Valentine’s Day “Sweet” Treats

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and what does one think of but sweet decadent treats. Chocolate, flowers, romance, hearts and dinner for two!

I asked CIJ team members to show me their treats!

Elizabeth Welburn of ElizabethLovesGlass told me:

I think paper ephemera would be considered a true “vintage collectible”.
These cards are from the 1960’s and have Hallmark Canada markings on the back.
I found them in my grandmother’s belongings – she actually had a lot of unused cards and I guess she picked them up “just in case.”
The cards are fairly heavy paper. In my mind, the strangest one is a Valentine’s ‘wallet’. It’s intended to hold cash. I would not think to give money on Valentine’s day, but hey, you could put a handmade gift certificate in this wallet if you wanted. And the design is very pretty and retro.

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Myrna Neal of ShopOfCraftsByMyrna says:

I love hearts. That is and has always been an expression of love. I make hearts and send them anywhere from anyone with a message that they want to send…..or….I send the heart to the person and they give or send the heart themselves. Love is in the air!

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Marjorie Scenna of mscenna states:

I love vintage and holiday inspired vintage items are wonderful and make great gifts for any occasion! These Valentine inspired earrings were created from a mix of vintage beads that I received from a friend. The glass roses reminded me of Valentine’s Day and then when I discovered the silver hearts, I thought they made a perfect pairing! Vintage Valentine’s Day with a new touch!

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Kristen Sargent of KestrelCollection explains:

I wanted to provide an affordable but totally awesome gift ready to give so I created the Valentine Everlasting Rose Earrings. I will ship each order with chocolate, a card and gift wrap it all so Valentines’ Day can be special and not stressful.

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Ifigeneia tsiltikli of fifirixtra told me:

This is a costume vintage item that i specially made for my Aikido teacher!
He has a lovely family with 2 girls very elegant! I wanted to make something for him that he could put it at his home and i got it! i think the lace with the tulle made it really vintage and the off white felt colored it with cocoa to give a more vintage result!

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Adonis Lewis of jewelrybyadonis let me know:

My inspirations are these sweet soft pastel hearts. They’re so quietly stated with beauty. I wanted to do something special with them and show them off. So I created this wire wrapped bracelet in pink and gold. They are perfect for a Valentine sweetheart.

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Noel of MinkCouture said:

I love participating in A Month of Letters-every day in February, write a letter and mail one and get some mail back in return. This pin was inspired by that and the notion of love letters. Made from an old sweater, some vintage die cuts and images from a vintage postcard, this sweet little pin reminds us all that we wish out letters had wings to get to our loved ones faster!

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Lia Russo of Ghirlandiamo states:

For me Valentine’s Day = heart, so when I saw that heart shape basis, I immediately imagined to put on it some other little ones, of different natural materials (wicker, bark, wood, cotton).

A so romantic and sweet item!

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Valerie Brown of FirepanJewellery says:

I love red, and I love Valentine’s day! When I saw the gorgeous reds that you can have in enamel, I knew I had to make hearts! I wanted a different take on the traditional heart, though, so I designed a heart that is a little off center and funky. The heart pendants are sweet because they are one of a kind, so you are giving a very individual gift to your sweetheart.

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Wendy WN of WoodNotions tells me:

I dressed up my little heart ornaments with rose pink ribbon to say “I give my heart to you!”
The lacy heart was inspired by a stained glass design. Combining the two classic designs, somehow created a fresh and cheerful look.

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Arlene of ThisandThatCrafter explains:

Here is a supply I sell… My inspiration is the challenge any ribbon has in getting a creative picture of that ribbon. Any ribbon is a challenge to get a creative picture of so I decided to take the ribbon and write a word. Since this is pink ribbon and Valentines is just around the corner I decided on the word Love. Love is a sweet word for the Valentine Holiday Season….

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Utary of Oyeta stated:

I love roses and red roses always reminds me of valentine days. Lately I’ve been so in love with vampire love story and this red roses in black clutch I create represent the darkness, the forbidden love, the broken heart and all that sad times when we love someone. No matter how dark it is, the red roses will remind you that love is still exist, to give you strength, power and hope

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Catherine Clifford of DesignsByCnC says:

I have always enjoyed both giving Valentine cards, as well as receiving them. When I was a young child I liked to make frilly and colorful Valentine cards for my family and friends.

