Homemade Gifts for my Guys

A few months ago I showed you the gifts I made for my sister in my Martha Stewart took over my body post.  Today I want to share you the gifts I made for the guys in my life.

I started with rocks glasses that I picked up from the local dollar store and I make stencils of their last name initial and frosted the glass to give it a personalized touch, cause you know – that’s just what I do!

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While at the dollar store buying the glasses, look around and get distracted and end up finding some awesome camouflage duct tape to add to the gift! I mean, who doesn’t need more duct tape?!?

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Then swing by your friendly neighborhood liquor store and spend way too long browsing the miniature versions of whiskey before finally just going with the guy behind the counters suggestion.  Then run over to the cooler and breathe a sigh of relief that their sodas aren’t outrageously priced and grab a couple! Because yes, it’s easier to just buy what you need – plus, you are supporting a local small business and keeping your money here and not in the pockets of the big corporate CEO!

Okay, I’m stepping back down off my soap box now!

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Now, put all of these items neatly together in a box… wrap the whiskey in tissue paper and shove place it gently inside the personalized rocks glass. Grab the least “fancy” tissue paper you have to stuff the sides to keep everything in place.  Cause, you know, things need to stay in place, but they are guys and the pretty tissue paper would just be lost on them!  Save it for your grandmother and girlfriends!

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Then you need to rearrange everything half a dozen times before you give up because you realize that no matter how you try you cannot get the top of the box on and none of the boxes you have will work.

Now go grab a couple of gift bags.  Empty the box out, take the aforementioned tissue paper and transfer it to the gift bags.  Fill them up with all the goodies and place under the tree until you see the guys in your life!

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  • The glasses were $1
  • Camo duct tape $1
  • The etching cream I had left over from a previous project – so $Free
  • Soda $0.50
  • Whiskey on sale for $1

Gift bags and tissue paper I always have on hand, and never consider the cost of that, so for less than $4 I have a cute and personalized gift for the guys in my life.

All two of them.

Will Halloween Ever Get Here?

Halloween time

Seriously!  I’m ready! Well, after today I am ready!  My Amy came and spent most of the weekend with me, which means that I didn’t get everything on my to-do list done; however, the flip side of that is that the house will always need to be cleaned, but it’s fun having one of my best friends her and forcing here to go shopping and do craft projects with me – neither of which is in her top 10 list of favorite things to do!

We did get some shopping done and we had plenty of time to hang out and then it was time to get some crafts done.  I had texted her on Friday that she had to help, but that it wouldn’t be as bad as she expected – and it wasn’t!

Let’s start with the bouquet of flowers I’m working on.

flowers

Oh yeah – spooky eyeball flowers!  These are $0.97 flowers from Wal-Mart with plastic novelty eyeballs hot glued into the center.  They turned out so well that when I was at Target I picked up three more flowers and glued the eye balls in… and I have enough eyeballs left to pick up another three flowers!  The eye balls were left over from previous years where I used them a decorations, so that didn’t cost me anything- all I’m spending money on is the flowers themselves.  Cheap!  Cute!  My kinda craft!  The orange vase is on loan from my grandmother who, when she heard what I was doing told me she had the perfect vase, and she sure did!  It is going to look great on my table!

My next project came from a pin on Pinterest that lead me to The Designer Co-op.  You can read her post about the zombie birthday party she threw for her husband here. I showed you the project inspiration not that long ago but I am so jazzed at how it turned out for me!

Zombie 2

Zombies!!!  This one was more fun than I expected!  Please ignore the tape and hot glue gun still in the shot, but I was too excited once we were done to clean up before I started taking pictures!  I bought Mr. T a print from the store the other day and low and behold, the cardboard piece was the PERFECT size for my fireplace opening!  My grandmother came to my rescue again and provided several large pieces of cardboard for me.  My Amy and I sat down and traced our hands in fun shapes and then used an Exacto knife to cut them out.  I then cut two long pieces about 5″ wide to use as the “boards”.  Then we took everything outside and she spray painted the back board and hands black while I painted the cardboard boards brown and then drew on some nails, knot holes and grain with a sharpie marker.  Once everything was dry we brought everything back inside and did a dry fit of the hands, then put the back board and hands down and taped the hands in place.  Then she made tape circles and I used those to adhere the back board and hands to my fireplace.  Since the tape worked out so well, I had her make more circles (we were using thick packing tape) and attached the boards.  Now it looks like my fireplace has been boarded up to prevent the zombies from getting through!  I just love it!

zombies

On this up close shot you can see that the hands are coming out from behind the back board.  The Designer Co-op didn’t use a back board, but instead just had the black hands coming out; however, I have a beautiful candelabra currently inside my fireplace, and I didn’t want to have to remove that and store it somewhere, so the back board was just to block the view.  On another note – I love my bones in the firewood holder!

