DIY Personalized Cutting Boards

13 December 2017
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This DIY is brought to your by your local fire department and oven mitt retailers: wood-burning is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for those who get distracted half-way through a craft and forget to unplug their wood-burner. Mamas, this is a naptime craft for sure.

I tried this idea out since it's Christmastime and I have friends who have given me thoughtful, handmade gifts while I'm over here like the shrugging emoji girl as I hand them a giftcard. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. You could turn this DIY into a gift basket by adding cheese, crackers, a bottle of wine, & a gift basket to hold it all. (No one would even know it was a last-minute gift! No waiting for things to arrive from online shopping...just a simple DIY gift basket with a personalized touch.)

What you need:

  • An hour or so
  • Wood-burning tool
  • Wood-burning alphabet
  • This $4 cutting board, or you could get fancy with this $20 serving tray
  • A pencil & ruler (for text layout)
  • An oven mitt and random bakeware (to hold the hot letters between uses)

What to do: 

  1. Lay out what you want to woodburn on the cutting board. Make sure to measure the distance between lines of text. Or, if you're not using the alphabet stamps and you want to free-hand it, then DEFINITELY pencil your design on there. I jotted down little markers for where each line of text was supposed to start. 
  2. Pull out all the letters you're going to use and line them up so they're ready to go. 
  3. Put the first letter on the woodburning tool and wait a few minutes for it to heat up. 
  4. After a few minutes, press the tool onto your cutting board with medium pressure. Count to 3 and pick it up. If the letter is too faint, CAREFULLY line it up and push it on again for another 3 seconds. 
  5. Turn the tool off, wait 2-3 minutes, and then use the oven mitt to unscrew the letter from the tool and screw on the next letter. DO NOT TRY TO UNSCREW THE LETTER FROM THE TOOL RIGHT AWAY OR YOU WILL BURN A HOLE IN YOUR OVEN MITT. Not that I know this from experience. 
  6. Keep the still-hot letter on your bakeware.
  7. Repeat this until your message is completely burned on the cutting board!
The process of heating up a letter, using it, cooling it, removing it, and heating up the next letter DOES take a while. However, I finished this cutting board in about an hour and listened to a Christmas episode of The Popcast With Knox and Jamie while I did this!

Here are the wood-burning things I used:

Have you ever tried woodburning? What fun projects have you done recently? 

10 Unexpected White Elephant Gifts

08 December 2017

The white elephant gift exchange is my favorite part of our small group Christmas party. (You can call it yankee swap or whatever you want, but it's the game you play by these rules.) One year, Devin literally made a t-shirt with one of the group's inside jokes on it. The next year, he gave a flashlight, a dirty hardhat he found in our basement, and his grandfather's hand-me-down sandals, labeling the ensemble a "DIY Miner's Kit." I don't remember if I was the only person hysterically laughing.

The goal is to be creative and give something that falls in AT LEAST one of these categories:
  • inexpensive
  • potentially useful
  • good for laughs or straight up WEIRD
  • kinda cute. 
Whether you've got a holiday gift exchange planned, or if you're looking for a surprise gift for the person who already knows what else you bought them...

This list is for you: 

  1. Baby wipes, chocolate syrup out of the back of your fridge, and glitter, all in a bag with the label "Date Night Kit."
  2. A Ron Swanson mug that's funny even if you don't watch the show. 
  3. An enema. (Devin literally almost bought an enema one year to wrap up as a gift for our small group's party. I almost died.)
  4. The kitchen gadget you don't use anymore. 
  5. Small box of tea + a mug in a trash bag. 
  6. This unicorn-head mask. 
  7. Really, any mask. 
  8. The dad-bod fanny pack. Make sure to select "extra hairy happy trail" at checkout. Jk. That's not an option. But it should be. 
  9. A really good-smelling candle + $5 Dunkin donuts giftcard, in a random Amazon box that would suggest "I put zero effort into this gift" (WHEN IN REALITY...)
  10. 5-10 rolls of toilet paper. Unused, obviously. 

What are some ridiculous or cute or useful gifts that you'd give at a white elephant gift exchange? 

Currently // December 2017

06 December 2017

Happy December! I love driving through the neighborhoods and seeing all the lights, and I'm also looking forward to wrapping presents in the dollar store's cutest paper. You think the dollar store's paper is crappy and tacky-looking? False. Only SOME of their wrappings are tacky. 😉  This will be Emma's first Christmas and Aiden's second, and this year Aiden's going to get a bike with training wheels and everywhere we go he points out "bike! bike!". I literally can't wait!!

This is my favorite link-up, this month hosted by Anne & Catherine. Join in and share what you've been up to recently.

Christmas Movie Date Nights

30 November 2017

Devin and I have this tradition where we watch a Christmas on Thanksgiving night and almost every single night leading up to Christmas. It makes the evenings feel festive, and I love discussing which one on our list to watch.

You have to be in it to win it, though. Request the DVDs from the library, dig through that $5 bin at Wal-mart, check your local thrift store...Don't just approach this all casual like, "Let's check Netflix to see which ones they have" because I guarantee you'll be disappointed and end up spending $5 on OnDemand/Youtube/Wherever You Pay To Watch Movies and let me tell you, those $5's will add up quick.