Etsy Holiday Inspiration

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Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

I love Etsy.

For those who are not aware, Etsy is a website which focuses on the selling & buying of handmade, & vintage items.
I like to think of Etsy as a ‘craftier‘ version of Ebay.
You can find everything on the site from paintings, prints, art & craft supplies, to home decor, quilts, beauty, jewelry, & toys.

Each item is unique, and it’s a great way to support artisans, & support smaller businesses.
Plus you can also find plenty of ideas for some DIY projects!

I’ve purchased some really cute items from Etsy previously & highly recommend shopping on Etsy. My latest purchase were gorgeous knitted coffee cozies which you can see here.

I was browsing on Etsy earlier, and started looking at Holiday gifts & decor and was blown away at all the great gift ideas.
Etsy is such a great site to do some online Holiday shopping, especially if you are looking for unique, homemade, beautiful pieces!

Grab a cup of cocoa, turn on your Christmas playlist, get cozy in your Christmas PJ’s (come on, you know you have a pair! 😉 ) and browse with me on Etsy! 🙂

Here are some of my top Holiday Picks from Etsy:

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1. Winter Forest Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: NormansPrintery

There’s few things I love more than beautifully wrapped Christmas presents under the tree. It’s almost like an art.
I love wrapping gifts, and have basically become the sole ‘gift wrapper‘ in my family. I love taking my time, and making the gifts look perfect, so I’m all about cute, unique wrapping paper.
This Forest Wrapping Paper is unique and perfectly vintage looking.

2. The Barrow – Chunky Infinity Scarf
from Etsy Seller: deroucheau

Nothing says Winter fashion like a nice, big, wool infinity scarf!
Essential piece of a girl’s Winter wardrobe.

3. Knitted Heart Fingerless Gloves
from Etsy Seller: KnitsbyVara

Cozy, homemade knitted gloves – perfect gift for her.

4. Burlap Dog Christmas Stocking
from Etsy Seller: ChristmasClaude

These doggie stockings are so adorable!
Pet’s are apart of the family, why not get a stocking for your fur-baby?

5. Glittered Acorn Christmas Ornaments – Set of 5
from Etsy Seller: AnnaBelleArts

I love the look of these glittery acorn ornaments.

6. Snowflake Christmas Earrings
from Etsy Seller: CloverPower

7. Christmas Reindeer Cushion
from Etsy Seller: CalicoandCotton

Cute reindeer pillow, perfect for a cabin!

8. Cardinals & Chickadees Christmas Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: PaperandPresent

More pretty, unique wrapping paper. Love this bird design.

9. Custom Superhero Ornaments
from Etsy Seller: IttyBittyWoodShoppe

I thought these wooden superhero ornaments were so original, and creative. They would be so perfect for a kid’s tree, or a little boy’s tree!
If you’re a good painter, you could always make these yourself. I’m sure you could find plain wooden ornaments at a craft store, and paint them yourself. Would make for a great DIY & Christmas craft.

Have you ever bought or sold anything on Etsy before?
Love Etsy?
Comment & let us know! 🙂

Happy Holiday Shopping!
Natasha Xo

Love At A Pub

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Let’s go back in time. Not necessarily a better time, just another time of days gone by in my dating journey. Let’s talk about ‘Wayne’. Not his real name. Obviously.

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Sigh. Where shall I begin? At the beginning? Yes. Alrighty then. Let’s do that shall we?

I’ve made mention of him on a previous post which you can see here. He was the first guy I actually had a relationship with after my marriage. I had plenty of meet and greets and dates with other men before him. But Wayne was the first guy that I ended up being in an exclusive long term relationship with. Not just once but twice. Yes, two different times during 6 years. First time we dated for a couple of years (on and off-should’ve been off) and the second time for a year. Apparently I never learnt any lessons the first time. Our relationship the first time around consisted of excessive partying, too much alcohol (way too often) and the eventual admittance of cocaine use on his part. No, I’m not perfect either. Looking back I was just a tad bit, shall we say, desperate?  Let’s not forget needy and clingy. Sounds like a perfect match doesn’t it? A real dream team.

