7 Handmade Gift Ideas For Men

December 24, 2020

Men are definitely difficult to buy for! Most of them seem to have already everything they want, except for the ridiculously expensive things.

Handmade gifts are a great way of showing someone that you care, and they will always be totally unique because you made them.

Here are some great ideas for handmade gifts that men will enjoy and actually use.

Leather laptop case

If you’re getting a gift for a man who works on a computer, then making them a leather sleeve to keep it safe and protected is a gift that is both thoughtful and useful. The guide linked above uses leather that they have bought specially, but you could just as easily repurpose an old coat or bag or even grab one from a thrift shop.

Wood serving board

For the man who loves a cheese board, or who just loves to serve food to people! To make this wooden serving board, all you’ll need is the right sized chunk of wood (which you can buy in a craft store or on Amazon), sandpaper and a stiff brush to clean it, and mineral oil to seal it ready for serving food. 

Tread belt

For the petrolhead in your life, you make them a stylish belt from old tires. Not only will this look great, but it’s a perfect way to reuse tires that would otherwise go to a landfill. 

T-shirt blanket

If you are giving a gift to a man with an extensive t-shirt collection that he never wears, then turning it into a blanket for them could be a wonderful gift.

Perhaps they have collected t-shirts from every gig that they have gone to, or perhaps they just have a lot of t-shirts with cool designs that they refuse to throw away. Whatever the reason, a t-shirt blanket is a great way for them to actually get to see and use the t-shirts they love so much. And as an added bonus, you can clear out some closet space. 

If you don’t fancy sewing the blanket yourself, the talented team at myt-shirtblanket.com will do it for you. All you need to do is send the shirts over, and they’ll send you back a gorgeous blanket.

Shave soaps

There’s no rule saying that men can’t enjoy a little pampering too! These handmade shave soaps are a great way to turn shaving into a miniature spa session.

DIY beard oil

Men who love their beards will be overjoyed with this DIY beard oil, as it will leave their beards soft and smelling great! The great thing about a DIY beard oil is that you can choose a fragrance that you really like, and you can also choose oils that have other benefits. For example, did you know that rosemary is great for promoting healthy hair growth?

Necktie glasses case

A glasses case made from a tie is a great stocking filler that can be made quite cheaply, just pop to your local thrift store and see which ties you can find.  

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Boudin Pie

December 23, 2020

 A few year ago, see also when we lived in New Iberia still, Jeremy came home with this big ole pie. It was the strangest concept... boudin and sweet potatoes. But people, it worked. 

It was from the Cane River Company in town and oh so yummy. 

There is just one tiny problem, we don't live there any more and they don't ship. 

Recreating isn't so hard though, especially since when we dug into the Boudin Pie the sweet potato topping tasted exactly like my Mother's Sweet Potato Souffle. 

This pie is super easy to make, the only suggestion I have is that you refrigerate it all after assembling it to get it to the same temperature before baking. If you don't you will run into your boudin and sweet potatoes not being that same temp when you serve. 

When you look at the recipe and see that you have leftover Sweet Potato Soufflé &  topping don't panic. I tried knocking this down but it gets tricky. So we had some extra Sweet Potato Soufflé and weren't mad about it at all. Considering it lagniappe. 

Boudin Pie


1 Deep Dish Pie Crust (make yourself or use premade) 

1lb Boudin

Sweet Potato Layer: 

2 large sweet potatoes, baked (roughly 3 cups) 

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup evaporated milk

3 eggs

 1/4 cup sugar 

Pecan Praline Topping: 

1/2 cup self rising flour

3 tbsp butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk


Pre-bake the pie crust according to your recipe or package directions. 

While the crust is baking make your sweet potato mixture and praline topping. To do this combine all of the sweet potato ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Make sure there are no large clumps of sweet potato, the mixture should be completely smooth. 

In a small bowl, mix all of the pecan praline ingredients together and set aside. 

Let the crust cool completely. Remove boudin from the casing and press the boudin tightly into the pie crust. Top with sweet potato soufflé, roughly 1 inch deep. Top pecan praline mixture and cover all of the sweet potatoes. 

Refrigerate until the mixture is the same temperature throughout, 4 hours roughly. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover the edges of the pie crust if needed. 

***Take any extra sweet potato mixture and pecan topping and place in a small baking dish and bake at 350 for roughly 25-30 minutes. When the top look set and browning it is done. 

