December 14, 2018

Christmas Simmer Pot Gifts DIY

Christmas Simmer Pot  Free Printable

Warm cinnamon, fresh citrus, and pine--it smells like Christmas is in the air! A really great alternative to giving friends and families tins of sweet treats are simmer pot (stove-top potpourri) kits to give their homes an inviting holiday smell.

The great thing about simmer pot kits is that you can mix and match the ingredients to get different scents. This year I used oranges, pine sprigs (or needles), rosemary springs, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, cranberries. The science to assembly is not exact in my opinion, but generally, you want one whole citrus fruit per kit, 3-4 sprigs of whatever herb or plant your using, a handful of cranberries, 2-3 cinnamon sticks, and a generous tablespoon of whole cloves. Again, if you're not exact--no worries! In all likelihood, it will smell good. Place your ingredients in individual cellophane bags.

Christmas Simmer Pot  Free Printable

Next, you can print out the free gift tags I've designed for this project by clicking below the image:

Christmas Simmer Pot  Free Printable


Christmas Simmer Pot  Free Printable

Cut out the gift tag and fold it in half on the center line. Then attach it to your cellophane bags with a couple of staples--or ribbon if you're feeling extra crafty today. On the back of each gift tag are instructions for the receiver on how to then boil the contents for their simmer pot.

Christmas Simmer Pot  Free Printable

Happy gift giving this Christmas!

November 28, 2018

Celebrating Jesus' Birthday with Little Ones + Book Giveaway!!!

Tis' the season to celebrate the best birth day story of them all--Jesus! To help you celebrate with your little ones this year, I have a giveaway and companion resource to share with two beautiful children's books by Susan Jones: A Birthday Party for Jesus and Everyone is Invited to Christmas.

Birthday Party for Jesus

A Birthday Party for Jesus by Susan Jones, tells the story of  Little Bunny who upon receiving a party invitation for Jesus' birthday wonders what he can give him as a birthday gift? What sorts of things does Jesus want? When he gets to the party, Little Bunny learns that Jesus doesn't want new toys but rather wants our love, kindness, friendship and more--and he wants us to share those gifts with others. 

Everyone is Invited to Christmas

In the follow-up book that just released, Everyone is Invited to Christmas, the readers are introduced to Little Raccoon who is living off by herself with few friends deep in the woods. She stumbles across an invitation to the woodland creatures' birthday for Jesus and decides to go. While making her way to the party she makes a new friend and learns about the gift of love we receive at Christmas. 

Jesus' Birthday Party Activities

I've created a printable resource page for you to use in conjunction to the two books with 6 book related activity ideas, along with treat toppers and birthday party invitation templates.

Jesus Birthday Cake Toppers


Yule Log Cake Craft

One of the ideas mentioned on my printable list was a craft for older children to make this yule log cake candy container you see above. The exact link on how to make one for your children and free images for them to color to then decorate it can be found by clicking here.  


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This Giveaway is Closed

I'm giving away a copy of both A Birthday Party for Jesus and Everyone is Invited to Christmas together to one lucky winner! The giveaway runs from now through Sunday, December 2nd, 6 p.m. (Central Time). To enter, simply leave a comment below saying you'd like to be entered in with your name somewhere visible for me to see. If you share this post (leave link in comment if you do so) or follow me on Pinterest or Instagram you can enter separate comments to have your name entered in to the pool multiple times. I'll announce the winner then Sunday night here in this post below with the information of how to get your books shipped to you.

And the winner is... Janelle! 

October 31, 2018

A Bicentennial Celebration of Frankenstein

Frankenstein 200 Year Celebration

This year marks the bicentennial anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which she wrote at just 18 after a group of friends challenged each other to a ghost story writing contest... because what else can you do when it's non-stop horrible weather in the middle of Geneva? Frankenstein has been a hugely influential book to the science fiction genre--arguably by many, as the first book of its kind. And the story still has the power to form our thoughts around questions surrounding life and science. Not only is the book fascinating, but also the history behind how the book was written, and Mary Shelley's own life (which just so happens was recently adapted into a film recently, which I recommend). Since its publications, its gone on to be immensely popular and has manifested itself into plays, films, and books. Here are just a handful of my own tales of Frankenstein, and if you have others you recommend, please share them in the comments below for me to check out!

Frankenstein Book

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley tells the story of Dr. Frankenstein bringing to life a dead corpse and all the ensuing inner turmoil and consequences he has to wrestle with for trying to play god. The book brings about questions surrounding issues of modern science and life that are just as applicable as today as they were for Shelly's time period too. The book is so beautiful and well written (and I might add by an 18-year-old none-the-less), and ought to be a must read for all. 

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey tells both the story of Mary Shelley's life as well as what events led to inspiring her to write Frankenstein at such a young age. The illustrations are just absolutely beautiful in this one--and personally, more so than the style of writing the book--but so worth having on your shelf for the artwork alone.

