Friday, October 30, 2009

A Fun Way to Spend a Buck.

With the economy down in the dumps, almost everyone I know is cutting back on their spending.  I certainly have cut down, but I am learning to better appreciate the money I do spend.  I think I am also making more creative spending choices.  Every now and then I might share some fun ways that I spend a dollar.  It's amazing what you can still do with a dollar and some creativity!

I found these pumpkins at Walmart for a dollar each.
I bought those babies right up, glittered them, stuck them on a stick, and viola, a fun wand!

I can picture the kids running around with them tomorrow night. (I can also picture two little boys I know whacking each other over the head with these.  Their version of a "pumpkin head"!)

They were so much fun, I had to make extra to give away.

Remember this guy from the Dollar Store?  Well, he looked a little lonely.  I glittered that little guy up, then stuck him on a stick also.

I keep dowels on hand as I have been making wands for the last 16 years.  You never know what might end up on a stick around my house!

Hope you enjoyed some ways that I find to spend a buck.  What are some of your dollar ideas?

Fast Halloween Fun

Halloween is tomorrow night, and I am not ready this year.  The end of October crept up on me.  I had the house already decorated but want to add a few last-minute surprises for the kids. Luckily, I have some old standby's to help set a fun and festive mood.

  I like to keep our outside lights off and use only pumpkins and twinkle Christmas lights to illuminate our front walkway.  Purple and green are a favorite Halloween combination.  It's a fun way to re-purpose those lights and a very fast way to make the outside of your house totally unique from the rest of the neighborhood. This picture isn't the best but, trust me, both you and the kids will love it!

Jello is a quick way to make something special for the dinner table.

If you have the time, you can layer the jello like on the far left.

I use green, purple, then orange on top.  If I don't have the time, I just throw four boxes of Jello into a cake pan, let it set up, then cut into squares and alternate with Cool Whip.  The kids love it.

The layering takes a bit more planning, but it's still easy!

The kids kept after me all night, "When can we eat the Jello?"

Who needs a stained glass window when you have Jello around?

Anything under a dome seems to be special around our house.  Sometime I should put squash under there for the kids and see if they'll eat it!

I also love paper masterpieces.  Kids at a local school made these.  I love them.  My sister does the same thing.  Her version is here, and while you are there, go check out our Halloween adventures while running errands yesterday!

Isn't he adorable?

I am most likely the last to know, but have you checked out the Martha Stewart section at Michael's lately?  She has flocking powder!  What a great way to adorn our ghost rock!

Have a safe and wonderful Halloween night.  Watch out for those ghosts and goblins!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Treasure Hunt

Yesterday I had my niece over for a day of fall fun.  The day was a picture-perfect fall day, and we went on our "Looking for Fall Treasures" walk in the woods.  When Annie comes over, the first thing she does is to peek into my fairy house to see what the fairies have left. 

She loves to wear this fairy ring when she comes over.  She is good about putting it back so the fairies will always have their beautiful finds.

And we're off!

We headed off down the road in front of my house on our search.

Along the road, we found loads of beautiful leaves to take home.

Then we headed into the woods.

Did I mention it was a beautiful fall day?
The day was a welcomed and wonderful gift when this fall has been so rainy and cold.

We found many different types of moss.  We also loaded up our basket with bark, twigs, vines, leaves, pine cones and  a couple of acorns the squirrels had missed.

Tempting fate.  (She assured me that she knows how to swim...)

My dog had as much fun as we did.

Then we headed home and made this treasure box.  (Directions can be found on Country Living website here) I covered a matchbox with velveteen fabric and we glued her "treasures" on top of the box.  That girl was a madwoman with the glue gun.  I am lucky she didn't glue my entire kitchen down!

Thanks, Annie, hope you had fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giveaways Galore!

