Deck the Halls

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My little 5 year old boy loves Ninja Turtles.  For his playgroup this month, we had to make some DIY Ninja Turtle Ornaments!  It was so easy and fun!

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Supplies you need to make Ninja Turtle Ornaments:

Green ornament balls (I found a big plastic tote of them for 4.97 at Walmart!)

Ribbon 1/2 in wide in Blue, Red, Orange, & Purple (Found at Michaels Craft Store)

Hot Glue or Elmer’s Glue

& Google Eyes (ones that fit inside your ribbon)

If you do Large ornament balls, you will of course want wider ribbon and bigger eyes:)
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Just string glue around the middle of the ornament ball.  Slowly add your ribbon leaving a 3 inch piece on each end.  Tie the two 3 inch piece ends together  in a double knot.  Add google eyes!

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You have some adorable Ninja Turtle ornaments & a happy little boy (or girl!)  We even made a mini tree for my little boys room!  Such a fun craft activity and a hit with little ones!

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Hello there!  It’s me again, Katie from The Casual Craftlte.  Today I am sharing a homemade idea for the holidays.  This Raspberry Sauce DIY Gift is perfect for topping cheesecake, ice cream, yogurt and more.  Plus, I have included labels which you can print later in this post.

Raspberry Sauce  DIY Gift

  I love the idea of making raspberry sauce for Christmas.  It says “Happy Holidays” with it’s vibrant red color.  The recipe I used makes approximately 6 oz, which is the exact size of mason jars I bought.

Raspberry Sauce

In a medium sauce pan on the stove, combine 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water. Add 12 oz of thawed raspberries and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture boils, mashing the raspberry with the back of a spoon. Once the mixture is boiling, cook and stir for one additional minute.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove seeds. The sauce can be served warm or cold. Store in the refrigerator.

*Make sure to sterilize your jars before adding the raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce Labels for Jars

 I wanted to make some labels for the tops of the jar lids.

Raspberry Sauce Labels

 I recommend printing the labels on brown kraft paper.  I just like the rustic kraft look.  The labels are 2 inches.  Just cut or punch each label.  I used adhesive tape to secure the labels to the tops of the lids.  Then I tied a cute ribbon around the rim of the lids to finish this diy gift.


DIY Gift  Raspberry Sauce

Raspberry Sauce // DIY Gift
  • 2½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 12 oz raspberries, thawed
  1. In a medium sauce pan on the stove, combine 2½ teaspoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and ⅓ cup water. Add 12 oz of thawed raspberries and cook over medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly until the mixture boils, mashing the raspberry with the back of a spoon. Once the mixture is boiling, cook and stir for one additional minute.
  3. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove seeds.
  4. The sauce can be served warm or cold. Store in the refrigerator.

Easy Raspberry Sauce


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Winner Announcement!!!

We all loved the fun clever captions! Thanks so much for sharing!

The WINNER is:

Yvonne Wolf

“This better be Santa and not the Stork like last time.”

Here are some of our runner ups!

 Chelsea Nielsen says: I hope Santa’s been brushing up on his America Ninja Warrior skills!

Whitney Parco says: I see London, I see France, I see Santa’s UNDERPANTS!!!

Shannon H. says: Either I just saw Santa or Sirius Black!

Melina Gonzalez says: “I just don’t see how he’s going to fit in this chimney, it’s gonna be like squeezing a school bus into a compact car parking spot.”

Thanks to everyone who left a comment! We have to do this again!


Check out our holiday
 picture below. The reader who is able to come up with the BEST caption for this picture… as in the most witty OR the one that makes us laugh the most, will be the WINNER!! 

Holiday Caption Contest!

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Pin, Win, & Let the Pinspiration Begin… TONIGHT!

The Crazy for Christmas 

Party on Pinterest is Finally Here!

{*Pssst!* There’s a GIVEAWAY too! Keep scrolling….}

It's HERE - For post AND Social Media

Yep, it’s ALL going down TONIGHT!

Just hearing about this for the first time? Check out all the deets HERE!
With these 13 fantastic bloggers pinning up a storm with us tonight you are NOT going to want to miss this! Stretch your clickers cause you’re about to start a 1-hour Christmas-themed Repin-a-thon of a lifetime!

Haven’t registered yet?

Trust us! You’re going to want to RSVP for this Party so you can get your hands on these FREE Digital Party Favors made by the TALENTED Kristin of Yellow Bliss Road!

Free Party Favors

And that’s just a PEEK at what you’ll get for hanging out with us tonight and repining to your heart’s content. {You MUST be registered to receive your party favors!!} So hurry and enter your info below ’cause it’s TONIGHT!

