DIY Personalized Cork Wine Charms

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DIY cork wine charms header

DIY Cork Wine Charm Craft

Whether you’re snowed in for the weekend, or looking to make a last-minute gift idea, this simple craft is the perfect way to reuse those old corks you have at home. Not to mention a perfect excuse to pop open a new bottle of wine and get your craft on!

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Easy DIY Thanksgiving Tablescape

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easy DIY thanksgiving centerpiece header

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Well, our fourth annual Friendsgiving was a great success. I’ve been full for three days straight. And there’s still a week of great eats ahead of us! If you’re looking for a unique and creative tablescape idea, here’s a good one. If you’ve got some basic tools, 10 minutes and a few candles at home, you’ll be set. And it won’t cost a penny.

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Upcycled and Repurposed Gift Guide

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how to recycle old clothes into new life

 

Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving! We had a lot of fun doing our annual Turkey Trot, even though it was a little wet and wild outside. We got two rounds of turkey, visiting family all around the metro. And we still have a Friendsgiving to look forward to. Bring on the leftovers!

If you got a little burnt out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, it’s ok. I actually swore off Black Friday shopping a few years ago. It was after heading out in very icy conditions… I think I was looking for a crock pot or something petty. Long story short, I ended up rear-ending someone because my brakes couldn’t handle a fresh ice patch, and that was a very short-lived little shopping trip. I decided all the madness of consumerism and downright danger were just not worth saving a few bucks. I took a step back and thought about how silly the whole thing is. Thanksgiving is about friends, family and togetherness. Where’s the gratitude in a $19.99 crockpot and fender bender? So that was the end of my Black Fridays. I went cold turkey. (Thanks for noticing the pun.)

Gift Giving Alternatives

But I’m all for Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday. I fully support the notion of using our cash to support local shops rather than big box stores. We vote with our dollars, you know? I’m guilty of deal hunting at chain stores, but I really want to try to support more small businesses. It just feels good. While I’m trying to cut back on holiday shopping in general, I think at least being mindful of where I’m using my money is a step in the right direction. That said, I’m hoping to do a lot more Christmas crafts this year! And please, before you throw something away consider first donating it, recycling it or upcycling it. Organize a clothing swap, have a DIY-off with friends, make mittens, sew a quilt, make shop rags or give it to someone in need instead.

Our friends at Cotopaxi have some ideas for recycling and repurposing as well, and have a promo code for you at the bottom of this post if you’d like to check out their website.

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Handmade Backpacks

What we really love about Cotopaxi is that all the backpacks are handmade by someone who otherwise may not have a job. The person gets to personally design the bag with colors and fabrics that inspire them. No two bags are alike. And all the fabric is repurposed, fabric that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. It’s a win-win. I’m impressed with their commitment to impact sourcing – the people who make these bags earn a decent wage to actually improve their quality of life.

If you have a certain someone on your shopping list who’d like a unique, socially responsible, durable and useful gift, we’d highly recommend checking them out! There’s a promo code just below. Watch this video for their inspiring story:

 

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Cotopaxi did not sponsor this post. We just think they have a great business model and mission worth sharing and we hope you will too!

 

What’s your favorite way to repurpose fabric or clothing?

Reorganizing the Crawlspace

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crawlspace

 

This has been a long time coming. When we moved in, we discovered this incredible secret storage area know as the crawlspace. After moving from a slightly larger house, we needed a place to put boxes and miscellaneous things that either didn’t fit, or we didn’t have a place for right away. So into the crawlspace they went. And the garage. But that’s a whole other story… It was finally time to tackle our storage area and get things to their homes. We spent our staycation working on this, and a few other big projects.

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Lemon Coconut Muffin Bars

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Lemon Coconut Muffin Bars Recipe

Happy Easter, Happy Spring

I found this recipe in our staging cookbook that we used for house showing decor. It’s the Better Homes and Gardens annual recipes 2003 cookbook. We picked it purely for the colors and photos, but hey, I’ve already made two recipes from it! I put a different spin on it to serve up for Sunday. Easter has always been my favorite holiday, and I’m so excited! If you’re looking for a good spring recipe, I would highly recommend this one. (Unless we’re going to the same family function.) It’s fairly easy, and there’s even a surprise filling inside. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

List of Ingredients
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Vday 2015

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Happy Valentine's Day

Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day

While we’re not huge fans of Hallmark holidays, we do like to celebrate special occasions in our own way. I’m big on spending quality time together, so I figured there was no better time to sign Joe up for some volunteer activities. Hey, that was my Valentine’s Day wish.

Leah and Joe volunteering Cheerful Givers

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Up Northmas

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Walking in a winter wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Wow, what an excellent weekend we had away from everything. Joe’s family treated us to a few days up north at a cabin. We really enjoyed ourselves! Thanks again for such a great time 🙂 We’ll remember it forever. And we practically were the only people there!

The Rooms

upnorthmas cabin Nisswa Minnesota

We were digging the lofted ceiling and fireplace. So homey! Everything was beautiful.

bedroom cabin Nisswa MN
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