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Jo Ann’s Angels of JoAnnsAngels states:

Red customarily symbolizes red and Valentines Day. I love that these angels are fitting for country/rustic tastes to more contemporary. Angels are so special and fitting for every occasion. It’s a great feeling to know angels are watching over those that we love.

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Sue and Misty of shabbyshopgirls explained:

We love vintage hankies, so every year my mom, sister and I exchange a vintage Valentine hankie with each other! It’s made for a wonderful tradition to show how much we appreciate each other and family!

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Sherri of ButterflyFeetDigital said:

I made this card for my husband a few years ago and then put the printable up for sale in my shop. It’s sweet, but not cute as in for kids, so it’s a perfect grown up valentine.

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Patricia and Rebecca of northandsouthshabby tells me:

The heart shaped bowls of these spoons, called to us at an estate sale. Once home and polished were discovered they were actually straw spoons! We think they would be perfect for the romantic at heart who love to set a pretty Valentine’s Day Table!

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Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says:

We created these as a fundraiser for our local animal shelter, where we have adopted a wonderful cat and dog over the last year. They turned out so well, that we decided to list them in our Etsy shop, too!

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Kelly of ColourscapeStudios explained:

I created this print as a simple yet heartfelt way to describe the love people have for one another. My inspiration as always is my family, love lives here in our home and I want to share that warmth with everyone else!

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Nancy Duncan of EponasCrystals said:

Wild Heart Earrings are hand stamped brass and reversible! You can turn the hooks around and get two completely different looks.Sweet! Perfect for Valentine’s Day for your sweetest!

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Sarah Johnson of BellaBoutique23 told me:

One of my favorite gifts from my husband for Valentine’s Day was a coupon book, it is such a fun, romantic gift so I made this Valentine Scrapbook Mini Album that has love coupons that can inspire some romantic gestures.
Besides the photo spots there are places to journal, to write poetry or love notes in this album and a secret note can slip into the front of the album. I really enjoy sweet love notes and that was another inspiration in this album.

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candy frizzell of TrueEarthDesigns states:

My inspiration for this piece was the color for Valentines Day. I also love the way the coral was cut into petals. Bamboo Coral is an organic gemstone with small lines and grooves.

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Desert Dabbler of DesertDabbler tells me:

I love red dresses, Swarovski crystals, and going out with my special Valentine, my husband of many years. This was the inspiration for me to make this red and crystal bracelet.

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This Valentine’s Day why don’t you celebrate your love to your special someone(or your mother, brother, etc.) by giving them one of these special “Sweets”

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Top Ten Tips: How to say I Love You

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Valentine’s Day is the perfect way to share your “I Love You’s” with all of those you truly care about.  Our Christmas in July Team on Etsy share some ways to extend that I Love You into the rest of the year.

10) My daughter loves the jewelry I make. A jewelry gift is always a way to show someone they are special. Place it in a beautiful box with a handmade card or note. We always think of red, but it can be a color she loves. My daughter loves purple. –candy frizzell from TrueEarthDesigns

9) My husband and I have been together for over 30 years, and my top tip would be don’t forget “special occasions” like Valentine’s day. It actually becomes more important, as the years together grow longer, to show you’ve made an effort to pick out a gift just for your sweetheart!  – Valerie Brown from FirepanJewellery