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Meal Planning Monday on What Is Clearly Tuesday

December 22, 2020

It's Christmas break! 

As of today Elliot is out of quarantine, his teacher caught the bug and it got them all booted. The only downside of it at our house is that Elliot is someone who needs to be at daycare and changing his environment. It does wonders for his mood. 

Now, on day whatever this is at home... he is whiney, clingy, and wants to sit on top of you all day long. 😑

Monday | Grilled Chicken with Marketside Southwest Chopped Salad (Walmart) 

Tuesday | Pizza for the kids because we have a date at Hot & Hot Fish Club 

Wednesday | Sam's Club Knock-off Chick-fil-a nuggets & fries

Thursday | Christmas Eve Snacks - Crab Cheesecake Dip (Fleurty Girl FB) & Meatballs with Hawaiian Rolls 

Friday | Christmas Day - Beignets for Breakfast and Ribeyes, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Pots de Creme

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Tikka Masala Meal Prep with Kevin's Natural

December 15, 2020

Y 'all know I love a good meal prep bowl. 

My macros shift throughout the week from just balanced to Keto. 

With that it is easy to get in a rut, things can start to taste the same and you've eating so many of the same meal prep bowl that you can't phantom it again. 

 I recently tried Kevin's Natural Foods Paleo-Keto Sauces and it is honestly such a game changer for my meal prep. (Don't get me wrong this could also be dinner.) 

I received a few of their sauces including the Tikka Masala form for this recipe, Thai Coconut Sauce, Korean BBQ Sauce, and Cilantro Lime Sauce. 

For lunch recently I have been aiming for more of a macro balanced meal. Bunches of meat, greens, sweet potatoes, and rice or riced cauliflower. 

I often change it up by adding more greens, subbing the rice for broccoli or green beans, and adding more or less of a potato type starch based on my macro goal for that meal. 

I'm sharing this particular meal prep bowl to mainly share this with you, the possibilities are endless. Change the protein, change the carb, nix all the carbs. Depending on how strict you are with your Paleo (I know many are okay with rice at times,  it depends on your personal body and how you react to certain foods.) you can change the rice to riced cauliflower or other riced veggie options. 

Tikka Masala Meal Prep Bowl 


3 cups of rice or riced cauliflower, cooked
1 lb ground turkey
several handfuls of kale
1 large red onion, diced
Kevin's Natural Tikka Masala Sauce
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Dice sweet potatoes to bite size pieces, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 25 minute until crispy. 

Brown the turkey in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, once it is chopped up well add in your diced red onion and continue to brown until the meat is cooked and the onion is softened to your liking. Toss in about 6 handfuls of kale and cook to wilt. Add in one packet of Kevin's Natural Tikka Masala Sauce and mix in well. 

Divide the meat mixture evenly among 6 meal prep containers, give each container 1/2 cup of rice or riced cauliflower, and then divide the roasted sweet potatoes out evenly as well. Secure lids firmly and store for lunch for the week! 

You can find Kevin's Naturals on these social media platforms: Facebook || Instagram || Pinterest
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Harry & Gretel

December 11, 2020

Harrison and I have a tradition of decorating a gingerbread house every Christmas. 

We painstakingly make sure it is as close to the photo on the box as humanly possible. 

Then we stare at it until Feast of the Epiphany when it is tossed in the trash, after serving it's purpose. 

This year we spent two days assembling and decorating (because I accidentally bought a house that wasn't preassembled). 

Elliot has now spent the following two days eating the house. 

He staretd on the Christmas lights. 

Took swipes at the Christmas trees between bites of his Red Beans & Rice. 

Attempted to break off the peppermint balls. 

Snuck off as much royal icing snow as humanly possible. 


Before finally ripping the chimney right off the house and devouring it like a little squirrel. 

I give this house one more week before he has licked it clean and our tradition next year is to make two house so Elliot has one of his own to just snack on. Although I suspect he enjoys the stealing aspect of it based on the giggles I hear coming from the dining room. 

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Meal Planning Monday

December 8, 2020

It's Tuesday, but we had more pressing matters around here on Monday... like lounge wear. 

Monday | Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Poached Eggs & Bacon

Tuesday | Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (using that premade bag salad!) 

