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Leslie

DIY – Light Up Christmas Tree Sign

So I am so dang proud of how my DIY Christmas Tree Stand Box turned out {in my blog post and in real life} that I couldn’t wait to share with you how much second Holiday DIY project turned out as well!

This time, we crafted a light up tree sign that I love so much. Here’s a little look at the finished product:

Like I said before, I have been having so much fun getting my DIY on this holiday season. It makes everything so much more meaningful when you are the one doing the hammering, sanding, staining and painting before putting it up on display for the season.

Here’s a look at our instructions from this Home Depot workshop – not sponsored, I’m just obsessed. These are FREE workshops for adults, and they are awesome. Again, it’s something you can totally create yourself – you just need a 4 material pieces and some tools and you are good to go.

I chose to follow along with the Christmas Tree design as shown, because I have a serious love for Christmas trees this year {in all shapes and sizes} – but there were a few people in class that went a different route. We used a ruler to measure out the lines and then put dots for where we would drill in the holes evenly.

It turned out awesome! And who doesn’t love using a power drill?!

Then we had to measure out and hammer on the framed edges of the sign, to give it a more put together look. I kept mine a even square, but some people went longer up and down – anything goes!

Hammering in the edges, hard at work.

Then the project at Home Depot was finished. I chose to bring mine home to paint, stain and let dry. First up I stained the tree area. I taped off the framed sides, because I wanted to pain that separately.

Here’s a look after the first coat before wiping off the stain.

And after – I love how you can see the grain of the wood and some of the darker and lighter bits can be seen too. Its my favorite.

Next I chose to paint the trim white. I felt this would make the whole thing pop a bit more, especially once lit up with the lights.

And here’s how it turned out!

Once it was painted, stained and dried it was time to add the holiday lights to the drilled holes. This worked out perfectly because with this design we used all 50 lights in a package, so we didn’t have too much excess cord where we plugged into the wall, which was nice.

For the lights, if you like you can hot glue them to the back so they don’t move. This isn’t something I needed to do yet, but I might after a year of storage.

And here’s a better view of the sign lit up!

I’m seriously so proud of this and would love to make a second one – maybe another tree – one on each side of the fireplace? Could be cute!

But if you’ve been getting your DIY on this holiday season, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know what you’ve been crafting or if you have any fun plans to DIY in 2020!

Holiday Favorites + {Last Minute} Gift Ideas

Hello Hello!

There’s still a good amount of time before Christmas and everyone is freaking out about last minute gifts. Seems a bit premature to me, but I wanted to pop on here and share with you a few of my favorite things that I am loving at the moment that are totally gift-able for so many people. Lots of completely new {to me} brands + companies and most everything you can still get in time for the holidays! So without further ado, check out my picks and let me know what you think!

First up, I have to give a little love to this new {to me!} designer that I recently stumbled upon – Rachel Allene. Her ceramic pieces are GORGEOUS. The shape, the color, the font – I’ve been using it all holiday season. She’s got a ton more options in her line, be sure to check them out + let me know what you think!

Next up – I’m not sure if its pregnancy or just the season, but I have been STRUGGLING with dry skin, especially on my face. Another new {to me!} skincare line – Elina Organics. This deeply hydrating face mask has camel milk and it’s incredible. I really love it because it is the kind of mask you can rinse off OR leave on – I’ve worn it to bed a few times and in the morning my face feels incredible. I can’t recommend it enough!

I know one thing that is super fun to give + receive is anything personalized. I was recently gifted this robe as a little treat and I am so surprised by how much I love it. The colors, the print is gorgeous and I am obsessed with the gold “L” on it too. Such an amazing gift for any mom or friend on your list!

I think I’ll be taking this in my hospital bag for Baby #3 because it will be so nice to wear after delivery and perfect for April! In the meantime, I’ll be wearing it all around the house and feeling amazing! Did I mention it’s under $17?! Still time to order for the holidays.

Another personalized piece that’s an amazing price {under $30} and something great for anyone on your list – Cool as Ice tumbler. This is awesome because it comes in 16 different colors and twice as many font choices. I went with the White Marble and Black font and I love it so much. It keeps your drink cold, I love the feel of it and fits in every cup holder. This is another piece that might be making it in my hospital bag too, another great gift for a mama-to-be as well as anyone on your list.

The personalized stemless wine glass is another beauty I can’t wait to use more post baby. Until then I will enjoy it with my morning juice!

