DIY Starbucks Lighted Garland – So Wrong It’s Right

DIY Starbucks Lighted Garland

Let me preface this post by saying, I’m NOT a crafty person. I want to be. I dream of making my own Christmas wreaths and picture frames and you name it. But whenever I try, the result ends up far from the dream. And looking like something a toddler made. Actually, my toddler could probably do a better job.

So when I craft, it has to be easy. Fool-proof easy. Like, three steps max. So, if you’re craft-challenged like me you’ll love this easy, lovely, Starbucks Lighted Garland.

DIY Garland

This whole idea came about via a Facebook post. You like my blog on Facebook, right?

I had been frustrated with all the attention over the Starbucks “cup controversy” because really, it’s just one uber sensitive conservative making the rest of us conservatives look bad. Isn’t that always the way? It only takes one high-on-his-horse nut job to make the rest of us look crazy.

Of course, there are more left-wing nut jobs, but who’s counting? `\_(“,)_/’

In fact, the other day Shane and I were discussing how nice it would be if there were no Republican, Democratic and Independent parties. We should be divided as ultra-conservatives, ultra-liberals, and moderates. We moderates could rule the world and the “ultra” parties could whip themselves into regular frenzies. No harm done to the rest of us.

But I digress…

Starbucks Cup

photo credit: Starbucks / Red cup ornament

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Starbucks cup controversy – how the Christian conservatives were offended by the fact that Starbucks coffee cups were plain red this year, and didn’t say the word Christmas. (Though it was really drama started by one malcontent.)

I was frustrated with the silliness of it. After all, Starbucks has never professed to be a Christian brand. So I facetiously commented on Facebook that I was going to decorate my Christmas tree with Starbucks cups. Wouldn’t that be pretty?

To which my friend Heather replied with a link to a post from Hey Gorgeous about DIY Dixie Cup garland and an idea took shape.

I was consumed with a need to get to Starbucks and see if they’d sell me a bunch of their Tall red cups.

Cake Pops

I promised my little ones hot cocoa and cake pops and off we went. They went for the goodies, I went for the cups (and a decaf, vanilla cappuccino with coconut milk).

With a big smile on my face I asked the cashier if he’d sell me some of the Tall cups. He said he’d be happy to give me one. To which I explained that I’d need at least 20 for a craft I wanted to do because of all the hoopla.

This is when the barista piped in and made my day. “We have sample size cups in the back you could use. Would they be too small?”




I explained that size would be even better and they sent me on my very merry way with a whole sleeve of tiny red cups. I took note of the Advent calendars and Christmas blend coffee on my way out. Ahem.

Starbucks Christmas Cup


And here we are. A super easy, fun, pretty, craft that also makes a political statement.

  1. Acquire some of those festive red Starbucks cups (preferably sample size).
  2. Grab a string of LED Christmas lights in the color and length of your choosing.
  3. Using an Exacto knife, or something else precise, cut a small X in the bottom of each cup. Seriously, small! You can make it bigger if need be, but if you start too big the cup will slide off the light.
  4.  Carefully slip the string bulbs through the X at the bottom of the cup, so that the Starbucks cup becomes a globe for the light.
  5. Wrap them with green pine garland if you like.
  6. Sit back and admire your work.

SAFETY WARNING: Use LED lights! If you do not use LED lights DO NOT leave these plugged in for long. And, never leave them unattended! Regular lights will get HOT and could be a RISK FOR FIRE!

So, what do you think? Do you likey?


Grapevine Studies Birth of Jesus Review

Grapevine Studies Review

As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I had the opportunity to review the Birth of Jesus, Beginner Edition from GrapeVine Studies. I have used GrapeVine in the past and was excited to review this study, just in time for the Christmas holiday season.


GrapeVine is a Bible study curriculum designed for simplicity, engagement, and effectiveness. Through the use of a timeline and simple stick figure drawing (anyone can do that!) students learn the major characters and events of the Bible. There is plenty of review, and as the children get older they are introduced to Bible geography, in addition to scripture.

Grapevine Studies Review


The Birth of Jesus studies are designed to give the student a thorough understanding of who Jesus is and how his birth came to be. but also who the important figures in his life at the time of his birth. But it doesn’t stop there. Students also learn about the important, pivotal figures in Jesus’ life at the time of his birth.

Students will learn about and better understand the roles of

  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Jesus’ Birth
  • The Shepherds
  • The Temple
  • The Wise Men
  • Herod

Here’s where I admit I’ve used GrapeVine Studies products before, even before this review, and already loved the quality and heart of their products.