I was out with my only single girlfriend at the time. She took me to a pub she had previously been to and she thought I’d like it and feel comfortable there. I did really enjoy it. We had been out numerous times before and I immediately noticed a problem. We found it rather tricky finding an establishment for our age group. At that time we were both in our late 30’s. I might as well of been in my late 90’s because that’s how old I felt. Completely out of place being single after spending 20 years being part of a duo.  I was so inexperienced, so green. I’m sure it was mostly in my head but it didn’t help matters when some places had patrons that were maybe a whole 21 years old or others had the complete opposite, 60+ year olds.

On this night I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go out. But, unlike what my fore mentioned friend likes to do all too often, I did not bail on her. We got to the pub a little late so it was already pretty packed and barely any seats available. We managed to find a couple stools at the end of the bar (not my preference) but close to the dance floor. However, this location was perfect because there’s nothing better then watching drunk people dance. This specific night I was grateful I had the dance crowd to keep myself entertained. My friend had gone MIA. Was off on her merry way dancing with some guy who finally got up enough liquid courage to saunter over and ask her to dance. Yea, don’t think I didn’t notice. I’m kinda like a hawk when it comes to people watching. I can usually figure out who’s fighting with who, who’s eyeing someone, who shouldn’t be eyeing someone and who gets caught by their significant other eyeing someone. Oh yea. I rock at that shit. I can read relationship dynamics just by peoples body language, mannerisms and actions. Don’t even have to be in ear’s distance to hear what they’re saying and I know what’s going on. That alone could’ve kept me quite content all night long. Well that and the various hopeful suitors who would come and ask me to dance, to which I politely declined. I know, I know!  What a big party pooper. Whatever. I just wasn’t feeling it that particular night. Trust me, this girl has no problem shaking her boot-ay when the mood strikes my fancy. Yea, I still got it.

I just wasn’t into it. That is until Wayne made his way over to me. ‘You know what they say about sitting at the edge of the bar?’ he says to me out of the blue. Hmmmm? I glance over and decide, okay, he’s attractive and his aura isn’t that of being a dick so, alright, I’ll bite. ‘I don’t know. What do they say?’ I coyly respond. He smiles and extends his hand and introduces himself. ‘What? You don’t know what it means when someone sits at the edge of the bar?’ Ahhh, no I don’t. I’ve been hibrinating for the past 20 years I silently think to myself. Any new dating rules that have occurred during the past 20 years, well, I’m totally not up to date to say the least. He proceeds to tell me it’s code for letting others know you are available. Oh, well then, I’ve picked the right spot haven’t I? I still don’t even know if that’s true. I’m so gullible at times. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Please share!

So right off the bat I got a good feeling about him. No alter ego at play, no cheesy stories, no feelings that this guy was a big time player. So, I allowed him to continue conversation with me. When I’m not interested I tend to be short with conversation. Maybe even a little rude I’ve been told, but I don’t see the point in making small talk when there is zero interest. Wayne was very witty and humorous. I like that alot. The live band that was playing went on their 2nd intermission and the DJ started his show with a dance mix of the biggest hit song of that summer, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back. Well the crowd piled onto the dance floor and everyone was totally into the party mode by this point.  Wayne takes my hand and leads me onto the dance floor. It’s weird that I even remember the exact song, because I barely even remember the band that night. Isn’t it strange when our brain just remembers certain details and specific facts? Now even after 5 years, every single time I hear that song, I think about Wayne, and that night. Music is like the sound track to our lives. A specific song can bring you right back in time instantly. Music and fragrance do the same for me. I can remember every single perfume I used to wear at different times in life. Who I was with, what was going on, specific feelings. Good and bad. Some songs I can’t even bare to listen to and some perfumes I refuse to wear. Some really great songs and fragrances have completely been ruined for me. Damn them jerks!

