{Wreath of the Month:} December (Mesh Wreath)

I’m am so excited about my new December “Wreath of the Month!” I’ve been admiring mesh wreaths for a while and decided Christmas was the perfect holiday to make one for.

I absolutely cannot take credit for this wreath’s great design.  Pinterest led me to this beauty by Kristen’s Creations.

Kristen’s blog is FILLED with amazing floral design and decorating ideas! You will be seriously inspired after clicking around, so go check it out.  To my delight, Kristen shared a supply list and awesome step-by-step photo tutorial to help me create my own! Click here to see the full post and tutorial.

First, I gathered my supplies:

Rolls of mesh, ribbon, and other embellishments (all from Hobby Lobby.) I’m decided on a candy theme.

I used an old wreath (seriously, I think I made this in college) as my base. Andy and Lauren helped me removed the old decorations (and spider webs).

Then I followed the tutorial, adding the mesh first…

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2012 Halloween Party

It’s almost a week after Halloween, but because we just trick-or-treated here on Monday it really doesn’t feel like it.  In any case, I wanted to share some photos from this year’s Halloween party with you all.  With Hurricane Sandy on the horizon just days before the party, I wasn’t sure if we’d even be able to pull the party off or if friends would be able to safely get here to celebrate.  Luckily, things worked out.  I really like the way everything turned out, but I love that we were able to spend the day safe, warm, and dry celebrating with our friends.

For a long time (since before last Halloween even), I’d been planning on a candy corn themed Halloween party.  I had no shortage of ideas, and I even have Pinterest board devoted to it.

Then, the weekend before Halloween, I came across this adorable (and free!) Halloween printable set designed by Stephanie Creekmur for Pizzazzerie. I’ve always been a fan of traditional black and orange for Halloween.  I’ve also always loved accenting with lime and purple, so I just fell in love with this set and I knew I HAD TO change my theme.
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Pinterest Party

A couple of weeks ago I hosted my first Pinterest Party.  I invited ladies from my MOMS Club for an evening of eating, crafting, and chatting.

Everyone prepared and brought a dish from Pinterest.  For dinner, we had delicious Reuben Dip, Watermelon Salad, Tomato Basil Cheddar Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Bundles, and, after much deliberation, I prepared Baked Cheese Tortellini with Spinach (I’ll share the recipe soon.).  We were all so eager to dig in that I forgot to take a photos of the food.  I did manage to get a shot of some of our dessert choices.

We had Caramel Pretzel Crunch Brownies, Deep Dark Chewy Chocolate Cookies, and Tiramisu Cupcakes! Everything was so, so good!

After eating we worked on making yarn wreaths.  They turned out to be the perfect project because, as you know if you’ve ever made one, they’re not hard to make, but they take some time. All that time wrapping (and wrapping and wrapping and wrapping) yarn around wreath forms gave us lots of time to visit and laugh. By the end of the night everyone had a beautiful finished wreath to take home.  Here are just a few I remembered to get pictures of. (I was in party mode-not picture mode.)

I love this brown speckled fall yarn!

I love the combination of berries and feathers on this white wreath.

Ah, burlap and and bunting-two of my favorite things!

And this is my gray snowflake wreath.  The yarn reminds me of a warm winter sweater.  The snowflakes are Christmas ornaments I bought at Hobby Lobby.  It still needs a ribbon hanger, but it’s going to be my January “Wreath of the Month” so I have some time.

Of course, I couldn’t host a party without favors, especially a Pinterest Party! I saw a picture of repurposed pull-top cans filled with goodies a long time ago and I’ve been saving cans ever since, and because Andy was just about ready to throw them away I figured this was the perfect time to use them.

I covered them with scrapbook paper and filled them with some tasty treats for the road.  (I’ll post a photo how-to and the recipe soon!)

We had a great night! It was the latest I’ve stayed up in a loooong time, but I can’t wait to do it again.

 

What a Hoot!

Owls seem to be everywhere this fall, and they really are perfect for the season.  A good friend of mine, Erin, recently hosted an owl themed birthday party for her daughters who were turning three and five, and it was a hoot!

Erin’s a girl after my own heart, and she really got into planning the party. (“I’ve discovered Pinterest!” she told me.)  I LOVE all the adorable and handmade owl elements she included in the party and Erin was kind enough to allow me to share them here with you all. Read more [+]

Let’s Play in October

October is just around the corner, and I’ve been organizing some fall themed “pre-school-y” activities to do with Lauren (more on those later) this month.  Another great resource I use for toddler activities is Let’s Explore’s 10 Ways to Play lists.

