{DIY} Fun Fall Decor

diy-fall-decor

Well, it’s hard to believe, but fall is just around the corner. As much as I love summer, I’m excited for fall. It’s probably my favorite season- everything gets that crisp, fresh feeling, pumpkins and mums are everywhere, kids dress up in costumes for Halloween, CANDY (especially the mellowcreme pumpkins- YUM) is in high supply. Plus, October is my baby boy’s birthday month (is he really going to be THREE already?!). So, clearly, there’s a lot to love about this season.

I also love the FOOD of the season. We love pumpkin, so we make it a point to make pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin pie. I also try to find at least one new pumpkin recipe to try- last year it was a pumpkin crunch cake, and it was awesome! I haven’t decided what it will be this year, but I’m sure Pinterest is just brimming with good ideas. Or maybe you guys can suggest something??

Of course, you can’t fully appreciate fall without dressing up your house a bit. And what better way than with some fun decorations you can make on your own? A few years ago I made a wreath for the front door and some mumkins! They have adorned our house ever since and are much loved, so I thought I’d share the tutorials with you all so you can make your own!

First, the wreath:
Fall Wreath
What you need:
– Straw Wreath (mine is 12″, but any size will do. Pretty sure I got mine at Michaels, but they can be found at just about any craft store)
– Fake fall-colored leaves (I actually bought a leaf garland and pulled the leaves off it)
– Fake fall flowers (such as mums)
– Floral pins/staples (these are the ones I used)
– A cute owl (or other fall-ish critter)

Technique:
Place your first leaf slightly to the left of the center top of the wreath. Pin the leaf using a floral pin/staple (make sure you pin at the bottom of the leaf so the pin is hidden!). Layer another leaf on top of the first leaf, staggered and offset a bit, and pin in place. Repeat until you get to the middle/bottom of the wreath. Now, pick the ending point on the right side of wreath, maybe 1/3 of the way up, and pin a leaf there. Working backwards, towards the bottom middle of the wreath, layer another leaf on top, staggered and offset, and pin in place. Repeat until you meet up where you left off with the previous leaves. You may need to tweak a few leaves to get things to line up well and look “natural”. Once you have the leaves the way you want them, remove a few of your fake flowers from their stems/bouquets and attach to the wreath with a pin.  You can also leave the flowers on the stems, cut the stem shorter, and stick the stems through the wreath to hold the flowers in place.  Arrange to suit your preference.  Next, attach the owl (or other critter) by threading a floral pin/staple through the back of the critter to keep the pin hidden. Secure with additional pins if required. Ta-da! You have a wreath!

The great thing about this wreath is that you CANNOT go wrong! The design is completely up to you, and you can change things around if you don’t like how it turned out. The first time I did this wreath, I used hot glue. It held together perfectly…. until one day the sun came beating down on the wreath, melted the glue, and everything fell apart. So I went out to the store and got some floral pins instead- THEY WORK WONDERFULLY! And if you stagger the leaves, you can’t see the pins at all.

Now, the mumkin (aka- pumpkin covered in mums):
mumkin
I love how this turned out- and it was SO EASY

What you need:
– A foam pumpkin (any size)
– A few bouquets of fake mums

Technique:
Cut the individual mums off the bouquets, leaving a 2-4″ stem. Poke the stem into the pumpkin and push all the way in until just the flower is showing. You may need to pre-poke a small hole. Most of the mums went in for me without any problem- for the ones where I couldn’t get it poked, I used a knitting needle! Continue until the entire pumpkin is covered with mums!

Again, this is a project that really can’t go wrong.  Arrange the mums however you’d like until you’re satisfied.  Since nothing is glued or stapled in place, you can rearrange as often as you need to get your perfect mumkin!

How do you like to decorate for fall?

Stringtown Home

Everything But the Kitchen Sink – 03

Welcome to Everything but the Kitchen Sink! We are so excited to be your hosts and to see what you’ve been up to! Join us twice a month to share your favorite projects, recipes, crafts, inspirations, pretty much everything (but the kitchen sink)! Then, stick around and check out the latest and greatest from your fellow bloggers.

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Check in with us beginning at 8AM on the first and third Wednesday of each month where we will be hosting your favorite projects, then choosing our favorites to feature at the following party! Don’t forget to stop in for each party to find out if you’ve been featured! You can also check out Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s Pinterest board to find more of our favorite posts!

Meet the ladies behind the sink…

Painting Mom

at Home with Meg

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Find out what we’ve been up to when you visit our blogs!