Song after song, we continued on the dance floor dancing, having the best time. As the night was coming to an end my girlfriend, aka lame-o wing woman, finally made her way over to me. Ahhh, how very sweet of you to remember me, I’m thinking. We make introductions to each others uh, new…’guys’ and make some small talk. ‘Do you guys want to come over for a few drinks? Some friends are all coming back to my place.’ Wayne says. Extending the invitation to my girlfriend and her new friend…guy…friend. I was actually into the invitation, especially being in a group setting, why not? Continue the laughs and good times. Until my girlfriend excuses us and grabs my arm, basically pulls me aside and says we shouldn’t go. Ah, what? Why the hell not? I haven’t been to a party, well, other then my kids birthday parties in literally aeons. And we all know that’s the truth. That night I was feeling flirty and 21 29 again! Up for some fun. My girlfriend continued telling me all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We don’t know them, never been to his house, what if they’re psychos? All very valid, but really? That’s why women have instinct, and mine was saying Wayne was totally fine. Her’s must’ve been telling her something different because she just wasn’t into his invite at all.  So of course, being the good friend I am, I obliged and told Wayne I unfortunately had to decline tonight but he had my number and could use it.

Turns out my girlfriend really wasn’t into her ‘friend/guy/one night only dance partner’ hence why the desperate attempt to keep us from further hanging out with them. Interesting how she vanishes to appease herself and dance the night away when it’s to her benefit. Ironic there’s no reciprocation for me when the situation arises? Pffft. Isn’t there some girlfriend being a good wing woman code of ethics thing? I’m pretty sure there was one when I used to go out way, long ago…back in the day. Oh, what do I know. I’m 38 now, ancient.

In any event, Wayne and I went our separate ways that night. I was barely home when I received a text from him. He said how great it was meeting me and if he could call me this week so we could set up a date. Why yes, I am completely into that. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? Funny how things start so great and then as time carries on shit happens. Before you know it you’ve found yourself in love (or was it love? Jury’s still out on that one) and messed up with a man who’s life includes parties, excessive drinking, an eventual admittance to a cocaine problem, head games, jealousy, co-dependancy, and just plain effed up-ness. But I knew he loved me like crazy, and me being just out of a 20 year relationship, well, I had my own issues. I just added to that craziness. Yeah, it only got worse as we went along.

Hopefully as I write through these experiences with the jumbled up mess that’s crammed in my head, I will make some sort of sense of it all. It’s all about the journey and hopefully taking lessons away from them.

This chapter (the story of Wayne) has just begun.

Laura xo

Vancouver General Hospital {VGH}: Real Life Edition (Renal Failure)

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After thinking it over, I figured maybe sharing a little bit of background about myself would be good. I sometimes find it difficult to open up and speak completely free of myself. Which is ironic since that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog. An outlet for feelings, sharing my life experiences good and bad in hopes of some self discovery and connecting with others who may relate in some way. Our life journey is all about self discovery and sharing. Answering all of those questions in life as we go along. With me being the classic Virgo type A personality, I am forever trying to figure things out and put answers to all of those ‘why’ questions. Quite the big feat. I know. Wish me luck with that.

I’ve mentioned a bizillion times already that I’m divorced. I make no secret about that.
So that automatically places me in the ever popular ‘dating after divorce‘ category which is oh so fun. To make things just a tad more fun, I’m also in the over 40 category. Awesome.
Anddd, for good measure I should throw in the fact that I also have health issues. Chronic serious health issues.
Well, doesn’t that sound just peachy?

So today I thought I’d share a bit about my life changing medical journey. If my sharing helps even one person out there in even the tiniest way, to know they’re not alone in their experience, then I am a happy girl. No one should feel like they’re the only one going through a challenging time.

I had renal failure aka kidney failure (kidney disease) at the young age of 27. I was completely healthy and it was completely unexpected (aren’t most diseases unexpected?)
Even after I had been to my doctor 3xs in a 10 day span, had also seen a kidney nephrologist regularly for a year straight for kidney stones, neither of them found a thing wrong with me.  What’s ironic is when I finally couldn’t take one more day feeling as awful as I was, I had zero strength left, my urine was pure red and I was now vomiting blood, the Dr’s still never diagnosed me. Instead they sent me on my way with a smile and a prescription for iron pills. Said I was anemic.
I don’t know, is it only me that finds that weird?
But…you know … Doctor knows best right?
Okay, allow me to just insert here… always, always, always get a 2nd (or in my case a 3rd) opinion when you feel somethings not right. Always trust your gut. You know you like nobody’s business.

