Posted in Apartment Living, Baby Life, Dollar Tree Finds

Dollar Tree Finds: Baby Stuff

Only $3 for all of these incredible baby supplies!
Only $3 for all of these incredible baby supplies!

Our lil‘ Shock is 6 months old and old enough for food! I was thrilled to find some useful baby supplies at Dollar Tree! I purchased this bowl, 12 spoons, and the disposable placemats all for $3 total.

  1. The disposable mats seem like they’d be really handy for when we go out to eat and need something to put our guy’s food onto.
  2. 12 baby spoons will mean I don’t have to stress about having enough spoons for our lil‘ guy.
  3. The bowl suctions to the table so that its harder to push off their tray or the table.

I will get a lot of use out of my $3 worth of baby supplies!

Any other cool baby products you’d recommend for a 6 month old?

Posted in Apartment Living, Crafts, Seasonal Decor

Apothecary Jars: 12 Months of Decor-April

Easter is on its way and I thought I’d share what I put in my easy apartment-friendly apothecary jars for April. Check it out!

  • Easter Grass- Green, yellow, pink: Dollar Tree
  • Plastic Carrots with pixie-stick-like candy inside: Dollar Tree
  • Junior Mint Eggs: Dollar Tree
  • Mike and Ikes- Easter Edition: Dollar Tree or Cadbury shiny eggs: Walmart
Easter Apothecary Jars
Easter and Spring Apothecary Jars
Spring Apothecary Jars
Spring Apothecary Jars

Don’t have apothecary jars? Consider filling Mason jars for a similar effect. Want to make apothecary jars similar to mine?

Did you like the look of the Mike and Ikes in the picture above or the shiny Cadbury eggs? Honestly, I was imagining glimmeringly shiny eggs, so the pastel, mildly shiny Cadbury eggs I discovered disappointed me. Ah well! They still tasted as delicious as they always do, so I will enjoy eating them when Easter is over.

Check out what I put in my jars last month for St. Patricks Day.

Posted in Apartment Living, Crafts

12 Months of Holiday Wreaths: St. Patricks Day

I love decorating for seasons and holidays. I also love not having to store a ton of decor since I live in an apartment. Pulling out large bins of decorations can be cumbersome so I’ve been exploring ways to keep decor simple.

So behold! This minimalist wreath is simple, fun, and perfect for St. Patricks Day!

Supplies Needed

  • Wreath- $10 at Hobby Lobby in the floral department
  • Coins- $1 Dollar Tree
  • Leprechaun Hat ripped from the top of a green headband-$1 Dollar Tree.
  • Toothpicks- $1 for two canisters- Dollar Tree
  • Low Temp Glue gun and mini glue sticks
  • Green sharpie

Make the Valentines version of this wreath.

I love St. Patrick’s Day decorations, but it got me thinking . . . I don’t really celebrate this holiday. What do you do for St. Patrick’s Day?

Posted in Apartment Living, Crafts

Apothecary Jars: 12 Months of Decor Using Dollar Tree Items-March

March- St. Patrick’s Day

March is almost here! For $4 you can fill your Apothecary Jars with festive decor.

I used a bag and a half of plastic gold coins, a St. Patrick’s Day scarf, and cut 2 feet of St. Patrick’s Day Garland, all purchased at Dollar Tree.

Then, either keep the stuff for next March, since it doesn’t take up too much space or donate them and skip the storage. This apartment friendly decor allows you to have fun with something festive without having to store boxes of stuff!

lucky Gold Coins- saving space
Lucky Gold Coins- saving space- just use a small container on the inside of your jar.
Gold Coins- Dollar Tree
Gold Coins- Dollar Tree

These coins are so useful for so many craft projects if you end up with extras. Stay tuned for another St. Patrick’s Day craft I used the rest of my coins for . . .

lucky Gold Coins- Dollar Tree
Lucky Gold Coins- Dollar Tree
Lucky garland
Lucky garland- Cut two feet off of the garland to place in your largest jar.
St. Patrick's Day Window
My St. Patrick’s Day window using the remaining garland and window clings I bought at the Dollar Tree last year.

