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holiday

  • Holiday

    Present Wrapping Step by Step

    Girlspring, present wrapping step by step; do it yourself; Christmas

    Wrapping presents has always been my safe-haven during the holidays. It’s a little piece of time that I carve out of my busy schedule to sit on my living room floor, with the sound of Christmas music in the background, and admire my good taste in presents.

    If you feel the opposite way about gift wrap, then let me walk you through a simple process to get it over with:

    Step 1 

    If you are buying baby presents for someone, go to Buy Buy Baby. Their items are no more expensive than Target, and they usually have coupons. Plus, they wrap gifts for you! No mess. No buying rolls and rolls of over-priced paper. It’s that simple. I’m sure the associates would also assist if you’re riding the struggle bus that particular day.

    Step 2 

    If you don’t have any expecting mothers or little ones to buy for this season, go ahead and purchase a roll or two of your favorite wrapping paper. Saving money by getting the cheaper paper may seem efficient, but the paper might tear easily and you to use more of it.

    Step 3 

    Find ample space of floor or tabletop that is comfortable for you to use as a workstation. Mine is the living floor. My mom prefers her large bed. And my grandmother always roped off the kitchen and displayed her elegant paper all over the place (and not on purpose, I should add).

    Step 4 

    Take a break. You’ve gotten pretty far already, and nothing defeats holiday cheer more than overworking yourself.

    Step 5 

    Reluctantly move from whatever relaxed position you’re in, to your workspace. It’s okay, though, because we are about to make wrapping go by quickly.

    Step 6 

    Unravel one of the pieces of wrapping paper for a few in inches. Then place the item to be wrapped on top of the bottom of the paper (the white or light-colored side that sometimes has dotted lines). Take the open end of the wrapping paper and cover half of the item. Then, bring the roll over the item, being sure only to overlap a little. Make sure to mark where the roll overlaps so that you can cut evenly.

    Step 7 

    Cut the place you previously marked, all the way across the paper.

    Step 8

    Move the roll to the side and start focusing on your present

    Step 9 

    Fold one end of the length of the wrapping paper under 1 inch. When the two sides of the length overlap on top of the present, one side will be folded under to form a sleek line instead of jagged scissor lines.

    Step 10 

    Tape the length of the wrapping paper (but don’t tape the excess that goes over the edges of the present. We need those to be flexible).

    Step 11 

    You can turn the present to where the width of it is directly in front of you. The length should be horizontal right now. You have two options now: be fancy or done.

    To get it over with, all you need to do is lay the top part of the wrapping paper down against the side of the present. Then bring the bottom half up and over the top half. There should be a line in the center where the two parts of the paper meet. Tape them together. And you’re done!

    Follow the remaining steps for a nicer looking package.

    Step 12 

    Tuck the sides of the paper in towards the center, creating a triangle figure with the top piece of paper.

    Step 13 

    The bottom should have pulled up some in response to tucking the top half. Fold the top of the bottom paper over about an inch, then lay this paper across the top half. You may have to wrestle with the tape a little bit to get it to lay flat.

    Step 14 

    Repeat steps 11-13 on the opposite side of the present. Then, add a premade tag with who it is to, and who it is from, to the top left-hand corner of the present. Leave enough space for a bow!

    I hope these steps made enough sense for you not to get frustrated with wrapping presents this year. The Christmas music also helps. Comment down below if you have any wrapping tips of your own, or if you have a favorite Christmas song!

    Here is a link to a more detailed list of present wrapping tips:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYXaxeJBj5k

  • Photography

    Holiday Style with Megan Larussa

    holiday style

    Amp Up Your Holiday Style!

    Interested in making some changes to your Holiday Style? Check out the video about holiday style with Megan LaRussa below!

    Fashion stylist Megan LaRussa shares her best tips to amp it up this holiday season, with tips for any budget. Amp up your holiday style!

    Like this video? Megan was a speaker in our Wonder Woman talks. Click here for more information about the amazing women we featured! Check out more videos on our youtube page!
  • DIY, Photography

    Christmas DIY Projects

    Holiday Do it yourself projects. For Christmas

    Christmas DIY Projects

    I’m going to be honest. I do not do a lot of DIY crafts. But for some reason, the Christmas season forces it out of me. I love making crafted gifts and just doing projects with a little kid that I babysit. Each year we come up with some new to try. This year we’re going to be creating Marbled Christmas Ornaments, Candy Sleighs, and Rudolf Hot Chocolate Bags.

    Marbled Christmas Ornaments

    The Marbled Christmas Ornaments are simple. You need a single or multi-pack of glass or plastic Christmas ornaments and some Acrylic paint. Take the silver topper off the ornament and squirt a little bit of the colored paints you want into the ornament. Then, you can place the topper back on or hold something over the opening to shake it. Once you’re done shaking, you can choose to add more colors or glue the topper back on. Et Voila! You have made a cute homemade gift for you or someone else.