At that point just the thought of walking just a few feet and thinking about the energy it would require made my eyes well up with tears. I knew something was terribly wrong. With my husband working out of town I called my parents to come and care for my kids and had my sister take me to the Emergency.
The first ER Doctor that night told my sister she could pick me up in the morning saying, ‘She’s only anemic, we’ll give her some iron and fluids and she’ll be good as new in the morning and you can pick her up and take her home.
Alrighty then, I thought. Give me the damn iron and fluids and let’s get this show on the road already. He made it sound so simple and easy that I almost felt guilty for taking up a bed.

Well, for some reason during shift change in the middle of the night, one of the new Dr’s went over my file and decided to run a few more tests. That’s when he discovered it wasn’t a simple case of lack of iron and fluids, instead it was a complicated case of barely being alive, my kidneys had 5% function left.
Doctors said at that time I was the youngest and the sickest they’ve seen come into the hospital in that condition. Repeatedly the doctors commented on how rare that was. Being told I was rare sorta became a commonality. I learnt pretty fast that if my doctors were stumped by a medical complication they would be like, ‘Well, this doesn’t happen very often, its extremely rare.’ Oh yes, I am a lucky one.

I think when they finally diagnosed me accurately in the ER that night the Dr. said something like, ‘In approximately 4 more days undiagnosed you would’ve dropped dead.’
Well, I don’t think he used the words ‘dropped dead‘ exactly, instead he muddled out long multi syllable medical terms.  I’m sorry but at some point I went into shock and wasn’t able to make sense of a bloody word he was saying.

Doesn’t matter how it’s worded to you, the only thought you have running wild in your head in that moment is ‘Am I going to die?’ On continuous rotation in my brain. ‘Am I going to die?’ Over and over.
He ordered me a valium stat.
He must’ve observed I was looking at him but my mind had already checked into crazy town.

I was immediately transported to a better equipped hospital 30 minutes away. I was admitted and then settled in for an unpredicted 4 month stay. I actually thought I’d only be in for a couple of days, get some medicine, feel better, get cured and be on my merry way. I should’ve known I was going to be in for the long haul when they flew my husband home that day and said he better make plans to be close to home and the hospital.

My kidneys had been failing for some time (undiagnosed) and we had to start planning our course of action. First they tried consistently to reach the Nephrologist that was caring for me for the past year to get my medical charts forwarded.
A few days go by and what happens..? Nothing! The Nephrologist has gone MIA and my file is no where to be found? Uhhh, yes, that is rare.  Although I prefer to call it suspicious and odd. Can you say ‘law suit?’ Apparently we didn’t and it really didn’t cross our minds at all admist all of the chaos. In hindsight we were told constantly that we should’ve, could’ve, perhaps we would’ve under different circumstances. But we didn’t have the time to waste and frankly I was too damn ill and fighting for my life to even realize the implications of any of it.

Sooooo….we forge ahead and the plan becomes:
a) first and foremost…keep me alive (obvious yes)
b) get me healthy and stable
c) start me on dialysis when strong enough
d) get me on the transplant waiting list asap, but can’t be put on list until health is stable…so back to (a) and repeat.

Each week that passed I’d be hoping that would be my last.
Staying in the hospital 4 months is a long damn time. That’s like 16 weeks. Just imagine that in hours. In hospital time thats like a zillion hours. I’m not even kidding.
This was no club med. And you have to remember that’s back when there were no laptops, ipods, or internet. Nothing. I had books, crosswords and magazines for the times I was well enough to even open my eyes long enough to read. My parents paid top dollar to rent a barely there television with cable to help aid in me not going completely stir crazy whilst fighting for my life. God I love my parents to the moon and back for so, so, so many reasons, and having that wee little tv was at times a life saver. Well, let’s not get crazy with words here, no tv was gonna save my life.

