two DIY gift ideas

Are you about to get snowed in for the rest of your life like we are in Baltimore?!

There’s a reason this isn’t a food post. I’m going on 72 hours with no sense of taste which is the most cruel and unusual punishment I’ve ever experienced. I’m pretty sure I have a sinus infection. I have very little appetite but because I’m such a ritualistic eater, I tried having an afternoon snack the other day. I started slicing some sharp cheddar and… nothing. I was desperately inhaling through my nose trying to catch a taste. I was like someone who recently quit smoking trying to lick their nicotine patch for a quick fix. It was very pathetic.

I bought an incredibly random assortment of groceries today, partially because I’m uninspired if I can’t enjoy food, and partially because a lot of things are all gone because people think they’re going to be snowed in for the next 3 years. One of the ingredients was a pot roast, though, so you may be seeing that here soon.

Gift ideas! One is mine and one was given to me. Both for Christmas, but could work year round for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

The first is personalized coasters. I saw this on Pinterest and did it for the GS’ sister and mom, both of whom are dog lovers. I printed out 4 of my favorite photos of each of their pups, and attached them to 4″x4″ tiles I found at Lowes. (Print the photos 4″x4″ if you can, Target only let me do 5″x5″ and they were a pain to cut perfectly.) If you can find tiles that have sharp edges (not rounded), this is ideal so the edge of the photo fully adheres to the edge of the tile.

I used adhesive spray to attach the photos to the tiles.  Then, using a foam brush, Mod Podge over the top of the photo. I probably did 5 coats for each one, letting it dry completely in between. Then I sprayed the whole thing with the adhesive spray to make it waterproof. I used regular glue to attach cork to the bottom- they sell 4 packs of these at Michael’s. I did a terrible job photographing this process, but it was easy.

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You can really only see the coasters with Mason on them in this picture, but Penny is worth checking out. You can see her golden doodle antics on Instagram (@pennyspage).

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I thought they came out really cute. And not just for dog lovers! You could do places you’ve traveled, or really any pictures you like. I always have extra fabric scraps kicking around, so I wrapped them in fabric with twine. A little high maintenance but it worked.

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The second gift idea was given to me by Penny’s mom, Sydney. She gave me a kit to make a windowsill herb garden!

She gave me 6 mason jars, each with a seed packet from SmartSeedStore.com. (Thyme, cilantro, parsley, basil, sage, and chives- a cook’s dream) The website gives you instructions about what to do with the seeds (some need to soak in water first, etc.)

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I planted them a few weeks ago and they’re coming along! Some more than others.

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Once they take off I’m going to put the jars back into the cute burlap bags they came in. I’m worried they’ll block out too much sun at this point, but I think it will look better when they’re all in bags.

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Such a great idea for anyone who loves to cook, or just doesn’t have a yard to do a real in-the-ground herb garden. I’m hoping by summertime they’ll be big enough to move into regular pots on the deck, but I love being able to grow them inside right now.

Hopefully by summer I’ll also be able to enjoy the taste of their homegrown goodness.

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