DIY: Present Tree Stand

hero pic tree stand

I finally got around to working on my Christmas decorations for this holiday season. This year, I wanted to make something fun to go under my Christmas tree. I usually have a blue and white tree shirt, but it’s was getting pretty raggedy, and it was falling apart at the seams. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough time to sew up a new tree skirt, so I figured I would just plan ahead, and save that sewing project for next year. 

While I was wrapping up fake present props for my front door, I noticed that I had an extra box left to make one more present. I experiment with the box, and ended up making an awesome tree stand for my Christmas tree. Turned out to be a super cute, that matches perfectly with my front door decor. 

Present Tree Stand 

All you will need is:

  • A Box (one your tree stand can fit into)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Tape
  • Tree Stand  
  • Hot Glue

Step 1: Find a box that will fit the size of your tree stand at the bottom, with enough room for your tree to come out at the top. The box I have is a bit tall, so I will have to accommodate later. 

Step 1 Tree Stand

Step 2: Cut the flaps off. 

Step 2 Tree Stand

Step 3: If your box is too tall, like mines, ad a couple of smaller boxes to help balance of the your tree stand. 

Step 3 tree stand

Step 4: Now, start wrapping your box up just you would presents.

Step 4 tree stand

Step 5: Cut a small hole for the top of your tree stand the come through.

Step 5 tree standStep 6: Get out your hot glue gun, and glue your ribbon around your box. Then you glue your bow onto your box. Step 6 tree stand That’s it! This project took me about 15 minutes from start to finish. 

Step 7 tree stand

I absolutely love it! 

Stay Tuned! More budget decor ideas are on the way! 

Kale Quinoa Chicken Soup

Hero Soup Pic

The winter season is just around the corner. With 40 degree weather temperatures and chilly winds, you know it’s time to switch things up for the cold season. I had to bring out the winter clothes, and footed pajamas to keep everyone warm. The fall/winter weather is perfect for eating soups, stews, and other comfort foods. I just love this time of year!

Step 15 soup

With the holidays being here, I’m pretty busy getting preparations together for birthday events, crafting parties, and holidays dinners. I’m always prepping, baking, cooking, cutting, gluing, and planning. Time is not always on my side, and I tend to let the hours go by before I stop to make myself something to eat. By then, I’m usually starving, and end up grabbing something quick like the cookies I may have baked the night before.

I can’t live off of cookies forever, right? 

Or can I? Hmmmm……..

Either way, I’m really trying to be on my best behavior when it comes to food. So, I’ve decided try my hand at a little bit of meal prepping.
This Kale, Quinoa, Chicken Soup a is colorful and savory dish. I wrote this recipe a couple of years ago with just the items I had on hand in my kitchen. This stew is what I consider to be a flavorful experiment that turned out to be much better than I anticipated. 

soup ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 4 Slices of Bacon, diced
  • 1Lb Chicken breasts or Thighs, diced into small pieces
  • 1 Cup Celery, diced
  • 1 Cup Onions, diced
  • 1 Cup Carrots, diced
  • 4 Cup Kale
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 3/4 Cup Quinoa, cooked (Recipe for quinoa Here)
  • 2 Teaspoon Garlic, Chopped (2 cloves)
  • 2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt 
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil 
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • *1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil, (optional)

Directions:

Start with placing your bacon into your dutch oven or a big pot. Cook on medium heat until almost done. 
step 2 soup

Add the onions, celery, and carrots to your pot.

Step 3 soup

Top it with 1/2  of your salt, pepper, and creole seasoning.

Sauté The vegetables and the seasoning for 5 minutes.

Step 4 soup

Next, add the garlic to the pot. Then cook for 2 more minutes.

Step 5 soup

Add the chicken, dried basil, and oregano to the pot.

*Add 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil if needed.
Step 6 soup

Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. 

Step 7 soup

Add the vegetable broth.

Step 8 soup

Then, you add the the bacon and vegetables. 

Step 9 soup

Next, add the quinoa to the soup, and let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Step 10 soup

It’s coming together nicely 😛

Step 12 soup

Last but not least, add the kale to the pot.

Let it sit for 5 minutes until the kale is soft. 

Step 13 soup

Ready to feed my belly!