Wednesday | Sam's Club Knock-off Chick-fil-a nuggets & fries

Thursday | Red Beans & Rice (saved in the freezer from last time) 

Friday | Boys are on their own! Mama is out on the town for wedding lol 👰

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Breakfast - Atkins Bar or Orgain Shake
Lunch - Working on a recipe that is coming up on the blog soon. 
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Amazon Lounge Wear You'll Love

December 7, 2020

 I got together with a few friends and we found all of our favorite lounge wear prints that are perfect for gifts this season. 

Or let's be real honest, none of us are dressing up for holiday parties this year... so you might as well get some festive comfy clothing that can seamlessly transition from that couch nap to driving around to look at lights on Christmas Eve. 

Above you'll see the tags for my friends on Instagram, go follow them and check out their lounge wear links. Everyone is linked up in their profile! 

Oh and if you need the perfect Christmas season necklace... Mimosa Handcrafted (out of Baton Rouge) has you covered. I love her jewelry and it's is all very well made by hand in her shop. I am in LOVE with her Nativity Bar Necklace. 

So this Christmas Eve, Day, Day After Christmas Day... you'll find me cruising around town wearing this... and I am so very tempted to snatch up the red set as well! 

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Simply Earth November Box Review

December 5, 2020

I'm a bit behind (as per the usual around here - dang you Covid teaching) 

The November Simply Earth box came in recently and if this post tells you anything it is that you need to sign up for the December box. 

Even better... give a monthly box as a gift to the essential oil lover in your life. I know this is something I would be beyond excited to unwrap! 


Let's go ahead and jump into what was included in the November Box: 

Essential Oils: Cinnamon, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Winter Spice

Extras: Goat Milk Soap Base, Soap Mold, Dried Orange Slices

And the standard pile of safe recipes & stickers for all the items you make! 

I had to include this recipe, what is more needed now in this cold months than a winter balm! Especially one that smells amazing. 

Call me a Louisiana girl, but cedar and orange are my two favorite scents. It reminds me of home. 

This month's line up. 

The Winter Spice blend just so happens to be the couple of oils I was already combining for a wonder wintery scent in our home. I swear I think the Simply Earth ladies are reading my mind most months. 

There's always that one recipe that get's be beyond excited every month. 

This month it was the goat milk soap! Way back when we were going to Tennessee to visit my father-in-law (they've since moved), I was making yearly trips out to the Amish community there to grab goat milk lotions and candles. Not to mention baked goods from the store. Plus this winter I've been saving pins on Pinterest about decorating with dried oranges. 

Y'all I about died when I opened the box and saw goat milk soap and dried oranges! 

So you can very much assume what I am busting out to make this afternoon during nap time. 

That about wraps up this month's box. There are four more amazing recipe that would make great gifts that I didn't even mention. And here's a hint for you, join their mailing list... they share recipes from the boxes all the time! 

As always head over to Simply Earth to order your December box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard/credit towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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A Life Update, Because I'm an Awful Blogger These days

December 4, 2020

One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Birmingham Mom Collective, and Lafayette Mom (in the past) is working the events. It is like a little Junior League of sorts but all Mama Bloggers. 

We recently had a Christmas event at the drive-in theater here in Leeds and it was a blast. Granted Elliot was out of sorts (found out when I got to the van to watch the movie) but checking in cars was a blast. I've made so many life long friends doing this in Lafayette and anticipate the same here in Birmingham. 

There tree, a real tree, has been put up and decorated. 

This was just after getting the lights on and debating on more lights... I ended up not adding more. Mama ain't got time for all that nonsense. 

Our tree is a work in progress. Several years ago I threw away all of our ornaments, it wasn't the style I wanted... it was a style I picked out 10 years ago and was outdated. So now I've got red balls, I need to add some blue, salt dough ornaments, and every year we each pick out a new ornament at Hobby Lobby. Whatever everyone loves that year. I pick traditional... Harrison always picks some action figure... and Elliot 🤦‍♀️ he picked out two trucks and refused to let the second one go. So Jeremy "picked" a truck. 

Jeremy's picks tend to be whatever the youngest child won't let go of. 

On really special event years I buy an ornament that is personalized. Like new babies, marriage, buying houses, and last year was moving. 

But to get to the bottom of my tree lights situation...

