DIY + Handmade

Fun DIY Holiday Tips

Hi there, Elfster fans! My name is Linda and I’m popping in today from Craftaholics Anonymous® to share some fun and easy DIY ideas to help you add a personal touch to your holiday gathering [read more]

DIY + Handmade

Belated Thank-You Notes: The No-Shame Guide

If revenge is best served cold, does it stand to reason that a thank-you should be plated piping hot? Not necessarily.
Here we are, almost three months into 2011. Practically one quarter of the year has passed, and it seems like only yesterday you were jamming to holiday hits, wondering just what figgy pudding really was.

But by now, you’ve probably discarded the tree and paper snowflakes. And if you’ve forgotten to send your holiday thank-you notes, well, you’ve literally dis-carded more than that! Your friends and loved ones have (regrettably) been gypped of your proper gratitude.

If the guilt is finally starting to creep in, don’t fret. We might be glorifying procrastination here, but Elfster believes that a late thank-you note actually presents a golden opportunity for extending holiday cheer, and pleasant surprises are simply never a bad thing!

Are we making you feel any better? Now that you’ve found the necessary motivation to write a belated holiday thank-you note, here are a few strategies to give it character and tact:

“Let’s not tell Santa about this, shall we?”

Reference to a higher authority will help the recipient to remember that no one is perfect. Try to mention the special “powers that be” in your life to customize the message. [read more]

Christmas

Elf Week Kick-off: The Rookies n’ Milk Marathon!

We’ve gone Macadamia Nuts these past few weeks in preparation for Elf Week’s opening event, The Rookies n’ Milk Marathon. From stretching our stomachs at the All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Palace, to growing our milk mustaches just the way we like them, we haven’t worked this hard since Rudolph got stuck in the doggie door!

Well, it’s now officially “crunch time” and we’ve got all the delicious details of the Rookies n’ Milk events, right here on the Elfster Blog!

Remember, if you’re following the Elf Week competitions at home, be sure to keep an eye out for our updates this week. Check out these official Rookies n’ Milk “Elf-Help” articles in the meantime!

Current Standings

Elf Julie is presently in the lead, having successfully scarfed the North Pole’s entire population of gingerbread men. She is now speed-skating over Lake Freeze-Pop with the finish line in sight. But don’t count your turtledoves before they hatch! Julie is recovering from a brain freeze injury last week, and only time will tell how she holds up for the final moments of the race.

Buttered Rum is no match for Elf Peter who is chugging for Second at the Sleigh Bell Saloon.
[read more]

Christmas

Shopping Bag Chic: DIY Holiday Gift Wrap

Is it just us, or does holiday gift wrap seem to be disappearing faster than a snowman in a sauna?

At many stores, all that’s left of your wrapping paper options are birthday and baby shower themes, which, you have to admit, you momentarily considered buying in a pinch. Though there are several ways to rationalize this thinking, the truth of the matter is, adorning your gifts with the announcement “It’s a Boy” will only cause confusion at the Christmas tree.

Don’t let the seasonal shortage in wrapping paper be your unraveling! We’re here to tell you, a simple, cost-effective solution is already in the bag…

Retailers are really stepping up their game when it comes to decorative shopping bags this season. Pretty ribbon drawstrings and glossy, eye-catching designs mean consumers look more chic than ever toting around their holiday purchases. So why not use these pre-made packages as your own wrapping material when you get home? With this solution, design and color scheme are already chosen for you, serving as a stylish, semi-subtle hint to the contents within.

A Few Tips:

• Keep the bag as flat and wrinkle-free as possible when transporting your goods.

• After emptying its contents, cut the bag vertically along one corner creases, stopping at the base.

[read more]

Christmas

Eggcelent Eggnog Alternatives

Like the great debate of “glass half empty or glass half full”, eggnog, too, can be a divisive subject. We elves happen to love the holiday staple even in our breakfast cereal, but we also understand that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why we compiled a short list of eggnog alternatives for you to try at your next holiday party… Okay, so our motives aren’t pure as the driven snow (more eggnog for us), but that’s not to say we don’t think these recipes are every bit as delicious. Try them, and if you care to add a little “holiday spirit” to the recipes, we won’t tell Santa, either!

Cinnamon Apple Shakes

3 cups vanilla ice cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 tsp. rum extract (optional)
[read more]

Christmas

Sweet Smelling Ornaments for a Natural Noel

This year, finding eye-catching, affordable Christmas ornaments doesn’t have to feel like searching for the Eternal Fountain of Eggnog. (Oh, it’s out there…) But an easy, natural solution to tree trimming is as close as nearest the produce section!

We admit, sometimes the “smell of Christmas” can be about as subtle as a dip in a vat of aftershave, and the hunt for a more muted fragrance can be equally daunting.

That’s why when we came across this project from younghouselove.com, we couldn’t wait to show you their simple solution!

If you’re as excited about the Elf Week Glitter Gala as we are, you’re probably spinning garland in anticipation at this very moment. But with homemade dried citrus ornaments, you’ll get the added benefit of aromatically accenting that Christmas tree smell without overpowering it. [read more]

Christmas

Santa’s Choice: World Cookie Recipes

This Christmas, don’t be caught with your oven mitts off… We’re giving you a list of Santa’s all-time favorite cookie recipes from around the globe. With these international favorites on the plate, Santa is sure to stop by your place first this year!

Crumb roll, please…

Raspberry, Olive Oil and Thyme Shortbread (Great Britain)
Meringue and Raspberry Baskets “Korzinki” (Ukraine)
Ma’moul Cookies (Lebanon)
Chocolate-Dipped Palmieres (France)
Almond Cookies (China)

[read more]

DIY + Handmade

Easy-as-Pie Thanksgiving Placemats

History unfolds right before your pies, with this precious pop-up placemat idea! We love how PubliQue Living transforms plain sheets of recycled paper into charming table pieces for every occasion. But in the Pilgrim spirit of “making do,” this Thanksgiving, we just had to try the idea ourselves… DIY-style!

We armed Intern Steph with some Bristol Paper and an X-Acto knife, and told her to re-create the Mayflower for our Thanksgiving table… After a good cry, she got right to work and this was the result! Say what you will of her historical accuracy (or the judiciousness of giving an intern a knife), we think Stephanie did the pilgrims proud on this one, and here’s how you can create your own!

Materials:

• Large sheet of bristol paper or poster board
• X-acto knife
• Pencil

[read more]

DIY + Handmade

DIY Fall Fridge-scape

A freezer-burned chicken cutlet is no reason to give your fridge the “cold shoulder” this fall! Here’s a simple way to clear the shelves and show your icebox some well-deserved appreciation. For a fabulously fanciful fridge, try this pretty new eco-friendly craft!
[read more]

Halloween Party Favor Bags
DIY + Handmade

Fast n’ Festive Halloween Favors

Think quick! It’s almost Halloween and you’ve pretty much wolfed down your colossal candy stockpile. All that’s left for your guests is one measly bag of morsels. Don’t just stand there! Today we’re making these festive, fun-sized candy bags. With these cute little favors, your guests might just overlook your stinginess with the sweets… [read more]

DIY + Handmade

Garden Ghouls for the Docile Decorator

Step away from the carving knife! We know that the spirit of Halloween might not feel the same without going Friday-the-13th on an unsuspecting pumpkin. But this year, make good with the gourds! We’re talking a little less violence, and a little more ingenuity… [read more]

Little Pumpkin with Fallen Orange Autumn Leaves
DIY + Handmade

A Taste of Fall

We elves may make a mean cup of eggnog, but by the time autumn rolls around, we’ve only got pumpkin on the brain…That’s why we love this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins! [read more]