Friday, December 30, 2011

A Crazy~Classy yet Inexpensive Invite~ it OOZES STYLE!

I am crazy in love with having parties and entertaining friends. I love to clean, cook, wine and dine my friends and family in FINE STYLE. And part of the entertaining process is the making and sending of the invitations. I am never one to buy a premade invite, as I like an invitation to be super crazy 'ME'! So I thought I would show you one of my recent invites, with pics and instructions, and hopefully you will realize how much money you can save and how much fun designing your own invitations can be!

When I am shopping for the body of the invitation, once again you will find me hitting the Michael's $1 bin... and I never come up empty handed. They always have cute blank note cards & envelopes, that I recreate into something that is unique and crazy cute. By adding my own embellishments, it becomes personalized and the person receiving it feels EXTRA special! ;) So I purchase my $1 blank invites (6 in a pack) and use the coupon that I can USUALLY find online for 20% off, and that adorable little package of invites costs just $.87. With embellishments, the entire invitation costs no more than $.40 a piece... AND they are personalized to boot. You just can't beat it!



My idea of starting the New Year off on the right foot~ creating a 'Crazy Fun Way' to implement 'visual' reminders of the 'attributes' and 'character qualities' I desire to have in my life. My motto has always been: “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE”~ three things that I choose to fill my life with on a daily basis. But I also desire qualities that accompany the “3 L's”~ Joy, Peace, Contentment... Sometimes, just seeing those words in front of me, is a quick reminder to regroup and refocus. So, I came up with a creative way to put these words “INTO FOCUS”, so that they will be a daily reminder of what my life is to be about. I hope you enjoy this creative activity, as it is an activity that ANYONE can do, and it is just CRAZY enough for you to personalize for your own “visual cue cards”!

This project actually started out at a local good will store where I found a block of wood for 10 cents! I KNEW there was a project in that little block of wood and finally it came to me! As you will see! I also have used a wooden frame I got on sale at Michael's to show you another way to use wood with the paper, and Mod Podge!

Materials you will need:
A wooden object of your choice... SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM
Mod Podge
Aileen's Tacky Glue
Large Paint Brush
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Wide upholstery ribbon
Cut Out Letters of your choice... got mine on sale at Michael's
Large Square Scrapbook Paper of your choice


Make sure there are no rough edges on your wood piece, and if there are fine sand them away!

Tear your craft paper into large and small pieces, so that you have a variety of shapes to work with.

Using a large paint brush, generously coat your wood piece with the Mod Podge.

Begin on the top of your wooden piece, and place and smooth your paper onto the wood, eliminating all air bubbles. Add another coat of the Mod Podge with your brush, and using your fingers, smooth the paper into place.

Add your next strip of paper, and coat with Mod Podge. Cut the paper at corners and edges so you will be able to wrap and have a smooth surface.

Once all of your top and side surface is covered with your paper, generously apply another coat of Mod Podge and allow to dry according to directions.

To apply the decorative cord around the edge, use your glue gun on the edge of the wood, and apply the decorative cord applying pressure so that  it will adhere. I work the glue and edging around a few inches at a time.

Choose your “character word” you would like to see! And lay it out on the wood for proper spacing.

Use Aileen's Tacky glue to apply the letters to your wood surface. After I had all the pieces glued down, I used a few heavy books to make sure the letters were properly and firmly attached.

AND MWUAAH! It is as Easy as that! Here is a picture of the wooden block, and the picture frame I used to remind me to be filled with JOY< and to LOVE everyone, on a daily basis. Funny and Crazy thing? I still have more paper for another project... hmmm what word do I want to use? : )

This project is FAST, INEXPENSIVE, and MORE FUN than a game of ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. Hope you will have fun making your own 'visual' JOYFUL reminders!

Living, Laughing and Loving as I start a NEW PROJECT!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Budget Conscious “Classy & Crazy Creative” Christmas Gift!

I Love gift giving at Christmas time, but I go CRAZY over giving handmade, thoughtful gifts created with my own little hands and that remain with in my holiday budget!  I will be starting my CRAZY HOLIDAY BLOGGING with a 
“Classy & Crazy Creative” little Christmas Gift for any special gal on your list!

One of my favorite places to shop is the Michaels or Joanne Fabric $1.00 bins.  You can find some cute little gems in these bins- that with a few inexpensive additions will look like a beautifully crafted gift fit for your bestie, or someone to whom you simply want to show some appreciation.

I ran to Michaels to search the $1.00 bins, and found these ADORABLE blank lined note pads.  I knew with a little jazzing up these would make the perfect little gift for some of my girlfriends.  I searched for a rubber stamp that would be a perfect message for the front of the notebook… and as you know, I always close every blog with ‘live, laugh, love’, so this stamp was perfect.  I know I will be using this rubber stamp OVER AND OVER, so I really cannot put a price tag on what it would cost for the project, but I know it will be pennies.  The rest of the necessary items I already had at home!  But in case you don’t have all of the items needed, here is your list of supplies:

Clear stamping ink
Gold Embossing Powder
Heat Gun
Aileen’s Tacky Glue
Embroidery Thread to match your ribbon
Or anything YOU WANT to decorate and embellish your notebook!

Step 1: Place the rubber stamp on the ‘clear’ inkpad and apply pressure to completely cover the stamp. 

Step 2: “Eyeball” where you wish to place the stamp on the notebook.  Place the rubber stamp in place and apply pressure to completely apply the ink.

Step 3: Pour the Gold Embossing Powder over the stamped area, and gently shake off the excess.  To make your embossing powder last longer, place a piece of paper under your project to catch the extra, so that you can return the left over embossing powder to the jar. 

