Last Minute Valentine’s Day Idea

rosesI’m not about Valentine’s Day.  As a kid I loved the whole exchange of cards in the classroom, in High School there was flower delivery in home room, but as I grew into adulthood, I realized Valentine’s Day is a number of things I really hate:

  • A Hallmark Holiday: A commercialized date for guilting lovers into showing their affection with cards, flowers and other red/pink/heart shaped gift items that are way too expensive;
  • Amateur Night: A night when restaurants overbook, overcharge and make you eat off of a prix-fixe menu of things you don’t want to eat; and
  • A Day of Overblown Expectations: If you are in a new relationship you could be with someone who wants far too early declarations of love, if you’ve been together a while you could be with someone wanting more of a “real commitment” like moving in together or meeting parents , or even worse, if you’ve been exclusive for quite a while, you could be with someone looking for that cliché “Valentine’s marriage proposal.”

I’m not your normal hearts and flowers girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I love romance, but when it comes to the Hallmark holidays, I’m not the girl that wants a guy to go spend excessive money on that stuff.  I did see something simple and thoughtful that I (and pretty much any girl, I think) would love though!

Wrap a Bottle of Wine in a Scarf!  Two Gifts in One!

When making a wine bottle wrap, Bordeaux-style bottles, like those used for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and other medium- to full-bodied red wines, are easiest to wrap because they have higher shoulders. It’s also important to use a fabric another than silk due to the weight of the bottles. A pashmina style, like the Jones pink or Collection XIIX paisley from Macys.com, will work beautifully for under $40. Next time you’re out shopping for wrapping paper, just pick up a few scarves instead and keep them stored at home until it’s time to wrap that next wine bottle or gift box.

valentines-day-2016

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Home Depot LED Tree Lights


Word to the wise:  when you smell something smoldering, the power goes out in the room you’re in (thank God for GFI), and it’s still there when you throw the breaker…UNPLUG THE CHRISTMAS TREE! 

Had I not been home we’d have had a fire last night with a 5 day fresh tree, new double wire strand of 150 lights and water in the stand.

I’d noticed half the lights flickering occasionally while I was decorating the tree and wrapping gifts, but it had stopped.  I thought I had a loose bulb and didn’t give it a second thought when the lights stayed on after tapping a light.

Hours later the entire wire fried, was sizzling hot and was starting to heat up the tree…keep a watch on your tree lights people!

Made for Home Depot in China.  Home Depot might want to consider spending a bit more on having their branded lights manufactured to safer standards.  Perhaps it would be wise to sell lights that don’t endanger people by burning up in 15 hours instead of lasting the “15 holiday seasons” advertised on the box. HMMM!

  • LED
  • Uses 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs
  • Energy Star Compliant
  • Supposed to last 15 years (not 15 hours)
  • Connect 30 strings on 1 outlet!  I used 1 string 😳

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Dress up Holiday Hostess Gifts

8I love bringing wine when I am a guest for a meal or an evening of other treats and libations, but hate to bring the boring wine bag I grabbed on the way out of the grocery or wine store.  I know that they are cute and people don’t really expect more, but they are putting in a great deal more time and expense when hosting, so I like to make the effort when I can.

There is just one problem: I have very limited creative skills.  I can’t draw, paint or do any type of art.  I can build things and my grandma did teach me to sew, so when time (and fabric on hand) allows, I love whipping up a quick & fancy wine bottle gift bag to add that little personal touch.

Supplies

  • 1 piece 14″ by 16″ Holiday or other themed (if you want) fabric
  • 1 piece 14″ by 16 ” Contrasting fabric (of a heavier weight if you have it on hand)
  • 15″ to 18″ piece of Ribbon, Jute, or Fabric for tying the bag

Directions

  • On both pieces of fabric, press the right side of top raw edge about 3/8″ onto the3 backside (like a hem). You will be leaving this top part open.
  • Fold each piece of fabric right sides together the long ways so that each piece measures 7 x 16 inches. 1
  • Sew down the long raw edge and across the bottom using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  • Trim to 1/4″ 4
  • Pinch in from the corners and sew across at about 1+1/4″ to form a box bottom.
  • Take a pair of scissors and clip both corners off making sure not to cut through the seam you sewed together earlier.5
  • Turn the fabric that will be the outside of your wine bag so that it is right side out.
  • Leave the inner fabric so that it is still wrong sides out (You want the right side to be the inner bag).
  • Place the inner fabric bag inside outer fabric bag making sure the seams match up6
  • Then fold each raw edge inward about 1/2 inch and pin together. I did this starting at the seam so that I knew they would be matched up as I pinned around the circle.
  • Topstitch along the edge – I stitched about 3/8″ down from the top and let a bit of the pleather inner fabric peek above the top.7
  • Insert your bottle in the bag
  • Tie your ribbon, jute or fabric around the bag.
  • Fold the inner bag down so the top of the bottle and your liner fabric are exposed

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