And the Party of all Parties would of course have a GIVEAWAY that is SUPER easy to enter!

{…drumroll please…}

Want to win YOUR CHOICE of an iPad, Nikon camera, Kindle, TV, or CASH?!?

Giveaway Prizes

Just click HERE to head on over and throw your name into the hat!

May your Pins be Merry & Bright!

See you all TONIGHT on THIS Pinterest Board at…

6-7:00 PM PST, 7-8:00 PM MST, 8-9:00 PM CST, 9-10:00 PM EST

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Ultimate-Neighbor-Gift-Guide ‘Tis the season to make fun clever gifts for friends and neighbors.  We’ve scoured the web in search of our favorite gift ideas and rounded-up quite the collection.  In fact we dare call it the ULTIMATE Gift guide! You will find so many ideas you could be pinning for days.  Or you could hop over and follow our Neighbor Gifts board on Pinterest to see all the fun things we’ve collected there.  In the meantime sip your hot cocoa as you check out some of our favorites!


1- Frosty the Snowman Candy Gift Pots by Live, Laugh, Rowe

2- Gingerbread House Kit by 30 Minute Crafts

3- Hot Cocoa on a Stick by Thirty Handmade Days

4- Don’t Let the Holiday Season FRY Your Nerves by A Girl and A Glue Gun

5- Peppermint Hot Chocolate by Simply Kierste

6- Lump of Coal by Make Bake Celebrate

7- Snow Day Survival Kit by The DIY Mommy

8- Homemade Vanilla by Giggles Galore

9- Door Mat by The Benson Street


10- Staching Through the Snow by The Crafting Chicks

11- Christmas Lights Sugar Cookies by The Partiologist

12- Just Soap’n You Have a Merry Christmas by All Things Thrifty

13- Chocolate Covered Pretzels by Cincy Shopper

14- Oreo Peppermint Bark by A Pumpking & A Princess

15- Peppermint Bark Hot Cocoa by Simply Designing

16- Redbox Neighbor Gift by Over the Big Moon

17- Baked With Love Wrapper by Our Thrifty Ideas

18- The 12 Days of Christmas Stories by How Does She?

19- Merry & Bright Gift Tags by Love the Day

20- Christmas Stovetop Potpourri by Yellow Bliss Road

21- Germ Free New Year by Liz On Call

22- Your Friendship Warms My Heart by Giggles Galore

23- Pop Pop Fizz Fizz Oh What Good Friends You Is by Dream Crafter

24- Peppermint Brownies by Skip to My Lou

25- Wishing you an “Extra” special Christmas by The Benson Street


26- Christmas Gift Labels by Ashlee Marie

27- Rudolph Christmas Gift by Tried & True

28- Snowman Mason Jar Gift by Polkadot Chair

29- Stenciled Holiday Mug by One Artsy Mama

30- Mistle “Toes” by The Crafting Chicks

31- Dark Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn by Paisley Petal Events

32- “Twizz” the Season to be Jolly by Cupcake Diaries

33- Peppermint Shortbread Bar Cookies by Inside Bru Crew Life

34- Snowflake Silk Screen Glass & Poem by Or So She Says…


35- Cinnamon Shake and Pour Pancakes by Skip to my Lou

36- Christmas Coasters by One Artsy Mama

37- Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Major Hoff Takes a Wife

38- Stamped Christmas Gift Bags by The Casual Craftlete

39- Root DEER Float Kit by Thirty Handmade Days

40- Geyser Gifts by Flipzles

41- Hand Santa-tizer by Paper Jewels

42- The best way to spread Christmas Cheer by eighteen25

43- EOS Lip Balm Gift by Dimple Prints


44- Peppermint Snowflakes by Paging Supermom

45- Cinnamon Sugar Muffins by Skip to my Lou

46- Frozen Cookie Dough by One Good Thing By Jillee

47- M&M Christmas Poem by U Create

48- Chocolate Caramel Covered Pears by Your Homebased Mom

49- Heating/Cooling Pad by Kiki and Company

50- Cookies for Santa by The Crafted Sparrow

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We have loved being apart of Michaels’ Makers this year!  We have loved all of the creative challenges.   We’ve LOVED seeing what the other Michaels’ Makers have created.  Such a fun team to be apart  of!  Thank you Michaels!

