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10 Easy Mason Jar Projects

Mason Jar Projects10 beautiful and easy mason jar projects.  Turn the lowly mason jar into beautiful home decor!
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably seen the trend of MASON JARS all over the place.  These staples of yesteryear are no longer relegated to pantry shelves and country decor.  Mason jars have been transformed to fit into the popular farmhouse and shabby chic decor style that seems to be everywhere these days.

Gift Idea for Embroidery & Cross Stitch Lovers


Have a friend or family member that really loves fiber arts, or more specifically embroidery and cross stitch?  Well, today I have the ultimate gift guide for those people.

These are all products I use and recommend, in various price points.  Almost all these items are available on Amazon, which makes shopping a breeze.

Harry Potter Icons Tote Bag (SVG file)

Harry potter svg file icon collageA SVG file featuring all the iconic images from Harry Potter books and movies in the shape of a heart.  She used it on a tote bag, but it could be also be split up and used for countless things!  Recently my daughter was invited to a Harry Potter themed sleep over birthday and wanted a fun bag to bring her stuff. I’ve been working on a cross stitch design featuring all the Harry Potter icons and knew it would be easy to convert the original file into an SVG and that is exactly what I did!
Diy harry potter tote
I love how it turned out, and any individual element would be cute, but combined into a heart is perfection.
A SVG file featuring all the iconic images from Harry Potter books and movies in the shape of a heart.  She used it on a tote bag, but it could be also be split up and used for countless things!

Distressed Dollar Store Pumpkins with a Crackle Finish

Distress painted dollar store pumpkins
Day 3 of Dollar Store Pumpkin Week!  We’ve had rope and glitter and today is a simple distressed finish.  The same finish I’ve shared before.  Crackled with wood glue and then distressed with a glaze. Crackle painted
The drastic change for this project is really clear when you put the before and after side by side:
Painted chippy dollar store styrofoam pumpkins

20 Fabulous Fall (Not Specifically Thanksgiving or Halloween) Mantels

20 fall not thanksgiving or halloween mantels
20 Beautiful mantels for fall that are not thanksgiving or halloween


I love fun holiday mantels, but I know not everyone has time to change out their theme every few weeks.  In the early fall, you can put up an autumn inspired mantelscape and it can last all the way until Christmas as long as you don't focus on a Thanksgiving or Halloween theme.

So today I have 20 gorgeous mantel ideas that are GENERIC fall, and NOT a more specific holiday.  No turkeys, no spiderwebs no "Give Thanks" wording.    Just leaves and pumpkins and all around prettiness.
We'll kick it off with Adventure's in Decorating's fall mantel, that was so gorgeous, even Better Homes and Gardens had to feature it:

Easy No Sew Knit Sweater Pumpkins

Three little white sweater pumpkinsEasy No Sew Pumpkins from Old Sweater SleevesThis is a project I’ve seen all over Pinterest and I finally had to throw my hat in the ring and try making my own.  I have actually been holding on to the top half of this sweater for almost a year now.
I used the bottom half to make this pillow but I knew I could do something fun with the sleeves. And that is exactly what I did.

DIY Cornhole Boards from Cabinet Doors


Cabinet doors into cornhole boardsHave you ever heard of the game ‘Cornhole’ (also sometimes referred to as Baggo)?  It is basically a bean bag toss game using a pair of angled boards with holes cut in them.   What started as a beer-drinking tailgate game, has become popular for all occasions.
Motion W cornhole bean bag
In fact, a hot new activity to do during the break between weddings and receptions is allow guests to play cornhole.
Cornhole 252 1024x682
Via CharlestonEvent

20 Beautiful Gold Pineapples for Home Decor

Gold Pineapple Decor Ideas I'm kinda obsessed with pineapples these days. These are 20 gorgeous pineapple decor ideas. I want them ALL!! This year’s hot summer trend looks to be pineapples.  They are popping up everywhere, from Anthropologie and Nordstrom to Target and Pottery Barn.

Originally a Victorian symbol of hospitality, the pineapple has recently gotten a glamourous makeover.  No longer relegated to pool floats and luau decor, the pineapple is all grown up.

 I can’t wait to share 20 fabulous gold guided versions that you may want to welcome into your home!

