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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: THE MODERN BAZAAR

*Disclosure: the following article is a paid advertisement.  The views of the shops represented and of On The Way Home are their own.

One of the best items to get any woman on your list is definitely jewelry! What gal doesn’t want added bling? Jen Carey of the Etsy shop, The Modern Bazaar is one jewelry designer you will love. Let’s take a look at her process and products!

1. What has inspired you to create jewelry and where do you get daily inspiration from? I am inspired everyday by the meaning behind the jewelry I am making. I adopted my 2 precious children from Russia and had the latitude and longitude of the place I adopted them from tattooed on the back of my neck. This later inspired me to create jewelry that could commemorate special events for people. I also made some special pieces when my father passed away and found so much comfort in wearing that jewelry everyday. I am inspired everyday by the meaning behind the jewelry I am making.

2. What makes your jewelry or process unique? I make every single piece of jewelry by hand from start to finish. I stamp each letter and symbol and truly put my heart into each thing I make.

3. What are your favorite picks for the holidays?

The Gold Latitude & Longitude Bracelet.  This is the perfect gift to commemorate a meaningful place that has had an impact on your loved one’s life.

MBlatitudebracelet
Next on the list is the coordinating latitude & longitude ring.  A wonderful addition or stand alone piece to give as a gift.

MBlongitudering

Lastly, I recommend the Personalized Roman Numeral Pendant.  Have your special day stamped on a classy sleek pendant.  Another fabulous way to commemorate a date of importance with style.
MBromannumeralpendant

Be sure to check out Jen’s shop for more fantastic gift options.  Order soon to ensure delivery before Christmas!  Her jewelry will be a delighted gift year around too.

Thank you Jen for sharing your shop with us.  Happy Holidays! 

EVENTS ON A BUDGET: PATRIOTIC FIRECRACKER PLATE CHARGER TUTORIAL

The fourth of July is soon upon us.  And what better way than to brighten up the dinner table with some patriotic decor?  Perfect for a dinner gathering and it won’t break the bank.

For about $2.50 a plate, you can create these chargers and napkin rings in any design imaginable.  I first saw the technique on another blog then made it my own by hot glue gunning patriotic fabric to foam board and finding little firecracker’s at a local craft store to augment the theme.

You will need:
12-14″ foam board (you can get a bigger peice and cut down to a few inches bigger than the size of your plate)
Hot glue gun and glue
Fabric- your choice on the design
Napkin ring embellishments

Step 1:  Cut the foam board to the size you need.  Should be a few inches bigger than your plate.  Mine ended up being 12-14″.  Edges do not have to be “perfect”, just reasonably cut.

photo 1

 

Step 2:  Cut your fabric so there is about an inch on all sides that you can then fold over the foam core on the back.
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Step 3.  Fold over the fabric on the back of the foam board, glue gun into place on all sides and corners.

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Step 4.  Place your plate on top of the setting and embellish napkins with ribbon or other accessories.  I chose an ever popular firecracker!

firecrackersetting1

Hope this idea brightens your fourth!  God Bless America! 

EVENTS ON A BUDGET: HOW TO MAKE AN ELEGANT CENTERPIECE

I have recently began planning for my daughter’s first communion which is still many months away.  It’s definately an event one wants to be nice and elegant- but as most people these days, we’re on a budget for it.

Going through pinterest, I came accross this beautiful shabby-chic idea of taking wooden spindles from a box store and making them into tall topiary centerpieces for an elegant event.  Using only baby’s breath, it makes a soft and delicate statement.

I made my spindle centerpiece stand for less than $4.00 per centerpiece.  The flowers were $12, (it took 3 bundles of 5 stems each) and the floral ball was about $3.50 from a craft store.  A total cost of under $20!

tallcenterpiece1edited2

Here’s what you’ll need:

Wooden spindle
Mider saw if you are cutting it to a specific length
Paint
3 Nails (pin like)
Screw
Base (very important to get a stable base about 6-8 inches in width for stability.  I had to redo mine and make the base bigger)
Hammer
Power Drill
Floral ball (I used a 4 inch wet floral ball)
Approx. 15 stems babys breath
Ribbon to accent (optional)

1.  Cut the spindle to the desired height of the arrangement.

spindlesupplies1

2.  Paint the spindles.  Could be gold, silver, white or any other color you can imagine.  The spindles should cost about $2 each.  I used white paint that I already had on hand.  Let dry.

3.  Pre drill the bottom center of the base with the bottom center of the spindle.  Screw in the base and attach to the spindle.