The December Challenge was making a Creative DIY Gift!  Including the wrapping or presentation.  I was excited to come up with a pretty neighbor gift…that not only has a treat…but the “gift wrap” can be used as a Christmas decoration.  Loving Mason Jars…I came up with these Fancy Glitter Tree Mason Jar Gifts.  A beautiful way to share a treat with a neighbor or friend! December Creative
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Supplies to make the Mason Jar Trees: (All Supplies from Michaels Craft Store)

Mason Jars…Various sizes

White Plaster Trees (came in a set of 3, A Large, medium & small tree)

White Spray Paint

Creatology White Glitter (Looks like snow!)

Hot Glue

Various festive Christmas Treats for the jars


“Sugar & Spice” Free Printable Gift Tag (Below)

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Place the trees inside a cardboard box with the top open, spray pain with the white spray paint (a nice coat).  Right after (with the paint still wet), sprinkle on the white glitter.  Add a thin coat of a sealer spray paint if you want:)  The glitter stays on better this way.

Let the tree dry, and then glue on top of your mason jar lid.  I did have to shave down a few rims of the tree branches on the bottom, to make each tree fit nicely.
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Fill each jar with Christmas Candy.  Attach the “Sugar & Spice” free printable tag with twine…you have a very pretty Neighbor Gift! sm sugar and spice tags

Tag Download…Personal Use Only Please.  Property of The Crafting Chicks, LLP.
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I love these Wilson Mini Candy Molds & Candy Melts found at Michaels.  I made some to add to the jars.  The “candy cane” candy melt is delicious!!  Seriously Delicious!  I think I ate a few spoonfuls..oops!  After you melt the candy in your microwave…you stir it up and add it to the molds…so easy!  Place in freezer and in 15 minutes have adorable shaped Christmas treats!

Aren’t they cute?!
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These look great on a candy dish to take to a party. sm tree jars 9
What DIY gifts do you love to share with neighbors/friends?  Leave a comment….we’d love to hear!

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·       If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones this year, check out  Michaels gift guide.

·       Not only did we get to make creative holiday gifts from Michaels, but we also decorated trees! If you haven’t gotten around to putting up your tree yet, the Michaels Makers Dream Tree Reveal and Decorating Tips posts are a must see.  

·       Can’t think of what you’re going to give your craftiest friends this season? There are some great projects on Michaels’ DIY Gift Ideas Pinterest board that might spark your interest!
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Sharing our Stocking Christmas Garland Countdown/Advent Calendar today.  I found these adorable mini stockings at Target last year and knew they would be perfect!

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Supplies for Stocking Advent Countdown:

Numbers Tags  (I cut mine on silver sparkly poster paper using my Cricut Explore-it was like magic cutting them out!


Stockings (various patterns look best)

& a fun place to hang your Stocking Garland! sm stocking advent 4

After I cut out the number tags on my Cricut, I added a red cardstock to the back to help the numbers pop.
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In each stocking, we added our CHRISTMAS SERVICE COUNTDOWN strips…we are so excited about our service centered countdown to Christmas! sm service countdown 3

Using the twine, tie numbers on each stocking 1-25. sm stocking countdown 3 sm stocking countdown 2

Then hang your garland…this would be great on a mantle, staircase, door way, etc.  It looks great hanging on green Christmas garland.   sm stocking countdown 1 sm stocking countdown 4 sm stocking countdown 5 sm stocking countdown 6

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I am so excited to share our Christmas Service Idea today!  I really want my family to get in the spirit of what Christmas is really about this month.  I want my kids to feel the “True Spirt” of Christmas…not getting gifts (they don’t need), eating candy, elves, etc…all the cute stuff that is fun (and they will get a little of that), but focusing on helping and serving others will help bring “Christ” into our home.

Each day we will be choosing a “Service” idea out of our advent calendar.  I’m sharing my ideas with you (28 ideas) but you can make this work for your family/community needs.  I knew we needed this when I kept hearing “I want” & “I need.”  I realized that this is a good year to teach my children to think more about our Savior and his example for us…& why Christmas is important to us.

Sharing my free Service countdown printables today.  You can print the 8.5×11 sheet to frame or display…or cut the sheets into strips (like below) and embellish one end.  I used glitter paper stars cut from my Cricut Explore.  Add the strips to any advent calendar pockets.  It’s fun for the kids to pull out a new service activity each day in December.

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Personal Use only Please.  Property of The Crafting Chicks, LLP.

Hoping all of you can feel the true spirit of Christmas this year!

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“Prayer in Action is Love, Love in action is Service.”  -Mother Teresa



Beautiful image via

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Mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE

for December 4th!

Cozy up with some cocoa and get ready to PIN Everything in Sight!