I know I already shared one mask that I love, but these Peel Off Masks are worth mentioning as well because they are amazing stocking stuffers and they peel off, so NO MESS! I love them so much for that reason – not to mention they are cruelty free and vegan. If you see these in store, definitely worth I try, I really enjoyed them!

And now a little something for the guys! The men in my life are SO HARD to shop for – so I always try to get them something they wouldn’t necessarily get for themselves – and a personalized piece always adds a little something special. This combat cooler I thought was really nice – I’m crossing my fingers that hubs misses this post, because he doesn’t know about these gifts yet. This holds 12 bottles or 18 cans, comes with an attached opener and I think it’s so neat for the beach or outings or whatever.

One more for the guys – a stamped tie clip. A cute stocking stuffer for sure and a great price for a personalized piece, plus you are supporting a small biz {love that!}

Here’s another new {to me} brand that I am seriously LOVING for my kids – Gigamic – which is a French company that makes wooden board games and puzzles. These pieces are beautiful and totally the kids of things you want your kids playing {and learning} with but also the kind of thing you don’t mind having out in your living room, because they are so pretty.

We are trying out the Katamino Family game for Brooks and also the Yogi game for Graham as part of their Christmas gifts. They look like so much fun, can’t wait to try them out!

Another idea for the mamas or ladies in your life – an anti-aging pillow, Sleep + Glow. I had never heard of something like this but then I did a little research and found so much about silk pillowcases and silk hair ties at night. The Sleep & Glow pillow is the first of its kind developed by cosmetologists and orthopedists in Europe to fight those nighttime wrinkles and help reduce morning puffiness. I need to do a before & after or something but it hasn’t been long enough using it yet, but I just think its so comfortable to sleep on! Would you every try something like this?

While we are talking pampering, here’s another super random + easy stocking stuffer for anyone – Luster 2 Minute teeth whitening kit. Under $14 and so quick and easy for anyone to use. It’s clinically proven with no messy trays or strips and so easy to use in your daily routine.

And if you are looking to stock up on some holiday treats for the kids or other gift-ables for friends, neighbors, teachers, whoever – these Loacker Quadratini wafer cookies are insane! They are light, smooth + delicious – also addicting!

So there you have it – a few of my favorite things that I am loving lately that are totally giftable and still super easy to get in time for the holidays!

Fun + Festive: Our Favorite Things to do during the Holidays in the Philadelphia Area with Kids

The holidays are in full swing. About 2 weeks until Christmas and I don’t know about you, but I am in complete OVERLOAD with all the festive things to do with the kids! There is always so much going on, all over the place and I don’t want to miss out {#FOMO} but I also don’t want to overdo it – because as fun as it is to see and do it all, the holidays are a beautiful thing done slow and enjoying each moment – especially through the eyes of the kiddos.

I’ve sort of made it my personal mission over my years living in the city and now as a new resident in the Philadelphia ‘burbs to see, do and explore it all – especially with my kids. I love to encourage them to try new things, experience different places and have all the fun.

If you are like me, looking for another thing or two to add to you holiday to do list with the family, I thought it would be fun {and possibly helpful} to compile a list of our favorites this winter season!

Here’s a look at our holiday favorite that we hit up every year:

First up, Dutch Winter Wonderland.

DW does an incredible job each season and its the perfect park for younger kids. It’s always so clean and not far from Philly – my boys love enjoying the rides at night when they are all lit up, checking out the holiday trains and the Dinosaur Walk {where the Dinos get festive!} There is also a magical train ride and a light up holiday show.

We love it here in the Summer with all the water fun, for Halloween and the Trick or Treat adventures and the Winter Wonderland is always magical! Definitely worth checking out!

Next up – Longwood Gardens.

This tradition sort of happened by accident – my parents are members and love going and we just started taking the boys each year – now they are old enough to enjoy it more and love everything festive. The light + water shows are beautiful and the decor is unreal!

This year was our first time going to a Christmas Tree Farm – picking a tree + chopping it down on our own. The boys LOVED it and I really enjoyed it too. Yeagers Farm + Market in Phoenixville is where we went this year, next year we are going to try another new spot – but it was a lot of fun and worth thinking about – especially if you don’t have a tree yet!

Can’t continue on with this post without a little love for Hershey. I did a entire post about our visit to Christmas Candyland + Sweet Lights – if you are looking for a great holiday time with family, this is it!

Next Up – Home Depot!

If you aren’t signing up for the monthly {FREE} Kids Workshops, you are missing out. They do extra ones around the holiday season and they are so much fun, my boys love them. Definitely add to your list to check out.