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So began the actual process of saving my life. They needed to start dialysis which involved a tube injected through my neck/chest. This was a temporary system to do the job that my kidneys were no longer doing until I became healthy and stable enough to choose my preferred dialysis method. This was basically a choice of tubes in my arm or in my abdomen. Neither sounded appealing to me but apparently neither wasn’t an option when the main goal is to survive.
This temporary IV in the neck method would always get infected and was extremely sensitive while I was hooked up to the dialysis machine causing the machine to beep. A nurse had to constantly come and adjust the tube or the way I was laying which in turn created more stress on me which made the damn machine continue to beep even more. I can’t tell you how much I dreaded getting wheeled down to the dialysis ward every two days and dealing with that whole process.

If dealing with that wasn’t quite enough I was also struggling with extreme uncontrollable hypertension and unexplained fevers. Dr’s were constantly experimenting with numerous meds to stabilize both with little to no luck. They would say how ‘rare’ it was that I wasn’t responding to any of the med cocktails they tried. So as they struggled to find the ‘rare girl‘ something that worked I continued to get excruciating migraines caused by  it. The kind where you think your head might possibly explode. It was like health dominos, one thing lead to another.

I lost count of how many times they had to shoot me up with heavy doses of morphine or demoral. Went from excruciating head pain to amazing instant relief.  Can you say awesomeness!  I was immediately transported and floating way up high onto a big, soft, dreamy, fluffy, heavenly cloud. Sa-weeet-ness. Now I don’t want to promote drug use here, but let me just say, drugs were awwwe-some.

To add to my growing list of health mysteries and weirdness that seemed to surround me while I was trapped living in the hospital, I also experienced strange random undiagnosed viruses. Sure why not? Bring it on.
A couple of times my hospital room had to be quarantined off and only Dr’s of Rare Infectious Diseases were allowed in. They entered my room wearing heavy duty masks and protective suits which in itself is very, very  odd to see. At times I was heavily drugged up from procedures and it was the strangest thing seeing them standing there talking to me all dressed in their gear. Felt like I was in a movie or maybe an episode of Breaking Bad. Don’t you think our lives are like movies and we’ve got starring roles in them? I guess we do, don’t we? Each of us are living our own reality television show. My brain somehow always includes some version of fantasy into reality. Complete in my mind with wicked soundtrack music. 

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I was onto them doctors and their terms for me… ‘Special one’= Rare = Virus = No explanation = Got nothin. Yes, my doctors started referring to me as ‘the special one’. I knew it was because I was a difficult medical mystery but to make myself feel better, I decided to take it as flattery. Like I am special. Ha. Hey, if it helps to get me through some of my most challenging days, then a girl’s gotta do what girl’s gotta do.
Of course any kind of flattery will get me every time.  Even in my darkest days. It could be the reason I had some motivation during some of my best bad days to at least put some mascara on. You just never know when Dr. McDreamy might stroll into my room, our eyes meet, the world stops, birds sing and we fall madly, deeply in love. Run away and live happily ever after. The end.

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Yes, yes I was married then, but this is my life story. I can write it the way I want.
Wouldn’t that be sweet? Change the outcome of your life depending on how you write your own story? Oh wait a second. We do write our own story with the choices we make everyday. Well then…

During my extended hospital stay I lost tons of weight, which would typically delight me any other time.
The Dr’s finally stopped trying to force me to eat that awesome hospital food and started giving me protein shakes. Don’t get excited, they tasted like complete shit for real. I vomited daily after drinking them. Eventually I couldn’t stomach one more shake. One day I sent a note along with the daily menu to the kitchen explaining that they should stop sending any shakes or heavy food to my room as I couldn’t bear it going to waste. I asked if it wouldn’t be a bother could they please send me a little bit of fruit and juice instead.
Every single day after that the kitchen would send me fruit and juices along with little notes of encouragement.
I became pen pals with the hospital kitchen staff replying daily with thank you’s and my appreciation..always signing off with my trademark smiley face.
Everyday I’d look forward to receiving their notes. It’s funny how the little things can mean so much in times of despair. I try to remember that now in everyday life. We seem to take for granted the littlest things, yet when taken away from us they are all we dream about.

