Friday, October 26, 2012

Celebrate: Trick or Treat Party

When it comes to Halloween I am firmly in the fun night for kids to dress up and get free candy camp. And I happen to live in a great Trick or Treating Neighborhood so for the past few years I have hosted a low key Trick or Treating Party. Better than a big costume Halloween party the Trick or Treat party is just about relaxing and passing out candy to cute becostumed kids!
Decorating your house is key. I am not really into creepy or nasty stuff, so I stick with Spiders, Bats and Orange Twinkly Lights. Also I personally find Spiders and Bats terrifying (especially bats, oh the swooping - though look at their cute faces) you can draw inspiration from the homes above the bats are fun with out being crazy over the top and I'm obsessed with the giant spider taking up residence at this townhouse.

 This year for my pumpkins (which I am carving this weekend) I am going to go with something like these sweet pumpkin fairy houses.
After the house is all spooky and fun it is time to get some grub together. My recommendation is to stay away from sweets (their will be plenty of candy), stick with popcorn, spiderweb pizza and a mummy or two.
For some added fun I like to have masks or fun headbands for the grown ups to wear while they are out walking the kids around or at home passing out candy. Just add some spooky music and enjoy your night!

So are you going to be entertaining any trick or treats next week? I'd love to hear about your plans for all hallows eve!

P.S. World's cutest bat costumes!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Make: Fall Pinterest Challenge

It is that time again, Pinterest Challenge time! Ah I love a good challenge so I am happy to once again be working away on turning some of those pins into something good!
For the fall challenge I have pick a bunch of mushroom pins I have been collecting over the last few months. But first has anyone ever actually seen a bright red mushroom in the wild? Anyway moving on I love the look of a red mushroom with little white spots (I even made a few mushroom ornaments). I have a few ideas about what I might do, but in the mean time enjoy this run down of fun mushroom pins!
Wood mushroom toys.
Awesome mushroom lamp.
 Sweet fairy house.
I'd love to find a place in my house for this crazy cute "toadstool"!
And maybe I can snack on some of these yummy mushroom shaped cookies while I work on my project.

Do you have a pin that you have been wanting to recreate? Why don't you join the Challenge. Make sure to check out the hosts of the Fall Pinterest Challenge; Bower Power, Young House Love, Our Fifth House and The Ugly Duckling House and check back next week to see how my challenge turned out!

P.S. find all of my past Pinterest Challenges here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live: DIY Wes Anderson Lifestyle

Hi friends! I have an idea, let's play a fun game of how to style your life like a Wes Anderson film! Now I'm just going to get this out of the way, I love Wes Anderson's movies (The Darjeeling Limited is my favorite, though I very much enjoyed this summer's Moonrise Kingdom), so know this is all in good fun I'm not just making funny of hipsters (at least not in today's post). Okay, shall we get started.

Step One: What not to wear
If you are going to pass for one of Wes' peeps you are going to need a look. You could go with a uniform, like Scout Master Randy Ward and the rest of the Khaki Scouts or the crew of the Belafonte, but I would suggest you go with something a little easier - just dress in different clothes that all look the same every single day, like Margot Tenenbaum or Mr. Anderson himself. For our project we are going with novelty animal themed sweaters like the cat, dog and fox ones above (fear not, I was able to find half a dozen of these sweaters in less than three minutes) and a jean, wool or corduroy skirt (note: your skit should look like it came from an advertisement for back to school shopping from 1972).

Step Two: Location Location Location
Next you are going to need a place to house your wacky, but lovable cast of characters. May I suggest you try this beauty, with ten bedrooms and the low low asking price of $80,000 she should do the trick (here is where I tell you that I always really connect with the oddly grand, but very lived in home of the Anderson films, I grew up in an oddly grand and very lived in house complete with a wood paneled library, a large main floor bathroom with a stall, a room we called the game room - but you would call it a bar and a 1940's intercom system, so those houses always seem like home to me). And don't worry Detroit is making a comeback.

Step Three: In which you fill your house
The number one rule of living in one of Wes Anderson's worlds it that you may not use modern technology. No iPhones or notebook computers for you. Do you want to write a book, try banging it out of this Smith Corona Typewriter. Need to sew yourself a new skirt, you will want this minty sewing machine. Wanna watch a movie? Better pull out your vintage movie projector. And don't forget to set the alarm on your Sessions clock. It goes so nicely with your power blue phone that you use to talk to all your friends when you aren't listening to music with these lovely blue headphones.

