halloween monster mish-mash


Happy Friday everyone and Happy Halloween! It’s nice when the kids can go trick-or-treating and you don’t have to worry about it being a school night! Here’s a few of my Halloween observations – call it a monster mish-mash. Muwahhaha!


Do you make them or buy them? Growing up, my Halloween costumes were always homemade by my mom. And I won the school costume contest every year. Except the year I had the chicken pox. That was a bummer. But my neighbor – who borrowed my ladybug costume that year – did win. My mom was good. These were not costumes that were over the top. They were fairly simple costumes that used common materials like posterboard, brown bags, markers, paper bags, string, etc. But she took the time and made them well. Some of my costumes I remember were a shaggy dog, a ladybug, a turtle, and my sister had one of the cutest costumes – a sunflower.

halloween costumes
I’ve made a few homemade costumes for my kids. Very few. One year my boys were Bob the Builder and Pilchert, the cat. I was Wendy {don’t ask}. All homemade. Another year, they were a fireman and a dalmation, somewhat homemade. And three years ago I made my daughter’s Smurfette costume. When I set my mind to it – I do ok. They’re not going to win any contests but the love and effort and creativity is there. This year, I walked in to the local party store and spent $80 on a batgirl costume and a hippo mask. ugh. Batgirl was ok, cheesy polyester and all. The only part that wasn’t wearable was the belt. And I got kinda excited because that meant I could make her a belt. Woo hoo! So I made the belt using a thick, stretchy black ribbon and heavy black & silver paper for the bat shape. That was it but it felt good to contribute something to her expensive-but-cheesy ensamble.
I wish I saw more homemade costumes when I open my door to the trick-or-treaters. I get it – it’s easy to buy them. And we’re all busy. Too busy to whip up some cleaver, well-made outfits. But those homemade costumes my mother made were special. And we felt special. And I know they didn’t take her weeks to make. Or maybe they did and she never let on.
Then our kids get too old to want us to make them costumes. And they just ask us to paint a t-shirt with blood and scars. Or ask to borrow our sequin dress and a wig. {yes I had a wig}. So they could dress up like a girl. Or just wear a morph mask. huh? Boy it goes by fast.


Do you hand out mini candy bars or are you the heavy hitters and give the full size? Or do you make your own goody bags? Before they go trick-or-treating, remind your kids to only TAKE ONE unless otherwise specified, be THANKFUL for whatever they are given and show that thanks by actually saying THANK YOU. We usually hand out the full size bars but went with the minis this year and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s my annoyance with the lack of thank you’s from year’s past. Those ungrateful, polyester clad kids don’t deserve the full size bars. Bah Humbug.


Did you carve a pumpkin this year? Or did you paint one? I’ve done neither. Bad blogger. But I will carve one today – hopefully, with my daughter – mainly for the seeds {I love them}. I might try painting one too – I think I can get away with still having pumpkins through November. I’m loving the color dipped trend now. Love these from Ciera Design:

halloween dinner:

Is there such a thing? I have never been able to feed my kids on this night. They are too excited, or have plans, or are busy trying to get their costumes on. Then we run out of time and they go out and end up eating lots and lots of candy. Or what I now call their halloween dinner. So I decided I’m just making picky foods and hopefully they’ll eat them while getting ready. These are a few ideas I saw online but nothing too time consuming. These are more creative than I might have time for but super cute.
halloween recipes
So take a little extra time tonight to be involved. Make a picky-food dinner that they’ll remember – with ghost-shaped cheese if you can. Or carve or paint a pumpkin with your kids – let them do whatever design they want. And it may be too late to make a costume but you could make them their own halloween goody bag, containing a cute flashlight, glow sticks, and some of their favorite candy bars in case they don’t get enough of the good ones. Here’s my goody bag for my youngest:
  stuff in bag
And then wait for it… THANK YOU, Mom! Happy Halloween, y’all!


doorway brackets & small changes

column brackets final

My neighbors were having a yard sale and I picked up a set of wooden brackets that they had taken off their front porch columns. I had always liked them but there are a lot of columns on the front of their house so I think all those brackets maybe were a little much.

doorway before whole

But I loved their detail and I’ve been wanting to install decorative brackets in our oversized doorway between our kitchen and dining room. These were perfect. All they needed was a little cleaning, sanding and installing. Easy peasy.

before & after brackets

I liked their ivory color and thought they would look nice against our bright white trim. So no painting was necessary, but I thought they needed a more worn look. After washing them off, I sanded them with 60 grit sandpaper. It took a little while to sand all the areas but I liked the effect.


Next, I measured and marked off where they would go. I was lucky that they already had nail holes in them. I just had to buy screws and wall anchors. I drilled the holes then attached the brackets to the doorway.


