DIY T Shirt Frame Christmas Gift

DIY T Shirt Artwork

A few years ago, I was searching for Christmas gifts for Daniel, and I stumbled upon t shirt frames on Urban Outfitters’ website.  Daniel has quite the collection of graphic tees, like two stuffed drawers worth.  It just so happened that that very year he decided to weed out some of his shirts.

I noticed that a lot of the shirts he was going to get rid of he still really liked, but they had shrunk or otherwise become unwearable.  Well, you can imagine I was pretty excited!  This was the perfect gift to keep his favorite t shirts AND have really awesome artwork!  The only problem was that the t shirt frames at Urban Outfitters had really bad reviews.  In fact, any “t shirt” frame I found had poor ratings.

I was still determined to get this gift, and some of the reviews had mentioned the frames were just shadow boxes.  With that knowledge, I knew I could easily do this DIY t shirt frame Christmas gift!  I found great frames on Amazon – highly rated and not too expensive.  When they arrived, I was more than pleased!  They are very well made and look expensive.

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 black shadow box frames
  • 4 graphic t shirts
  • A pencil
  • Scissors

Here’s what you do:

T Shirt for DIY ArtworkThe frames come in cardboard boxes, so I recycled and used them to make the framework!  I simply used the glass from the frame as a template, and traced it onto the cardboard with a pencil.  I then cut it out with scissors, although you could also use an exacto knife for even quicker results.

I then positioned the cardboard over the part of the t shirt I wanted visible.

Tightly fold the shirt around the cardboard square.  You could secure the shirt with safety pins or masking tape, but I didn’t find that necessary.

Folded T Shirt for DIY Artwork

Place the folded shirt into the frame and replace the backing.  Not sure if you can tell in the picture, but the frames each come with four push pins.  I decided to leave them on, my reasoning was that it would provide more support for the folded t shirt.

T Shirt in Shadow Box

Repeat steps for each frame, and voila!

DIY Christmas Gift

DIY T Shirt Frame Artwork

Daniel Unwrapping T Shirt Frame ArtworkI LOVE how these turned out.  I chose to do four frames because I like how they looked together.  You could certainly do as many or as little as you want.  This was such a great gift for my creative, t shirt loving guy!  I know he was wondering why I wanted to keep his old shirts, I think he was pretty happy with the results!  🙂

 


Vintage and Folk Art Handcrafted Christmas Gifts

Christmas is approaching fast, and I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get a little stressed out about it!  I’m usually really on top of gift buying and start two months in advance, but for some reason it snuck up on me this year!  I also never seem to have a problem coming up with ideas on my own… until now, that is.  Maybe things have been too hectic from traveling during Thanksgiving, or maybe it’s because I’m on a tight budget, but I’ve been finding it hard to find inspiration!

Handmade Heart SoapsI’m sure some of you out there are feeling the same stress, so I wanted to share a few more wonderful Etsy shops, which happen to belong to my mom!  Rose Cottage Soaps sells handmade and high quality soaps that are 100% kosher glycerin, cruelty-free, and that use natural, skin-safe ingredients.

Daniel and I got a few bars for Christmas last year, and we both loved them!  They smell amazing, feel great on the skin, and suds up really well!  I know I probably sound pretty partial, since it’s my mom after all, but if you take a look at her reviews on Etsy you’ll see other people love her soaps as well!  She puts a lot of care, love, and time not only into the soap itself, but also the packaging and shipping.

I particularly love the holiday soaps she has right now, I think they would make great party favors for your holiday party guests!  Very memorable and unique, and I personally think handcrafted Christmas gifts are the best!

Rose Cottage Handmade Christmas Soaps

Rose Cottage Snowflake Soaps

Rose Cottage Christmas Sled Soaps

Handmade Snowflake Soaps

Handemade Sled Soaps

She sells a variety of different scents and styles for men, women, and children that would make great stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts.  I really love these kids ones, although I think they would be fun for your favorite nerdy friend as well!

Handmade Star Wars Soaps

Rose Cottage Star Wars Soap

Handmade Robot Soaps

Country Rose Cottage Beeswax Ornament

Her second shop is called Country Rose Cottage, which specializes in handcrafted items and vintage pieces.  This shop is perfect for anyone that loves a vintage, shabby chic style, as well as folk art.

You’ll find a variety of handcrafted items here as well, including these wonderful handmade beeswax ornaments.

Rose Cottage Beeswax Ornaments

Country Rose Cottage Christmas Beeswax Ornaments

Handcrafted Beeswax Christmas Ornaments

Anyone that loves a country style would be thrilled by these, and they would look great on their tree!  Well, I hope you have found a few more gift ideas from this post, and best of luck on all your Christmas shopping adventures!


Christmas Time at Disneyland

Disneyland Snowflake Entrance

Ok, so if you read my Halloweentime at Disneyland travel post, you know that it’s my absolute favorite time to visit.  But a VERY close second is during Christmas Time at Disneyland!  Seriously, if you love the Christmas season, this is the perfect time to plan your Disneyland trip.  Disney goes all out with their decorations, festive food, and entertainment.

