Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 21 - Affordable Halloween Decor Part2


Let's be honest, ok?!

 

I have a kid-friendly home... to a certain extent.
 
I like to limit the tacky décor to a certain area of our home and I usually don't play with that rule of thumb. 
 
Then, we got a new pretty house and I wanted to get all festive.
 
SERIOUSLY?!
 
Can you believe that I even made a centerpiece for the formal dining room?
 
 
I found the wire basket at the thrift store for $3.  It holds 3 pillar candles and is perfect for the yummy Walmart candles I picked up. You know how I love Walmart candles (remember?). 
 
 
I used some of the same vase filler from our usual arrangement to fill the centerpiece.  In the spirit of Halloween, I also incorporated some sparkle skulls and pumpkins.


 
I know.  It's got a level of tackiness about it BUT at night... when the lights are off... and I squint just so:
 
 
It really feels warm and cozy.
 
As if the dining room wasn't enough, the décor spread into the kitchen with this little display:
 
 
It's perfect for a party treat display but we just use it to hold our fruit.  It's cute and different and...

 
... IT WAS A STEAL PRICED AT ONLY $3.90 from the thrift store!! I know what you're thinking and, no, I didn't stop there!

More to come :)
 
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Day 20 - Halloween Foyer Decor

I talked about our easy Halloween banner.  I really like how it pulled everything together around the house.  I also like that it was too colorful because, for some ODD reason, it makes me feel that it's LESS tacky, lol. Crazy, I know.
 
 
Yep. 
 
I went all the way with the Halloween decor this year and will now have an official unpack-and-pack Halloween section added to my Holiday storage closet in the basement (again, crazy.  Don't judge me, lol).  ANYHOO, we pulled out our good ol' Martha Stewart spiders and hung them in the foyer.  I can't wait to pass out candy with them as our backdrop.  It's going to be so exciting:
 
 
 
I also added some pumpkin décor to our steps in the foyer:
 
 
There's a pumpkin Munch picked up at the Pumpkin Patch AND a Hallmark bucket I got for $.90 from my local thrift store.  Would you believe it still had a $10 price tag on it.  It'll be perfect for our candy :)
 
Don't you just LOVE making Halloween affordable?
 
Speaking of affordable, wait until you see the rest of our décor.  Coming right up!
 
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Day 19 - An Easy Banner Tutorial

 
I wanted to spend some QT with my little boo, Munchface.  We decided to make a Halloween banner...
 
I found a pack of cream cardstock at Michael's, we pulled out the black crayons and used some large stickers to create a Halloween banner for the foyer.
 
I didn't want to have a lot of cutting or gluing or... well, effort really.
 
So, here's a tutorial for a NO-sew, NO-glue banner :)
 
 
Supplies
- cardstock
- mini clothespins
- string for hanging
- black crayon
- stickers for letters
- scissors
 
 
Step-by-Steps
1. Cut the bottom portion of the banner in the shape you desire.  Rather than a semi-circle, I chose the pennant flag look.
 
2.  I gave half of the "flags" to Munch.  We each took a black crayon and colored our flags.  She duplicated some of my designs and came up with some of her own.  I really like the Frankenstein face one:

 

 
3.  Place your letters on each flag.
 
4. Cut the string to your desired length.
 
5. Use 2 mini clothespins to hold each flag onto the string.
 
6.  Hang the banner. O and enjoy your glue-less and easy banner!
 
 
I'm going to share our entire Halloween foyer in the next post. 

Pardon me while I catch-up!
 
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 18 - Affordable Holiday Decor


It's time to talk about my favorite thing *like* ever.  Holiday decor.  OMG OMG OMG!  

Are you as excited as I?

There's something about pulling out the decor box for each season and/or holiday... I adding some magic around our home.

I love seasonal decor.

I never grew up in a home with Halloween decor.  We were able to get candy and sure, we did go to various events (trunk or treats, parties, etc.) but my mom?  Put skulls and skeletons, ghosts and spiders up?  

Never.

Not a pumpkin.  Nope.

A witch? Nuh-uh.

The porch light would be turned on, candy would be inside of a big bowl but that was about it.

Quite different from my mom, I've embraced every opportunity to decorate our home with holiday decor.  I want my kid to enjoy life's parties and I've decided the party starts at home :)

Please note, however, that I refuse to pay retail for Halloween decor.  I mean, it's NOT Christmas, lol.  

Don't get all crazy on me...

Instead, however, I stock up at my local thrift and dollar stores.  Great finds and great prices!  Tune in tomorrow for the multi-post Halloween catch-up!


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 17 - What You Miss


Islanders, I ask that you bear with me as I catch up on the 30 Days series. I went on work-related travel and, unfortunately, I wasn't afforded the opportunity to do much blogging.  BLEH.  It feels great to be back home and I left my bags in the car to come inside and fully enjoy tweaking a few projects.

I missed home.

The sounds of the man in the basement.