She Made a Monster


She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton. Fulton focuses on telling the story of how Mary Shelley came up with the story of Frankenstein and the importance of women gaining their voice in the literary world as writers on equal caliber as their male counterparts. The illustrations are just too charming to resist too! 

Frankencrayon

Frankencrayon by Michael Hall. The crayon towns folks prepare to tell the story of Frankenstein when an ugly scribble appears and Frankencrayon is the only one who sees the beauty in its ugliness. 


Frankenstein Board Book

Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer by Jennifer Adams is an adorable board book to introduce both the general story of Frankenstein while teaching basic body parts (head, legs, arms, etc.) to your baby. 

Frankenstein Parody Madeline

Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody on Ludwig Bemelmans story of Madeline. Instead of two straight lines with the smallest in them being Madeline, this is the story of the ugliest creature in the monstrous crooked line--Frankenstein. If you're a fan of both Madeline and Frankenstein, you'll get a laugh over this comedic tale. 

October 30, 2018

No Tricks, Just Treats! Printable Treat Tags

No Tricks Just Treats Printable Tags 
Even adults need a little many treats during their Halloween week to satisfy their sweet tooth. This year I went with baked goods. Take a look and use this tag to help bag up your own treats for others as a last minute gift!

No Tricks Just Treats Printable Tags

Print out my spider tags (link below) and tie them up for your friends!

No Tricks Just Treats Printable Tags

Another treat item that's a favorite of mine is to dress up a dozen donuts. You can find plastic fangs at your local craft or party store and stick them in the centers, along with these candy eyes to make these spooky goodies.

Halloween Donuts

Halloween Donuts


No Tricks Just Treats Printable Tags

October 29, 2018

Halloween Tree and Home Decorating Tour 2018

Halloween Tree

Today I wanted to share some snapshots of my first completed Halloween tree I decorated along with some home decor snapshots as well--think of it as a little tour. You can read about the items that I made here in this previous blog post as well, and I'll be linking to where some of these products are from in case they interest you as well. 

Halloween Tree



Halloween Tree

Halloween Tree

Halloween Tree

Halloween Tree

Halloween Tree Topper

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

These editions of Dracula and Frankenstein are currently at Barnes and Noble 

Halloween Home Decor

Witch Weather Vane from Target

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Home Decor

Halloween Tree Decorating DIY
Halloween Tree DIY

October 28, 2018

Halloween Tree DIY || Garlands and Ornaments

Halloween Gumball Garland

I picked up a table-top black Christmas tree last winter and decided to decorate it for the Halloween season. I was able to hunt down some ornaments for it, but quickly realized I was going to need to make some as well in order to fill the tree. Here are a few easy DIY ornaments for your own Halloween tree too!

Halloween Gumball Garland

These springs of colored gumballs are from Hobby Lobby's floral selection this fall. I love how they look similar to felted ball garland--only more textured looking and way less time consuming to make yourself. 

Halloween Gumball Garland

All you need is some kind of thread (or I used twine--because I use it in all my fall decorations), the gumball sprigs, and a needle. Carefully pop off the gumballs from their plastic wiring first. Measure out how long you want your garland to be, cut the needed amount of twine, and tie a loop knot at one end.

Halloween Gumball Garland

Because these fake gumballs are styrofoam on the inside threading them onto the twine with a needle is easy-peasy. When you get to the end, finish it off with another loop knot, and it's done. 

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The first type of ornaments I made this year, were these painted Halloween wood plates I picked up at Michaels. You will also need bakers twine (or whatever lace or thread of your picking) and colored card stock paper.

Halloween Ornament DIY

Trace around the wood plates onto the card stock their shape. Then cut them out of the paper. This is going to be the backing of your wood plate to hide the glue used to attach the twine hanger.

Halloween Ornament DIY

Cut the twine down to the size you want to use for your loop when it hangs, and hot glue it to the back of the wood plate. 

Halloween Ornament DIY

Then you will glue the paper backing as well to the plate, and then hocus pocus--they're done in less than a few minutes.

Halloween Ornament DIY

Next up are these old-fashioned stylized Halloween postcard ornaments. You can buy a booklet of these postcards here from Amazon. 

Halloween Ornament DIY

The supplies I used to embellish these were glitter, card stock paper, and an assortment of ribbon or twine and trinkets. 

Halloween Ornament DIY

Start by punching out the postcards you like the best, then to reinforce them, layer them with an adhesive to a piece of card stock. I then trimmed mine with a decorative border. All that's left then is to add embellishments and a ribbon or twine hanger at the top, and you're set!

Halloween Ornament DIY

This year I saw so many adorable garlands--many of which one could easily dismantle and make into a set of ornaments for your tree. 

Halloween Ornament DIY

I picked up this felted ghost garland in at home goods and carefully separated the ghosts from the jute.

Halloween Ornament DIY

Thread through each one with some bakers twine to make hangers for them.

Halloween Ornament DIY

Halloween Ornament DIY

To see the ornaments and garland on the tree as well, click here. If you have your own Halloween tree, leave me a link in the comments below--I'd love to see it!

Halloween Tree Decorating

© Natalie Grimm. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.