Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pre-Wrapped Presents

While Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, the hustle and bustle can get overwhelming when you have a big family.  I enjoy spreading the beauty of the holiday onto my gifts, baking and decor.  One area I have found to save big time and money is in prewrapped present boxes.  I stumbled upon those nice thick gift boxes at Big Lots and Tuesday Morning one year after Christmas and purchased them for pennies on the dollar. They come in every size and shape imaginable and are pretty much indestructible.  I found some beautiful heavy foiled/flocked gift wrap and bought picks and ribbon cheap @ Michael's and Garden Ridge when they mark it 75% off.

Once you've gathered the basics, simply spread out the paper and get busy. Wrap the bottom and tops separately.  I use repositionable scrapbook adhesive to get started in case I'm off center a little and once everything is positioned correctly I follow with hot glue to smooth down the seams.  Make sure the paper is pulled tight before making your folds and adhering for a nice finished look. Once the box and lid are covered, adhere your ribbon to the inside of the lid, bringing it around to the outside to tie a bow (this is where the wired ribbon comes in handy).  Make sure you adhere the ribbon and crease it to fit the inside of the lid exactly.  Adhere a separate piece of ribbon to the outside of the bottom that will line up with the piece you tied to the lid. bring the ends over the sides and secure to the inside of the bottom and stuff with tissue paper to hide paper and ribbon edges.  Place the lid onto the bottom and tuck a pick, gift tag and any other fancy thing underneath the bow. 

I like to go back and secure everything with hot glue just for added wear and tear.  You will be amazed at how beautiful they come out.  Don't get overwhelmed with trying to wrap them all at one sitting.  I wrap one or two a month.  The good news, once you wrap them you can reuse them each year AND no picking up gift wrapping off the floor!  I've also found already made boxes at Costco that even have the ribbon attached so just throw it in the box with some tissue, close the magnetic lid and tie in a bow.  You can't get easier~

Don't stress if you find you have a gift that doesn't fit.  Simply wrap it the old fashioned way, stick a bow on it and make a note to look for that size next year, or better bag it!

                                                 Here's to a Happy and Stress Free Holiday!!  
                                                             Merry Christmas to all~

A Special Shade of Pink

As a Palliative Care nurse, I know all too well the role cancer plays in the lives of so many.  The day my mother announced she had breast cancer was very surreal to my family, as with all oncology patients.  Although I had many wonderful collegues, friends and family to support us, we still fit into Kubbler-Ross' stages of grief perfectly.  I am happy to say that my mother survived but not without physical and emotional scars that EVERY person with cancer has.  I wanted a way to honor her journey with all it's ups and downs and capture the true essence of what it means to be a


To say you are a survivor means more than just "made it through".  It encompasses every emotion, tear, sigh of relief, pain and victory.  Sometimes looking back and reflecting is as much a part of healing process as anything. 

Scrapbooking really is a way to speak without words and to give someone a voice who may not know quite how to articulate the full extent of emotion that won the battle. To show someone, "Look at what you went through" can be a very difficult thing but it can also be the healing you both need.  Creating a survivor scrapbook for my mother has not been easy and is not yet complete.  I am sure when it is, and we add that final "Walk For A Cure" picture of all of us, it will be a tear well shed.

You are a HERO Mom!

get great ideas by visiting 
and searching "breast cancer"
You can view product lines available under the Superstore tab
or visit your local crafting stores~

Thanks for spending time with me today and remember to

Graduation Scrapbooks

A walk down memory lane ~  
Perhaps no other time in our life defines us more than our teenage years in senior high school. We go to our first prom, get our driver's license and class rings, fall in love and graduate.  It's a right of passage that tends to collect with it all sorts of memorabilia.  Most of us have it contained to a box somewhere in a closet to be found by our children or grandchildren one day.  Why not get them into an album where we can reminisce from time to time.  Baskets beside furniture can often house a few albums and spark many conversations with family members on holiday's and with house guests.

Beautifu l~ and only two elements!

It may even fall into the hands of your teenagers.  Pictures speak volumes....{yes, we were your age once!}and perhaps can prompt those crucial conversations you've been meaning to have.  It's easier than you think, really! Nothing fancy, a plain 12 X 12 album in your school colors and attach your tassel and/or varsity letter to the front and spine to embellish.  Use 12 X 12 card stock in your school colors for the background and decorate.

Some things you may think to include:

  • graduation tickets/announcements 
  • dates and places                 
  • love letters
  • prom pictures                                    
  • favorite hangout spots              
  • newspaper clippings
  • diploma                                              
  • top songs/bands/news              
  • team sports pictures
  • senior portrait                                    
  • report cards                            
  • awards
  • class ring ceremony program              
  • college applications                  
  • journaling

                    Remember, it doesn't have to look professional!  The true gift is in remembering!
If you have older children, start one for them.  Many local scrapbook stores sell paper and accessories designed for your child's individual school.  These make GREAT grad gifts too~