Tag Archives: present

A Last Minute Holiday Gift for Your Furry Friends

handmade cat toy I didn’t finish my handmade holiday challenge, but I got close. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Never fear, I will have a recap for ya’ll. And I did have time to eek out this little gift for my furry friend. If it was up to me, I’d have 10 cats, but alas, I’m a cat lady who is allergic to cats.

My sister brought her newest furry friend home for the holidays and I just had to make him something. I couldn’t leave him out! P.S. he looooved the toy!

This DIY was super easy, I made it with scraps and it only took me about 10 minutes.

easy version how to make pom poms First, I made two pom poms. I made them the easy way and just wrapped the yarn around my fingers, then tied the yarn together in the middle. Then, I cut the looped ends. I made two pom poms and tied them together, so the poof was extra poofy. I also made sure to reinforce all my knots since this kitty loves to play (aka rip things apart.)

I then braided a length of yarn slightly longer than my arm and traveled outside to find a nice-looking stick. Once I found the perfect stick, I attached the braided yarn to the stick and attached the pom pom ball to the braided yarn. Finally, I wrapped yarn around both ends of the stick to make it a little prettier.

cat toy close up The hardest part of this project is tying knots super tight so little kitties won’t immediately kill the toy.

Did you make anything for your furry friends this year? I’d love to see links to your projects in the comments!


Handmade Holiday Challenge: Customized Ukulele

customized ukulele Some of my favorite childhood memories involve some sort of musical accompaniment. My sister, my best friend and I used to make up all kinds of songs. I distinctly remember a song about dirty clothes sang to the tune of Baby Love by The Supremes.

Back of the customized ukulele For Christmas I want to give the joy of music to my niece. But in my true fashion, I couldn’t just give her a plain ol’ ukulele. I had to customize it.

First I bought this relatively inexpensive ukulele from Amazon. Originally I had planned to cut out vinyl decals to add to the body of the ukulele. But George, my super talented husband, really liked the idea of customizing the ukulele and volunteered to hand letter it. He used a white paint markers for the base, then created texture with a black paint marker.

customized ukulele detail It’s kind of adorable. Maybe my niece will be the next Dolly Parton. I’m at least going to win best aunt award this year.

How are your handmade gifts coming along?


A Creative Way to Give Cash: A Mobile!

money mobile

It was my beautiful sister’s birthday last week. (Happy Birthday, Kristen!) I wanted to send her cash, but just sending bills in the mail with a card is kind of lame.

Of course, I had to do something creative. That’s how I roll. I knew you could fold dollar bills into origami, but I wanted to take it one step further. So, I used the leftover embroidery floss from my sunglasses DIY to create a mobile!

elephant money origami


  • Embroidery floss
  • A stick!
  • Paper money

I folded the elephants using an tutorial found here. Then, I braided the embroidery floss and tied one end to the elephant. Next, I broke a stick in half, made an “x” and neatly twisted embroidery floss around the middle of the “x” until I felt that it was secure. I left a little bit of floss at the end and finished it off with a bow. Finally, I tied each elephant to one of the stick ends.

origami money mobile

Have you ever given money as a gift in an unusual way? I want to see it or hear about it in the comments!

P.S. I sent my sister more than 4 bucks. I just didn’t want to use large bills in case she didn’t want to take it apart. I’m not that cheap!





Books to Give as Wedding Gifts

Photography property of Corey Balazowich. Discovered via Flickr.

Photography property of Corey Balazowich. Discovered via Flickr.

It is upon us! Wedding season! For many of you wedding season has already begun, but for George and I, the majority of our wedding activities are beginning this weekend. The dresses, and devotions, and drinks will kick off with a trip to a friends’ wedding in West Virginia. Then, we’ve got two more weddings in September and our own wedding in December.

Questions always arise about a gift when one is playing the role of wedding guest. The majority of the weddings we will be attending do not have a registry– which can be a blessing or a curse. The idea of a gifting on such a momentous occasion has inflicted a little bit of worry in my mind, but going registry-less can also be exciting. It gives the chance to show-case talents or give the people what they really want– CASH.

With registry-less weddings, I like to give a thoughtful book with money inside. Picking out books is my talent. And yes, I’m spoiling the surprise. Oops! Here’s some of my tips and favorite books for wedding gift-giving.

1. If the couple is going somewhere exotic on their honeymoon, a phrase or guide book is a helpful and entertaining choice. For our friends who were going to Italy on their honeymoon, we got them a Dirty Italian phrase book stuffed with cash. I hope they stunned the Italians with their knowledge and dirty-word skills.

2. I think marriage help or marriage advice books are way too personal to give at a wedding. Those types of books may even send the wrong message to the happy couple. But a book of other people’s love letters? Well, that just sounds divine.

3. Have the bride and groom expressed interest in learning a new skill or do they have a collective hobby? Now would be a great time to give a book on canning, gardening, or homemaking skills– if your couple is into that sort of thing. I particularly like Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry. It’s filled with hi-res pictures and makes canning look surprisingly hip.

4. Does your couple like fiction? Classic love stories like this illustrated Bronte Sisters collection would be fitting. Personally, I would prefer a few lovely classic novels to start a personal library in our home together. I’ve been swooning over this classic novels box set for over a year and would love to receive it as a wedding gift. Hint, Hint!

Do you have any tips about wedding gift giving? Have you ever given a book as a wedding gift? Let me know in the comments!