Movie Themed Gift Basket

Movie Themed Gift Basket

This Christmas was all about Pinterest for me. Since finding Christmas, not quite a year ago, I’ve been loving it. So many things to try, and Christmas is a perfect reason to try even more!
I saw this movie gift basket and I thought, “What a cute idea for someone you’re not sure what to get!” Truthfully, Pinterest took care of many difficult friends and family this year. After all, how can you not find inspiration on Pinterest??
I started out on amazon.com, ordering the big popcorn bucket and the two small popcorn buckets that were inside. Afterwards, I did some covert research to find out what kind of candy was favored by the intended recipient. Once you know what kind of candy is favored, pick up some of the $.88 boxes from Wal-Mart. Think movie theater candy if you can’t pull off the sneaky-ness. Snow-Caps, Malt Balls, Swedish Fish, etc.
The tricky part came next. Do you get a DVD for your gift basket? Do you give a Blockbuster gift card? The original pinner put RedBox codes in, so that is what I ended up going with.
You then need some tissue paper to pad the bottom a little bit, then arrange the items how you would like. I then bought some cellophane wrap to enclose the basket. I found the 35mm film laying around the house. Let’s be honest, no one but photographers or aspiring ones uses film anymore! When I asked Tony if it was ok, he proceeded to pull the film from the roll. It wasn’t even used! LOL. You see ladies and gentlemen, it pays to hang on to stuff for seemingly no reason!
I couldn’t get my bow to come out as beautiful as the original pinner’s did, but I thought it was cute for a first attempt!
This doesn’t have to be a Christmas gift either, this would be a great gift for the movie buff in your life. Something fun and different, so go crazy with it!
Original pin and idea came from http://www.the-lady-wolf.com/search/label/Christmas

Gift Some Wine This Year

This year I was excited to give a grown-up gift of wine to my dear friend Jenna and her husband. The original pin was about a gift basket for a wedding or bridal shower featuring multiple wines. The wines were for events such as a celebratory wine for a big event, a makeup wine for their first fight and so on and so forth.
Jenna and Alan have been married for 2 years and it was nowhere near their anniversary, so this idea evolved a bit as I thought about it.
I started with a beautiful basket, Longaberger of course. If you have any questions about owning your own gorgeous wine carrying basket, send me an e-mail at stephanie_desantis@live.com. Then you pick up a wine of your choice. You can go with a full-bodied red, or a nice, crisp white. I chose to go with something a for a celebration. A very nice pink, bubbly moscato. After I picked the wine, I picked my brain for a cute little poem to go along with it. If you are unable to come up with a poem you like on your own, google wine poems. You will have to filter through a little, but there are some really nice ones.
I made up my own little poem

Something big,
Or something small,
You don’t need a reason,
So celebrate it all!

I decorated the tag with cute little Christmas stickers, but for some reason, my photo won’t upload today. I will try again later on this week.
Dress the wine up a little with tissue paper, maybe some ribbon to tie your poem to the basket and you have a lovely Christmas gift! It’s a great gift for anyone who enjoys wine, so how can you go wrong??
I adapted this idea from a pin that linked here: http://designingdawn.com/twin-tuesday-wedding-gifts/

