Create a beautiful wall display with letters and scrap yarn. This Anthropologie-inspired craft really adds a beautiful element to any home. This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to achieve a wall display of your own!
There are a few decorations in our home that have stood their test of time and the wall display in our bedroom remains one of those tried-and-true craft projects that I still love today.
I love to create projects that can be great stash-busters for the knitter AND a great yarn project for someone who doesn’t knit, but would love to have those textures in their home. Today’s project requires zero knitting skills and is simple enough that you could yarn-wrap those letters with your child.
I can’t wait to show you how easy it is to make this yarn display for a wall in your home.
Additions to my home, like these, really bring that Anthropologie shopping experience right in my home. It is, in fact, a lot of the inspiration for the crafts I try to do around here!
Do your best to cover the letter in that direction and feel free to cut and secure yarn on the back as you go to cover the entire letter.
You can begin and end the securing of your yarn with a thumbtack, a piece of clear tape, or a little dab of hot glue.
Once you have covered the letter to the best of your ability, now begin wrapping the yarn in the other direction.
Navigating around detailed corners will be tricky. Don’t be afraid to stop and start the yarn to wrap the letters. I found that the corners were a bit bulkier to try to cover, but no one will notice that.
For the last letter, utilize all the ends of each of your skeins to create a scrappy letter from the three colors used in your L,O, and V.
I tried to layer the colors in places, securing again with a little hot glue, tape or thumbtacks for starting and finishing these wrapped places.
I also added a few knitted accessories to my last letter. The same idea could be achieved with fabric, interesting buttons, or purchased accessories. The possibilities are limitless and can fit your own style.
To mount them, I used clear 3M hooks, and used a razor blade to cut an “X” in the back of the cardboard letter to create a spot to hide the hook internally. Some of the letters could be mounted with just one hook (like the O) while others require d two or three hooks to secure.
The best part is that you can move your letters around or remount the hooks if you struggle with getting everything level.
These won’t damage your walls and when you get tired of this display, you can remove them and try something else.
As you can see from my giant display, I tend to go all out when I tackle projects like this, but you could definitely use smaller letters and thinner yarn to make this display of LOVE on a smaller scale.
Anybody else want to curl up and read Little House with me?
Love this yarn project? We have SO many more fun ways to use yarn on the site!
This no-sew felt puzzle mat is the perfect foundation to build your puzzles on, allowing you to relocate your puzzle when you need to. Check out this fun DIY in honor of National Puzzle Day!
This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!
What shows your love for someone more than something handmade by you?
Today I am sharing a tutorial for an easy no-sew DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat that I created for my family.
This mat makes it easy to relocate your puzzle projects when you need to use your table and it’s made with just a few inexpensive materials!
Are you addicted to jigsaw puzzles like us?
My kids are at a fun age right now where we are really enjoying playing board games and assembling puzzles together.
Right now we are tackling 1,000 piece puzzles which feels so ADULT. We haven’t had the courage to go beyond that size yet, but I’m sure we will get there.
Even after our kids have headed to bed, the hubby and I spend time together listening to podcasts or good music, while piecing together puzzles. I find it be quite therapeutic after sitting in front of a screen all day. It helps me decompress in the evening while giving my brain a break from my to-do lists.
To maximize our jigsaw puzzle collection, a couple friends and I trade puzzles after we finish them which has been great because we always have something to work on, while keeping it rather frugal in the process.
Trading puzzles has been a great way to keep our collection fresh and continue to keep our kids interested in putting these together with us.
My only gripe with puzzles is where to relocate them when we need to eat at the table.
We also happen to have a, “helper,” in our house who likes to flip puzzle pieces when her mother is ignoring her (we love you, Lulu the Cat!). I thought a mat might be a great way to discourage our helper and could be a quick way to clear the table for the dinner hour!
Let’s create this easy no-sew roll-up jigsaw puzzle mat!
DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat Tutorial
Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)
PUZZLES!! (check out my suggestions below for a few of our faves!)
How to Make a DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
1. Much like our reversible seat cushion project, we are going to begin by lining up the two fabrics with the right-side of the fabric facing INSIDE towards each other. That means the wrong sides will be facing out!
Trim your fabric and felt to the same size.
Remember, this mat can be ANY size that you want.
If you want it be the size of your kitchen table, for example, measure that first and use this as your guide for creating your mat. I created a generous mat for our large puzzles!
2. Once your fabric has been trimmed, use your fabric tape and line all the sides , making sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the mat out once you have sealed all the seams.
Using a very hot iron, carefully and slowly, begin ironing to seal the seam (you can see another example of what sealing this seam looks like over here!).
