Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages

1. words of affirmation
2.  acts of service
3.  giving gifts
4.  quality time 
5.  physical touch

Those are the 5 ways most people like to show love and receive love.  The way you receive love could be very different then the way you show love.   In my case, I like it when people show me love with words of affirmation {hint, hint...leave me loving comments friends}.  However, I enjoy giving gifts to let people know how much they mean to me.  Case in point, if a friend is having a rough time or could use a little pick me up, I would immediately think of putting something like this together to brighten their day...

A simple sweet gesture for only $5 could let someone know you were thinking of them.

Materials Needed:
1.  a magazine around $3 or $4
2.  two small candies or treats from the checkout line for $1
3.  ribbon and a small tag
Wrap the treat tightly inside the magazine 

Secure it with the cute ribbon and add the tag with a personalize message.

Giving a gift for no reason at all, except to let someone know you were thinking of them is the best kind of gift.
{especially when you can buy it for $5}

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{DIY) Fun Fall Printables

 I get giddy when a blog gives away a free printable.  These two below are my favorites from last year that I printed out at Staples for .20.  Last year, I put them in frames and added them to my entry way table.   This year I found clipboards at Target for $1, so I added a colorful fall bow and hung them  up in my office.  

This is such an easy way to add seasonal decor to your home without buying a ton of decorations. 

Free Fall Day Printable @ moritzfineblogdesigns

Free Fall Banner Printable @thirtyhandmadedays
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{CRAFT} Festive Warm Drink Cups

Whether you prefer to celebrate Fall or Halloween, both of these festive drink cups are sure to make someone's day.

Materials needed:
1.  paper coffee cups
2.  tea or coffee bags
3.  brown crinkle paper filler
4.  fall or halloween ribbon
5. fall or halloween gift tags
5.  fall or halloween embellishments
{I used a glittery acorn and mini witch broom}

Add a Halloween tag and be creative with your message...
"Enjoy sipping spirits with this wicked witch potion"

"Savor this warm festive fall brew made just for you"

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{CRAFT} My Gift Giving AH-HA Moment

I was joking with a friend the other day that I am a terrible gift giver.  We laughed because that is supposed to be the whole point of this blog....simple gift giving ideas.  I told her the gifts I pick out are good but more times than not the recipient likes the wrapping better than the gift.  They ooh and ahh over the bows and tags and handmade touches only to be somewhat bored with the actual gift.  

She then said something that may change my gift giving world forever.  
She simply said, "Why don't you give your wrapping ideas away as the actual gift?"  
Genius! I have the smartest friends. 

Materials Needed:
1.  a cute box
2.  crinkle filler paper
3.  colorful string
4.  small stamps
5.  a small ink pad
6.  10 pre-cut plain tags in a fun shape
{I used my cricut to cut out a quote bubble shape on school lined card stock paper}

In the box they went...

Now that special someone will be ready to add a tag to whatever comes there way.
Perhaps a homemade treat they want to share or as a gift tag on a present instead of a bulky card.

I bought 6 small plain bags.
Made 6 cute tags with a hole punch on the top.
Wrapped it with enough twine to use on all 6 bags.

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{CRAFT} That Added Touch

I enjoy making my own gift wrapping and tags because it is a huge money saver and I can design each one special for the birthday recipient. I buy plain bags in bulk at craft stores {with a coupon} or at the dollar store.  Whenever card stock sheets are on sale, I will pick up a few in different colors and designs.  I always have twine on hand and stock up when its on sale as well.  

Here are a couple of easy additions that make your gift wrap extra adorable.

Fun arrows are the new flag banner.

Materials Needed:
1.  card stock paper in a variety of colors
2.  bamboo sticks {used for food kabobs}
3.  hot glue gun
They make for a cute addition to wrapping paper as a topper or replacement for that big bulky card.

Arrows may be the new fun thing but flag banners are still adorable.

Materials Needed:
1.  plain bag
2.  card stock paper cut into small diamonds and folded in half
3. twine
4. glue {to keep the flags together with the twine inside}

I used my cricut {or you can use a paper punch} to cut out a fun design to use as a tag.  Drape the flag banner across the bag and tie the tag on with whatever you have on hand.

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{BAKE} The BEST Coffee Cake Muffins

I am not over exaggerating when I say these are the BEST coffee cake muffins I have ever had.  I found this recipe about two years ago in cooks illustrated and instantly fell in love with them.  The only thing I changed about the recipe is I like to add cinnamon and nutmeg to the muffin batter.

I made a batch of these muffins to give as a birthday gift to a special friend and I thought I would share it with you.

Ingredients: see recipe
{I add 1/4 t cinnamon and 1/4 t nutmeg to the batter}

This is the reason these muffins are number 1 in my book...The Topping!
It is almost like a flaky cookie dough consistency.
{I could just eat this with a fork}

This is the step when I would add the 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to the batter.

I bought these parchment muffin cups at cost plus world market.  They can hold as much topping as I want to go on each muffin without spilling all over the place.

I'm so thankful that it makes 12 regular sized muffins so I can keep a few for myself. 