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I eventually became so weak from malnutrition, medication complications, and the fact I was basically dying a little bit everyday from the kidney disease.

I ended up receiving 8 blood transfusions at different times during my stay. The craziest experience ever. I went from literally feeling like I was on my death bed (well, I guess I kinda was) to having a transfusion and feeling myself come back to life. Does that sound weird because it sounds weird to say it?
My parents were with me and at one point they said it looked like they could literally see the colour reappearing in my face and a sparkle return in my eyes. Like how fricking amazing is that?
So remember people, blood… it’s in you to give. It saves lives.

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The neck dialysis method probably gave me the most challenges and was the biggest pain in my neck.
Okay, that was lame.  But seriously, it really sucked big time. Besides the dozens of problems and complications it created it was not very efficient. At one point I almost drowned. Part of the job of doing dialysis is to take off some of the fluid that gets accumulated. Well, you guessed it, something ‘rare’ happened and my lungs filled up with an overload of fluid and I was struggling to breath. And I’m putting it mildly. Let’s just say my family was called to the hospital immediately.  I ended up in ICU for a few days for that little mishap but it all turned out okay. It seemed that my health would take one step forward and two or ten steps back.  It seemed to go on and on and on. Always the struggle. Always the fight. I remember people saying to me ‘You’re so strong! How do you do it?’  I would say you just do. Period. Anyone put in a critical situation to fight for their life, fights. There’s no magic. It’s all within.  Believe. And I’m not even religious, it’s just human spirit and will power. Funny thing was I don’t know if I was incredibly naive or infinitely positive or both but I never thought about losing this battle to live. Be here for my kids. Raise them and watch them grow. Share their lives. I stay positive. That doesn’t mean I never shed a tear or never get scared. I’ve cried buckets and I’ve been more scared then I could handle.

Having been in the hospital for that duration I witnessed plenty of pain, suffering and death. I realized people were experiencing much bigger challenges then I and people were dying from diseases. It puts you into reality mode real quick. Puts everything into perspective big time. I had hope for a future, a second chance at living. I held onto to that hope every single day. Anyone who has experienced a medical challenge knows what I’m saying, it changes your life forever. You get what’s important in life, and what’s not.

When I was finally discharged I had to go on dialysis. That is a whole other topic. But after a long 2 years everyone in my family was tested as a possible kidney donation match. The most amazing rare thing happened. My mother ended up being a match. What’s really rare is she was a good match. Typically parents don’t match well, so in this case I was thrilled to hear the word rare. My mother and I went in for our kidney transplant on September 25, 1995. So ultimately she gave life to me twice. I am here solely because of her in every way. There are no words to describe how that feels. How much love I have for her. Beyond anything verbal.

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Having gone through this experience has forever changed me. I still have so many unanswered questions in life that I’m trying to answer. I still have plenty of health challenges even with a kidney transplant. But one thing is for certain, I am grateful for each and everyday I have been given. So let’s not sweat the small stuff for real, and truly appreciate the little things. Life is short, all the more reason to live the life you truly desire.

Oh and guess what? Rare is a good thing.

Til next time

Laura xo

www.kidney.ca   www.transplant.bc.ca    www.kidney.org

DIY Gift Bags

IMG_4631g2bestbbbNatasha and I are crazy for all things paper… pretty little gift tags, cute notepads, adorable journals, wrapping paper, gift bags, cards, ribbons. Love it all! Can never have too much! We love it so much that we hope to create our own line someday. That’ll be way too much fun!

In our family, wrapping a gift has become sort of like an art of it’s own. A very important detail in the whole gift giving process. My dad (Natasha’s Grandpa) is the one who originally set the standard very high when it comes to wrapping gifts. He’s been that way since I was a little girl.

