Make Your Own Color Burning Pine Cones for the Fireplace

Color Burning Pine Cones for the Fireplace

When I was a kid we had these pine cones that would change the color of the flames in the fireplace when you added one to the fire. I always thought it was the coolest thing to see the flames turn blue or green. Well you can get these color burning pine cones at Amazon for around $30 or you can make  your own at home for a lot less!

These festive pine cones can add a rainbow of colors to  your fire for a romantic evening or to entertain guests or the kids, they are wonderful for the holidays and they make great gifts! When making your own you can choose the color – yellow, green, blue-green, white or red – or you can mix it up and use some of each color in your flames or gift baskets.

The kids and I went for a walk and collected our own pine cones so we cleaned them up a bit then I baked them at 200 degrees for about an hour to open them up and take care of any bugs that might be on them.  Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil before baking and allow the pine cones to  cool completely before the next steps. Of course if you bought your pine cones from the craft store you can skip baking them.

Make Your Own Color Burning Pine Cones for the Fireplace
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • One cup of one of the following depending on the color flame you prefer:
  • Yellow – Table Salt
  • Yellow-Green – Borax
  • White – Epsom Salts
  • Green – Boric Acid
  • Red – Strontium Chloride (found with aquarium supplies in pet stores)
Instructions
  1. Pour ½ gallon of hot water into a bucket.
  2. Add 1 cup of the flame colorant of your choice and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add prepared pine cones to the mix. Be sure to add only as many as can be completely covered by the solution. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the pine cones and arrange on newspapers until they dry completely. Typically takes 3 to 4 days.
  5. Now your pine cones are ready to burn! Simply add them (one at a time) to your fireplace and watch the colors appear.

While these color burning pine cones are easy to make and fun to use, there are a few precautions you should take:

  • Burn only one color at a time.
  • Make as many different colors as you’d like, but don’t mix the colors when making your batches.
  • Don’t burn your color changing pine cones in BBQ grills or when cooking food.
  • Keep flame colorants out of reach of children and pets.

11 Ways to Save on Christmas Gift Shopping

11 Ways to Save on Christmas

1) Use Apps

There are many smartphone apps that can help you save money on not only things you buy everyday but toys, games, and clothes. For instance Target’s Cartwheel app, as well as Michaels, Hobby Lobby and many more apps often contain percentage off and other coupons.

2) Use Coupons

As we get closer to the holidays you will notice an influx of coupons on hot toys of the season in grocery coupon inserts as well as printable online coupons. Companies like Mattel, Milton Bradley, and a few others will put out coupons that when combined with sales make for amazing deals!

3) Shop Sales

This may seem like a no brainer but really, when you see an item that is on your list at a great price, go ahead and grab it. Saving $2 or $3 dollars later on is probably not worth the running around, long lines, and gas money.

4) Start a Gift Closet

While it may be a little late for this year, you can start right after Christmas building a gift closet for next year. While tastes change, and your kids may not demand the hottest Star Wars toys next year there are plenty of simple items like clothing, stocking stuffers, cologne, and beauty products that you can pick up at a heavily discounted price after Christmas. Designate a large tub in your closet or somewhere else convenient and fill it with gifts throughout the year as you find amazing deals. We use ours for unexpected birthdays, hostess gifts, and of course I am always stocking up for kids Christmas and birthdays.

5) Price Match

So many stores have begun to price match against other stores paper or online ads that there is no reason to pay more or run around to 3 or 4 places to get a great deal. Most places will also match Amazon’s listed prices so look them up on your smartphone while shopping.

6) Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Purchase discounted giftcards at GiftCardRescue.com and Giftcards.com for anywhere from 5%-30% off the value. Use a $100 card that you purchased for $80 in conjunction with sales and coupons – you won’t believe how much you save.

7) Minimize Your Shopping

Get with friends and relatives at the start of the holidays and agree in advance to only buy for the kids or opt to draw names so you are only buying for one person or couple in the family instead of every third cousin and great uncle.

8) Re-Gift

Not last years fruit cake of course… But if you receive gifts that just don’t fit you or your lifestyle there is no harm in re-gifting. Just be selective with who you regift to, make sure that the original giver and the new recipient do not run in the same circles. Your pet sitter who keeps her nails meticulous might love the nail dryer Aunt Helen gave you.

9) Seach For Codes

I never buy anything online or head out to the stores without first checking RetailMeNot.com for discount codes. You can find everything from restaurants to photo developing on there and you can save a ton overall.

10) Research Online

Search sites like PriceGrabber.com for the best deals. Scope out reviews also – cheaper does not mean you will save more money in the long run and more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the item will last longer.

11) Budget in Advance

Set a budget up front and stick to it. Oftentimes the thing that costs us the most is mindless spending with no aim in mind, and not knowing what you have spent until you pull the tangle of receipts from your purse at the end of the day. Have a list and do your best to stick to it at all costs.