Last Week’s Favorite!

Check out our favorite post from last week’s Link Party! Susan, from This Makes That, shared a simple recipe for Limoncello! I am so excited to try our her recipe and make my very own bottle!

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Grab the “I was featured” button to share with your readers!

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Reader’s Choice!

You clicked, we listened! Your favorite post from last week’s Link Party was brought to you by Michelle, from Michell’s Party Plan-It! She shared how simple it is to decorate for a kid’s birthday party, especially a super hero party! I bet her ideas could be easily catered to your own party theme!

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Grab the “Reader’s Choice” button to share with your readers!

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Don’t forget to check out Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s Pinterest Board to see if your post was added as one of our TOP FIVE of the week!

On to the party!

Alright, here are a few reminders for Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s link party!

  • Check out your hosts on social media, we’d love to connect with you!
  • Link up to 3 of your most recent posts! Please link to a specific post, not just your blog.
  • All blog niches are welcome here, but please no shops!
  • Stay for the party and check out some of the posts from your fellow party goers! You may just find a new favorite blog to follow!
  • By submitting your post to this link party, you give the hosts permission to use one of the photos from your post in a feature on our sites, on the Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pinterest board, and/or other social media. Proper links to your site will be included.

Let’s Party!

{DIY} Hazel’s Nursery Name Art

image

You might remember that I was making things to personalize Hazel’s nursery. It used to belong to Ian, so I switched out a few things (the navy blue colors with deep purple) and added a few unique touches just for Hazel.

One of those is the name art I put on the wall. For Ian, I designed his in photoshop, printed it out at the Walmart photo center, and had it custom matted in a stock frame I picked up. I absolutely adored how it turned out, and it moved with him when he got his “big boy” room.

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I was planning to do pretty much the same thing for Hazel. But then, I was on Pinterest (dangerous, I know!), and I saw something that caught my eye. It was wall art for a nursery- not even name art- but I got an idea that I could use that as inspiration for Hazel’s name art!

Fortunately, my husband and I recently finished a slew of home improvement projects, so we had a lot of leftover wood in the garage just taking up space. It’s like it was meant to be!

Armed with a vision in my head, I quickly took some measurements in the nursery and made a sketch. And then, since I’m a visual person, I drew my design on the computer (with the appropriate colors). That part was totally unnecessary, but I found it fun!

Anyway, next I had the fun job of selecting pieces of wood and using power tools!  Hooray for saws!  In the end, I had my 5 pieces of wood and 2 backing/support pieces all cut and ready to be primed and painted.  I admit, that painting is not my favorite, but I took my time with it, and everything turned out so well!

wpid-photogrid_1439380232285.jpg

Next, I had to make letter stencils. My freehand paint skills are non-existent…Silhouette Cameo to the rescue! I measured how tall I wanted each letter and then cut them out on craft vinyl. Then I stuck them to the pieces of wood.

image

Next it was time to paint! I couldn’t find the exact shade of purple I wanted, so I mixed some purple and black together to get a nice, deep plum. Then I just kept adding coats until the white was sufficiently covered!

image

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After letting it dry, I peeled off the vinyl, and ta-da!! We have name art.

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I absolutely love how it turned out. And it was actually pretty simple! Time consuming, to make sure it ended up looking great, but not hard.

Do you have your child’s name displayed in their room/nursery? How did you chose to show it?

Everything But the Kitchen Sink- 02

Welcome to Everything but the Kitchen Sink! We are so excited to be your hosts and to see what you’ve been up to! Join us twice a month to share your favorite projects, recipes, crafts, inspirations, pretty much everything (but the kitchen sink)! Then, stick around and check out the latest and greatest from your fellow bloggers.

EBTKS Link Party Image

Check in with us beginning at 8AM on the first and third Wednesday of each month where we will be hosting your favorite projects, then choosing our favorites to feature at the following party! Don’t forget to stop in for each party to find out if you’ve been featured! You can also check out Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s Pinterest board to find more of our favorite posts!

Meet the ladies behind the sink…

Painting Mom

at Home with Meg

Connect with Meg…

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Periscope: @athomewithmeg

Beth ImageBeing Frankenfield

Connect with Beth…

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Periscope: @beingfrankenfield

Dory Image Doyle Dispatch

Connect with Dory…

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Periscope: @dorydoyle

Find out what we’ve been up to when you visit our blogs!

Last Week’s Favorite!

