Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Blog Post Recap

2015 was a whirlwind year full of excitement, joy, and a little bit of stress but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Here are my favorite life and blog moments from 2015 in my end of the year blog recap post!


Here are some of my favorite life and blog moments from 2015!

January


Our Disneyland Proposal was the best day ever and the Disney Photo Pass employee captured every moment! Dreams really do come true!


We announced our engagement and told the story of how Houston proposed at Disneyland!

March


This printable is the perfect DIY gift for bosses day or a Christmas gift for your boss! It is easy to print and put together with a mason jar of Reese's pieces!


I finally got around to photographing some of Houston's AMAZING printables and shared them with you all!

April


This inspiration board for a navy blue and gray wedding combines simplicity with elegance.
Wedding planning continued and I asked my bridal party to stand beside me with homemade cards and photo memories!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

This month has been a blur and I only crossed off a fraction of the things on my Christmas to-do list! BUT, I finally managed to get our Christmas cards ordered!  Better late than never, right?

We hope you had a merry Christmas and a wonderful weekend, friends!



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How to Make an Elevated Cat Food Tray

Easy to follow directions for making a DIY Elevated Cat Food Tray // This simple to make cat food try helps eliminate the messy cat food getting all over the floor and makes it easier for your cat to eat and digest her food. #DIYCatTray
Houston and I had so much fun making our DIY Cat Food Tray last month and after a few weeks of using it at home, we couldn't be more pleased! - The fur babies seem to like too.

Easy to follow directions for making a DIY Elevated Cat Food Tray // This simple to make cat food try helps eliminate the messy cat food getting all over the floor and makes it easier for your cat to eat and digest her food. #DIYCatTray

Since the original post didn't go into detail about the construction of the DIY Cat Food Tray, and we received a lot of comments with questions about dimensions and the supply list, we figured we would do a second post and lay it all out in easy to follow steps.


How to Make an Elevated Cat Food Tray:

Easy to follow directions for making a DIY Elevated Cat Food Tray // This simple to make cat food try helps eliminate the messy cat food getting all over the floor and makes it easier for your cat to eat and digest her food. #DIYCatTray


Supplies:

Wood from the hardware store. We picked up a piece of Birch wood out of the scrap section that was about 2 feet long.
Wood trim to use as a rim on the tray - also from the scrap section.
4 Door Stoppers (exact here, similar here).
Spray Paint (we used this paint we already had at the house).

Tools:

Hack Saw
Miter Box or Miter Saw
Drill
Sandpaper
Tape Measure
Pencil
Nail Gun

Ready??? Let's get started!


Friday, December 18, 2015

How To Make Gift Wrap Bows

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Last week I told you how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents with some tips and tricks I learned while working at a department store in my 20's. The crisp edges and double sided tape are my secret weapons. The other part I have always loved about department store gift wrap is the bows and ornaments that are included!

Behind the counter, there were buckets and buckets of coordinating ornaments to attach with the ribbon and they were usually covered in glitter, my favorite! I wish Macy's still had a gift wrap department so I could show you, but you'll just have to use your imagination for now.

For example, a birthday package would have balloon wrapping paper, bright purple ribbon, and a birthday cake ornament to tie with the ribbon. Something like this or this. Note to self: do some fun birthday gift wrap ideas; Pinterest is seriously lacking some pins!

Christmas gift wrap included color coordinating ornaments and wired ribbon and that has become my favorite way to decorate my Christmas presents! I pick up some inexpensive (shatterproof) ornaments and attach them with some ribbon to pre-made bows or tie them into my homemade bow.

You could create a gingerbread man theme, elegant kraft paper with monograms, or stick to classic red and green like I did this year. The possibilities are endless!

I can thank my sweet Grandma Jay for teaching me the art of beautifully coordinated gift wrap; she always had a theme for her presents and planned it out well before Thanksgiving. I can only imagine how much fun she would have now, if she were here, with Pinterest-worthy ideas overflowing on the internet.

There was nothing quite like seeing my grandparents walk up to our door on Christmas morning with arms full of presents with matching paper and ribbon.

How to make gift wrap bows:


Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!


Grab your favorite wired ribbon, stapler, and some scissors!

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Wrap a simple loop around your present and staple the two ends of ribbon together on the underside of the gift. You can make a cross by twisting the ribbon and going the opposite direction on the box, but let's keep it simple this time, shall we?

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Take your ribbon and make a single loop.