Puzzle Piece Expandable Cutting Boards and Serving Trays

A set of puzzle piece shaped cutting boards that combine together to form one large cutting board, or seperated can be used individually as serving trays with built in wine glass holders.jpg
A set of puzzle piece shaped cutting boards that combine together to form one large cutting board, or seperated can be used individually as serving trays with built in wine glass holdersFor a relatively new woodworker, there aren’t many projects that come out better than you expect. You typically  have a vision, and your final project is close, but never perfect.  This is NOT one of those projects.  I am just so excited with how this set of cutting boards came out, I’m just pleased as punch with it!

It is a set of puzzle shaped mini-cutting boards (I used maple) that assemble together to form one large cutting board:
Puzzle piece cutting and serving boardBut the fun part is that any individual mini-cutting board can be used as a serving tray, and the notch in the puzzle piece shape can be used to hold a wine glass!  ISN’T THAT GENIUS!?
Puzzle cutting board with wine holder

Surviving Disney With Toddlers: What To Pack for Your Day At The Parks

What to bring to disney with kids2
What to pack for a toddler at Disney2I am so excited by today’s post because that means a DISNEY trip is in our future!  For spring break this year we are surprising the kids with a trip down to Southern California for a few days at Disneyland.   This will be Josh’s first trip down there and we are so excited about it!

First Trip to Disneyland Personalized Tote Bag2

When we head down at spring break, the girls will be 6 and 10, which are great ages for Disney, and the baby will almost be three.  I know a lot of people think it is too much of a hassle to take toddlers and preschoolers to Disney, but we think the opposite.   We have taken both of the girls to Disney when they were under the age of 5 and the trips have always been wonderful.  At that age, the magic of Disney is even more MAGICAL.  The entire line of Disney parks really does cater to kids of all ages.. even toddlers and preschoolers.

Little kids love meeting the characters and taking in the sights. The other thing that I really love is that the rides geared towards younger kids, as well as many of the characters (like Winnie the Pooh or Eeyore) always have shorter lines.  Not to mention that many of the rides (like the Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean) are great for adults but have no height restrictions, which means the entire family can ride.   Disneyland has a list of height requirements for each of the rides and you can see how few rides are actually off limits to the little guys!

Toddler with personalized Disney Tote bag2
The key to a drama-free trip with preschoolers is being prepared. One of the biggest things you can do is expect anything.  Chances are that not everything will go as planned.  You may end up waiting in a line longer than you expected, someone will spill their Dole Whip, or trip and skin a knee while running over to see Lightening McQueen.  Things happen (even at Disney) and in order to keep everyone on track you want to be prepared in order to prevent little things from becoming big disasters.

To ensure that everything goes smoothly I pack a bag for each of the kids for their time in the parks.  It isn’t as important with the older kids, but for the toddler I find most of these things are essential.
What to bring to disney with kids2

Here is what I include:

Stroller/Ribbon:  Bringing your own is my preference (since we always drive down it is easy to bring our own) but if that isn’t possible, there are strollers for rent.  The problem with rented strollers is that they all look the same.  In either case you will want to tie a ribbon or something around the handle to make it easy to find amongst the crowd.  Sometimes cast members will move and arrange strollers, so it may not be where you left it.  It is much easier to pick out a ribbon in a sea of stroller handles.

Water Bottle: You can get water for free at the parks (from soda fountain locations or from drinking fountains near the rest rooms).  Instead of constantly being begged for a drink, I keep the kids bottles full of cold water.

Sunscreen: Even in the winter, you can get a sunburn from the Southern California (or Florida) sun.  This is always a good thing to pack.

Diapers/Wipes: Even if your child is potty trained a change of underwear is a good idea.  Accidents happen, (especially if you get caught in a long line) and having a pair is always better than not.
What to bring to disney with toddlerChange of clothes: I pack an extra pair of socks, pants, short sleeve and long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt.  Depending on the time of year the weather can go from warm to cool.  Having clothing you can layer is a great idea.  Plus, if a slice of pizza ends up splattered on the front, your child won't have to wear a dirty shirt for the rest of the day.

Towel: I bring a towel instead of a blanket since it does double duty.  If the baby falls asleep in the stroller I can use it for shade, if they get wet on a water ride, they can get dried off, if they want to sit on the ground while waiting in line or at one of the shows, they can sit on the towel.  If it gets cold they can use it as a blanket.