Typically doing this requires pinning, but I did find that the felt held the tape in place and made it an easy project to do without pinning.
Do this along all the sides (make sure you left that opening to turn it out!!) until the two pieces are fused together.
Carefully, turn the right sides out and then finish by sealing that last opening with fabric tape or a little fabric glue.
3. Trim your cardboard tube to the length of your finished mat.
If you want to paint this, you can! I finished each end with a little tied ribbon that can be used to tie the entire mat up when we are storing it.
As you can see, you can roll up those puzzles (take your time and roll carefully!) when not in use.
Please keep in mind, it is not recommended for long-term storage since it can damage your puzzle pieces, but it is recommended for a quick relocation so you can use your table when you need it.
I am so excited to break this in and I’m guessing it is going to be a smart item to take when we rent our summer cottages too!
Looking for a few great jigsaw puzzles? Here are a few of my favorites!
You will love these strategies for hosting memorable gatherings without the stress.
I’ve got everything from cooking shortcuts to decorations that transition through the seasons to your perfect playlist!
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
Now that Halloween is behind us, it is time to start thinking about all of those upcoming holiday gatherings. Hostess duties can often feel stressful and overwhelming, don’t they? That is why I’m excited to be partnering today with Honeysuckle White to share some fresh ideas for hosting your next gathering without the stress.
I learned that if I wanted to connect with my friends and family that I often had to be the one to step up to bat and offer to host. I have discovered, over the years, that so many people feel intimidated by hosting and are often self-conscious of things like undone house projects, their limited cooking abilities, or not feeling like they have that perfectly sized space for the ideal gathering.
The thing is, our own intimidations rob us of precious moments with those we love and the people that REALLY and GENUINELY love us will always, always be thankful to you for creating space in your home and day for them.
That is, truly, why I am excited to share that Honeysuckle White recognizes how precious our time is and wanted to take out that intimidation factor by providing a brilliantly easy turkey product that will make gatherings so much easier on busy moms.
You can order it right through Amazon.
And, ladies, I KNOW we all have Amazon ordering down pat! (*ahem*)
I gave ordering one of these a spin and really was surprised how well-seasoned and easy this was to execute for my Friendsgiving gathering this week.
In your package (that arrives right on your doorstep!) you will get one of these beautiful roasts that serve approximately 4-6 people. The packages arrive frozen and you can thaw it for an ASAP gathering or you can tuck this in the freezer for a future meal.
The bird is perfectly seasoned, boneless (no carving- woot, woot!), and requires just a simple quick sear on the bottom and baking.
The company is committed to raising their turkeys without growth-promoting antibiotics and no added hormones or steroids.
They also are committed to supporting independent family farmers to provide family farm-raised turkeys.
I don’t know if you know this, but my great-grandpa was a farmer and that is why that commitment and their true love for these families really warms my heart.
Now that you have the turkey covered, here are a few other ideas for a simple gathering of great friends and great food!
Send Out a Small Invite
I have done loads of large gatherings, but I find the best gatherings are often the intimate ones with just a couple of close friends so you can really catch up.
A friendsgiving need not be a large gathering and the invitation does not need to be a formal one.
Text invitations are perfectly acceptable, especially during such a busy season.
Also, allowing mamas to bring kids is a blessing to the mom (who won’t have to cook) and to you (to get to love on your friend’s beautiful kiddos especially since your kids are tweens/teens and you now have to FORCE YOUR LOVE on them).
Keep the Sides Simple
Roasted vegetables are an easy side that can be prepared a day in advance.
In fact, storing your carrots and potatoes in water overnight will yield a much crisper roast than if you cut them up immediately.
Toss your prepared vegetables in olive oil, kosher salt, and your favorite dried seasoning (I’m a thyme girl!) and roast them at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
Love perfectly roasted potatoes?
Cut baby potatoes in half and put the cut side down on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with aluminum foil and is lightly greased. You will get a perfect roast every time AND they are so good that my kids call them mom’s french fries.
It goes without saying, but lining the cookie sheets with tin foil or parchment paper squares is also an excellent way to cut down on dishes!
Skip the Baking
Thankfully, there is no need to bake since we have so many delicious options for desserts that are already made and available for purchase at our local markets.
You can still make these purchased desserts feel really special though with quick homemade touches.
Spicing up your whipped cream, adding crunchy toppings, or adding details with pie cutters or an embossing rolling pin (made from refrigerated pie dough) are all fun ways to make pies feel special and more homemade.
