Free Printables!!!!

I’ve been on a redecorating kick lately. Who am I kidding, I am always redecorating. Lately, I’ve been moving quite a bit of furniture around, which means new wall space to hang art and family photos. I like to fill frames with personal pictures with fun pieces and collage them together on one wall.

So I present to you… my collection of links for great (free) DIY printables!! Not only am I using these for myself, but I will also be framing them and giving to friends for Christmas! All you need is a frame (get them at Hobby Lobby when they are 50% off!), a computer and a printer! Or you could send them to a printing store such as Kinko’s or your local copy shop. Did I mention that they are all FREE!!

Colorful USA map

Positive Printables

Vintage Printables

Ghandi’s Top 10 Fundamentals

Be Awesome Today

Something Good In Everyday

Julia Child Quote

Keep Calm and Make Coffee

Mother and Daughter Quote

Lived The Life She Imagined

Life Is A Beautiful Ride

Retro Kitchen Art

What I Love Most About My Home… Is Who I Share It With

Bathroom Printables and More!!!!!

Home Sweet Home, All You Need Is Love, and La Vie Est Belle

printables

Which ones are your favorites?

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It’s not about the Benjamin’s, baby.

Although giving a gift is a showing of affection and appreciation, there is a certain etiquette that should be followed. It can be tricky to figure out what is appropriate to give (ie the difference between your sister and your boss). Thankfully, Lauren Conrad posted an article on her blog that lays out the rules for appropriate gift giving, Ladylike Laws: Holiday Gift Giving Etiquette.

Her “rules” don’t come off as domineering, but more as helpful tips to ease the stress of certain situations. My favorite: don’t worry about giving something that has the same monetary value of what they gave you. Instead, figure out something nice that you can afford within your means. I know this comes off as a duh tip, but it never fails, each year I tend to stress about what to give certain people who I know always spend a lot of money on me. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is in a different financial situation and doesn’t always have the same holiday budget. If you give something nice and sentimental, it will show you are being thoughtful and showing appreciation, without putting yourself into debt.

I used to always stress about what to give my Mother-In-Law every Christmas. She always showers us with amazing expensive gifts (Juicy Couture anyone?) and I always felt a pang of guilt for not giving something monetarily equivalent. But then I realized, she’s giving these awesome gifts not because she has to and not because she can, but it’s because she loves us more than anything. This realization was what got me started in DIY gift giving. Her love for my husband, daughter and I is what she cares most about. So I started making her sentimental gifts related to our family. This handprint keepsake was my inspiration for one of our gifts last year. I used my husband’s and daughter’s handprint, had them both sign the bottom, and put it in a nice frame (from Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off *wink*). She loved it! How do I know? Because she is an amazing decorator and only has extremely nice high end things displayed. Where is this handprint keepsake? In the middle of her fireplace mantel, only the most eye drawing place in the living room. Score!

It’s not about how much you spend, but how much you show you care. This Christmas, we are going to make a 49 Reasons Why I Love You card display. Each card will have a different reason of love and it will be filled with quotes from me, my husband, and my daughter. She inspires each of us in different ways, and I’m excited to put all our loving thoughts into this one.

49 reasons

She’s probably going to cry, maybe I should gift some tissues too! What sentimental gift have you made for your loved ones?

So I made a cake… out of diapers

Hey guys! One of my best girlfriends had her baby shower last weekend and while I did get her some things off of her registry, I had to throw in a little DIY gift! I wanted to make her one of those super cute diaper cakes I’ve seen at so many other showers, and this was my first time to make one. This diaper cake was my visual inspiration and I followed this video tutorial for step-by-step instructions. Here is a picture of my finished “cake”. Fabulous!

Substitute your imagination for your money

Christmas is coming! It’s time to put out the lights, put up the tree, and pull out your wallet. Wait, what?


It’s probably no surprise to you that Christmas is the biggest shopping season of the year. We have to buy for everyone on our list, and how can we resist doing a little shopping for ourselves what with all the great deals retailers (online and instore) are offering.