Tattoo (or permanent marker): Nothing will make your heart sink faster than losing sight of your child at a crowded amusement park.  Rest assured that Disney parks have AMAZING protocols in place for lost children.  But to make it easier on the cast members (and give you piece of mind) you may want to get a child contact information tattoo.. or just write your cell phone number on your child's arm in permanent marker, especially if they are too young to know their own phone number. (You can remove the writing at the end of the trip with nail polish remover)

Autograph Book: Often kids will get scared when meeting costumed characters for the first time.   Having an autograph book is a good way to of give them a chance to connect with the character without having to hug or touch them.  My kids like to just hand over the book and let them sign.  it is less scary than having a giant mouse give them a hug.  Especially If your older kids have autograph books, you want to make you have one for your preschooler… even if they don’t want to meet characters.  You may also want to include a few crayons in your bag, so they can color in the book on their own.
What to bring to disneyland2

1st Aid Kit/BandAids: Disney does have first aid stations in the park, but for simple ‘owies’ like skinned knees or little cuts (even imaginary ones) you won’t want to trek across the park to find one.  Having bandaids in your diaper bag can quickly fix the ouch!

Snacks: Nothing makes a cranky toddler happier than a handful of fish crackers or fruit snacks.  You want to pack things that are easy to eat, and tend to be okay in the heat unless you also want to bring a small soft-sided cooler.  I tend to just bring things like pretzels or crackers and avoid the need to keep them cool.

Books: Giving the kids distractions while waiting in ride lines or for meal service is important to preventing meltdowns.

Souvenirs: Disney can be overwhelming to a toddler since they will want to get their hands on everything they see.  Store after store filled with surprises and treats that they will want RIGHT THAT SECOND. Unlike older children who more easily understand “we will get something later” smaller kids don’t understand delayed gratification.  That is why I tend to pack a few small souvenirs for every day of the trip. Not only is this a great way to encourage and reward good behavior, it is also a fun distraction.  The other benefits of bringing your own vs. buying souvenirs in the park is getting exactly the characters your kids want.  If your child loves Tow-Mater, but you are in the middle of Princess territory it may be tough to find the exact souvenir you are hoping for.  Having small toys picked out and hidden away in your bag  (to pull out as a surprise) is a great trick, plus you will save a few bucks.  It is easy to say ‘no' to the souvenir stand when you know you have a hidden surprise in the bag!

Medications: (If necessary) If your child takes any medicines during the day, don’t forget to bring them!

Rain Jacket or Parka: (Optional) Check the weather forecast for the day.. Even if it only calls for a 10% chance of rain, you would rather have some protection from the rain than not!
Packing Books for Disneyland trip2


And if you are looking for other tips and tricks for Disney.. make sure you don't miss these previous posts:

Mickey Bokeh for Night Photography:


15 Modern Fall Cross Stitch Patterns

15 modern fall autumn cross stitch designsGot cross stitch?  Grab your pumpkin spiced latte and a your embroidery hoop and get inspired by these amazing MODERN FALL crossstitch designs!  Great for autumn or anytime!
 I know cross stitchers never really need an excuse to find new patterns, but IF they did, than the beautiful changes of seasons would be the perfect one! With fall right on the horizon, pumpkin spice lattes are showing up everywhere and I’m feeling really excited about sweater and get-to-skip-shaving-my-legs season!

So what better way to celebrate than gathering up 15 beautiful fall inspired cross stitch pieces.  None of these are the traditional farmhouse scene with pumpkins and leaves, but are more modern takes on the Autumn season.  Grab your embroidery hoop and some Aida and get started on one of them right now!

DIY Solid Wood Battery Organizing Center

Throwing your batteries in a drawer is a HUGE fire hazard! Plus they can leak acid.  Build this simple wooden organizer out of some stock lumber and never lose track of how many batteries you have on hand!




It is time for another Build It Challenge!  This month the theme was “Organizing” and I decided for my project, I would tackle the messiest space in the house: THE JUNK DRAWER!
Monthly challenge January Organization598x399
There are 8 other bloggers who also came up with fantastic projects for this challenge, so don’t forget to visit them too!

Now back to MY DREADED JUNK DRAWER…


Admit it.. we all have one.  And getting control of it can be a huge headache, since it is the place you put stuff that has nowhere better to go.  For us it is things like rubber bands, match books, flash lights, take out menus, paper clips, safety pins and super glue.  And one of my most populous ‘homeless’ items has always been batteries.
Junk drawer
After Christmas this year, our junk drawer was awash in close to 100 batteries (since you can never have too many on hand with all the hand held electronics and other gadgets that are floating around this house) and of course, they are all different types and brands.  It was a mess!  This was the pile of batteries I dug out of the junk drawer:
Messy batteriesAnd now, inspired by this challenge.. Here was my solution:
 
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