    Here’s a breakdown of the Marbled Christmas Ornaments supplies:

    Glass (or plastic) clear ornaments

    Hot glue

    Acrylic paint (whichever colors you like)

    Here is a link to another way to make the ornaments using water and nail polish:

    http://www.aliceandlois.com/diy-indigo-marbled-ornaments/

    Candy Sleighs

    The candy sleighs should not be too difficult. All you need are candy bars that you, or whoever you’re giving them to, enjoy. You will want three-five different size bars to make the sleigh look cooler, and you need two candy canes for each one.

    Lay your two candy canes parallel from one another, then glue your largest candy bar lengthwise them. Now, to stack the rest of the candy bars you can use either glue, tape, or pray they stay in place with a ribbon. If you want your sleigh to be a candy surprise you can always wrap the bars in wrapping paper.

    Once the final bar or piece of candy is stacked, take a shred of ribbon (it doesn’t matter what kind or color you use) and wrap it vertically around the candy cane and stack. Tie at the top in a single knot. Then take another ribbon of the same pattern and color and wrap it around the stack horizontally (the candy cane will not be wrapped with this one). Tie at the top with a single knot. If you don’t want to tie them, you can tape them flat to the top piece of candy.

    Finally, take a bow of your choosing and place it atop the candy sleigh. And now you have something both cute and delicious.

    Here’s an overview of the supplies needed for the Candy Sleigh:

    Candy Bars (different sizes)

    Two Candy Canes (per each sleigh)

    Hot Glue

    Tape

    Ribbon

    Bows

    Here is a link to a Pinterest post on how to do this with extensive details:

    https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/candy-sleighs.html

    Rudolf Hot Chocolate Bags

    The last craft is the Rudolf Hot Chocolate Bags. This one will take a little bit more effort, because it requires printing (already prepared) tags, punching holes in them, and threading a ribbon. But the tags are important because they hold the instructions, so just bear with that step.

    To begin, make sure you have these supplies:

    Googly Eyes (can be bought at craft stores or Target)

    Little Red Pom Poms (again, at craft stores or Target)

    Brown Pipe Cleaners (Target, Walmart, or craft store)

    Icing Piping Bags (Target or Walmart)

    Box of Hot Chocolate Packets

    Bag of Mini Marshmallows

    Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

    Ribbon

    Printer

    Glue (hot or sticky)

    You can either start with placing the ingredients inside the Piping bags or you can decorate the outside (whichever works best for you). If you choose to do the ingredients first, then empty a packet of hot chocolate into a piping bag, making sure it all goes to the point of the bag.

    Then, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips (a handful or less should be enough). Add in some mini marshmallows, making sure to leave some space to seal the bag. Wrap a ribbon around the sealed part of the bag, adding the printed, prepared tag to it.

    Take two pipe cleaners and glue them to the back side of the piping bag parallel to each other. You can bend and twist the pipe cleaners until they reach a sort of antler shape. Next place two googly eyes a few centimeters apart in the center of the bag or over the chocolate chips. Be sure the eyes are on the opposite side of the bag that the antlers were glued.

    Take a single red pom pom and glue it a few centimeters above the tip of the piping bag. That’s it. You’re done! You have successfully created THREE Holiday DIY projects. Everyone will love them, and you will appreciate the little effort and money you put into them.

    Here is a link to more detailed Reindeer Hot Chocolate Bag instructions:

    https://everydaysavvy.com/easy-diy-gift-reindeer-hot-chocolate-recipe-instuctions/#_a5y_p=1123007

  • Holiday

    Seasonal Favorites

    The holidays bring a lot of joy for many reasons, but my favorite is the seasonal food and drink items. There’s a reason drinks like the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks are considered “basic”: it’s delicious and can only be bought certain times of the year!

    I want to share my list of favorite holiday beverages and food items with you:

    • Starbucks Toasted White Chocolate Mocha (Frappuccino or Latte)
    • McDonald’s Eggnog Shake
    • IHOP Vanilla Grinch Pancakes
    • McDonald’s Holiday Pie
    • Disney World’s Santa Rice Krispy
    • Cracker Barrell’s Spiral Slices Sugar Cured Ham

     

    I could list Starbucks drinks all day, but I will leave you with this one recommendation today: Toasted White Chocolate Mocha. Whether you like your drinks frozen, iced, or hot, this beverage is the way to go. It is super sweet and tastes just like you’re drinking a coffee flavored Smore. Who doesn’t love coffee and smores? It wasn’t until last year that I got on the Starbuck’s holiday drinks bandwagon and each time I order it always comes down to this drink or Caramel Brulee Latte. Both delicious. And both only available for a short time, so make sure to grab one before your store runs out of the syrup!

