Category Archives: Gift Giving

Home is Where the Heart is

Something that rings so true, but that can oftentimes be forgotten or muddled in the midst of our day to day.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is Where the Heart is Graphic Print | Tiffany Lane Handmade

My sister-in-law is moving off to college in a few months and recently celebrated quite the American turning of age.

In light of these two special milestones and taking advantage of my recent creative return, I felt it only necessary to make her something special. And practical, of course, too.

She’d been tossing around decor ideas for her future room and in true Tiffany fashion, I figured I could kill two birds with one (homemade and heartfelt) stone.

Cute, catchy and thoughtful. That’s exactly the type of quote I was searching for. Then it hit me. Home is where the heart is. Perfectly fitting.

Designed from scratch, the print at its base holds one of her favorite colors, yellow, to lay a foundation of comfort, while the neutral complimentary grey tones allow it to shine just shy of overwhelming the meaningful words.

A thoughtful phrase to comfort while she’s away packaged into a lovely piece of decor. Two birds? Most definitely.

Home is Where the Heart is Graphic Print  Tiffany Lane Handmade

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Filed under Crafting, Gift Giving, Graphic Design + Photography

Weekend DIY: String Nail Art!

I’ve been MIA for a while, I know. The busyness of life has overwhelmed my schedule, leaving little time to relax, nonetheless extra time to share with my virtual friends.

Last weekend, however, I found myself with a jam packed weekend of R&R, connecting with friends and being pampered at the day spa. Feeling a bit more relaxed than of late, Sunday found me eager to make a birthday gift for friend. An hour, a few paint laden fingers, and some hammered nails later emerged this lovely piece:

Wood Love String Art 1 | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Wood Love String Art 3 | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Wood Love String Art 2 | Tiffany Lane Handmade

I’d been wanting to try my hand at nail art since I came across this on Pinterest, but hadn’t made the time. Now that I know how easy it is, I’m sure something like it will find its way into our home soon!

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Filed under DIY + Tutorials, Gift Giving

Heirloom Seed Kit (Gardening’s Not as Easy as it Looks!)

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

A friend gave me an heirloom seed kit recently and even with my black thumb, I’ve been able to keep the cherry tomato plant alive! The kit comes with seeds, soil, paper pots, wooden crate and instructions for growing the seedlings.

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Step 1: plant the seedlings

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Step 2: water and cover with plastic wrap

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Step 3: once the seedlings have sprouted, remove plastic wrap and continue to water

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Destruction leaves only one survivor (WHAT NOT TO DO: accidentally leave the pot directly underneath the edge of your roof overhang during a rain storm…oops)

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Step 4: transplant any surviving seedlings into a larger pot with new soil (keeping seedlings in paper pot, which will biodegrade into the soil)

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Step 5: water and let it grow!

Heirloom Seed Kit |_ Tiffany Lane

And grow!

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

And grow!

Heirloom Seed Kit | Tiffany Lane

Now it’s just a waiting game until it starts to fruit. I cannot wait to try my homegrown cherry tomatoes!

READER FEEDBACK: What do you grow in your garden?

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Filed under Gardening, Gift Giving

Homemade Gift Guide: Body Care

Wow, can you believe it’s almost Christmas again already? I’m feeling a little behind in the gift department this year, mostly for my lack of planning ahead. Serious shocker for a seasoned planner! But never fear my friends, I’m getting it together finally, making lists and crossing off to-dos.

One of my must do favorites every year is homemade gifts and this year I happen to be keen on body care. Today I’m sharing two simple, inexpensive, and quick recipes: sea salt body scrub and salt bath soak.

ORANGE BASIL SEA SALT BODY SCRUB

Orange Basil Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

Orange Basil Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

Orange Basil Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

Ingredients
2 cups sea salt
1 cup oil (sweet almond oil* or olive)
2-4 tablespoons orange essential oil

2-4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

The basic ratio is 2 parts salt to 1 part oil, plus essential oils of your choosing for scent. For this recipe, I used orange essential oil and chopped, fresh basil. As always, feel free to adjust ratios to your tastes. You could always use basil essential oil instead of fresh basil. I happened to have fresh basil on hand and I also think it looks pretty.

Salt is a natural preservative so no need to worry about the oils or basil going rancid.  I know some of you may be into substituting recipes for what you have on hand, I am a huge advocate for that.  But in this case, please do not use sugar in place of the salt or you may need to refrigerate it (because of the fresh basil) which just isn’t very convenient for something you’re going to use in the bathroom.

PEPPERMINT SALT BATH SOAK

Peppermint Bath Soak | Tiffany Lane

Peppermint Bath Soak | Tiffany Lane

Peppermint Bath Soak | Tiffany Lane

Ingredients
2 cups salt

2-4 tablespoons peppermint essential oil

This is probably one of the easiest homemade gifts I’ve ever made.  Two ingredients and stir or shake to coat. It doesn’t get much better than that. I used both rock salts and fine salt for a lovely combination, then added in a bit of peppermint oil until fragrant. Endless possibilities for scents, use whatever you have on hand.