If you get the chance, I highly recommend both of these crafts – we had a blast putting them together and both were done in under an hour, from start to finish.

Is Halloween ever going to get here?

Martha Stewart Took Over My Body

I’m not sure what has happened, but let me tell you about it and maybe you’ll have an answer for me – an answer that doesn’t include my body being possessed by Martha Stewart.

On Monday mom and I ran to Hobby Lobby so I could get the spool of ribbon that I was short and then I finished making the wreath for my sister.  Check it out! Do you think she’ll like it?

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After that I made a gift for my Divas.  I can’t show you because 1) they aren’t finished and 2) some of my Divas read this blog! I’d hate to ruin the surprise!

Then, since I still had time, I made my sister’s other present.  It was a combination of several different DIY ideas I had seen.  I made a Menu sheet, a Calendar sheet and a To-Do sheet, and put them all in a nice frame.  Along with a package of dry erase markers, she can now decide what template to use, and will have a custom dry erase station!

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On the left is a look at the pages I made, and on the right is the calendar inside the frame – the glass makes a great dry erase platform.

Today I had a busy day at work, but it was busy in spurts.  I’d have a huge emergency and then it was dead.  By lunch I was bored, so I was browsing Pinterest and ran across this great recipe:  Tin foil salmon.  Get some foil, put some lemon slices down, put fish on top of it, season it and add two pats of butter, wrap up the foil to form a packet and bake.  Well, I had some fish in the freezer, so I popped up and made four of these packets, put them in a zip-lock with baking instructions and threw them back in the freezer.  I can pull them out later in the week and they will be ready to go!

I finished at work and saw the package of corn tortillas that mom gave me yesterday sitting on my counter.  She had extra, and I’m a single mom on a budget, so yes, I’ll take any food they want to hand over (unless it’s full of tomatoes.  I draw the line at tomatoes!)

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This is not welcome in my food!

Well, what do you make with corn tortillas?  Enchilada casserole! Now, I’ve never made enchilada casserole, and I assume it’s just a deconstructed enchilada, but I did a little Google action and discovered that you layer the corn tortillas with a meat mixture and cheese.  I can do that.  One recipe I looked at added corn.  I can do that.  I opened my pantry to get the enchilada sauce and corn and I saw some black beans.  I can do that!.

So, I browned my ground turkey (which as you know I buy in bulk, come home and add in shredded carrots, diced onion and bell peppers and garlic and then freeze.)  To my ground turkey mixture I added my homemade taco seasoning and then a can of corn, drained and a can of black beans, rinsed and drained, and a can of enchilada sauce.

Here’s where it gets weird.  I pulled out two loaf pans.  My thinking is – why make a full casserole when there are only two of us eating? I thought two smaller casseroles made more sense.  I lined my loaf pans with foil and proceeded to layer tortillas, meat, cheese – repeat.  Then, I closed the foil over the top loosely, and put the pan in the freezer for a few hours.  After they had time to set, I pulled them out and took the casseroles out of the loaf pans, wrapped them in more foil and put them in zip-lock bags.  Now, when I want them, I can get them out of the freezer and drop them in a loaf pan and bake away!  I’m not wasting my money on the disposable pans, but by partially freezing them, they are now the shape that’s perfect to drop into my loaf pan!  I’m brilliant! (Okay, I’m not, I saw that trick somewhere!)

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Won’t this taste yummy? Image from Hunts.com, cause mine is frozen!

Whew!  I’ve done a lot in just two days – and today alone, I’ve made three freezer meals!

Apparently I wasn’t done.  I sat down and answered a few emails that came in after I left… and got right back up.  I needed food, I needed something sweet.  Mr. T had mentioned cookies the other day, and that sounded great!

I only had half a bag of chocolate chips…

Which is enough to make a batch of those no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies!  Of which, I’ve already eaten two… But, I’ve also hand washed all of the dishes I have used today and got them dried AND put back up!!!

So, you tell me – have I been taken over?

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What I’ve Learned This Labor Day

ImageLabor Day is a yearly national holiday that celebrates all the work we’ve done throughout the year.  You would think that a holiday that is set up to reward me for all my hard work would be the one that I don’t do anything, and I came close!

