DIY Christmas Centerpiece

Quick and Easy DIY Christmas Centerpiece

What You’ll Need:

  • Hurricane Vase
  • Decorative Snow
  • Christmas Ornaments (Color of Choice)
  • 6 Pack of Christmas Snowflake Ornaments (Color of Choice)
  • Christmas Pine Cone Ornament (Color of Choice)
  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Five minutes of your time. 

This project is literally so simple and inexpensive and makes a beautiful decoration in your home. Whether it be for a table center piece, a decoration at the base of your tree or as I placed mine in my snow village it will be the perfect addition to your home. 

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Step 1

  • Carefully open the bag of decorative snow over your vase. Sometimes these bags have little holes in them or are partially opened and this can be the most frustrating part of your project if you spill it everywhere. You won’t need the whole bag. Just a little will do. If you add the whole bag you will cover your ornaments. 

Step 2:

  • Insert the empty toilet paper roll into the middle of the jar. 

Step 3:

  • Add the ornaments around the outside of the roll to fill up the vase. I alternated the ornaments by shape and texture. 
  • Add your snowflakes in between rows of ornaments. 
  • Place your pine cone ornament in the middle at the top. 

Step 4:

  • Find a place to put your beautifully decorated vase. 

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~RockyRose~

Cheese Board

How to make a kick ass cheese board for any occasion. 

Let’s face it, it’s not a party unless there is a cheese board involved. Now there are simple cheese trays that one may put an the end of a buffet line that is easily forgotten or you can create a kick ass cheese board that can be so creative, imaginative and fun that it will have all your guests talking. A perfect centerpiece for your party. A conversation starter. Great with wine and dark chocolates!

Interested?

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Say Cheese!

Creating your kick ass cheese board can be simple but also expensive so Ask Yourself This before you go out to the store and empty your wallet. 

Ask Yourself This:

  • How many people are you serving?
  • What is your budget?
  • What are you going to incorporate on your cheese board?
    • Examples:
      • Simple: Cheese & Crackers
        • What kind of cheese? How many wedges? How many sliced?
      • Adding fruit? 
        • Dried or Fresh? Both? How many?
          • Be sure you don’t add fruit that will brown easily or leak juice all over your beautifully arranged selection of cheeses. 
      • Adding Italian Meats? 
      • Nuts anyone?

If you are stumped on how to put a cheese board together look for ideas on Pinterest. If you want to use the one I made then go for it. Whatever works best for you. 

I decided to do a cheese board for Thanksgiving this year and I am very pleased with the turnout. I was serving approximately twenty people so I knew my tray had to be relatively large especially when serving a group of Italians and the cheese board being the main appetizer.

I wanted this cheese board to have three qualities

  1. Presentable
  2. Tasty
  3. Wide Selection

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Since this was the only dish I was bringing to the table I decided not to worry too much about a budget but still I knew I wouldn’t be spending more than a hundred dollars. Yes, I said a hundred dollars and I know some of you might have your eyes bulging from your head at this point. Keep in mind when you go into a grocery store some of the most expensive items you will find are gourmet cheeses, fresh fruit, and quality nuts. If you add Italian meats to the mix a hundred dollars is easily spent. 

Types of Cheese

  • If you don’t like what I’ve chosen and you don’t know what you want to put on the tray I would suggest speaking to a Cheesemonger (Yes, that is really what they are called) and they will point you in the right direction. 

Cabot Cheese

  • These cheeses are relatively cheaper in the stores compared to the Gourmet Cheese which is nice because you can get a couple of bricks to slice up and use as fillers. 
    • Cabot Hot Habanero
      • This cheese is extremely intense and fiery hot so if you don’t plan on labeling your cheese make sure you point out to your guests a friendly fair warning for this particular cheese. It’s one of my favorites but you don’t want your grandma biting into this cheese without knowing how hot it actually is. 
    • Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese
      • This cheese is less intense as the Hot Habanero but it still contains jalapeno picante peppers so it is spicy and a good idea to let your guests know that it is one of the hotter cheeses so they are prepared with a glass of ice water on hand.