Step Four: What do you do all day?
Finally you are going to need something to occupy your time. And sure you will take a big adventure or two, but what are you to do on your days off? If I were you I'd pick up a hobby and not just any boring old thing like knitting or sky diving, no you should find something really fun. Like raising a pair Pygmy Hippopotamuses. All the better if they live in a totally amazing Moorish subterranean pool area.

So there you have it. Just complete these four simple steps and you will be on your way to a life of whimsy and wonder, just like the good Mr. Anderson intended!

Image of the James Couzen's House from here.
The sweaters are from ModCloth and they have a million more.
The pool is part of this list of Spectacular Swimming Pools.
The top image from Moonrise Kindgom is via

Friday, October 12, 2012

Live: Fresh Air, Hay Bales and Cows

 One of  the wonderful things about living in my hometown and in the area where both of my parents grew up is that I get to spend time as an adult with cousins from both sides of my family. Yesterday was one of those great days where I got to mix the two sides together and enjoy a beautiful Michigan fall day. Last week the plan was made to visit my cousin Valisa (are moms are sisters) and invite my cousin Lydia's (she is my dad's sister's daughter) son to join me.What is so interesting about a visit to my cousin's that an unrelated three year old would want to come with you ask. Well not only does she have daughters one a year older and one younger than him they all live on a dairy farm.
 You can imagine the kind of fun we had stomping around the farm on a slightly chilly autumn day. There was a lot of cow petting (by the people) and person licking (by the cows).

We learned a lot about cows and dairy farming, we even took a tour of the milking area (and loved thinking about how the milk we buy at the store might be from this very farm), though we didn't get to see the cows being milked (next time!). Because they calf all year on their farm we were able to hang out with cows of all ages, the calf at the top are little newborns while the one with the heart on her head is over a year old and the ladies below are the ones that actually get milked.

These girls were so interested in us it cracked me up. We just walked by and one cow noticed us, but before we knew it the whole crowed had joined us. So we climbed the fence and said hello.

In addition to hangin' with the cows there was some driving of child sized farm equipment and gourd picking.
It was a great afternoon and just made me so happy to have such lovely cousin-friends!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and get out there and soak up everything good about this wonderful time of year!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Live: Tips For Being Optimistic

Generally speaking I'm what you would call an optimist. I'm a cup half full, my grass is green enough, everything is going to be okay and yes, a look on the sunny side kinda girl. And I think I'm better for it. Yes I think some of my optimism comes from my natural disposition, I also know that some of it comes from the way I choose to approach life. So, here are a few of my tricks to keep on the sunny side of life.

  1. Be grateful for small things, be grateful for the big things too, but start with the small. I know that I find once I start thinking of all the things no matter how small I am happy to have or experience in a day my mood is lifted.
  2. Be friendly. When you go to the store don't just thank the check out girl, thank every employee you interact with. Say hello to your neighbor when you are out walking the dog. Wave to the person crossing the street in front of you. See the friendly way people respond always helps me see the good in people.
  3. Don't compare yourself and your life with others. I try very hard to not compare my life to the lives of others, not only do you waste your time wishing things were different for you it also fuels the flames of jealous  self hate and pessimism. 
  4. Give yourself and everyone else a break. You don't have to be on 100% of the time it is okay to mess up, just don't let your day be ruined when you are off your game.
  5. Laugh. If that means listening to a radio program you enjoy or talking to your toddler niece on the phone laughter makes things seem better, it just does.
  6. Pray. Ask for up lifting thoughts to flood your mind and give thanks for all the ways your needs have already been met.
  7. Practice. I really think that optimism can be learned. The next time you find yourself in one of those situations where your mind goes straight to everything wrong try taking a step back and looking at the good that can come out of that situation.
Are you an optimist? What do you do to keep yourself on track? I'm always looking for ways to live a better, happier, more satisfying life so please share!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Make: Baby Gifts

Last week I was talking with a friend about everyone I know having a baby in 2013 and realized that the count is already up to 10 (and half the babies that will be born in 2013 are still just a glint in their mother's eyes). I also realized that I needed to get on my crafting for baby if I hoped to gift something hand made to my new friends. And you know I like to share the love to I've come up with a little round up of a few quick and easy projects for babies.
Little things like sweet stuffed animals and tiny baby shoes can easily be made in an afternoon and can be great additions to any baby shower or welcome to the world gift.
Even these baby blankets should go fast and would be really simple to ship off to far away friends.