Check out our favorite post from last week’s Link Party! Christine, from Where the Smiles Have Been, shared this gorgeous wreath for every occasion! Be sure to head over to her blog to see how she put this together and how easily you could make one for yourself!

Grab the “I was featured” button to share with your readers!

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Reader’s Choice!

You clicked, we listened! Your favorite post from last week’s Link Party was brought to you by Cecilia from My Thrift Store Addiction! She shared a beautiful transformation to her washer and dryer! Find out how to give your own washer and dryer a makeover or apply the same concept to another area of your home!

Grab the “Reader’s Choice” button to share with your readers!

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Don’t forget to check out Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s Pinterest Board to see if your post was added as one of our TOP FIVE of the week!

On to the party!

Alright, here are a few reminders for Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s link party!

  • Check out your hosts on social media, we’d love to connect with you!
  • Link up to 3 of your most recent posts! Please link to a specific post, not just your blog.
  • All blog niches are welcome here, but please no shops!
  • Stay for the party and check out some of the posts from your fellow party goers! You may just find a new favorite blog to follow!
  • By submitting your post to this link party, you give the hosts permission to use one of the photos from your post in a feature on our sites, on the Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pinterest board, and/or other social media. Proper links to your site will be included.

Let’s Party!


Hazel: Three Months Old

Hazel is three months old today! She has her checkup on Monday, but I feel confident she’ll ace it!  She’s eating well, doing great at daycare, and sleeps like a champ.  I think we’ll see some serious growing when they bust out those growth curves!

hazel-3mo

Things we’ve discovered about Hazel this month:

– She is still super smiley and is happy 90% of the time.
– She really hates a wet and/or poopy diaper.
– She gets HANGRY (sorry, honey- you get that from me!).
– She is an amazing sleeper.  She has been sleeping through the night for the past month.  She goes to bed between 7 and 8, and she doesn’t wake up until after 8am on the weekends (weekdays, I wake her up at 6:10am and feed her so we can get ready for work and daycare).  It’s utterly amazing.
– She loves to sit and stand (obviously with support).
– She coos a lot!
– When she gets cranky (which is rare), she quiets down when Ian sits next to her and starts singing her a song (so adorable to watch!).

{DIY} Silver Polish

I don’t really have a lot of silver in my house.  In fact, I have very, very little.  Just my good serving utensils and some of the stuff from my wedding (like my cake server and cake knife).  Since I have so little silver, I really hated the idea of having to buy a whole container of silver polish.  It seemed like such a waste.  So I put it off.  And put it off again.  I kept putting it off, mainly because I didn’t want to clean my silver, but also because I didn’t have the cleaner (and never really thought to buy it when I was at the store).

Fast forward many years, and now I’ve got my Young Living Essential Oils.  I was watching some morning show while on maternity leave and the guest said lemon juice could be used to polish silver.  What a neat idea!  I didn’t have any lemon juice, but I did have my Lemon Oil…maybe that would work just as well.

And it DID WORK!  See for yourself:

silver-beforeandafter

My wedding cake server…before and after polishing! Definitely is not “non-tarnish” as the sticker promised!

I was amazed.  And it was oh so easy.  Now I’m proud to have my wedding silver prominently displayed in my house.

Want to know how to do it?  It’s not hard AT ALL.  All you need is Lemon Essential Oil, a cotton ball, and a paper towel (or soft cloth).  Put a drop of Lemon EO on the cotton ball and wipe at the tarnish until it is gone.  Then buff with the paper towel or cloth.  Ta-da!  That’s it.  No hard elbow grease required- I promise!

I recently shared this “recipe” with my other oily friends in our Chemical Free Cleaning with Young Living class on Facebook.  The image from the class is below, for your convenience!  Feel free to share or pin, and definitely check out our Facebook class for other great recipes using your Young Living Essential Oils!

silver-polish

{GiveAway} August Facebook Giveaway with Beth’s Barefoot Books!

Aug-BFB-Giveaway

“Secret Seahorse” is one of my favorite books from Barefoot Books!  Clare Beaton is one of my favorite Barefoot illustrators- you can almost feel the felt she used to create her whimsical and vibrant images.  Explore the ocean while looking for the seahorses in this lovely little paperback, then read the educational end-notes about the sea and the creatures that live there.

Entering the contest is easy- and it’s open for the ENTIRE month of August!  Just head over to Beth’s Barefoot Books on Facebook and find the Secret Seahorse GiveAway image.  Then leave a comment sharing something you did this summer.  That’s it!  One commenter will be randomly selected to win a paperback copy of the book.

