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Revisiting our Christmas Tutorials – Holiday Wrapping with The Diva

December 7th, 2014

GIFT WRAPPING with Lisa Carroccio (The Domestic Diva)

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I hope you don’t think I’m mental, but my favorite holiday activity is GIFT WRAPPING. I “try” to wrap each night as new purchases come into my home. It helps to have a “gift wrapping station” set up in your home…a simple table with all the supplies you need to wrap gifts. My station has several holiday gift papers on rolls which are contained in a Rubbermaid™ Gift Wrap Holder.

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I keep several rolls of fancy gold and ivory ribbon, tulle, my handy dandy Bowdabra™ (the Diva’s bow-making secret), place cards (used as gift tags), scotch tape (on the big rolls in the office tape dispenser), plain white boxes, tons of gold gift bags, gold Calligraphy markers and my hot glue gun. Each gift, no matter, how small, is wrapped with care and is adorned with a nice bow.
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Stuck in the center of the bows are simple “holiday picks” such as silk flowers, ribbon roses, faux sugared berries, miniature ornaments, rhinestone buttons or some other glittered item. Year after year, my sisters fight over my bows as gifts are unwrapped on Christmas Day. They reuse them the following year to make their gifts “sparkle.”

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Every year I designate a specific color and/or theme to each of my two kids. That way I don’t have to put name tags on them until Christmas Eve and the kids’ don’t know which gifts are theirs.
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In the past, I’ve used some great color combinations for my teen daughter such as polka dots, zebra prints and tiffany blue. This year I’m using hot pink and black/white houndstooth for my daughter. My son will get either brown or turquoise blue depending on which wrapping paper I have the most of this year.
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When gift wrapping, don’t restrict yourself to just ordinary white boxes. Get creative! I’ve used colored Chinese take-out boxes, fancy hat boxes and different baskets. If you’re going to be lazy and use gift bags, be sure to at least add a beautiful bow and handmade gift tag.

Also, don’t be afraid to use non-traditional colors. As a matter of fact, I NEVER use any red in my house. Any color can become a Christmas color is you add sparkle to it.

Revisiting our Christmas Tutorials – DIY Magical Mason Jar Snowglobes

December 7th, 2014

I recently made a ton of these Mason Jar Snow Globes with my children and the young women in our church. Everyone LOVED them so much. They are beautiful, fun and easy to do! It’s a great project and when you’re done you feel like you really have accomplished something wonderful because they are mesmerizing. Here’s how I made ours >>

You’ll Need:
-Clean Mason Jar and Lid with a good seal
-Glitter OR Snow Flakes (I purchased Buffalo SnowFlakes at Michaels – see image)
-Something to put inside your globe. I found these cute trees at our Shoppers Drug Mart – a box of 3 for $5 but you can use bottle brushes or other trees from hobby and craft stores.
-Water
-ribbon if you wish
-A Glue Gun

How To:
-Use your glue gun to glue the base of your tree to the inside middle of your lid. Ensure it’s directly in the middle and test it out ahead of time to make your your tree will fit through the opening. Let it dry.
-Add your snowflakes or glitter to your jar, a little goes a long way. I used few generous pinches with these flakes but you can do whatever you’d like.
-Now add your water. You want to fill your jar quite high, almost to the rim so you don’t have big ugly air bubbles. Just a little space. Don’t worry you can always adjust it.
-Now take your lid with tree attached and screw it into place. Tighten it good and tight. Wipe down your jar and make sure you have a good strong seal.
-Add some cute ribbon and you’re done!

Now you’re ready to gift them or enjoy them. Be warned, they are addictive and you’ll want to make lots. You can also experiment with jar sizes and cute things to put in them (i.e. christmas balls, ornaments, figurines etc.). Have fun with the flakes, go make some MAGIC!! – Daria

If you make a Snow Globe please share your pictures or a link with us, we’d LOVE to see what you’ve made!

Revisiting our Christmas Tutorials – DIY Scents of the Season

December 7th, 2014

Article by: Lisa Carroccio The Domestic Diva

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Nothing puts you in the holiday mood more than the smell of Christmas. Since Christmas scents are usually limited to Pine-Sol™ pine, sugar cookie and country kitchen apple scents, I started making my own. Combine the following:
1 sliced orange
1 sliced lemon
10 cloves
1 tablespoon Allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
Add two cups of water and simmer (low flame) on your stovetop. The smell fills your house! Occasionally add more water as it evaporates.

Revisiting our Christmas Tutorials – Tulle Garland Tutorial with The Diva

December 7th, 2014

One of our MOST popular Tutorials ever was the Tulle Garland with Lisa the Diva. It’s our pleasure to share it again this year.

