Gingerly Made

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gift for the Troops #BicMerryMarking

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BIC® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Or are you waiting until after Thanksgiving. I've started, but just barely. I'm sure you've already made your lists though; family, friends, co-workers, teachers. Have you added any favorite charities to your list? What about something for the troops?

My kiddos are really young and they don't really understand words like "service" and "sacrifice". Their pappy served in the AirForce, but they don't really understand that either. So mommy me is trying to help them understand. And with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I'm also trying to help them in being grateful.

So with all of that, I was really excited to be selected for the "Letters for the Troops" project from #BicMerryMarking. BIC Mark-It™ has a PDF of some amazing gifts and projects that can be made using their markers. I love it because 1. They are good gift ideas 2. It's inexpensive to make 3. Made gifts mean a lot to me

We got a huge box of markers in the mail.

We live near Fayetteville, NC which might as well be called Military Town USA. I spent a few years there when I was little and my sister lives there now. So instead of writing a letter, we decided to make a gift.

I created my own version of the Thank You card from the PDF using the #DeepBlueSea marker to write "Thank You" and "For Your Service. Then I used the #RambunctiousRed and #TuxedoBlack to add the details.

Once my card was done, I punched a hole in one corner and tied it onto a gift of a Brownie in a Mason Jar with some raffia.

This gift is easy to anonymously drop on the porch of someone you know who has served and sacrificed. They don't need to know who it came from, just they they are appreciated. Hey that's what Thanksgiving is about anyway right!

Check out the other Merry-Marking ideas from BIC Mark-It™ on this PDF and get the booklet of merry marking and a coupon to start marking.

*I'm calling out Ashley Weis Greenwood H from 3 Little Greenwoods, Holly Sewell McCall from McCall Manor, and Lindsay Eidahl from My Creative Days to see what crafty project they can recreate. *

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Homemade Body Butter Recipe

 Homemade Body Butter Recipe

Winter is ROUGH on on my skin and nails. I have a tendency to have dry skin, hair, and nails anyway and then winter hits. So, I have to step up my beauty routines during winter to keep everything in check. One of the ways I like to do this is with a homemade whipped body butter recipe.

You need coconut oil, shea butter, and some essential oil. I used lavender oil - it's my fav!

Homemade Body Butter Recipe Ingredients


1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup shea butter
10 - 15 drops essential oil


Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove. Set to medium heat. The coconut oil and shea butter will melt down. Do NOT bring to a boil. You just want it to melt, that is all. After it's melted pour into a bowl and place in the fridge. A few hours later your body butter will have become solid again.

Take the solid body butter and whip. It's a lot like making whipped cream, but for your hands.

Now it's ready to put in a jar and use. This recipe makes enough to fill a half pint jelly jar. Use it yourself, or give as a gift.

** A Note About This Body Butter -- It is made from natural ingredients; no chemicals with mile long names, just three simple ingredients. It will feel different from lotions and body butters you find in the store. Being made with oil, it is a little oily as you rub it on your skin. But it will rub in. Also, with the first use, I can really feel how dry my skin is. After using a few days my skin is softer and the body butter feels more normal to my skin because my skin has really absorbed the moisture. **

Homemade Body Butter Recipe

I love how shiny and healthy my nails look in that picture above! And yes, those are my real nails. No fakies here. Not only does this body butter work great for my skin, but also my cuticles. I just rub it into my nail beds as I rub it on my hands. It's a two-fer!

And since we love two-fers, here's some winter nail care tips from Julep. (I was not paid in any way for this post.) They sent this to me to share with you and since we're talking about taking care of ourselves..... You can also check out their nail polish color page if you're looking for a new color.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Burlap Nativity Banner

I've been busy decorating for Christmas and our upcoming Christmas Home Tour and today I'm giving you a little sneak peak at what I've been working on - a burlap nativity banner. I am really excited about this nativity; it's rustic, humble, and centered around Christ - just what a nativity should be.