Step 17 soup

This Kale, Quinoa, Chicken Soup is not only perfect on a chilly, winter day,

it’s a great addition to your meal prep menu.

This recipe makes enough soup to last you a whole week making your lunchtime, not only simple, but tasty too.

Kale Quinoa Chicken Soup

5 servings

Kale Quinoa Chicken Soup

A deliciously hearty stew perfect for the winter's cold days and nights.

Ingredients

  • 4 Slices of Bacon, diced
  • 1/2 Lb Chicken Breasts or Thighs, diced into small pieces.
  • 1 Cup Celery, diced
  • 1 Cup Onions, diced
  • 1 Cup Carrots, diced
  • 4 Cups Kale
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 3/4 Cup Quinoa, cooked
  • 2 Teaspoon Garlic, Chopped (2 cloves)
  • 2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • *1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Place your bacon into you dutch oven or big pot. Cooked until almost done.
  2. Add Onions, Carrots, celery, 1/2 salt, 1/2 pepper, and 1/2 of your creole seasoning to the pot. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the pot, and set it aside.
  4. Add Chicken, oregano, basil, and the rest of the salt, pepper, and creole seasoning. (*Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil if needed.)
  5. Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the vegetable broth.
  6. Next, add the quinoa, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the kale, let is sit for 5 minutes. Until the kale is soft.
  8. Serve!

Notes

You can try adding your favorite vegetables.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.homelifewithmrsb.com/kale-quinoa-chicken-soup/

What’s you favorite soup or stew to eat during the cold, winter months?

Thankful Thursday: Imperfection

Today I’m thankful for Imperfection!

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Freedom to be you! To be your unapologetic, authentic self. I’m loud at times. I’m big goofball with a big heart. I procrastinate. I cuss. I sing about dinner being ready, and I do cartwheels at any given moment. I take ownership of who I am, and I don’t apologize for being me. Those who know me, love me for who I am, Those who don’t… well you know how that goes 😉 

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Freedom to make mistakes! I am nowhere near perfect. I make mistakes. I slip up, and say the wrong things. I sometimes forget to do things my husband has asked of me. I’ve overcooked a dish so bad that we ended up eating ramen for dinner lol. Making mistakes is apart of life, and when you allow yourself the freedom to make them, you have the freedom to forgive, let go, and move on. 

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Freedom to forgive yourself! Forgiving yourself is one of the most important things you can do to set your soul free. I’ve had to forgive myself when I accidentally overslept, and ended up late picking my kids. I had to forgive myself when I had a bad moment that may have resulted in having a bad attitude not meant for my family. I have to forgive myself daily, so that I can let go, and move forward with a good heart, and my soul intact. 

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Freedom to Grow! Growth is part of life. You are not going to be the same person you were a 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago. Over time you may become more aware of your emotions. You may realize that what you thought was important in your 20s is no longer important in your 30s. I have had a tremendous amount of personal growth over the last 6 years or so. I can look back at old my journal writings, and see that I was in a different place at the time. I can see where my eyes started to open up, my awareness started to kick it, and my perspective started to change. I’m still in my process of growing. Growing personally, as well as spiritually. Focusing on being a better me than I was yesterday. 

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Freedom to follow your own path. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone’s path, aspirations, and goals are different from your own. As women, we should empower each other. Lift each other up. We truly believe that we all could make it far if we genuinely supported each other, and loved one another. 

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Freedom to love yourself. Every inch of yourself. From your head to your toes, Love YOU! When you love yourself unconditionally, you no longer care about what others may think of you. You’re free from restrictions and limits that you would have otherwise imposed on yourself. Practicing self love is the key to living in imperfect freedom. Love yourself, and set yourself free!

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Freedom to live your life how you see fit. This is your life. You are only give one to live, so I say live if to the fullest. Laugh so hard you cry. Go on an adventure! People are going to judge anyway so you might as well live for you, and do what makes you happy! 

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So today, with all of our flaws, all of our failures, and all of our mistakes, be thankful for them all. Thankful for your experiences. Thankful for the imperfections of every individuals. It’s what makes each of us beautiful in our own way. 

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing,

is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

-Anna Quindlen.