In the blog world, evergreen content is king. It means that we really focus on creating timeless pieces that can be shared over and over again and always feel relevant.
This is the SAME WAY we can approach our decorating. Purchase or DIY things that are neutral and can be used over and over again throughout the seasons. A bit of faux greenery, a roll of kraft paper (DO buy this– it’s such a affordable investment for decorating and gift wrapping), white plates, and loads of candles are perfect for ANY occasion.
Adding simple seasonal touches, like the small bundles of sage I gathered with cotton twine feel very Martha-y, but cost only a couple of bucks to pull off.
Stop pulling out and storing seasonal bins and buy a few items that you can use over and over and over again.
You can’t imagine the stress you will relieve yourself of!
Set the Mood
Before I go, I have one more fun fact for you…I used to be a glorified D.J. for my college’s radio station.
Music is essential to me like breathing and food.
Growing up, I played the violin, sang in the choir, did musical theater, and had parents who were crazy about music too.
I am also the one that hogs the microphone if you karaoke with me.
To me, a solid playlist for special occasions is oh-so-necessary.
Don’t have time to make one?
How about if I shared mine with you!
Also, as a thoughtful introvert, I have included three goodbye songs at the end that you can feel free to boot those up after the meal when you just need to retreat to your Snuggie and Netflix.
Hopefully they catch on..I know, “CLOSING TIME,” is a very, very subtle exit song!
I have embedded it here for you so be sure to bookmark this awesome post and give me a follow for more fabulous dinner music.
Transform your table with this easy DIY table runner that you can use for any occasion. Who knew cardstock could look so beautiful?
Today’s tutorial is for a diy table runner made from humble cardstock, glue, and twine. As a minimalist, I’m a big fan of any decorations that can be used for multiple seasons and I fully admit that I am REALLY proud when I craft something that is so very uniquely me.
As you guys know, I have really been on the struggle bus with my hand pain and I started thinking how I might need to start broadening my horizons with my crafting. It has been a dream of mine to own a Cricut so, after doing a ridiculous amount of research and price investigation, I settled on a Cricut Explore Air as the best option for what I needed.
Please note, they do offer a brand new Cricut Explore Air 2, but the price difference is $70 and the only real difference is that it can cut faster.
I can wait a few extra minutes if I can save $70!
Today’s craft is a great way to break in your Cricut since paper crafting is so darn affordable.
Before we begin, I decided to get a Cricut Access membership (I’m on the $7.99 monthly plan) so I could have unlimited access to patterns and get the discounts for the holidays. You can also pay individually for patterns, but so far the cost has been worth it for gift-making.
Do what makes sense for you and your budget though!
Now we can begin gluing our stack together. Keep in mind how you had them originally stacked and replicate that.
You will also want to figure out how you want these to trail and be linked together. Once again, avoid your perfectionistic nature and don’t be afraid to have these going in different directions. If it looks too matchy-matchy, it won’t have a natural feel.
Along the back, you will then add a thin line of hot glue and attach your twine to help hold the garland together and that can also act as a tool for hanging, if you decide this one is better suited to your mantle or bar.
You can see the layer of brown paper has been laid underneath it. To add a little more dimension to this table, I added two sets of these inexpensive votive candle holder sets (I’m pointing you in the general direction so you can pick out your favorite finish). You can get them in a variety of shades and I love that these sit low so you don’t have to try to talk around a tall arrangement.
Here are just a few other details on this table, in case you were interested in replicating this further.
I tied tiny bundles of sage to nestle on top of our cloth napkins with a little more of the cotton twine. It added a natural element to the tablescape which felt really necessary with the paper display. It also smelled divine which is always a wonderful bonus.
I have had a hard time finding cloth napkins that wash really well, but can’t recommend these beauties enough. I picked a dark gray to eliminate needing to bleach out stains, but they come in a zillion colors that can match your own table runner.
I found the glasses on clearance and can’t tell you how beautiful they are. I have been dying to have some ornate glasses for our fancier occasions. Of course, these already sold out (boooo!!!), but here and here and here are a few gorgeous options.
Once again, thankful for this smart tool I bought for our water bottles because it gets things clean, but doesn’t scratch the pattern or gold rim on these.
I hope this spread inspires you to embrace decorations you can use for all the seasons.
I’m also excited to share with you about the Friendsgiving gathering I had to make use of this lovely display. Stay tuned for all the details on that!
Looking for some more great craft ideas? Check these out!
1. Begin by removing all of the parts and lining them up on cardboard or a drop cloth for painting. You will want the trays on this piece to be upside down since we are only spray painting the exterior of the tray. This will not only save you time spray painting, but the cart already has a nice finish on it that is easy to wipe and clean.