4.  Put in 4 nails at a diagnal on the top of the spindle.  See picture below.spindlenails

5.  Place foral ball for 10 seconds in water, rotating it so it soaks up enough water evenly.

6.  Place wet floral ball on nails.
spindleflowers

7.  Proceed to place babys breath stems (with about a 2-3 inch stem) around the entire ball in clusters.

Until finally you have…. a full centerpiece!
tallcenterpiece2

 

Attach ribbon of your choice, we used the ever popular burlap for a shabby-chic look! 

DIY: HOW TO MAKE LAVENDER SUGAR SCRUB

lavedersugarscrub-3I am so excited today to share with you a marvelous recipe on how to make your own sugar scrub. It comes to us today from Sylvia, an Avon representative who is a military wife from South Georgia. She’s been using this easy and wonderful recipe for a while now and was happy to share with On The Way Home readers.

All you need is Avon Skin So Soft, raw sugar, granulated sugar, and any brand lavender essential oil. I just found out today you can buy it anywhere- even at stores like Hobby Lobby & Wal-mart! This is something I am going to be making often. It smells absolutely fabulous and feels wonderful on the skin.

(Sylvia Wages pictured above)

 

 

lavedersugarscrub

Here’s the recipe:   12 OZ Skin So Soft, 1/2 cup raw sugar, 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon to 8ml essential lavender oil.  (Depending on how potent you want it to smell).
Mix well and there you have it- your very own sugar scrub that is amazing for your skin!

lavedersugarscrub-2

If you need Avon Skin So Soft- please see Sylvia’s page. Avon has some great products. Skin So Soft is also a natural mosquito repellant (more on that towards summer!)

Hope y’all enjoy this scrub as much as we do.  Blessings! – Sarah 

KID’S VALENTINE GAMES ROUNDUP

Valentine’s day is next week! We’re hosting a very fun Valentine Party. I have the cupcakes toppers, party bags and lot’s of delicious treats planned. But what we still need are some great game ideas for the kids. That got me searching for the best ideas around the web. Here’s what I found and I was thrilled to share with you:

1. Valentine’s Bingo (Free printable!) by Crazy Little Projects
Freeprintablevalentinesbingogame

2. Valentine’s Tic Tac Toe by Make & Takes @ Alpha Mom

Front 400 Heart Tic Tac Toe 023

Musical Hearts  Much like musical chairs, lay out hearts instead.  Each time you stop the music, remove a heart.  The last person standing wins!

valentinegames11

Heart Hopscotch by Toddler Approved
heart hopscotch

Steal My Heart   Use chopsticks to try to steal as many hearts as you can in a minute from the bowl.  Whoever gets the most hearts- wins!

valentinegames-2

Candy Heart Learning Games by Teach Beside Me

candyheartlearning-011_zps4df3e408

Stack It Valentine!   Try to stack as many conversation hearts as you can in one minute.

valentinegames-3

 

And last but not least- a family fun night by notconsumed.com to do with conversation hearts!  Great ideas here.

familyfunnight-420x600 

STUFFED LOBSTER FOR TWO

Sometimes we need a little extra special dinner. Something romantic and showy to set the mood.  Whether its for Valentines, a promotion or anniversary.  Here is an easy yet decadent lobster for two recipe that won’t break the bank- but still has class and taste!

Stuffed Lobster Tail for Two

Stuffed Lobster Tail for Two

Ingredients

  • 2 Lobster Tails (approximately 8 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons Butter, salted (Melted. Garlic and/or lemon may be added to the blend for flavor.)
  • Crabmeat Stuffing
  • 3 tablespoons Butter, salted
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Onions (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup Crabmeat
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • dash Lemon Zest
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Directions

Step 1
Pre-heat oven to 425. Split lobster meat and remove from shells. Place back in shells and brush with melted butter mixture. Season with salt/pepper. Let bake for 5 minutes.
Step 2
In a small pan, melt butter. Add onions and garlic, cook until they are clear. Fold in crabmeat, salt, pepper, lemon zest and olive oil.
Step 3
Remove lobster from oven after 5 minutes. Brush with melted butter blend, stuff with crabmeat mixture.
Step 4
Let cook with stuffed crabmeat for approximately 13 minutes. Brush again if you’d like with butter then serve.
 

MILITARY HOMECOMING IDEAS (WITH A FREE PRINTABLE)

(Be sure to look for the FREE welcome home printable &
giveaway opportunity at the end of this post!)

Hip hip hurray!  They are almost home and now it’s time to plan their homecoming.  Here’s a round up of ideas, signs, balloons and more to make the day special.  Here’s 3 tips to make the day go smoothly.

