DIY Xmas: Make Your Own Decorations This Holiday Season

DIY Xmas: Make Your Own Decorations This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to make things! When it comes to Christmas, there is a lot of temptation to buy everything new and shiny. But before you think about investing in a brand new Christmas tree, or buying a whole new collection of Christmas cards, save on the pennies and save the planet by creating a few of these!

Cardboard Christmas Tree

Yes, it may sound like something that could look incredibly tacky, but check this out! Here is how you make your own homemade Christmas tree.

You will need:

  • Large pieces of cardboard.
  • A rule.
  • Glue or paperclips.
  • As much decoration as you want for the tree.
  1. Using some large pieces of cardboard, draw a big isosceles triangle and divide them up into 25cm sections.
  2. Mark zig-zags by marking 5cm to the left and right on the big triangle on the line where it meets the divisions.
  3. After you have cut both sections out, on one of them, cut a slot nearly as wide as the thickness of your cardboard, right from the top to the middle. On the other cut from the middle to the bottom. You can slot them together, and they will stand on their own. If you find you need to put a bit more into keeping them slotted together, use some glue sticks or paperclips to give a bit more support.
  4. If you want to make extra levels to your tree, follow the previous steps and slot them together.

Sequin Ornament

A tree isn’t complete without ornaments, and this is a very sparkly addition to your tree!

You will need:

  • Sequins.
  • A styrofoam ball.
  • A straight pin.
  • A paperclip.
  1. Get the multicolored sequins and styrofoam ball and using a straight pin, push it through the middle of each sequin into the styrofoam ball.
  2. Repeat until you have a sparkly looking decoration!
  3. Using a paperclip, you can attach it to one of the sequins and hang it from your Christmas tree.

Pinecone Wreath

The traditional Christmas wreath, but with a more rustic and earthy feel, and best of all, it’s practically cost free!

You need the following:

  • Glue.
  • Pony beads (about 50).
  • A wire hanger.
  • White spray paint.
  • Lots and lots of pinecones.
  1. Using glue, stick some pony beads to the top of each pinecone.
  2. Using the wire hanger stretched out into a circle, thread the pinecones through, arranging them as you see fit. Make sure that they are touching each other completely.
  3. Once you have finished threading the pinecones through, spray with a can of white or sparkling spray paint.
  4. Decorate with a bow at the top, and use the hook of the wire hanger to hang in your favorite place!

As you can see, Christmas doesn’t need to be a taxing and expensive affair. If you can get the family to sit together, making this will be a fantastic set of tasks to do together. And this is just the tip of the snowflake, there are so many other wonderful items you can make this Christmas. Go wild, and Merry Christmas!

Curlee Girlee Official Book Launch Event and Book Review

Curlee Girlee Official Book Launch Event and Book Review

I was recently sent out a copy of the new book for children called Curlee Girlee.  It’s a nice hardcover book with the cutest illustrations and cutest story. It’s a nice story about accepting yourself for how you are and embracing your differences.  I particularly loved the story because Curlee Girlee reminded me of my daughter who has very curly hair and other little girls would call her the curly hair girl. Any little girl (even straight haired ones) would love the story.



If you are in the New York area there is a Official Book launch event at Dylan’s Candy Bar on 3rd Ave on November 17,2016  There is a website to RSVP or if you want to learn more about Curlee Girlee. Visit

About the Author

Atara Twersky is an attorney and mother of three who divides her time between Manhattan and Long Island. Curlee Girlee was inspired by Atara’s daughter, and written to inspire her and all girls to love what makes them different and value their unique beauty.



Click to Purchase

How to Look Calm and Natural in Photos

How to Look Calm and Natural in Photos

How to Look Calm and Natural in Photos

I have never felt very photogenic. As someone with strong features, I just can’t seem to take a good picture—or at least one I like. But in this age of smartphones and social media, picture taking has become part of our daily routines. So, rather than shy away from the lens, I set out to uncover how to look natural and relaxed in front of the camera.
“Honestly, nearly all of my clients tell me they don’t like being photographed,” says Portland, Oregon–based photographer Shelby Brakken. “That’s super normal. Unless you’re a professional model, I wouldn’t expect you to feel at ease.”
That’s why Brakken makes it her first order of business to help clients relax. Before even unpacking her camera, she spends some time talking and joking with her subjects, as well as getting them to walk around in the space and move their bodies. “A lot of people become a deer in headlights when the camera comes out, so I keep them talking, and sometimes even have them fake a laugh. You can often capture something really natural right after that.”
Of course Brakken has a remarkable talent for catching the perfect moment, but many of the techniques she uses can help all of us snap better photos and look calm and relaxed when it’s our turn to be the model.