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Repeat going the other way so you have two loops on opposite sides.

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Repeat the looping, making sure you have an equal number of loops on each side.

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Staple the middle of all the loops and cut off the excess.

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Your bow will look flat and kind of sad. Do not fret... it will be full and fluffy in a second!

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Place your bow on top of your ribbon that is around your present.  Center the bow (or don't, depending on where you want your bow) and slide another piece of ribbon under both of the other parts.

Here is the part that is a trick and almost impossible to photograph. You want to tie the ribbon around the bow, but make sure the knot is facing down.

Say what???

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

Here is how I do it: I make a loose knot and then rotate the ribbon so the not side is facing down and then pull it tight. Then I can pull the ribbon back down and I have a beautiful knot on the top of my bow. If you want to attach an ornament to this bow, be sure you slide it on BEFORE you tie the knot.

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

I trim the edges by folding the ribbon in half and cutting on an angle. *** Be careful! If you fold the ribbon the wrong way, you will NOT end up with this edge.  Practice on a scrap so you know which way to fold! ***

Ever wonder how to make gift wrap bows like a professional? Click here for an easy tutorial on how to make gift wrap bows from wire ribbon!

I can't wait to wrap the rest of our Christmas presents this weekend, watch A Christmas Carole, and drink hot chocolate! Be sure read How to Wrap Beautiful Christmas Presents if you missed it last week and you will be ready to wrap your presents like a professional too.

Be sure to tag your gift wrap photos with #PDBJayCrafts if this tutorial helped you with your gift wrapping we would love to see your pretty Christmas presents!



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Minions - Bad Guy Mini Burgers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad

My husband and I loved watching the Minion movie from Illumination Entertainment in theaters this past summer! We may have been the only adults in the theater without kids, but we didn't care; we were there to see the minions! There is just something mesmerizing about those funny yellow characters, their goggles, and their overalls.

So it seemed only natural while we were at Target picking up some Christmas presents that we would throw the exclusive Minions Blu-Ray/DVD Metalpak (with bonus features!) into our cart as well and I immediately started planning our Minion dinner and a movie date night! My love for Target runs deep and I love that it is my one-stop shop for all my movie night (or any night) needs! If your store is running low on the movie, you can always order online and save 5% with your Target Red Card!

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad

A little background information for those of you who haven't seen the movie:

Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. The story of the minions’ journey to finding the perfect bad guy boss. They are, after all, minions and need to work for somebody. The minions find their way to Orlando, Florida in the 1960's and wander into Villain-Con; a convention full of bad guys, weapons, and all things evil. The perfect place to find a new boss!

For our movie night, Houston and I made some "Bad Guy Mini Burgers" and some minion fries! 

Our Bad Guy Mini Burgers are a slider patty with a cube of cheese cooked into the center so it "oozes with evil" when you take a bite!

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad

How to make Bad Guy Mini Burgers:

Grab a pound of lean Market Pantry ground beef while you're at Target (picking up your Minions Blu-Ray/DVD, of course), some of your favorite cheese and any other toppings you would like on your burger! I like to keep it simple with just the patty and Houston likes to add some spinach and tomato to his.

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad

Make small patties from the ground beef, place a cube of cheese in the middle, and place another patty on top making one big patty around the cheese. Pinch the corners together to keep the cheese in the middle.

Grill like a normal hamburger and season how you like. We like a little pepper and garlic on ours.

Once your burger is cooked through, finish making your Bad Guy Mini Burger and enjoy! We garnished the mini burger with a villain topper inspired by the movie.

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad

We also used our new mandoline to slice some potatoes and a cookie cutter to make minion fries - Homestyle potatoes cut out with a minion cookie cutter and fried to golden perfection! YUM!

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad


Houston is such a good sport and goes along with all my wacky ideas. I am so lucky to have such a fun loving man I can laugh with. Watching funny movies together is one of my favorite things and the Minion movie does not disappoint; especially with the 40 minutes of Target Exclusive content.

Bad Guy Mini Burgers make the perfect movie night snack for watching the newly released Minions movie! The molten cheese center is practically oozing with evil! It has never been so good to be bad. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias #ad

Bad Guy Mini Burgers                                                                     

Ingredients:

Market Pantry Lean Ground Beef
Cheese (use your favorite kind; we used Colby-Jack)
Mini Rolls or Buns
Seasoning (we keep it simple with garlic and pepper)

Optional Ingredients:

Tomato
Lettuce
Ketchup
Mustard
Onions

Directions:

Form two small hamburger patties with the ground beef. Try to make them as thin as possible.
Place a small cube of cheese on top of one patty.
Place the other patty on top of the cheese and pinch the two patties together, sealing the cheese in the middle.
Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of the patty.
Grill on a stovetop griddle or BBQ until the meat is cooked thoroughly.