I love how they look and the bonus I didn’t expect was how these brackets mimick the style of my dining room curtains – the way they’re pulled to opposite sides. Kinda like that was my intention. Sometimes it’s the little changes that can make a big difference and enhance something in your home that might have been overlooked.

detail in doorway

Hope you enjoyed this post and maybe there’s a small change you can make in your home that will give you a unexpected big result?


white & gold | at Target and beyond

Target collage

The color combination of white & gold is so chic and clean. I just redid a record player rolling cart in this combination {see that DIY post here}, and I can’t help but want to add more to my white & gold collection. So when I was at Target the other day, I got super excited when I strolled down this aisle. Candle holders, pillows, vases, trays, snowglobes, holiday figures, decorative odds and ends, oh my! All part of the White & Gold Collection by Threshold and also The Nate Berkus Collection. And all so pretty. I picked up a gold polka dot vase and small gold tray. I would love to get more but I’m also thinking DIY – a can of spray paint or gold sharpie pens can jazz up any plain white piece. Or, I just might have to go back for another trip.


Here are links to some of the hot white & gold items at Target:

geometric vases / x shaped candle holder / chevron pillow / bowl / polka dot vase / small tray / curtains / gold embroidered pillow

I have to admit, this white & gold combination is not new for me. I wore it to prom. Yes, white & metallic gold. Pouffy white & metallic gold. I loved it and no one else had that dress.

Unique White Julian Prom Dresses Gold Beads Sequin A Line Formal Gowns Jewel Neck 70th Globe Award

Obviously, this is not it. But I love this dress.

Here are a few other examples of the white & gold combination in other areas of design:

paperless post invites

invitations from Paperless Post









What do you think of the white & gold color combination? Do you have any of this combination in your home or wardrobe? Whatever the case, I can bet you didn’t have a white & gold prom dress. Enjoy your weekend!


“superfood” salad toppings


Superfoods is a funny word I’m hearing a lot lately. I feel like I should be saying it like they say Superman with the dramatic emphasis {Suu-per-maan!}. According to Wikipedia, Superfoods “is a non-medical term popularized in the media to refer to foods that can have health-promoting properties and they may have an unusually high content of antioxidants, vitamins, or other nutrients.” Yes, please. I try to eat healthy but it doesn’t always happen. So, when I find something that’s yummy and is referred to as a Superfood, that’s a win-win.

I eat a salad almost every day. But salads can get boring and often don’t fill me up and I end up still hungry afterwards. Like wanting to eat a whole loaf of bread hungry. So I created this yummy mixture to go on my salads to help fill me up, add flavor, and – since most of them are Superfoods – add the nutritional benefits. Warning: my mixture will give your salad a different texture and you have to like a little crunch in your salad. I do, but it might not be for everyone. With that said, I usually go with whatever I have available for my salads: lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, shredded carrots {don’t love carrots so shredding is a more manageable way to eat them}, blue cheese crumbles, chick peas, and any other random ingredients I have in the fridge {grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs, veggies, apples, pears}. Once in a while I make a “recipe” salad – like this blackberry salad with chicken, goat cheese & candied pecans. Yum. Whatever your salad creation, this topping makes a great addition.

jars 2

I picked the following ingredients mostly because I like how they taste. But as you can see, they also all pack a powerful nutritional punch. Mix 1/4 cup of each of the following ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. Then just sprinkle desired amount on to your salad {I add about 3 tablespoons on mine}.

dry roasted edamame – Loaded with protein, they also contain healthy amounts of fiber, protein and antioxidants.
roasted pumpkin seeds – A great source of zinc and various forms of vitamin E which is an antioxidant.
chopped pecans – Help to decrease total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. High in Vitamin E and antioxidants.
sliced almonds – Considered a Superfood, almonds are rich in B Vitamins (riboflavin) which boosts energy, Vitamin E, and Potassium which fights heart disease.
ground flax seed- The omega 3s in flaxseed may help reduce the inflammation that leads to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and osteoporosis. Flax seeds also fight heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
ground wheat germ- Packed with B Vitamins (ie. folate) and fiber which is necessary for good blood sugar balance. Also controls cholesterol and promotes intestinal health and detoxification.
ground chia seeds – Always appears on the Superfoods list, it’s the most powerful seed. Contains protein, fiber and is known to help the immune system, fight disease and help with digestion.
dried cranberries - These contain a lot of sugar so I don’t put too many in my mixture, but studies show that dried cranberries retain many of the antioxidants of fresh cranberries. Plus they’re yummy.

I also used some of these ingredients and came up with a simple mixture to give smoothies an added boost: ground flax seed, ground wheat germ, ground chia seeds and I added ground oat bran to this mixture. I’m not a smoothie person – I wish I was – they just seem so cool and trendy and fun. But my husband loves them – drinks one almost every morning. He says this mixture is a great addition to his {cool, trendy, fun} smoothie. I added that part.


I hope you enjoyed my Suuu-per-fooods recipe and try it on your next salad. Or use the smoothie version and you’ll be wicked cool. I promise. Enjoy!


wrapping station | not pretty but purposeful

table & under

I know it’s not even Halloween yet but I am already feeling the pressure of Christmas. Lots to buy and it seems like even more to wrap {not possible, I know}. I have always wanted one of those really pretty Martha-Stewart-like wrapping stations with tons of supplies that all match and just look so damn pretty! Instead I made a kinda-decent-but-very-purposeful wrapping area and I already feel like I’m ready for the Christmas season.

