DIY

*Free* Winter Wonderland Baby Shower Printables

3 *FREE* Winter Wonderland Baby Shower Printables from DashinglyDIY.com

I’m so excited to bring you these FREE printables that I’ve been working on the last couple weeks! At 23 weeks pregnant I’m starting to think about all things baby-related, but especially baby shower themes. I was inspired to make these winter wonderland themed printables for those of you who will have your showers in the chilly months to come, and I absolutely love the way they came out.

In this bundle you will get: a shower invitation with blank spaces that you can fill in with all the important info for your specific party, a “Don’t Say ‘Baby'” shower game sign, and another sweet sign to decorate one of your tables that says, “Out little deer will soon be here!”. When you click the links below, you’ll see that PDF files have crop marks to make printing and cutting easier.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” Invitation 5″x7″

baby shower invitation, baby it's cold outside, snow, snowflake

“Don’t Say Baby” Shower Game Sign 8″x10″

baby shower games, baby shower sign, baby shower decor

“Our Little Deer Will Soon Be Here!” Sign 8″x8″

deer, baby shower, winter baby shower

I kept the colors on the cooler side with different hues of blue and mint, because I think they’re pretty gender neutral and will work perfectly whether you’re having a boy or a girl. All these designs were made on my absolute favorite website, Canva.com! If you haven’t already checked it out, I highly recommend that you do! I’ve literally spent hours on Canva coming up with so many creations. It’s a great way to relax and get your artistic juices flowing.

I’d love to hear from you! When are you ladies having your baby showers? When are your due dates? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Sarah

How to Make a DIY Fairy Light Centerpiece

fairy lights decor

This post contains affiliate links.

I can’t begin to express to you all how excited I am for fall! I live in Southern California where we don’t usually get to experience as much of autumn as the rest of the country, but lately the weather has been unusually cool and breezy for a So-Cal September, and I’ve been dreaming of soups, apples, crunchy leaves, and Thanksgiving menus….yes, I know that last one is a little weird, but what can I say? I love the stress, ahem, excitement of a well-thought-out Thanksgiving meal. So amid all this anticipation for fall, I’m thinking about fall decorations and ways to bring that unmistakable *feeling* of autumn into my home.

One super easy way I’ve found to do this is with fairy lights. I love fairy lights because they add warmth and a whimsical touch to whatever they adorn, whether they’re wrapped around the trunk of a big tree or arranged above a frosty window in the middle of December.

I have fairy lights in my bedroom and love the idea of decorating with them in different ways throughout the home. This quick little DIY that I’m bringing to you today is really simple to make, contains only 4 elements, and works as a versatile decoration or centerpiece for your table in the fall and winter months.

You will need:

1 large cylindrical glass vase

6-7 ft. of battery-operated fairy lights

1 Pillar Candle

1 bag of

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Place the battery end of the fairy lights in the vase and then arrange the river rocks around and on top to conceal it. It helps to keep the fairy lights wound up and clipped back with a clothespin.

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Place the candle on top of the rocks and then arrange the lights around it in a circular pattern.

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fairy light candle centerpiece

And voila! In minutes you’ve put together a warm and inviting creation to make your home feel extra autumnal.

Cheers!

Sarah

 

fairy light decor, centerpiece, candle, glass vase, twinkly lights

 

Ice Cream Sprinkle Cake

ice cream sprinkle cake sprinkles ice cream sandwiches hot fudge maraschino cherriesAh, cake. I’ve enjoyed quite a bit lately. Springtime is especially packed with birthdays in my family and everyone has been reaping the benefits of all the cake! Memorial Day Weekend was no exception because it was my stepson’s fifth birthday and you can’t have a birthday (when you’re turning five years old no less!), without having some kind of amazing dessert to commemorate the occasion. He requested a cake with green mint and chip ice cream (none of that white mint chocolate chip rubbish they try to pass off on us) and this is what I came up with: an ice cream sprinkle cake. It’s basically the most fun birthday cake a kid (or grown up) could wish for: layers of vanilla ice cream, chocolaty-cakey-cookies, mint chocolate chip ice cream, fudgy chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and SPRINKLES!!! I don’t care how old you are, sprinkles make everything better. Case in point, my husband’s thirtieth birthday is tomorrow and he requested that I duplicate this recipe for him. It’s that good.
ice cream cake ingredients

I used vanilla ice cream sandwiches and mint chocolate chip ice cream, but any flavors you like would taste great in this cake. It’s pretty hard to mess up layers of ice cream, fudge and whipped cream folks, so be creative! Maybe try using Cherry Garcia instead of the mint chocolate chip. Or butter pecan even. Get wild and crazy! In this photo I included some peanuts for a topping idea but you can top it with whatever your heart desires. I ended up using maraschino cherries as a finishing touch and I think it made it just a little extra special.

