The Best Memories Are Handmade

Can you believe that it is December already?! I seriously can’t! The holiday season can be stressful when you start to think about all of the shopping that needs to be done but remember that it really is the thought that counts! The holidays are what you make of them and some of the best memories and gifts are handmade! The new design is available for download on WhimseyBox’s blog! Hope you enjoy December’s design for your devices!

The Best Memories Are Handmade by Ciera Design

WhimseyBox has a ton a great gifts and ideas, including DIY kits and other supplies to help make your holidays handmade! Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!

5 Tips For Getting Your Holiday Cards Ready

Hello! I’m Sylvia the designer from {via}vacious Designs. I’m so happy to be guest posting today and sharing my passion for stationery with you! It’s that time of the year when your mailbox is overflowing with beautiful, colorful holiday cards. I want to share some of my top tips for getting your own holiday cards ready to be sent to your loved ones.

5 Tips For Getting Your Holiday Cards Ready

1. Order and send your holiday cards early

By getting them done early, you can focus on the other fun holiday festivities you have planned. Did you move recently? Sending your cards early also helps those on your holiday card list recognize you have a new home address.  

2. Proof for grammatical errors

We all have oversights during this busy season, even stationery designers, so be sure to thoroughly look at your proof to ensure everything is correct. One of the most common typographical errors I see during the holidays happens while signing cards. When signing your holiday card, there is no need to put an apostrophe in your name. So for example, when signing our card this year we’ll use The Stremmings not The Stremming’s. The apostrophe shows ownership, which is not the case when signing your card (correct example: Santa’s cookies).

3. Be candid

If you want a photo card, but didn’t have time to get any family photos taken this year, don’t worry! Your photo(s) doesn’t have to be professionally taken. The candid photos from throughout the year are many times the best and show personality.

4. Use your time wisely

If you write a personal message, have a goal to do a certain amount a night. Tackling your holiday cards this way will keep you from being too overwhelmed with your long list of friends and family members. You will also be able to get the rest of your holiday chores done, too!

5. Be efficient

Holiday cards don’t have to be expensive! There are many discounts available during the holiday season as well as shops where you can buy the digital file and print as many as you need. If money is tight for gifts, opt for a photo card—a picture says a thousand words.

I hope these tips help make your holidays a little less stressful so you can focus more on being with your family! To put these tips to use, I’m offering 20% off to Ciera Design blog readers with the coupon code CIERADESIGN20 good through Dec. 31, 2013. Happy Holidays! Find {via}vacious Designs on Etsy and on Facebook.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EXTRA TIPS? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS!

My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Art Lover

Better Homes and Gardens published their holiday gift guides last week, and guess what? I got to curate one! There are over 25 different guides curated by other bloggers and BHG editors, I was asked to curate one for Artists and Art Collectors! If you are buying for someone who creates art, supplies like charcoal, sketchbooks, and paints are always a great gift. If you are looking for someone who is more of a collector, art books, prints, decorative home items, or art-inspired clothing are great options. Here are some of my favorite items from the curated guide and you can head over to BHG.com to see all of my picks! I’ll be taking a blog break for the rest of the week since I’m heading to Maine tomorrow for Thanksgiving! Hope you all have a great week!

art lover gift round up

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 • See all of my gift guides here!

My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Wine Lover

I’m trying to be good this year and get my holiday shopping done ahead of time. I recently came across UncommonGoods and y’all, they have some amazing options for gifts! I feel like everyone on my list is so difficult to shop for but this site has so many unique items that it’s going to make it really easy on me! They have thousands one-of-a-kind products ranging from home and garden products to jewelry and accessories, office items, children’s toys and more. They also have some really cool stocking stuffers like an Aquafarm here and Kinetic Sand here! I totally love all the fun wine related things they have so I decided to put together this gift guide! My mom will probably get a few things from this list!

wine lover gift round up
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 • See all of my gift guides here
 
UncommonGoods makes it so easy to shop too! They break down their site into easy categories… whether you’re shopping for a birthday gift for your sister, or you have a specific amount you’re looking to spend, for example, gifts under $50, they make it simple to get your shopping done quickly! Some other cool things about UncommonGoods:
  • They highlight the stories of the artists and designers throughout the website
  • Half of what they sell is made by hand. Look for the blue hand icon throughout the website.
  • About one-third of their entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials.
  • They donate a portion of each order to your choice of non-profit organizations: American Forests, AmeriCares, City Harvest, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
If you are looking for a gift that is unique, or are trying to find something for that person that seems to have everything, check out UncommonGoods, you will not be disappointed!
 
This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you and all opinions are my own.

The Font Feast Presents Candy Bar Surprise Cookies

 candy bar surprise cookies with halloween jackolantern

I have had a pretty major sweet tooth for as long as I can remember. My family tells a funny story about me trying to lunge out of the shopping cart as a baby whenever my mom went past the candy aisle! Needless to say, I have to try pretty hard to resist all of the candy my kids bring home from trick-or-treating. These fun little surprise cookies with candy nestled inside are a great way to use up all of those delicious little mini candy bars from Halloween. Make a batch and give them to friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Surprise!

To go with these Candy Bar Surprise Cookies, I chose a cute Halloween font, Sketch Bones. There aren’t too many occasions that call for really cartoony fonts, but if you can’t write out a message with cartoon bones at Halloween, when can you?!

halloween candy bar surprise cookies

Candy Bar Surprise Cookies inspired by Sketch Bones

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
about 30 mini chocolate candy bars, unwrapped (Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, etc.)
 
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir to combine. Use an ice cream scoop to shape the dough into balls. Take a dough ball in one hand, and flatten it slightly. Place a mini candy bar in the middle of the cookie dough, and carefully fold the dough up and over the candy bar, completely enclosing it in dough. Reshape as needed. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough balls and candy bars, placing 12 cookies per baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just beginning to turn golden on the edges. Remove from oven, cool on sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Color Blocked Pumpkins – Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper Freebie

Happy October friends! I’m in the mood for pumpkin decorating, how about y’all? Last year, I decided that instead of carving pumpkins, I would paint some simple color blocked designs instead. As I was looking back through my photos I realized they were perfect as a desktop background! It let’s me get into the Halloween spirit without getting glitter all over the house again!

These new designs are available for download over on WhimseyBox’s blog! Hope you enjoy October’s design for your devices!

 Color Blocked Pumpkins Desktop Designs by Ciera Design

Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!