Snowflake Candles (with Dollar Tree products & a $50 giveaway!)

This post is sponsored by Dollar Tree’s Value Seekers Club. All original ideas and opinions are my own.

December is absolutely in full swing around here, and it wasted no time. Combined, my husband and I have 3 family parties, 2 work parties, and countless get togethers with friends. I hate to go to any party empty handed, but I’m also not a millionaire. And let’s face it- no one needs another batch of cookies this time of year. So, I paired up with my friends at Dollar Tree and with a little help from their Value Seekers Club we’ve got the perfect thing for you to bring along.

diy snowflake candles dollar tree

I like to show up to each get together with something small for the hostess, it just needs to say I’m thinking of you- it doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. This year, a candle seemed like the perfect fit. We live in New England, and by Thanksgiving we already had 7 inches of snow on the ground. Tis the season of annoying snowstorm power outages. Having a candle (or 20…) already out and ready is a seriously good idea.

inexpesive DIY hostess gift

I may have gone a little overboard on the supplies. I got excited.

These candles are super easy to assemble, and because they can be made completely with supplies from Dollar Tree they’re not going to break the bank. They’re also ridiculously customizable. Head on over to the Value Seeks Club website for the full instructions!

In addition to the snowflake candles, I made a few extras….

From left to right: holiday duct tape, silver bow, silver and white ribbon

From left to right: holiday duct tape, silver bow, silver and white ribbon

And if candles aren’t your thing, Dollar Tree has tons of great ideas equally as easy and inexpensive, just check out The Value Seekers Club site for inspiration galore. The site is basically an online club full of crafts, recipes, décor and frugal fun ideas that can all be created with Dollar Tree products- which is awesome because literally everything there is just $1.

And now, how about a little treat from me to you? I want to give one of you lovely readers a $50 Dollar Tree gift card so you can make some candles of your own. Or, if you’re not the candle type, check out all the other craft ideas on their Value Seekers Club site. To enter just head over to the Value Seekers Club website then come back here and leave a comment letting me know what your favorite project is!



I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Dollar Tree and Blueprint Social. But my Dollar Tree obsession is super real and all of these opinions are my own.

Kitchen Favorites & Wish Lists

Tis the season for tons of eating, amiright? For us, last week it was Thanksgiving and soon it’ll be Christmas. As a little Italian lady-in-training, I spend a mighty amount of time in the kitchen so I thought I’d pair up with my friends at Wayfair to show you what kitchen stuff I already own and love, and what is on my wish list (and should be on yours too! treat yo’ self!). kitchen appliance must haves First up is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Portable Slow Cooker . Guys. I travel at least an hour and a half to all family gatherings. And this thing plugs into my car (my car has an outlet in it). It is amazing. For example, let’s say I’m making meatballs (because I usually am). I can prep them the night before. I can pop them into the slower cooker in the morning. Then I can put the slow cooker on the floor of my car and finish the cooking while I am driving. Ugh. You need this. Next there’s the classic Pizzelle Maker. This is only about $50, but I’ve been holding off buying one because I know my grandmother’s is coming straight to me some day. And while you can’t beat a nice, worn in, thin style pizzelle maker- this is a close second. Mmmmmmm pizzelles. Do yourself a favor and make a few with cocoa powder too. You’re welcome. Finally, if we’re wishing for things, let’s go big or go home. Starting with this KitchenAid Mixer . I don’t know how I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s been on my wish list for like 3 years. I particularly like the glass bowl over the stainless steel one, for no reason other then aesthetics. easy table scape I don’t set up elaborate centerpieces or tablescapes, because that leaves no room for the food. And while I like my cookware new and shiny, I like my table settings old. The gold flatware, wine glasses, ceramic serving plate, and glass spoon rest are all family heirlooms. The amber plate set I got at my city’s online auction for $6 (for a set of 4!). The napkin is a rolled piece of scrap fabric because let’s face it… we’re going to use paper napkins…. and the tablecloth is actually a leopard scarf. I dare you to find an Italian woman who does not have a spare leopard scarf. Oh! And if you’re not in the market for big budget wish list items, here’s a few smaller things I can’t live without: small kitchen must haves

garlic press / cheese grater / wooden utensil set

What’s on your kitchen wish list this year?


This post was written in collaboration with Wayfair, and while I was compensated for my time all stereotypical Italian references and kitchen wish lists are true.

