DIY Baby Headbands

This week I had the pleasure of hosting my new niece Ms. Evelyn.  She made her big Minnesota debut at 10 weeks old from Columbia, SC.  My sister told me to stop buying her stuff, but as a PANK (professional aunt no kids) that is impossible (yes, I fall into a category identified by retailers as people who over-buy for their nieces/nephews – it’s real, here is an article).

I love all of the cute accessories for babies and found these SUPER simple, SUPER cheap, SUPER cute headbands on Pinterest and had to give them a try.


  • T-shirts (the cheaper the better, clearance, goodwill, etc) – but stretchy works best
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors


  • Cut the bottom seam off of your shirt, then cut about a 2″ strip
  • Gently stretch the strips, then fold one of them into a “fish”
  • Lay the second piece over the “fish”


  • Put the right side of the “u” under the left side of the “fish”, then put the left side of the “u” in the center of the “fish” loop
  • This is probably the hardest part, but I have confidence in you 😉 – pull the right side of the “u” UNDER the left side, but over the “fish”


  • Now you have your nautical knot!  Gently pull each side so you have a tighter knot and about even ends on each side


  • Use a hot glue gun to connect the ends, and you can even wrap with a scrap piece of material to cover to make it look a little better

Vioala!  An adult small shirt made the right size for my two-month old Evelyn, and I shortened them a bit for my friend’s newborn daughter.  You can mix colors depending on what you are going for!


The headbands are cute, but I have to say the model may be stealing the show (I’m biased 😉 )

This would be a great activity for a baby shower activity as well!

Enjoy 😉

Book-Themed Engagement Party

This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting an engagement party for my college friend Kristen and her fiance Beau!  It was so much fun getting to know Beau’s friends/family and celebrating a couple and friend who has been so supportive of me throughout the years.

They are getting married at the historic (and gorgeous) James J. Hill library in Downtown St. Paul, so I thought a book theme would be fitting and fun!  I had some old books I had purchased from Goodwill left over from book crafts for my sister’s wedding (she got married at the same place!) that I used to create accents throughout the room.

We decorated the bar with a marquee sign using book paper letters and book paper pomanders (directions here)!  I also wrapped mason jars with book paper and ribbon to add a little more to the flowers!

To spice-up the plastic cups, i hot glued hearts to them as a place for people to write their names (by people i mean me, I always set my glass down and lose it!).  The outlines for the hearts then made great accents for the food labels!

I wanted to have some sort of activity, but with 25+ people I thought it would be tough to do an organized game.  Instead I decorated a mason jar and set-out popsicle sticks for people to write date ideas (not going to lie, the date ideas got more interesting as the drinks were flowing!).


Kristen’s mom bought flowers from Trader Joes and set-out votive candle holders throughout the room which created a romantic atmosphere fitting for the occasion!


Flowers and votive candle holders always add a romantic feel.

You guys know my thing is making food in advance and freezing it, but since I wasn’t hosting the party at my house (it was at the party room of my friend’s mom’s condo) I had time the day-of to prep.  Plus the menu this time was much simpler with shared ingredients.

I got the My Favorite Murder podcast going (shout out fellow Murderinos) on the speaker and zoned out! (my husband found it ironic that while making food for a love-filled engagement party I was thinking about murderers).

I asked the couple what their favorite foods were to help plan the menu and Kristen came back with pizza and salad (girl, lucky you your favorite food is salad!).  So after consulting with my super-cook sister I decide to go with various types of flatbreads and mini salads as the main course.

The flatbreads were really fun to do, I got to get creative and overall they were very easy to execute!  I just used pre-made flatbread from Target, prepped them all in advance, and baked them at the party (400 degrees for 8-10 minutes).  I made five different kinds:

  • Margherita – top the flatbread with olive oil and garlic powder, then layer thinly sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella


  • Sausage & Pepperoni – top the flatbread with your preferred marinara sauce (i used Kirkland) and layer ground italian sausage, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese


  • Apricot brie with carmelized onions – top the flatbread with apricot jam and layer sauteed onions and brie cheese


  • Buffalo Chicken – I had pre-made buffalo chicken by cooking a package of chicken breasts with 1/2 cup frank’s hot sauce and a package of italian dressinng mix in the crockpot (cook on low for 6-8 hours then shred, great for lettuce wraps!).  I topped the flatbread with olive oil then the buffalo chicken, green onions, bleu cheese, and additional frank’s hot sauce


  • Cheddar Apple Prosciutto with Arugula – top the flatbread with olive oil and layer white cheddar cheese chunks and diced prosciutto.  Top with thinly sliced apples and drizzle with honey.  Add arugula after you bake it!


