12/4/16

5 Last Minute DIY Gift Ideas People will Love!

I'm all about gifts that you can make yourself, but are easy on the wallet, quick to pull together, AND welcomed by neighbors, coworkers, and the like!

Over the years I've shared many last minute easy gifts such as:

But I love to share ideas from some of my favorite bloggers around! So here are a few great ideas that I know you can pull off yourself and have your gifts be "wowed" over!

1).  Caramel Crispix Mix
by Val @  Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
This yummy mix is so addicting, I DARE you not to nibble your way through it before you hand out your treat bags!  This recipe is easy to change up the candies and other "add-ins" to suit your own tastes and holidays. Who wouldn't love to take home a celophane treat bag filled with this festive treat?


2. Soothing Bath Salts
by Alba Rosa
This post shares 4 easy to make bath salts, from Soothing Lavender, to Chamomile and more. I love that she shares what different salts do for your skin, and why you might want to choose different ones, and that all the recipes are easy to make. I think the Lavender may be the one I make first, but be prepared to spend quite a bit of time on her site on how to make your own lotions, soaps and more!

3. Caramel Apple in a Jar
by  Ellen @ Family Around the Table
Whether you need gifts for coworkers, teachers, or youth group, or  other, when you want a fun gift to give to several people, what could be more fun than make your own caramel apple kits? Whether you make then in cute jars or assemble then in clear cellophane treat bags, this is easy to do and will be well received!
4.) Spicy Bacon Pimento Cheese
by Susannah @  Feast + West 
If your not from the south you may not be totally familiar with Pimento Cheese. It is a sacred thing down here! If you are not sure let me summarize: Cheddar cheeses, a bit of mayonnaise, and pimentos (a sweet + tangy pepper, not hot). With Susannah's  tweaks and add -ins. this recipe is divine and perfect on crackers, and as a spread on bread. If you don't want the mess of making cheeseballs (I just shared my dad's recipe), THIS is your go to neighbor gift. Send it over with a box of nice crackers. I promise you they'll ask for the recipe!  Whether you share it or not is up to you!

5. Salted Caramel + Chocolate Pretzel Bark
by Jenny @ Honey and Birch
What is better than  an caramel, pretzels and chocolate? This Bark is easy to make, and break up into pieces and put into multiple treat bags or plates and deliver in batches to several people. (Unless you and your family keeps eating it!)

Bonus Idea:

6) Cranberry Honey Butter
Taste of Home

This recipe is not from a blogger friend, but what could be easier, yummier, and more festive than a jar of this butter with a basket of biscuits, crescents, or a loaf of bread?

12/1/16

"Sweet" Children's Clothing from a Reliable Amazon Store!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of jxstar. All opinions are 100% mine.
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Check out my new "Sweet" find! This Candy Dress from jxstarkid on Amazon is just too cute!  I live across the country from my grand daughter so shopping with a trusted Amazon store is something important to me, while still wanting value and quality. Well, jxstarkid sure "Takes the Cake"!

This Candy Dress is just  one of many "yummy" fashions perfect for your daughter or grand daughter! I know my 2 year old grand daughter will LOVE this gift.

Here's where to head over to start to shopping: jxstarkid

Visit Sponsors Site

11/30/16

Country Fair Blog Party: December 16



It's another great blog party starting!  This is a month long link up. Come on and join us!
 Here are your hosts for the month:
      Jan               Val
                              Tip Garden           Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids 

2017: What Comes Next?  
Both Val and myself  joined in as co-hosts to share the load with others as a group of bloggers and we now find ourselves just too busy to run it just by ourselves, or alone as individuals.  So very reluctantly,  it has come time to let it go. 

Not totally good bye: I (Jan) am not quite ready to say goodbye just yet!  I am just going to take a breather over the holidays and enjoy my family, and think, but I love hosting blog hops. They are so much work, that I just need a bit more time to decide how best to use my creativity. I'll send out an email inviting you to join in to whatever I dream up! 

Thank you for your support! We have the best bloggers here at Country Fair Blog Party! The friendliest, most caring, and willing to share and uplift each other! Such great people! We are so grateful for you coming back month after month and sharing your life with us. 

I can't wait to collaborate with you in the future!
Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!
We thank everyone for your comments last month on the direction we take on the blog party!
The winner of last months Holiday Gift Bag was chosen via Rafflecopter.. and drum roll please... The winner is:   Julie Raye-Rodriguez!!


I will be contacting you via email to get your shipping address to get your gift bag in the mail. Or you can reach out to me at tipgardenblog@hotmail.com Congratulations!
   

Let's Party One More Time!

We had Two First Place Winners from last month! 
These posts were the most viewed/read posts from last months link up!

French Silk Brownies
from Cooking with Carlee
Country Fair Blog Part

Congratulations Jean and Carlee
Feel free to grab a Ribbon!

Also your post will be shared 
on my social media pages
and pinned to our Pinterest Board!

 Country Fairs are full of food, crafts, cooking, gardening, farming, animals, family, and community

 So is our Country Fair Blog Hop!


Come Share what you are up to this month!


  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!
  • Grab the button below and post it on your blog, so others will be invited too!
Country Fair Blog Party




Ready? Get set... Go!


11/27/16

How To Make An Ugly Christmas Sweater On The Cheap!

How to Make Ugly Christmas Sweater
When my children hit their teen years (and now in College) I soon learned that keeping a stash of fun holiday supplies to make "Ugly Christmas Sweaters" for holiday parties was a MUST! In my family, half the fun is in the making of the sweater before the party, so having a fun stash of supplies on hand is a necessity!