Decorative Wine Bottles

Decorative Wine Bottles
This was the gift idea I came up with for my parents this year. My parents are similar to Tony and I’s grandmothers, in that if they want it, they’re going to go get it. So the trick then becomes to find something they don’t need or know they want, but will still enjoy.
I knew my mom would either love them, or give me the look that says “really”? So I decided to roll with the idea. My first attempt bombed, I mean really bombed. I thought I would be clever and make my own stencils out of Duct Tape. Looking at the finished product I realized why this was a horrible idea!
Bad Idea Part 1
I should’ve realized at this point that this was never going to work!
Bad Idea Part 2
I threw this in the trash right away. Then I began the hunt for letter stickers that were big enough and that I liked.
I did eventually find some after shopping a few stores scrapbooking sections. Then I had to choose my words. The ones in the original pin, found at http://indulgy.com/post/n5Mha9AzA1/wine-bottle-decor;jsessionid=7700F05DB5080CAEEB7D4B677EBAF643, had the words LOVE, JOY, NOEL. My father is a Southern Baptist minister so I chose FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE, as taken from 1 Corinthians.
With Stickers Only
I chose three different types of wine bottles for the different shapes and the colors. You can do the same or go with identical bottles for uniformity. After you have found your stickers and selected your words, then you need some glittery spray paint. I went straight to Wal-Mart for this. I chose a gold, white and red. What you saw at the top was my finished product.
I’m not going to lie to you guys, my husband painted these for me! Apparently I suck at spray painting because yes, there is a correct way to do this! Faith came out a little weird because he forgot to press down on the letters before spray-painting. The stickers I chose would pop off from the rounded edges of the bottles, so be aware of that potential issue. We also found that the red didn’t coat as well. I’m sure with a few more tries it would turn out better, but the white was by far the best of the three.
The best part is that they were a hit. It was very funny because as my mom, the preacher’s wife, was opening the individual bottles, she was trying to guess the next word. We had HOPE and LOVE……. She didn’t guess it. She felt a little silly for not getting it, but they now have a place of honor on the mantel.
I’d recommend this for people that either have experience spray painting or know someone who does. Or you can be like me and get enough wine bottles to practice with! If you’re not a drinker, you can ask at local restaurants for empty bottles, or sometimes they will be posted for free on Craigslist.com.
If you try this one out, I would love to see how they turned out!

Tea Cup Candles

Tea Cup Candles
My dear friend Jenna was complaining to me yesterday that I am not blogging enough lately. I told her that I had all of these great things that I had done for Christmas, but was waiting to blog about them until after the holidays. Well, here we are, starting the third week of the New Year and I am still slacking! Bad Stevie! I am away from home right now for some work related training. This translates too free WiFi and evenings free. This is a great time to catch up on my Christmas projects. Remember people, great gifts can be plotted out early!
The first time I saw these adorable little candles, I immediately thought of my Nana and Tony’s grandmother. They are wonderful women, but can be difficult to shop for! They have what they want in life and if not, they’ll get it. They both are very family oriented, so I knew a homemade gift would be a big hit!
The original post talks about after you lose a saucer for your teacups, this is a good way to repurpose them. I however am not a teacup person! I have two young children in the house. We tend to stick to industrial strength coffee mugs! I found my teacups at Pat Catans. A local craft store that usually has what I need, once I’ve exhausted all other options. You would think I would go there first…… Yeah, right!
For this project you will also need some scented wax, candle wicking and wick sustainers. All of these can be found at a craft store. Tony and I cheated a little with the candle wax, instead of buying scented wax and trying to melt it in a nested pan, as the instructions called for, we used one of the many Yankee Candles we had around the house. Our final choice was “Whiskers on Kittens”, a cute name for an amazing scent!
You start by melting your wax. Using an existing candle, we simple placed the candle jar in a pot of barely simmering water. You don’t want to temperature too high or you can burn the wax and mess with the smell. Check out our wax, just getting started:
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While your wax is slowly melting, you prep your teacups. You place your new candle wick in your wick sustainer and clamp it closed, this hold the wick in place. Then, you coat the wick sustainer in some of your already melting wax and press it firmly to the bottom of the cup. You want it to stick so that it will remain in place when you add the rest of your candle wax. Tie off your wick to a straw of skewer and place that over the top of your cup so that it will maintain it’s position when pouring your wax. It’ll look something like this:
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When your wax has melted down, please remember this is hot and is willing to go everywhere:
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Best thing to remember about the wax is to just let it dry, and then scrape it off. Please don’t try this if you have carpet, because that will be all bad!
When pouring the first time, pour the wax to about a 1/2″ from the rim. Then you need to let it set. I’m not sure why, but as it hardens, you will have a little “well” in the center, surrounding your wick. After your wax has hardened, take a skewer, or anything slender and pointy, and poke a circle of holes around the wick about 1/16″ deep. Pour your second round of wax in until you are about 1/4″ from the rim. When it hardens this time, you will have a much flatter surface.
I’m angry at myself for not taking pictures of the wrapping job I did on these candles, because it was fairly amusing! I wrapped the teacup in tissue paper, wrapped the saucer in tissue paper, stacked the teacup on the saucer, then wrapped them together with cellophane, tied off with a ribbon. They were both getting shipped out of state and I wanted to be sure they survived the trip! Then I put them in a box with a ton of plastic bags for padding. They both made it safely to their destination, so all was well!
If you try these out, have fun with it. If you have mismatched teacups you now have something to try. If you are like me, and collect candles indiscriminately, you now have a plan to make them useful! Happy crafting all!
Original pin can be traced back to http://www.marthastewart.com/273016/teacup-lights?lnc=a7367dbc53cee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=collage_crafts_recycling-crafts