I started by browsing the Silhouette store for a nativity scene. After I found one, I picked which parts I wanted (it had a lot more than I used) and cut it out on my Portrait.

I did not get pictures of this next part, but I think you can figure it out. I'm basically making the hanging banner pieces.

To make the burlap banner, I cut 9 strips of burlap ribbon each 9 inches long and hot glued the bottom edge of each and flipped it over about an inch to seal the ends. You could sew it too, but with decorating and moving furniture around I didn't feel like pulling out the sewing machine.

Then I glued the top edge the same way except instead of just flipping it over an inch, I pulled the edge down about 2 inches creating a loop to thread my string through later.

Now here's the fun part.

Each part of the nativity was set on its own burlap banner piece and stenciled in with brown paint. My daughter saw me working on this and of course wanted to help. Remember with stenciling to dab, dab, dab with a sponge brush.

Peel off the vinyl and let dry.

Once it's dry, thread some jute twine through and hang.

I had wanted to hang mine on the mantle where it would have been beautiful, but I already have a porcelain set up there and I thought two nativity scenes in one spot would be a bit much. So instead, I hung with some garland on our stairs. Unfortunately my pictures of the full banner doesn't do it justice, but I do love this way of showing the simplicity and beauty of the birth of Christ.

Make sure to stop by next week for the full home tour!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Show Me Saturday #8 {Come Link Up}

Welcome back to the Show Me Saturday link party!

Please follow each of the hostsess in some way.

3 Little Greenwoods 

Gingerly Made 

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My Creative Days

Oatmeal Pistachio Cookies // Low Country Popcorn with Old Bay // Jingle Jute Webbing Wall Decor
Ashley's Week Image
You are a bunch of AMAZING crafters! We wish we could feature you all, but since we can't, we're keeping up with your stand out projects on the Show Me Saturday Pinterest board. We'd love it if you followed along too!

So, who wants to see the top picks from last week's party?

Here are my picks for the week. You can stop by Ashley and Lindsay's blogs to see their features too.
There's still time to figure out how you're going to set your table for Thanksgiving. Love the simple elegance of this table at Chic California .

Thanksgiving Table Setting

Now that your table is set, get desert ready. Love these adorable Acorn Oreo Balls from Home. Made. Interest!

Acorn OREO balls are simple to make all you need is OREO cookies, cream cheese, and melted chocolate to make a delicious OREO cookie ball.

Love this Painted Shim Christmas Tree from Woods of Bell Trees!

Painted, Shim, Christmas, Tree, alternative, idea, craft, DIY, handmade, 6

Decorate for Christmas with this beautiful ornament topiary from Sweet Haute! She talks you through step by step. Great tutorial!

Love to link but forget which party's go live when?

Sign up for an EMAIL REMINDER.

 By linking up at Show Me Saturday, you give the party hosts the right use your posts in a feature article including round-ups. We will {obviously} link back to you giving you full credit for your work.

Ok, Let's Party!

Remember, comments are like skittles. Everybody loves them!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jingle Jute Webbing Wall Decor

I received free product from to create a project with. All creative work and opinions are my own.

I don't normally decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. But the nature of being a blogger means that you have to prepare seasonal items early enough to present it. It also means that I get more time to DIY my decor, which I'm sure you know, I love. The first project I have worked on this year was this pretty Jingle Jute Webbing Wall Decor.

I ordered the jute webbing from Jute webbing is so pretty for Christmas decorating because of the red edging and of course the natural fibers.

I started with 2 feet of jute webbing. Then stenciled on the letters for "JINGLE".

Use a sponge brush and dab on the paint to get the best results with your stenciling.

Next I created the loop to hang it from a scarf hanger. But if you don't have one of these, you can use a circular towel rack, or twine, or ribbon.

I thought about sewing the loop over the hanger, but felt lazy and hot glued it instead.

Next, I added some dollar store jingle bells to the edges to make it actually jingle. I got lazy with the bells too. You could hand sew the bells on, but again, I used hot glue.

