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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.


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Entries in gift (46)


advent packaging

Much of my Thanksgiving weekend was putting together these two advent packages. Both swaps were organized by Oh, Hello Friend. The top set is to 12 different people (as you likely guessed from their names) and the bottom set is all to the same person. Though a lot of work—so fun to have done them. And my apologies to those in the post office line behind me!

Anyone else gifting an Advent set this year? Little gifts are the best!


mason jar {polka dot} candle

This is a subtle and chic candle I made for Christmas gifts last December. Of course I created enough to have a leftover for myself (yay handmade gifts!). The idea started with this pin. I didn't like the idea of items IN the oil because they deteriorate, so I wanted to dress up the jar a bit. With dots.

To Make: Directions for glass etching polka dots can be found at How About Orange. Wicks can be purchased from Amazon, along with paraffin oil. I also added essential oil for scent, but I'm not sure the candle will actually give out odor. The candle may be just for looks and ambience (good enough for me!).


diy paper advent calendar

I hope you had an excellent holiday, the long weekend was incredible was it not?

So a very popular post from last year—this amazing paper Advent calendar—is now available to create your very own!

Because of popular demand, my friend Annie was willing to sell them in my Etsy shop. Now you can customize color paper to your liking, and even create multiples to give away!

Also, you can download one of the prints for FREE. But I'm sure you want the whole set... :)


being generous on a budget

Last weekend I had the privilege of teaching at a short class that covered a slew of information ranging from why we should be generous to a crash course in budgets & finances. Making wise financial choices are probably most difficult right around this time of year. Giving should not be out of guilt, obligation, or to impress other people—being generous should bring us JOY. Not to mention our culture is not the least bit shy about pressuring us to be constant consumers and to spend spend spend (Black Friday marketing anyone?). The Advent Conspiracy sums it all up pretty well.

My content for the class was about creative gift giving. Below are tips for gifting with thoughtful intentionality & saving time + money this holiday season.


Make a gift list & budget early // Know how many gifts and how much you want to spend. I've seen good reviews on using The Christmas List app for tracking your gifts.

Have a "B List" gift // Something small but thoughtful, for the people you want to give a little something (or perhaps you weren't originally planning to give them a gift…eep!). I love the idea of a cute coffee mug with a card saying "also included is a coffee date to be redeemed at a later time" etc. 

Make a large batch of cookie dough // Then freeze it in rolls to cut up and bake when needed. This will prevent extra trips to stores for prepared foods because you'll always have a go-to on hand.

Host baking/cooking party // Like a cookie exchange where every guest brings bulk of a dessert/appetizer and you swap. This gets you more variety at a lower cost, and they are pretty fun.


Give something of yours you know they admire // Like a scarf or purse they complimented, something they have shown interest in. Use with caution—don't give away junk you don't want!

Give labor // Who wouldn't love a free handyman/cleaner/cook/babysitter for a few hours? Use your skills/availability to offer yours services as a gift, and maybe print off this adorable Gift of Time Certificate.

Give books you own/have read // Make a fun bookmark and even create a "reader basket" by adding some coffee/tea.

Repurpose what you have into something new // Example: turn old scrabble tiles into magnets or artwork.


Tailor very specifically to the individual // Example: Buy lens cleaner, a lens scrunchie, or a pretty camera strap for someone who loves photography.

Buy bulk items // Like local wine/beer/etc, then dress it up with packaging.

Make gifts as a group // Where you provide part of the gift. Example: Make a "breakfast basket" that includes pancake mix, syrup, spoons, etc. But each person in the group only provides one ingredient.


Utilize Pinterest // Use this as a search engine for ideas or packaging on every gift.

Start with supplies you own // If you have scrap wood/fabric/yarn, search for gifts using these supplies. You will keep costs down guaranteed.

Plan to spend around 3-5 hours per gift // Don't get carried away with crafts that take months to make, but also don't expect to have 20 gifts made in one evening.

Create gifts in bulk // If you make 15 of the same thing you will keep cost and time at a minimum.

Be wary of pretty photography // Make sure you don't end up with something that looks cheap/cheesy when you take away the skills of whoever photographed the tutorial.

Be wary of time intensive crafts/gifts // Think through every aspect of the supplies you need and how many steps are in the project. If possible, try to borrow tools (glue gun/hammer) so you don't have to purchase.

Craft party // Get a group together! This is more fun AND you will save when you share supplies with each other.

Now the fun part! I've spent time curating a board of OVER 60 "do-able" handmade gift ideas. There is a range of skill & style but most are projects I'd like to own myself, which I believe is key when you are giving gifts to people. 

I'd love to know tricks you've learned to help save time/money or your thoughts on making gifts rather than buying them! Any of my readers have helpful tips to share?

