Getting Ready for Winter

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I must be the biggest procrastinator around!  I still have my yard furniture that needs to be put away for the winter - I think I am just blocking out the fact that possibly the next 5 or so months will be cold, snowy, and dreary, so maybe by me not putting away the furniture, I am holding onto hope that the weather will be nice.  However, I live in Syracuse and it's almost guaranteed there will be tons of snow heading our way.  So this weekend I took advantage of the above normal temperatures  and started hanging up my Christmas decorations.  This beats those 32 degree days and frozen hands trying to hang up wreaths.

However, I did need to take all my fall decorations to the town's compost pile.  Thought it may look strange hanging up my Christmas Wreaths, while I still had cornstalks, mums and pumpkins on the front step.  The weather is warmish today, but it is raining out.  I was hoping to finish up cutting down some flowers and shrubs, and of course putting away my yard furniture.  Hopefully the sun will come out later and I can finish.

Here is a quick photo of Brooklyn intently thinking I'm crazy  watching me put up the wreaths.  More holiday posts to follow.

Happy Decorating <3

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer is quickly coming to an end...soon it will be back to school for me.  I still have a ton of projects I need to complete before the 1st day of school --ugh.

Took the time today to go blueberry picking with family & friends.  Can't wait to make some blueberry muffins this evening.  Of course I will freeze some to enjoy in the middle of winter.

The muffins came out wonderfully.  For the extra large muffins, I would recommend doubling the recipe, it will make 8-10 muffins.  

Large Blueberry Muffins

To show how big these muffins are, I put one next to a
bottle of nail polish

Here is the link to the recipe I used:  Muffin Recipe

Wishing everyone a glorious summer day <3

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My next project challenge is decorating a music themed bedroom for my son.  This is going to take some time and creative planning!  I want a room that is fit for a young adult that will also transition into a guest room at some point.  I have started the project by painting the walls a khaki color and the trim an off white. I have some furniture I want to re-do (painting black) and when all is done, I am adding hardwood floors.  This will be a timely challenge.   I am going to accent with black frames, old record albums, and so on.  Eventually I am changing out the twin bed for a queen size one (haven't found one I liked just yet). For now I am beginning with this piece of subway art I made.  Will post pictures as I complete the room.

Family Message Center

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

After many hours of searching through Pinterest, I decided to create a Family Message Command Center.  My biggest problem was where to put this command center.  I do not have an office in my home (I use my dinning room table as a desk), I never liked having my desk in the basement, so I was at odds as where to put this.  I have a galley kitchen and didn't want to make it seem smaller by adding white boards, etc to the kitchen wall.  I think my biggest problem was that I didn't want all my personal papers visible to everyone who came into the home, so after a ton of consideration, I decided to use the staircase wall that led to the basement.  It was unused space, the doorway is connected to my dinning room which is where I do my paperwork anyway, so I thought this would be the perfect spot.  Now if anyone comes over, all I have to do is close the basement door, easy as that.

The first item on my list was to have a hanging file, that was big enough to house folders. I found this one at Marshall's Home Goods Store (my favorite place to shop) for $24.99.  I have seen other ones (not as nice for more money) so I grabbed this one.

I knew I wanted a magnetic board and saw many ideas on Pinterest on how to make one from sheet metal, but this one I found at Target for $12.99 already framed in black, wound up being cheaper to do it this way.  It did have brown corking around it as well, all I did was paint it black to match the frame. The black & white magnets also came from Target for $2.50 for a large pack.

Painted the brown corking black that framed
 the magnetic white board

I loved the ideas of the hanging buckets, and when I was at Target (shopping for the White Board) I found the metal buckets in the dollar bin.  Woo hoo!

Bows are hot glued onto buckets & bows are
tied on the file baskets

This takes me to my 2nd favorite store the Christmas Tree Shop (owned by Bed, Bath, & Beyond) which carries a lot of the same items, but at a substantially lower price.  I picked up this curtain rod for around $6.00 to hang the buckets.  While shopping I ventured over to the College Section and found the New York City vinyl clings for $3.99 and figured I could use them to accent my message boards.  I also picked up the black frames 11x14 for $1.99, 8x10 for $1.69,  and 4x6 for $.89.  What a deal!

The wooden letters I purchased at Michael's for $1.49 each, of course using my coupons to save more money.  The black & white ribbon was found for $1.00 in their dollar bins - more great deals.

Letters glued onto contact paper -
 made my own subway art

I made the black & white New York City subway art myself as well as the two smaller quotes from Coco Chanel.  I felt her quotes fit right in with my theme.   The backing on frames is contact paper I had left over when I re-did my linen closet.  I purchased it from either Walmart or Target, not sure which.  The blog post idea frame, I also printed on my computer, covered the matt board in matching contact paper. Use an expo marker to write directly on the glass, then wipe off.  I matched some file folders as well, covering them also in contact paper.