2. Rough up the exterior with medium-grit sandpaper. This will help our gold paint adhere to this smooth surface better.
3. Apply the trigger handle to your spray paint can. If you haven’t used one of these before it is a life-changing spray painting tool that offers even coverage and saves your poor trigger finger for long projects.
Begin by shaking your can for 1-2 minutes and periodically during use. Hold the can 10” – 12” from your surface, and spray in sweeping motions from side to side with a slight overlap.
Apply multiple thin coats, wait one minute between each.
You can add a top coat, if you like, with a clear topcoat, but it does dull the metallic sheen from this paint.
I chose to leave it without the clear coat, because I like the roughness and loveliness of the sheen of this paint.
I did find that this does adhere a bit unevenly to the surface, but creates more of the hammered metal look that I was going for.
4. Remove the trigger handle and now place it on your hammered metal spray paint that we are using for the handles and wheels on our bar cart.
Using the same technique, hold the can 10” – 12” from your surface, and spray in sweeping motions from side to side with a slight overlap.
Allow these to dry fully and then flip to the other side to spray paint the flip-side of these.
5. Tape off your wheels as best as you can and spray paint these with the same spray paint.
Allow them to dry and then flip to the other side and spray paint the flip-side.
When you remove the tape, if any of the paint has gotten on the wheel, just use your sandpaper to rough up the wheel to remove the paint.
6. Assemble after your cart, and all of its parts, are fully dry.
Keep your spray paint handy for final touch-ups and use a piece of cardboard to block and protect the areas around where you need to touch-up.
Allow this to fully dry before loading it with your drinks.
Once everything is assembled and dried, you can add your beverages of choice!
I decided to add my favorite beers to the top shelf for easy access, along with garnishes and drink tools.
On the bottom shelf I have glasses and liquors that can be wheeled around as needed.
Feel free to add any additional decorations like small treats, a chalkboard sign to message for guests or paper creations sporting the colors of your favorite team. Most of all, have fun!
Need More Game Day Party Tips?
Keep decorations simple for your game day party
Faux grass can act as a tablecloth for your table and a simple pennant banner can be created with your team’s favorite colors.
Add some fun football trophies to decorate around the food to pull your table theme together.
Have guests make their own food
Make creating your own food fun for your guests by creating a sub or Panini sandwich station from an assortment breads, cheeses, cold cuts, and a variety of toppings for your guests.
Each person can customize their own sandwich with their favorite additions.
Don’t forget to add a few gourmet flavors like pesto, Gouda cheese, apple slices, smoked bacon or prosciutto, & brie to your toppings bar.
These gourmet toppings will take your ordinary sandwiches into extraordinary ones and each guest can create their own unique combination.
The same idea can be applied to a fun slider bar, soup topping bar, hot dog bar, or baked potato bar.
Have guests bring a pot of their favorite soup to share for a soup cook-off.
Have guests place votes on their favorite and present the winner with one of your fun football trophies from your table display to take home as the champion.
Not only will this be a fun way to sample some new soup recipes, but it will also relieve you of having to create as many dishes for your big game day party.
Round out the meal
Round out your soup & sandwich menu with an easy cheese platter, dips, a vegetable tray, and a fruit tray. Make the easy dips to go with your favorite crackers, but save some time in the kitchen and visit the deli in your store to pick up a simple fruit or vegetable platter to add on the side to save time spent chopping in the kitchen.
Invest in some inexpensive plastic containers for game day leftovers and send goodie bags home with your guests so they can enjoy the leftovers all weekend long.
Don’t forget to give the guests that stick around to help clean up afterwards a Most Valuable Player award for their assistance with the kitchen clean-up.
Love this DIY project? Here are a few others I think you will enjoy!
These gold pumpkins are the perfect craft for autumn, even if you aren’t crafty. You will love these DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins for your home!
I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to decorate the holiday table that are festive while staying easy on the budget. The gold trend has really been catching my eye this year so I wanted to create something beautiful and gold that anyone can do, no matter what your craft level.
Today’s tutorial is for a decorative thumbtack pumpkin that requires just two items for a fun and festive touch to your table.
Going along one of the ridges of the pumpkin, begin inserting thumbtacks, starting at the very top and working your way down. You will want to make sure that they overlap just a bit to create a feathered effect on your pumpkin. You do not need to go to the very bottom, just enough to cover it so that if the pumpkin is placed on a pedestal or candlestick holder that you can’t see the plastic bottom. This row helps to anchor your ridge as you place the thumbtacks in.
