Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This is how I feel.

I'm grateful for so many things this Thanksgiving,
and you yahoos are included in that list.

Thanks for sticking around, and for creating such an
encouraging place to play each week.

Thankful and Blessed, indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

 OoooKaaaay… so Thanksgiving is just a few days away.

You’re hosting.
You’re swamped making sure you’ve got the grocery list complete, the wine chosen, getting the bird thawed, double checking the guest list and making sure you have enough seats, coaching your kids on table manners, and did I mention THE CLEANING?!  Oy, it’s enough to make you crack into that wine a little early.

So no surprise, you’re focused on people actually having something to EAT that you haven’t given a thought to how you’re going to decorate, of all things.

Not to worry.
This year, I’m feeling SIMPLE about everything.
Not a lot of fuss. 
No big “to do” about things.
Just simple.  And pretty.
And when you’re juggling 9,000 other things, simplicity is what you’re looking for. 

Check out these simple looks for a table that is tasteful, classic and simple.
And pretty much all of these looks can be recreated on the cheap, many using things you probably already have or could knock out with a quick jaunt to the Dollar Store.



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Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Canvas Photo Prints

For a while now, I've been waffling about what to put on this wall in the Guest Room

It's been sitting there for a while, but I haven't been able to commit to anything.  Eventually I think it will probably end up with a "collection" of sorts, featuring some artwork.  But until I figure out what that will be, it's just been sitting there.  Blank.
And bugging me.

So, I thought I would whip up something inexpensive that could fill the space for now, and eventually move to some other place in the house when I finally decided on more long-term decor.
I decided that CB and The Redhead are as cute as any ol' thing I'd buy at the store (natch ;) ), and I could always use pics of their sweet little mugs in our room down the line.
But looking at the size I would need to anchor this space, photos can get pretty spendy.

I decided I wanted something dimensional, which meant a wrapped canvas was a no-brainer.
To accomplish this on the cheap, I went the engineering print-route - uploaded my pics and headed to my neighborhood Staples.
Note:  These pics will NOT be photo-quality, so don't go in there expecting to pay $3 for some super sweet crisp photo prints.  The engineering prints, while awesome for lots of different projects and cheap as all get out, are designed for blueprint drafts and the like, not for photos.  These will look more like a Xeroxed photocopy of your picture, FYI.
Now, for the purposes of this project, that's just fine. 
But consider yourself warned. :)

Because I didn't want a ginormous photo of my baby's giant head staring down at guests while they slept, I got a smaller size, which meant it was even cheaper (I paid about $3 for the prints, total).

Once I picked those up, I stopped over at Hobby Lobby and thanks to a 50% off sale (otherwise I would have used the 40% coupon) I picked up a 2-pack of canvases for $7.99.

This process was super simple, but it pays to take your time.
I used a sponge brush and some modge podge I had in the craft stash.

Start with a thin layer of Modge Podge over the canvas, figure out how you want your photo centered,  and SLOWLY place the print on the canvas.  I recommend starting at one side and smoothing it out to the other side, rather than placing it flat overtop and then trying to smooth is that way.

From there, do another *thin* layer of modge podge over the top.

For the sides, you'll just wrap the paper around the sides and corners like a present. 

I secured the flaps with regular glue, then once it dried, did my top layer of modge podge.

Let dry, and that's it! 

What I like about these specifically, is that you WILL have some wrinkles and some texture, and I think that adds to the authentic look of things.
You can see in this closer up that they are imperfect, and I like that.

In all, I spent $11 total.
I think $5.50 each for some large wall art that showcases my sweet little honeys ain't bad at all! :)
And, in the future if I want to reuse the canvases again, I can just paint or plaster or whatever right overtop.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

That Time I Bugged Out.

This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.

Before I met Mr. V, I lived by myself in a two-bedroom townhouse.  It was my first foray at home ownership, and that meant bucking up and dealing with some things that come with that responsibility.

Or in my case, not. 

I was good about changing smoke alarm batteries and insulating drafty windows, but there was one issue I was 100% not prepared to deal with.  Freaking SPIDERS.  I didn’t know that here in the Midwest, pesky furrow spiders like to set up shop in comfy places, like coat closets, to escape the cold of the winter months.  Like MY COAT CLOSET, for example.  And they are not small.  And they will scare the living daylights out of you.  And so, when one winter afternoon while reaching for my snow boots to make the trek to the mailbox, I was confronted with one of these:

I promptly lost my s#!*, screamed, and sprung for the phone like my hair was on fire.  To call an exterminator?  Well, no.  A more rational individual would call the Orkin Man.  Nope, I called my Dad.  And convinced him to come to my house from his warm home in a neighboring suburb, to identify and of course, terminate, the offending spider.  And because he is the greatest dad in the history of dads, he did. 

You read that right.  I called my dad to drive to my house to kill a spider.  I know this is one of many reasons he is so happy that I found Mr. V. ;)  It wasn’t my finest showing, I’ll admit. 

The folks at Orkin would call this a #BugOut moment.

If I had known (or had rational, presence of mind like most adults) about the resources available to me, I probably could have saved myself some heart palpitations, my neighbors some shattered eardrums, and at least saved my Dad some gas money.  One of the great resources out there is The Orkin Ecologist site.  These people study bugs for a living, and help put them all into perspective for freak shows like me.  I mean hey, take a look at the Featured Bug of the Month this week:  the Goliath Bird-Eating Spider.  Let me say that again: GOLIATH BIRD-EATING SPIDER!!! 

Just a couple clicks in, and I would see that by comparison, my eensy weensy little furrow spider was a fuzzy little bunny rabbit, compared to THIS mammajamma that EATS FREAKING BIRDS.

Most interestingly, though, I would have learned that just because a spider is or appears to be BIG, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more DANGEROUS.  In fact, many bigger spiders are harmless to humans.  Had I known that, I might have relaxed a little. ;)

Do you have a fear of the creepy-crawlies?  You might be surprised (like I was) that they have a much greater role in our ecosystem than I gave them credit for.  The Orkin Ecologist site is a super resource for bug scaredy-cats and enthusiasts alike.  Who doesn't want to learn the truth about the world’s scariest bugs?

To learn more, you like the Orkin Ecologist on Facebook, or follow them on pinterest and share something on their board using #BugOut.

What’s your worst #BugOut moment?  Share in the comments and we’ll all have the heebie jeebies together : )

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Well, Hey! It's Halloween!

Wait, what?
Oh, I missed that too?
Hmmm, I think the last time I blogged it was Labor Day, or something.
Holy Moly, guys!  I promise I didn't plan to let nearly the entire month of October slide by, but well look.  Here we are.
 How about that.

Life has been going at warp speed, you feel me?
I know you do.

I'll make it up to you.
Ballerinas! :)

 And y'all know I'm not so into Halloween.  I know some people get super into it (much like The Redhead), but I've never been one to go all out.
So we carved our pumpkin for the front step, and I kept a few to keep past Halloween, for fall.
For something a little different, I tossed some chalkboard paint on one of the little ones, giving it some versatility.

When the trick or treaters came to the stoop, it said "Boo!" but before and since it's had a variety of versions..

Once again, chalkboard paint cures all decorating ails. ;)

Happy Halloween!
Oh, wait, right.... 

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