8) I believe we should show others we care for them EVERYDAY!! I love putting together gift baskets for my loved ones. The items don’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. For example, manicure supplies, DVDs with popcorn and candle or a nice book, assorted teas and a nice sturdy mug. Thoughtful always trumps expensive. –Jo Ann’s Angels from JoAnnsAngels
7) For me loving someone is all about surprise. Making life fun by making gifts all the more because there is no official occasion. –oppning from oppning
6) I believe in telling those that you love that “you love them”. I have always lived what I believe but I do understand that many have a hard time doing just that. I have created a send a heart in a cascade of fabrics that can be sent for any occasion. It can be scented and mailed to the person you want to send a message to. –Myrna Neal from ShopOfCraftsByMyrna
5) I want to give EVERYONE handmade gifts, but realistically, that doesn’t always happen. For teachers, sisters, mom, I like making zipper pouches. They’re useful and can’t have enough of them. I also give animal pillows to adults as well as kids. They’re kind of a nice travel size and still fit in my useful/handmade category. Happy Valentine’s Day! –Lucy from MyFunnyBuddy
4)  I am a giver so I think the best way is to tell someone you love him with words, hugs and kisses, my husband and my daughter at least they appreciate it. For all the other parts of my life, a handmade gift is my way to saw them that I love them, a piece of me!  Happy Valentines day to everyone!! –Ifigeneia tsiltikli from fifirixtra
3) The sweetest thing I’ve heard at a craft show was about these mini book necklaces. A man bought one and was going to write something on each page that he loved about his wife. He planned on giving it to her as a special token, filled with his words of love! Aw!!! So sweet! –Carolyn Eady from SproutsPressDesigns
2) I love to give gifts to the one’s I love to show them I care. A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot either. One year my husband gave me coupons to redeem and it is such a fun, romantic, and inexpensive gift you can give. I chose to create a card for Valentine’s Day that includes coupons to give to a special someone. –Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23
1) I’m married for many years and in this kind of relations often wife and husband take everything for granted.

I think it would be very nice to me to be invited by my husband go visiting one of the beautiful Italian towns: Naples, Venice, Rome, just like tourists!  Will it occur?  Perhaps if I show him my last Valentine’s Day decor, he will understand! –Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo

Alas, our Ten Tips is at an end.  How better to say “I Love You” than a poem…

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

….and a few gifts from our Top Ten Contributors and other members of our CIJ Family.

To shop for any of these stunning, thoughtful gifts, just click on the collection!  Happy Valentine's Day from the Christmas in July Team!

To shop for any of these stunning, thoughtful gifts, just click on the collection! Happy Valentine’s Day from the Christmas in July Team!

Top Ten Tips: Handmade Gifts Under $10

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Looking for that perfect little something for someone special this Christmas.  Needing the perfect “Thank You” gift for a teacher, mailman, or beautician?  Look no further than the Christmas in July team to give you stunning, handmade gifts with a small price tag.  Simply click on the collection to be swept into our CIJ World of Wonder this holiday season.

Click on this lovely collection to be swept into the shopping world of Etsy.  Read the item's stories below to make shopping even more memorable this Holiday Season!  Season's Greetings from the Christmas In July Team!

Click on this lovely collection to be swept into the shopping world of Etsy. Read the item’s stories below to make shopping even more memorable this Holiday Season! Season’s Greetings from the Christmas In July Team!

10) charlene c from CeeCeeandBee says

I’ve chosen my Simplee Irresistible Luxe Body Soap in Rosemary Mint. This handmade soap is minty to the max made with extra strong peppermint tea and essential oils combined with Rosemary for a bit of an herbal punch. Great gift for the mint lover in your life!

9) Jennifer from DtailsULike says

Delicate holiday earrings made for the petite woman or a minimalist lover. They are also hypoallergenic. It can be a great secret Santa gift for teen, teacher, co worker or a family member.

8) Sherry from treasuresRtimeless says

Most everyone little girl loves pink! This vintage jewelry box has been restored with just a few pink touches. It is a wonderful idea to help organize a young girls jewelry!

7) Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says

 This set of three Santa ornaments was created because I wanted to have something in my shop that anyone could afford for the holidays. I love homemade gifts and these just bring a smile to my face. Hopefully they will find their way into someone’s home.
6) Cindy R from PlethoraGifts says

These owl earrings have been one of my most popular items! I started making them because they are my oldest daughter’s favorite animal. Not only are owls a popular owl in fashion and home decor, but they’re absolutely adorable. Perfect for a teenager or young women who likes fun accessories with a bit of personality!
5) Bhanumathy Sankaran from SunMoonJewels says

This sun catcher or  tree ornament is a perfect gift for anybody. After X mas you can hang it on a window to brighten up the room.