Right next to that row, again overlapping from the side and down the row, begin placing thumbtacks in the same way, repeating this process until you have covered the entire ridge. Once the ridge is filled, just check and make sure there aren’t any holes in any places and fill, as necessary, with additional thumbtacks.
Begin in the next ridge, just as you did with the first, giving just a little room between those ridges so you can still see that pumpkin shape. Now repeat this process again and again, until you have filled the entire pumpkin. This small pumpkin took 700 thumbtacks, but you may need more or less depending on how tightly you are overlapping your thumbtacks.
Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? Who would ever have guessed that it costs around $5 to make! I made two of them and wanted to show you a fun way to dress up your holiday table with these.
I spray painted two other faux pumpkins and then roughed them up with a little sandpaper. I filled a glass bottle with branches from our backyard to center these and then purchased these faux logs from my local craft store in two different heights to place my gold pumpkins on. I love all the variations on height and the different textures in this budget-friendly centerpiece.
I hope you find this idea easy and inspiring! Use your own creativity to create a few beautiful pumpkins of your own.
Speaking of autumn crafts…here are a few tutorials you might enjoy!
I am madly in love with blanket scarves. My obsession started as all good obsessions do. It began on Pinterest. All of these fabulously fashionable women were rocking these gorgeous scarves, but they were out of my price range or lacked the fullness & beauty that was captured online.
I decided I wanted to make some for my minimalist wardrobe because it would add so much. Did you know you can make a blanket scarf with no sewing skills required?
Let’s begin by taking a peek at the coveted $44 Zara scarf (that sells out in minutes, not kidding).
I want to zoom on in it so we can take a closer look.
The thing I want you to see is that the edges are frayed on their version too.
You can achieve that with a little flannel and pulling.
The best part is that this version will cost you quite a bit less than $44. I am going to make a big stack of them to show you and then I am going to show you some fun ways to tie them.
The first thing you will need to do is shop for your fabric which is so much fun. I went to a few shops to check out fabric and ended up finding it at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Head over here(a great coupon affiliate of mine!) and check to see if flannel fabrics are on sale. If not, that same link will provide you a 40% off coupon. You will DEFINITELY want to use this because it makes these scarves budget-friendly. Don’t forget your coupons.
Head over the Fashion Flannel…at least that’s what they call it in Mishawaka (oh-la-la!).
Select your favorite patterns, tell them the amount you need, have them tell you they don’t have that much on a bolt, go grab another one, try again… Be annoyed.
Decide to do two sizes because you want you what you want, that’s why you brought it up there.
I am going to show you what a 2 yard scarf looks like and then I am going to show you what a 2.5 yard scarf looks like below.
I love them both for different reasons and what you can do with them. The price (with no sales or coupons) is $8.99 per yard. That’s why it is great to see the two version (for cost-savings) and also really great to bring a coupon to save a bit on the fabric.
I wouldn’t recommend anything more than that or your scarf will choke you and you will die from scarf blanket suffocation.
It will be all over the headlines.
They will be laughing at you in those ridiculous segments on the radio where they try to shock you at the stupidity of Americans. Your family will miss you. It would all be very tragic.
If you would prefer to shop online, I love to check over here for flannel by the yard. SO MANY great choices!!
How to Make a Blanket Scarf
1. Purchase 2-2.5 yards of flannel fabric (make sure the flannel printing is on both sides).
3. Pulling out threads, begin fraying the edges of the scarf. If you are struggling to grab a thread, don’t be afraid to use a seam ripper. Keep doing this until there are no loose threads and you have a beautifully frayed edge. Repeat on each side of the scarf. DONE!
This is what TWO YARDS of fabric looks like.
You can see that it has a lot of fullness, but is not as long or as much to tie or knot around.
Do you want to see how to tie it to look like this?
How to Tie Your Two Yard Blanket Scarf
1. Fold the scarf in half, lining the edges up evenly. This creates more of a square blanket scarf versus doing it on an angle.
2. Make sure one end is shorter than the other and tuck it up over your shoulder.
3. Loop around once with the long end (or possibly twice depending on your neck size!).
4. Fluff and puff. Fluff and puff.
Here is the same size, just not puffed up so much. Seriously, cute stuff!
How to Tie Your 2.5 Yard Blanket Scarf
No need to reinvent the wheel…I just headed online to figure out a couple of fun ways to tie these longer blanket scarves.
I hope you have a blast making these quick scarves for yourself or for holiday gift-giving. Check out this list of 54 handmade gifts you can make for the holiday season to inspire you even more! Happy crafting!