Influenster Nation

Oh hi all! While you’re cooking up a storm and mapping out your Black Friday plans, I thought I’d  throw up a quick post about Influenster for you to mull over as well. I’ve got several invites if you want one. :)

Influenster was one of the first sites I signed up for when I decided to start blogging. Basically, it’s a website where you can not only write reviews for products you use- but also potentially receive some products in the mail to test out and try. You don’t have to be a blogger, just someone who’s active on social media

oh yeah... and there's an app for that.

oh yeah… and there’s an app for that.

This has not just been blog fodder to me. A lot of the stuff I’ve received I’ve then turned around and purchased on my own:

- Colgate Optic White toothpaste ( totally works and is literally in my bathroom right now! original post here)

- Dickinson Witch Hazel toner and make up removing pads (these have become a staple in my house, I even mentioned them in my last health round up. I also mentioned them in a post May of last year. and the original post is  here)

- Victoria Secret sports bra and knockout crop pants (I use these pretty much every day, unless they’re in the wash. original post here)

- Urgent Rx powders (this stuff takes care of headaches like whoa! original post here)

- KISS fake eyelashes (awesome at my bachlorette! original post here)


Let me know if  you want an invite! Just comment below (and make sure to include your email address).

Healthy Living Check In: November

Since the summer I’ve been sharing a few personal check in posts, and I thought what with the holidays that it may be a good time to give an update.

Fitness & Weight

  • I have sort of plateaued at 14 pounds of weight loss (since June). I have about 5-6 more pounds to go, but seriously, now is not the time for that. My goal is to maintain my current weight loss throughout the holidays, then get back to trying to lose in January/February. BUT, for anyone, weight loss shouldn’t be the only goal! I want to be more fit and that’s more important then the number on the scale. So, my fitness goal is to run a 5k in April. It’s one my family fund raises for each year so it’s important to me and also doable.
  • T25 has been a great fitness routine so far! My husband and I did 2 rounds of Alpha and now we’re moved up to Beta- which I think we will also do 2 rounds of. There’s a Gamma level as well, but I think I want to try something new (Piyo? Hip hop abs?). Really, I just want to run outside but it’s winter in New England so that’s not going to happen right now.

funny running quote

Health & Mind

  • I’m still going strong with my allergy shots and I’m still feeling good about them! At this point I get them once a month (3 in total), and my arms usually hurt that evening and are a little tender the next day, but it’s no big deal.
  • I overloaded this semester… and I write about time in semesters because I’m a full time college advisor and a part time faculty member. I agreed teach 3 classes this semester (in addition to my 40 hour/week full time position) because we needed/wanted the money, and that was too much. I need to scale back on the work and realize we are financially stable despite how much I want all our debt to be paid off right this second.
  • Trying to give back in small ways has become more important to me. I have a harsh and sarcastic personality, but in my mind all I want to do is save animals and empower women. I don’t think it comes across that way in real life. Hmm. I need to figure something out for this.

she believed she could inspirational quote

Skin & Beauty

  • As much as I tell everyone I stopped aging at 25, I didn’t. Ugh. Skincare is important, particularly because I have psoriasis. Winter is harsh and for some reasons my legs feel it the most. I’ve been using this Aveeno souffle on my legs every night after I shower, except on the nights when I shave my legs and then I use this ahhhh-mazing body oil by Farmhouse Fresh. I super recommend them (and those companies don’t know who I am, these are just products I use and recommend to you).
  • I’m a big fan of all things Dickinson’s, so this witch hazel toner is also amazing on my face after my shower, and I haven’t had a break out in months. Bonus: my husband uses it too!
  • I’m in desperate need of a new shampoo/conditioner combo that isn’t a million dollars, but isn’t super cheap either. Tresumme and Fructis just aren’t cutting it any more… any suggestions?

kindness quote

How are you keeping healthy lately? Got any programs to recommend? Shampoo/Conditioners I’m missing out on?


See previous healthy living posts here: June / July / October

#Inspiration Friday

Ok so I totally slacked blogging this week- sorry about that! It’s been insanely busy working my full time job, my part time job, and managing to have a life (those O-Town reunion concerts aren’t going to attend themselves….). But I’ll be back next week with some super easy display shelves that anyone can build. Pinky promise.

As for this week, I managed to squeak together another Inspiration Friday graphic for you, a quote from the magnificent Charles Eames. (See all of them here.)

take your pleasure seriously charles eames quote

Halloween Costumes Through the Years

A very happy Halloween to all of you! I thought I’d pop in to show you all my costume from this year, as well as share some costumes from the past.