Make Your Own Root Beer Sugar Scrub

Root Beer Sugar Scrub

There is nothing better than the feel of your skin after using a good body scrub and this Root Beer Sugar Scrub smells delicious and is so fun and easy to make! This completely edible sugar scrub recipe would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for kids of all ages. Reminiscent of childhood days even the oldest member of your family can appreciate this easy DIY gift, while the edible nature makes it safe for even the youngest. This natural body scrub can have unscented soap added for a terrific MAN friendly hand scrub if you need a thoughtful gift for any men in your life. Leave your skin soft and smooth with this great sugar scrub recipe while carrying the scent of a favorite beverage.

Root Beer Sugar Scrub

Root Beer Sugar Scrub
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Root Beer Concentrate
Instructions
  1. Add oil and concentrate to the sugar in your choice of container.
  2. Mix until all sugar is well coated.
  3. Store in a sealed jar.
  4. Enjoy.

 

Want to Find a Different and Fresh Gift Idea?

lollipops

It is not easy and sometimes very time consuming when you need think of a gift for a distant relative or someone at work. You want to give something thoughtful and special, but not knowing their tastes can be daunting. These ideas will help you find a gift that will show that you care about them and that you put a lot of thought into your gift. You can personalize the gift and convey the message you want.

Custom Made Rock Candy

Although probably not the first sweet gift that comes to mind, rock candy is the perfect gift for any occasion. Popular for its uniqueness and because it is easy to carry and share, it makes a great Christmas gift or a wedding, birthday, or anniversary present. You can make it extra special by personalising the rock candy specifically for the person you want to give it to. This way, you can give the same gift to more than one person, and it is still unique.

Lollipops With a Twist

A sure way to bring a smile to someone’s face is by designing an old fashioned lollipop centerpiece. You can let your imagination take over and design a sweet treat that will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth and bring laughter to the table. No matter what their age, a delicious, colourful, personalised lollipop will be an excellent gift that is suitable for all occasions. You can feel happy that you are giving something that is fun, tasty and made just for the person.

Make Your Gift Stand Apart

Maybe you have a gift but are stumped about how to wrap and present it. You can add flair and individuality and make a winning presentation by incorporating all sorts of personalised things. Tags and stickers that have designs or messages specially chosen by you for a particular person can really make a gift distinct and eccentric. Or, you can tie it up with ribbon that you have personalised. These finishing touches can turn an ordinary gift into something special and bring joy and laughter to the person even before they open it.

Visit Designer Candy at http://designercandy.com.au/ for more exquisite and personalized ideas for gifts including our best old-fashioned lollipops. You will find interesting and fun gifts that will show your thoughtfulness and that you care. You don’t have to settle for a boring gift you have given many times before. No matter what the occasion, it is up to you decide on the perfect gift. Whether it is a close family member or friend, your boss or a co-worker, you can put together a personalised gift of fun old-fashioned lollipops that will give the exact message you want.

How to Use Homemade Printed Tee Shirts

With the increasing accessibility of screen printing programs and materials, more people have been able to take advantage of screen printing in their own home. Making homemade printed tee shirts can be fun and easy when you have all of the right supplies on hand. Starting with a comfortable blank tee, you can turn your imagination into a one-of-a-kind creation. The following ideas are just a few examples of the many ways to use homemade graphic tee shirts.

Homemade Gifts

If you are finding it difficult to select a gift for a friend or loved one that really captures their personality or sense of humor, you may want to go the route of making a homemade gift. Although you may not consider yourself crafty or creative, a screen printed shirt made with a custom design, saying, or graphic can be a fun and unique way to give a personalized gift that they cannot buy in a store.

Team or Group Unity

When trying to create unity or cohesiveness amongst a large group, tee shirts are a great way to make a group into one unified body. If you find that custom logo printing is too expensive, you may want to try making printed graphic tees on your own. Starting with a basic shirt, you can create a matching logo to apply to all of the shirts you need made. Take a look at the following infographic to get more information about the basics of home screen printing.

Infographic below by ShirtSpace.com:

Screen Printing Instructions Infographic

Personalized Gifts Are Timeless

giftsforyounow

As wonderful as the holiday season is, it can also be a stressful time. One source of stress could be the uncertainty of what gifts to buy for those on your holiday gift list. A few other trying moments might arise as you strive to create a holiday home decor that is as exquisite as those you see on display or one that is unique to your design style. One way to ease some of your holiday stress comes from a tradition that started many years ago. It’s origin is explained in numerous ways, but regardless of how the tradition of hanging stockings at Christmas began, it’s a tradition that continues to delight children and adults today.