This post is sponsored by Paramount Pictures. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!
Looking for your next Girls’ Night In idea? I have come up with the perfect recipe for a fun night with your gal pals and created a deliciously dangerous Rosé Strawberry Wine Pop recipe that is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
I mean, wine in a popsicle?
As Ina Garten would say, “How bad could that be?”
This treat takes about ten minutes to make and is the perfect accompaniment to a fun night in watching the movie, Book Club now available on Blu-Ray. If you haven’t seen it, you are in for a treat. You can purchase your copy of the movie and make plans to watch it at home this weekend. The release happens to include hilarious bonus content, like the making of the film, deleted scenes, and more! Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend than with my girlfriends, a pile of wine pops, and a ridiculously funny movie.
My girlfriend has the sweetest set-up for a movie night so when I proposed a girls’ night in, she graciously offered to have it in her theatre room so we could really get that movie experience.
Let’s all acknowledge that any mom that would offer up her home on a school night is a real gem of a friend.
Book Club is about four lifelong friends that end up having their life turn upside down when their book club starts reading the infamous, Fifty Shades of Grey, and they begin to rekindle their own relationships with their old flames.
The message is pretty simple… their next chapter is the best chapter.
I feel like turning 40 has, truly, been a next chapter in my life. This year has been a real exploration in trying new things in my career, I am finally embracing the importance of self-care, I’m okay letting people see the unpolished version of me, and I have learned that there is nothing more important than our family and friends.
I am such a work in progress though and I acknowledge that I have a lot to still work through. I am thankful though that I have such a powerhouse group of ladies who love and support me no matter what. I, truly, can’t imagine my life without my friends. When the chips have been down for our family, they are the ones that take the mess of my life and lift me up with their encouragement. I never have to be anything, but this messy person.
That is what I appreciated about this charming film and how great it is to be part of a book club of girlfriends. I can attest that while we talk about books in our book club, we also talk about so much more as we support, encourage, and enjoy each other’s company.
Book Club is beautifully cast with four Hollywood icons (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, & Mary Steenburgen) that have forged a believable friendship, with heart and humor, that any girl would want in her life…especially as she segues into the next chapter.
I hope you can pick up this incredible film that is now available to own on Blu-ray!
Now, let’s talk about this incredible wine pop idea! When I heard that stores were carrying rosé pops, I just knew that I could make an inexpensive version of this treat at home.
Honestly, this is an excellent way to use up any strawberries that are nearing their expiration in your fridge, as they are blended in the blender with a touch of lime (to break up the sweet), a little simple syrup, and an inexpensive bottle of rosé. In fact, I found a decent bottle for under $5 at our local market, making these cocktail treats really affordable.
The one thing you will need to buy is ice pop holders and I think they are a smart investment, not just for wine pops, but for making healthy treats for the kiddos too. This set comes with a little funnel that makes pouring your blended ingredients in the pop holders a real cinch.
The most time-consuming aspect is waiting for them to freeze. Be sure to give them a good four hours in the freezer to harden up for distributing to all your gal pals.
I hope this treat inspires you to have a fun girls’ night in too!
In a saucepan, whisk sugar and water on medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Slice strawberries and add them to your blender.
Add your lime juice, Rosé Wine, and simple syrup. Blend well.
Once blended, skim the foam off the top.
Using the provided funnel, pour the mixture into the ice pop holder to the marked line. Seal tight and and place on a cookie sheet (this will protect your freezer from any possible leaking). Repeat the process until you have used up all your mixture (should yield approximately eight ice pops).
Freeze for four hours.
This post is sponsored by Paramount Pictures. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!
Thanks to my sponsor St Martin’s Press, I’m sharing about Kristin Hannah’s newest page-turner!
I joined my first book club when my children were small and I remember both how rewarding it felt to use my brain again and the challenges of carving time out to read. The beauty in being a part of that group though was that it pushed me to read books that were outside of my typical genre.
Historical fiction, for example, had never been on my radar until I joined a club.
Ironically, it is now my favorite genre.
Have you thought about hosting a book club? I have had the pleasure of hosting a local group and an online group and today I wanted to share 7 tips and strategies I’ve found for hosting a successful book club.
7 Tips for Hosting a Successful Book Club
1. Create Your Book Club Circle
Book clubs can be an opportunity to cultivate existing friendships or an opportunity to widen your net. If you don’t have an existing set of close friends, this can be a great way to get to know people from other contexts of your life. Consider starting a group through your church, with your neighborhood friends, a mom’s group, with your coworkers, your gym buddies, or as a way to get to know other moms at your child’s school.