What are you waiting for?  Head over there now…I’d love to hear about your summer!

Everything But the Kitchen Sink – 01

Welcome to Everything but the Kitchen Sink! We are so excited to be your hosts and to see what you’ve been up to! Join us twice a month to share your favorite projects, recipes, crafts, inspirations, pretty much everything (but the kitchen sink)! Then, stick around and check out the latest and greatest from your fellow bloggers.

EBTKS Link Party Image

Check in with us beginning at 8AM on the first and third Wednesday of each month where we will be hosting your favorite projects, then choosing our favorites to feature at the following party! Don’t forget to stop in for each party to find out if you’ve been featured! You can also check out Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s Pinterest board to find more of our favorite posts!

Find out more about the ladies behind the sink…

Painting Mom

at Home with Meg

Connect with Meg…

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Bloglovin'
Twitter
Periscope: @athomewithmeg

Beth ImageBeing Frankenfield

Connect with Beth…

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Pinterest 
Bloglovin'
Twitter
Periscope: @beingfrankenfield

Dory Image Doyle Dispatch

Connect with Dory…

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Bloglovin'
Twitter
Periscope: @dorydoyle

Find out what we’ve been up to when you visit our blogs!

Alright, here are a few reminders for Everything but the Kitchen Sink’s link party!

∗Check out your hosts on social media, we’d love to connect with you!

∗Link up to 3 of your most recent posts! Please link to a specific post, not just your blog.

∗All blog niches are welcome here, but please no shops!

∗Stay for the party and check out some of the posts from your fellow party goers! You may just find a new favorite blog to follow!

∗By submitting your post to this link party, you give the hosts permission to use one of the photos from your post in a feature on our sites and/or in the Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pinterest board. Proper links to your site will be included.

Let’s Party!

Back to the Grind

Well, after being off 10 wonderful weeks on maternity leave, I’ve officially been back to work for a full week now.  All in all, it hasn’t been too difficult of a transition.  Obviously it’s hard to go from spending all day with my baby to not…but I have found we are all settling into a routine a lot more easily than I expected.  The whole two-kids-in-daycare thing had me a little nervous since I had no idea what to expect or how our mornings would go.  Fortunately, Ian is old enough (and has been doing this long enough) that he is pretty easy in the morning now.  Hazel is young enough that she goes with the flow and doesn’t cause much issue in the morning, either.  We are supremely lucky.

Besides the relative ease with which they handle the morning, we are also lucky that we have great sleepers.  Ian will sleep through just about anything, and he’s always been that way.  Hazel is an absolute angel at night.  At just 11 weeks old, we are now going on THREE weeks of her sleeping through the night (for real- when we put her down for bed, she doesn’t wake up again until 7 or so in the morning…since we leave before then to get to work and daycare, we are waking her up in the morning instead of the other way around. In fact, I can sneak in her room around 6 and get in a feeding while she’s still asleep before I have to run out the door to catch my carpool.  As I said, we are blessed.).

Even the pumping-at-work situation isn’t awful.  My office recently created a pumping room, and while it’s nothing fancy, it is awesome.  There are 2 separate “stalls” for pumping, separated by cubicle walls and curtains.  Each stall has a desk, chair, and foot stool.  Plus magazines to read and a power strip.  It’s lovely to have a secure, private area to pump… definitely helps alleviate stress and contribute to pumping success.  I now staunchly believe that ALL workplaces should have one of these magical rooms.

All of this makes going back to work that much easier.  It’s still hard, and I still miss my babies, but it’s at least bearable.  Especially when I hear the ladies at daycare fawn over Hazel or listen to Ian talk about all the fun he had with his friends.  These little victories help me focus on the good and ease the “back-to-work-blues”.

Did you go back to work after the birth of your babies?  How did you adjust?

Hazel: Two Months Old

It’s hard to believe it, but Hazel is officially two months old today! She had her checkup and did great- she’s growing so well… 80th percentile for height and weight. Good job, little one!

Hazel2Month

Things we’ve discovered about Hazel this month:

– She smiles ALL the time, especially in response to me or Jon smiling at her and saying hi.
– She loves to wiggle and squirm on her play mat.
– She’s gotten good at holding her head up- she is REALLY strong!
– She coos a lot, and you can sort of have conversations with her.
– She has decided she likes to be swaddled, and now she settles to bed every night with the swaddle.
– She likes to sleep! Most nights she sleeps from 8pm until 5am!
– We are all still completely smitten with her.