my favorite Christmas wrapping papers. Now for the trimmings! Here are five ways to top your gifts that are not only easy, but also perfectly charming. Let’s get to it.

Blogged while listening to Adele’s new album and sipping a chai tea latte.

{ONE} Paper Straw Stars

paper straw stars

This is a project I worked on this week. I took three paper straws and cut them in half. I pinched the centers, stacked them on top of one another, then stapled them together.

paper straw how to

Once I had the “star” in place, I glued a red button in the middle to cover the staple. Then I hot glued the whole thing to my package. Very simple and cute for kids’ gifts. I’m also thinking we could turn this into an ornament once the gift is opened!

{TWO} Parchment Paper Flowers

IMG_6853

For another Kate-project, this one simply used a sheet of parchment paper and ribbon. I took a full sheet and folded it where the creases were. Then I cut it into a perfect square.

From here, I did the zig-zag fold – like you do with tissue paper flowers. When the whole thing was folded up, I rounded off the edges with my scissors. This is what makes pretty scallops on your flower. Next I tied the middle with a piece of ribbon. {Here are some visuals}

parchment paper how to

Top left: The sheet of parchment paper; Top right: The zig-zag fold; Bottom left: the rounded corners; Bottom right: tied in the center

After the center is tied, I carefully peeled each layer apart. Once all of the layers have been separated, you can fluff, as needed. Then you’re ready to tie the flower onto your gift.

parchment paper flower

The left shows half of the flower “fluffed” and the right shows the final flower!

I love how the flower looks translucent. You could use wax paper if you don’t have any parchment paper on hand. I love just using what you already have.

{THREE} Seashells from the Sea Shore

Seashell Gift Topper

This was a topper I featured last year. I still love this look so much. I had (okay, still have) tons of seashells from our trips to the beach. I decided to share them with family and friends by using them as gift toppers. I hot glued them right onto the ribbon.

{FOUR} Feathered with Love

I haven’t tried this, yet, but I adore how it looks. This is paper that has been cut to look like feathers. Wouldn’t this look so pretty on a Christmas package?

{FIVE} Wreathed Wrappings

This final idea is another one that I haven’t tried, yet. The full instructions are here. It looks really easy. I love how you can use this on gift bags. I plan to make treats for my coworkers and I think this will make great wrappings for them. Don’t you?

Have fun wrapping up all of your glorious gifts. It’s Friday, so I’m linking up once again. Be sure to check out all of the lovely ladies on Five on Friday and Oh, Hey Friday!

Fiveonfriday

-Kate

Share

Gorgeous Gift Wrap for Christmas

When you spend countless hours planning and purchasing gifts for your family and close friends, you don’t want to stop short on the wrapping. First impressions really are everything. The way the gift is presented is the part that says, “I care about you so much, I made this gift look as pretty as I could.” And that’s a warm, welcoming message for anyone!

You might remember I wrote a fun post last season that shared lots of ways to wrap gifts. Be sure to check that out if you want to break out some different wrapping techniques.

Today’s post shares a few of my favorite papers. Good ol’ Kraft paper decorated with markers, paints or stamps is my ultimate favorite.

But sometimes a special gift calls for specialty papers and labels like these gorgeous numbers…

{Rifle Paper Company: Adorable retro papers that evoke the spirit of Christmas past}

{Paperjacks: Playful labels to adorn perfectly patterned papers}

{Zazzle: Personalized paper with your photos and messages!}

{Paper Source: Glitzy polka dots and other charming patterns}

{William Morris: Non-traditional holiday colors that would look beautiful wrapped with gold ribbons}

What’s your favorite paper? Once we have that figured out, it’ll be time to top our packages. Stop by tomorrow for a few ideas on the trimmings!

-Kate

Share

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m a fan of “national” days, and there’s pretty much one every day. For instance, yesterday was National Pizza Day and last week contained Doodle Day and Bubblegum Day. Not even kidding.

When I heard about this week’s national celebration, I was compelled to write a post because it falls near and dear to my heart – it’s Random Acts of Kindness Week. Not just a day, but an entire week!

Act of Kindness Art

This darling art project can be found at Lil Blue Boo.

Have you ever had someone do something nice for you totally out of the blue? Maybe they let you merge during rush hour, stood and held a door a little longer to let you through, or let you step ahead in the checkout lane because you only had a few items? This is the week to celebrate and share more of these acts of kindness.

You can make an important impact on someone’s day – and ultimately their heart.

If you haven’t seen this ad about Random Acts of Kindness, you need to. And grab your tissues.

I’ll never forget the time a lady paid for my lunch in the Chick-fil-a drive thru. Her message to me (via the window clerk) was “she just wanted you to have a good day.” What?! I was shocked, and happy, and wanted to cry all at the same time. How nice was that?

Here’s a printable list of 40 random acts of kindness you could do this week.

I created this list when I was turning 40-years old and feeling unusually reflective. I decided to spend my birthday helping others. So I wrote down 40 ideas, mapped out my plan, gathered supplies and money, and spent the day spreading joy.

One item on my list was sharing the idea of “giving” with my kids, so I checked out my son from school and had him join my journey. We had the most memorable day surprising strangers, seeing new parts of town, and learning about the needs in our community. Here are a few snaps from our top 40 list…

Coupons

Evan and I left coupons and happy notes in the diaper aisle to help out a family.