Your family on display

Each person in your family has a unique personality. The display of stockings you hang during the holidays can be a visual example of those personalities. Not only can you hang stockings that have been personalized with each person’s name, you can hang stocking that directly relate to each person’s personality. From whimsical to elegant and from camo to purple velvet, there’s a stocking that complements all personalities. Your holiday stocking display can be somewhat like a family portrait when you hang individualized stockings. You’ll want to be sure to include pet theme stockings for the furry ones in your household.

Great gifts

Personalized gifts tend to become treasured keepsakes. You can eliminate a lot of your gift selection stress when you browse through the stocking designs at a site such as http://www.giftsforyounow.com/personalized-christmas-stockings 559.aspx. Matching a stocking design to a someone’s personality and having their name put on it is a thoughtful gift that is sure to reappear each year when the holiday decorations are unpacked. Long after the surprises that are placed in the stocking have been eaten or used, the stocking itself will continue to be a treasured part of each holiday season.

Decor

You can select stockings that are traditional or ones that are far beyond traditional in design to add to your holiday decor. Adding your personal touch to them makes them a more treasured part of your holiday decorations.

Decorating your home with stockings that are a display of each person’s individuality can make everyone feel special. The holidays are all about family, friends and special moments. A personalized gift can be a tangible memento that preserves those special moments.

Great Tech Gifts for Grads at Best Buy

Disclosure – The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Best Buy Greatest Grad

Whether the graduates in your life are setting up a room or apartment of their home, are fitness fanatics or are technology forward, you can find lots of great reasonably priced gift ideas at Best Buy! Check out the latest for your greatest grad in the Best Buy gift center and you’re sure to find something perfect.

Roku Streaming Stick

My favorite graduating senior this year is a tech savvy networker and I’m thinking of getting her this Roku Streaming Stick since she’s really into entertainment but is always on the go. I have a Roku that’s about the size of a hockey puck and I thought it was really small until I saw this one! I absolutely love mine because you can get over 1,000 channels on it plus I can access movies and TV shows from Amazon, Netflix and HBO Go just to name a few. The kids dig it because they can play Angry Birds and other games with it and the remote is very intuitive and doesn’t have to be pointed directly at the device for it to work.

This new streaming stick version of the Roku is so much smaller and easier to carry that I’m sure my favorite grad this year is going to love it – she can take it to her friend’s when she stays over and she can easily move it from room to room at her house if she wants. The Roku is a great gift and it’s just $49.99, plus you can get free shipping if you buy online for orders over $35.

Head on over to the Best Buy gift center for lots of great ideas – you can even shop by price range and by the type of person you’re shopping for. There are all kinds of gifts for all kinds of graduates!

Making Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

I’ve enjoyed being a contributor to the $5 Dinners website for about three years now and this week I posted a recipe for my super easy Cashew Bark. There are only two ingredients, the bark is delicious, and it makes a great gift for the holidays!

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

The kids had so much fun helping me make the cashew bark, then after it had cooled and I broke it into pieces, they each got to fill up a Christmas themed coffee mug with bark for their teacher.

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

Once all the mugs were full, we even got to taste test some ourselves! We wrapped the mugs in simple white dotted cellophane tied with ribbon, and the kids can’t wait to hand deliver the gifts to their teachers at school tomorrow.

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

Shhhh – don’t tell the kids, but I made a BIG batch so we’d have some left over and I’ve already hidden most of it for later. I may even decide to share!

Coupon Clutch Cyber Monday Sale!

Organize your coupons in style with a Coupon Clutch – a fabric covered coupon organizer that looks like a designer tote bag. These fabric binder covers come in standard 2″, 3″, 4″ or 5″ sizes and will hold over 3,000 coupons! With dozens of styles to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits you. Plus now you can take a whopping 20% off ANY order when you use promo code CYBER20 Monday only in celebration of Cyber Monday!

Grab Hot Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals with RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot

Whenever I purchase anything online I always start out at RetailMeNot so I can find the best sales and coupon codes for whatever I’m looking to buy. Now they’ve made it even easier to grab the hottest deals through the holidays with their dedicated Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal pages!

Did you know that RetailMeNot is the largest online coupon site in the United States? They have over half a million coupons in their searchable online database from tens of thousands of merchants so you’re sure to find anything that you’re looking for. Plus, they’re working around the clock to keep up with the best deals this holiday season so the site is always up to date.

For those of you who enjoy hitting the stores on Black Friday (or any day really!) I recommend that you download the RetailMeNot app for your iPhone or Android device so you can search for in-store coupons while you’re out shopping. If you’re like me, and prefer to shop for those holiday gifts online from the comfort of home, then you should check out the tab at the top of the RetailMeNot page that is dedicated to free shipping offers.

Be sure to bookmark the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal pages so you can check back as they’re updated often, and you can also sign up for Deal Alerts and the RetailMeNot newsletter so you’ll never miss out on great savings.

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post from One2One Network and RetailMeNot.com. All opinions stated are completely my own.