The giggles from the bath tub at 8:30.

The smell of dinner cooking.

My bed.

My family.

Home, so I'm learning, is the elements of what I miss when I'm away... It's those things which makes my plot of the Earth unique to the rest of the world.

Hmmm, the things I miss when I'm away... That's the quintessence of home.

Now, it's time for your part.  You're stranded on an desert island for six months.  What do you miss most about your home?

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 16 - Seek Inspiration

 
When I see something I like in another person's home, I will tell them.  As a homeowner, I know it means a lot for others to appreciate the work I put into making our home special; it's important to me that I return to the favor.
 
On a recent visit with my new friend, Sherry, I fell in love with her Halloween vignette.  Isn't it fabulous?!
 
 
 
 
I surround myself with people I admire.  All of my friends are awesome people who possess a myriad of admirable qualities. 
 
Sherry is a fab mommy who has a budding party planning business. I can't wait to formally introduce her to you guys once her website goes live!
 
Seriously?! Did you see that heffa's décor though?! That's it. I must get on the ball with our Halloween décor, geesh! 
 
How does this relate to our 31 Days series?
 
I am always looking for things to make our home life better.  When I see something that works in someone else's place, I don't hesitate to ask questions.  Heck, it might help better manage our home.  Looking for the best in everyone helps me seek out inspiration; people are a walking Pinterest, lol.  Interesting concept, I know. HAHA.
 
Anyhoo, because of Sherry, I picked up a few new pieces for our Hallween décor and I'm going to decorate tonight. 
 
GET EXCITED!!!
 
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 15 - Smells of Home


I have a thing for scents. 
 
They trigger memories (read more here), evoke emotions and make or break my mood when I return to my home (read more here).

Half the joy of my home comes in the warm feeling others have when they walk through our door. I want our home to be an experience...  I want it to feel as welcoming as grandma's... well, without the plastic covered furniture, lol.  WHAT?!  I feel like grandma's home always has a signature sent... Maybe mine will be fresh baked cookies or apple pie with a hint of stinky old man (we can't forget that grandpa will be there too, lol).
 
 
Everyday has a scent at my parents' home.  I remember the smells of weeknight dinners, Saturday morning bleachin' and laundry, and Sunday morning coffee. Sights, sounds and smells of home have become the little things I remember from my childhood.
 
Home starts at the front door.
 
 
Because smell is the first experience of home, I want our home to smell clean and fresh.
 
My favorite scent to use in our place is vanilla.  Yes, because I love the scent and, yes, because fresh baked cookies makes everyone feel warm and welcome.  Another reason, however, is that vanilla-scented fresheners always blend well.  I can mix brands, flavors, whatever... As long as it's a vanilla, cookie, sugar sweet something, it'll work just fine!

 I used to believe the more expensive a candle was, the better quality it was.  A few years back, however, I was proven wrong.

I was a candle snob - Bath & Body Works, Yankee, Grand Canyon, Scentsy, etc. - those were my candle brands of choice.  That is, until my mother-in-law called, when she was an hour away, to announce she was staying at our home for a few days (seriously, who does that?!).  I cleaned my kitchen, tasked the man with vacuuming upstairs and went to light one of my overpriced candles only to realize that I had none.  I had to run to the Walmart and pick up a few last-minute candles:
 
 
The day was saved and the candles smelled great!  Plus, for a 20 oz candle, I only paid $5!  Walmart also offered the candles in a variety of sizes ranging in prices from less-than a buck to $10 gift sets.  I was so impressed!
 
Check out your local store or online to see if they have a scent for you!
 
 
Since that day, my primary candle purchases have come from Walmart.
 
Another affordable place that I find great affordable candles is the clearance aisles in TJMaxx, Marshalls and Ross; they always have a great deal but I can't promise the candles always fill a room with their fragrance.  For my daily use, the Walmart candles are *like* boss!
 
OMG!
 
Don't you love easy and affordable ways to make your home welcoming? Me too!
 
Do you have a preferred scent for your home?  If so, what is it?  Where do you pick up your smell goods?

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 14 - Holidays in the Home

Now that we're pretty-much settled in the new home - ya know, with everything unpacked and with each room's purpose defined - I'm ready to enjoy our home.  I am excited to celebrate upcoming holidays and seasons.  Islanders, something about the smells, décor and traditions of holidays just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
 
Don't give me that look.  I'm serious.  Pumpkin spiced lattes, hellloooooo! 
 
I've mentioned our Halloween décor before (here).  Here are some reminder photos from last year:
 


 
Well, I'm excited to announce that I've added a few fall-specific items to our little collection.  I really need to buckle down and hang them up!
 
I don't know why I procrastinate decorating every year, lol.  I love holiday décor; I really do!  My neighbor has a Halloween Wonderland in their front yard.  I'm talking purple lights, inflatable characters, scarecrows and more... It's a lot.  Definitely more than I would ever consider for my front yard BUT I hear Munchface squeal with excitement every time we drive by.  Her joy is contagious... Heck, now I get excited when I drive by. 
 