4) Bee Macneil and Caroline Pinnington from PaintedSongbird says

This cute little blackboard is great for a kids room. This duck egg paint is perfect for any room so even grown ups can use it for leaving notes or reminders. Leave a message for Santa or practice your homework. Its uses are endless. Such great value and a really durable gift. All of our blackboards have been upcycled from unwanted picture frames so they have been given a new lease of life.
3) Jessi K from WillowandQuail says

I love the “saltbox” house design of the brick, east coast houses. They just remind me of coooold, cozy winters! Plus they have so much history, and living out here on the west coast, we just don’t have the same kind of historic houses that have been up for so long!
2) Ifigeneia tsiltikli from fifirixtra says

I made these tree ornaments as a tribute to my daughter who loves pink, the white-red is for my husband!  This year my Nsyfsika is almost 2 and she understands everything, so I want to make this Chrismas unforgetable for her, starting from now!
The price is for 2 candy bars and it a great gift for everyone because it can be made in so many colors… You can use it not only as a tree ornament, but also as Christmas spirit at your presents this year!
1) And our Top Tip is a Tie!

A Christmas Tree Ornament is a perfect Hostess gift, gift exchange, stocking stuffer, or to tie on a Christmas present. This particular ornament is a vintage decoupage one!

Key chains and key rings make great little gifts for that woman you need to buy a gift for but just aren’t sure. They don’t have a size or need to match anything in particular and can just be fun! Great idea for co-workers, teachers or the office grab bag or, as we say around here, “Yankee Swap”!

#CIJCookieExchange – BUNS (kourampiedes in hellinic)

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Let’s Make BUNS – Recipe from Ifigeneia of fifrixtra

1. What is your recipe?

BUNS

Recipe from Ifigeneia – Greece

Ingredients:

600gr almond
600gr fresh butter
2 egg yolks
225gr isugar
900gr flour
1 cup brandy or liqueur
3 vanillas
flower water
icing sugar
you cut almonds in big pieces and you fry them.
Mix all the materials together and bake them 10 minutes at 180 C.
As they are hot, sprinkle them with flour , water and icing sugar or if you prefer with chocolate! they are ready!

Buns

Buns

Buns And Holiday Goodies

Buns And Holiday Goodies

2. What is it about this cookie that you love?

They are very easy and they taste like mamy!!!

3. How did you learn to make this cookie?

It’s my mothers recipe.

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.

The first Christmas with my daughter she was 10 months and she dragged herself in the sitting room to take 2 of them! One in each hand!!

5. What are your social media sites?

fifirixtra.blogspot.gr/
twitter.com/fifi_tsil
www.pinterest.com/fifirixtra/
Χριστίνα Άνθη φυτά

Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments From fifirixtra

Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments From fifirixtra

Top Ten Tips for Busy Moms

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Welcome to our first “Top Ten Tips” blog entry! Each month, we will offer our readers ten tips and products to make a task easier, less expensive, or just more fun. This month’s Top Ten Tips is for all busy moms. We hope you walk away with some tips and products to save time and money and really maximize your time with your kids.

10) Sherry from treasuresRtimeless says “Get Organized”

School time is now upon us and mom’s will even be busier than before! They will have all those wonderful “after school activities ” to do, adding an even more hectic schedule! I thought perhaps, this listing article that I am presenting to you could be used two fold to help a busy mom get organized!

This wonderful lazy susan can be used as a quick supper station! The compartments can handle a quick supper before or after a school function. It could also be used to organize, keys, kids usv drives for school, pens, pencils, notes that needs to be returned to school, almost anything, just a little imagination is all that is needed! What do you think?

Get organized with this lovely Lazy Susan.  Add fun to a Taco Dinner or organize all those Back to School supplies.

Get organized with this lovely Lazy Susan. Add fun to a Taco Dinner or organize all those Back to School supplies.

 

9) UnexpectedTreasure says “Keep it Simple”

I think this 3-piece accessory set is perfect for the busy mom on the go. Key chain coin purse wristlet can replace a large purse or handbag so mom can carry just the essentials few folded dollar bills or twenties along with her credit cards or ATM cards.

Fill up the business card holder with your cards and have them at the ready to pass out to prospective customers.

The tea wallet carries four tea bags, sweetener and lemon juice. All mom needs to do is add the cup and hot water! She can sip a nice soothing beverage while she waits for the kids to come out the school building.

