January Still Sucks

Well, this is not the next post I had planned, but since things are still hectic around here, and I have several new gray hairs, courtesy of Abbey, I thought I’d just pop in for a sec.

So I have this little granny dog that suddenly started limping… badly. She had a tiny limp off and on for a few weeks. It was barely noticeable, but since I’m obsessed with my family, furry members obviously included, I noticed it. Then a few days ago, she got up from the couch she was snoozing on, and just stood there, holding one paw up. She tried to jump down, and almost fell in the process. January… you suck.

A long vet visit the next day ruled out cancer (thank God!), Lyme disease, and heartworms. Some x-rays showed some massive inflammation, so $300 later, we have her on some anti-inflammatory meds, no answers, and have to recheck in 2 weeks. As if she hasn’t given me enough to worry about in the past year!

I swear… January is going to do me in.

Stay strong, peeps. I’m out.

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Catching Up

The biggest lie I tell myself is that I’ll have time to do something while Harlow’s home. “I can do it this weekend!” “We have TWO FULL weeks off from school! I’ll have PLENTY of time!” “I’ll just do it while she watches a movie!”

Insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again and expecting different results… or something like that. That, my friends, is me. I am completely insane. Harlow is not an easy-going kid. She’s fairly mommy-needy. I should really know by now that when Harlow isn’t watching a movie, she wants me to play with her. When she IS watching a movie, she wants to sit on me to ensure I watch it with her. I can’t say no, 99% of the time, because this isn’t going to last forever. The first (almost) 6 years have flown by, so I’ll just keep on keeping on. And never accomplish anything. Ever. Insanity.

Then, when she went back to school, I was all set to do ALL THE THINGS that I hadn’t accomplished over break. That first Monday I set about cleaning up everything that had piled up – garbage from Christmas presents, laundry, etc., so that on Tuesday I could hit the ground running on all “my” stuff! Then, Monday night… shit hit the fan. I’ll post about that another day, but it took 100% of my time and attention for over a full week. Not to mention, I’m literally a thousand years older. Everyone’s fine, everything is fine, no worries, but holy forking shirt…

Even now, I only am posting this because I’ve been unable to be at my house due to a water main break in my neighborhood, so I’m sitting at the library typing this up, drinking some iced mocha Starbucks, and taking my first breath in… over a month. I am planning some new posts soon, including ideas for Christmas classroom parties, holiday crafts, an easy and delicious Crock Pot recipe, and what I am planning for 2019. So far, 2019 has been… uncooperative, but I’m really hoping after January, things look up. Please, God, let things look up.

I sincerely hope you all had a better few weeks that we’ve had! Talk to you soon!

Even Abbey is underwhelmed with life lately.

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Christmas Card Display DIY

I’ve been immersing myself in all things Christmas lately!  I’ve been guzzling Peppermint Mocha Lattes, Subarudolph has made a reappearance, I’ve been exclusively wearing Christmas leggings, our house is decorated to the nines (well, as “to the nines” as I get), and I’ve been making lists, and yes, checking them twice, in my pursuit of the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone!  

Photos from 2015-ish.

One of my favorite holiday traditions, though, is sending and receiving Christmas cards!  For the past several years we’ve lived here, I’ve literally just been taping them to an empty space on my kitchen wall.  This year, I stumbled across a project to make my cards look a little nicer!  I was visiting the parents’ house two weekends ago for Thanksgiving, and while I was visiting with my dad out in his workshop, I noticed a broken window frame covered in cobwebs and sawdust.  I asked him if I could take it, not knowing exactly what I’d do with it.  I took out the broken center pieces, scrubbed it down, and threw it in my hatchback.  

When I got home, I started formulating a plan.  After looking at chicken wire prices at the local farming store, I put a request out on Facebook asking if anyone had any extra chicken wire they’d be willing to get rid of.  My cousin came through for me, and when I got it home, I set off to my workspace.  I had seen card holders on Pinterest (of course… always Pinterest) so I thought I’d try my hand at making one.  