Gourmet World Cheese

  • These cheeses are relatively more expensive, whether you buy them in a market or grocery store the price will be about the same and can range anywhere between $5-$12 plus. 
    • American
      • Muenster (Semi-Soft)
    • Denmark
      • Havarti (Semi-Soft & Creamy)
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    • France
      • Blue Cheese (Strong)
      • Brie (Soft, Mild & Creamy)
      • Goat Cheese (Creamy & Mild)
    • Italy
      • Gorgonzola (Blue & Creamy)
      • Mozzarella (Soft, Creamy & Delicious)2016-11-24-05-16-30
      • Provolone (Semi-Hard & Sharp) 
    • Netherlands 
      • Gouda (Smoky)

Italian Meats

  • Hard Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Prosciutto
  • Sopressata Salami

Once you’ve got your cheese & meats the rest is easy. Finding fruits and nuts for fillers. 

Adding fruit both fresh and dried

  • Clementines
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Turkish Apricots
  • Pomegranates 
    • Purchase 2, slice in half and you can easily serve 20 people
  • Purple Grapes 

Adding Nuts

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios

The nice thing about this platter is that it was perfect for a dessert board as well. 

Wine and Cheese

is

a match made in Heaven

Add Dark Chocolate 

and you’ve got a Winning Trio!

Sweets

  • Dark Chocolate
    • A variety of dark chocolate goes perfect with cheese and wine. I added three types. 
      • Dark Chocolate with Almonds & Sea Salt
      • Dark Chocolate Raspberry
      • Dark Chocolate Twilight Delight
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Additions

  • Coluccio Fig & Acacia Honey Jam
  • Coluccio Pear & Acacia Honey Jam
  • Breadsticks
  • Crackers (at least 3-4 types)
  • Rosemary to garnish your board

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff and I know it can seem a bit overwhelming but if you already know how you are going to design your board then putting it together will be a piece of cake. The hardest part may be finding the perfect board to fit all of your items. I had a large beautiful chocolate brown tray that was perfect in size. Below are a few Helpful Hints in putting your final masterpiece together.

Helpful Hints:

  • First, I washed the tray that I was planning on using. Then, I placed linen napkins down on the tray so that the food did not come in contact with the tray. 
  • Decide which cheese you want to slice an which cheese you want to keep in wedges. 
  • Place the wedged cheese down first, but not all in the same direction or in a straight line. 
  • Place your large fruits such as pomegranate and grapes down on the tray. (One pomegranate should be sliced and scooped so you can use the shell as a holder for your loose seeds while the other is only sliced)
  • Next, add your sliced cheeses and nuts into small open areas. 
  • Then, add your meats (rolling your meats will add height to your board)
  • Now, add your smaller fruits (Apricots, Clementines, Cranberries) into open areas.
  • Lastly, garnish with Rosemary. 

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  • As far as your jams go, keep them in their containers, take off the top and put out on a separate tray. 
  • Same goes for crackers, keep them on a tray separate from your board. 
  • Bread sticks will go in a vase to give height. 
  • The chocolate can be placed in bowls, separate by kind of chocolate. 

At this point your tray should be full and finished.

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If you have leftovers make an extra small tray and put it out. Trust me, people will eat it.

Finally…ENJOY! 

Other similar and smaller trays I’ve done. 

~RockyRose~

Craft Me If You Dare!

Craft Me If You Dare!

Before

After5

Pre-Organization

I knew even before I moved into my new house that I needed some space for all the arts and crafts that I had literally been hoarding into laundry baskets, drawers, and into tote bins. Nothing was organized; and when I went to look for something I could never find it; therefore I would have to buy new stuff. So when I found out that with our new house I would have a spare bedroom all the ideas started spinning in my head. 
The first thing I needed to do was get organized and I think that this was the hardest part of the entire renovation. Luckily, as I said I was moving so I had reason to go through things, unpack, and put my crafts in their proper place. Crayons with crayons, colored pencils with colored pencils, glue with glue, well you get the picture. As I was unpacking I realized I had so much more stuff than I realized…Colored pencils and crayons by the dozens!
So the next thing I needed to do was get ideas so I hit the Pinterest Boards and after scrolling through tons and tons of boards I finally found the one that stuck out to me the most. It was simple yet everything I wanted in my room. I messaged her immediately so I could get information on where she purchased her shelves and rails. She got back to me right away and led me straight to IKEA. Now, I don’t have an IKEA store anywhere near me but I had been in one a couple times in Florida and was familiar with their merchandise. I was able to go right online and order what I needed for a very affordable price. It was shipped to me within days. 