According to IBIS World, $228.4 billion was spent on holidays in 2010 (which includes spending on food, gifts and parties related to holiday events). $135.16 billion was spent at Christmas, which is estimated to account for 59.2% of sales alone and Christmas gifts account for at least 47.2% of total sales. That’s a lot of money.

Check out this video from msn.com. Reporter Stacy Johnson says it best, “Christmas is a magical time of year. It’s when your money magically goes from your pocket to someone elses cash register”. With the average American spending around $1,000 each year on Christmas gifts, it makes sense. And this amount has gradually increased each year. When is it too much? The video gives 5 tips to save during the Christmas season, number 5 being, do something for someone. Being able to substitute your imagination for your money puts the benjamins back in your wallet.

Janey Osterlind, a contributer at WiseBread.com, says to Make Something for the people on your gift list. “I’m not suggesting that you knit sweaters as Christmas gifts (unless you actually are talented at knitting and have some sort of fashion sense). Making a Christmas gift that is appreciated and used requires some creative thinking and knowledge of the recipient. A little thought could produce a pretty awesome gift while also saving you money.”


Some of you may only have a couple of people on your list, and some of you may have to unroll a scroll, so I’ve included this great link from thehappyhousewife.com, 100 Homemade Christmas Gifts.  “Homemade Christmas gifts don’t have to look like they came out of your 3 year-old’s Sunday School class. There are some amazing homemade gift ideas that can be made by real-life moms on a real-life budget!” My favorite, a DIY book on “tape”. Genius!

Give a gift that means more… to them and to you!

I’ve always said that creating and giving a DIY gift can be a rewarding experience for the receiver. Can creating DIY projects also be a rewarding experience for the giver? Mark Frauenfelder, founder of BoingBoing, founding editor of Wired Online, editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, and author of Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World, thinks it can. In his article written for the Huffington Post, The Courage To Screw Up: Why DIY Is Good For You, Frauenfelder proposes that the process of DIY is engaging, fulfilling, and beneficial. From his own DIY experiences, he has discovered the benefits which can make the crafter an overall better person.

Using your brain, working with your hands, and finding a unique meaning behind each gift makes it special not only for the receiver, but for you. We have a human desire to create, invent and improve. But we are contained in the idea that gifts need to be expensive, mass produced products. Our idea of gifts has become less about quality, and more about quantity. Instead of really thinking about what the person means to us, why we are honoring them, we try to minimize the risk in gift giving in hopes that it will be accepted. What does this say about the meaning of a gift? Shankar Vedantam has written a thought provoking article for the Washington Post about how we as a society have dispatched from the psyche of giving, Searching for a Sense of Meaning in Gifts. Vedantam states, “The idea of the gift goes back centuries. But gifts don’t mean the same thing today as they once did: For one thing, people have far more stuff then they used to, which makes getting a truly unique gift less likely. A lot more gifts also change hands these days, which makes it harder to put a great deal of thought into each gift”. He quotes Antonio Callari, an economics professor at Franklin and Marshall College, “The very idea of the soul of the gift has been lost. The gift has lost its character as a gift and become a product, a commodity”.

How do we fix this and make gift giving what it once was? We minimize the risk of gift giving and bring back its thoughtfulness by creating something from our hands and heart. This not only makes for a better gift, but makes us better people. DIYer, Desiree Campbell at the36thavenue.com, says “Keep in mind that handmade items are not just beautiful but special…I love to give them and I love to receive them”.  Check out Campbell’s DIY tutorial list, 25 handmade Gifts Under $5. It’s hard to choose a favorite from her list (and I don’t think I can) but I plan to make these Cowgirl Cookies in a jar for my co-workers! We love getting baked goods at the office, and creating this DIY project will be a rewarding and beneficial experience for me as well! Yippie ki-yay!

You can watch Mark Frauenfelder talk about the benefits of DIY on The Colbert Report here.