What I used:

  • Old broken window frame (free)
  • Chicken wire (free)
  • Very old wreath centerpiece I had laying around (had on hand)
  • Staple gun and staples (had on hand)
  • Masking tape (had on hand) to cover sharp ends of chicken wire.
  • Ribbon (free – kept from a gift)
  • Tiny clothespins (had on hand)

I stuck it up on the wall with some of those reusable, damage free hooks that I had laying around, and ta-da!

Now I just can’t wait for the cards to start coming in!

Hope everyone has a great week!

**Updated to add a photo of the card holder with cards! (Plus, I ended up swapping out the wreath for a cute ball wreath I found on super-clearance after the holiday!

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Snowman Porch Sign

Winter has officially hit SWMI.

A while back, I finished my Halloween/Fall Two-Faced sign for my front porch.  Yesterday, I finished one side of my Christmas/Winter sign.  The back side was originally going to be Santa, but I kept putting it off, because I’m just not sure I wanted it to be Santa.  I’m still not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do with the back side, but the snowman looks really cute!

Stay tuned… my next project is a wall-mounted Christmas card holder!

Have a great weekend,  everyone!
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Totally Two-Faced Holiday Decor DIY


This post has been a LONG time in the making.  Last fall, my dad cut down and gave me some boards from the old dock he ripped up.  I had grand ideas for making those cute two-sided holiday signs.  (Similar to these, except I’d planned on doing two signs… a Jack-O-Lantern/Scarecrow, and a Santa/Snowman.)


And they sat in dirty pile in my craft room….  and sat…  and sat.

Then, this summer, Harlow and I dug them out and gave them a good scrubbing.  (She’s an awesome helper!)

After all that awesome, musical hard work, back in the basement they went.  Until after I quit my job in August.  Then, a few weeks ago, I dug them BACK out, and made the basic shapes.20181007_142153

Now, only one measly month later, I’m finally staining and painting them!



I’m still working on the snowman/Santa one, but the jack-o-lantern/scarecrow one is done!  I really love how the scarecrow turned out… I might work more on the jack-o-lantern, but I have PLENTY of time before next Halloween.  He’s just a little bland.  I’ll post the snowman/Santa when I get it finished.  To be perfectly honest, I’m not confident in my artist skillz when it comes to making Santa’s face.  Wish me luck!


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Super-easy DIY Wreath

Hi, all!  I had no idea I was going to write a post about making a wreath.  I’ve actually been working on another set of projects that I will be sharing in the next few days (this post is a looong time coming!), but yesterday as I was shopping for more generically fall décor, I ended up with an unexpected project!

Let me back up.  I have almost zero fall décor.  I have a healthy amount of Christmas stuff, and have built up my Halloween collection, but when it comes to fall… nearly nada.  I just made a  banner (using Target’s Dollar Spot items and my Cricut – you’ll see it below – it wasn’t worth a post…), but other than that, I have only a smattering of other items.  One thing I loved about my Halloween decorations was my Spooky Wreath that I embellished with a spider and bats.

When I took that down, my fireplace looked so… blah.  So, I took off to try to shop some of the fall clearance decorations.  You know, because everything is now CHRISTMAS!  Oi.  I looked at a couple of the clearance wreaths, but nothing was really my style, and the prices were still above what I felt I needed to spend right now.

I ran to Jo-Ann Fabric, because I loved my Halloween Coffee sign, and was hoping to find another blank sign form to do a similar “coffee” project for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, it was slim pickings there.

That’s where this post starts…  I found a roll of orange glittery burlap-type material in the fall clearance section.  It was originally 14.99, on clearance for $3!  I had no idea what to do with it, but I knew I couldn’t pass it up.  On the way home, I remembered a strange metal ring I found in the field two years ago while I was picnicking with Harlow.  I’ve kept this thing (I have no idea what it actually is…) for so long, because I just had a feeling I’d need this plain metal, ever-so-slightly rusty, non-descript ring… someday!