Need some more homemade gift ideas?

Candles are another great homemade gift that would go along nicely with these.  I can see myself now soaking in my salt bath, hands and face scrubbed smooth, and a refreshing candle glowing away. Check out my recent post for the full candle making DIY.

And don’t forget about the lip balm to round it out. This one is definitely on my gift list. As a matter of fact, I already ordered my containers and labels, just waiting for them to arrive so I can begin the preparations!

If you’re looking for a bigger ticket item, most women love massages and they make great gifts.  Go for a gift card to a local spa and add on a homemade body care gift or two for a cute package.

READER FEEDBACK: What are your favorite homemade gifts to give and receive?

P.S. This post can be found at Holistic Home Link Party!

*Tiffany Lane Handmade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Filed under Gift Giving, Holiday Crafts

Vanilla Lavender Body Scrub

Vanilla Lavender Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

There’s something about facials, massages, masks and scrubs that just seem to do the trick. They can take away a day’s stress in just a few minutes.

This body scrub doesn’t disappoint in that department and can be used all over the body, face included! The all natural and accessible ingredients make it a home run for the DIY gifter. I recently gifted it to my friend along with this candle.

Vanilla Lavender Body Scrub | Tiffany Lane

And to take it up a notch in the packaging department, but not break the bank, I reused an empty condiment jar, made and printed a label, then wrapped some packing paper around the lid and topped it off with a bow of twine. Simple and sweet.

Basic Ingredient Ratios
1 cup sugar (any kind will work)
1/2 cup oil (sweet almond oil*, coconut, olive)
1 tsp vitamin e oil

essential oil(s)

Vanilla Lavender
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet almond oil*
1 tsp coconut oil (since I didn’t have vitamin e on hand)
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lavender essential oil

vanilla lavender body scrub | tiffany lane

READER FEEDBACK: What’s your favorite skin care scent?

*Tiffany Lane Handmade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Filed under Gift Giving, Health, Beauty, Skin Care, Packaging

DIY: Candle Making (Again)

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Katie and I made these candles earlier this year and for her birthday I decided to make her a special one with the 2 pounds of soy wax flakes I had at home waiting for good use.

In my browsing for something to give her, I found this bowl at Anthropologie, one of her favorite stores.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Materials
Wax Pouring Pot
Large Metal Spoon
Soy Wax Flakes
Wicks &Tabs
Essential Oils

Container

What To Do

The first step is to measure your wax to make sure you have enough. Per our calculations, the wax flakes melts down to about 5 ounces per cup or 21.5 ounces per pound. For Katie’s candle, the bowl will easily hold about 2 cups of liquid.  For ease of calculations I went with 15 ounces of liquid as my base, requiring about 3 cups of dry flakes.

Before melting my wax, it’s a good idea to get the wicks ready. Since they don’t like to stand up on their own, I used tape to create a sort of divider, keeping them in place and something for them to lean on.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Melt the flakes a cup at a time over low heat, then take the pot off the heat and add any essential oils for scent a teaspoon at a time.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Once the wax cools, I’ve found the scent dissipates a little, so I made the warm wax stronger than I actually wanted the candle. For Katie’s candle, I decided on orange eucalyptus and ended up using 1 1/4 teaspoons eucalyptus and 3 1/2 teaspoons orange essential oils. Keep in mind that some essential oils have color and others are clear. Orange essential oil is definitely orange in it’s concentrated liquid state, but will turn a pale yellow once the candle has cooled.

Pour almost all the wax into your container, reserving a little to top it off once the initial pour sets.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

The initial pour tends to dimple or crack since the volume of the wax doesn’t cool evenly, but a thin top layer should cool more evenly preventing dimples and cracks. It will take a while for the initial pour to cool.  Once cooled, remelt your reserve wax, if necessary, and top off your candle. This layer cools much more quickly as there is less wax to cool.

After the top layer has cooled completed, you can remove the tape (or whatever you used to hold your wicks in place) and trim the wicks. As a finishing touch, I added some babies breath flowers and fern hairs. Wallah!

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

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Filed under DIY + Tutorials, Gift Giving

Cheers to Three Years!

love three year anniversary gift - tiffany lane

I really cannot believe how quickly time is flying.

Yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary, which means we’ve been together for more than 8.  That may not seem like a lot to you 15, 20, and 25+ years married folk (hats off to you, by the way), but when we’re only 25 and going on 27, that’s quite a bit of our lifetimes and all of our adult lives.

love three year anniversary gift - tiffany lane

love three year anniversary gift - tiffany lane

We celebrated by packing a yummy picnic…

anniversary picnic - tiffany lane

…and heading to the hills just above the coast to watch the sunset.

socal sunset june - tiffany lane

socal sunset june - tiffany lane

 And what better time than an anniversary to relive the sweet memories of our wedding day?  Please enjoy just a snippet of our special day 3 years ago:

Tiffany + Ryan from Maicol Chavez

I could not ask for a better partner in life.  My best friend.  My softest shoulder.  My adventure goer.  My love.

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Filed under Gift Giving, Packaging, Weddings