Brunch with Santa! We’ve done a few of these over the years and they are always so lovely. This year it was the only time our boys were going to get to visit with Santa, so it was extra special to see them give their lists and chat. They are EVERYWHERE and much more fun than a mall visit – definitely do some online searching to find one near you, they are happening all over!

Now for a little focus on the city in Philadelphia. After living there for so many years, we definitely had our holiday schedules down pat. A few of our favorites would always be the ice skating + markets around City Hall, along with the Holiday Light Show at the Comcast Building {a classic!}

We also LOVED to hit up the Macy’s Tree Lighting Show and Dicken’s Village. I hope to get down there this year to see this as its another holiday classic in Philadelphia. Reading Terminal Market also always has a great train display too!

And can’t forget about Scuba Santa! The underwater Christmas tree and all the Holiday Fun at the Camden Aquarium is a fabulous way to spend the day.

This year, new to the Philadelphia area for the holiday season is the Zoo Lights! We haven’t been yet, but I hope to get down for it sometime soon, its supposed to be so much fun!

DIY Christmas Tree Wooden Stand Box – The Home Depot Workshop

I’m so excited to finally share with you this DIY I started working on last month! If you’ve been following along my IG for a while, you will know that we religiously go to the Home Depot Kids Workshops. If you aren’t familiar with them – you should DEFINITELY check them out. I share a little more about our experiences at them in this post, but they are the first Saturday of EVERY MONTH from 9-12 at every Home Depot, nationwide. You can sign up + register in advance, or just show up – but the entire thing is free.

Side Note: This is not sponsored in any way. I’m just obsessed and want to share the love!

So my boys have been going for well over a year at this point. They do seasonal workshop activities every month and it’s a great experience for them – making something from scratch, using tools, painting – the whole thing. I love it, and let’s be honest – we usually have a Home Depot errand to run at least once a month anyways.

BUT while I’ve been frequenting the Kids workshops monthly, I had absolutely NO IDEA they do adult workshops too. I was registering the boys for the November + December workshops when I randomly stumbled upon the ones for adults.

HELLOOOO! Where have you been all my life?! I love a good craft and since we’ve recently purchased our new home, I’d love any opportunity to get more crafty and DIY focused. So I signed myself up for the two holiday adult workshops and away I went.

I’ve made two DIY creations from the workshops in the past few weeks and will share the second one next week. Today, since we finally got our tree up – is the debut of our new Christmas tree stand box!

Isn’t she a beaut?!

So before I gawk into how incredible she turned out, let me walk you though the workshop I participated in, because this is something you can TOTALLY do yourself at home – all you need is the two tools, which if you don’t have, I am totally confident you can find someone to borrow them from, or better yet – swing by Home Depot and ask to use a set!

First up – here’s what I had to work with – wood!

If you are interested in DIY-ing this, here are the dimensions for the wood. They will cut it for you for free at any HD – and the pieces were pretty simple to put together, once cut.

I lined everything up and then I was ready for my first power tool.

This nail gun was legit.

You can totally nail everything in with a hammer, would take a lot longer and you would be able to see the nails, but definitely do-able if you cannot get your hands on a nail gun.

Once the three sides all hand their wood pieces lined up and nailed in, it was time to connect everything. If you are wondering, this stand box only has 3 sides so you can slide it into the tree, with the open side facing the wall – so you can easily get into water it and such.

Power Drill time. We used corner brackets to connect the pieces. This makes it easy to take a part the stand into 3 flat pieces if you like for easy storage during the year!

Here’s the stand! And I measured my actual stand before starting this project, so I was sure everything would fit perfectly.

Here’s the DIT project guide if you want to take a better look to do it yourself! I personally felt like it looked harder than it actually was – once everything was broken down into steps, it was pretty quick and easy!

A proud DIY-er!

We had the option to stain the stand at the store, but I didn’t want to deal with that mess in my car so I did it at home. I did a few coats to make it all dark, even and luscious – let it dry and I am IN LOVE with how it turned out!

I seriously am so happy with it! This Christmas Tree stand is something I am so proud to have under my tree and its so much more meaningful in that it’s something that I made. I think it looks great with our decor, with our amazing wood floors and I can’t say enough good things about the workshop.

I will definitely be signing up for more and I can’t wait to share with you what else I made. Stay tuned next week for that!

Here’s a look at the whole tree + finished product – What do you think? Did you know about the DIY Home Depot adult workshops? What about the ones for kids? I’d love to know if you’ve made anything super fun that you love! Thanks for following along + Happy Holidays!

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