Kind notes

We typed kind messages and put them on random cars in parking lots!

Free stamps

We gave away free stamps to someone standing in line at the post office. 🙂

Free toy

We left coins on top of a toy machine in the grocery store to brighten a little one’s day!

Laundry Machine

We filled a few machines with coins at the local laundromat.

Ducks!

We shared our “good” bread with the neighborhood ducks. They quacked with joy.

Evan and I also had a lot of fun. At one point, he rode around the block in a fire truck – after we dropped off fresh brownies and lottery tickets at our local fire department. Apparently they love homemade treats.

I highly recommend trying a few (or all) of these ideas. Wouldn’t it be cool to see what would happen if each of us took a minute to be intentional about helping others? I honestly think we could change the world.

Here’s an added bonus for today’s post. The first five people to comment will receive a random act of kindness directly from me!

It could be a book, pretty stationery, a gift card…any surprise. It will happen sometime over the next few months – when the mood strikes (hence the “random” part). My only request is that you pay it forward and do the same for your friends. Here’s a blurb for you to post on your Facebook page:

  • I’m participating in a ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative. The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point during this next year (2015) – anything like a book, homemade treats, a postcard…absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning. It will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Once my first five have commented with “I’m in”, I will forward this message to you privately, so you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status. That way we can form a web of connection of kindness. Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2015, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable and friendly, and love filled year!

Here’s to an awesome day of kindness! Be sure to tag #RAKweek2015 to join the conversation online.

Much love,

-Kate

Share

Gift Wrapper’s Delight

Christmas Packages ChristmasPackages2Last Friday I shared an amazing YouTube video I stumbled upon that features the art of Japanese gift wrapping. I was seriously astounded by the simplicity and beauty of this technique. In the meantime I discovered a helpful link that outlines how to do each step in detail – tutorial style.

Japanese Diagonal Wrap

This is an easy tutorial from WikiHow. Be sure to scroll down to part two in the instructions.

These videos inspired me to share some of my own go-to wrapping secrets. They’re all super simps. Even though I love wrapping, I don’t do fussy.

My top five (easy) wrapping styles:

Quick tip: Buy solid color paper so you can use it any time of year. Then customize it with seasonal ribbons and toppers.

{1} Tootsie Roll Wrap

Tootsie Roll Wrap

I love wrapping odd or round-shaped items (like candles) in this fashion. Just roll the paper around the item, gather the ends, and secure with ribbon. I found this glitter paper at Walmart!

{2} Peek-a-Boo Package

Peek-a-boo Wrap

I had a little helper with this one. Those are Avery’s sweet hands. She loves the peek-a-boo wrap. Below are the easy steps.

Wrapping Tutorial

1. Wrap the gift with a solid paper as the base. 2. Measure a second piece of paper slightly narrower than the gift, so the first layer shows on the edges.

Wrap Tutorial

3. Use a hole punch or edging punch to fancy up the edges. 4. Wrap the two sides together before securing with a bow. I use a smidge of double-sided tape to hold the paper in place.

{3} Built-in Card Pocket

Built in Card Pocket

Attaching gift tags and cards can be troublesome if you have to carry your gift very far. This package has a built in pocket for you to easily tuck your card and go! It’s all in how you fold the paper.

Tip: Using striped paper for this particular fold is great because it’s like camo for a pocket. Where did it go?

Card Pocket Wrap

1. Measure and cut your paper several inches taller than your gift box. 2. Pull and fold the paper down to create a little tri-fold. This will form your pocket. 3. Crease and flatten out the paper and then wrap as usual.

{4} Stamps & Such

Ornament Wrap

I always have a roll of white butcher paper on hand for the kids to color or paint. It also makes great wrapping paper. Snaz it up with a few stamps and then add a pretty topper – like these gold ornaments and ribbon.

Gold Stamps

I used a pencil eraser dipped in gold ink to make mini-polka dots on this package. See how easy?!

{5} Showstopper Toppers! These are a great addition to ANY package you wrap.

Pom Pom Gift Topper

Pom-pom toppers are super easy to make. I also like the addition of stickers – like these initials – to further personalize the gift. Yes, this one is for my Clara 🙂

Acorn Gift Topper

Natural elements, like acorns, make awesome toppers. I hot-glued these to some artificial greenery and embellished with some scraps of sparkly ribbon.

Seashell Gift Topper

Speaking of natural elements, I always have more seashells than I know what to do with when we get home from a beach vacation. Using them as gift toppers is a fun way to share part of the shore – especially in the middle of winter! I just hot-glued this to a ribbon.

Holly Gift Topper

I happen to have a holly tree in my yard, so I snipped a few twigs as toppers. Get creative by searching your house and garden for treasures. Anything green and natural will be perfect on a package – especially wrapped with red ribbon.

Okay, show-and-tell time, my friends. I’d love to know how you wrap your gifts and goodies. Comment below or take a pic and share with us on Instagram. Be sure to tag me @katejandersen. Until then, happy wrapping!

-Kate

P.S. Only one week until Christmas!!

Share