    There are two items on the list from McDonald’s. What can a girl say? I have a passion for fast and tasty. Now, sometimes eating foods at fast food places can be hit or miss. Well, the holiday pie and Eggnog shake are definitely a hit! I am lactose intolerant, but I will go to my dairy grave over some vanilla and eggnog flavored ice cream. Even though they don’t offer the shake all year ‘round, here is a link I found for making your own:

    https://copykat.com/2012/12/16/mcdonalds-eggnog-shake/

    If you love breakfast food, then you’ve probably been to IHOP or Cracker Barrell once in your life. Why not go again? Except this time try out their seasonal items, such as the Grinch Pancakes from IHOP or the Ham from Cracker Barrell. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, both recipes will have you wanting more. You could even get them To-Go and pair them for an at-home Christmas morning meal. Yum!

    The final seasonal item on the list is from the “most magical place on Earth”. If you’ve never been to Disney World or don’t plan on going anytime soon, don’t get discouraged. I have a copy recipe for this desert as well (I’ll link it below). What more could you want from a snack than to have rice krispies covered in chocolate and shaped like Mickey? They may be overpriced like everything else in the theme parks, but their taste and magical feel are amazing.

    Link for copycat recipe:

    https://www.momendeavors.com/disney-copycat-mickey-rice-krispies-treats/

    If you or your family have favorite seasonal foods, whether they’re sweet or not, please share them down below in the comments. I am always on the look out for more things to try!

  • Gifts, Holiday

    Great Gift Ideas for Family

    With Christmas coming up fast, it’s always a good idea to get a head start on shopping for your loved ones. We know that it’s hard to show everyone how much they mean to you in a creative way, while also not breaking the bank, so we have compiled a list of some ideas for just some of the important people in your life. Let them know how much you love them this holiday season with these ideas!

    For Your Brother

    Socks are a necessity for every boy, and you can make them individual to your brother by customizing them to fit his personality. Does he favorite football team or food? You can find socks with either! You can find all kind of funky socks especially for your brother at Happy Socks in Birmingham.

    For Your Sister

    Shopping for sisters can either go extremely right or extremely wrong, depending on how well you can judge your sister’s taste. However, a simple but powerful gift that is sure to please any sister are the Giving Key necklaces. There is a plethora of different words that you can find imprinted on the different jewelry pieces. There are necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more all emblazoned with words like “create”, “love”, and “strength”. Pick the perfect word for your sis and watch her smile. You can find these online, or at boutiques in Birmingham, like Lizard Thicket.

    For Your Mom

    Your mom finally learned to FaceTime, and now she won’t forget to have her charger on her always with the Lightning Cable Key Ring. It fits right on her keys and you’ll be so thankful she’ll be able to FaceTime you all the time! These are easy to find online to purchase.

    For Your Dad

    Do your parents like to entertain a lot? Then a perfect gift idea for dad is a serving board in the shape of his home state. Whether that be Alabama, Michigan, or any state in between, your dad could serve up his favorite cheeses and other snacks on his favorite state. If your dad happens to be extremely patriotic, you could choose a serving board in the shape of the United States instead. These are also easily found on Etsy, or a similar website.

    Have fun shopping for your loved ones this holiday season!

  • Articles, Holiday, Tips

    Holiday Gift Giving on a Budget

    As a teen, it can be tough to shop for friends and family, especially when income is low. Here are some tips for gift givers who are on a budget:

    • Find a way to make some extra money. Reach out to parents who may be in need of a night out so you can do some babysitting. Dog walking, pet sitting, or selling handmade greeting cards are also other options for some money you might need to buy gifts.
    • Make a budget. Set aside an amount of money you will be willing to use for gifts. Write this number down. Next, make a list of the people you want to give gifts to. Consider a dollar amount you will want to spend for each person and write it below the name of each person. For example, you might put a larger number by a family member than by a teacher or friend. Then, add up the numbers. If you find that you are over budget, see the next bullet point.
    •  Make gifts. You can make gifts for everyone on your list or just a few in order to save money. Some homemade gift ideas include bath salts, baked goods, potholders, sachets, or art. Use your talents to your advantage. Many people love homemade gifts because they are so unique and cannot be found at a store.
    • Split the cost of a gift with a friend or family member. This option is great if you want to buy someone a gift you might not be able to afford otherwise. It is also beneficial to the person you split the cost with because you both get to give the gift for less money.

     

    Remember, the fact that you are giving someone a gift means that you care about them a lot, and the thought is always what counts the most! Have confidence in yourself and your gift-giving abilities. You’ve got this!

  • Photography

    200 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom, friends, and siblings!

    Brook Reece Holiday Gift Guide

    200 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom, friends, and siblings!

    Looking for the perfect gifts? For your friends, mom, siblings, or maybe to treat yourself? We scoured the internet for the best holiday gift guides and found this great video with holiday gifts for girls by YouTube star Brook Reese. She lists 200 holiday gift ideas for girls.

    With so many choices to choose from, it can be hard to select a gift that is unique and meaningful. They say it is the thought that counts, but c’mon, we all want gifts that we love!

    Thanks Brooke for these great gift ideas! 

    Check out her Youtube page here.