I’ve never planned out a room before of how I wanted it to look from a single photo and making it actually come to life. It’s not completely finished but it’s really getting there. If it wasn’t for the website I crossed I would have never fallen in love with the room I have now. I love organizing this room, changing things up and switching things around. Finding out what was going to work and what wouldn’t. I love the color blue, anything blue reels me in hook, line and sinker. So in my room you will see a lot of blue, but I tried to do a balance of baby blue and white on one wall and cadet blue and white on the other wall. 

I went to Target and purchased from the dollar section SPRITZ Metal Pails and I love them. I use them for almost everything in my house. (Side Note: They are perfect in the laundry room for spare change.) 
The Starfish bottle is from A.C Moore Arts & Crafts on sale for $1.00

After

Wall Shelf

I love the blue tote of vintage letters and photo albums from my relatives in Italy.

Dresser

Decor

Wall Decor

DIY3

Cork Board Decor

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Art Decor

My nonna is 87 years old and she absolutely loves the art therapy. She colors dozens of pictures a day and I think its just so sweet when she shows them to me or colors me a few pictures. I had been looking through the booklet one day as we were talking; I didn’t really think she was paying attention when I said I would like for her to color this particular picture for me because I thought it would  look great in my room. Sure enough, she was listening and went out of her way to frame it for me, along with some others; and of course used my favorite color...Blue! (Now I just have to hang them up) 

Budget Breakdown

  • 900IKEA EKBY VALTER Birch Bracket (4)…$20.00 ($5.00 a piece)
  • 9000IKEA EKBY VALTER White Wall Shelf (1)…$14.99 (Short)
  • 908IKEA EKBY Valter White Wall Shelf (1)…$17.99 (Long)
  • IKEA Steel Wire Basket (1)…$8.75
  • ShelfIKEA BYGEL RAIL (3)…$35.25 ($11.75 a piece)
  • IKEA BYGEL S-Hook (1 pack)…$3.99
  • 9088SPRITZ Metal Pails..(8) $8.00 ($1.00 a piece)

 

I hope you enjoy my craft room and design one too! 
Craft Me If You Dare!

~*~RockyRose~*~

 

Happiness Is…

Happiness Is..

A baby bird’s first breath

Happiness is…

Your grandpa’s cane in the corner of his room still at rest. 
Even though he’s long since left.

Happiness is…

A beautiful sunset

Happiness is…

A frozen treat on a hot summer day.

Happiness is…

Staring into the eyes of your puppy’s little face.

Happiness is…

Walking down the beach 
As the waves rush over your feet.

Happiness is…

A heart engraved in the sand.

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Happiness is…

A giant surfing snowman.

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Happiness is…

A starfish blowing in the wind

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Happiness is…

An open window, from the outside looking in.

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Happiness is…

Holding a baby’s hand for the first time.

Happiness is…

Every Christmastide.

Happiness is…

A cold beer by the pool.

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Happiness is…

A giant bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine.

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Happiness is…

A pelican spreading his wings to fly.

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Happiness is…

A cake made entirely out of sprinkles.

sprinkles
and 
French Toast with a Raspberry drizzle.

food

Happiness is…

Sitting in a café, eating breakfast in Italy’s heart & soul.

food

Happiness is…

Walking the cobble streets of Rome. 

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Happiness is…

A bouquet of freshly picked white flowers.

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It’s a cold scoop of fluffy Gelato.

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Happiness is…

Getting lost in a good book on a park bench.

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Happiness is…

A slice of pizza you just ate.

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Happiness is…

An old trumpet waiting to be played.

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Happiness is…

Baby eyes and a baby nose
Baby ears and baby toes.

Happiness is…

Searching for the end of the rainbow.

italia5

Happiness is…

Knowing he’s holding on
Even though you know it’s time
to let him go.

hand2

Happiness is…

Admiring God’s work painted in the sky together.

SKY3

Happiness is…

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What’s your happiness?

~*~RockyRose~*~

For the Love of Garden Cooking

For the Love of Garden Cooking

I was so excited when I planted my first garden though I had no idea how much hard work actually went in to taking care of a vegetable garden. With the muggy, hot weather I had to constantly water and if I missed one day everything would droop on me. I planted late this year, and therefore I was a little concerned that nothing at all would grow. Then I started getting results, baskets of cucumbers and tomatoes, peppers and basil. The most delicious cucumbers and sweetest tomatoes and so much more. 

~*~RockyRose~*~