I felt like I had the world's worst cold for three days after wrapping the lights by myself. (Jeremy usually helps me) I hugged that tree for 45 minutes and should have immediately showered, because that pine got the best of my awful allergies. 

Which leads me to now contemplating an flocked artificial tree next year. 


Nothing to see below except a few babies pretending to squirt stuff all over Lowe's and making poot sounds as they went. 

Changing topics again... which I'm good at. 

I've got to get back to legit meal prep for work and keeping up with My Fitness Pal. I was following Faster Way to Fat Loss (mostly, I bought the pregnancy program when I was expecting Elliot) and had great results after having Elliot. But after moving last year I have just continued to derail and now half of my pants don't fit. 

But I did it this week. I've logged into MFP twice and had my lunches and everything ready to go... with healthy things. I wasn't eating so much as super unhealthy for meals before, but snacking gets me when I'm like this. Under stress I find myself snacking on things I don't need or even really want. 

Last but not least, the busy baby. 

Y'all one day I'll post his 2nd birthday, but until then... 

He's all over the place, obsessed with cars, and refuses to take his shoes off because he is afraid he will miss a chance to escape outside. 

This particular photo is him playing/destroying our Little People Nativity that our friend Jackie bought Harrison on his 1st Christmas. It no longer lights up or plays music, but the boys still love it and so do I. 

Somehow, SOMEHOW, we've managed to keep all the pieces. Every year I fight to find the missing characters and some weeks Joseph is an absent father. One year Jesus was missing in action. But they always reappear when it's time to pack up the decorations and then out the come the next Christmas. 


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Turkeys & Chocolate Pie

November 24, 2020

I have got to become more mindful of taking photos again. With the move into our new house I have been awful at getting photos of the kids. Part of that is probably because I really only take out my big camera when the light is just right. 

Hence the following photo. 

I made my great grandmother's chocolate pie for a Friendsgiving Dinner, at the request of Jeremy. Harrison decided this was the year he loved it. (note the meringue in the blog recipe is the original, I am using a stabilized meringue now because a deflated meringue makes me insane... plus I like to make it taste more like marshmallow) 

I worked to make Harrison's disguise a turkey dreams come true... who do you think we made? 

The littlest boy in the house has hit the "pretending to read all the books by himself" age. It's far too adorable. This morning when I got him up he actually fussed at me because he needed "book mine" from his crib. He is sleeping with the Easter Little Blue Truck book. 

FINALLY! I got to dig out my plates and hang them this past weekend. This is my most beloved of all the plates. I happened to be in England during the week of the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday. I originally gave this to my grandmother but it came back into my possession when she passed away. 

Elliot. Being Elliot. I don't know who he has seen wear a hat like this to believe it should be done this way. 

In other cooking news, I've been so happy to be back in a full blown kitchen again. This weekend I whipped up that chocolate pie and some Rice Dressing... in the most clumsy of manners. I dropped eggs left and right. Busted many a yolk. Then I finally topped it off by getting excited by the fact that I had beef stock only to drop the jar, causing glass to go everywhere! Y'all know how that goes, it got caught in the top of my toe and I couldn't exactly feel it... until I was bleeding a trail through the kitchen. Good times friends. 

But hey, a nice kitchen again. So shove all the glass you'd like in my foot if it means I get have two oven racks. 

Now for some memes that have made me happy this week! 


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Meal Planning Monday

November 23, 2020

I'm finally at this on a Monday, but it's a short cooking week! Go figure. 

Monday | Keto Chicken Cheese Bake 

Tuesday | leftovers 

Wednesday | Mom is cooking 

Thursday | Thanksgiving 

Friday | Leftovers 

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Breakfast - Atkins Bar or Orgain Shake
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Meal Planning Wednesday

November 11, 2020

I'm getting better... slowly. Next week I'm going back to a Faster Way menu. Too many weeks living my best life in food land. 

Monday | Grilled Black Bean & Chicken Burritos with Chips & Salsa

Tuesday | leftovers 

Wednesday | Sam's Club Knock off Chick-Fil-A Nuggets & fries

Thursday | Red Beans & Rice (leftovers from the freezer) 

Friday | Leftovers 

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Meal options outside of dinner for myself...

Orgain Protein Shake
Atkins Granola Protein Bar
Sam's Club Chicken Salad Cup w/ Mary's Gone Crackers & Apple
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Where ya been?