You wouldn’t believe it! He puts so much love into every detail. It has to be the perfect paper, the good quality kind and not that cheap stuff that tears when you fold the edges. He chooses the most beautiful matching bows, bundles the gift precisely with fabulous ribbon and finishes it all off with the most thoughtful card. Like really? Impressive. Very impressive.

IMG_3692gWe have quite a collection of pretty paper and trimmin’s already. Mostly from some years ago when I was on a huge ‘scrapbooking‘ frenzy and ordered a heap load of a gold mine of goods from the Shopping Channel. I think it was some amazing package deal of a zillion pieces of paper, stickers, tags, ribbons, sparkles and enough bedazzles to last like, forever.

But, of course, we’re girls and obviously it’s never enough. 
So… it’s off to the market we go.
Well, more specifically, the $1 bargain bins at Target and Michael’s. Omg. Have you guys been? Just try and drag us away from those bins! Once we’re in, there’s no getting us out until we’ve covered every single inch of all the goods and not miss a single item.

IMG_4614gbbbSo here’s the thing about buying gift cards and gift bags… it can get so expensive! Right? That’s why we were beyond excited when we discovered all of the cheap inexpensive treasures at these fabulous stores. You don’t need to spend a fortune (unless one wants to) on wrapping and cards.  

Tip
: Reuse your preloved greeting cards & wrapping paper to save on expenses and create new fabulous tags and goodies.

I have a box full of greeting cards I’ve received throughout the years. Old Birthday, Easter, Valentine’s and Christmas cards galore.  I always display any cards I receive for like, way too long, on my hutch. Then they would go from the hutch into a drawer. And that was that. I mean, what are you supposed to do with all of these beautiful cards? It’s really a shame that they’re never to be seen again and stuck in a drawer. Then a few years ago I decided to haul them out and love them again in different ways! By making new cards, gift tags and pretty things from them. Recycling the love people. 

We used a couple different old greeting cards for this DIY Gift Bag project. The strawberry bag (emhmm, my personal favourite.).. and the shiny silver and pink heart bag, also beautiful. (both pictured in above group photo)

To make adorable gift tags from old cards just cut out the beautiful embellishment on the old card in your desired shape, glue coloured paper to the back of that cutout (optional), hole punch in the corner, thread a pretty ribbon through the hole and voila, a beautiful new ‘original’ gift tag. Boom!

During one of our Target $1 bargain bins treasure shopping excursions we discovered these cute little brown bags. $1 y’all! (We also purchased white ones we’ll use later!)
We thought it would be fun to make little gift bags that are cost efficient and easy to make.  You know, for those times when you want to give someone a gift card from their favourite store. Or some wrapped chocolates or candies just because. Or any kind of small, little gift. Wouldn’t it be so sweet presenting it to them in a cute l’il gift bag you made with love? I know right?! 

IMG_462g3ggggIMG_4622gbWe were in paper crafting heaven let me tell you! We pulled out all of our crafting boxes along with all of our new $1 bargain finds and sat down for an afternoon of fun-ness. In all honesty it took us a little longer then 1 afternoon, it actually turned out to be numerous crafting sessions. But we eventually got the job done! 

IMG_4644g2bestWe let our imaginations run wild and created some really cute gift bags. 

IMG_4646g2Of course we had friendly debates on which bags were our favourites, which bag was most creative and which bag we thought others would choose! We even considered having our family members rate their favourites but in the end we were very diplomatic about it and determined they all were so darn cute.

But I just have to say, isn’t that ‘strawberry’ one the cutest thing ever?

CollagebestIMG_462g6gFor Mother’s Day I gave my sister and my mom each a bag. I put little gifts of lipgloss, handcreams and eye mask packettes into each of their bags and I have to say I think they liked the bags more then what was actually inside! They loved them and wouldn’t stop commenting on how adorable they were! Definitely a hit! 

IMG_4663ggIMG_4659goodgggOkay, we just have to know… what bags do you guys prefer? 
No hard feelings. Really.

Laura & Natasha xo
(written by Laura)