The entire park is adorned with holiday touches, aromas of gingerbread waft from cafes, shops have a variety of Christmas gifts and ornaments – but don’t take my word for it, check out some of my photos and tips below!

As you walk into the park, you’ll see Main Street is all decked out!

Main Street Christmas Decorations

Disneyland City Hall Christmas Decorations

Make sure to get your picture taken in front of the HUGE Christmas tree!

Disneyland Christmas Tree

Daniel & Michele with Disneyland Christmas Tree

Sleeping Beauty’s castle gets a Christmas makeover as well.  Another great photo opportunity!

Christmas Sleeping Beauty Castle

Daniel & Michele with Christmas Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle Christmas Decorations

I love how they decorate New Orleans Square within the theme.

New Orleans Square Christmas Decorations

New Orleans Square Santa Decorations

Disneyland Christmas Desserts

I’m sure you can guess that Disneyland’s bakeries would have a plethora of Christmas treats, well, you’re right!  My favorite treat that I had to get every year was the hot chocolate!  I was sort of expecting it to just be a packaged Swiss Miss-like drink, but was pleasantly surprised at the richness and quality of the chocolate.  So good!  Plus, it will help to keep you warm as the sun goes down!

Tip:  While some of you from colder states may think:  “how cold can LA possibly get?”  You’d be surprised!  I’m originally from Maine, and I was often taken aback at the how cold it got, especially at night.  Certainly not that face burning, nose hair freezing frigidness, but it still manages to chill you to the bone!  We would always see tourists looking pretty miserable, because they were unprepared for the cold.  I suggest dressing in layers, wearing warm shoes, and having a stash of gloves, hats, and scarves.  Take advantage of the lockers at the entrance of the park, so you don’t have to carry everything all day long! Read more »


Unique Christmas Gift Ideas

Happy December to you all, and I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!  Daniel and I traveled to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving, and while it was fun to be back there for a bit, it’s SO good to be back in Portland.  Guess it already feels like home!  I’m also super excited that I can finally get completely immersed into the Christmas spirit!  I always try to give each holiday its rightful turn, but oh man, I can’t tell you how hard it was to hold out on decorating and sharing Christmas posts.

I plan to feature a variety of gift ideas, DIY’s, decorating tips, recipes, and LOTS more – so be sure to stay tuned!

Today I want to share some unique Christmas gift ideas.  I’ve always enjoyed giving and receiving artwork as gifts, and you can find some awesome pop art paintings at an Etsy shop called imDaniel. I may be a little bit biased, since (if you couldn’t guess) it’s my boyfriend’s shop.  I am always so beyond impressed by his paintings, that I honestly can’t help sharing his amazing work.  Take a look at some of his paintings below:

Marty McFly Pop Art Painting Marty McFly from Back to the Future

 

WALL-E and Eva Pop Art PaintingWall-e and Eva from Pixar’s WALL-E
(These paintings were my Valentine’s Day gift last year!)

 

Audrey Hepburn Pop Art PaintingAudrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

The Big Lebowski Pop At PaintingWalter from The Big Lebowski

 

The Joker Pop Art PaintingThe Joker from The Dark Knight

These paintings would be an amazing and standout gift for anyone that not only loves pop art, but that’s also a fan of cult and classic movies.  Also, if you have a character in mind that you don’t see here, Daniel is totally willing to work on a custom design just for you!  And if you head over to his Facebook page by December 15th, you can snag a 15% off coupon!

Ok, I hope I didn’t gush too much while writing this post, but what can I say – I’m a proud girlfriend!  I hope this post comes in handy if you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift, and I can’t wait to share more holiday ideas with you all!


Apple Recipes Perfect for the Fall

As promised, here is the 2nd round of apple recipes we tried after apple picking.  If you missed my first batch of apple recipes, be sure to check it out!  Lots of tasty meals to try!

The first recipe we tried this time was Momma Pritchett’s Grilled Pork Chops and Apple-Pear Topping.  If you eat pork, you must try this recipe.  The pork chops turned out so juicy and tender, and the marinade added delicious flavor.  Based on reviews, we didn’t change anything except the serving size (we reduced the recipe to 4 servings).

Grilled Porkchops

 For the apples and pears, I did not bring the sugar mixture to a boil as suggested.  I simply whisked the sugar until it dissolved, and then added the fruit to the pan.  We also placed the fruit directly on the grill rather than use a grill basket.

Grilled Apples and Pears

We don’t have an outdoor grill, so we just used our grill pan.  As you can see from the photos, both the pork chops and the fruit turned out picture perfect.  If you’re in the market for a grill pan, this is the one we have.  We are more than satisfied with it, and I highly recommend it!

Apple and Sausage StuffingWe paired our entree with a Sausage and Apple Stuffing.  If you recall from my first apple recipe post, I used apple smoked bacon in a turkey dish.  I also used chicken breakfast sausage in our Apple and Sausage Penne recipe.