Step 4:  Using your heat gun, turn it to high heat.  Hold it close to the stamped area and watch as the powder changes to the ‘liquid gold’.  Do NOT overheat, as it will burn, just make sure all of you powder has turned gold.

Step 5:  Using whatever ribbon you have chosen, glue it to the notebook closest to the spiral.  A contrasting color, or a color within the theme is always good.

Step 6:  Using an embroidery thread that matches your ribbon, lace it through the button holes and knot it on top.  Glue your button, or whatever fun objects you have chosen in place


This is a FUN, INEXPENSIVE, QUICK and EASY project, perfect for Christmas, or ANY time of the year, a gift needs to be given.  Handmade and from the heart is the way I roll!  Why not give handmade gifts this year!  Your family and friends will cherish the gifts, knowing that you were thinking of them while you were creating!

Living, Laughing, and LOVING my handmade gifts,


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I love the smells of ‘Fall Flavorful’!Spices, and I LOVE baking in the fall.  Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves- so reminiscent of the Fall baking my mom did when I was a child.  With my schedule I also love recipes that are easy to make, BURSTING with Fall Flavors, and CRAZY DELICIOUS!  So, I have combined several recipes, played around with them, added my own touches and finally stirred them up with enthusiasm, and created a WONDERFUL Fall dessert that you will want to make for years to come!  Crock-pot Applesauce and Walnut Cake with Caramel Sauce!  YUMMO!

I love the ease of using my crock-pot.  There is nothing like starting a recipe in your crock-pot and then coming home to the smells of something wonderful that is waiting for you and welcoming you home!  So this recipe is easy, fall flavorful, and soon to be a family favorite!

Ingredients Needed:
Parchment Paper

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp round ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 Granny Smith Apples cored and chopped
Confectioners’ sugar and ice cream, for serving

Recipe Preparation

Place a 15-in. piece of parchment paper in the bowl of a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker, letting the excess come up the sides. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

      Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the applesauce and vanilla (the mixture will look curdled). Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.

Add in the chopped walnuts and chopped apples


     Transfer the batter to the prepared slow cooker and cook, covered, until set and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 3 hours on high.

   Holding the parchment, transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for at about 15 minutes.

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. whipping cream
Bring to boil. Serve over slices of cake.  Top with Confectioners Sugar.  If desired, serve with Vanilla Ice Cream on the side.

I hope you are getting hungry for this yummy, delish, FALL FAB dessert!  SO easy, SO sweet, SO FALL!  Get your apron on!  Pull out your whisks and bowls, and get your cooking groove on!  You will Have Happy Tummies in your home!

Living, Loving, and Laughing my way through Fall! 


Thursday, October 27, 2011


When people walk up the steps to my front door, my desire is for them to see my LOVE of FALL, and to immediately feel a FALL welcome as they announce their arrival.  I created a Fall Fab, Easy Wreath that ANYONE can recreate! NOW is the time to create your wreath, as most fall d├ęcor is marked down anywhere from 40-60% and THEN, with some online coupon searching, I always look at the Michaels online page for their current sales and coupons! I also always purchase the Sunday newspaper for the Michaels coupons! 
Searching, maximizes your savings!!! 
P.S. if you are a teacher or military, ask Michaels if they offer a discount.  I get a 15% discount at all times as a school teacher!

 I found my coupons, and headed off to Michaels.  I spent just $18.00 making this gorgeous wreath, which will be good for years to come, and is very individualized...
with the letter “E” for Easton!  :)

The supplies I used are as follows:
Grapevine Wreath
Pumpkin/ Beaded 5 ft garland
Small decorative Gourds
A bunch of Sunflowers
Green Wire Ribbon
The letter “E”
Krylon Glitter Blast Paint
Americana Gold Paint 
Krylon Matte finish Spray
Glue gun and sticks

I started by using the Krylon Glitter Blast on all of the floral and decorative components, except for the letter and the ribbon.   After the objects had dried, I laid the Pumpkin/Beaded garland 
on the wreath and hot glued into place.

Then on the left side of the wreath, I began hot gluing the glittered leaves and then hot glued the sunflowers on top.  I glued and spaced the leaves and flowers out along the top left to bottom center part of the wreath.  I then hot glued in any 
extra leaves that I had left over.

After hot gluing the flowers in place, I hot glued the gourds into place, spacing them out amongst the flowers.  Make sure all pieces are firmly in place, and that you have removed all ‘strings’ of hot glue… they do not ‘add’ to the beauty of the finished wreath! :)

I then took my wired ribbon, and tied it around the wreath, knotting it on the bottom right side of the last sunflower.  I tied one bow, and then another bow on top, and then one more bow on top!  This is the EASIEST way to make a pretty bow.  I corner trimmed the edges and then fluffed the bow out to make a nice shape.  A pretty bow with little effort… the wired edged ribbon really makes all the difference!

 Finally, I took my letter “E” and painted it with the gold paint.  Because of the surface texture of the letter, it usually takes 3 coats of the paint. Make sure as you are brushing your paint on, that you are applying the paint in long even strokes that all move in the same direction. To speed the drying process, I use a hair dryer in between coats.  Make sure you paint all sides and edges, as these will be seen!  When the paint is completely dry, spray with your Krylon matte finish, and allow the letter to dry completely.  I then hot glued the letter in place on the right side of the wreath above the ribbon. 

Once you have completed all of this take a piece of your wired ribbon, as long as you need it to be to hang your wreath properly.  I simply made around the top part of the wreath and hung the wreath from a nail in the top of my door.  And FANTASTISIMO!

Wreath supplies- on sale, Time to create- minimal, Fun creating- too much, Final Results when hung on door- PRICELESS.  

Hope you will take this idea and run with it.  The wreath is FAST, FUN, and FALL FABULOUS!  Hope you are enjoying your Fall Season…

Living, Loving and Laughing,