Blog Post Ideas printed - matt board covered
in contact paper

Coco Chanel quotes printed on computer and
 glued on top of contact paper
I covered standard manilla file folders
in contact paper to give
a uniform look

So there you go, my new message center.  Get creative - happy organizing <3


Gecko Makeover...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Update:  finally hung the geckos outside :-)

As I began taking out my decorations for the backyard, I noticed my poor tropical gecko's really faded from the sun.  I also found some new ones at the Dollar Tree, but they were really kind of bland and could use a facelift.

So off to Michael's I go to look for metal paint.  I was surprised to find that Martha Stewart had a line of all surface paint (which included metal) so I grabbed some High Gloss Colors and headed home.  These were $1.99 each and of course I used my teacher discount for an extra 15% off the total.

I cleaned off the gecko's and began painting, here are my results.

Before - faded from the sun


My daughter's creation - "art deco gecko"

The gecko's below are from the Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree

Painted in brighter colors - whole new gecko :)

Now I am searching for other yard decorations to paint.  Get creative <3 have a blast.

One of those days..

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Have you ever had one of those days, where nothing seems to go right?  I must have the worst luck when it comes to small appliances, etc.  Today a friend comes over to help me replace the burners in my gas grill - I bought the wrong ones - ugh.  So upon inspection I notice the ignitor is rusted out - the burner covers are rusted - the grates have seen better days - now mind you - this is only about 5 years old.  I do leave it outside in the winter - big mistake in our upstate New York winters.  I guess the cover doesn't do its job.  After pricing out the parts it was cheaper to buy a new grill, so off to Lowe's we go.

Brought the grill home, cooked dinner on it, and then decided to continue to mow the lawn (took a break for diner) and guess what?  The mower won't start.  I just couldn't believe it!  Looked all over - took it apart- and found a splice in the wire, so what do I do?  Head off to Home Depot to look for parts.  No such luck.  Priced lawn mowers and headed to Lowe's - of course the same cashier is still working :-) and I said I'm back mower just died.  They didn't have parts of course.  So wound up getting a new lawn mower!  First week of my summer vacation and had to get two new appliances for the backyard!  Everything goes in three's - so I am keeping my fingers crossed but, if something else goes I hope it's something small like a toaster. Hope everyone else had a better day :-)

Butterflies & Hummingbirds

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I have an obsession with flowers --ugh.  I can't go to a garden center without bringing home something new!  This year I can blame it on Brooklyn (my 1 year old collie) who loves walking all over my flower beds.  This gave me the excuse to re-do my gardens since he trashed so many flowers.  I even purchased a Victorian Wire fence to place in front of the gardens until he's trained not to go near them anymore - so far he has learned he can jump over them :-)

I went and grabbed some new flowers from Lowe's, Walmart, & Home Depot.  I have tailored the garden to attract butterflies & humming birds, nothing more peaceful then having the yard filled with butterflies in the middle of the summer.

Well I'm off for some planting.....

Deco Mesh Flip Flop Wreath

Monday, June 24, 2013

Well I decided to start my summer vacation off with a craft project.  I spend way too much time on Pinterest!  I saw some deco mesh wreaths and decided to give it a whirl. I decided to do a gathered bow type of wreath rather then the loop one.  I used an 18 in wire wreath frame with pipe cleaners, I do think I would like to use a foam wreath form with the floral pins instead for this type of wreath.  Personally I think the foam would be easier to do, but I would need to try one to see.


1 - 18 inch wire frame wreath ($3.49)
1 package of purple pipe cleaners  ($.99)
3-pairs of children's medium size flip flops ($1.30 each)
1 Roll of each color - purple, neon green, hot pink, 12 inch x 10 yards deco mesh ($9.99 each)
8 - polka dot flowers - 4 green & 4 pink ($.59 each)
1 package felt flowers for top of flip flops ($2.49)
2 - Rolls of wired coordinating ribbons ($3.49 each)

All materials were purchased at Michael's Craft store - using a 40% off coupon for the deco mesh & 15% off entire purchase for the rest.

Step One:  twist pipe cleaners on the outer 2 rings where the seems are - 9 total.

Step Two:  twist pipe cleaners in-between the the seems on the 2 inner circle rings.