Islanders, that's what I've learned to appreciate most about experiencing holidays from a child's perspective as parent.  My child reminds me that holidays are fun.  The tackiest  house décor (in my snobby everything-should-be-tasteful-and-fab opinion) is what little ones enjoy most.
 
 
My home won't ever look like the photo above so don't go getting all excited... UH-UH.  Not up over here...  I am learning that home is supposed to be fun.  My home is supposed to appeal to my family.  I will make a better effort to incorporate the magic of holidays into our décor, huh?
 
UGH, I guess this means I better get working on the Halloween décor ASAP, huh?!

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Day 13 - Halloween Free Printable


Halloween is upon us and I'm pulling together affordable décor.  Check out this cute little sign:
 
 
I can't wait to share our Halloween décor...I just need to put it up.
 
Don't judge me.
 
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Day 12 - Free Halloween Printable Banner

 
I need to get my fall décor up and pretty.  Maybe I can use some free printables to get things done on a budget.  Check out these printables:
 
 
Come back tomorrow for more!
 
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 11 - Home Balance.


I don't consider myself to be a home body.  Compared to Hubbs (with his gym, intramural basketball and 2 football teams, video games, brother-friends, social life, sneaker chasing and fishing), however, I'm a hermit - LOL.  I mean, I work, I blog, I coach, I lead the music ministry, I sing in the Praise Team, I plan events, I teach Sunday lessons, I - I wouldn't say I sit still... BUT my home life is my priority.
 
I've struggled with a balance between my and Hubbs' differing of opinions.  He didn't have a "home life" and rather spent his time at his grandmother's home.  The place he lived was nothing more than a closet; his real home was with his grandmother and cousins. He would come home, change into play clothes and rush to his grandmother.  When he moved with his mother and step-father, he was surrounded by step-siblings and living on a military installation.  He lived for the trips to his grandmothers and never felt the places away from her were home.
  
We met. We fell in love.  We were married.  We constantly teetered on the balance beam of home definition.  I was raised with a family who woke and cleaned together on Saturday, went to church together on Sunday, ate dinner together every night and established household responsibilities for each child very early on. I've brought all of those things into our adult family life.
 
I used to, however, blame Hubbs for not understanding the importance of sitting down together for dinner or for not picking up that mop to clean the floors. Sure, he didn't have it as a child but who the heck does he think will handle it.  What the heck does he think family is?
 
Over time, he's realized the importance of a strong family structure and has come a LOOOOooOOOoooNG way. 


There is still quite a ways to go.  For both of us.


 
I'm not perfect and I can't hold anyone to impossible standards.  Yes, I recognize that in my mind, things should be a certain picket-fence kinda way.
 
While Hubbs works to incorporate a picket-fence lifestyle into his definition of home, I must embrace the out-n-about life Hubbs is accustomed to.

 
HOW?!
 

This weekend, we're going to do a little bit of both.  We have projects to finish around the house and several family activities we've planned together.  Truthfully, it doesn't happen often enough but when it does, we always have a great time.
 
The Point

 
Home isn't about the structure where you live, it's about the people who inhabit the building.  Join me in making time for each other this (and every) weekend.
 
Hopefully, they won't get on my nerves too badly... LOL.
 
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Day 10 - Quick Refresh Ideas

 
 
On Tuesday, I promised a post about affordable and quick updates for the home.  I scheduled this for yesterday, Thursday October 10... For some reason, I didn't save it so it never posted and...well, here we are.
 
OOPS!
 
Paint
 
In the new house, I don't want to abuse color by splashing different colors in every room.  Instead, however, I have painted an accent wall in our master bedroom:
 
 
A pink ceiling in Munch's room:
 
 
and I've got plans to paint a few other accent walls...
 
Paint is an affordable way to change anything in the home - furniture, walls, picture frames.  Spray paint, wall paint, craft paint... It's allllll good!
 
Move What You've Got
 
Sometimes I will stare at a wall and think a particular photo would be perfect somewhere else; I move it!  Most times it works and instantly gives me the feeling of change I crave without the expense of a redesign.
 
Pillows
 
Pillows can add a pop of color to a space without a serious commitment.  Want to incorporate red or orange?  Rather than paint a wall, start with a pillow.  If you love how the color works, expand it into curtains, rugs, etc.
 
Thrifty Pieces
 
You know I'm a firm believer in the thrifty lifestyle.  Want a quick refresh?  Head to your local thrift store with a budget in mind and have at it!
 
I always feel like a high roller when I'm in the thrift store!
 
Refreshing your space also refreshes your perspective on home.
 
Have at it and, most important, have fun!
 
 
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The Birthday Party That Never Happened

Islanders, Did you notice it's October?  Two months after the kid's birthday and eight months after we would normally have this co...

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