I don't want to spend a fortune and pay full price for supplies during the holidays, so over the years, I've learned to pick things up after Christmas during the clearance shopping and stash them away in my holiday craft bin, for when any Ugly Sweater Party comes up.

Before I share my shopping tips here are some of my Ugly Sweater Tips: 

First the sweater: I make the children head straight to the thrift store. If you can not recycle a sweater you already have, then pick one up from a charity thrift store is the next best thing.

In the sweater above, I found a forest green men's sweater for $1.00! BINGO! Perfect to send to my college son, who I knew would need a fun sweater at some point before semester exams came to an end!

Second: Adding your own Personality: Besides just making a crazy sweater, at random, it's fun to make one that fits the personality of the wearer, if you can.I usually balance personality with supplies available. Think about their personality and how you can design a sweater that fits them, if you can.

In the sweater above, The grey striped Kitty face is our own Ty-Ty. Our other Cat is a black cat, and I knew his face wouldn't show up on the sweater, so I had to use a different Kitty face, but I wanted to surprise our son, who LOVES cats, (and especially our cats) and design a cat sweater, because I knew it would fit his crazy personality. (I used Iron on printable transfer paper and printed out photos of the cats and then ironed them onto the sweaters!)

Third: How to "attach" all that Stuff to the sweater: I use a variety of ways! everything from hand sewing with needle and thread. (all my kids know how - sons and daughters), to hot glue guns, to iron on fusible webbing, to even just safety pins. whatever it takes! Get creative, and use the skills you have!

In the sweater above, the "brown mittens" on the Santa Kitty are actually the reindeer ears from the antlers on the other Kitty! You'd never know if I didn't tell you, huh? Use everything and think out side of the box!

In the sweater above, the kitties were ironed on, the coats and hats were hand stitched in "strategic spots to keep them well secure. The antlers were ironed on with fusible webbing, but could have been hot glued.

NOW WHAT TO BUY AT THOSE CLEARANCE SALES:

1. HOLIDAY THEMED WINE BOTTLE COVERS: In the photo in this post, both the Santa Suit/Hat and the Reindeer Coat/ Antlers were parts of Wine Bottle Gift giving covers, meant to go over the bottle (and the hat and antlers to go over the cork).  I ALWAYS find these type things on the clearance sales at all types of stores! and their size is perfect for sweaters!

2. ORNAMENTS: Think Flat Felt type Ornaments such as gift packages, stockings, trees, snowmen, anything that is flat, and can be glued on or sewn onto sweaters! Grab them!

3. SPARKLY POM-POM'S, PLASTIC POPCORN STRINGS, SMALL RED BEADED GARLAND, PRETEND STRING OF LIGHTS, ETC.: You'll want small ones, usually from the miniature tree section, but grab some sparkle! that can be thrown on or designed into some blingy, crazy fun!

4, HOLIDAY RIBBONS AND BOWS: My favorite is fabric ric-rac. (that zig-zag stuff) but also holiday themed ribbon and bows that are on mark down.

5. MINIATURE WINTER ITEMS: Whether you grab doll sized scarves and hats, or baby sized winter mittens and hats or socks. look for anything small and winter themed that you can grab and tuck away.

Jan's Final Tip: THINK OUT OF THE BOX~: Look at every item in a NEW way.. whether it is a "build a snowman "sticker kit" or something else.. look at is a potential for putting on a sweater in some way.. Every item! If you can figure out how to attach it to the sweater.. and it is fun and CHEAP, then grab for the sweater box!

Cost breakdown;
Sweater: $1.00
Bottle covers: 2@ .50 cents each = $1.00
iron on transfers, ink, fusible webbing: = $1.50 (approx.)
Total Cost of Today's Sweater: $3.50 (may have been less I had to guesstamate on the ink, and transfer, webbing cost).

11/23/16

Classic Cheese Ball


This classic cheese ball recipe has been in my family for decades.  My father makes this recipe every Christmas and delivers trays of them with crackers to neighbors and friends. It has become a well anticipated gift for many people.I have memories as a young child helping my father make these and delivering them.  It is a family tradition for sure!

Recently I could not find my handwritten copy. I posted a request to my step mom for a copy of it on a family face book page and several of my siblings all made comments of how much they loved it and were craving it.

It may not seem super fancy with all of the buffalo chicken or bacon ranch "new" ones out there, but if you are looking for a very good one that feeds a ton of people and will appeal to a large number of "Nibblers" this one is it.

Jan's Tip: This recipe makes a TON. It makes 4 large or 5 smaller cheeseballs, so cut this in half if you only want it for your own family.
Jan's Ingredient suggestion: Our family recipe calls for one small jar of craft pineapple cream cheese spread. They still make them in those little glass jars, but usually around the holidays. It may be hard to find this ingredient now so I am changing the recipe to a small can of pineapple, which is what we do when we cant find the cheese spread.

Printable Recipe
Classic Cheese Ball
4 -5 cheese balls

Ingredients:

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese softened to room temperature.
1 lb. shredded Cheddar Cheese (or any flavor cheese you want)
1 small (6-8 oz) can of crushed pineapple, very well drained, and blotted dry with a towel
2 (5 oz) cans of canned ham (near the tuna fish) (remember those little "deviled ham" cans? thats it!)
1 teaspoon season salt
1 Tablespoon minced dry onions
2 Tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or use the drained pineapple juice)

Coating options: crushed pecans or shredded cheese to roll the balls in.


Directions:

In a mixer mix all the ingredients until well blended.
On a sheet of wax paper divide the cheese mixture into 4 even "piles".
Using your hands, roll each pile into a ball.
Roll each ball into your coating ingredient of crushed pecans or shredded cheese.
Cover the balls in an airtight container and refrigerate till serving.


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