Click here to find instructions on how to make your own Apothecary Jar.

Does anyone know of any green candies I could use in these jars? Please write a few ideas in the comments below.

I couldn’t find green m&ms, but maybe that is for the best because then I would want to eat them all . . .

Posted in Crafts, Harry Potter Stuff

Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part I

Creating a Fawkes Christmas tree-topper/ lamp seemed like a pipe dream when I discovered Harry Potter themed Christmas trees this summer. Fawkes is by far one of the coolest magical creatures in Harry Potter and the colors scarlet and gold are perfect for Christmas!

Fawkes as seen on Epbot.com

But I’ll get very real with you, I was deterred by the cost to make it almost immediately. I mentally added up the decoy bird, the lights, the paint, the feathers, etc. after reading epbot’s post on her incredible creation and imagined it would one of those pins I admired but never got around to making.

In December, however, I found some amazing things at Dollar Tree that encouraged me to make other Harry Potter decorations and then got another opportunity to make decor for a Harry Potter themed table and just couldn’t help myself. I would make my own lit Phoenix!

I laugh now realizing that I not only underestimated the cost of making this bird but also the time involved to make this tree topper. Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way! It was so much fun, especially when I finally got to share what I created.

Why did I end up making Fakes then? That is a story for another post which you can read here. It’s time to get going on making your very own light-up Fawkes the Phoenix from Harry Potter! I assure you it is well worth the time and effort required.

Materials Needed:

  • acetone- the smallest amount I found was 32 oz. Lowes
  • plastic decoy hawkAmazon
  • Red feather boa, red and orange feathers, black acrylic paint, Hobby Lobby
  • wine, fire, soft butter, coffee bean acrylic multi-surface paints Michaels (to be honest I’d go with brighter primary colored traditional acrylic paints to match my feathers if I ever made another phoenix) so use your best judgment on your color choices.
  • Glitter Glue- Ice Red Dollar Tree
  • Brilliant Red Simply acrylic paint- Walmart
  • Battery Powered 7.2 ft. fairy lightsAmazon
  • Red and Gold Glitter- Dollar Tree (optional)

Tools Needed:

  • a rag
  • a plastic bin
  • sponge paint brushes
  • a small drill (mine is a small and cost around $20 at Walmart and came with two bits)
  • a drill bit
  • sponges brushes, small/fine detail and large paint brushes
  • old plastic lid or tin for pouring your paints onto
  • hot glue and glue sticks for the feathers
  • pliers for pulling the plastic eyes from the bird
  • a razor blade
  • Time Required: 15 hours approx to complete
  • Cost:$40-$50 approx

Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way!

Steps to Making Fawkes

Part I- Prep the Bird

  1. Pull out your decoy, acetone, rag, and plastic bin. I would recommend using gloves for this step. Put your plastic bird into the bin. Pour a generous amount of acetone onto your rag and scrub a section of the bird until all of the paint is gone in that area. Pour more onto a new spot on your rag until that section of the rag is dirty. Repeat until all of the paint has been removed from the decoy.
  2. Let the bird dry in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Use your pliers to remove the eyes from the bird. This will require a lot of pulling.
  4. Get out your drill and drill bit. I used the largest drill bit I had knowing that the paint would cover up part of the holes I made. Make holes in the bird everywhere except the head, feet, and the tree stump.
  5. Vary the location of your holes so they don’t line up.
  6. Use your drill bit to remove some of the glue in the eye sockets so that the light will have plenty of room to escape from the Phoenix’s eyes.
  7. Using your razor blade cut a hole big enough to fit the light bulb of your lamp through it. If you choose to use a just a string of LED lights you won’t need to cut the hole at the bottom of the bird any bigger.

For the next steps please see my second post on making Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part II. Coming soon . . .

All the parts are appropriote considering the way they split the last Harry Potter Movie into two movies right!? JK! This post would just be too massive with this entire tutorial in one place . . . or would it?

Please let me know in the comments below if you’d rather have this tutorial all as one large post . . .

Click here to see more of my Harry Potter creations!