 

Article by: Lisa Carroccio The Domestic Diva

DIY: TULLE GARLAND TUTORIAL

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I’ve always used tulle when decorating my Christmas tree. It’s the secret to making a cheap tree look full. Basically, I’d “stuff” the tree with tulle and call it a day. However, this year since I now have a full pre-lit Christmas tree, I needed to somehow find a way to incorporate tulle into my tree. What better way than to Tulle Garland?!

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All you need is a serger and a few rolls of 6 inch tulle in whatever color you like. The color choices are endless. I used 4 rolls (100 feet each) of “Old Gold Shimmer” tulle. Tulle rolls are sold in increments of 25, 75 and 100 feet. Be sure to buy as much as needed or you’ll be making additional trips to the craft store like I did.

Serger Settings:
4-thread overlock
Gathering Serger Presser Foot (if you have one)
Left and Right Needle Tension = 8
Upper and Lower Looper Tension = NORMAL
Stitch Length = 5 (or highest available setting)
Differential Feed = 2 (or highest available setting)
Note: You can use a sewing machine to gather your tulle, but the serger makes it a fast project…and I’m all about speed.

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With the roll of tulle in front of the machine, on your lap or on the floor (like I do), fold tulle in half as it comes off the roll (folded edge to the left). Use your right hand to guide tulle through the serger cutting off 1/4 inch. With your left hand, place two fingers behind the presser foot to prevent the tulle from feeding freely.

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This helps the tulle gather even more. When your fingers can no longer hold the tulle from behind the machine, let it go. Repeat until you’ve gathered all your tulle needed.

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Once you’ve gathered all your tulle, you’ll need to “poof” it by separating the two layers of the tulle.

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This is what 400 feet of gathered tulle garland looks like. Just enough to decorate a 7 foot Christmas tree.

Total cost…under $15! Being the envy of all your friends…priceless!

 

#IamBraveAndBeautiful Bloghop Special Event

September 29th, 2014

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “


Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.



Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!


Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!



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Makeup Free Makeup Free


Hi Everyone, thanks so much for stopping by. My name is Daria and I am so honoured to be a part of this incredible event. When I saw the video that had been put together to celebrate real beauty I teared up, then I smiled knowing that each life this event touches will be changed in a profound way. There is so much pressure to portray the perfect image in our society that much of the beauty of our natural state can get lost in the chaos of expectation. I personally have felt the self inflicted pressure as I’ve packed my bags to attend a fancy blogging conference with all those cute “pulled together” bloggers with perfect Pinterest lives. The need to feel noticed, and valued in those circumstances. I recall rushing to make all of those last minute appointments for hair/nails packing the perfect outfit and those killer shoes that will showcase in one look what you are all about.

I’ve been guilty of negative thoughts about myself, I’ve beat myself up about my fluctuating weight, or any of the “flaws” that I see when I try to measure myself against the worlds expectation of beautiful. Isn’t it a gift to realize that though we want to present our best self to the world that it doesn’t have to be artificial? What if we can learn to value others around us and ourselves by what truly matters, the heart, and our actions? What if what makes me beautiful is actually my Womanhood, my Motherhood, my faith and my gifts and what I give to others?

“I don’t have to try so hard because…I am a daughter of God. I have talents and strength beyond what is seen. I can love myself and accept that I am made up of many things that together make me beautiful. We are each a patchwork of gifts and abilities that when combined create a beautiful picture of who we really are. I resolve to honor that gift in myself and to see this innate beauty in others too” XO- Daria

I’ve shared my Bare Faced photo and used #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instagram. YOU CAN TOO!! Join US.


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Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.


>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<


women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup


1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl


women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful


21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive


women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com


39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals


Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful


59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling


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74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me


raw natural beauty - join the movement


94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa


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104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography


#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful


Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag BrassyApple</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/peacefrom6pieces" target="_blank">Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!


Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Alexa Ray Joel sings “Just the Way You Are”

September 16th, 2013

Back in 2007, I had the honour of interviewing Alexa Ray Joel for an exclusive Boutique Cafe podcast. I love Alexa’s voice and her music and have followed her career ever since. Now Alexa has beautifully reworked her Dad (Billy Joel’s) original hit “Just the Way You Are”, and also has teamed up with Gap for their “Back to Blue” campaign. Love you Alexa – Congratulations!! XO Daria

Snag Alexa’s gorgeous version of “Just the Way You Are” on iTunes here>>

Luv Chicken Booster Cushion

September 10th, 2013

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Check out this adorable and highly portable booster cushion from Luv Chicken! This mini booster is cute as can be, in wipeable and easy to clean vinyl. The bottom of each cushion is non-slip and there’s a handle to make it easy to carry, even your toddler can tote it along (and believe me they will want to). The soft and comfortable foam insert makes seating issues at restaurants a thing of the past, now your child can sit up at the table at the proper height. If your child is past the highchair phase, but not quite tall enough to join the family at the table, the Luv Chicken boosters will help include them in family mealtimes together.

