Succulents + Clippings

After joining the craze of succulents, I wanted to try and grow a few myself. A small variety of crassula was the perfect way to start. I have been reading up on just how to perfectly use clipping to grow new plants, so now I’ll share with you what I’ve learned! For watering, fertilizing, and basic care, my favorite resource is the Cactus & Succulent Society of San Jose. They can tell you much better than I can how to keep your little organisms healthy and thriving.

I started my endeavor with a small succulent, only $2.50 from Home Depot and already starting out a healthy life. After a month of insuring the little guy’s health and survival, I started my project. Carefully, I pulled the lower leaves from the stem. You should here a healthy snap as it seperates. Do this to a few to start, or if you’re in it to win it, as many as you like. The top cluster can also be plucked and treated in the same fashion.

The clippings then need to callous over at the break point. I gave mine a few days to be sure they were dry before taking them to the next step. With a wonderful, sun filled window in our kitchen, I took a shallow dish, a layer of succulent soil (which can be bought at garden centers everywhere) and laid the clippings on top. Plenty of sunshine and a spritz bottle to lightly mist the soil, along with a smudge of patience is all you need now.

image

image

image

image

If you’re like me, you check your plants daily… oh ok, like ten times a day. At first I was so concerned that I had pulled the clippings from the main plant for nothing, but sure enough, after 11 days, tiny roots began to shoot from the calloused ends. As the clippings continue to grow and blossom, I’ll post more information and photos!

If you’re looking for an easy, fun, and incredibly cute DIY project, check out my Hipster Horticulture tutorial on how to make a sweet succulent terrarium.

Hipster Horticulture

When beginning a craft involving plants, one of my first thoughts is, “Oh jeez, I wonder how long this one’s going to last.” I most certainly do not have a green thumb, but I also don’t kill everything I try to grow. Terrariums are a wonderful way to keep plants alive and healthy with minimal effort – and they look so cute! The simplicity of this craft makes it perfect for young children, teens, and adults. I do suggest doing this outside or on a covered table to make cleanup easier. It’s always more fun to finish a craft and not have to spend the next hour cleaning it up, especially when you have kids to entertain.

I know it may seem like this particular craft would be on the expensive side, but really it’s quite cheap! A twelve pack of Mason Jars (32 oz) are just $9.99 at Target and are quite versatile. I use these jars for crafts, homemade cleaners, storage, and much more.  These are also lovely gifts for bridesmaids or for wedding centerpieces! Rustic and sweet, they’re so simple and absolutely gorgeous. Succulents and sheet moss are both available in most gardening centers. I purchased a bag of sheet moss and three succulents for less than $9 total. To save a bit, you can simply use the soil that comes with the plants. If you’re like me though, there’s a bag of potting soil waiting patiently on your porch. Rocks, shells, etc., are free!! Just go on an adventure; whether it’s the beach or your backyard, this is a great way to involve kids of all ages.


Mason Jar (I prefer 32 oz)

Potting Soil

Rocks, Shells, Sea Glass, Sand, or Glass Beads

Succulent(s)

Optional Items: Sheet Moss, Figurines, Fake Flowers

Now, the fun part.

Once you have all your items, take the lid off the jar. Arrange your rocks, glass, beads, or whatever else you like in the bottom of the jar. It is completely your personal preference as to how much you put in – just make sure there’s at least a full layer. This will serve as drainage for the terrarium.

There are two ways to do this step; one is with additional potting soil, the other with the soil from the potted succulent. If using potting soil, add about a two-inch layer right on top of your first layer. If you didn’t want to buy the extra soil, just skip on down to step 3.

Remove the succulent from its container. You’ll want to keep most of the soil on the roots. Place the succulent in the jar and spread the clumped soil out among the bottom layer(s). Work a bit  more potting soil around the plant to anchor it securely in the jar. Moderately water the soil.

Here’s where you have a bit of freedom. Sheet moss can be added around the succulent to create a natural feel, fake flowers can be added for a more whimsical look, or small figurines can be placed inside to create a mini forest. Twist the lid on and voila!

Once you screw on the lid, minimal to no watering should be needed. Every couple weeks, check on your creation to make sure the soil is still damp. Keep jars in bright, indirect sunlight. Assignment Remember, succulents generally grow in correspondence to what they are planted in. When buying succulents and jars, make sure you are thinking about what will fit through the mouth of the jar when creating the terrarium. It’s totally fine if a few leaves fall off! Just take them and let them dry out for a couple days. After that, you can actually place them in soil and let them root. They’ll eventually grow into a full-size version of themselves and you can create your own succulent garden.

The Little Chief Turns One!