Step Three: Cut Deco Mesh into 10 inch long pieces.  9 of each color for a total of 27 pieces.  For my  wreaths in my Etsy Store I use the 10 inch pieces to give you an idea. Alternate the colors as you put them on the wreath

Step Four:  Gather the mesh scrunching it like a bow - pinch the center and attach by twisting the pipe cleaner around it.  Start in the outer ring first, then do the same for the inner ring. I alternated each piece - 1 horizontal then 1 vertical to give it a fuller look.
I used the purple first to fill the outer rings, then I alternated the green & pink on the inner rings.

 Step Five:  I wired on the flip flops - wrapped the wire around the nub (don't know what to call it - the plug that keeps the flip flip strap attached to the bottom of the shoe).

Step Six:  Add flowers - I tried to wire them in but I found it much easier to load up with hot glue and place in wreath.

Step Seven:  I also used extra ribbons to embellish - I cut strips of 12 inches of coordinating ribbons, attached by floral wire and placed in wreath to give extra color.  You can load this wreath up with ribbons and it will look great.  Wired Ribbons in coordinating patterns look great.

Step Eight:  Hot glue on felt flowers to flip flop strap.

Brooklyn my helper :-)

Hang up your wreath and enjoy!

Happy Summer <3

Summer Vacation

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Well summer vacation is finally here.  Been so busy the past month getting ready for the end of the school year, I haven't had much time to do anything else.  I have my to-do list all set, and it seems like it's getting longer & longer by the day!  I need to get cracking back into my organizing, now that I have my whole classroom stored in my garage.  It took to truck loads to get it all home and that is with throwing out 3 large trash barrels--ugh.  I am changing schools next year and am patiently waiting on my grade & new school assignment.    
I will keep you posted on the new classroom overhaul :-)

Happy Summer!!

Patriotic Napkin Wraps

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Here is another freebie!  Print out the Napkin Wraps via my Facebook page - click on link to the right.  On the page you will see "Docs" download and print Memorial Day Printables.

I used red, white, and blue plastic cutlery from the dollar tree. Purchased blue napkins there as well.  Place 1-red - 1-white - 1 blue piece of cutlery on a diagonal napkin. Fold up bottom edge to the cutlery and then fold over the sides to the center.  Place napkin wrap around the napkin/cutlery and tape or glue closed. I used tape - much quicker.  Place in a basket, bucket, or other cute display for your guests to grab.

Happy Memorial Day!!
Enjoy <3

Patriotic Centerpiece

I've been playing around on Pinterest and found some cute ideas for Memorial Day - I just finished making a centerpiece for this weekend's BBQ. It is quite simple to do.  Here's what you will need:

Patriotic Printable available for free on my Facebook page - click the link to the right - you will find them under "Docs" on the page.  There are 3 groups of printables - Centerpiece - Water bottle labels - more water bottle labels along with napkin wraps.

Bucket:  Purchased mine from the Dollar Tree
Wooden dowels - Walmart & Michael's has an assortment pack for $3.00
Skewers - Dollar Tree
Wooden Letters - Michael's $1.49 each
Scrapbooking paper - 4 for $1.00
2 Patriotic Windmills - Dollar Tree
Red Foil (Shredded) Gift Basket Packing - Dollar Tree
Red Ribbon - Michael's Dollar Bin
1 Pack White Rocks - Dollar Tree
Old Plastic Container (I used one that lunchmeat comes in)
Styrofoam Brick - Dollar Tree
Blue or Red Acrylic or Spray Paint

Paint or spray paint the sides and backs of letters.

 Trace the letters onto scrapbook paper, then cut out and glue to painted letters. Hot glue letters to painted wooden dowels and place in foam.

 Fill container with rocks - cover - this will act as a weight for your centerpiece

Tape Styrofoam brick to the container of rocks. Do this first - I happened to do this after I arranged the stars - because I wanted it a bit higher in the bucket.

Cut out stars from printable page - attach by hot glue to skewers.  Arrange using different heights.
Place in Bucket - then cover with red foil packaging to hide styrofoam.

Add the tag and ribbon and you're all done <3

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Printables

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My current project is making Memorial Day Printables for a BBQ. I will upload the pages as soon as they are completed.  Here is a sample of the water bottle labels I've done so far.

Free Label Printables are available for download via my Facebook page.... Click the link to the right - go to "docs" and download Memorial day printables.

Cut out the 6 different labels - on 2 documents.  Attach to the water bottle using clear packing tape - this will protect the ink from running when the bottle sits in ice.

Happy Memorial Day ---Enjoy <3

Wine Gift Bags

I get so excited when I find a really good deal - this one I could not pass up!  The other night I was at TJ Maxx and I found these cute canvas wine gift bags for $1.99 each!  What a steal right?  They are pretty generic, so you may use them for a dinner hostess gift, birthday, retirement, etc.  Add some pretty tissue paper, a bow, and of course a bottle of wine - and off you go!