This three piece accessory kit has so many uses... First Aid Kit, Snack, or organization.  Great for a mom on the go!

This three piece accessory kit has so many uses… First Aid Kit, Snack, or organization. Great for a mom on the go!

8)  Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts says “Keep your memories close”.

For those of us who are crafty moms trying to fit in some scrapbooking time during naps or when the kiddos are at school, I’m busy playing “catch up” by using scrapbook layout kits! I can get one done in about an hour, so not only did I accomplish something crafty and fun but also relaxing.

Keep all those photos organized and turn them into a family keepsake with this adorable scrapbook page!

Keep all those photos organized and turn them into a family keepsake with this adorable scrapbook page!

7) Bar Shiff from kukiness says”Keep the Diaper Bag fully stocked and organized”.

 This stylish and functional accessory is the perfect solution for parents who are tired of losing pacifiers at the depth of their diaper bag.
This adorable pouch is perfect for keeping your baby's pacifier clean and easy to find in the diaper bag.

This adorable pouch is perfect for keeping your baby’s pacifier clean and easy to find in the diaper bag.

6) Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering says “Take a little time for yourself…and when you can’t: Wear a hat!”

 My favorite time saver when I am on the go and in a hurry, a hat. Look good with out having to fuss with your hair. No one will ever know you didn’t take time to fix it . Just tuck it up or quick pony tails, and you look perfectly polished.
Pull your hair up under this darling hat for a great look when you are in a hurry to get the kids!

Pull your hair up under this darling hat for a great look when you are in a hurry to get the kids!

5)  Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says “Always be Thankful…no matter how busy you are”.

 As Mum’s/Mom’s, we’re all running around crazy and frantic getting everything sorted, people to places, meals cooked, the endless mountain of washing… and we sometimes forget to just sit down with our kids and just watch/play and interact. I have this print on my wall at home near my front door as a reminder each day to think of something I’m thankful of, and a lot of the time it ends up revolving around my daughter.
Lovely sign to remember to be thankful for the love and laughter in our life no matter how hectic our life becomes.

Lovely sign to remember to be thankful for the love and laughter in our life no matter how hectic our life becomes.

4) charlene c from CeeCeeandBee says “Always remember…wash your hands!”

 Back to school, or starting school for the first time… means coming home with germs and getting sick. I should know, I’m a single mom of two elementary school aged kids! Make sure everyone washes their hands when they get home – and all the other regular times.

I’ve made this non-toxic hand soap perfect for killing germs and bacteria without any of the crazy chemicals in other products. Stay well my friends!

Be sure to keep germs at bay so you can give your best to the people who depend on you.

Be sure to keep germs at bay so you can give your best to the people who depend on you.

3) Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird says “Always remember…you are beautiful, too”.

 I think Mom’s on the go need a little magic in their lives (what this cool star Quartz crystal pendulum represents). Just something in their pocket to remind them remember to stay calm and hug the kids, because nothing else matters more.
A magical pendant to remind you how special you are to everyone around you.

A magical pendant to remind you how special you are to everyone around you.

2) Ifigeneia tsiltikli from fifirixtra says “Always remember the baby wipes”.

My tip ( as a new mam) is to have ALWAYS in your bag baby wipes! You can use all the time to clean any kind of mess that a baby can make! In my house i have 1 pack in every room!!!!

Keep your daughter's hairclips (or your clothespins) organized with this adorable holder.

Keep your daughter’s hairclips (or your clothespins) organized with this adorable holder.

1) Angie Fitzpatrick from CraftyMom75 says “Stay on track with an organized calendar and some treats for the toddler”.

Keep one calendar with separate colors of ink for each person to keep items all in one place.

Also, keeping a few small treats with you while running errands always can keep a toddler calm. Dollar store toys, crayons, goldfish all work well!

Keep goodies, toys, or other small items organized and within easy reach with this zipper bag.

Keep goodies, toys, or other small items organized and within easy reach with this zipper bag.

We look forward to more Top Ten Tips articles with advice and time savers from our Christmas in July Team.  Thank you, Busy Mom, for taking the time out of your day to read our Tips for You!