It seems as if everyone is having a giveaway this week!  Anne over at Fiona and Twig is having a great giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to Anthropologie!  Who doesn't love Anthro?? Also included is a fab book that you don't want to miss out on.  I promise! Click here if you want to enter.

My sister is also kicking off her blog with a giveaway!  (Don't you just love free stuff?)  Her blog, The Middlest Sister, is brand-spanking new (we started this blogging journey together), but she has awesome ideas and her blog will be fun to keep your eyes on.  Sign up to join in on her giveaway, a year of lip gloss color right here.

And you don't want to miss out on this one, Garden Antqs Vintage is having an anniversary party that you simply have to see for yourself.  Her site is chock-full of eye candy.  If you haven't been to her site, make sure you visit here for a chance to win.

That is my hubby getting in on his own giveaway.  Last weekend I planned a citywide Halloween party for about 150 kids.  I made it into a family outing by dragging the fireman with.  He sported his own ride, and the kids loved to climb in and out of the truck.  He gave away bags of popcorn.  What a guy!  Everyone always loves a good fireman...

I promise I will host my own giveaway soon.  Very soon, just have to think of something good.  You know, Christmas is right around the corner...

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Going Batty!

One of the best parts about blogland is the wealth of information others so willingly share with you. A favorite of mine is Cindy, at Skiptomylou.  She has a great site and besides being totally sweet, she has a load of fun Halloween ideas to share with you.  I recently found these adorable little guys, and as I was planning a Halloween party for about 150 kids, I knew I was hooked!

Cindy has created beautiful templates for a ton of projects.  (Did I mention you really need to check out her site???)  She has free labels, cupcake wrappers, masks, Halloween poems and more.  Much, much more!)You can find her bat template here.

I gathered black construction paper, my scissors and
 four boxes of these
and in less time than you can imagine, had these.  Yes, there are 144 of them!

 To speed up the process as I was making mass quantities, I used red puff paint for the eyes.  I love how they turned out, don't you? 

Thanks so much Cindy.
Fly away little guy, quick!  Before I eat you up!

Halloween Decorations

I know a lot of you agree that fall is your favorite time of the year.  I love to put away my summer decorations of pink flowers and red berries and turn toward the muted browns.  Those colors suit my house perfectly.  Here's a peek inside my home during the fall season.  This arrangement greets people as they walk in my front door.  (Along with about 5 hockey sticks and a heaping pile of tennis shoes, among other things!)

Don't you just want to blow those seeds away with the wind?
I think it would be safe to say that I am obsessed with faux food.  When my nieces and nephews come over, the older ones have learned to ask before eating anything.  I love these faux carmel apples.  
Last year I went crazy with paper and the glitter.

My Halloween crown
I love this pumpkin, and a great way to recycle those toilet paper rolls.  (Okay, really not as gross as it sounds...)
 Doesn't every toilet paper roll need some bling?
I got this cabinet as a wedding gift from my in-laws, it's a favorite of mine.  I used to imagine if my house were ever to burn down that I would stand in front of it throwing buckets of water over it until the firemen could get there.    (My own fireman informed me that this plan would not work and maybe I should rethink my plan. Now he thinks I am totally weird for even thinking something like that up.  You get it, don't you? ) I'll show you the entire cabinet at a later date.  I am in love with it.  Obviously...
You surely didn't think I could have Halloween without glitter? And silver trays?  I am adept at racing through the Salvation Army stores tracking down forlorn silver pieces. (On some days it's my only exercise) I got this footed tray for $1.99.
 Apothecary jars a la Martha Stewart.
This is one of my favorite Halloween decorations.  I actually bought this box as a birthday gift for a friend.  I never quite got around to giving it to her for some reason or another.  I attached a Martha Stewart spider tag...
 added some glittered spiders, and ta da!  A very elegant Halloween decoration.

I found these acorns at Walmart for a $1.00 apiece.  The picture isn't great, but in real life, they are beautiful.

Only a few more days until Halloween.  I had better get working on those costumes!