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By Lydia Krupinski

As we are all busy running about trying to find the perfect handmade gifts for the season – many of us forget an essential – gift wrapping!

To keep you from procrastinating, and purchasing that gaudy roll of wrap that’s strategically placed at the register end cap, create your action plan now with these great easy-to-make alternatives that I pulled from my website Pierogi Picnic.

Newspaper – If you’re looking for something cheap and chic, newspaper is the best way to go. The high contrast black and white will give your gifts an elegant look with a rustic edge. For some great suggestions on how to best use this upcycled material check out Design Apothecary’s article here.

Paper Bags  – If you ever take a spontaneous trip to the grocer and are (gasp!) caught without your reusable shopping bags – never fear! Those old-fashioned paper bags can be put to use! The stock of paper that’s used for your average grocery sack lends itself perfectly for wrapping gifts. Check out this awesome post from My Home Ideas for some great tips on using this everyday item.

Looking for more tips? Read the full article here.

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Vintage Swizzle Sticks from SunnyDayVintage

by Sunny from SunnyDayVintage

I’m an estate-sale fanatic – not only when I’m searching for vintage goods for my Etsy shop, but also because I’m fascinated by the homes they’re held in.

What is it? An estate sale is a whole-house sale of furniture, furnishings and household goods, usually held over a weekend, when a person passes away or goes into assisted living. There are companies that handle estate sales as a full-time business, cleaning, sorting, organizing and running the sale. Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve run out of time to shop for that special someone this holiday season – and don’t dare go out in the blizzardy snow – then make this year’s gifts DIY. There’s tons of things you can put together last minute for someone who will appreciate time, effort, and creativity much more than a purchased good.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Lydia Krupinski

I have some very VERY exciting news!

I have been asked to teach an ongoing series on eco-friendly crafting at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum! It is an incredible honor to be joining forces with this highly respected and active organization that brings the message of sustainability and science to Chicago and beyond.

For the first set of classes we will be focusing on the common fiber staple: t-shirts! I’ll be teaching how to take this everyday item from dull to daring with a few snips and stitches. The”Tees Transformed” projects will include ties, scarves, dresses, jewelry, table runners, and more!

Interested? You can sign up directly on the museum’s website: http://www.naturemuseum.org/index.php?id=353

I hope to see you there!!!

by Lydia Krupinski

One of my 2010  resolutions is to eat healthier snacks. Now, I’m not talking about Pirate Booty processed organic carb TJ chocolate chip cookie snacks, but honestly good-for-you bite-sized whole foods.  Things that are straight from the source, mixed up, raw, and baked…that’s what’s on my mind.

To start things off on the right foot I want to share my favorite recipe for home made granola. The ultimate renaisssance food, it is breakfast, snack, and power surge all in one! With the hearty nuts, dried anti-oxidant rich berries, soothing oatmeal, and comforting spices, you’re sure to fall in love as well.

As expected, I’ve tweaked the original concoction for my own palette, but any of the add ons below can be swapped for other ingredients.  Try walnuts in place of almonds, papaya in place of cherries, or add some cardamom and sprouted rice for an exotic twist!

Rustic Homemade Granola Read the rest of this entry »

By Lydia Krupinski

bow tutorialWe’ve all been there…the clock strikes the eleventh hour and you’re running late to the next birthday, house-warming, holiday party. You’ve found the perfect gift, but you just realized that you’ve run out of wrapping materials…what do you do? Read the rest of this entry »

By Lydia Krupinski

For some, Spring is a time for refreshment and renewal. Not for me. Fall is simply my favorite time of the year. Warm colors abound, there’s a crisp smell to the air, and I can bust out my favorite layering devices!

Inspired by the season, David and I decided that our living room needed a face lift.  Rather than scrapping what we already have, we’ve decided to do a thrifty and earth friendly make-upper, where we purchase minimal goods and try to reuse and reinvent as much as we can!

So this is my disclaimer that over the next couple of weeks you will be seeing before and after photos, along with recommendations on how to perk up a space without impacting your wallet or the environment.

apple-cider-vinegar

Summer is here! The sun is ablaze, the beaches and parks are swarming, and so are mosquitoes. If you’re looking for a safe, natural, and green alternative to traditional toxic bug sprays, look no further than Apple Cider Vinegar.

This wonderous liquid does more than add punch to a salad. When taken daily, the potent vinegar helps to repel female mosquitoes, leaving you to enjoy the beautiful summer nights bite free! It can also be added to your furry best friend’s food to keep away pests like ticks and fleas.

A teaspoon a day will keep the critters away!

Check out my favorite brand of organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Bragg’s.

To learn more about the many health benefits of ACV, like diabetes treatment, acne irridication, and weight management, check out this article.

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