For the salads, you guys know I want my food to be cute, so serving a giant salad bowl was out of the question.  I found these parmesan cheese cups  on Pinterest and they are my new fave.  SUPER easy to make and seem really fancy.  You essentially spread 1-2 Tbl parmesan cheese (I mixed with some garlic powder and rosemary) on parchement paper and bake for 350 degrees for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a shot glass so it forms a cup!

I used the same balsamic dijon salad dressing from New Years  and filled the cups with pre-mixed salad.  I loved the color and look, and can’t wait to fill these bad boys with dips, etc. – so much room for activities.


To compliment the pizza and salad I made this Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade with crakers and Antipasto Kabobs (cooked tortellini marinated in italian dressing skewered with a mozzarella ball, salami slice, cherry tomato, and an olive).

For dessert, I made cream cheese miniatures and brownie bites.

Here is the full menu:

  • Antipasto Kabobs
  • Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade
  • Balsamic salad in Parmesan cups
  • 5 Different Flatbreads (Margherita, sausage/pepperoni, apricot brie with carmelized onions, buffalo chicken, and cheddar apple prosciutto with arugala)
  • Cream Cheese Miniatures
  • Brownie Bites

The food was a hit, but most importantly the couple had fun!  We had several cheers to the happy couple and enjoyed getting to know one another.  Can’t wait for the rest of the wedding festivities!

Congrats Beau and Kristen!!


Paper Pomander Balls

My sister got married at the gorgeous James J Hill Library in downtown St. Paul a few years ago.

As mentioned she is a super-crafter, and as part of her book-themed decorations we made these awesome pomanders.  A very good friend is getting married at the same library, so in preparation for her engagement party I brought them back.

Here is What you Need:

  • Paper of choice – I used book paper for the theme (grabbed a book from Goodwill) but any thin paper would work
  • Head Pins (like these)
  • Foam ball (like these, you can pick the size)

Here are the steps:

  1. Tear out 2-3 pages at a time and fold in half 3 times
  2. Cut into what I am calling “jagged ovals” (see the picture below and ignore the chewed fingernails)

3. Separate the ovals and fold in half/crinkle them so they are easier to work with

4. Stick a pin in the center and insert into the foam ball, folding/crinkling the paper as you do


5. Repeat, spreading out and shifting the paper so it looks flower-like!  Here is the finished product 🙂

A couple of tips:

  • Overall they are super simple, however I’ll admit that they are somewhat time consuming.  It is the perfect multi-tasking activity!  In my case that meant binge-watching The Fall on Netflix (how can someone so attractive be so creepy at the same time?!)
  • Don’t bring these through airport security.  When I was making these for my sister I and accidentally left one in my carry-on and definitely got stopped at security.  I can only imagine what these looked like in a scanner!


They can be hung or put on candle holders – a fun decoration!




DIY Alcohol Ink Ornaments

I love a good DIY Christmas gift, but I want it to actually be cute, not cost a ton of money, and something I can accomplish in a Sunday afternoon.  This probably seems intuitive, but can be hard to find!

Last year my mom (who is super crafty by the way) came across these really unique, elegant ornaments as a craft to do with her sorority group.  She handed them out to our family at Christmas and they were a huge hit, so I decided to make them for my new team at work (with her help)!

The shopping list is pretty simple for these:

  • Alcohol Ink (found at craft stores – I got mine at Michaels, here is link as an example)
  • Air duster (Can be found at Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc)
  • Clear glass ornaments (also got mine at Michaels, here is a link as an example)
  • Old clothes / tablecloth – when you spray the ornament the ink can spray out!

Here are the Instructions:

1.) Remove the top from the glass ornament and put about 3 drops of the ink into the inside, rotating the ornament as you put the drops in

Tip: It is easiest to start with a lighter color first, as it has more coverage and the darker colors work best as an accent later / can take-over the ornament if added first

2.) Position the air duster “straw” inside the ornament and spray in short bursts, rotating the ornament until you get your desired pattern


3.) Add another complimentary color – usually a darker color works best – then spray again in short bursts

Tip: start with one drop at a time, because the color sometimes can take over

4.) Repeat until you get the coloring you like.  It works best to finish with a metallic color – the metallic colors add some shine and also help cover-up areas where the air makes weird markings, etc.


5.) Flip upside down and let dry for a couple hours, then viola you have your ornament!


Shout out to my mom, helper and hand model!

I found a couple unique shaped ornaments that required some tweaking but also turned-out really cool!


As you go you get the hang of what technique you like best – and sometimes the ones that you hate at first turn out the best!

Happy Crafting!