Pantry Stocker Bridal Shower Basket

I graduated from a Christian college. Cue the looks, laughs, jokes, and eye rolling.

Miraculously, I made it all of the way through 4 ½ years of Christian college without going to a single wedding. True story. This also means that now everyone is finally getting married and that also means bridal shower gifts.

As per usual, the dishes, the linens, the crock pots, the door mats, the silver ware, and cups all go on the registry. Couples sign up for all of the stuff to stock their homes and it’s lovely. But then they actually get their homes. They move in. And there’s nothing to put on those beautiful new plates. And, the bathroom needs cleaned before anyone will use it. Heaven forbid someone cuts a finger and you have to rummage through boxes, hoping SOMEWHERE there is a band-aide.

First shopping trips are expensive. On top of regular groceries, you have to stock your cabinets. There’s the medicine cabinet, the pantry, the cleaning shelf…..It doesn’t seem like a lot but it adds up very quickly. More often than not, families get a lot of the stuff. It’s useful; don’t get me wrong. When I have my shower one day, I will love those pots and pans like there’s no tomorrow. The “stuff” is needed and practical. But so often, things are double bought, or you realize after you get something that it’s not as needed as you once thought and you end up exchanging, returning, or regifting. It happens to everyone.

In recent months, my friends and I have had conversations with statements like:

“Can someone buy my pantry? I love everything on my registry, but really, I don’t need 6 sets of sheets. That grocery bill is going to be killer.”

“Why do people not buy things like Advil for bridal showers? They do it at baby showers. That should be a thing.”

My friend Liv and I went in together to help stock our friend Katie’s pantry for her bridal shower.

What we got:

Flour

Granulated sugar

Brown Sugar

Powdered Sugar

Cookie Mix

Brownie Mix

Bisquick

Minute Rice

Mac n Cheese

Pronto Pasta

Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Salt

Pepper

Peanut Butter

Jelly

Cooking Spray

Vegetable Oil

Chocolate chips

Basket

Using LOTS of coupons, we were able to make this super useful basket for under $50. We got the groceries from Target (we have a problem, we openly admit it), and the basket from JoAnn Fabrics. I had a wicked good coupon. Using LOTS of coupons, we were able to make basket for under $50. I simply wrapped each piece with tissue paper and stuffed a few extra in to help cover some tops and give it some style.

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Planner Bag and Sticker Storage with Taylor

This video was done by my planner friend Taylor! It combines two of my favorite things- Erin Condren planners AND Vera Bradley. I actually worked at Vera Bradley for a little over a year and have so much it’s crazy!

The Vera Travel Organizer is one of my favorite pieces. It usually sits on a shelf with the rest of my Vera, under-used because it’s a travel item. When I do travel and want to bring my planner stuff, it is a full Vera Tote of stuff all on its own. I like that each section has its own purpose and really keeps it organized instead of it all getting thrown together. I currently have a cute Target One Spot felt envelope that I keep my planner in. I see changing that in the near future! My planner fits perfectly and I have room on the sides to stash pencils/pens.

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I couldn’t have come up with better a better sticker storage idea if I tried! I currently have 3 Target One Spot accordion folders for my sticker collection.

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One small one holds my Erin Condren personalized stickers that come with planners/notebooks (top). My first medium-sized one holds stickers topically- animals, food, birthday, quotes, school etc. My second medium folder has stickers organized by month/holiday, February/Valentines Day, July/Fourth of July….you get the picture. It can be kind of a pain when I’m trying to plan. In my infinite wisdom I got matching folders to be cute…and I always grab the wrong one! By putting them in a binder like Taylor, that eliminates a lot of the problem because there is simply more room. I can put them all in one spot and have them labeled with tabs! Staples and Michaels constantly have binders like that for sale. One more project to add to the organizing list!

If you enjoyed her video, you can follower her YouTube account Ask Me About My Planner. To see more of her massive sticker collection and general cool planner things, follow her on Instagram @AskMeAboutMyPlanner!

Don’t forget to follow Brunetteswithbrains on Instagram for blog posts and other random fun, Pinterest and right here on WordPress!

Where can you find a planner to use all of these adorable additions!? Here is a referral link for $10 off of a purchase of an Erin Condren planner for yourself! After you create an account you will receive an email with the code. 2015 planners are currently 40% off and you can use the additional $10 off making planners $20! 2015-2016 planners will be rolling out in June! HAPPY PLANNING!

Valentines, Sugar Cookies and Babysitting

I wouldn’t be seeing the kids that I babysit on Valentines Day, so I decided to do it a bit early. The idea started at Target, and really, don’t most great ideas start there? In their Dollar Spot, they had these cute scratch ‘n’ sniff puzzles for Valentines day. The kids love puzzles so I grabbed one!

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As I walked around, part II came to mind- “I should make sugar cookies with the kids!” So heart-shaped cookie cutters, hot pink vanilla frosting and some Valentines Day themed sprinkles were all juggled to the counter. After purchasing everything I asked Mom if this activity was pre-approved. She was ALL FOR IT!

The kids had all had their Valentines Day parties at school on Wednesday since they don’t have school Thursday/Friday this week so they were all hyped up on the holiday spirit! After Mom left for class, I dumped the puzzle out on the island. Because I am evil, I would not let them look at the box, it would have given away the surprise! They had to complete the puzzle to know what the surprise activity for the night was!!!

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By the end of the puzzle we’d lost one….he was hiding near by!

While the kids ate dinner, I pre-measured out all of the ingredients so that they could help me dump!

Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup sugar

2 sticks room temp/softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cold water

*Pre-heat the oven to 350

1. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. I had one of the kids sift the flour/salt/baking powder at this time.

2. Add in 1 egg and vanilla until well mixed.

3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. This is a very dry/crumbly dough and it will be in lots of little crumbly pieces.

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4. Slowly add some water until it starts to form a better ball.

5. Dump on a lightly floured surface, you might want to wet your hands to knead/work the dough a bit. I split the dough into 4 small balls, lightly floured the surface for the kids, rolled out the dough and let them go to down with the cookie cutters.

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6. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. I found that 7 minutes was perfect.

While the cookies were baking/cooling I prepped our decorating area. Using their kiddie divided dinner plates, I poured in the different sprinkles for them. Each kid also got a small bowl of hot pink frosting and baby spoon to frost their creations.

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We had a great evening of (early) Valentines Day fun, food and decorating! Because nothing says I Love You like a giant heart cookie smothered in frosting with half a pound of sprinkles and candy hearts! ❤