I love the idea of taking a Luv Chicken cushion to the movies, no need to worry about all the germs on those hard plastic movie theatre boosters. Bring your own and skip the germ stress, plus lets face it these are WAY cuter and far more comfy! Mermaids, Cars, Circus, Playtime, Dinos, Pirates, you can find all these themes and more from Luv Chicken.

Luv Chicken offers two sizes of booster cushions – Original in 4” thickness and Mini in 3” thickness. For comfort and {Adorability}, we love the Luv Chicken product line and encourage you to give yourself a boost and check them out!

You can follow Luv Chicken on Twitter>>
And join their Facebook group here>>

Boutique Cafe {Daily Dish} Sample Disclosure: The opinions expressed above are honest, accurate, and not encouraged anyway by monetary donations. A sample free of charge was received from Celebrity Baby Trend Expert, Rachel Florio-Urso.

Mindy Gledhill’s Pockeful of Poetry

September 5th, 2013

Did you know that you can Pre-Order Mindy Gledhill’s new album Pocketful of Poetry on iTunes? I just did and I can’t wait for the full album to drop. {LOVE IT}

Sneek peeks of her new songs on Mindy’s youtube channel here>>

I MUST own this, take me to iTunes>>

Summer Lovin’ at Boutique Cafe

August 4th, 2013

Why Hello friends, I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve toddled off to. It’s summer and I’ve been spending my days with my cute little kids enjoying the sunshine. We’ve been surfing in Tofino, swimming in our pool, I even hosted a wedding for a couple I’d never met before at my house overlooking the ocean. It’s been busy and wonderful all rolled into one. The truth is, that I miss you all though.

I’ve been trying to make some new plans for Boutique Cafe. When I started this website years and years ago my life was infinitely different, and so was the boutique community. I’m transitioning in my personal life, and am looking to transition Boutique Cafe along with me. I warmly welcome your advice and suggestions in this, after all we’ve been through alot together you and I over the years.

While I’m figuring that out I want to invite you to follow along at my Instagram feed, it’s a fun place where I regularly share the likes and loves in my everyday life. Daria – Instagram

I look forward to making some BIG CHANGES here very soon, let’s continue to be friends!

Boosting Your Child’s Communication Skills with Fiona Barry

June 19th, 2013

Top Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Communication Skills:

Bullets from Fiona Barry of www.talkingtipsforkids.com

I’m often asked for my ‘top tips’ for helping children’s speech and language skills. So here they are, my five Top Tips:

1. Tune In
You need to tune into your child’s level of communication, even from birth, so that you can act as a responsive conversation partner. Follow your child lead’s in play and conversations and you’ll get so much more from your interaction with them.

2. Speak Up
It’s time to add some language in. Talk about the here and now with young children, if you See It – Say It! Find as many times in the day when you can chat as possible. Talk about what you can see out of the car window, chat about the washing as you hang it up or comment on what your child’s doing as they play. Make time for talk.

3. Love Books, Love Learning
Nurture a love of reading in your child and you’ll set them up for being capable talkers, readers and writers as they grow up. To be able to read and write a child needs to be able to use and understand spoken language first. They also need to find reading and writing fun and exciting. You can make books the champion in the house instead of the TV or games console. Make book reading part of your family life.

4. Songs For Today, Words For Life
Singing songs and nursery rhymes with your child, even from before birth, provides them with a great springboard into some of the underlying skills needed for learning to talk, read and write. Songs provide the perfect structure for learning language because they’re predictable and repetitive. They help you to bond with your child and are excellent for soothing cross, upset or bored little ones. A song a day keeps the tears away.

5. Listening Comes First
Communication is not just about talking. For a conversation to flow we need to listen to what the other person is saying. Children need to develop good attention and listening skills not only to learn new words and sentences but also to become good at conversations. Children learn by example so when we listen to children they learn how to be good listeners themselves.
I have developed and presented a series of videos which share a range of ‘parent-child interaction strategies’ (ways of talking with your child) that speech and language therapists use. These are essential for all children, with or without difficulties.
The videos are packed full of useful tips to boost any child’s communication skills and are designed to be put into practice as part of families’ everyday routines at home. Download my free App on iTunes or visit my website www.TalkingTipsForKids.com

Small changes in how you communicate can make big changes in how your child communicates!
Words are free – but they’re also priceless.
Fiona Barry

Here’s a FREE Sample Video from Talking Tips for Kids:

Thanks to Rachel Florio-Urso PR- Facebook and Twitter

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