I added 6 muffins to this colorful treat box {also found at cost plus world market}

I have used this funny muffin saying on gifts before but I couldn't pass up using it again for my friends birthday.
{"muffin" to do but say happy birthday to you}


I wrapped a single muffin in plain white parchment paper and tied it with ribbon and a tea cup tag. Now I can give it away to some special in the morning. 
{teacher, friend, mom, sister, co-worker}

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{DIY} Design Your Own Wrapping Paper

 Remember that roll of brown butcher paper you bought {wink wink}? Well, I found another great use for it.  It makes for great wrapping paper that you can design.  I was recently invited to a bridal shower and I always want my gift to look like it came from me just by the packaging.   Of course it's always the "homemade looking one"...but hopefully in a good way. 

Materials needed:
1.  brown butcher paper
2.   acrylic paint
3.  pencil with a flat top eraser
3 dots with the end of the eraser which was dipped in the acrylic paint.  I added a pretty tag to offset the plain wrapping and tide it up with twine.
The sparkly red was a great pop of color on the plain brown paper.  Again, I used the pencil eraser to make the top of the heart and then dragged the paint down to a point to finish the heart.  I wish I had a big sparkly bow to tie it all together but my ribbon supply is quite sad looking these days.
{I highly recommend a big fancy glittery obnoxious bow}

Outdoor strung lights are so popular right now.  I had to give it a try using the pencil, paint and thick sharpie marker.
{a sweet little flower bouquet would be a cute topper to this gift}


Instead of making the wine cork cherries  on the tea towel, make the outdoor string of lights for a fun hostess gift.
 FYI...it would probably work best on a darker tea towel {pictured above...Cost Plus World Market}

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Fake it

As the seasons change, I like to change my kitchen and living room decor with fake fruit.  Yes, you heard me...fake fruit.  It may seem cheesy but it last much longer than the real stuff and it comes in all different sizes to fit my jars, bowls, vases, etc...  

If done right the fake stuff can look great as long as you wipe the dust off every once and awhile to avoid looking like the 1980's.  Check out two of the ways I add color to my home with fake fruit.

Mini lemons in a glass bowl surrounded by regular sized lemons on a branch gives my table a bright look for spring and

 I tied the kitchen lemon decor into my living room by adding a large lemon tree branch to a tall vase on the entry way table

Mini red apples in mason jars are a cute addition to my fall decor.  The red really stands out next to the green branches I put in the vase behind it.

There you have it.  Simple changes and fake fruit can add pops of color to boring tables.  

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{GIVE} Gift Giving for Girls

They usually aren't big expensive lavish gifts but more like little goodies that I can arrange, wrap and add special touches to show my friends they are important to me.  It is not a surprise that my daughter enjoys the same love for gift giving {and packaging} as I do.  When her friend had a birthday last month we headed straight to target for her gift.  

We didn't spend very much but we made it look extra special with all of her favorite things.
{P.S. her friend squealed with delight when we brought it over}

A cute pail filled with lipstick, nail polish, gum, gel markers, lotion and note cards.
Add a tag and ribbon instead of a bulky card.

My daughter put together these friendship bags filled with candy and fun lipgloss for her friends to wish them good luck on their first day back to school.

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{and my daughter}


{DIY} Cherry Stamped Tea Towel

Grandparents day is coming up {Sept. 7th} and this diy stamped tea towel would be the perfect little gift from the kids.  It is easy enough for kids of all ages and even the most un-crafty person out there.  In fact, the more imperfect the cherries stamped the better I thought they looked.

acrylic paint {red and brown}
wine cork
paint brush
plain tea towels {mine are from cost plus world market 3 for $9.99}

dip cork in red paint and stamp 2 circles side by side

use the paint brush to draw the stems with the brown paint

Don't {or do} over crowd your tea towel with stamped cherries.
 It is your design so do what you like. 
I wrapped a bag of scone mix with my tea towel and added a red fabric scrap as the tie.  

If you have the time and like to bake make the scones ahead of time and wrap them in the tea towel with the fabric. Here is a delicious savory scone recipe by Giada de Laurentis if you need one.  Enjoy!

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{DRINK} Raspberry Lime Refresher

Sadly, summer is quickly coming to an end.  As much as I enjoy the long summer days and relaxing pool side with a delicious drink in hand, I am eager to jump into fall.  Fall means shorter days, sipping pumpkin spice coffee while curled up on the couch, and wearing boots and scarves as the weather grows colder.  Unfortunately for me, it is still 95 degrees in my neck of the woods so my warm drinks and boots will have to wait. 

In the meantime, here is one last summer drink to try before we all over load on pumpkin spiced....everything.

Raspberry Lime Refresher

10 limes
1 lemon
 1 bag of frozen raspberries
2 bottles of sparkling water 
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water

Juice limes and lemon.  Puree raspberries until smooth. Pour raspberries through mesh strainer for a smoother constancy.  Make a simple syrup with sugar and tap water by heating in a small sauce pan until sugar is dissolved.  Let simple syrup cool and add to lime/lemon juice and raspberries.  Stir and slowly add sparkling water.  Pour over ice and enjoy!

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