Homemade Gifts for Every Occasion in 2018

Who else is tired of buying? I have serious consumer fatigue. I am trying to take a break from spending, for my economic health and just my general sanity. Here is how I will navigate those gifting situations where you normally need to buy.


Hostess Gift: Homemade No-Knead Bread


Birthday: To make an easy favorite scrubby face mask, mix together honey, thyme, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

For kids: Did you know you can make your own temporary tattoos??? It looks so easy!

For soul sisters: How fun to make one of these swing dresses together!


Wedding: A homemade blanket or quilt, or a homemade woven pillow.
A packet of seeds with a loving note and personal illustration.

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Thank You: Cinnamon Roasted Pecans


Mother’s Day: Handmade Paper Wreath


Father’s Day: Your top 5 recipes, hand written.


Valentine/ Anniversary: Home cooked meal with a handmade card

Friday Frappe at Home

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  1. Pour coffee into an ice tray. Keep this tray always ready! It is vital for the strongest iced coffee and a quick frappe, whenever you have the whim.
  2. Dump half the coffee ice into a blender. Pour some milk in, add the flavor/sugar of your choice. This could be a thick drizzle of caramel and sprinkle of salt. I chose to make mine “magical” by adding vanilla and heaps of brown sugar.
    Note: I added heaps of sugar and it still tasted barley sweet. I take this as a sign that Starbucks is dumping fistfuls of sugar in their drinks, because they are always sickly sweet in comparison to this drink. 
  3. Blend! Drink! Relax.


Related: Weekend Bliss and Saturday Check-In

The Skincare Routine That Helps Me Fall Asleep at Night

I am meticulous about maintaining standard skincare routines, such as washing your face before bed, applying various topicals daily, using masks several times a week, but there is one thing I realized I have been completely overlooking: my feet.

I rarely give second thought to the strain that my feet endure. I run most days, and then spend the rest of the day on my feet in some sort of flat or dress shoe while teaching. After school, I am often climbing, which has me in tight shoes that squish my toes, which I am then putting all of my weight directly onto those squished toes. As soon as I stop wearing a winter coat, I start wearing sandals, and I don’t look back until I need that coat again. At the end of the day my feet are always very tired, and in sandal weather, they are also dirty.

My mom has always recognized the value of foot care. When I was little, after a muddy soccer game in restrictive cleats, she would have me soak my feet in the bath tub and then she would rub an invigorating lotion on- usually grapefruit, or mint. This was a thoughtful and refreshing gesture, but somehow I have never been self-inspired to care for my feet myself.

Yesterday my feet were the usual after-school soreness, and really dirty from playing outside with the kindergarteners, so I soaked my feet in a bath salt/ baking soda combo.

Here is the DIY game changer: I filled a small bowl with sugar, and squeezed half a lemon into that bowl of sugar just before scrubbing my feet with said lemon-sugar. This was AMAZING. My feet tingled and my muscles relaxed; the dirt and dead skin was easily removed from my feet, and my legs and feet completely relaxed from the mini-massage. I used the whole bowl of my lemon-sugar scrub, and exfoliated my ankles and calves, too. Bonus: follow up with a tingly mint lotion for ultimate relaxation and easy sleeping. Sometimes I hesitate to lotion up because my feet still feel a little gross from the day (I am a morning shower kind of person) but I will no longer neglect my tired achey feet.

The only other times I have done this were in extreme situations, like right after finishing a hike in the grand canyon or after days of walking in a European city. My sister jokes that the dirt specs tan onto my feet, so my feet look perpetually dirty, even when they are clean. This lemon-sugar scrub minimizes that look!

Do you have a self-care routine that helps you relax instantly? I would love to hear about it!

DIY Jungle Leaf Garland

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Materials Needed:

-Thick, green paper in various shades
-A large needle, like an upholstery needle


  1. Carefully cut out a leaf shape of your choice. To use my hand drawn stencil, go here.
  2.  Lay out leaves in alternating pattern or same direction (whatever looks best to you) and measure your length of twine. Mine was 10 ft. with 8 leaves.
  3. Thread the twine through the needle and tie a knot where you want your first leaf to be. Poke the needle through, sew one stitch by poking it through the opposite side, and tie a knot to hold the leaf in place.
  4. Repeat until all leaves are in the desired place. If needed, you can untie knots to reposition a leaf.
  5. Hang your garland in your fabulous jungalow!


No time to make your own? Order a hand cut garland from me here.