I did do a little shopping, a lot of hanging out in the pool, some crafting and catching up on my sleep!  Mr. T is off for opening weekend of dove season, so I had the weekend without him.  He’s having fun and I’m so proud of him.  I really do enjoy watching him morph from little boy into the man he is going to be.  It’s such a process and it fills me with such pride that he is mine.  I know I give him grief, and tell you all about the challenges he presents me on a weekly basis, but I’m so very blessed with that kid it just fills my heart!

Here is what I’ve learned so far on my holiday weekend:

  • The sock bun is almost as easy as it looks.
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Sock bun courtesy of Pinterest

  • Just because your hair will go into a sock bun doesn’t mean it will stay in the sock bun.
  • When buying ribbon for a project – BUY THE SECOND SPOOL! You can always return it if you don’t need it.
  • You can’t run back to Hobby Lobby on Sunday to get another spool of ribbon, so your project will sit half way done on the table all day long.
  • When you color your hair purple and then wrap it up in a Walmart sack to protect, well, everything around you, you will accidentally rub the color into your scalp at your hairline and you will have a purple scalp that will take days to wash out.
  • You will not be able to visit people when your scalp and hairline is purple without a massive scarf.
  • Not all of your friends are amused when you tell them that you are getting them all pill dispensers for Christmas.
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I honestly think that this is a great gift!

  • It’s not my fault that we are getting older and all of the sudden 90% of the people in my life are on pills/supplements/etc.  It’s not, I swear.
  • You know your dog is spoiled when your mom calls to find out if she should stop by and visit him since you are out of town.
  • I also learned that your real friends are there for you no matter what, and that when you are accepted for who you are, there is no better feeling in the world.

So, that was my weekend!  And I still have one more day of it! I’m so excited! Mr. T will be back late this afternoon from dove hunting.  Last I heard, he didn’t score any doves, but did get a rabbit!

  • Oh, one more… You can never watch the A-Team movie too many times in one weekend!
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Two Words: Bradley Cooper

Cowboys Won and other stuffs…

Yes!  The Cowboys won!  I was at the stadium to see it! As of the game Sunday night, we are technically back in the play-off hunt.  After the Redskins loss Monday night, technically we’re even better in the playoff hunt.  Yes, I keep saying technically, cause I have to add that disclaimer when I’m talking about my Boys… They’ve let me down so many times these past couple of years!  But, we beat the Eagles, so I’m happy.  BA and I had a blast, we were able to get to the stadium early enough to partake in some of the tailgating and then, since I’ve only ever walked in, turned left, gone up the elevator and entered the suite I made him walk through part of the stadium with me.  And, since I had such a blast, I will share some pictures with you!  (PS, I am not rich enough to afford suite tickets – or even just the parking pass that allows us to park just feet away from the doors, they are a gift from a client of mine.) (PPS, BA is my boy BFF, we aren’t dating, even though you’ll see him pop up here frequently cause he’s my buddy – we call it the Adventures of Kate and BA.  Okay, now you’re ready.)

me and BA

Picture of me and BA at the game – I tried to get the stadium in the background, but it’s just too big!

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View from our seats in the suite.

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Caught a shot of Romo on the big screen!

cheerleaders

I had to get some shots of the world famous Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for Mr. T. He’s 14 after all, he’s way more interested in the cheerleaders than the game!

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The players coming out on the field. Let the game begin!

I was also creative this weekend.  About 15 years ago I made a wreath for my mom’s office. She’s hung it up every Christmas since then – but this year she called and told me “the wreath needs to be refreshed”  LOL, that was her word “refreshed”.  One of the balls had fallen off, one was hanging by a strand – it was pretty darn scraggly!  So, I popped all the old balls off – only broke one in my hand and sustained a tiny cut, so I was proud of myself! Cause, if you haven’t figured out by now, I’m not the most graceful of people! I ran to Hobby Lobby and bought all new ornaments and such.  Then, I proceeded to call my other craft buddy Erica and while she was fixing the wreath she made last year for their door, I fixed the wreath for my mom.  We did crafts together over the phone… this is not the first time we’ve done crafts together on the phone!  She lives on one side of the metroplex and I live on the other – so it’s just over an hour drive for us to see each other.  Which, in the scheme of my world, isn’t that bad, but it’s still a long way!  And, I had to pick T up from school later than evening so I didn’t have time to make the drive.  But that’s okay, we talked and shared and laughed and then shared pictures of the finished project.  Now I’m going to share with you.  And, check out Erica’s blog Graced by Emilie, it’s fun to follow her life!

sequined disco ball

Awesome pick that I bought – kind of a sequined disco ball thing.

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New balls and accessories to decorate the wreath.

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Finished project!! Disclaimer: the sequined disco ball things look so much better in person!

Have a great week everyone! Sending good energy your way!!