Frugal Fall Decorating Ideas

Goodbye Halloween, Hello Thanksgiving! 

I finally got around to switching my decorations for the holidays. I know, I know, we are already in the second week of the month, but that is besides the point. Better later than never, right? 🙂 
I wanted to share with you  few of my go-to fall decorating ideas that are not only easy to put together, but inexpensive too!  
I started out with my easiest decor item, my centerpiece. I found fall fillers to decorate with over at Big Lots. A bag with acorns, pine cones, and other fall related outdoorsy items. I poured the fillers into the vase, place the flowers on top, and then I added the ribbon. 
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For my next decoration, I worked on this leafed B letter hanging over top of the mantle.

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In order to make this leafed letter you will need:
Wooden letter
A bag of fake leaves
Tape
Step 1: Grab some of your tape, cut off a small piece, and fold it so that all sides are sticky.
Step: 2 Add the tape to the leaf, then you need to tape the leaf onto the letter. 
 Make sure to cover up any part of the letter that you can see.
That is pretty much all you will have to do. 

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*You can also use glue to better secure the leaves.
After I hung the leafed letter, I decided to use the leaves that I had leftover, and taped them to the walls to have a leaf falling effect around my mantle. 
Last, but not least, my biggest project was this Thankful sign. I using fabric I found on sale at Joann’s, letters I cut out using my Circuit machine, and modge podge to glue. 

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Step 1: Cut out the fabric to match the size of your picture frame. 

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Step 2: Glue your cut fabric onto the the backing of the picture frame using your modge podge. 

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Step 3: While your fabric is drying. Cut out your letters. I of course used my circuit, which is my lifesaver. If you don’t have one, you can go to your local craft store and purchase big letter stickers. You could always cut your letters out by hand.
Step 4: Once you are done cutting out your letters, start gluing them to your fabric frame backings. 

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Once everything is dry, put your frames back together, and find a home for your beautifully framed art!

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Looking warm and inviting, my Thanksgiving Decor came together nicely, and I am loving it!

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Still in need of more fall decorating ideas that won’t break the budget? Stop by some of these awesome blogs below for other great decorations that can be made with using items around your home or items you could find at your local Dollar Tree!

{Click the pictures for direct links.}

peny pincher photo

 

The Passionate Penny Pincher shows you how to make a simple, yet beautiful centerpiece using items found at the dollar store. 
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I Heart Naptime has a awesome door wreath that cost just a few bucks to make. 

 

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 Check out this super cute Leaf Bowl done by Shelterness

 fall_decor leaves

 

I love this Leaf and Twig Bouquet made by Rose Pete and Lolo Too

 

 Leaf-Garland

Over at Making Home Base, you can learn how to make a simple fall leave garland using your sewing machine,  

 

fall owl

 

Instructions on how to make this super cute fall owl is over at My Pinterventures!

 

 

 

There are so many good finds all over the web! All great ideas, that are fun to make, and easy on your wallet.

Tell me, Do you decorate your humble abode during Thanksgiving or do you wait until Christmas time?

Thankful Thursday: Creativity.

Tis’ the season to giving thanks!
We should all be thankful throughout the year, but I would like to take this time over the next month to share a few things that I’m thankful for. 
Today I am thankful for something I get to do everyday,

Being Creative!! 

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Being creative is apart of my being. It’s my life. It’s a part of who I am. Whether, it’s creating in the kitchen, putting a craft together, sewing an apron, working on my photography, or planning an event. I love that I have the opportunity to do what I love to do. The freedom to explore, create, and see my projects come together before my eyes. 

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When I was a little girl, I use to watch my mom create amazing things with her hands. She was an artist at heart. She could draw, and paint anything just by looking at it. That was her passion. I would watch her sew all the time. She would make home decor items to sale such as pillows, curtains, and blankets. I remember every year, just before Halloween, I would tell her what I wanted to be, she would sit at her sewing machine for about a month, and create me the most amazing costumes ever. I loved it! I also have many fond memories of her changing up our home decor all of the time. She would wake up one day with a vision, and within a week, she would have repainted, and upholstered all of the furniture in the house. It’s was like we lived in a new home every 6 months lol. My mom was great at what she did, and I remember being in awe of her, wanting to be a creative mommy,  just like her! She was my role model, (still is), she inspired me, and she nurtured my imagination. 

