Offbeat’s Picks: Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamps

My mom and I used to make card-buying quite the epic field trip. We’d head out to the Hallmark store and peruse every aisle, laughing at the funny cards and holding back tears when reading the heartfelt sympathy cards. Before we knew it, we had forgotten that we only went in there for one birthday card, and instead came out with enough birthday, baby, sympathy, thank you and congratulations cards to last the entire year.

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Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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Vote for our DIY Holiday Wreath over at BuzzFeed Shift & Enter Our Wreath Contest to Win a $50 Michaels Gift Card!

About a month ago we were asked to create a fresh DIY wreath tutorial for a Holiday Wreath post on BuzzFeed Shift.  We were SO excited and got right on it!  We tossed around a few ideas before we landed on the “Minimalist White Wreath” made out of paper plates, old t-shirts, tape and rubber bands.

We love this wreath for 3 reasons: 1.) It’s CHEAP! The only thing we needed to buy was a pack of heavy duty paper plates, which we usually have on hand anyway.  2.) It’s VERSATILE!  You can use any t-shirt color(s) you want and you can even add your own flare by pinning on other embellishments like paper flowers, string bows, etc.. sky’s the limit! 3.)  It’s QUICK. Including the time it takes to gather your materials, you can have this wreath hanging on the wall within an hour.  Does an adorable homemade piece of decor get any easier??

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Cookie Decorating for Kids

My sister makes the best sugar cookies. Seriously…the BEST. Maybe I’m biased because she’s my sister, but they’re amazing. Honestly, I don’t even really like sugar cookies - except hers. They’re perfectly sweet, never dried out (thanks to a little trick I’ll share in an upcoming post!) and decorated BEAUTIFULLY! These cookies are a work of culinary and visual art.

OK, those cookies pictured above were decorated by a five-year-old…not by my sister.

Today, I really want to show you how my sister is cultivating cookie decorating skills in her daughter, Chloe - without the frosting mess that a kindergartener is sure to make.

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Offbeat’s Picks: Know Hope Burlap Bags

It’s no secret that I love all things coffee—coffee ice cream, coffee décor, coffee soap…and of course, coffee beverages. This past summer, my coffee-roasting brother invited my husband and I to attend CoffeeFest with him at Navy Pier in Chicago. Let me think…an entire convention dedicated to the love and art of coffee?! I’m in!

I definitely enjoyed watching some master baristas and chatting with quite a few coffee connoisseurs, but the coolest find was from an organization called Know Hope. We walked up to their booth and found awesome bags, journals and wallets made out of recycled burlap coffee sacks donated by roasters.

I love a good upcycled product as much as the next DIY blogger, but the best part about these bags is how they help kids in need. Know Hope is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization and the proceeds from their products are donated towards serving children around the world by providing food and humanitarian relief.

Who knew you could do so much good with some old burlap?

DIY Clamped Mason Jar Vase Centerpiece

So one day I was browsing through an interior decorating catalog when in the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was a centerpiece composed of a row of glass bottles clamped together.  When I actually looked at it, it wasn’t at all what I thought it was, but I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided I had to make it myself.  Once I get something in my head like that, I turn into some sort of robot programmed to complete a mission.

I recruited hubby to go to Lowe’s with me to find all the pieces we’d need to create the imaginary centerpiece.  Because of my deep love for mason jars, we picked up a few of those (instead of bottles), and hunted down all the other pieces in about 15 minutes flat.  I have no idea how we found all that stuff so fast.  It was like I developed some sort of sixth-sense while I was in mission mode.

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Learning (and relearning) to Knit

It seems like every year, or maybe even every six months, I pick up a new hobby. I make something my new obsession, run out and buy everything I need, and then two weeks later all my new purchases go untouched. Take my knitting for example. Last year, a few girls from my small group at church taught me how to knit. Despite the fact that I had to unravel the same scarf like 47 times before I got it right, I loved making it!

But then after making a few scarves for Christmas gifts last year, those knitting needles went untouched…until last week.

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