Keep in mind, this club does not need to be just women either because men can add another dynamic to your book club discussions. If you have couples that you love to spend time with, for example, consider asking if they might like to meet up monthly for dinner and a book chat. I know that some of my best book discussions have happened when enjoying an evening with friends.
2. Have an Organized Kickoff Meeting
The quickest way for a book club to fizzle out is to not have a plan and get your members involved. With everyone’s busy schedules, it can be difficult to get a committed group and keep them committed for an entire year (or more).
In the past, our mimosa kickoff usually starts in September, once the kids have headed back to school. With a little more time in our schedules (sort of), it gives us a chance to regroup and make book selections. I ask each member to come with a book in mind and a month that they would like to host our chat. Allowing each person to make a selection and host gives everyone a chance to feel a part of things and allows the group leader to just micromanage the logistics.
3. Pick Books That Can Sustain a Discussion
The best books that we have talked about have meat to them and naturally cultivate an incredible discussion. Books with shallow plots are probably better for your beach bag than your book club discussion.
Stumped for a book selection this year?
Can I make a great recommendation for you?
As I disclosed earlier, I am partnering with St. Martin’s Press to share about Kristin Hannah’s latest novel and I TRULY believe this is a perfect pick for your book club reading.
I , honestly, would read anything Kristin Hannah writes, but her last few books have been among my favorite. The Great Alone is a contemporary coming-of-age story that is set in the seventies in rural Alaska. In this story, a former POW father comes home from the Vietnam War completely mentally changed from his experiences there. His behavior and decision-making is wildly erratic and when a property becomes available in rural Alaska, he decides that they should seize the opportunity to live off the grid and make a different life for themselves.
Braving harrowing and life-threatening conditions is what it is all about and thirteen-year-old Leni is caught in the middle of it all as they attempt to carve a new life in the wild frontier.
Living off the grid is not all it is cracked up to be and neither is surviving the difficult Alaska winters. Hannah writes so eloquently about this impossible marriage and the honest struggle of a Vietnam veteran.
As you can see, from my description alone, this has so many elements for discussion. The plot brings on the challenges of PTSD in veterans, what it is like to live with a mentally ill family member, homesteading (and if YOU could survive it), and if you would stay with your partner if they were putting your family through a potentially life-threatening lifestyle.
When I say that books have to have meat for discussion, you can be assured that there would be MUCH to talk about with, The Great Alone.
Look for books like these where the description alone showcases what kinds of ideas you could discuss in your book chats.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Controversial Plots
One thing I have worried about is picking books that have controversial plots that might make people feel uncomfortable. What has surprised me though is that these are usually our very best discussions and that it is, truly, okay to have different viewpoints.
The way I lead these discussions though is that I ask that things are said with kindness and love, even if you don’t necessarily agree with one another. In an online discussion, I can swiftly delete comments that aren’t said with kindness, but that is a bit more tricky in an in-person book club.
Even in these tricky moments though, leading by asking everyone to be kind has always been a successful way to start a thoughtful conversation and I have never had any issues after stressing this importance.
It can be scary leading a controversial discussion, but I was surprised how it changed people’s viewpoints or hearing about someone’s personal story and why it made them feel differently than me. A recent discussion of a story on immigration, for example, lead to people sharing how it completely changed their viewpoint on the deportation process.
It makes me wish we had more kind and honest talks and how they could bring compassion to our discussions.
5. Prepare For Your Discussion
Discussion questions are so helpful to have, especially when first beginning your chats. I have found that selecting books with discussion questions already in place can be extremely helpful and relieve a lot of stress on leading a talk. The Great Alone, for example, already has a great discussion outlined for you.
I try to not limit our discussions to just outlined questions though. If it is a historical fiction book, for example, it helps to look up the true stories and images from that time in history. Reading or finding author interviews that explain why the author decided to write a book can also add a lot to a discussion.
6. Have Each Host/Hostess Decide How They Want to Host
I am happiest when I am entertaining our friends and family. It brings me great joy to share my table with them and feed them my food. Since this book is set mostly outdoors, I set up our outdoor table for a discussion.
It doesn’t have to be complicated though. This meat and cheese board, for example, is a fun way to share food with your book club friends without even cooking.
Sharing book club in the morning? Change the charcuterie board to a bagel board and load it with bagels and toppings.
The truth is, most people don’t love entertaining. It may bring them great stress, they may hate cooking, or they may be juggling a huge plate of craziness and can’t possibly add one more thing to their plates.
I GET IT.
Let each host/hostess decide how, where, and when works for them.