Image Sources: 1. Chalkboard Mug by Wit & Whistle // 2. Recipe Tea Towel by Hello Beautiful for Spoonflower // 3. Tiny Polaroid Magnets by Ambrosia Creative // 4. Mason Jar Oil Lamp (image by Napa Style, instructions by Heath Ashli) //


registry gift upgrade

So I've posted before about how registries are boring. But for the last wedding I got even more creative!

When I saw this double layer cupcake carrier I knew we had a winner. If the bride is a baker—I definintely want to encourage that (not to diss new towels).

Hello excuse to add cute sprinkles and cupcake liners. AND conveniently Amy of Eat Drink Chick posted these adorable cutlery tags, which I easily made into cupcake toppers.

Add a wedding card with a cake theme and voilà! Pretty and a more personalized gift!

And yes, this peanut butter banana cream cupcake was amazing.


4 year anniversary & gift

This past Friday was my 4 year anniversay! Time certainly flies. Both my husband and I have stuck to the traditional anniversary gift list for ideas each year. It presents a fun challenge. This year was silk and how fun is it to own a bow tie in case a special occasion comes up?

Since the gift is relatively minor, I wanted to dress it up with a little packaging. Using an old cigar box is classy and well, super fitting for my husband.

Then I threw in a "very romantic card" and found these GREAT illustrated instructions on how to tie a bow tie. The illustration is by Conor Whelan for 2011 Trinity Ball Magazine. The cute card on the left is from Breathless Paper Co.

I truly love it and can't wait for him to try it out!

If you want to follow our anniversary adventures, last year we celebrated with a mini cake and a photoshoot. The gift was a custom leather wallet from in blue. And the previous year I gifted a sweet cotton love letter.


mother's day idea ::: paper ranunculus

Happy Monday! It comes so quickly, does it not?

Should you have a few hours (perhaps vegging in front of the tv) and some pretty paper—I recommend making a sweet bouquet or stem of this flower. I'm such a cool color person that this paper had me at aqua & cobalt blue. Metallic silver is a lovely bonus.

Here's to a great week, friends!

Tutorial by: D.I.Y. or Don't! (pdf pattern available here)


mason jar sewing kit

Happy Wednesday (evening)...today was a small whirlwind it feels.

Now there are plenty of these on Pinterest, so I'm not claiming to be original (idea originated from Ms. Martha I do believe). But when I saw this at Anthropologie for a whopping $40-ish—I saw a challenge. And nothing on the web had a good source list, so today I give you one.

TIPS // Use wide mouth mason jars. A must because after glueing the pin cushion the lids don't fit well. Also, I bought these pin containers which don't fit. I followed the steps in the tutorial by Momstastic for the pin cushion lid. Use glue sparingly. Use glue sparingly. The last tip is to make multiple kits, because you'll have surplus supplies. I made 6 kits and used them as Christmas gifts for my crafty friends.

Now I have pretty shelf candy that is quasi functional. Actually, I even used some items for last weekend's craft. See! Great to grab for quick use.

::: Sewing Kit Total $13.99 (+ tax) :::


Mason Jars $1.57 ($10 for $9.44, Walmart)
Embroidery Scissors $3.99 (Fabric Store)
White Tape Measure $1.47 (Walmart)
Wood Spools $.66 (6 for $1.99, Hobby Lobby)
Thimbles $1.33 (10 for $7.99, Amazon)
Safety Pins $.50 (Pack for $2.99, Hobby Lobby)
Stick Pins $.83 (Pack for $4.99, Hobby Lobby)
Pin Containers $1.65 (Walgreens)
Sewing Needles $.23 (Pack for $1.37, Walmart)
Felt $.04 (1 sheet  for $.25, Hobby Lobby)
Sewing Thread $.72 (2 for $4.29, Walmart)
Buttons $1.00 (Various)
Pin Cushion Top (had on hand)


lovely bundle {holiday tag freebies}

So many adorable Christmas tags to download from the interwebs—just wanted to share a few of my favorites. Also, check out this great collection by Ez and don't miss these photo tags by Mer Mag (so great!).

Have a great last-weekend-before-Christmas!

Download Sources: 1 Eat Drink Chic // 2 Eat Drink Chic // 3 Jones Design Company (via Pinterest) // 4 Domestifluff (via Creature Comforts) // 5 Martha Stewart // 6 Creature Comforts // 7 haciendo el indio (via Creature Comforts) // 8 Martha Stewart (via Pinterest) // 9 Eat Drink Chic //


weekend craft // toadstool pencils

How darling are these toadstool terrariums?! This diy pencil tutorial from Scissors.Paper.Wok is about as adorable as it comes. And even better, my crafting-renegade-partner just shows up with all the supplies and tells me this is what we are making. Well OK! Make the little terrariums with small candle votives, coffee beans, paper grass—add a small tag and now you have plenty of pick-me-ups to deliver. Super easy and super adorable.

Hope you are having a fantastic week!