Coconut-Lime Soap

Yesterday morning, I looked out the window while I was getting ready and decided, “You know what? It looks like flip-flop weather!” I’m not quite sure what got into me, but I got dressed and was completely convinced that I would get to work and everyone would be wearing summer attire.

Coconut Lime Soap 3

Keep reading!

Gifting Your Homemade Soap!

Gifting Your Homemade Soap! - offbeat + inspired

I LOVE soap making. The process is so relaxing, lathering up with a homemade bar is so satisfying, and the entire concept is so healthy! There are so many benefits to making your own soap from scratch. Using it yourself is wonderful, but equally wonderful is gifting it.

Keep reading!

Offbeat’s Picks: NoshThis Bacon Crack

NoshThis Bacon Crack

I recently found out about an amazing candy company called NoshThis.  Finding new (favorite) candy companies is not something I need right now, but sometimes they just sneak up on me!  I was innocently browsing cooking videos on YouTube (woops) when I came across this video about Kai Kronfield, NoshThis founder.  I’d like to think of myself as a reserved shopper, but I would be fooling no one.  The second Kai mentioned chocolate, almonds, toffee and bacon.. I was loading up the cart and placing an order.

Keep reading!

DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags

DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags - Offbeat & Inspired

With Christmas right around the corner, there are a million things to do in the way of decorating, list making, gift buying and travel planning. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve resolved to have a handmade holiday.  Because DIY projects can be a bit of an investment and a little more work, I like to focus on ones that will serve me year round (while staying season-appropriate).  It’s easy to get lost in the idea of “doing it yourself” in order to save money and vent some of that creative energy, but the “saving money” part can get tossed out the window fast if a lot of your projects are only useful once or twice a year.  On that note, I’d like to introduce Cereal Box Gift Tags!

Keep reading!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

When I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles last week, my taste-testers (i.e. family and friends) ate them up in no time. I took that as a good sign, so I’m at it again with the no-bake no-egg cookie dough creations. This time in the form of fudge!

Just like the truffles, this recipe comes from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis. I originally borrowed this cookbook from a friend, but after making two delicious and indulgent treats I think I may be ordering it for myself. I hope my taste-testers are OK with trying out a few more cookie dough recipes!

Keep reading!

Offbeat’s Picks: Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamps

My mom and I used to make card-buying quite the epic field trip. We’d head out to the Hallmark store and peruse every aisle, laughing at the funny cards and holding back tears when reading the heartfelt sympathy cards. Before we knew it, we had forgotten that we only went in there for one birthday card, and instead came out with enough birthday, baby, sympathy, thank you and congratulations cards to last the entire year.

Keep reading!

Vote for our DIY Holiday Wreath over at BuzzFeed Shift & Enter Our Wreath Contest to Win a $50 Michaels Gift Card!

About a month ago we were asked to create a fresh DIY wreath tutorial for a Holiday Wreath post on BuzzFeed Shift.  We were SO excited and got right on it!  We tossed around a few ideas before we landed on the “Minimalist White Wreath” made out of paper plates, old t-shirts, tape and rubber bands.

We love this wreath for 3 reasons: 1.) It’s CHEAP! The only thing we needed to buy was a pack of heavy duty paper plates, which we usually have on hand anyway.  2.) It’s VERSATILE!  You can use any t-shirt color(s) you want and you can even add your own flare by pinning on other embellishments like paper flowers, string bows, etc.. sky’s the limit! 3.)  It’s QUICK. Including the time it takes to gather your materials, you can have this wreath hanging on the wall within an hour.  Does an adorable homemade piece of decor get any easier??

Keep reading!

Cookie Decorating for Kids

My sister makes the best sugar cookies. Seriously…the BEST. Maybe I’m biased because she’s my sister, but they’re amazing. Honestly, I don’t even really like sugar cookies – except hers. They’re perfectly sweet, never dried out (thanks to a little trick I’ll share in an upcoming post!) and decorated BEAUTIFULLY! These cookies are a work of culinary and visual art.

OK, those cookies pictured above were decorated by a five-year-old…not by my sister (decorating tutorials coming soon!).

Today, I really want to show you how my sister is cultivating cookie decorating skills in her daughter, Chloe – without the frosting mess that a kindergartener is sure to make.

Keep reading!

Offbeat’s Picks: Know Hope Burlap Bags

It’s no secret that I love all things coffee—coffee ice cream, coffee décor, coffee soap…and of course, coffee beverages. This past summer, my coffee-roasting brother invited my husband and I to attend CoffeeFest with him at Navy Pier in Chicago. Let me think…an entire convention dedicated to the love and art of coffee?! I’m in!

I definitely enjoyed watching some master baristas and chatting with quite a few coffee connoisseurs, but the coolest find was from an organization called Know Hope. We walked up to their booth and found awesome bags, journals and wallets made out of recycled burlap coffee sacks donated by roasters.

I love a good upcycled product as much as the next DIY blogger, but the best part about these bags is how they help kids in need. Know Hope is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization and the proceeds from their products are donated towards serving children around the world by providing food and humanitarian relief.

Who knew you could do so much good with some old burlap?

Learning (and relearning) to Knit

It seems like every year, or maybe even every six months, I pick up a new hobby. I make something my new obsession, run out and buy everything I need, and then two weeks later all my new purchases go untouched. Take my knitting for example. Last year, a few girls from my small group at church taught me how to knit. Despite the fact that I had to unravel the same scarf like 47 times before I got it right, I loved making it!

But then after making a few scarves for Christmas gifts last year, those knitting needles went untouched…until last week.

Keep reading!