On July 20th, just two days ago, our little Ronin Riot turned one! Amidst one of the most hectic months, I planned a party on a budget and made almost everything involved. I’ve been asked by many to share how to get your prices down, still stay with a theme, and have fun for kids. I wanted to share this with you today and give a sparkle of inspiration for your little one’s first birthday. Ronin was decked out from head to toe in his favorite brands… Dear Cub tee, Potatofeet moccasins, and Hoonana shorts! Though he wouldn’t sit still, his one year old photos will follow in another post for you to see the cuteness. Remember, your babe is going to need a second set of clothes, so plan ahead!

Chances are your one year old isn’t going to remember their first party, be it with family or friends, at home or your favorite pizza place! Turning one is a milestone mostly for mum and dad more than anything. With that being said, you don’t have to break the bank to have a great time. We held Ronin’s birthday in a pool clubhouse. There was no cost to book, simply a check deposit left through check in case something when extremely wrong. By using a community room, we had access to chairs and tables, as well as a mini kitchenette to facilitate our needs.

image.jpgThe smash cake was a marvel. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this cake. I scrolled through Pinterest trying to find the perfect pan for the cake, but instead, I stumbled across this. Amazing idea – cook your cake in an empty formula tin! Whatever batter you choose to use, fill it about 1/3 of the way full (or more for bigger, but be careful, the inside will take a while to cook). Cook at 350 degrees for roughly 30 minutes, the time varies as the cake size does. Let it cool COMPLETELY! I can’t tell you how important that is. You can pop it in the fridge if you’re short on time. Once cool, take a can opener and cut off the very bottom of the tin. Your cake will slide right out! Frost and decorate as you please. I was a bit wary about candles on a first birthday cake, so I used a couple dowels I had in my craft box, Kraft paper, and string to make this super easy cake bunting. You could always use wooden chopsticks and white or construction paper to lower the cost even more. Etsy has listings for cake toppers as low as $5 too!

Slow start to eating the cake, I had to bribe him with fruit first!

I swear, my child is the only one to choose watermelon over a cake.

I swear, my child is the only one to choose watermelon over a cake.

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Food was simple, since the party was mid-afternoon, we decided to have sweets galore. Peanut butter kiss cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, watermelon, banana bread muffins, and of course, cupcakes! I chose cupcakes over cake because I wasn’t quite sure how long the smash cake would take for Ronin to demolish. I set everything out on the table and had kids and parents alike just grabbing what they needed! Food cost, all together, cost about $12 (this does not include things like oil, water, spices, etc. that are found around the house already).

Decorations were minimal, all wood platters, handmade garland, antlers, and color coordinating disposables. Dollar Store visit yielded $1 for 24 pack red plates, $1 for white tablecloth, $1 for red napkins. No cups were needed since we got drinks in bulk from BJs and we had no use for plastic ware since we had finger food. That was our biggest cost at $23! We definitely should have gotten smaller packs of pop, but it won’t go to waste. Koolaid Jammers cost $5 for a total for 30 pouches. The feather garland was super simple, another feather tutorial from Pinterest. The feathers were a made from two sheets of red felt and 6 ft of twine. image.jpg

The invites were another item that I made myself with the help of photoshop and seem tutoring from my fella. Invites can be as simple or complex as you like, handwritten or pre made. The cost for the invites ended up being the cost of a package of card stock, which we already had.

Last but not least, goodie bags. I wish to goodness I had thought to have a photo taken of these. But alas, I did not. Each one was in a small brown lunch bag with a mini red clothespin (found in the scrapbooking section) to hold it shut. Here’s the rundown of what was in each one.

(1) Pin from Dear Cub
(1) Melted Crayon Block
(1) Coloring Page
Assorted candy – smarties, tootsie pop, etc.

And there ya have it! A huge thank you to Chris Lampkins for coming out and snapping photos of the big day… Check out his photography page here!

To help celebrate his birthday, we have a wonderful giveaway put together for you. See below for how to enter and check Instagram for one more way to enter! Check out the prizes below…

Hoonana – Coral Blue Shorts and Jeans
Carolinakeiki – Tribe tee
Monkey bug – Headdress tee
Sweet Bestitos -Handmade Poncho
Potatofeet – $25 store credit
Alice&Ivory – Little Chief print
Minnie and the monster – Fox and Chieftess  Wooden figures
Petunkalunka – Handdrawn Buffalo journal
Caribbean Gypsy – Store Credit


Original Post on July 23, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Thrifty Shorts for the Frugal Mama

I don’t know about you, but as much as I love to be in style and in on trends, I find myself constantly sticker shocked by the prices of some clothes these days! When I was single, managing a retail store, in college… those were the times spending  $50 on a pair of shorts seemed like nothing. But now, even with the ability, I can bring myself to spend so much on something I can make.

upload.jpeg

High waisted shorts and jeans are my best friends. After I had Ronin, my once flat and unscathed  stomach became reminiscent of a tiger mauling. My stretch marks made me cringe and the extra skin never fit quite right in my regular pants. I’ve since come to terms with my new “womanly” touches, but still do not want to flaunt my newly aquired decorations.