Place cooked patty on roll/bun.
Add toppings.
Enjoy your cheese-filled burger!

Minion Fries                                                                                      

Clean and slice a potato into ¼ inch strips.
Imprint with a minion cookie cutter.
Fry in a frying pan with olive oil until golden brown.
Season with salt.
Enjoy!


Our Bad Guy Mini Burgers were the perfect movie snack and were so easy to eat while we watched Minions! What is your favorite movie snack?

Monday, December 7, 2015

How To Wrap Beautiful Christmas Presents

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

When I was 22 and working at Robinsons-May, I made a deal with my friend James. He would learn how to work the Ticketmaster program and I would learn how to gift wrap. Well, I think James got the short end of that stick because Ticketmaster was always busy and it was a complicated system to use but when gift wrap got backlogged, I got to hang out upstairs and I learned how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents!

One of my favorite things about the gift wrap department was the tape dispenser!  It was filled with sand and weighted so I could pull the tape with one hand without the whole thing sliding on the counter.  It has been on my wish list for years and I think I may just have to buy it for myself for Christmas. 

I also loved the way the rolls of paper hung on the wall with a blade to tear the paper - it reminded me of elementary school and the large bolts of butcher paper that were always being used by my teachers. 

Anyway, I perfected my gift wrapping skills and now wrapping my Christmas presents is a highlight of the season for me. In fact, I usually save all the unwrapped presents and have one whole afternoon where I drink hot cocoa, turn on a Christmas movie and wrap everything all together. 

So how do you wrap like a department store gift wrap department?  Let me show you!

Prep work:

First thing you need is some presents and gift wrap supplies! Our Big Lots store is right next to our favorite Mexican restaurant, so we ran in to do some Christmas shopping and pick up my gift wrap materials.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad
 
I was so excited when I saw the gift wrap ensemble that included a color scheme of 3 different, but coordinating, wrapping papers and the bows and ribbon to go with them! (Styles and assortment varies by store).  Now that's my kind of  efficient shopping. 


I also picked up some tape, a pack of shatterproof ornaments to help spruce up my gift wrap, and some glittery ribbon - because I can't say "no" to glittery ribbon.

We also found some dinosaur toys for one of my nephews who is totally into dinosaurs right now, a tree topper for the tree in Houston's office, and some puzzles for stocking stuffers - I love being able to find so many great gift ideas in one place!  

Ready to wrap:

Make sure you have a clear work space and unroll your gift wrap paper with the pattern facing down.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Measure how much paper you will need by placing the present on the paper and pulling the edges up.  Trim from the roll.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Pull one edge of the paper up and over the present and secure with tape.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Pull the other edge of the paper up and over the present, pull so the paper is taught, and crease the edge. Fold the edge under itself and secure to the present with double sided tape (this is where my favorite tape dispenser would come in handy). Using double sided tape is the secret to getting those perfect department store gift wrap edges.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Take the left side of the paper and pull towards the box. Adhere with tape and repeat for the right side.  Push the paper flush with the box and crease at the corners. It will usually make a triangle shape.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Determine what the top and bottom of your package will be based on the folded edge you created with the double sided tape.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Pull the bottom edge up towards the box and secure with double sided tape.

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Pull the top edge down towards the box and crease the tip of the triangle. Fold under and tape it to itself.  Than secure the triangle to the box with double sided tape. This creates another pretty and flush edge of the package.

Adorn your package with bows, ribbon or anything else that fits your wrapping theme! I used some of the bows from the Big Lots gift wrap set and attached a red ornament to two of my packages and made a bow with the red glitter ribbon!

An easy and quick tutorial on how to wrap beautiful Christmas presents! Click through to see how easy it is to wrap department store quality Christmas gifts like a pro! #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias #ad

Need to know how to make a department store gift wrap bow?  Come back on next week and I will show you how!

I would love to see your beautiful Christmas gift wrap and hear if this tutorial helped you with your wrapping this year.  Use #PDBJayCrafts on your social media posts and happy gift wrapping friends!