1. Stay flexible and… Remember OPSEC.  You’ve made it this far… try to stay calm amongst all the jitters upon waiting their final return.  Be sure not to put anything about their return details (days, times ect) on social media.  Here is a link to a DOD Opsec slideshow for families.

2.  Stay open minded.  Do you have it all planned out just how it will go?  Try not to have expectations as you don’t want to be disappointed if things aren’t “perfect”.  Sometimes the glitches along the way will make for great stories later on.

3.  Be realistic.  Many service people have been traveling for days without sleep.  When they get home- they may need to recupperate!

Here’s some fabulous ideas of how to make their day special:

1.  Welcome Home Signs

welcomehomedaddybabybunsdesigns

Photo courtesy Baby Bun Designs on Etsy

greenlabelphotographywelcomehome

Photo courtesy of Green Label Photography

homecomingmelissagephardt

Photo courtesy of Melissa Gephardt Photography

laurenriggsphotographyPhoto courtesy of Lauren Riggs Photography

 

2.  Welcome Home Wreaths

hangeverythingupwreath

Photo courtesy of HangEverthingUp on Etsy

3.  A Shower of Balloons

balloonsdoor

4.  Welcome Home Glow In The Dark Balloons- (perfect for night time returns!)

glowstickballoons

5.  Decorate the car:  Use window paint or order a custom vinyl decal- both will be a great surprise!

giftsqueengiftsvinylwelcomehome

Picture courtesy of Gift Queen Gifts

whimsicalwallartvinylwelcomehome Photo courtesy of Whimsical Wall Art on Etsy

And a decal for everyday of the year….

fiestycarrot

Photo courtesy of thefeistycarrot shop on Etsy

6.  Front Door/Porch Decor

outdoorpatrioticporch

Photo Credit: Stagetecture.com

7.  Lawn Decor  Get creative!  Here’s some fabulous lawn decor ideas.

welcomehomemilitaryyardedited

Photo Credit: Unknown

8.  Patriotic Food & Decorations   Be sure to download our adorable & FREE cupcake toppers at  www.mediafire   Surprise your loved one with a cake, or better yet- plan a return party!

welcomehomedadcake

Photo Credit: Unknown

prettymypartypatriotic2

Photo credit:  Pretty My Party

9. What to wear: If your spouse is anything like mine, it won’t really matter a whole lot what you and the kids are wearing!  He’s just so happy to be home.  But we still want to add some style to the big event.  If you have time to prep here are some great looks.

For babies & toddlers:

igetmydaddybackswallowtail

Photo Courtesy of TheStripedSwallow on Etsy

 

f16girlgetsdaddybackshirt

Photo Courtesy of PersonallyGraced on Etsy

welcomehomedaddytie

Photo Courtesy of Chiccoutureboutique on Etsy

Kids:  militarybabycouture

Photo courtesy of Militarybabycouture on Etsy

Spouses:

polyvorehomecomingred

”Homecoming Red” by onthewayhome on Polyvore.

10. Photographing the return.

Hire a local photographer or have a friend take pictures for you.  It is truely a beautiful moment you will want to remember.  Some local photographers have great rates, check your local spouses facebook pages for military spouses that specialize in homecomings!

Here is the link to an article written by a military spouse that you’ll want to read about capturing the moments of this special day.

howtophotographahomecoming

Last but not least are our free printables- the cupcake toppers!
Click on the image to be directed to the download.
stars-and-strripes-preview

 

A special thank you goes to thefeistycarrot & giftqueengifts shops for providing these great giveaways below!  Two chances to win! 

GLUTEN-FREE STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES & GLUTEN-FREE VANILLA ICING

 If you love the cupcake toppers shown above, they are available at our SHOP for $1.00!  Use promo code: OPEN50

This year our family has taken on the challenge of living a gluten-free lifestyle.  While we do try to eat clean as well, there is always the occasional treat!  These cupcakes are a great addition to any party and are moist and sweet.  The cupcake recipe on its own without the icing uses agave- and could be considered among an eat clean diet, gluten-free diet.

Here is the cupcake recipe:

Strawberry Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup Pamelas Gluten Free Pancake & Baking mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 stick Salted butter
  • 1/2-2/3 cup Agave
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cups Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Strawberries (Mashed. You might like to add 1 tablespoon agave to strawberry mixture to sweeten.)

Directions

Step 1
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
Step 2
Mix wet ingredients in electric mixer. Slowly add all dry ingredients, mix well. Add strawberries last, fold into mixture. Then fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Powered by GetMeCooking

Gluten-Free Vanilla Frosting:
I used the frosting recipe on the back of the Pamela’s Frosting Mix bag.  It says to add 1 bag frosting mix, 2tbsp water and 1 stick of butter.   I tweaked it by adding about 2 tablespoons of milk to it.