On that note, I wanted to share a quick and dirty solution to spending an arm and a leg on shorts for spring. This can be adapted for so many women and all you need is roughly $5, 5 minutes and a pair of scissors. Head to your favorite thrift store. For me, I’m about the size of Thumbelina, so I shop for bottoms in the little boys section. However, the beauty of thrift stores is the prevalence of mom jeans. Simply find a few pairs of denim that fit you to your comfort and buy them! The pair I chose was a whopping $1.50. Big spender, I know.

Now the fun part. When you get home, try them on one more time. With a pencil or pins, mark two inches below where you want them to fall on your thigh. Slip them off (carefully if you use pins!) and fold them with the fly inside. Cut along the line you predetermined and don’t worry if it’s not perfect! Remember to cut mildly at an angle for booty room. Now, try them on one more time. Fold the cut edged twice until they are desired length.

  Voila!

How to Host a Mug Swap

Last year, I was fortunate enough to participate in a mug swap held by the wonderful Riley Clay Designs. It was a blast to receive my person’s info and seek out the perfect mug for her all the while waiting to see what was in store for me! I was ecstatic when I received a lovely handwritten note along with a can of “Mama’s Boy” Coffee from Georgia and a matching mug. The coffee was delicious and the thought put into just what to get me made my heart happy. Below I’ve outlined a way to host your very own mug swap – be it through social media, a group of friends, or even at work!


      Where to begin.

Let’s talk numbers for a minute. Before you get in over your head, think of a reasonable number of participants that will not overwhelm you as the host. Remember, you are in charge of assigning who gets who and insuring all the information is passed along as needed. You’ll also be answering any questions that might be asked concerning the swap and for some, fifty people is pushing it. Start with 10-20. You’ll be able to easily manage the information and insure that everyone has a great time.

Once you have your participants, you’ll want to get deadlines and a time frame in place. Don’t expect everyone to send their’s out early, expect the very last minute. Your initial email should include dates and information needed from everyone. I suggest two weeks from the first email should be your send date for the mugs. It allows enough time for busy lives and any issues that may arise. If you’re planning for it to end near a holiday, have the send by date a week before the actual holiday day.

What to ask.

It’s so much more personal to have a mug chosen especially for you. In the email sent you, ask the following questions so each person has some knowledge of their recipients likes and dislikes. Here are some examples:

  • Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
  • What do you absolutely love?
  • Anything you truly dislike?
  • Favorite hobbies/shows/etc?
  • Favorite color?

After all your information is collected on each participant, you’ll want to create a spreadsheet to keep everyone organized and to send the correct info to each sender. A wonderful group of ladies introduced me to Elfster, however, and that’s how I’m organizing ours this year.

Elfster is a wonderful tool that allows each of the participants to sign up and receive a random recipient. It’ll keep track of who has who and if anyone has not responded to the exchange. I prefer this method as it saves you from an extremely tedious email chain that can get quite swamped. It’s a free tool and takes minutes to set up and organize your swap!


Original post on November 29, 2014 on www,atlanticdaydreams.com

DIY Holiday Cards

The holidays are in full swing and it’s time to start putting the finishing touches on gifts and making those last minute cards. I’m a huge proponent of DIY and kid-friendly crafts, so I wanted to share one of my favorite card creations with you! It takes just a few minutes and a couple items.

Here’s what you need:

  • Cardstock or Kraft Paper
  • Scrap Book Paper (Construction Paper can be used instead)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick

Cut the Cardstock in half width wise. Fold each half. You should have two cards to work with now. Measure a piece of scrapbook paper and cut it to fit the front of one card. One sheet of scrapbook paper usually has two different sides. For instance, the paper I used was green circles on one side and a light wood grain on the other.

Next, cut one, two, or three triangles from the same scrapbook paper. I like to make them different heights and on the skinnier side. An easy way to get perfect symmetry is to fold the paper in half when you’re cutting. The fold will actually help you or your little one know where to glue the back later.

Lastly, cut out a few stars. Mum and dad, this is for you. Either cut out a white or kraft color star (coordinate to the inside card color) or grab a pack of stickers at the store. This is completely your call – the end product will look great no matter what!

Now it’s time to whip out the glue stick. Glue the rectangle of scrapbook paper to your card front. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you can trim the sides once it has dried. Next, glue the trees on. I really love that these trees aren’t completely glued on. A stripe of glue down the very center will allow the sides to come up slightly and add a bit of dimension to the card. Lastly, glue or stick on your stars!

The inside is another facet of the cards that are completely up to you. I grabbed a calligraphy pen and channeled my inner pinterest. Have your littles scribble a message, write a heartfelt holiday greeting, or attach a photo inside!

Happy crafting folks!


Original Post December 9, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com