Grinch Pills

I know I posted that I had hoped to get all of my Christmas-y blogs done before the first of the year, but oh well. Vacation to NC trumps blogging in this case! Besides, I try to start thinking about Christmas as early in the year as possible. Normally I start plotting in January, then buying or putting together no later than May. This past year was a personal worst because I didn’t start until August! I’m sure some of you hate people with that mentality, but I can live with that!
I don’t normally gets gifts for people at work, occasionally someone I’m really close to outside of work will get something cute, but as a rule I try not to. You run into the issues of who qualifies for a gift, how to deal with people who didn’t get one, and so on and so forth! It’s just easier to avoid this all together! This year I decided to make candy gifts for people either on my team or part of the manager team. I already posted about the candy cane sleighs, https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/candy-sleighs/, which I made for the people on my team, but I wanted to make something different for the management team. I also decided this because I found so many great things on Pinterest and this was a great reason to make them!
I started this gift with buying two bags of the red and green Christmas M&Ms. Looking back, I should’ve known to buy way more! Tony and I had a little party on the couch while sorting them out, as I only needed the green ones for this craft. I also purchased the tiny treat bags from the party section at Wal-Mart, they come 50 to a pack for a few dollars. I printed off a favored picture of the Grinch, you can choose any picture you like, however one with a white backdrop would work best. Then you can either print the poem yourself or print it off the computer yourself. I went this way because when writing stuff for cards or gifts, I focus on my writing so much that I grip the pen to tightly, leading to hand cramps! Not good!
The poem is as follows:
Feeling kinda grouchy?
Holiday spirit can’t be found?
Just try these little “Grinch Pills.”
They’re the best medicine around
Whether eating a whole handful,
Or muching one or two,
These tasty little “pills”
Take the “Grinch” right out of you!

I dug into my scrapbook paper for the next step. I glued the Grinch picture and poem onto some festive paper and left enough space above the Grinch picture to fold over my M&M bag. Then I put a handful of green M&Ms into the plastic treat bag, folded the craft paper over the top of the bag and sealed with two staples. Simple, fun and festive!
"Grinch Pill" front
View from the back

Original idea and pin came from a photo found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamiermoore/5302094905/in/photostream/