I’ve been printing this handy lists for a while, but this is the first month that I’m determined to get through all of them.  It shouldn’t be hard, and I know Lauren will love all the “activities.”

I’ve gathered the up a few things that will make actually doing these thing “spur-of-the-moment” a little easier.

For example, these shape flashcards, downloaded from Mr. Printable, are perfect for #1, Go on a Shape Walk.  I know Lauren will love #6, Pour and mix colored water.  (We know she loves playing with water!) #7, Visit a new-to-you park or hiking trail, will be a breeze for us. We’re so excited to have a new park opening right near our neighborhood in just a couple of weeks. (We also have a camping trip in the works, so I’m sure we have some “hiking” in our future soon too.)

Lastly, #10, Trace your hand or foot and make a picture, is perfect because I’ve been eyeing these adorable Halloween hand and footprint creations for some time. Check out the adorable blog Southern Fried Gal for lots more cuteness.

Why not get a jump start on October fun too by clicking on over to Let’s Explore, downloading the full October checklist, and playing along with us all month.  Happy October, almost!

 

 

 

Yarn Wreaths

It seems yarn wreaths have been all-the-rage for the past couple of years, and, because I love wreaths and my dream of having a wreath for each month of the year hasn’t died, I’m eager to try my hand at one.  I’ve been pinning inspiration and tutorials for a while. Take a look at the pictures and click on the links (or photos) below to find out more about the next project on my to-do list.

First up, this beauty from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs.

This post also has a great tutorial for making the pretty felt flowers seen above Read more [+]

Cookie Cutter-Bird Feeder Craft

Today’s bird feeder craft is the perfect project to complete as summer winds down and fall begins.  It would also make a cute little Grandparent’s Day Gift (it’s this Sunday, September 9th, BTW) because I’m pretty sure ALL grandparents love looking at birds, right??? Read more [+]

Back-to-School Gift Idea

I’m sharing this adorable gift idea in honor of all my teacher friends, both near and far, who celebrating Back-to-School season right now.

As a student, and as a teacher, the first day of school was always my favorite.  I love all the newness and excitement.  I love how neat and perfect everything seems, and I love the promise of all that lies ahead in the coming year.

I love the idea of sending a gift to your child’s teacher to help her (or him) celebrate the new year.  This simple flower arrangement from Giggle Galore is just the right thing.  Simple and inexpensive to put together, but from experience I can tell you that flowers (and Diet Coke) alway brighten at teacher’s day. I love that the magnets in the Mason jar vase could be used in the classroom even after the flowers are gone!

Happy New {School} Year, Everyone!

 

P.S.

Here are a couple of random back-to-school thoughts I want to share:

1. Speaking of teacher gifts, the other day, as Lauren ran/climbed wildly around us, Andy said, “We’d better start saving money for her teacher’s gifts now.  They’re going to earn them!”

Keep in mind Lauren’s only two, but he’s totally right…whew!

 

2. I think I’m partial to back-to-school flowers.  Andy, being the awesome husband that he is, always sent me flowers on the first day of school.

All the work he did every year helping me get my classroom just perfect would have been enough, but the flowers always made me smile too! Love you, Andy!

 

 

Travel Surprise

Andy’s traveling for work all this week, but before he left, Lauren and I snuck a little surprise into his suitcase.  The idea came from something I saw on Pinterest a while back.  Lauren helped me “write” seven little love notes (one for each day he would be gone).

We folded the notes and put them, along with M&Ms, in each compartment of a pill organizer.

Just a little something for Andy to enjoy each day while he’s away from home! We miss you!!!

A Berry Special Birthday Party

I knew even before Lauren’s first birthday that I wanted to have her second birthday at Donaldson Farms.  We all love the farm and during the summer we’re there at least once a week to buy fresh produce.  Lauren’s birthday being in June meant that we’d be able to have a strawberry picking party and that seemed like a perfect idea to us.

Knowing your party’s location and general theme a year in advance gives you a lot of time to brainstorm and plan. My overall vision was “farm-chic.” I used red and white gingham, Ball jars, and galvanized metal accents-easy and cute! We booked the party in early spring and sent the invitations in the beginning of May.

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