Creativity Sets My Soul On Fire! 

Being creative calms my nerves, and helps to keep my stress level in check. When I’m focused on a project, I’m in my own little world. I  get exciting while working, and am proud when I see my finished products. I also love to see the look on other people’s face when I have created something for them, and they like it. It’s brings my joy to make others happy, with things that make me happy.

Creativity is Therapeutic to Me.

Creativity is my Passion.

Creativity runs through my veins. 

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How about you?

Are you a creative person? Do you sew? Craft? Make Music? Cook?

Comment below, and share with me what you love to create.

 

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Minecraft Party

My baby girl’s birthday is coming up, and in honor of my current planning and preparation, I figured I’d share a few pictures from last year’s party.

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Creeper: paper plates, and tape.

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Ghast And Enderman: paper plates, streamers, and tape.

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Pin The Tail On The Pig: construction paper, and tape.

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Minecraft Cake: Chocolate cake, rice krispy treats, blue jello, and green frosting.

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Mindcraft Props: Wrapping paper, felt, boxes, tape, lots and lots of glue.

DIY Last Minute Costume: Enderman From Minecraft

When I say last minute, I mean 2 days ago last minute 🙂

My baby girl really wanted to be the Enderman character from her favorite game, Minecraft. I didn’t want to let her down, so I spent the day focusing on doing what I needed to do to make it happen. 

This costume was so easy, and inexpensive to make. So much so, that I figured I would show you just how I made it. 

How To Created This Costume:

You will need:
  • Black Top 
  • Black Pants 
  • Black Gloves 
  • Black Wrapping Paper 
  • Red Wrapping Paper 
  • Purple Paper
  • Purple Felt 
  • White Felt 
  • Purple Pixelated Scrap paper ( I found some at Micheal’s Craft Store)
  • Old Box to fit your child’s head (I used Costco size Eggo Waffle box)
  • 1 Small Box
  • Glue (I used hot glue)
  • Tape 
  • Scissors

Step 1: The first thing I did was laminate the purple scrap paper. You don’t have to laminate at all. The scrap paper by itself works just fine. I did it because I wanted the paper to be a bit more sturdy on the clothes. 

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Step 2: Cut the paper into block shapes, like in the game of Tetris. I just so happened to have a special pair of scissors that cut square shapes around the edges. You can easily just cut the shapes out yourself.  These shapes will be used as the particles that surround the Enderman’s body.

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Step 3: Once you are done cutting,  attach the particles to the clothes.

I originally planned to use my fabric glue, but I had noticed that I was running low, and was scared I would run out. So I used safely pins to attach the particles to the clothing.

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Turned out to be a better idea because I won’t ruin the clothes for later use. 

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How I created the Head:

Step 1: I placed the box on my daughter’s head to measure out where her eyes would me. This is an important task! Last year her Steve mask was too big, she couldn’t see, and took it off. I didn’t want to make that same mistake twice. I marked where her eyes were, and used a box cutter to cutting out.

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Step 2: Use the black wrapping paper to cover the entire box. I used some glue, and tape to secure the wrapping paper in place. 

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Step 3: Use the box cutter to cut out the paper where the eyes are.20151029094800

Step 4: Cut purple felt into rectangles to make the Enderman’s eyes. I used some purple paper to cut out the pupils. Glue the 

Step 5: Glue the pupils to the felt eyes, then glue the eyes under the eyes that you cut out. 

20151029095413Volia! That was it! Costume Done!!

Now onto the TNT Box:

Step 1: Grab a small box, secure the bottom with packing tape, so that candy doesn’t fall out. Then wrapped it in red wrapping paper like you did with the Enderman’s head. 

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Step 2: Use black wrapping paper to cut out the TNT letters.

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Step 3: Cut out a rectangle that will fit in the middle of the box with white felt.

Step 4: Glue the rectangles to the middle of the box on all for sides. 

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Step 5: Glue the TNT letters to the rectangles, and glue them onto the white rectangles. 

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Now she has her trick-or-treat box!! 

She is the happiness Enderman on the planet!

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