Man Bouquet

Man Bouquet

This is a really simple and yet brilliant idea. I’m amazed with all my Pinterest-ing lately that this idea never occurred to me! Originally this was going to be a Christmas gift for my husband, but one thing, and then another, lead to this becoming his birthday gift. Don’t worry, there wasn’t much of a delay, his birthday is January 2nd!
It was a little interesting though, as we ended up going on a last minute trip during my vacation from work. Being in North Carolina for a week made putting this together a little challenging! I’ve been picking up pieces here and there for a few weeks, so I had a bunch of stuff stashed in the closet. I just made sure to bring my bag with me!
You start with whatever “vase” you chose for your bouquet. I decided to go with a beer mug, only a few dollars at Wal-Mart, but I’ve seen these on other sites with actual flower pots as a vase. You then need some wooden skewers, think shish-ka-bob sticks, which you can get for around a dollar at Wal-Mart as well. The last general items you need for this project are a Styrofoam base, something the size of your vase to stick your skewers in, and tissue paper to disguise the Styrofoam.
After you have these basics, you just need to think about the person you are giving the gift to. For my amazing husband I started with some Duck Dynasty Duct Tape. He’s not a Duck Dynasty fan, but it’s camouflaged and has quirky phrases on it. I also found an awesome green Army man bottle opener on Amazon.com. Tony had been eyeing this enormous BIC lighter at Wal-Mart so I grabbed one of them. He also enjoys RedBull and vodka so I took the idea from the original pinner for the mini-bottles.
Sad news that I discovered upon shopping for the booze, mini-bottles are not available for sale as individuals, you have to buy a pack of them. I know it will still be drunk from the mini-bottles, but this eliminated the variety I wanted to include.
Once you have all of your pieces, great fillers, as recommended by the original pinner, include items such as cigars, jerky and scratch-offs (I used some scratch-offs), you begin the assembly process. Wrap the Styrofoam in tissue paper, place it down in your “vase” and fluff up some around the edges. You tape your pieces to the skewer sticks and then arrange them in your “vase”. Keep heavier items such as booze or Duct Tape close to the bottom and lighter items like scratch-offs and cigars can fill out the top. The can of RedBull was too much to tape, so that item ended up resting in the beer mug.
Tony was so intrigued with what I was working on for him. When he finally got his gift, he just lit up like a little kid. He was impressed with the sheer size of the mug and we decided that it would probably hold two full beets! The little goodies inside were fun too.
Just remember guys and girls, it’s not always how much you spend on the men in your lives, it’s the thought you put into them. They want to know they are on your mind too!
Original pin and idea came from http://connoisseurofcreativity.blogspot.ca/2012/08/man-bouquet-2.html

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC

This place is amazing! Located at 201 East Hargett Street in Raleigh, NC, it’s a fantastic place to spend a day with your kids (or grandkids). My mom had my children for a week over the summer and she had taken them there and told me what a great time they had. She sent me a few pictures too and it sure looked like fun!
We came down to see my parents for New Years, and while my mom was at work, I was looking around on the internet for different things to do. I don’t really have a problem spending vacation with family doing nothing, but mom doesn’t want us to be bored! I knew we only had mom’s two days off to plan prolonged activities, and luckily one of them was New Year’s Eve. I stumbled across the Marbles Kids Museum website, http://www.marbleskidsmuseum.org/, knowing they had been there before, and they had this event going on called the “Noon” Year’s Eve Celebration. It is a celebration of the new year, but it’s aimed at kids, so instead of midnight, they “ring in the new year” at noon.
We decided to go, thinking that even if the even was a dud, the kids would still have fun doing the regular stuff. It was very crowded, but we all still had a great time. They had a great time making their own hats for the party out of provided supplies. They turned out quite cute too!
Chiara's Hat
Arthur's Hat
Arthur was a bit impatient to get back to playing, so we didn’t put a lot of flair on his! Chiara on the other hand wanted all the flair we could give her!
As it got closer to noon, we gathered by the upstairs railing, looking over the main event area, similar idea to Times Square. The friendly staff was handing out little buckets of confetti made from streamers for us to throw. They had laid bubble wrap all over the floor on the main floor for the kids to stomp on, simulating fireworks. They also handed out signs to people to show the numbers during the countdown. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 HAPPY NOON YEAR!!
We threw our confetti and the kids had so much fun with it!
After the event, we spent another three hours looking around and playing on the different stations available. We had fun on the pirate ship setup, the kids jumping off the “plank” and climbing up to the bow.
Pirate Ship Playland
They have a ton of different stations on the first floor for kids to pretend to be any number of different things. A veterinarian, an EMT, a newscaster, a farmer or regular setups like a grocery store.
Veterinarian Station
Upstairs is more of science center setup. They have giant Legos for kids to test their engineering skills, an area dedicated to building things like you would in shop class, and the marble setup that gives the museum its name.
Josh's inverted pyramid
Arthur's Tiny Toolchest
I could probably post about twenty more pictures, but I’ll restrain myself! This is such a great time if you are in the Raleigh area. I would strongly recommend this stop for your family. You and your kids will take away some great memories for only $5 a piece! Such a great deal!