Friday, December 11, 2009

Quick, Festive Neighbor gifts

I am always up for a quick and easy gift for friends and neighbors, so I thought I'd share what I did last year.
I started with some cellophane bags filled with hand dipped chocolate pretzels and homemade Oreo truffles. (Hold on, I'm drooling just thinking about it. Okay. All better.) The bag looked pretty plain until I snipped some twigs off my pine tree and swiped some candy canes from our holiday stash (fresh ones and stale. lol.) It turned out lovely and I spent next to nothing on gift wrapping.
Moral of the story? Go raid your backyard (or your neighbor's-just kidding) for something fun and festive to add to your gift wrapping and you'll have thriftiness, elegance, creativity, and festiveness all rolled into one!
Oh-and in case you have never had an Oreo truffle, here is the simple, simple, mouthwatering recipe:
Oreo Truffles
1 pkg Oreos
1- 8oz pkg softened cream cheese
melting chocolates
Finely crush Oreos. Using a mixer, mix in the cream cheese. Roll into balls and freeze on lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Melt your chocolates. Dip each Oreo ball into chocolate and lay on wax paper to harden. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Countdown: Baby, it's Cold Outside, but we know you'll go shopping anyway

It is currently 7 degrees Fahrenheit in Utah, but you can warm your friends' and neighbors' hearts each season through thoughtful gifts. In continuing our Countdown with Crafts, here are a few ideas from this week's ads.
  • If you've been crafting in the kitchen and need something to put your goodies in, Michaels had really cute Christmas baskets for 50% off.
  • While I was there I bought acrylic paints for just 69 cents each. My mom has wanted me to paint her a whimsical childhood-related painting for awhile so it's a great thing that they also had artist's back-stapled traditional canvas on sale for 40% off as well!
  • Roberts has all their unfinished wood for 40% off, if you want another place to use acrylic paint.
  • If you make jewelry for others then Jo-Ann has 50% off Jewelry Making bead boards and a buy one, get one 50% off deal on Blue Moon beads (though Roberts has Blue Moon for 30% off)
  • Neighbor gift idea: both Roberts and Michaels has their ornaments 50% off.

    Buy a pack of the large clear glass ones. Funnel in around 1/4 cup of pretty sand and toss in a few tiny seashells. Tie a ribbon and this message at the top. I received this as a gift last year and really love it.

    Now, what did I do with all the great deals this week? I bought Team Licensed Fleece at Jo-Ann for 25% off and made the simple no-sew fleece blanket for my BYU-loving husband. (here's a little tutorial from Project Linus With the little extra that was part of the piece I was buying I also made him a team pillow. He's going to love these and it was pretty simple to do. There's a man-gift for you.