November 6, 2020

 I've been missing in action lately on here and every other social media platform... buying a house will do that to a person. So here's a little recap of what we've been up to. 

I'm not sure how it happened but Elliot turned two last week. 

I'm so far behind on time that I haven't even uploaded the photos that I took on his birthday. But anyhoo, here is our resident always the baby at age 1 and this year at age 2. 

Elliot at his usual. Either ecstatically happy or more miserable than you can imagine. 

It's funny which kids do what and hang onto who. Harrison stayed attached to Jeremy, now he pays attention to my mom more. 

Elliot latches onto Grandaddy and wants to rough house. He's always as close as he can get and constantly bringing him books to read. 

Halloween. A time to refuse your costume because you are two and haven't trick-r-treated before. Or for others you are living your best kindergarten community helper learning life and being a police officer. 

After a year of trying to sell and two years of renting... we are finally in a house of our own again and living our best life. Y'all. Having space again is just insane. Like bananas. 

No more cramped up rental life. Plus... Mama done exited the county and is back in the land of concrete neighborhoods with little to no snake friends siting around all willy nilly. 

I haven't worn perfume in at least 10 years. Once we moved to South Louisiana my allergies got so funky that I couldn't even bare a candle or cleaning supplies. It seems heightened mold really effects me. 

Lately I've been on the search for a perfume made of essential oils, since they don't bother me. (I even clean and use them to scent our home because it's all I can stand.) After contemplating making a dozen Pinterest recipes I came across this Good Chemistry site. Then they popped up in Grove Collaborative. So I bit the bullet and ordered Queen Bee. 

It's heavenly, made of only essential oils, inexpensive, and didn't but me one bit. 

Go get your one. 

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3 Reasons to Have Art in Your Home

November 1, 2020

 Art – no matter how ‘good’ it is (which is subjective anyway), or how much it costs or who enjoys it; is something of a miracle. It starts off as nothing at all and goes on to become something that makes people smile, enhances their mood, and can earn the artist money in many cases. Art has everything, and there is enough variety to ensure that everyone, whatever their tastes happen to be, will love at least one type. 

It makes sense to have something this special in our homes, and many people do. It could be a painting hung on a wall, a photograph framed, a sculpture that sits on a shelf or a table, and so on. Yet although many of us will have this kind of thing in our homes, do we really know why this is such a good idea? There are many reasons, and here are just some of them. 

Make Your House a Home 

When you live somewhere, you will want to make that space as comfortable, unique, and fitting to your personality as you can. Even if you can’t decorate an entire house or apartment in the way you truly want to because you live with other people who have different tastes to you, you can still find at least one room – a bedroom, perhaps – where you can style it in any way you want. 

Art will play an important part in this. The instant you put art in a space, that space becomes more comfortable and homely. It immediately shows an element to your own personality that otherwise might not have shone through. This is what makes a house into a home, and if you want to enjoy living somewhere it’s something you’ll need to consider doing. Don’t be nervous about letting other people see the kinds of things you enjoy; it’s good to share your personality. Don’t hide the art away because you think it might be damaged either; arts insurance will protect it, so you can show it off as much as you like. 

It’s Affordable 

Some art is extremely expensive. It will depend on the artist and how famous or highly regarded they are, and in some cases it will depend on the subject matter and the materials used. Some materials are more expensive than others, so the overall piece of art is sure to cost that much more. 

Yet even if you don’t have millions to spend on art, there will be something that suits your budget. This is the great thing about art; there really is something for everyone, and there is something for everyone’s bank balance too. Even if you love a piece that is expensive, you might be able to find much cheaper prints of it to hang in your home instead. Art is accessible and available to everyone if you look around. 

Art Is Inspiration 

Art can be inspirational for any number of reasons. The most obvious is that, when you look at a piece of art you will be inspired to make art yourself. Even if you don’t think you are good at art, you can still enjoy the process. Remember, you don’t have to monetize everything you do, and you can do something for the fun of it and not have to try to sell that thing on Etsy or eBay if you don’t want to. 

Art can be inspiring in other ways too. If you don’t want to make art yourself, you will still be able to see what the artist was thinking and be inspired by their ideas and imagination. You might be inspired by the subject matter itself, or even by the person who originally bought the art for you. Art makes people feel all kinds of emotions, so just let it happen and don’t question it and you’ll love it so much more. 

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