This year I ventured into the world of face paint, which I was very nervous about, but it came out great and my skin behaved itself and didn’t break out. I apologize for the crummy pictures, they were all taken at parties where the lightly was spook-ily dimmed. :)

The Chesire Cat:

chesire cat face makeup how to halloween costume

  • I bought a cat ear headband online for a few dollars then used embroidery floss thread to add the purple and pink inside
  • I wore a purple and black striped tshirt (I already owned), a black skirt (already owned), and purple and black striped tights (under $5 at Walmart)
  • As for the face makeup, I used liquid and pencil black eyeliner and then white face paint then purple and pink eye shadows

The face paint took about 30-45 minutes, and I’ve literally never done it before so I was pretty pleased with how it came out. Here’s the how to:

  • Use your black pencil eyeliner to outline the shape of your mouth lightly on your face- you’re going to cover this up, but you need it to serve as your guide
  • Color in the shape using your white face paint (I used a q-tip to do this). It may take 2-3 coats to get it solid white
  • While your white is drying, use your liquid eyeliner to draw on your whiskers. I also had striped pink and purple eye shadow, and used a cream pink eye shadow to contour around my nose and under the smile (hard to see in pictures). You can add mascara and eyeliner to your liking as well
  • Finally, take your liquid mascara and trace around the outside of your smile and draw on your teeth

…as for my creepy ventriloquist dummy friend, you still just need white and black face paint/makeup. And apply fake lashes at the apples of your cheeks. She was horrifying.

chesire cat and alice in wonderlandOh and look at that- I found my Alice! Her costume is made out of TRASH BAGS. Seriously. She went as “trashy Alice in Wonderland” and I freaking love it.

And now a quick look at Halloweens of the past….

female halloween costumes easy no make up

In 2006 I was Batgirl, and just bought a little girls extra large costume (adult costumes were like triple the price!). I wore a bathing suit boy short bottom underneath it and nylons with knee high boots.

In 2008 I was an astronaut and made that costume out of a child’s puffy winter jacket and a cardboard box wrapped in a sheet with some dishwasher hoses I found in my apartment.

In 2009 I was a pin up girl, just another store bought costume there and a cute hairstyle. My ventriloquist friend went as 50’s housewife that year (sidenote: she THOUGHT her costume was called “Joan Cleaver” but it actually was called “Joan Cleavage.” Damn you, sexy Halloween costume stereotypes!)

In 2013 I went with the stereotype and bought a sexy cheeseburger costume… but it was just because I found it hilarious that the costume even existed. My trashy Alice in Wonderland was a lady Sherlock Holmes this year…she looked great!

So tell me…. what are YOU being for Halloween this year??



(code used for theme deterction: 4110734e72256bad6dd7e7cabb70b6ff7cec0b0a3b41653051 )

Thrift Score Thursday #38- HALLOWEEN COSTUME EDITION!

I am super excited to be guest posting for Thrift Score Thursday again, hosted by Brynne (The Gathered Home), Trisha (Black and White Obsession) and Cassie (Primitive and Proper). Corinna (For My Love Of) and I are joining in to help hype up thrifty Halloween costumes, and if you saw my post Monday you can probably guess that Halloween costumes are right up my alley. :)

thrift score thursday halloween editionTake over the #ThriftScoreThursday tag with your thrifty Halloween costumes, old or new, and the favorites will be shared next week! :)

Over the years, I’ve have many-a-thrifty costumes. Last year I went the easy route and just bought a cheeseburger dress and called it a day, but my husband got creative with his Jayne (from Firefly) character: a shirt and pants from Salvation Army, and a knitted hat made by our friend’s mom, and a watch borrowed from our friend (the blurry one creeping in the back of the picture, haha). However, I think every year on this blog I’ve shared at least one image of my favorite Halloween costume, an astronaut I pieced together with a child’s puffy winter jacket, a cardboard box wrapped in a white sheet, some dishwasher hoses, and a DIY shift skirt.

Jayne costume hamburger costume astronaut girl female costume

Alright, let’s get down to business. How about this week’s awesome finds?

Sandra found these amazing brass deer, perfect to decorate with come Christmas time:

lightglassandtrend Heart her photo and follow her at LightGlassAndTrend

Shannon scooped us this amazing octagon table, and I’m super in love with it and all its’ spindles:

aninspirednestHeart her photo and follow her at AnInspiredNest

Thanks for having me, ladies! And everyone be sure to hop on to Twitter or Instagram and start sharing your best costumes with #ThriftScoreThursday!

Looking for more thrifty awesomeness? Continue on to the co-hosts, we each feature different finds:

Thrift Score Thursday Brynne color

Thrift Score Thursday Trisha color

Thrift Score Thursday Cassie

TST guest host Corinna