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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Monster Munch Game (and More!)


Hello, all!

Since my recent career change, I’ve been free to participate in Harlow’s school activities so much more than ever before (at her daycare/preschool)!  It has been really wonderful!  An added perk is that I get to play in my craft room a lot!

I am a Room Parent this year, and one of the first responsibilities is to help plan the Halloween party!  This is a total hardship for me, since I can’t STAND anything Halloween related… HA!

I was put in charge (or I may have shimmied my way in charge) of the games and crafts.

Here’s what I came up with.

First up, is the Monster Munch game!

For this I used:

  • huge box
  • green poster board
  • giant googly eyes from the dollar store
  • adhesive glitter paper from the dollar store
  • sticky fur sheets from the dollar store (LOVE that place!)
  • squishy oranges from the dollar store (close enough to pumpkins…)
  • glitter foam sheet
  • white sticker paper
  • scissors/glue/Cricut

The final product:



It turned out so, so cute, and I can’t wait to see the kids playing!  Harlow tested it out and approved!


The next game I decided on was a Jack-O-Lantern Ring Toss!

Originally, I was going to make them into witches hats, but they were so cute and orange, I couldn’t resist going the Jack-O-Lantern route with them, too.  Plus… easier.

For these I used:

  • sports cones from the dollar store
  • adhesive glitter paper from the dollar store
  • Cricut
  • glow sticks for the “ring”



The craft portion is going to be paper plate art.  I’m doing  cats, spiders, and yet more Jack-O-Lanterns!  I am going to give them a personal touch by having the stem for the Jack-O-Lantern, the whiskers for the cat, and the legs for the spider all be handprints that the kiddos can trace and cut out.  It should be really cute.  My original inspiration was this, but I’ve sort of deviated quite drastically from that.

Get the kids involved with decorating the house for Halloween. Or use these ideas as an activity if you’re throwing a seasonal party.

Original inspiration – Link provided above


They don’t look like much, yet, but I’m excited to see them after they the kids work on them!  I also have green paper plates that I’m thinking I might do some sort of alien?  But I haven’t quite figured out a great way to do that, yet, especially using hands, so… for now, it might just be these three…

For these I’m using:

  • adhesive glitter paper from the dollar store
  • poster board
  • paper plates
  • white paper
  • googly eyes from the dollar store
  • foam sheets from the dollar store

The last thing I’m planning to do is broomstick snacks!  Snacks aren’t really my “job”, but I found some Halloween pencils at Target’s Dollar Spot, so…  *ahem*…

Anyway… I’m doing these.

Create these CUTE Broomsticks from Pretzels (Easy Non-Candy Halloween Snack) – Hip2Save

Aren’t they adorable?  Hopefully they are as super easy as they look!

I will be sure to post some photos of the finished products for you!

Have a great Monday, everyone!



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The Best Vegetarian Meatballs Ever


Let me begin by saying – I am not a cook. I barely can stomach the tediousness of making macaroni and cheese from a box. However, years ago my former co-worker’s wife found out I was a vegetarian, and made me the most amazing vegetarian meatballs I have ever had before or since. In fact over the years, I asked her to make them for me so often the poor woman just gave me the recipe. I gratefully accepted it, and it has sat in my cupboard, with many untouched recipe books, for at least the last 3 years. This week I dug it out, and finally gave it a go!


I seriously wish you could smell these things!

Let me just say… if I can make these, literally ANYBODY can make them.  They are so, so, so easy, only take a short time to make, and are seriously delicious.  Another important thing – unlike many vegetarian recipes, these don’t have a single “weird” ingredient.  You won’t have to go to a specialty store.  You won’t have to do anything with cheesecloth.  You won’t have to do or purchase anything… fussy.

Ready?  Here’s the glorious recipe:


What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pecan meal (store bought or make your own)
  • 1 small onion – chopped fine
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1 can vegetable broth

What You’ll Do:

Mix bread crumbs, pecan meal, onion, garlic powder, and cheese together in a large bowl.  Add eggs, beaten, to the mixture.  (My original recipe called for 3 eggs, but I added 4 because I was having a bit of trouble getting them to “ball up”.)

Make into any size balls you want.  Brown on all sides in a skillet with olive oil.  Add one can of vegetable broth and simmer until broth is absorbed.

That is it!  Seriously simple.  They are good enough to just pop in your mouth right then and there (after they cool, of course), but we have done loads of stuff with them…  spaghetti and meatballs, Italian meatball subs, BBQ meatball subs… whatever you want!  To be totally candid, I actually prefer them on their own.  They are so flavorful and have a wonderful texture!

One last point… this recipe makes a bunch!  my husband and I both ate them for dinner two nights in a row, and I had one left today that I munched down!

Have a great weekend everyone!



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Barbie Closet – Part 2

Okay, this was kind of a mess.  It did not turn out AT ALL like my imagined closet of Barbie’s Dreams.  Se la vi.  Harlow still loves it, and that’s really all that matters, right?  Right… mostly.  Like, 80%.  Anyway.  When I last talked to you, I was fighting Mod Podge.  UGH.  That stuff.  Maybe someday I’ll figure it out?  Maybe?  Or not.  It was a mess.  I would probably do… almost every single thing differently if I were ever to attempt it again.  The only thing that actually worked out perfectly was using the bamboo skewers as hanger rods.  Perfect for Barbie-sized hangers!  Anyhoosies, here’s the final product.img_20181011_170429_345img_20181011_170429_344

For me, gluing in thin pieces of cardboard to use as dividers did. not. work.  So, I used entire, folded sheets of cardboard covered in paper, and glued the whole shebang on there.  I also did end up cutting off the flap on the front, because it just wasn’t feeling useful.  img_20181011_170429_346

Not perfect, but like I have to constantly remind my perfectionist 5 year old, nothing has to be perfect… just your best.

Have a great day living your best.

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