Last year, I bought one of those cheesey advent calendars for my 2 year old daughter to show her how many days until Santa visits her for being a good girl. It was a cardboard calendar filled with small chocolate candies that didn’t taste very good ;(

I remember saying to myself “next year I’ll make one to fill with fun treats and special prizes for my daughter” since the one I bought just wasn’t cutting it. I saw a really cute advent calendar at Target the other day but couldn’t imagine paying close to $25 for it so I decided to be crafty and make my own… all with supplies found around my house.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

· 16″x16″ corrugated cardboard

· Wrapping Paper

· 4 sheets of tissue paper

· (24) 5 oz. plastic cups

· (24) small rubber bands

· Candy, Prizes and Treats that fit inside the 5 oz. cups

· Hot Glue Gun, Scissors, Tape, Ruler

· OPTIONAL: White Paint, Numbers 1-24, 1.5″ Round Craft Punch

Ok, so you collected your supplies and ready to start! I found a scrap piece of corrugated cardboard in the basement from an old box I had and it measured 16″x16″. This is a great size for your calendar but you can create your calendar however big (or small).

I wrapped the piece of cardboard with festive Christmas wrapping paper. I actually bought new paper yesterday but any type of holiday design on the wrapping paper will work.

Next, take your (24) 5 oz. plastic cups and place them on top of the cardboard to create a layout for the design. I had these cups up in our bathroom that I use for rinsing out my daughter’s mouth after brushing her teeth and they fit perfectly. I chose to do 5 rows of 5 cups with the last row only have 4 cups though. Laying them out before adhering them to the cardboard helps to create an uniform look for the calendar.

Now, heat up your hot glue gun and attach each cup to the cardboard by adding glue to the base of each cup.

 

Next, take your sheets of tissue paper and start cutting them into 4″x4″ squares. I chose red and white tissue paper to match the design of the wrapping paper. I took 2 pieces of the same color tissue paper and cut them together since you will need 48 total squares of the tissue paper for this project.

Now comes the fun! Pick out small prizes, candy, and treats from your local store. I picked up most of the special surprises at the $1 bin section at Target yesterday but make sure they are small enough to fit into the cups.

 

Add the treats into the cups and then it’s time to cover them with the tissue paper. Take 2 pieces of the tissue paper and cover the top opening of the cup. Take the small rubber band and wrap it around the cup so the tissue is secure. Continue with all 24 cups.

 

OPTIONAL: Next, I printed the numbers 1-24 from a word document to glue onto each cup to show the calendar dates. I punched the numbers out with a small 1.5″ round craft punch. For a few dollars spent on the small treats, this turned out great.

OPTIONAL: I also painted the cups on the outside edges of the calendar with a little white paint since the plastic cups are clear and I didn’t want my daughter to see the surprises inside of them. Next time I would like to find some decorative cups so I can skip this step altogether.

And here’s the finished advent calendar! You can hang your calendar up on the wall or we have ours on our dining room side banquet table so it is easily accessible to my daughter each day. I cannot wait to start this tomorrow on December 1st and continue to do this each year!

Happy Holidays + Have a Sweet Day!  Bonnie




I always love giving a creative handmade gift for baby and bridal showers. This weekend, our family celebrated a bridal shower for my sister-in-law and I knew what I could make as part of her gift. I always see such cute diaper cakes and thought how could I put a spin on it to make it suitable for a bride to be???

Let’s make a towel cake with cooking utensils instead!

Listed below are the items you will need to make this towel cake, step-by-step instructions as well as photos of the finished gift. {Sorry there are no step by step photos to match the directions…I was putting it together as I made it}

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • (1) 10″ round cake board covered in decorative wrapping paper
  • (5) dish towels
  • (2) oven / hot pad
  • 4-5 kitchen cooking utensils & gadgets
  • Tulle or Ribbon
  • Bow/Ribbons for decoration
  • Pins or Rubber Bands
  • Packaging Tape

 

This towel cake was easy to assemble and took a little less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

BOTTOM TIER:

  • Cover the 10″ round cake board with wrapping paper to match the colors of the bridal shower or to match the colors of the towel set.
  • Starting with the bottom larger layer, roll (1) oven hot pad tightly and secure with the pins. I used sewing pins but safety pins or rubber bands would work too
  • Roll (3) dish towels around the oven pad, one at a time. I used 2 white towels and then 1 decorative towel for the outside. Secure with sewing pins
  • Add tulle or thick ribbon to secure the bottom towel cake layer together
  • To adhere the bottom layer to cake board, use double sided tape or packaging tape to hold it to the board for easy transportation

TOP TIER:

  • Wrap the second oven hot pad tightly together and secure with pins
  • Roll (2) white dish towels around the oven pad, one at a time. Secure with sewing pins. Roll last decorative towel around the white ones and secure with pins
  • Add tulle or thick matching ribbon to secure the top towel cake layer together
  • To adhere the layer to the bottom layer, I used pins to attach them together

 

DECORATIONS: Now the Fun Part!

  • Add the utensils by sliding them in between the towels of the bottom layer. I found matching spoons to pull the color scheme together. I also added some fun recipe cards and measuring spoons
  • Add a fun bow and ribbon to the top to cover where the towels and hot pad are rolled and you’re all done
  • I also added white tulle to wrap the whole towel cake to easier transportation since I didn’t want to hide it in a bag.

 

This towel cake would be great as a gift with some of the kitchen utensils and gadgets that the bride chose on her wedding registry OR even if you are hosting the shower…it would be nice centerpieces for the tables.

 

Until next time, have a SWEET day! Bonnie


Welcome to the world of being a woman…browsing the aisles in the health and beauty section searching endlessly for the “perfect” shampoo and conditioner. Ahh, found it…or so you think. You imagine trying your new hair products with hopes of non-frizzy, smooth, sleek, and moisturized flowing locks of hair. Wrong!  Another let down again. And now you have another half full bottle of shampoo and conditioner to add to the collection around your shower.