Well, we used the rest of those ingredients in this stuffing recipe!  What was great about the recipes we decided on was that a lot of them used the same ingredients, so we really got the most bang for our buck!

The recipe did not call for bacon, but other recipes we saw did, so we decided why not add it in!  I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?  I diced the bacon and cooked it with the sausage.  We used a cornbread stuffing mix, and we used water instead of chicken broth since the recipe only called for 1 tbsp.

The stuffing turned out really well and paired beautifully with the pork chops.  We chose this recipe specifically because it was quicker than most.  I must say, even though we used a stuffing mix, there were so many fresh ingredients added in that it didn’t taste like a mix AT ALL.  This would definitely be an easy and fast stuffing for Thanksgiving, not to mention impressive!  And no one needs to know it was semi-homemade… If you make it for a large group, I suggest doubling or tripling the recipe.  Maybe we just like heaping helpings, but this didn’t last 12 servings, probably only 5-6 between the two of us.

The entire meal was SO good, and a lot quicker to make than we thought it would be.  I would highly suggest trying these recipes out!

Spaghetti Squash

The next recipe I tried was a pin I saw on Pinterest.  I’ve been wanting to cook a faux pasta dish for awhile now, so when I saw this Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie “Pasta” Bake, I knew I had to try it!

While grocery shopping, we were trying to figure out other ways to use up our apples.  So when I saw this gorgeous spaghetti squash at Trader Joes, I immediately thought of the “pasta” bake.  I mean, apples and spaghetti squash are both typical fall flavors, so adding apples to the recipe seemed logical.

If you’re not familiar with the spaghetti squash phenomenon, it’s a great alternative to pasta if you are gluten intolerant, trying to cut back on carbs, or just want to try something different.

Spaghetti Squash Noodles

After cooking the squash (fastest and easiest method would be microwaving) and removing the seeds, you use a fork to scrape the flesh out.  You eventually end up with a big pile of spaghetti-like strands like this picture.

We followed the recipe pretty exact, but we replaced the zucchini with about 4 cups of chopped apple.  We also cooked the dish about 15-20 minutes longer than the recipe indicated, as the spaghetti squash wasn’t as soft as we wanted.

Here is the finished “pasta” bake!

Spaghetti Squash Bake

So tasty and a very healthy meal!

Apple SalsaNow, I think we’d be pretty crazy if we had all these apples and we didn’t make caramel apples!  So we invited a couple of friends over for a caramel apple making/board game party.  We made this Apple Salsa for a snack!

A very unique salsa compared to a typical tomato based salsa.  We followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out really nice.  Fresh, tart, and sweet!  There wasn’t a whole lot of spice, despite the two peppers, but you could always skip deseeding them if you want more heat.

And now for the caramel apples!  We melted the caramel according to the directions on the package, we also melted some white chocolate for double dipping.  As you can see, we had quite the topping spread.  Our toppings included:  toffee bits, Nerds, cinnamon chips, crushed Butterfinger, peanut butter chips, and chopped pecans.

Caramel Apple Toppings

Here are a few pictures of some finished apples!

Caramel Apples

White Chocolate Caramel Apple

The apples Daniel and I made were:  Nerd covered, half Butterfinger covered, peanut butter chip and pecan covered, and the one pictured above…  Double dipped in white chocolate, and covered in cinnamon chips and toffee bits (which was by far the best apple).  This was the first time we made caramel apples, and they turned out pretty good for being novices!  The only trouble we had was the caramel and toppings sinking to the bottom.  If any of you have any tips to prevent that from happening, let me know!

And finally, the very last recipe… Apple Brownies!  Now, I will warn you, these are not technically brownies and do not have the texture of a brownie.  I’d say it’s more of an apple cake, and we knew this from reading the reviews beforehand.  Most reviewers said it was delicious despite the misleading name, so we still wanted to try it out!

Apple Brownie Batter

We did change a few things after reading several reviews.  We added 1 tbsp of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg to the dry ingredients.  We creamed the butter with the sugar instead of melting it first.  We also diced the apples instead of slicing, and sprinkled the top generously with cinnamon sugar.

Not sure if you can tell by this picture, but after you’ve combined the ingredients the batter will be very thick.  It will look like only apples and barely any batter.  Totally fine!  The apples cook down and the batter surrounds them perfectly!

They came out incredibly moist and with a nice crust on the top.  Unfortunately, they’ve gotten a bit mushier with storage, but still very tasty.  Again, it’s more of a cake, so I’d say the best way to serve this would be warm and with a scoop of ice cream!  We started heating bars in the toaster oven to crisp them back up!

Apple Brownies

Whew!  I can’t believe how many recipes we tried in such a short timespan, and I seriously can’t believe how many apples we’ve eaten!  All in all, it was a fun experience.  It gave us the opportunity to try out new recipes, create our own, and cook with ingredients we don’t normally use.  So I hope you all enjoyed both part 1 and part 2 of our apple recipe adventure, found some new favorite recipes, and inspiration for your own everyday cooking!  Happy Eating!