Here are her top six tricks.

1, 2, 3, Pop Up
“One of my favorite strategies to prevent blinking and create a relaxed expression is to have subjects look down at their feet. Then I count to three and have them look up at me. It produces the most natural gaze,” she says.

Alter Your Gaze
It’s okay to look at the camera lens, but don’t fixate on it. Brakken suggests mixing up where you set your gaze: look at the lens, then at the photographer, then beyond the camera.



Say the Vowels
Saying “cheese” does make you smile, but an ear-to-ear grin isn’t exactly natural. “I have people say the vowels—a, e, i, o, u,” says Brakken. “It keeps the mouth slightly open in a more flattering way.”

Smile with Your Eyes
Sometimes a full grin can look forced. By simply relaxing your mouth and “smiling” with your eyes, you can create a lot of expression.


Adjust Your Body
There’s a reason celebrities take those off-kilter poses on the red carpet—standing square to the camera can make you look awkward. To soften your look, Brakken recommends shifting one shoulder slightly toward the camera. “You also have to be mindful of the chin,” she says. “A good trick is to come forward with your forehead just a bit; it defines the jaw.”



Go to the Light
“You can take great photos if you have good light,” assures Brakken. If you’re inside, go to a window, and have the diffused light shine directly on you. If you’re outside, opt for areas in shadow—standing directly in the rays of the sun can create unflattering shadows.


By Linda Knittel, Senior Editor


For more info visit

Homemade gifts : Your Reap What Your Sew – The Benefits of Making Home Made

Homemade gifts : Your Reap What Your Sew – The Benefits of Making Home Made

Homemade gifts

With our lives as busy as they are, we need to make a special effort to take time out to actually handmade something from scratch. It’s  a worthwhile thing to do, though and can hold many benefits for you and your family. Read on to find out more.



Satisfaction of seeing a job well done

First of all, one of the best thing about sewing your own items at home is that you get the satisfaction of seeing a job through from the beginning to then end. How many of us can say that we get to do this on a daily basis? It’s so common that, in our specialized places of work, we are only responsible for our small piece of the puzzle. That is why is such a refreshing change to be able to follow a project through fully.

In addition, creative activities such as sewing and painting have been shown to help improve our mood and mental health. So not only do you get the benefit of doing something fun, but it could actually help to improve the quality of your life as well.


Homemade gifts : You have creative control

Another advantage of sewing items yourself is that you have ultimate creative control over the end product. You get to choose the colors and the finish. You can make a tweak here and there when you-you get a bit more advanced too.

For any skill level

One of the greatest thing about sewing is that is works for any skill level. Beginners can start with basic projects like eye masks or pursues. While more experienced may opt for items of clothing like dresses or shirts.


Picture link

Some people prefer to try their hand a decorative embroidery. While others like to make practical things from their home like peg bags and oven gloves. There really is no end to the possibilities of things that you can make, which mean you’ll never get bored either.

Homemade gifts are special

One of the things about sewing gifts yourself is that, those that receive them are made to feel really special. They know how much work and time you have put into this item for them. It’s a really nice way of expressing your love, even if you haven’t got loads of money to spend.  That is why homemade gifts often have a lot more sentimental value than store bought ones.

Homemade gifts

Homemade gifts



Cost a lot less

One of the best benefits of sewing items yourself is that you can get a similar product for a lot less money. One you have your own sewing machine, you can buy wholesale fabric and materials and make multiple items from one batch of stuff. It’s much cheaper to make things from scratch than it is to buy them, all it costs you is your time.


They can be personalized

The fact that home sewn items can be personalized is another big draw for those that enjoy sewing. You can add names or initials. Or even particular phrases and designed that are meaningful for the recipient.


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Local Summer Events For Kids: The Secret Life of Pets movie event

Local Summer Events For Kids: The Secret Life of Pets movie event

PetSmart is having in store events for the release of the new movie The Secret Life Of Pets Check your local PetSmart for more information. Times may be different at some locations. The events are as follows:

On July 23rd from 12-4pm                             
The Secret Life of Pets
In-Store Event

Max has escaped, this time at PetSmart! Find him with the help of our clues & map for an in-store adventure. Visit 10 different stations throughout the store. First 30 kids to complete the quest receive a prize!


On June 25th the first 100 kids get a free movie poster, fun photo-op & treat samples for your pets. PLUS, get a free youth movie ticket with purchase.