To assemble the cake, first choose your vessel. An 8×8 glass baking dish worked wonderfully for us. I lined the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to size in order to make my cleanup easier, then placed the ice cream sandwiches in a single layer in the pan, cutting some horizontally and/or vertically to make one full layer. I stuck the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes so that the ice cream sandwiches would be firm enough to withstand the next layer. vanilla ice cream sandwiches
mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches Once they had a chance to chill out, I got ready to scoop! I love that minty color :).

About 9 scoops did the trick to cover the surface of the sandwiches.
scoops of mint chocolate chip

Mmmm, frosty goodness.

green mint and chocolate chip ice cream

Then I smoothed it out with a pie server because I’m cool and good at improvisation, but if you have an off-set spatula, you could also use that. This part was really fun. I felt like I was spreading spackling paste onto a wall. Clearly this cake brings out the inner, childlike imagination in those who prepare it. Yet another reason to make it! But not that you needed one ;).

Pop the whole thing back into the freezer for 10-15ish minutes to keep it from saggin’, baggin’, or draggin’. We want our ice cream cake icy and firm.

Whilst the cake is chilling, you’ll have a moment to make some homemade whipped cream! Awww yeeayah!

confectioner's sugar, whipping cream, whipped cream ingredients

You only need two ingredients for this whipped cream: powdered sugar and whipping cream.

Pour about a cup of the cream and a couple tablespoons of the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip it up until stiff peaks form.

whipped cream

What a masterpiece. A thing of beauty. Fluffy clouds in a bowl. Heavens to Betsy!

hersheys hot chocolate fudge sauce

After making the whipped cream and taking the cake out of the freezer, add another layer of ice cream sandwiches, and then you get to pour out a choco-river over them. Yum! A jar of Hershey’s hot fudge works perfectly for this because all you have to do is scoop it out and then spread it over the ice cream sandwiches. I should add that you don’t need to heat up the fudge because it would only melt the cake, and the fudge actually spreads very well at room temperature. If you’re feeling especially daring, try using Nutella!

homemade whipped cream made from scratch

Next I poured the whipped cream over the cake and arranged it ever so gently so as to avoid mixing it with the chocolate. Note to self (and to you), that it’s best to freeze the cake for about 5 minutes after pouring on the fudge, just so it can set up a bit before the whipped cream goes on top. ice cream cake

SPRINKLES! That is all.

five year old birthday candle

Fifth birthday candle? I think, yes.
ice cream cake layers

Here’s a side view of the lovely layers. You really, really need to stop everything and go make this ice cream cake!!

Ice Cream Sprinkle Cake

Ice Cream Sprinkle Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes vanilla ice cream sandwiches (12 per box)
  • 3 cups green mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened slightly at room temperature
  • 6 oz. Hershey's Hot Fudge Topping, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered confectioner's sugar
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Maraschino cherries with the stem
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a glass 8x8 baking dish, cut a square of parchment or wax paper to fit the surface of the bottom of the dish. Arrange about 6-7 of the ice cream sandwiches in a single layer in the dish. Use a sharp knife to cut some to size so that the entire area of the dish is covered. Freeze for 10-15 minutes in order to let the sandwiches harden a bit.
  2. With an off-set spatula, smooth the mint chocolate chip ice cream over the sandwiches and put the whole thing back into the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  3. While the cake is firming up in the freezer, prepare the whipped cream. Pour the whipping cream and powdered sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer (you can also use a handheld mixer). Mix at medium speed, until the cream and sugar are combined and stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Make sure to stop the mixer once in a while to make sure you're not over-mixing.
  4. Remove the cake from the freezer and arrange another layer of ice cream sandwiches over the mint ice cream, cutting some to fit the entire surface as before. Smooth the Hershey's topping over the sandwiches and then freeze it again for another 5 minutes.
  5. Take the cake out of the freezer and pour the whipping cream over the whole thing, arranging it carefully so as to not mix it with the chocolate. Pour sprinkles over the top and serve with Maraschino cherries and/or chopped peanuts.
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ice cream sandwich sprinkle cake mint chocolate chip

5 Ridiculously Clever Ways to Save Money on Your Dream Wedding

5 RIDICULOUSLYSMART WAYSTO SAVE MONEY ON THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS (3)

When my husband and I first got engaged we immediately realized that everything in the wedding world is so expensive! We knew we didn’t want a lavish wedding, we simply wanted a fun and beautiful celebration of our marriage that we would remember for a lifetime. We tried to put into perspective that our wedding was just one day, and what really mattered was our marriage. With a short, five-month engagement, we had to make a lot of quick decisions while trying not to break the bank, which wasn’t always easy but we proved that it is very doable if you’re willing to put in a little extra work. Here are five smart things you can do to save a TON of cash on your wedding day. We did all five of these things and were still able to have the elegant, yet laid-back wedding of our dreams.

cafe lights bunting wedding venue

1) Think outside the box when selecting a venue.