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas: Fawkes the Phoenix A Tree Topper in progress . . .

The Idea to make Fawkes the Pheonix

I found the idea for the tree-topper pictured below on epbot.com. I fell in love with the idea immediately, but with no real hope of undertaking it. So when I did decide to take it on, like many craft projects I undertake, I completely underestimated the time and supplies it would require to make.

Due to my impatience and efforts to be thrifty I bought a different decoy bird than the one the epbot post referenced on Amazon. WELL, it turns out that my bird was not white under all of the paint, but black. My bird also has wings that are completely folded to it’s sides vs. the bird in her posts.

With those setbacks and December getting really busy I lost some steam and put Fawkes away for a few weeks to finish later. Then at church, they decided to throw a Broadway production themed dinner and asked me to host a table. I love musicals, but knowing I had been making all of the Harry Potter decor I had, I asked them if they’d let me theme mine after the Broadway play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. They agreed and I was given the green flag to host a Harry Potter themed table.

So now, Fawkes is back, but a work in progress. I decided against putting Fawkes on a perch for now and just leaving him on the log/stump he came on.

I drilled holes in his body to emit light and am looking to put some kind of lights inside of him.

This is what I have so far:

I’d love some opinions on putting feathers on him or not and if you think the holes look goofy and need to be covered up.

I’m also in charge of a small 2-minute presentation on our theme. I thought we’d do a little song called Harry Potter in 60 seconds, but it would only be my husband and I singing so that idea might be out . . . I was thinking about Harry Potter Mad Libs (like they do on Jimmy Fallon). What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!

UPDATE: I finished the project! Check out the pictures below to see the finished product. Check out my full tutorial on Fawkes the Pheonix coming soon . . .

Posted in Crafts

Valentines Wreath: 3 Wreath Styles for $3

Supplies:

  • 1 green heart shaped wreath ring
  • Ivory colored spray paint
  • 1 spool Red burlap ribbon from Dollar Tree
  • 1 spool Burlap (wire rimmed) Ribbon from Dollar Tree

Crafty girl did a video about spray painting this wire heart and leaving it as is. It is really cute, but I wanted a little color since most of my apartment is cream colored.

Simply wrap the Dollar Tree ribbon around the wire frame for a few different looks:

Heart Wreath
Red Burlap Heart Wreath

Use hot glue to hold the ribbon in place or with a bit of clever tucking and twisting keep it in place without glue so you can reuse the ribbon for other projects!

Brown and Red Burlap Wreath
Brown and Red Burlap Wreath

Just be careful with the red burlap because if it gets overworked it starts to look like this:

Which wreath do you like best? What should I do with this red burlap now that it’s coming apart?

Posted in Apartment Living

Three Minimalist Holiday Decoration Ideas

wreath
Valentines Wreath

Feeling any pressure to step onto the minimalist bandwagon? With Netflix shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and it’s documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Being the bargain hunter and crafter that I am, even I’m seeing the value in cutting down on clutter. Recovering from the stress and excess of the holiday season I’ve had minimalism on my mind.

The minimalism documentary was especially impactful. I saw it a few years ago and it changed the way I looked at things like souvenirs. It’s helped me let go of extra stuff I don’t need as I clean. It’s also helping me reconsider the crafts I choose to make.

I live in an apartment and space is valuable. I always seem to be de-junking looking for places to put my stuff. As someone who loves good deals, I’ve learn to be more organilized in order to fit more stuff into less space. As a “maximalist” I often try to get the maxium amount of stuff into my small space while maintaining some semblance of order. Merica!

