DIY Host/Hostess Gift: Succulent Terrarium

Simplicity is key this holiday season because who has time to for any elaborate DIYs? This year, instead of bringing a bottle of wine (or in addition) to a holiday party, give the host or hostess something that he or she will remember you by throughout the year.

My favorite plants are succulents because they’re low-maintenance and oh so pretty. Succulents come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. They also make beautiful centerpieces.

diy succulent terrarium holiday gift

What you will need to make one succulent terrarium:
– a bag of rocks (I bought mine for $1 at the local Dollar Store, but you can always find “authentic” rocks if you just look down when you walk)
– a glass container such as a round globe vase, a deep bowl, or vase with a large opening (thrift store or Dollar Store finds work perfectly)
– cactus and succulent soil mix (between $5-10 at Lowes or OSH)
– 3 to 4 mini succulent plants
– optional: moss, mainly for looks

Make your own succulent terrarium in under five minutes!

succulents DIY host hostess gift

Step 1:

Gently place a layer of rocks at the bottom of the glass bowl. The rocks will help provide drainage for the plants.

Step 2:

Cover rocks with a half-inch layer of cactus/succulent soil.

Step 3:

Place succulent roots in soil, arranging them until you’re satisfied with the look. Cover the roots with soil. Optional: Add additional rocks or pebbles to the top, or cover soil with moss (this is all for aesthetics so it’s your preference).

bowl of rocks for succulent terrarium

DIY succulent terrarium

Care Tips for Succulent Terrariums:

– place the terrarium in partial sunlight
– water the terrarium every two weeks using a spray bottle (you don’t want to over-water them; better to under-water them if anything!)
– if any of the leaves fall off, you can propagate succulents from leaves to grow new plants (how-to instructions found here). HOW COOL!

DIY Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Stirrers

DIY marshmallows dipped in chocolate hot cocoa stirrersWith only three (THREE!) days left until Christmas, you have plenty of time to make these hot chocolate marshmallow stirrers. Set aside an hour of your time and you can crank out a bunch of these.

Thanks to Melissa from Girly Mama who posted her version of the stirrers after seeing them on Pinterest. Swooooon! These were very easy to make (try pairing them with hot cocoa  shown below), and I’ll be stuffing them in stockings, giving them away as holiday hostess gifts, and treating my group of girlfriends at our annual White Elephant holiday party. I also gave these to my lovely co-workers at our work holiday lunch.

— Directions below —

marshmallow stirrers photo collection v2

To Make Marshmallow Stirrers, You’ll Need:

– large marshmallows
– chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white and milk chocolate)
– sprinkles, nuts, crushed candy canes, or crushed candy
– straws (I bought paper straws from Amazon, but you can also buy them at Sur La Table), cut each straw in half
– parchment paper

Directions: Marshmallow Stirrers

Step 1: Melt chocolate in a bowl according to package directions.

Step 2: Insert straw into marshmallow.

Step 3: Dip into chocolate then immediately dip into sprinkles, nuts or crushed candy.

Step 4: Dry on parchment paper.

hot cocoa stirrers with crate and barrel ornament

wrapped up with an ornament

To Make A Hot Chocolate + Marshmallow Combo Kit, You’ll Need:

– instant hot chocolate packs
– ribbon, twine or bakers string
– make your own gift tags or find free printables online (I used these typographic gift tags from Eat Drink Chic)
– saran plastic wrap or fold-top sandwich baggies
– twist ties
– hole puncher
– Scotch double stick tape
– optional: ornaments to tie on (Found mine at Crate and Barrel)

Directions: Gift Wrapping Your TOO CUTE Stirrers

Step 1: Tape gift tag to front of hot cocoa packet leaving the instructions visible on the back.

Step 2: Punch a hole at the top of the cocoa packet, making sure NOT to place a hole where any cocoa can come out.

Step 3: Place two stirrers in a plastic wrap or baggy.

Step 4: Tie shut with a twist tie.