Food is not required to have a gathering.
Cooking is not required to have a gathering.
Opening YOUR home up is not required to have a gathering.
Allow each person to choose their style of hosting however or wherever they want to do it.
Book club should be fun and not stressful!
7. It’s All Too Much? Try an Online Club!
Painfully introverted? Haven’t found your people? Working full-time? New to town? Homeschooling? Single mom? Full plate?
Adding one more thing to your agenda can be an impossible task when you already have so much going on. Online book clubs can be an incredible option for someone that desires a book club, but just can’t make that happen in their day-to-day life.
The queen of no-sew projects is back and I’m excited to share this EASY DIY No-Sew Reversible Cloth Napkin tutorial with you today.
That’s right, even if you can’t sew, it’s no biggie!
Can’t cut a straight line?
No need to even have a skill in that!
Each diy no-sew napkin should take a mere ten minutes to make and can be used for many a dinner with your family and friends. Not to mention, these would make a gorgeous gift for a newlywed or the holidays.
I had a set of cloth napkins that got a lot of love in our house because of their easy-to-wash material and their perfect size. I was never a fan of the colors though and so I measured my current set and headed to the fabric store where I discovered (GLORY BE!) that the fabric bundles, at our local fabric shop, just so happened to be the EXACT same size.
What luck for someone who can’t cut a straight line.
I have always loved the beauty of these color-coordinating fabric bundles (just so perfect for quilters) and thanks to their prepackaged coordination, it makes creating a reversible set of napkins oh-so-easy for those of us born without the gift of pattern-matching.
Here’s my quick tutorial AND scroll down for my system for washing and storing these beauties!
DIY No-Sew Reversible Cloth Napkins Tutorial
18×21 inch fabric bundle in coordinating colors- I LOVE these options or you can check here too for a more affordable option (the bundle I purchased had 5 pieces so to create an even number of cloth napkins you will need to purchase two bundles. You will need 2 pieces for each napkin you would like to make). I chose Cotton & Flannel materials for my napkins.
Stitch Witchery or similar fusible bonding web (I swear by Stitch Witchery for the majority of my no-sew projects- it really washes well!)
Chopstick or pointy object to push out your corners
Iron & ironing board
1. Select two coordinating colors and place the first one with the pattern up, facing you, and then flip the other one with the wrong side of the fabric out. Basically, you want the two patterns to be BFF’s and be facing each other.
2. Going all the way across the fabric, lay down your Stitch Witchery all the way across, leaving a little room on each side of the edges, as pictured.
3. Grab you iron (I crank mine to the highest setting on that dial) and iron over the tape until the two fabrics are fused together. This will take several passes and you can additionally spray the fabric with a little water to produce steam and help the tape bond to each side of the fabric. Repeat this process on two more sides.
Leave one side without tape and follow the next steps to finish the cloth napkin.
4. On the final side, we are going to run the tape along like the other sides, but stop to leave a pocket so we can turn this napkin right side out.
5. Using your scissors, cut all four corners so we don’t have excess fabric in the corners. CAREFULLY, turn the napkin right side out and use your chopstick to CAREFULLY poke out those corners. If the tape comes loose while turning this right side out, don’t worry! You can easily reseal that tape again when finishing that edge!
6. Tuck the last of the ends under, to match the rest of the side that has been fused. Finish with another round of Stitch Witchery and a final press. Once the ends are all sealed, finish with a spray of water to take out any final wrinkles and to give it a good press on all four sides to make sure they are secure.
TA-DA! That’s it, folks!
I had already received some questions, when I posted these beauties on IG, on how I planned to implement these in our home. I got a container for these and have them on our hutch, next to our silverware. Underneath the sink is a container for tossing the dirty napkins.
I got a small napkin holder that perfectly holds four of these (something like this) for the tabletop and each person gets one napkin per day.
I did request darker colors for messier meals and lighter colors for meals that less messy.
Each person is responsible for tossing their napkin in at the end of the day.
All of this feels REALLY doable to me.
Obviously, I am IN LOVE with these feminine patterns, but I wanted to make some that were more masculine too.
I found some flannel and did some of our napkins in this fabric too.
The best part was that the print was on both sides so the warmer side of the flannel would be perfect for the winter months while the flipside of the flannel was perfect for all seasons (and, honestly, I had less worries about lint issues). I can picture just how beautiful these would be to dress up the table for the holidays.
The best part?
You can’t buy this at Target. You get to be totally unique.
Go ahead and gloat!
Do you love NO-SEW projects? You hit the lottery over here! Check out a few of my favorite no-sew tutorials!