I stopped off at The Dollar Tree (have I ever mentioned my love for TDT?) and bought some of their fall foliage.  I headed home, went down in my craft room, dug out that ring, and started plotting.

My biggest question was how to attach the burlap to the ring.  I tried tying it with ribbon, but it was really difficult to do without another set of hands, and didn’t look very good.  I did a quick Google search, and found that most burlap wreaths are made with four-ring wreath forms like this:

Metal Wreath Forms: 24 inch, GreenWell, that wasn’t going to work.  Then I found this:

See the source image

It’s basically a metal ring with attached metal twist-ties.  So… I grabbed some twist-ties!  Luckily I had orange ties from Halloween goodie bags I bought and didn’t end up using.

I gathered the fabric at the very end, twist-tied it to the form, measured out 10″, twist tied again, repeated for the entire length of the fabric, squishing it together as I went.


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I was very unconvinced I would have enough material to cover the entire ring, but I ended up having EXACTLY enough.  When I got it all twist-tied on, I grabbed a few of the fall foliage pieces I got at The Dollar Tree, and just twisted them on using their wire stems.

The end product:


It’s a lot more… fancy… than I’m usually drawn to, and while I love how it turned out (for only about $4!), I wasn’t really sure if it was “me”.  The longer it is up there, though, the more I’m falling in love with it.  I couldn’t really get the “shininess” in the photo, but when the light hits it, it sparkles.  I think that’s what I like most about it.

onThis was THE EASIEST project I’ve worked on in ages, and turned out really cute.  You can buy the actual forms with twist ties online for super cheap (I found one online for under $2), and as I was writing this post, I see you can find plain metal craft rings for about the same amount of money.  A ring, a roll of burlap or mesh, some twist-ties, and you’ve got an inexpensive, fun holiday wreath!

I’d love to hear from you if you decide to make this!

Happy crafting!

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Halloween 2018

I hope everyone had as much fun as we had this Halloween!

We started the holiday spirit early, with Abbey rocking her pumpkin costume.  She loves dressing up!  She never tries to take costumes off… in fact, I had to get her out of her cage where she had gone to rest to get it off of her before I left for the day.  (Safety first!)  She and I dropped Harlow off at school, then came back and watched Nightmare Before Christmas.  (Well, Abbey watched while I did some housework…)


Our festivities began with Harlow’s class party.  As I had mentioned previously, I was SO excited to be a part of the planning of the party this year.  It went surprisingly smoothly, considering there were only 4 adults, and over 20 children, all wild with holiday spirit!  I’m constantly impressed with Harlow’s teacher, and school in general.  They are a well-run ship.

The games and crafts were a hit!  The kids did so well on the crafts – I was so pleased!

The Witch’s Brooms I made, and the “examples” for the kids to follow for the craft…

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After the party, all the kids trouped outside for a costume parade!

Once the parade was finished, we got to go home a bit early!  It was nice to have a little time to relax and watch some SUPER MONSTERS! before doing a costume change and heading out to Trick-or-Treat!  The last few years, Harlow and I have had the same or coordinating costumes.  It is so much fun to do that, and she loves it!  (Abbey missed out this year, but she usually is in on the action, too!)







This year we went as Vampirina and her mom, Oxana.  I think we did pretty well!

We Trick-or-Treated for a full hour, and came home with a pretty impressive haul!

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Now I have to decide if I’m going to go Christmas Crazy, or if I’m going to start planning for NEXT Halloween!  There are only 364 more days to go, you know!

One final note:  My oldest nephew turned 18!  I was living with his family (in college) when he was born, so he and I have always had a tiny bit more of a bond.  He has grown into a truly cool guy.  I see really great things for him to come!  Happy 18th birthday, Preston!


Happy Halloween!

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