12. Upcycled Wine Glass Lampshade

I loved doing this simple craft in an evening. It’s the type of DIY project you can easily do with friends for a girls night. Grab a pack of mis-matched wine glasses from the second-hand store near you, a bag of tea lights, embellishments and mini lamp shades or thick craft paper. Or a slightly chipped wine glass from your cabinet is ideal too!

There’s two ways to do this

  1. I happen to have a chandelier that I will be giving a face lift to soon for our kitchen remodel and it has a handful of tiny lamp shades that I don’t want on it. The lampshades are the perfect size and such good quality that I’ll be able to use one of them outside on my little porch. I’m also thrilled about this because it seems a little safer than using a paper shade. For this style, you can leave the lampshade as is or embellish with glitter and mod podge glue. Or perhaps ribbon and lace. 
  2. If you can’t find a tiny lampshade, here is a link to the pattern for cutting sturdy craft paper into a lampshade. Very simple. Just be sure to not leave the candle unattended when burning with this paper shade. The shade will have the glass between it and the flame but I still wouldn’t trust leaving it burning in another room. An LED tea light would be perfect. Know that the paper wont hold up long-term on a porch but this version is a nice temporary idea for a tea party. With the paper version, you’ll just need a glue gun to adhere the edges together. Rubber stamps or other embellishments can be added too. 

​I’m loving getting settled in our first real home. We’ve already had lots of family come visit and it’s already been filled with laughter and love. My sister Kara brought me porch lights and fashionable outdoor pillows as house warming gifts! I especially love the peacock one featured bellow, she knows me so well.

Cozy porches are a sort of tradition in our family and I can’t wait to spend more time out there this summer.

11. Quick DIY Makeup Remover

We have officially been living in our new home for two weeks! Lots of hands helped us move in just in time before we had Kent’s brother and sister-in-law come to visit for Memorial Day weekend. We had a lot of fun with them even though the house still has a handful of projects to finish. I’m in another scurry to get more done before my sister and her family come to visit us next week.

Even though we have all this going on, it’s been a mercy that I’ve naturally had little things to share on my blog every two weeks. This is my eleventh post since my New Years Ambition and I’m so thrilled it’s still going! Taking a few minutes to blog now and then is a nice break from thinking about the renovation.

Once we’re settled and unpacked, I cannot wait to get into bigger craft projects I’ve been dying to do for home decor in the new place. And of course I’ll post about it here!

For now, here is my Essential Oil Makeup Remover recipe I’ve been using for a while. It’s been in my notes to share it and since I ran out of makeup remover during our move, I had to make more last night. It truly works!

​​​There’s a lot of recipe variations on Pinterest and this is a conglomeration I’ve enjoyed with my Young Living Essential Oils. I chose Frankincense for its anti-aging benefits and Tea Tree for the anticeptic like qualities and skin repair. They are absolutely my favorite oils for my face! I first started using Tea Tree oil when a piercing technician recommended it for healing skin and scars. It definitely soothes better than anything else I’ve used for skin damages. Frankincense is my number one oil above all others. If I was lost on a desert island and could only choose one oil or form of medicine, Frankincense would be it. It’s basically a Jack of all trades in the essential oil world, with healing properties for burns and cuts, immune system strength as well as a natural pain-killer for headaches. I also use it with Thieves oil to cure sore throats. It has over 20 uses, there’s a reason it’s been valuable for centuries! As I jokingly tell my husband “If it was good enough for baby Jesus, it’s good enough for us.”

A tip on the makeup remover; my skin is natural to dry so the two tablespoons of coconut oil work nicely. You can use other oils like almond or pure virgin olive oil. If your skin is combination to oily, use only one tablespoon of coconut oil. Or substitute it for a half a teaspoon of un-scented, liquid Castile soap.

In place of distilled water, boiled water is fine, just make sure it cools before applying it to your face!

I only make enough for one month because the pads must be replaced in four weeks. Fortunately, it’s easy to whip up in a mater of seconds.

Hope you enjoy!

10. Gifts for Him

I’ve been on a gift basket kick for a while and I’m excited to give you some ideas for the guys in your life! The items listed below are just suggestions to get you going on a theme.

A few ideas you can include based on his individual interest are:

  • coffee beans
  • cool mug or travel mug
  • his favorite beverage
  • shooters and a bartenders guide
  • workman’s hand salve
  • meat rubs and grilling accessories
  • shaving creams and neat toiletries
  • ear-buds
  • travel size battery bank or other phone gadgets
  • beef jerky, snacks or candies

Hopefully this list will kickstart a theme for the person you have in mind. Another one is a movie night kit with a DVD, popcorn bags and candy.

Here is the small package I put together for my Father in law based on just a few handy tools.

In This Kit:

  • Small crate – I got mine for $3.97 as an add-on to my Amazon cart but you can also find these at any craft store and use a coupon
  • Chalkboard paint and any brush
  • Chalk pen
  • Tissue paper
  • Workman’s socks – my husband can order Snap-On socks through work and loves the brand. Carhartt has good pairs as well
  • 10 in 1 Credit Card Survival Tool – I’ve seen these all-in-one survival tools that fit in a wallet, pocket etc and thought they are nifty. I picked the Guardman on Amazon
  • Sugru Mouldable Glue – Have you seen this stuff? It’s so cool! There’s a host of YouTube videos on life hacks for ways to use it
  • Clear wrapping paper and scissors
  • Small elastic or rubber band

Tips:

Paint one side of the crate slats with chalkboard paint. Let dry and paint a second coat. Once paint has completely dried, write your message or receivers name on the black slats.

As always, remove any visible price tags first or use a sharpie to black it out.

Un-package things like socks from awkward packaging. Line crate with tissue paper. Arrange gifts by height, short items in front and tall or large items in back. Display any tiny items on top for best visibility.

Cut large sheet of clear wrapping paper. Gather all the edges up and secure with a small elastic hair tie or rubber band.

I’m sure he’ll love it!

9. Personalized Gift Baskets for Mother’s Day

img_1189Personalized gift baskets and care packages have become one of my favorite projects! It started with a Thank You basket to our friends when I filled it with an item for each person in the family. Then a Care Box crammed full of dry food and goodies for my brother at college with the theme “Treat Yo Self!” and a smaller Care Package for a friend I miss.

It’s a blast hunting for treasures or a collection of themed items for people I know based on their current needs or interests. Then arranging the kits and seeing the final product gives me a huge thrill! I now know why my Grama Porter invested so much of her time in shopping and hand making so many gifts.

Mother’s Day gifts were an easy decision this year!

The Self Care Spa Kit

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In This Kit:

  • Pretty basket from Target’s container section
  • Cotton Balls
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Herbal Tea
  • Sugared Violet Scented Candle from Target ($3!)
  • Burt’s Bee’s Cotton Facial Cleansing Towelettes for sensitive skin
  • Fine dark chocolate bar
  • Fuzzy Spa Socks
  • Encouraging Daily Devotional Calendar
  • Clear plastic wrapping and scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Small elastic or rubber band
  • Gift tag and pen

Tips:

Always remove any visible price tags first or use sharpie to black it out. It’s how my Momma taught me.

Then start by emptying the cotton balls into the gift basket. These can be arranged as filling around the rest of the gifts.

Un-package things like socks and use ribbon to tie them into a prettier presentation.

Arrange gifts by height, short items in front and tall or large items in back. Display tiny items on top for best visibility.

Cut large sheet of plastic wrap. If one side is too short to gather up and around basket or container, use a second piece to layer. Gather all the edges up and secure with a clear, small elastic hair tie or rubber band before adding the ribbon and gift tag.

The Fairy Garden Kit

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For This Kit:

  • Shallow gardening pot from Home Depot
  • Potting mix portioned into a gallon sized ziplock bag
  • Fairy bridge found at Hobby Lobby
  • Wooden spool with yarn
  • Small charms: itty bitty pink tea-cup I found in the jewelry section at Hobby Lobby
  • Tiny bird feeder. (Optional: decorate it by doodling on wood with colored markers)
  • Teeny starry light strand from Target (only $3!)
  • Little bag of “Fairy Findings”. (Free!) Collect a couple of odds and ends like a cork, penny, button and twine or wire for the receivers creative use
  • Packet of wild flower seeds
  • Small block of oven bake clay
  • Bag of glass, pebbles or stones
  • Fine dark chocolate bar, because… obvious reasons. Receiver will need sustenance while crafting a fairy wonderland
  • Tissue paper (optional)
  • Clear plastic wrapping and scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Small elastic or rubber band
  • Gift tag and pen

Tips:

Same instructions as in previous kit, however; with the potting soil, after you poke a few tiny holes to allow air flow, arrange the bag against the bottom to back of the pot with one edge of the bag leaning out over the back side as seen in the middle, right side photo above. This allows for a better stage to start displaying the rest of the kits contents, large in back, small in front.

If the front items are not visible and keep falling too deep into the pot, use a little bit of tissue paper underneath to prop them up.

Happy gifting!

8. Crafting with Wine Corks

​Our home renovation has been taking up all of our time but the good news is that it’s going fairly smooth with minor hiccups. Half the kitchen ceiling is ripped out for recessed lighting and we’re down to sub flooring. But the cabinets arrived yesterday! Even though they are in boxes, I’m reassured what we picked is beautiful. I can barely wait to install them this Saturday.

Fortunately I had made this little craft a while back and saved it to share with you now. Champagne corks remind me of mushrooms so I made these ornaments, charms and photo stands.

The charms would also be cute tied to a tag on a gift wrapped present. And the photo stand is cute on a desk and can also be used to hold sticky notes and reminders.

I definitely became inspired for this craft through Pinterest. Cork crafts were some of the first Pins I saved to my board “On the Craft Shelf” along with bottle cap crafts. I never throw either of them away and often collect them from friends and family. There’s a slew of things to do with them, all perfect for simple rainy day projects.

What other ways have you used wine corks?

7. Easter Update: Making Things New 

Happy Spring y’all! Here in Colorado this means yummy sunny days and sudden gusts of blustery wind, followed by snow and icy roads the next day. Summer is just around the corner and due to our recent move, I’ve been forced into some real spring cleaning leading up to Easter weekend. Our big news…

We bought our first home!

Yes, it’s kind of a big deal! I can’t help but squeal in excitement now and then in between the rushes of packing, deadline panics and hardcore adulting. As crazy as the suburban Denver market is, we had a great first time experience and could not have done it without our realtor Stephanie Brooks.

Our first home is a townhouse, and as we wanted, a little bit of a fixer upper! According to the Inspector, it is in great condition. But it’s begging for an update. Kent has experience working for a contractor, he can build and fix just about anything. And I don’t mean “fix” like Tim from Home Improvement. Kent has real skills and gets things done right. I love painting, decorating and remodeling of all kinds. This is one of the big reasons we were attracted to each other when we met. We’ve been looking forward to putting our style on a home ever since we got married. After about four rentals and five moves, we can not wait to start this project together! We’ve just started scraping the popcorn ceilings upstairs and I already know we won’t even come close to killing each other in this venture (haha) but we have been learning a lot together. It’s already making us grow in ways we haven’t expected.

Sneak Peek:

Here are just a few “before” pictures. We are going to:

  • scrape popcorn ceilings and re-texture
  • change out light fixtures and two doors
  • put in new carpet upstairs
  • repaint upstairs, main floor and basement laundry/craft room
  • redoing closets and trim
  • replace laminate with new flooring on main floor
  • remodel the entire kitchen

Some smaller touches like back-splash, new fireplace mantel and replacing the master bathroom vanities, will all be done later on after we move in.

With Easter’s theme of resurrection and new life in spring time, the symbolism isn’t lost on me that we are making this home new as well.

Our lives have been a bit chaotic in recent weeks but we try to stop and enjoy the new adventure we’re on so we don’t miss the big stuff. That’s why I can still enjoy taking a moment to post a quick note and stay on track with my New Years ambition. I wish I had a cute easter egg craft for you. My Pinterest board is overflowing with brilliant inspiration and the “creative juices are flowing” as my sister Kara and I like to say. But sometimes we just can’t do everything we hope and a little self-care is a higher priority.

Lastly, here’s my fur-child, Meeko, to say “Happy Easter!” I hoped he would demonstrate his convincing impression of a bunny on its hind legs. But apparently he doesn’t approve of sharing this talent with the camera. Perhaps he found the bunny ears an insult to his artistic performance. Or fame has gone to his head and he wants a new agent to negotiate a better salary than half a peanut butter treat per act. Psh, who knows. Needless to say, I am hesitant to consider his audition for future casting as The Clay Bunny.

Wishing you a glorious Easter weekend!

6. Twinkle, Twinkle… 

 

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder who you are?

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, what a gift from God you are!

My friend is having her first baby! She told me she liked the twinkle little star theme for the boy nursery and Pinterest overflowed with ideas for the shower. For such a simplistic and classic theme, the possibilities and suggestions where overwhelming and I constantly had to pare down. It was a lot of fun! Especially since this was the first big project I got to do with the new Cricut Explore Air machine my husband gave to me for Christmas. It was also the first baby shower I have coordinated and I was blessed to have two other ladies contribute help with food, activities, star shaped sugar cookies and borrowed items. Team work is the secret to life.

Thanks to my friend, Michael, I have lovely photos to share with you.

The shower was hosted as a brunch with a oodles of help from my partners in this venture. This is the menu we came up with: parfait cups, pancake bites, egg and sausage casseroles, donut holes, bacon, coffee cake, virgin mimosa’s, water and coffee. Brunch is such an ideal time because there are a slew of fun and easy food options.

Being a co-ed shower, we played Baby Jeopardy (guys versus girls) as well as Blind Folded Diaper Challenge where all the guys compete to get an infant diaper on a balloon, blind folded, without popping it. Both games induced a lot of laughs and fun competition! Another wonderful activity, provided by a friend, was Encouragement Cards. Everyone was handed a card and pen and we all got a moment to write a word of encouragement to the new parents. The cards will be mailed out over the course of a few weeks after the baby is born. I hadn’t heard of this before but it is such a thoughtful idea.

In place of a guest book, I hand painted a small canvas night sky in water colors. Then printed out small stars from my Cricut machine which guests would sign with their names.

We also had a diaper raffle to encourage guests to bring a pack of diapers to get the parents stocked up for the first month. Each package of diapers earned a ticket for the drawing. Target and Walmart carry unique and inexpensive games that make great prizes for raffles.

I had a lot of fun making simple Thank You cards for the new Momma. Now that I have seen what my Cricut machine can do, I can’t wait to make some for myself. The envelopes were placed next to the canvas for anyone to write their name and address on, saving one more step for the new parents in writing their thank you notes later on. I wish this idea was common around the time of my wedding six years ago!

I was truly tickled with the game prizes, as seen bellow. This Pinterest link inspired the mason jar shower kits with the tag “From the Jordan’s Shower to Yours!” Cute, huh? The travel section at Target carries great mini bath products for men and women. I don’t have a photo of it but I made a few for men too with Axes deodorant, Dove shampoo and shaving cream. The jars came from my hoard of glass bottles, of course; and I spray painted the lids.

I hope you enjoy the photos and get inspired. Feel free to ask questions! For instructions on the diaper cake, I followed a couple different posts from other handy bloggers but this one by Alli Crafts was the most helpful for the base, click here. The navy pouf at the top of my diaper cake is actually a Swaddle Me bunched up and half stuffed down the middle of the display.

My “How-To” video of the Twinkle Little Star Mobile

To see more of my favorite baby shower inspirations, see my Party Planning board here on Pinterest.

5. A Fairy Tale Afternoon

Salty sea air, humid breeze and ocean spray. When I close my eyes, I transport immediately to my favorite place on earth. Since childhood, Nags Head North Carolina near Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers Memorial has become one of the places I associate with the word “home.”



My Papa and Grama lived there in a beach house on stilts for over 30 years, creating a soul soothing haven for all who visited. And let me tell you, there were many. They knew the art of kindness. And even though they’re no longer here, I can’t help going back as often as possible.



It was a girlish dream come true when my best friend and soul mate, proposed to me alone on the sand dunes at sunset November 24th while we were there for a family Thanksgiving. I literally day dreamed of this as a little girl and believed there could not be anything more romantic. It was that much more special when I learned my Mom and Grama played a role. I love envisioning how they orchestrated the privately reserved table at the restaurant for us later that evening, and went shopping for a bouquet of two dozen roses to have waiting at the table when we arrived. Sometimes magic is created simply. Sheerly out of thoughtfulness.


We were married March 12th 2011, back home in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia, close to all our friends and family.


Naturally, shortly after our wedding, I was nostalgic to wear my wedding dress again. It’s the most gorgeous gown I’ve ever owned! It seemed tragic I’d only wear it once. I decided to someday take photos in it again on the spot where Kent proposed.


When I saw Pinterest inspired photo shoots of brides “trashing” their dress post wedding in commemorative, artsy and messy ways, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. From brides on horse back in a country field or a woodsy creek in a fairyland theme looking like a nymph, these photos inspired me. I even contemplated a photo shoot on Skyline Drive or a park we strolled through while dating, but none of these seemed as perfect as the beach.



Our first few anniversaries flew by and this concept didn’t seem possible until two years ago after my Dad’s death. Mom was moving to a new home with new memories and she had been reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art” by Marie Kondo. Purging my million stuffed animals, doll houses and tea sets was necessary. As well as my wedding boxes. This prompted Kent and I to get serious about doing a special photo shoot in my dress. The more we talked about it, the more I knew we had to do it at the beach. It was a place that was significant for both of us.



We found Ginger, an amazing local photographer. She and I talked about my vision for the photo session beforehand. I loved that Ginger sounded nearly as excited as I was for this “wreck the dress anniversary shoot” to happen! We planned it for a late afternoon during a huge family trip that also turned out to be my sister’s destination wedding! After her wedding, hours of swimming, my birthday and more family fun than a person should be allowed to have in one week, Kent and I snuck off. Getting all dressed up, we slipped away for one of the most magical and fun things we’ve ever done together since our own wedding and honeymoon.


It had been blistering hot the two days before and the forecast called for rain. In the early morning hours it thundered and stormed with torrential downpours and window rattling thunder and lightning. The kind that keeps you snuggled under your blankets in cozy awe of God’s creation but also kind of makes you scared.





I was actually truly scared for a bit that our photo session might be canceled. Up until the last-minute I needed to start getting dressed, thunder was still threatening in the background and Ginger and I went back and forth about whether it would work. Thankfully, Kent was truly the optimist and encouraged me to keep getting ready. We all realized an overcast sky could be so much better, but little did I realize the stormy backdrop would be so breathtaking!


We stuffed myself, skirts and all into the rental car and picked up my Aunt Grace. She couldn’t make it to our wedding in 2011 and this was the perfect opportunity to make it up to her. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without her there to help carry my sopping wet skirts, hold my lipstick, rearrange the veil and such. She was a sort of stand in bridesmaid for the afternoon and I’m so thankful!

I’ll never forget wearing my wedding dress for a second time. For being reminded I am my husband’s bride now and forever, not just on March 12th. Without the excitement and hustle of a wedding, Kent could fully appreciate again the dress Mom and I picked out and had the bust altered to resemble Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

We got to play the best kind of dress up, really. Giggling over making romantic poses look natural. Nervous laughing as thunder and lightning still shook in the distance. It was quite an adventure. And Kent found it especially funny when I screamed in excited surprise as the first waves crashed over my gown.

This photo session wasn’t without some bittersweet emotion. Papa had passed away before our wedding, but before he went, I’ll never forget one of the last, truly lucid, conversations he had with me in the middle of his failing memory. He told me he was sorry that he would not be around much longer, that he loved me and all of us children. I reminded him of all the wonderful times we’d had because of the home he and Grama made at the beach; that made him happy. He told me he was proud of me, that I was blessed with so much love and family. And lastly, that he truly hoped I would continue to come to the beach and treasure it even when he’s gone. I can’t type those simple words without getting teary. My Papa who held my hand on walks, pointing out bunnies, turtles, pelicans and patiently sat at my many exclusive tea parties, left me with one more treasure. As I stood on the edge of the outgoing tide in my wedding gown that Papa never got to see in person, I remembered him. For a moment, a part of this was for him and his request. I bet he could see me.

I know Grama would have loved these photos as well. I can hear her exclaiming “that’s neat!” as she did over exquisite things.



For one more day, courtesy of GingerSnaps Photography, we got to make more dreams come true.

Marriage is a gift. I’m not being trite. For it’s not without trials and tribulations, tears and disappointments. But if loyally committed to with faith and kindness, let’s not forget, it’s all worth it. I also know that…

Once in a while, we are allowed a fairy tale day.


Photos are courtesy of GingerSnaps Photography. Please do not copy or download images for privacy purposes.

4. Homemade Essential Oil Hand Salve 

Happy Wednesday!

I was torn about which project I would do for this post but quickly settled on this because my hands have suffered a great deal this Colorado Winter. I once took pride in silky hands, yet recently no amount of regular lotion could repair my flaky, cracked knuckles. So I compared Pinterest suggestions and then wrote out my own experimental recipe. And I have to say, after a day and a half of applying this to my hands before bed, before I drive and at my desk, my hands are restored! I wanted a recipe that focused more on the amazing benefits of shea butter. Since this was a first time experiment I went with a small batch in 1/4 cup measurements. I did not label this a lotion for a few reasons. The consistency and slow absorbance seems more applicable as an ointment than an every day all around hand lotion, which is ideally less oily. At the rate my, once smooth hands, have been cracking, a healing balm is called for, oily and all! I now consider this my healing hand treatment when regular, oil free, lotions fail.

The trendy stationary I wrote the recipe on was given to me by my talented sister in law, Grace Pennington. I love her original hand sketched designs!

I originally added 3 drops of German Chamomile to this salve per my essential oils handbook suggestion. However, the oder was so overpowering in the recipe I decided not to include it above. If you make this as a healing hand treatment I recommend bottling small portions into multiple tiny containers (recycled spice containers work great). One each for your purse, desk and night stand. Perhaps even by your kitchen sink if you frequently do dishes. Regular dish soap often contributes to drying out my hands and leaving them chapped. (I cannot wait to try Young Living’s Thieves Dish Soap instead in my next monthly order!) A couple of days of faithful application of this salve should result in noticeable improvement. Enjoy!

Please note: if you do not have the time or resources to make this recipe yourself, I’d be happy to make a personal batch for your purchase! Just comment for a request. 

3. Easy Spring Chalk Board Wreath

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Not everyone enjoy’s celebrating it but it’s special to me because my Mom made it meaningful. Growing up, it meant an extra special evening as a family eating a scrumptious meal by candle light. As well as exchanging those cute Valentine cards that come in a box with stickers or silly temporary tattoos and maybe a small homemade gift. Mom would buy a new DVD for the whole family to watch, or a new board game. These good memories inspire me to carry on fun traditions. Yet it should not become a burden or an overwhelming obligation to do something for every single person in your life each year.

For example; this year my husband and I are house hunting as first time home buyers, so we already have plenty going on. That’s why we ordered P.F. Chang’s take out and ate on the living room floor in a blanket nest, surrounded by candles. Followed by Cookie Butter Cheesecake Bites for dessert from Trader Joes (ohmyword, you HAVE to try them!). Simple, inexpensive but special. A moment to do something out of the ordinary and take our mind off of the lack of homes listed on the Colorado market (I won’t even go there right now).

For me the holiday this year just meant intentionally calling each of my siblings to say “I love you”. Not because I don’t remember so say it otherwise, but because you can’t tell someone “I love you” enough. Perhaps the saying “it’s the thought that counts”, can actually apply to this nationally recognized day devoted to love.

Among the long to-do lists we have right now, I enjoyed coming up with a new adornment for our front door. Post holiday craft sales are the best! Hobby Lobby’s Valentine’s day decor goes 50% off or more the week of and after. I found a Valentine’s Day chalk board, gave it an easy makeover and now I have something for spring and Easter all in one cute sign. You can find the chalk board here for $5!

Spring and Easter Chalk Board Sign


Tips:

  • If you aren’t a fan of your own handwriting, try using a stencil with your chalk pen. I can freehand but the stencil was great to get me started. Have fun and write whatever saying or greeting you like! The great thing is, I can wipe it off later and write something else like “Hello there…”, “Welcome” or more specifically “He is Risen!”
  • If you pick out a fancier ribbon, you don’t even have to glue on the flowers.
  • The possibilities for extra charms are endless. As I’m writing this, I just realized that one of those clip on butterflies could be really lovely!