I can’t stress this one enough. Most wedding experts suggest that when you first get engaged you should book your venue right away. This was the first thing I did in my wedding planning process, and I quickly learned that many venues used exclusively for weddings come with a hefty price tag. Traditional venues often require that you use either their onsite catering service or one that they’ve pre-selected, so you have less freedom in deciding how much you want to spend on food and often end up getting gouged.

Even on the low-end, many venues charge a few thousand dollars just to rent the space, plus anywhere from $60-$150 or more a head for dinner. Instead of paying an arm and a leg for the rental fee, plus astronomical catering costs, look for a venue that allows you to bring in an outside caterer. Parks and historical landmarks, museums, arboretums, and community centers are just some of the spaces that allow this practice and you can rent many of them at a steal.

We were married at the Heritage Park Village and Museum in Oceanside, CA which had a darling gazebo, a beautiful green lawn, and several historic buildings on the property (which made for some great photo-ops). We were able to rent the space by the hour so we didn’t have to pay for any extra time we wouldn’t be using, AND were allowed to bring in our own caterer. It was an absolutely gorgeous venue and we literally saved thousands by choosing it.

wedding caterer

2) Choose a unique catering option.

First I want to say that this really depends upon your personal taste and what you’re willing to compromise as far as the “traditional” wedding meal goes. Maybe you’re a bride who feels that her wedding dreams won’t be complete without an elegant, three-course steak and lobster dinner served on Edwardian China and you’re completely willing to accept the expense that will come with it. In that case, you go girl! You have to be true to your vision and your budget. I knew off the bat though that we would go a different route since we had to feed nearly 200 guests and wanted to be able to allocate more in our budget for photography and floral design. Plus, we wanted a casual and laid-back atmosphere at our reception, so we were open to less conventional options.

After a little Googling, my husband and I chose a company that caters Mexican street taco cart fare. The tacos were carne asada and chicken, grilled onsite with rice and beans, salad, and an assortment of tasty salsas and toppings, including chips, guacamole, and quesadillas for the kiddos. All of it was served buffet style on (gasp!) paper plates–for $12 per person. This saved us thousands compared to what a sit-down dinner would have cost.

It wasn’t a fancy dinner but it was incredibly delicious and almost a year later, our friends still rave about how much they loved the food at our wedding. But seriously, who doesn’t love tacos?! This choice added a ton of personality to our special day and was something memorable for our friends and family to enjoy. Both the refined and the casual dinner options can be great, you just need to go with the one that you really want, that fits the feel of your wedding, and that you can manage financially.

wedding invitation

3) Be imaginative with invitations. 

The absolute best source for invitations is Etsy. There are so many amazingly talented designers who sell extremely pretty invitations that can save you hundreds of dollars. However, if you really want to save money, don’t buy just any invitation on Etsy. Instead, look for invites sold in a digital file format. Invitations sold as digital files are magical and will be a lifesaver for your budget. Designers sell single invitation JPEGS usually at much more affordable price-point than the average wedding invite because you only pay for the file and print the actual invitations yourself. For our invitations, we found a design we loved in an Etsy shop, purchased the file and sent off the precise wording we wanted on our invitations and RSVP cards to our seller. She then sent back our completed JPEG file ready to print. We bought some shimmery cardstock and envelopes for the invites, took a memory card loaded with the invite file and the cardstock down to our local printer, and an hour later, badabing-badaboom, are invitations were ready! Many sellers will also print the invitations for you, but we found it was more cost-effective to do it at a local print shop.
lace wedding dress back

4) One word: sales! Take advantage of them. 

I found my dress at an upscale bridal boutique, in my size, for $350. Seriously. Although I think I was very lucky, bridal stores do have sales throughout the year, you just need to keep an eye out for them and be smart about your choices. Don’t buy something that looks like it was stepped on with a dirty shoe 75 times, but if the dress is in good condition but not exactly what you had in mind, remember that you can alter a dress to your specifications. For example, I had long dreamed of an all lace dress with sleeves. But when I tried on several lace dresses I realized that many were not figure-flattering on me. The dress I found for $350 was satin with beautiful beaded-lace applique and made me look and feel great–but it was strapless! I had a seamstress add custom lace-beaded sleeves and alter the neckline into a sweetheart, and it turned out exactly how I wanted!

wedding photographer

5) Use word of mouth to find the perfect vendors. 