Do you have a bunch of babies to craft for in either 2012 or 2013? What are some of your go to projects for babies? I'd love to hear all about them!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eat: Pumpkin Season

Look I make no secret of my love affair with Fall and we all know that will fall comes pumpkin flavored everything! While I love the classics; muffins, pie and lattes, I thought it would be fun to try a few new uses for my favorite fall flavor. I already make the Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good every fall, but I'm also looking forward to pumpkin pasta and roast fall veggies!

Happy weekend all!  Let me know if you make pumpkin anything I'll bring my own fork!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Read: Autumn Reading List

It is time once again to make a list of books to read. For my Autumn Reading List I went with a slightly more manageable list than the one for Summer (I'll give you a quick recap of how I did this summer at the bottom of this post). With being back into the swing of things with the class I teach and picking up leading a Sunday School class this fall five books seemed like the perfect number. So without further ado the Fall Reading List:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I kept hearing about this book, but it was really the endorcement by Linda Holmes made me want to read it.

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff - The book had me at a monster dies and surfaces in the lake of the small-ish town of Templeton.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart - I have had this book kicking around for a while so I thought it was time to give it a go.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender - I have had this book in my Amazon shopping card forever so when I was given a gift card I decided to go ahead and buy it.

Apron Anxiety by Alyssa Shelasky - My nonfiction entry, the last few times the nonfiction has been my favorite thing I read so we will see how this one goes.

Now for the Summer Reading List:
MWF seeking BFF - I keep joking that I have become an evangelist for this book. It was really that good to read. It has changed my approach to building friendship.

The Night Circus - Again I keep tell people to read this one. I want so bad to see this world come to life I hope they make a movie though it could never be as good as the book.

Some of they others were okay, some I just read at and others I'm still on the library wait list for.

What are you reading this fall?

P.S. are you on Goodreads? Let's be friends!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Change: Living Room Mood Board

Do you remember how last week in the post about my new couch I said that I thought that the new couch would most likely lead to some trickle down redecorating? Well I can't get the idea off replacing some of the light pinks and blues in my living room with bright and rich Fuchsia and  Navy Blue. And there needs to be more brass in the room - for sure!

Couch - My own read all about it here

Some of the items in the mood board represent things I already have (brass elephant, cage lamp, yellow chair) and some I want to diy (pillows, throw) and others I just wish I had (rug)!

This moodboard was created

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Change: Painting Projects

(Polka Dot House from Life Magazine via Paper Pastries)
It is almost embarrassing how bad I am about picking a paint color and painting a wall. I waver and stall and then end up with nothing. So I thought it might be helpful if I sat down and made a list of all the painting I still want to do at my house, with an idea of the color I want to go with.

Living Room and Front Entry - Light Creamy Ivory (on the yellow side)
Guest Room -  Light Gray (I already have the paint for this so it is for sure on my to do list)
Kitchen, Dining Room and Hall - Bright White, with a surprise or two
Basement Stair - Gray
Basement - Gray and Limey Green
Front Door - Kelley Green!

Does anyone else have paint relate problems? What about a fear of picking the wrong color?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Make: Sweater Wrapped Candle

With the change of the leaves I am happy to embrace sweater weather. If you can't get enough of fuzzy wools in fun patterns you might want to take the sweaters out of the closet and into your home decor. From pillows to blankets there are many great ways to bring the warm and fuzzy into your home, so today I thought it would be fun to share a quick and easy diy project to "dress" a candle.
What you need:
Candle in a jar or a jar you can put a candle in
A wool sweater with a good print or cabling
Needle and thread
First you need to cut down your piece of sweater to fit around your jar.
To figure out how wide to cut my piece I just wrapped my sweater scrap around my jar and then marked the height off with my sharpie on the wrong side of the fabric.
Then flip the fabric around and pin it into place.
Finally sew up along the seam. I used a blanket stitch, but any stitch will work. I also used thick thread because I wanted you to be able to see it (which only kinda worked) you do not need to use something that thick.
And there you have it! It will take you as long to do this project as it did to read this post, so go a head and dig out that moth eaten sweater you haven't been able to part with and start stitching.
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