Entertaining & nesting
with do-it-yourself details.

Gifts for guys: The "Bro"quet

Gifts for Guys: The "Bro"quet

I don’t know about you, but I’m always stuck on what to get my boyfriend for a special day like our dating anniversary or Valentine’s day. Guys have it so easy: Buy flowers, sign a card, rinse and repeat.

But my guy hates cards. And I don’t think he appreciates P.D.F. (public display of flowers) quite the same way that I do. So when his birthday rolled around this year, I decided to scrap the bouquet and go for a broquet.

The bro-quet is like a bouquet’s manly, DIY counterpart. Just like a gorgeous floral arrangement, this crafty gift has major “Wow!”-factor when you leave it for him to find, or drop it off at his office. But instead of flowers and greens, he’ll get to enjoy eating and drinking his favorite candy, liquor and snacks. What more could a guy want?

The best part is that it’s easy to make.

Broquet2

Materials:

  • A vase or container for the base (I used a chinese take-out style box from a craft store)
  • A block of floral foam that fits inside your container (“wet” floral foam is easier to cut)
  • Pennies or weights (optional)
  • Sticks, such as lollipop sticks, wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
  • Hot glue & a hot glue gun
  • Candy, snacks and other goodies to fill the bro-quet
  • Ribbon, tissue, name tags or other decorations (optional)

Steps:

  1. Cut down your your floral foam so that it fills your container. If your container is light (like mine was), you may need to weigh it down with pennies or another small, heavy item before filling it with the foam.
  2. Take your bro-quet goodies and attach a stick to the back of each one with hot glue. Try to vary the lengths of the sticks; bigger items like beef jerky should go in the back on longer sticks, smaller items like the liquor bottles are in front on shorter sticks.
  3. Once you’ve got everything attached to a stick, begin to push each stick down into the floral foam. This is where you put on your ameteur florist hat and try to arrange everything in a way that shows off each item and gives the bro-quet a nice round shape.
  4. Finish off the bro-quet with embellishments like wooden letters, tissue paper or ribbon (either wrapped around the bro-quet, or attached to another stick like I did here.

The bro-quet makes a great gift because you can completely customize it to your man’s tastes. Does he love beef jerky? Chocolate covered pretzels? Whiskey? Sour gummy worms? Snickers? And you don’t have to stop at the edible. Try adding golf balls, fishing lures, DVDs, gifts cards, video games, or anything else you know your guy is into.

Broquet3

Because I know it can be tough to shop for this sort of thing, here’s a run-down of all that went into my bro-quet:

  • 2 mini-bottles of J√§germeister
  • 1 mini-bottle of Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 mini-bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey
  • 2 5-Hour Energy Shots
  • 3 Nerds Ropes
  • 2 Mike and Ike fruit twists
  • 3 Charleston Chews
  • 2 sticks of rock candy
  • 2 snack packs of Goldfish crackers
  • 6 Airheads
  • 3 bags of Pop Rocks
  • 3 mini boxes of Mike and Ikes
  • 1 pack of Big League Chew bubble gum
  • 1 full-size bag of Peanut M&Ms
  • 1 full-size bag of Pretzel M&Ms
  • 2 packages of Oberto beef jerky

Happy snacking and happy crafting!

Eating My Way Through Chapel Hill and Durham

I recently took a weekend trip up to “The Triangle,” a.k.a. the triad cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Ok, that’s kind of a lie. I really only visited Durham and Chapel Hill. It was a quick trip. So this will be a quick post. If you do only two things in North Carolina, visit Rise and Sugarland.

Because food groups are important. But so are donuts. And biscuits. And cupcakes. And gelato.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit at Rise, Durham, NC

Rise_donuts

Rise in Durham is the best spot ever for breakfast. Whether you want savory or sweet, they’ve got you covered. Because the serve two things: Biscuits and donuts. My recommendations: The Maple Bacon bar, Orange Curd donut (dusted with Pistachio Sugar), or literally anything on a biscuit. That’s a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit pictured above.

Sugarland_cupcakes

Sugarland_gelato

Sugarland_pretzelcone

Sugarland in Chapel Hill calls itself a “bakery,” but it’s so much more. A rainbow of decadent gelato peaks (which you can get in a pretzel cone), crazy gorgeous cupcakes, …and, oh, you can get a frozen gelato martini. What’s not to love?

2013 Fantasy Oscars Draft Game

Fantasy Oscars Draft 2013 - Free Printable Game!

It’s that time of year again! No, not Valentine’s Day or Can-We-Put-The-Coats-Away-Yet? Day. It’s almost time for the Academy Awards. And of course, for the 2013 Fantasy Oscars Draft.

