a (little) weekend revelation

While I was doing the old keep-toss-donate routine around the house this weekend, I had a “why didn’t I think of this forever ago?” moment. After sorting through some bags of clothes and boxes of miscellaneous stuff I’d been ignoring for ages, I realized there were a fair number of tidbits leftover that were A. too nice to donate to the thrift or B. purchased with someone special in mind. Like, for example, an exquisite silk scarf I found for my mom for $1. A precious dress I picked up at a church rummage sale for a friend’s little girl. And these cute 1950s “his” and “her” drink coozies that would make a super adorable bridal shower gift.

They had potential, these little odds and ends, but without a home, I knew they would never be connected to the person they were intended for. So I gathered them together and threw ’em in a bin, along with some basic wrapping supplies, and am calling it my gift bin. I figure it’ll come in handy when the holidays roll around and the need for impromptu hostess gifts, White Elephant fodder and stocking stuffers all arises in the same week. It’s a little fix, and an unoriginal one I’m sure at that, but still, I feel good about it.

So dears, tell me, how were your weekends? Did you all have any big (or small) epiphanies, housekeeping-related or otherwise?



three quick & easy diys, present-toppers edition

Is it wrong if I want to skip actually shopping for presents this year and skip ahead to the part when I spend an entire evening listening to Christmas music and wrapping them up all cute? The trio of gift-toppers featured below can all be made mostly with materials you can find easily at, where else…your local thrift store!

 These Monopoly tags, c/o Glossary, give new life to a vintage game that was missing some pieces.

  Personalize a prezzie with a yarn-wrapped pipe-cleaner letter or go all out and do the lucky recipient’s name. Once the gift’s unwrapped, these would make great ornaments. (Idea c/o  giddy giddy.)

File this under why-didn’t-I-think-of-this: Dyed paper doilies, c/o Blue Eyed Freckle. How sweet would a single poof be atop a package? Very, I say.

Ahh, now all I want to do is sit around and wrap gifts! Fortunately, I do have some crafting action of my own going on tonight…working on this Saturday’s limited edition Mighty Swell giveaway. It’s going to be so tight…I can’t wait to share it with y’all!



vintage paper packs

Over the weekend, my friend Andrea and I assembled a bunch of vintage paper packs to sell at Mighty Swell over the holiday season. Each one is one-of-a-kind, but all contain a sweet mix of stationery, postcards, book pages, game pieces and other miscellaneous ephemera I’ve been squirreling away over the years. They’ll make great gifts for any vintage-loving scrapbook-er, art journa-ler, collage artist or stationery nerd. I unearthed some gems while we assembling them. How precious are these little critter cards?

Anywho, that’s just a peek. I’ll be selling them the shop over the holidays for anywhere from $4-7, depending on the size and contents. Gotta love affordable gifts, vintage ones especially!



how to: make your own bubble bath

Researching for yesterday’s Beauty Bets post re: making bubble bath at home, I tried out a couple different methods and recipes. This recipe for foaming vanilla-honey bath, found over at Real Simple, is so easy and delicious I just had to share it here. Spoiler alert: I’m totally giving jars of this stuff out come Christmas time!


1 cup light oil (almond, canola or sunflower will do)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup mild liquid hand or body soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Mild Baby Soap, available at Target, Whole Foods and co-ops.)

1 tablespoon vanilla (preferably organic)


1. In a clean clear container, mix together the liquid soap, oil, honey and vanilla.

To use, pour 1/4 cup or so under running water as you fill the tub. (This recipe makes enough for about eight baths.)





holiday how-to: apple-cinnamon infused jameson

Hi there, and happy Monday!

You can disagree all you want, but in my opinion, homemade Christmas presents are the most fun, both to give and receive. Which explains why this recipe for infused whiskey caught my eye when I spotted it a few months back. Who wouldn’t love to get a wee bit of spicy whiskey in the middle of a dead-cold Minnesota winter? I sure as heck would! Anyway, with Thanksgiving coming up, I figured this past weekend was probably a good time to get a’going on making this, especially since it takes a couple of weeks to infuse.


5 one liter bottles of Jameson Irish Whiskey

3-6 cinnamon sticks

6 Granny Smith apples

6 apples of another variety (Braeburn, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Jonagold)

A large glass or ceramic container(s) for storing


1. Pour bottles of Jameson into a container.

2. Add cinnamon sticks and sliced apples. Cover.

3. Infuse for 12-18 days depending on exposure to heat/light.

4. After infusing, strain and pour back into original bottle or into gift-able bottles or jars.

To make an apple-y hot toddy, mix 1-2 shots of the infused Jameson and hot apple cider in a mug. So stinking good!

This recipe was created by A.J. Crotty, manager of Charlie’s Irish Pub in Stillwater, Minnesota and will appear in the winter 2011 issue of Minnesota Meetings + Events magazine.

I hope your Monday’s are off to lovely starts, my dears!