Because we are pleased to announce the…

Crazy for Christmas Party ON Pinterest

with your Favorite Bloggers!

So there is this MUST-FOLLOW Pinterest Group Board filled with extreme craftiness, beauty & fashion tips galore, genius organizational & DIY ideas, plenty of kid-entertaining and hubby-lovin’ suggestions, and ways to SAVE more moo-lah? Basically EYE-candy at it’s finest! (Following this board ensures your Pinterest feed will be on a balanced diet of daily inspiration!)

Well…we have been invited to be a part of this Pinterest board and {with 13 FANTASTIC other bloggers} throw a LIVE PARTY on PINTEREST!

So pull out your virtual party hats and get those pinning-fingers ready because we are ready to par-tay


NEW - Save The Date

That’s right- this party is alllll about Christmas! Come get lots of pinspiration on: easy Christmas gift ideas, yummy holiday recipes, fun family traditions, festive home decor, free holiday printables, and SO MUCH MORE!OH! And

We should mention, there is a GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY too, of course with TWO winners!!

{Keep scrolling down to enter!}

Giveaway Prizes

But that’s not all… EVERYONE’S A WINNER!

That’s right- everyone who parties with us will also get their hands on some gorgeous party favors!! {Designed specially for you by the oh-so-talented Kristin of Yellow Bliss Road!} Just you WAIT!!!!! They are to die for & you will DEFINITELY use them for Christmas! Sneak peek will be emailed to you once you register!

Ummm…. I’d attend JUST for those alone!

So, mark your calendars for December 4th!

…and check out all of bloggers involved in the meantime! You are gonna fall in LOVE with them!

The Dating Divas / The 36th Avenue / Somewhat Simple / Lil Luna / Mod Podge Rocks / One Good Thing / Maskcara /Kids Activities Blog / Twist Me Pretty / The Crafting Chicks / Yellow Bliss Road / Simple As That Thirty Handmade Days Living Well Spending Less

A FUN Christmas-themed pinning party that all of you can attend from the comfort of your own home- what’s not to love?!

**IMPORTANT: Fill out the form at the bottom of this post to get your OWN invite to the Crazy for Christmas Party on Pinterest and information on how it all works! You’ll also receive a few reminders to make sure you don’t forget! AND registering will automatically hook you up with the amazing FREE digital party favors made by Kristin of Yellow Bliss Road that you’ll receive at the close of the party!**

**All you need to worry about today is entering this FABULOUS KICK-OFF Giveaway below and RSVPing for the party!**


**Winners will be announced at the close of the party.**

It’s SUPER easy to enter!
1. Follow ALL of the bloggers in the widget below {you get entries for each blogger you follow}
2. Be present at the party (a.k.a. watching the pinning countdown on our group board from your computer or mobile device) to claim your prize!


**You will get to see your “official” party invite AND read all about how this works once you click “Count Me In!” If you don’t “RSVP” – you will not receive reminders OR get the freebie printable party favors. **

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lid ornament header

I’m sharing my Michaels Craft Stores inspired Mason Jar Lid ornaments.  There are so many possibilities for these!

Last year I shared my Blue, silver & white Dream Tree.  I was excited to make a few more ornaments for it this year.

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To make these you will need: (all can be found at Michaels Craft Store)

Mason Jar Lids

Creatology white glitter (looks like mini snowflakes:)

Hot Glue

Mini Bird clips

Silver Berries

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First, tie ribbon around the lid circle. Using your hot glue gun, glue around the edge of the can top and add the lid liner.  Let dry.

Rub glue around the inside of the lid liner …make sure to smooth to the edges.  Sprinkle your glitter.  Let dry…

Now just glue on your birds and berries adding the hot glue…or any other little treasures…make them work for you tree:)

This was such a fun project….can’t wait to add these to our tree this year.

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Now for some fun news!  All Michaels locations nationwide are hosting a Holiday Pinterest Party from 1-4 p.m. Saturday.  You won’t want to miss this! Love these Christmas festive crafts!

Check out other #madewithmichaels ideas!  The ornaments I made would be a perfect kid craft too!  Which project would you love to make?!

1.       Glittered Jar Candle

2.       Christmas Countdown Charger

3.       Lemax Mason Jar Scene

4.       Ornament Mesh Wreath

5.       Mason Jar Votive Holder

6.       Yarn Wrapped Trees

7.       Christmas Ornament Canvas Wall Art

8.       Pink Bottom Apothecary Jar

9.       Mason Jar Snowy Scene Lid

10.   Gold Glitter Paper Ornaments

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