Be sure to let the cupcakes really cook because the frosting melts considerably if placed on it too soon.  Enjoy! 

VALENTINE’S DAY AT ON THE WAY HOME (FREE TUTORIALS) NO-SEW BURLAP & LACE RUNNER

I love Valentine’s Day.  Full of pinks, roses and of course this year I am using my burlap theme from Christmas and tying it into the winter season.  Check back from now through February as I add new items.

No-sew Burlap & Lace Table Runner

laceburlaprunner
This no sew table runner took about 25 minutes to make.  I used the following materials.

laceburlaprunner1Lace, burlap approximately 10-14″ wide, pearl sequins, hot glue gun, scissors.

1.  Cut burlap to desired length.

2. Cut lace approximately 3 inches in width.

laceburlaprunner-3

3. Cut enough to space evenly the full length of the runner.

 

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4. Pinch the lace together to form a “bow”.
laceburlaprunner-45. Glue the lace bow onto the table runner in desired space.
laceburlaprunner-56.  Glue a pearl in the center.

laceburlaprunner-6
7.  Repeat steps 4-6 until runner is finished.

laceburlaprunner-8 

GUEST POST: JENNA @RAIN ON A TIN ROOF

Hey there! I’m Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof. I am so happy to be sharing here at On the Way Home today. Sarah is a great gal with an awesome blog! Thanks for having me today, Sarah!

A little about me:

Jenna from rainonatinroof.com

First off, I am terrible at “About Me-s.” In fact, so terrible, that I use pictures (entertaining ones) on my own About Me page at Rain on a Tin Roof. Its quite comical. In short, I’m a southern gal who loves some serious thrifting, crafting, re-purposing, and home diy-ing, which is what my blog is all about. This decorating thing started early for me. While other 14 year olds wanted to read Seventeen, I was reading Christopher Lowell’s Seven Layers of Design (Does anyone even remember Christopher Lowell?!), and re-arranging my bedroom. I can handle a power saw with the best of ‘em, but tend to make my Grunt Labor (hubby) use the power tools. (It makes him feel special to be needed. Total reverse psychology, y’all.)  A comfortable, eye-pleasing room just warms my soul, and makes me dang proud its mine. I love turning something old and decrepit into something new and amazing. I even started carting my daughter around to yard sales when she was a month old, its important to train ‘em early around here. My whole decorating mantra is to do it frugally. Thrift it. Craft it. DIY it. If this hasn’t bored you enough, you can read more about me here.

I loved how the first monogrammed tray I did turned out. Lindsay loved getting it for her birthday, and it is beautiful in her home. In fact, I loved it so much that I made another one for a friend who is getting married in October and I have one for myself in the works.

This one is Ashley’s that I gave her at her bridal tea a few weeks ago. I did it a little differently than the last one I did.
With the last one, which you can read about here, I used leftover trim to make the bottom. For Ashley’s, we didn’t have enough trim for the bottom and sides, so I bought a piece of MDF at Lowe’s. Grunt Labor had it cut to size and put together before I could snap a shot of the materials. Here is what it looked like together.

Pretty basic. He just cut the MDF into rectangles and cut the trim to fit around it. He used a finish nailer and wood glue to hold it all together. I primed it with gray spray paint primer and mixed up some chalk paint with some white and dark blue paint samples I had to get the light blue color. From looking at the comments on some pins from my last DIY monogram tray, I think there were some questions about how I did the monogram without a Silhouette or painting it. It was really simple. All I did was create the monogram in word. I used the free Cursif font I found here. I just typed in the letters and made the “H” bigger than the other two initials.I printed out the monogram on regular printer paper then I cut out the letters and taped them to some textured scrapbook paper.

 

I cut them out with a pair of scissors and an X-Acto knife for the really tight spaces.
Next, I just laid the letters on the tray, centered them, and used Mod-Podge to adhere them. I finished the whole thing off with a gloss topcoat.
I bought the handles at Hobby Lobby. They were originally rust brown. I sprayed them with gloss white.
The tray seemed to be a huge hit. The bride loved it (or at least put on a really good show acting like she did! haha, I’m kidding, Ashley!) and everyone at the tea gave it wonderful compliments, which made me feel pretty great! Oh and fun fact: The bride’s name is Ashley. Guess what the groom’s name is?! Ashley, too! Isn’t that fantastic!? I can’t wait to see how they screw with people’s minds on that one!
What do you think? Done any tray projects lately?