BUT…don’t lose hope because I think I have found the “perfect” shampoo, conditioner and one-minute treatment that will replenish and recharge your thirsty locks and keep your hair super silky and surprisingly weightless for up to two whole days. Drumroll please…

GARNIER FRUCTIS HYDRA RECHARGE

 I’ve tried so many new hair products that promise you everything but a million dollars but I am in love with Garnier’s new collection and recently had the opportunity to test and review all three products.

Hydra Recharge Shampoo is a hydration innovation; the first to feature thousands of beads that burst on impact. The shampoo smelled amazing when I first opened the bottle cap and love their great  bottle packaging designs. The Hydra Recharge had a nice thick consistency and lathered great. I would love yo show a pic of me with my shampoo head but I didn’t want the hubby to be mad about getting the camera wet 😉 This is now my go-to shampoo since it washed out clean.

Hydra Recharge Conditioner range contains superfruits goji berry, passion fruit and kiwi to actively replenish without heaviness. I’m a sucker for trying new conditioners since my hair is very fine and poker straight. During the summer months, my hair is usually kept in a ponytail because of the excessive frizz or the same for the winter since my hair is so dry and split ends/fly aways are always happening. I could instantly feel the Hydra Recharge conditioner working on my hair when I applied it after using the shampoo. I only had to use a small amount and worked it through my medium length hair. Before washing it out, I knew this conditioner was for me. It washed out nicely and didn’t feel heavy or greasy like some other conditioners leave your hair feeling.

Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment is a powerful deep treatment whose revolutionary lightweight crème-gel formula transforms dry hair with a surge of high-performance hydration in just one minute. I tried the 1-minute moisture-plenish treatment the next day since I already conditioned my hair. This day I used the Hydra Recharge shampoo and then follow the simple instructions on the back of the container. Real simple…squirt out a small amount and work through your hair. Let it sit for one minute. EASY. Just enough time to shave. Again, just like the conditioner, I could feel how smooth my hair was already starting to feel even before jumping out of the shower. It washed out nicely without any heavy residue left.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Awesome Products. After getting out of the shower, I styled my hair as usual which includes blow drying and then using a flat iron. I usually have to use an anti-frizz serum after to  help with the frizz and static but Hydra Recharge did the trick even before getting out of the shower. I did not have to flat iron my hair as much as using other hair products either. I am so glad to have the shampoo and conditioner to use again and again since it has now become part of my everyday hair product collection. Say good-bye to the line of numerous shampoo and conditioner bottles hanging out on the side of the tub!

I’m not the greatest at taking photos of myself but here’s a few after using Hydra Recharge Shampoo and Conditioner where I actually wanted to style my hair and not automatically put it in a ponytail. I’m excited to keep using the Hydra Recharge products during the summer months where we have high humidity.

TAH-DAH…

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge is sold everywhere so it won’t be hard to find. Also, The Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge line provides a power blast of hydration to dry hair, leaving it ultra-hydrated and weightlessly silky. If you or your friends have hair issues beyond dryness, try Sleek & Shine to combat frizz or Triple Nutrition to nourish extra dry or damaged hair.

Until next time, have a SWEET day! Bonnie


The past few days I’ve been obsessed with some new make-up goodies given to me by my friends at BzzAgent from Neutrogena Cosmetics. What girl doesn’t love trying new make-up that enhances your natural beauty while helping to improve your skin’s healthy look?

I was lucky enough to enjoy:

  • NEUTROGENA MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Sweet Watermelon
  • NEUTROGENA Healthy Lengths Mascara in Black
  • NEUTROGENA Crease Proof Eye Shadows in Constant Cooper & Lasting Taupe

MoistureSmooth Color Sticks:  I received the sample in Sweet Watermelon and the sheer, shiny color instantly moisturizes your lips. It was a very nice sheer shade to be used for everyday as well as a special spring/summer occasion that left my lips soft and smooth. I normally do not wear lipstick during the week since I work from home so this would be nice for a night out or drinks with the girls. However, the Color Stick did have an “unusual” taste/flavor to it that I am not used to having on my lips.

Healthy Lengths Mascara:  This was by far my favorite product I tested from Neutrogena. I received the mascara in Black and it went on nicely without clumping. This lash-lengthing formula instantly makes lashes look 100% longer while conditioning and strengthening over time. I will certainly purchase this mascara in the future but probably in the Black/Brown color for a more natural, every day look.

Crease Proof Eye Shadows:  Two words… so convenient. These would work perfectly to keep in my purse for a quick touch-up when out one night with my girlfriends.  I tried two different shadow shades that complimented each other nicely. (Constant Copper and Lasting Taupe). You can use them separately or even together for a more dramatic look.  The creamy, antioxidant-rich stick instantly revives and brightens the look of your eyes. It has built-in primer that prevents smudging, creasing and fading for a whopping 12 HOURS of flawless wear! Neutrogena even includes easy to follow, step-by-step applications tips on the packaging. I tried both shades together and they were very easy to use, however, I am use to applying shadow with a brush in the powder form and found it a little “different” to apply these cream sticks of shadow. I would use these for a dinner date with the hubby but not for everyday use since I work from home and watch my two year old daughter.  The eye shadow did last all day without reapplying. Overall, I think once I am used to applying the cream form of the shadows, it will become easier.

LOOK FOR NEUTROGENA COSMETICS AT YOUR FAVORITE STORES OR AT NEUTROGENA.COM

 

And… here’s some photos of me after applying Neutrogena cosmetics. TAH-DAH…

Until next time, have a SWEET day! Bonnie