I spent hours searching the internet for the perfect photographer, florist, DJ, etc., but it was difficult finding ones that fit my main criteria: that they would be affordable, make my wedding pretty, and wouldn’t suck. Through talking to different local people however, we found the most wonderful vendors of all time and it all started with a phone call to a florist whose work I loved the moment I saw it online. When I contacted her, she quoted me a price I could never afford and my heart sank. Discouraged, I sheepishly told her I would have to talk to my fiance and “let me get back to you,” yadayada just so I could get off the phone. It was then that she said something to the effect of, “I sometimes work with a really great florist and right now she doesn’t have a minimum. Would you like her information?” Um, yes!

I jumped at the chance. I figured they might have similar styles if they worked together, and sure enough I was right! I looked at this new floral designer’s website and immediately fell in love with her creations even more than the first florist’s. Her flowers were one of the highlights of my wedding. She also referred me to the photographer of my dreams (whose prices just happened to fall within our budget).

We found our DJ by chance through a city worker my mother-in-law just happened to speak to on a whim. As a favor to his friend, the DJ offered his services for our wedding at a reduced price and did a spectacular job! I never would have found these amazing vendors had I not been open to the suggestions of others. Sometimes your first choice for a vendor might not work out, but many times the second choice could be even better, so don’t give up!

getaway car bride and groom

I hope this post has been a helpful read! If you’re planning your wedding right now and totally stressing out because you think you’re going to have to spend an arm and a leg, remember that you absolutely can cut so many costs if you exercise that creativity muscle to think outside the box, do a little searching, and stay open to sometimes more unconventional options. You can do this! Now take a deep breath and go own that wedding planning like the boss I know you are!

Love,

Sarah

diy wedding, budget wedding, save money, wedding of your dreams, ways to save money on your wedding

Lemon, Mint, & Rosemary Sea Salt Scrub

Lemon Mint & Rosemary Sea Salt Scrub Title

Hello, lovelies! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks. I have so many recipes and projects I want to share with you, it’s just finding the time to get it all done! Today however, I have something new and shiny to bring to you which also happens to be the first mini DIY project of this blog: Lemon, Mint, & Rosemary Sea Salt Scrub!

Cracked heels and scaly elbows got you down? Never fear because this scrub contains moisturizing coconut oil and exfoliating seal salt, which will leave your skin silky smooth and ready for all those springtime fashions. Woohoo! Plus it’s ridiculously easy to make and smells heavenly.

IMG_7346 (2)

I was inspired to make this DIY by the abundance of herbs we have growing in the backyard and a bag of fresh lemons purchased at the 99-Cent Store. There are no yucky chemicals in this scrub and all the ingredients are totally safe and natural. I recommend applying the scrub and then wiping it off with a paper towel before rinsing, so as to avoid getting the coconut oil and minced herbs down the drain. Now let’s get down to business.

First you will need to assemble the ingredients:

ingredients

Lemon (zest and a bit of juice), peppermint essential oil, fresh rosemary, coconut oil, coarse seal salt, and raw honey.

rosemary & lemon zest

 

mixed ingredients

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl! I melted the coconut oil and raw honey a bit in the microwave before adding them to the mixture because they were pretty cold and hard, but you can forgo this step if your coconut oil and honey are soft and at room temperature.

 

scrub in jar

Pour the mixture into a little jar. I got this super cute one at Target for a dollar in that section of bins when you first walk in that are filled with adorable trinkets and doodads at bargain prices, such as $3 twinkly lights or $5 cloth baskets that I may or may not have bought at some point. It’s there that they trap me into buying all the things I never knew I needed until I came through those automatic doors. They get me every time. But this jar had a black and white tie AND a hot pink chalkboard lid you can write on, so I couldn’t resist.

I put the jar in the fridge for an hour to make it easier to mix the ingredients, (they all separated when the oil and honey were melted). It came out looking like this, all pretty and layered:

chilled and separated

 

And this was the final product once it was all mixed up:

all mixed up and ready to go

Done! See, I told you it was easy. Now go make this and pamper yourself, girlfriend!

xoxo,

Sarah

Here’s the printable recipe link

Lemon, Mint, & Rosemary Sea Salt Scrub Recipe

Ingredients:

Zest of 1 lemon & 1 TBS of juice

½ cup coconut oil, softened at room temperature

¼ cup raw honey

¼ coarse sea salt

10-12 drops peppermint essential oil

Leaves from a small stem of fresh rosemary, minced

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture into a small jar and refrigerate. Apply a quarter-sized amount to skin in circular motions and wipe off with a paper towel before rinsing.

*The scrub should keep in the fridge for quite a long time. Because it is made with all natural ingredients however, it has the potential to spoil. If after a period of time it begins to grow mold, do not use and throw it away.