However, I constantly seem to be reorganizing and decluttering, so I’m trying to be wiser about the crafts and deals I pursue. I look forward to the holidays and decorating for them, so I thought I’d make some crafts that take up less space and contain parts that can can stay up year round, minimalizing the storage aspect of holiday crafts. The crafts I have so far are:

Apothecary Jars
  1. Apothecary Jars- They may have come and gone in popularity, but they are fun to make, don’t take up a ton of space, and fit the bill for allowing me to get excited about each upcoming holiday. It’s fun to find something festive to put into the jars every month or two. Plus, they are inexpensive to fill and the small things I put in them don’t take up much room to store, or I can easily donate the items I used for someone else to enjoy, or give away or eat the candy I often use. Click below to make apothecary jars similar to the ones pictured to the right.
wreath

2. Wreath- They are classy, completely customizable, won’t require storage, (as they stay hanging up all year) and thanks to killer sales at Hobby Lobby, don’t cost too much. Target also carries similar wreaths. Check out CraftyGirl’s DIY on this valentines wreath to the right for instructions on how to make it.

3. If you enjoy decorating with lights, but don’t always want white or multi-colored lights consider using these LED lights that can be changed to multiple solid colors depending on the holiday or event.

LED Lights
Multi-colored LED images from Amazon.com 

I understand that to some crafting and minimalism seem to be at odds, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t find a way to embrace aspects of it. After all as an apartment-dweller extra space is always welcome.

Posted in Recipes

Apple, Ham, and Havarti Pita Pocket

This savory/sweet pita pocket is a take on a delicious panini I learned to make while working at a small sandwich shop in college. The ham and apple combo in the sandwich sounded so strange to me when my manager Linda, first taught me how to make it but one bite was enough to make it a fast favorite.

This easy pita sandwich delivers gourmet flavor for a small price and requires little time, effort and only a microwave to prepare. Best of all it
takes less than 10 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • Deli Ham
  • Thin slices of a apple (I prefer Pink Lady apples but any sweet red apple you enjoy will do)
  • 2 slices Havarti Cheese
    *Havarti cheese is now easier to find in local grocery stores so don’t let this ingredient scare you away from trying this delicious sandwich. This mild soft cheese is now sold in precut slices near other popular cheeses or sometimes near specialty cheese/dairy sections of the supermarket.
  • Mustard
  • Honey
  • Wheat pita pockets/pita bread/ kangaroo pockes

1. Lay out a single slice of Havarti and place 2-3 thin slices of deli ham along the inside of the cheese.

pita pocket
The makings of a sweet and savory pizza pocket with honey, mustard, havarti cheese, and deli ham on a wheat pita pocket

2. Add 2-3 thin slices of apple.

3. Drizzle honey accross your thin apple slices.

4. Squirt on an equal portion of mustard (as honey) or less if you’d like a sweeter sandwich.

5. Now fold your cheese slice like a taco letting the ham stick to the honey and mustard on the apple.

6. Open you pita pocket gently and then place the havarti slice stuffed with ham, apples, honey, and mustard inside of the wheat pocket.

7. Put the pita pocket in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or until the cheese is completely melted and all of the inside contents are warm.

Enjoy!

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas Tree: Electric Candles

Something that has really added to the fun of my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree has been electric candles. I origionally saw them in an ad with a high price tag and wondered if I could find something similar on Amazon. When I found them for around $15 for a box of 12 candles I was thrilled.

I ordered two boxes and ended up with one box of white and one of yellow lights. I prefer the white lights, but it may depend on the color scheme you choose for your tree. Mine was a Gryffindor color scheme of scarlet and gold, so white lights help break up a lot of the gold I have on my tree, but the yellow may be even better for trees with other color schemes. 

The lights also come with suction cups so that they can stick to glass, spikes that you could stick in plants or lawn, and clips so that they clip onto branches of a Christmas tree. They also come with a remote (battery included) to turn the entire set of lights on and off, control the brightness of the lights, and a set of controls for the flickering of the lights. 

The only down side to the lights is that each candle requires one triple-A battery not included with your order and needs to be added to each candle separately. However, the battery life has been good so far and the remote works really well. It would be even cooler if the candles would flicker at different rates and not all at the same time, but for the price I paid I can’t complain. 

I’m excited to have these fun electric candles around for all sorts of fun future Harry Potter occasions. 

electric candle accessory and battery
electric candle accessory and battery
yellow electric candle
yellow electric candle
white electric candle
white electric candle

Check out fun Harry Potter themed ornaments and a tree ribbon I made for my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree!