Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



neighbor gift ideas

We so appreciate Vanessa Quigley and her company Chatbooks! They have become a significant part of the memory-keeping industry. So happy to have her sharing a little something with us today!

Twenty years ago my mother-in-law brought the most amazingly delicious treat to our cabin over winter break and it’s been a holiday tradition in our house ever since! Our family calls this white chocolate Chex mix “Snowy Mix.” (I’ve also heard it referred to as “White Trash” and “White Crack” as it is very addicting, but I prefer our more innocent name!) Every holiday season the kids and I gather in the kitchen and make TONS of it to give to all of our neighbors, teachers, babysitters, etc. It is super easy to make and simply packaged in clear cellophane bags and tied off with fun ribbon and a little tag, they make delightful gifts. This year I’m using our Chatbooks prints of a recent family photo for the tag and am writing a little personal note on the back of each. Happy Holidays from our home to yours!

Snowy Mix

4 cups Cheerios

4 cups rice or corn Chex

3 cups small pretzel twists (or pretzel sticks or the kind that look like windowpanes)

2 cups roasted salted shelled peanuts (or leave the peanuts out and it’s still delish!)

2 cups plain M&M’s

2 bags of white chocolate chips (Nestlé is my favorite brand. It melts so smoothly!)

Combine the cereals, pretzels, peanuts, and M&M’s in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Put the white chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until they are all melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into the cereal mixture and stir until it is all evenly coated. Then dump it all out onto 2 pieces of parchment paper or tin foil laid out on the counter and wait for it to dry.

*White chocolate chips are kind of expensive but usually go on sale around the holidays. I keep my eye out and stock up when they do. I’ve also used other colored M&M’s and made this for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve. It’s yummy year round!  

You might recognize Jennifer Johnson as our first Project Photo Rescue winner from Kansas. She is an amazing mom and documenter and we love this homemade gift idea!

Relaxing Holiday Bath Soak

1 c. Epsom salts

1/2 c. baking soda

10 drops Stress Away essential oil

5 drops lavender essential oil

Combine ingredients and package in a glass jar.  Add bath soak directly into warm bath & enjoy!

I love making this bath soak to gift to friends & teachers. Who doesn’t need a little relaxation during this busy time of year? This bath soak is quick & inexpensive to make and you can make it festive using cute glass containers, ribbons, & tags. It’s easy whether you need to make just a few or if you need a dozen or two! I find the best jars at Home Goods and in the Target Dollar Spot. For an extra special gift, include the bottles of essential oils & recipe so your loved one can refill their jar!

Jessica Turner of The Mom Creative always has such great ideas and we are loving what she is sharing today! Be sure to visit her Instagram as well for more fantastic ideas!

Eco-friendly gifts for home

My love language is gifts. In addition to giving Christmas gifts to friends and families, I love to surprise and delight my neighbors, my kids’ teachers, my delivery people, etc. To pull this off, I need to have a lot of gifts on hand during December. Over the years I have done everything from handmade bath salts to chocolate popcorn. But my go-to gift is no longer handmade – it’s yummy smelling holiday scents from Mrs. Meyer’s.

Each year, Mrs. Meyer’s releases three limited-edition holiday scents – peppermint, pine, and orange clove. They smell like the season and I love using them in my home. Last December, I ordered a bunch of hand soaps and towels from Grove Collaborative (they sell the products at a discount) and had them on hand to give as gifts. Sometimes I threw in a bit of peppermint chocolate candy too. Everyone LOVED them and I loved the idea that I was giving a practical gift that they would use all season. I hoped the warm scents would remind them that they were cared for and important.

I contacted Grove to let them know that I was going to be writing this post for Becky’s series and because they are awesome, they offered to give her readers a free gift for shopping on their site (think of them like Target, but they only sell eco-friendly products that ship right to your door!). Using this link, all new customers can get a free Mrs. Meyer’s seasonal scent set (hand soap, dish soap, and counter spray) plus a green and white towel with a $20 purchase. I recommend stocking up on some seasonal soaps to use as gifts, plus keep a few for yourself. Also, their hand-poured soy candles smell amazing, so one of those might be good too!

I hope this idea + freebie makes gift-giving a snap for you this holiday season. It’s the perfect time of year to be generous and show love to everyone in your life, including those beyond your traditional gifting list.

Natashia from Canary Jane is sharing a really fun idea for a neighbor gift!

Coloring pages

Print these free printable Christmas coloring pages from CanaryJane.com. You can use these printables for simple neighbors gifts by attaching some colored pencils or crayons. Or print them for Christmas events coming up. Be sure to head over to Canary Jane for more free printables and craft ideas.

stone wrap

My favorite gift to give to friends and neighbors during the holidays is a roll of Stone Wrap. Add a free printable gift tag and you are all set!