(Looking for the 2014 Fantasy Oscars Game? Click here.)

In case you missed it last year, I put together a little cut-and-play game for you to follow along with the award show and make it more competitive (a great idea, especially, if you’ve got some guys who think an Oscar party is their version of hell). It borrows elements from Fantasy Football, where you put together a dream roster of pro football players who earn points for your fantasy team; only this time, you’re choosing films, actors, actresses, performers, preseneters, producers and directors to fill out your 2013 Oscars Dream Team.

Fantasy Oscars Draft 2013 - Free Printable Game!

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9 Free Caligraphy Fonts

As if I didn’t have enough to do, I sometimes day dream about starting to learn caligraphy. I mean, I sort of have neat handwriting. When I try to, at least. And how great would it be to embellish homemade gifts with custom-lettered calligraphy, like, all the time? And if you’re planning a wedding or another huge bash, don’t even get me started. You could save tons of dough if you knew how to do calligraphy.

But I usually snap out of that day dream pretty quickly when I realize that calligraphy can be an expensive hobby. And it takes a lifetime of practice to become as good as gals like Melissa Esplin and Jessica Hische.

So for the rest of us, there’s fonts. I’ve spent some time collecting them on my laptop for my projects and crafts (like the Pumpkin Place Cards I made last Halloween, featuring the Some Weatz font), and I thought “Why not share these?”

So here you go. Put calligraphy on everything, no ink neccessary.

9 Totally Free Caligraphy Fonts

1. Antrokas
2. BlackJack
3. Centeria Script
4. Respective
5. Contribute
6. Some Weatz
7. Dancing Script
8. Janda Stylish Script
9. Janda Elegant Handwriting

How to Eat Garlic Jam

So, a funny thing happened on my way down to Florida recently. And by funny, I mean delicious.

Somewhere along the way between Atlanta and Gainesville on I-75, as I found my bladder too full and the gas tank too empty, we stopped at a cute and only moderately sketchy old-school truck stop called Magnolia Plantation. It looked a little run-down on the outside (the gas pumps had mechanical counters), but inside it was amazing. There were jams, jellies, syrups and butters for as far as the eye could see. There was tradional stuff, like blueberry syrup and apple butter, but also some really unqiue things, like Garlic Jam.

You know what happened next. I bought jam. From a gas station.

So here I am, with some of what is sure to be delicious Garlic Jam, and no idea what to do with it.

I turned to the web, and found a few inspiring and mouth watering ideas. I can’t wait to try them all. But I wanted to jot them down in one place first in case there’s any other impulse truck stop shoppers out there like me.

And if you don’t have a sketchy-vintage-amazing Southern gas station/truck stop nearby, you can also make garlic jam at home. This would be a great gift, methinks, as long as you give them some ideas of what to do with it.

Wishbone Wrap Place Settings

I’ve managed to combine some of my favorite things with this project: Neutals, Neon, and unwrapping presents.

Even though Thanksgiving is still a month ahead of the gift-giving holiday we all know and love, it’s never too early to unwrap a little something. But instead of unwrapping presents, we’re unwrapping plates. Because the real gift at Thanksgiving is all of that insanely delicious homestyle food you get to enjoy with your family and friends.

I found these plastic wishbones from Lucky Break at a local party store, and they were too cool to pass up. They’re designed to snap in two just like a real wishbone. I mean, we all love breaking the wishbone at Thankgiving. But it’s messy and there’s only one. And wishbones always end up with one person who doesn’t get their wish.

With these plastic ones everybody gets their own, so there’s plenty of wishes to go around. And integrating them into the place setting in such a fun way is a great way to get everybody psyched about their turkey and stuffing. Because before you chow down, you have to break open the wishbone to get to the plates.

Making these is really easy, too. You just need some wishbones (one for each person; plastic or real, whatever you can get your hands on) and ribbon. I used a simple cotton twill, but this would be great with a thin satin ribbon or even baker’s twine. If you want to give your wishbones dipped tips like I did (neon yellow, if that’s your thing), you’ll want to grab some paint and let a few coats dry before tying them on to plates.

When you’re setting the table for Thanksgiving, lay a length of ribbon across each setting (measure out a strip 2.5 times the diameter of your biggest plate). Then, set the plates and napkin down on top with a wishbone in the center. Pull the ribbon tight and tie the ends around each side of the wishone, trimming any exess.

Wrapping the plates helps Thanksgiving to feel like the special occassion it ought to be, and your guests will love kicking off dinner with a wish. Hopefully they wished for turkey.