Even so, I was really impressed with this study. It’s simple yet effective. You can simply stick to the basics or you can go deep into discussion and the Word. It’s versatile, and easy to apply. And, I loved that there was attention given to areas of Jesus’ birth that are often overlooked in children’s Bible studies. Like Anna’s declaration and Simeon’s proclamation.

Grapevine Studies Review


There are many reasons to love GrapeVine Studies, but this is why I personally love their curriculum…

Caters to all ages: This is a program you can use with the whole family, and that grows with your children. I enjoy finding what we like and sticking with it for as long as it works. Plus, when I had 3 teens in the house, in addition to the two little ones I’m now teaching, it was nice to be able to sit down and study together.

Works With Any Denomination: Each lesson gives the parent a Bible scripture to focus on. It’s completely up to the parent how they apply that scripture, how deep they go, what translation they use…it’s ALL up to the parent. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re Baptist, Catholic, or Non-Denominational. This can work for you.

Any Order You Want: This is probably my favorite part. You can tackle GrapeVine Studies in two ways. You can learn in a linear fashion, starting at the Old Testament and following it through the New Testament. Or, you can mix it up and do their topical studies on specific Biblical figures like Joseph, Ester, or Jesus. Some even choose to follow a linear study and then go deeper into the specific Bible characters as they reach them.

Grapevine Studies Review
I hope you’ll check out the Birth of Jesus study! It is a truly wonderful study for the advent season that is sure to bless your family, and help you children focus on not only the true reason of Christmas, but the intricacies of the story behind the reason.

I am just one of 100 bloggers who were blessed to review Grapevine Studies products. See what other items were reviewed – and why so many families love Grapevine Studies!

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Grapevine Studies Review

IndoctriNation By Great Commission Films Review

As a TOS Review Crew member, I had the opportunity to enjoy IndoctriNation. This documentary from Great Commission Films is an in depth look at the decline of public schools in America from a Christian point of view.

IndoctriNation DVD Review
Are you an accidental homeschooler? Someone who stumbled into homeschooling by default? Or maybe, like me, you began homeschooling because you simply felt you could provide your children with a better education than your public school alternative? I ask, because I’m one of those accidental homeschoolers.

I never really had anything against the public school system. After all, I’m a product of the public school system. And while my education wasn’t stellar, I’m doing okay. Ha! I wholeheartedly believe every family must make the decision that’s right for their family.

But a good decision is a well informed decision. And honestly, the general media isn’t giving us an accurate picture of the public school machine. If you are considering homeschooling, or quitting homeschooling, I highly recommend you watch IndoctriNation. Educate yourself about what drives the public school system and ask yourself if you truly want your children to play a part.

The Premise

Colin Gunn, a Scottland-born homeschooler, takes the viewer on a trip around the U.S. as he seeks to understand the origins of the American public school system and where it stands today.  Gunn interviews teachers, parents, and others who’ve uncovered unsettling truths about the public school system.

Weaving together emotional first-hand interviews, strongly supported facts and statistics, as well as Biblical truths about discipleship of children, viewers are compelled to support an exodus from the public school system.

What to Expect

This movie is meant to shake you. And it does so, in a good way. Expect to feel a myriad of conflicting emotions from deep grief (Columbine), to confusion (how did we get to this point), to anger (the system is usurping the parental role) and maybe even hopelessness (can this be redeemed?). This documentary is truly a wild ride. Eyes will be opened.

The film asks:

  • Who established the American public schools system?
  • Are my kids physically and morally safe in the schools?
  • Are the public schools religiously neutral?
  • Shouldn’t Christians be “salt and light” in the schools?
  • Can the public school system be fixed or redeemed?

My Personal Thoughts

IndoctriNation is a wonderful movie for ANY parent with children in, or about to be in, ANY school setting. Admittedly, it is from a right-wing, Christian perspective.  And while I am a right-wing, Christian, and wholeheartedly agree with most of what this documentary has to offer, I encourage even those who have opposing views to watch it at least once.

Even if you don’t agree with everything, there are MANY things you will agree with – like, the safety of our children being paramount. Or the fact that the public school system has drastically changed from its original vision. And, that there’s room for improvement.

Where to Get Your Copy

IndoctriNation the movie is available at the Great Commision Films website for $19.95.  There is also an IndoctriNation book available for $14.95.  Or, you can get them both together in a bundle for only $24.95. They now offer a Spanish-dubbed DVD as well!

Have you seen IndoctriNation? What were your impressions?

Click below to read more TOS Crew reviews for IndoctriNation:

IndoctriNation DVD Review

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