After hanging it up, I wasn't really sure whether or not to leave it as is, or if I should put something at the top to hide the circular hangar. In the end, I added a red ribbon bow. It's so pretty and reminds me of the harness that might be on on the reindeer hooked up to Santa's sleigh.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Movie Night Low Country Popcorn with Old Bay Chocolate and Caramel

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Low Country Popcorn with Old Bay, Chocolate, and Caramel

The holidays are upon us and soon every weekend will be booked with one holiday party or another. So when do you have time for date night? In all the hustle and bustle it's still important to find time to connect. But you don't have to go out or spend a lot of money to have a good date night. Hubs and I like to have simple stay-at-home date nights. We'll get the kiddos in bed and enjoy a good #MovieNight4Less with Orville Redenbacher's popcorn and M&M's®.

I recently picked up the best date night movie ever at Walmart, The Notebook. It was in one of those $5 movie pallets. Score!

So, after picking up the movie, I grabbed some Orville Redenbacher's popcorn and M&M's®. Because what's a movie without popcorn and M&M's®? Then I decided to get creative.

Although the story setting is New Bern, NC, The Notebook was filmed in SC. And since SC has some pretty amazing low country cuisine, I decided to go that route and make my popcorn into something new and really tasty.

Old Bay, Chocolate, Caramel Popcorn was PERFECT for watching The Notebook. It's a little spicy (Old Bay), a little sweet (caramel) and a little bitter (dark chocolate) just like the movie. Plus Old Bay seasoning makes me think of coastal SC and crab boils and exactly the area where The Notebook was filmed.

Making it was really easy too. Pop your popcorn according to package directions. Then melt your chocolate and caramel.

While the chocolate and caramel are melting add a couple of tablespoons of Old Bay to your popcorn. More for a spicier popcorn and less for a more subtle bite.

Then drizzle your caramel onto the popcorn. I had to add some milk to my caramel to get it smooth enough to drizzle.

Drizzle Caramel on Popcorn

Toss to coat. Then drizzle your chocolate and toss again.

Drizzle Chocolate on Popcorn

The chocolate will still be pretty soft and runny. Put in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate and caramel to harden again. We don't need our hands coated in the sweets, just the popcorn.

When it's ready, serve your popcorn in a big bowl or individual popcorn bags. Add a bowl of M&M's® for munching and you're ready to cry your eyes out watch a great movie with your hubby.

Gormet Popcorn with Old Bay, Chocolate, & Caramel
For more movie night ideas, keep up on social media:

Orville Redenbacher's: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Warner Brothers:  Facebook | Twitter

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Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies with Rolled Oats

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and Quaker.  All opinions are mine alone.

Oatmeal Pistachio Cookie

Do you participate in cookie swaps during Thanksgiving and Christmas? Or do you just love to bake cookies for yourself and family? We love to #QuakerUp with a good oatmeal recipe for cookies around here. And since my kids aren't big fans of raisins, but LOVE nuts, we swapped them out to make an Oatmeal Pistachio Cookie. YUM!

I use Quaker Oats in our kitchen all the time. The kiddos eat Quaker instant oatmeal for breakfast and I love to make granola and cookies with Quaker Oats too. While I was at Target, I picked up the limited-edition packaging containing winter graphics, found ONLY at Target stores. I love the pretty winter themed design.

Grab a coupon for yours.

I picked up some pistachios too. Everything else I already had at home.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 10 oz. package pistachios, shell and chop


Preheat oven to 350.
Mix ingredients from flour through oats in a bowl and set aside.

In mixing bowl cream together butter and sugars.

Add eggs and vanilla.

Mix in flour and oat mixture.

Finally add in chopped pistachios.

Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.

Flatten dough balls.

Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Quaker Oats Oatmeal Pistachio Cookie

These cookies were so good my 5 year old actually passed up a chocolate chip cookie to eat these. I'll admit, I was floored but A-OK with that.

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