Step 5: String through ornament and hole and make a double knot followed by a pretty bow!

packaged marshmallow stirrers up close

wrapped and ready to go

packaged chocolate sprinkles marshmallow stirrers up close

from behind

Make sure to save some for yourself! They’re delicious.marshmallow stirrers

white chocolate sprinkles marshmallow stirrers up close

gosh I love this photo: white chocolate and sprinkles



Etsy Gift Guide

I find it very suspicious that it’s almost December. I mean, where did 2011 go? As usual, the holidays are rapidly approaching and I haven’t crossed off anyone from my Christmas gift list. After stumbling through countless sales online, I’m keeping it simple and heading to for handmade items. Below are great gifts I found during my gift search.

For the host/hostess with the mostess

sugar, sat & pepper setpaulova, san francisco, ca

sugar salt and pepper set etsy

2012 desktop calendargracehesterdesigns, westerville, ohio

2012 desktop calendar gracehesterdesigns etsy seller

love pillow coverpillowfactory, fullerton, ca

LOVE pillow cover etsy handmade

pretty pastels mason jar chandelierbootsngus, ann arbor, mi

Pretty Pastels Mason Jar Chandelier Swag Light Hanging Lighting Fixture - UpCycled Rustic Eco Friendly Wedding - BootsNGus Lamp Design

For the new or soon-to-be parent

framed 8×10 tree print on woodpetitcollage, san francisco, ca

FRAMED 8x10 Tree Print on Wood

diaper clutchmarine parents, san diego, ca

diaper clutch / diaper and wipes case - bicycles

For the fashionista

mint green flower ringlaurenblythedesigns, denver, co

Mint Green Flower Ring Rose Vintage Style Antique Brass Filigree - Mint of a Rose

fingerless glovespurlsandivy, san antonio, tx

fingerless gloves

silver leaf branch pendant necklacejersey608, san antonio, tx

Silver leaf branch pendant necklace etsy

stamped stack ringsolympias, athens, greece

Stamped stack rings LOVE cooper and silver

For the newlyweds

ombre custom stationary setksarahdesigns, sacramento, ca

ombre custom stationary - set of 10 cards

chip and dip ceramic dishoc pottery, orange county, ca

Chip and Dip, Veggie Dip, handmade ceramic dish etsypeacock feather wine glassesmaryelizabetharts, chapel hill, nc

peacock feather wine glasses etsy

For the techy

facebook ornamentlive & kern, st. louis, mo

facebook ornament

natual wood retro tv ipad docmiterbox, location undisclosed

Handmade Natural Wood Retro TV Ipad Dock etsy

For the musician

handcrafted vinyl record clockvinyl clock work, riverside, ca

Handcrafted vinyl record clock (artist is Robertino) etsy

hand stamped copper guitar pick keychainbeadsoul, littleton, co

Hand stamped copper guitar pick key chain I pick you

Now that it’s October, time to decorate for Halloween

Two buck Halloween door decor craft inspired by Dollar Store Crafts blog.

Happy Halloween sign DIY by RobinWithAnIMaterials used:

  • Pre-cut bat
  • ‘Happy Halloween’ sparkly sign
  • Super glue to stick two of the bats onto the sign

Time: less than a minute

Halloween wreath made out of orange, black and yellow tissue paper.

DIY craft project Halloween wreath made by Robin With An I

Materials used:

  • Orange, black and yellow tissue paper
  • Glue + glue gun
  • Round

Time: 60+ minutes (I was watching The Bachelor Pad finale while working on the wreath so I wasn’t 100% focused on the craft). It could take less time if you focused.

Taped the pre-cut bats on our sliding glass door.

pre-cut bats robinwithani

Easy pumpkin vase flower arrangement.

halloween pumpkin flowers

5 minute tutorial found at

How have you decorated for Halloween/fall?

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes + a Pearltree

How freakin’ adorable is this surprisingly easy-to-make cupcake? Get the recipe from Bake It in a Cake.

valentine's day cupcakes

Sweet Delights in Pacifica, California made a bunch of these mini red velvet cupcakes. YUM!

cupcakes from sweet delights pacifica, ca

How cute are these!? Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes from Creations by Kara.

Valentine Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes from Creations by Kara

Apparently, these are the Best Moist Chocolate Cupcakes & Naked Buttercream. From the looks of it, I agree. Get the recipe from The Sugar Bar.

Best Moist Chocolate Cupcakes & Naked Buttercream from The Sugar Bar

My Fab Cupcakes Pearltree