I’ve never been very organized with my gift wrapping so a wrapping station is just what I needed. I always seem to scramble to wrap anything and the presents don’t always look like I want them to. Being a designer, I like to create things and make them look visually appealing. At Christmas time, I always envision our tree to have beautifully wrapped presents underneath – all in coordinating papers with fun, festive decorations and ribbons. It hasn’t happened – or if it does, it’s in small doses and it takes a lot of work to do it.

This is what I always hope for:

img_24761 Knits for Life

or this:


You are my Fav

or this:


Martha Stewart

When setting up a spot for your wrapping station, it needs to be in an area where you have enough room to work and store things. I used a basic folding table. And I was able to store most of the supplies on the table or underneath. It also left me enough room to work and wrap on top of the table. My wrapping station is in an unfinished “room” off of our bedroom closet. It’s the perfect spot because this is where we stash the Christmas presents, the kids don’t have any reason to go in this room and it’s quiet and out of the way. Did I mention, the kids don’t go in this room? Bonus. I can wrap presents AND drink my wine! I might just get a cozy chair and a TV up there and that’s where I’ll be hanging out all Christmas season.

So I took the time and cleaned out my gift wrapping supplies and organized what I had. I kept only the good stuff and separated them into piles:

1. tissue and filler – I put these in a basket and realized I had A LOT of tissue paper and didn’t need to keep going to the store for more!


2. wrapping paper – these went in an unused mesh waste basket so now I can see all I have and keep them from getting crushed and destroyed.


3. larger, clothing boxes - these went under the table. Again, threw away the ripped stuff and kept the good ones.


4. smaller jewelry boxes & gift bags - also under the table in a wire basket.


5. gift tags - I bought some super cute ones at Michaels and I will also make some of my own maybe with a stamp or on the computer.

tags 2

6. ribbons and string - I needed something to keep these rolls of ribbon and string from unraveling and I also needed to see what I had. I found the perfect solution in a plate drying rack from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It can hold different size ribbons and twine and it doesn’t take up too much space.

ribbon holder

7. embellishments - I went through my crafts and pulled out some items that I thought would make pretty gift embellishments. Things like: pom-poms, stamps, paper or fake flowers, sticks, letters, candy canes, small ornaments – really anything can be added as a gift topper to finish the look and add a little personal touch. I used recycled glass jars and spray painted the caps for cheap and easy storage.


Don’t forget the pens, scissors and tape. My only purchase for this wrapping station was this adorable gold dog tape dispenser from Target.


overall at angle

What do you think of my wrapping station? Like I said, it’s not very pretty or fancy but it will get the job done. All the elements are there and I feel organized and ready to take on any gift that comes my way. Christmas season? Bring it on!


patch banner


banner hang 3re

Our daughter plays eats, sleeps and breathes soccer. She is lucky to play with a great group of girls and I have been lucky to have coached them in the past. We heart soccer! They’ve played in several tournaments where they exchange patches with the opposing team after each match. I love this tradition and I think it helps develop sportsmanship and collecting them makes her very proud. She’s started a nice small collection of these patches and I wasn’t sure what to do with all of them. I thought about putting them on her backpack or her sweatshirt but these are things that she’ll out grow or they’ll soon be worn out and I didn’t want to see the patches go to waste. So I decided to make her a patch banner. I remember having something similar when I was young and I loved mine. I might give this to her as a Christmas present so sssshhhhh if you happen to see her!

Here are the materials and steps to make your own patch banner:



Pick the size you want for your banner and get felt a little larger {I bought 1/2 yard off a fabric bolt so it was over 70″ long and 18″ wide}
wooden dowel about 1-2″ wider than the width of the felt
glue gun or fabric glue
string or twine
ribbon {if wanted}


1. Cut felt to size – mine is 17″ wide x 53″ long (allow about an extra 3″ in the length to wrap the felt around the dowel} so my finished size is 17″ x 50″.

cut bottom

2. Fold the felt in half so left edge meets right. Cut a triangle towards the center about 6″ up.

dowel wrap

3. Turn the felt over so back side is up. Put the dowel about 2″ down from top and fold the felt over the dowel and glue it down. Let dry.


4. If you want, you can add a decorative band of ribbon. Just glue in place and wrap around to the back a give the ends a finished look.

banner final 2

5. Attach the string to either ends of the dowel and attach the patches {I added pins too}. I cheated and attached the patches with hot glue.

banner hang 2

7. Hang and admire!

I made my daughter’s banner really long so she’ll have lots of room for more patches. And I get to watch like hundreds of more soccer games. Who am I kidding, I don’t think I’ll be able to hold on to this until Christmas!

arrow art DIY

hanging 5

This is a quick DIY project that ANYONE can do. I promise. Check out my original post on the how arrows are so hot right now. Or maybe they’ve been hot for a while and I’m just realizing it now. {That’s probably the case}. So, I finally got around to doing my own arrow art for our home. And it found a spot on our new updated gallery wall.

If you want to follow along, here are all the steps. But this is a project that you can have fun with and give it your own personal touch.

Before I start a DIY project, I like to cut out or pin pictures of what I’m looking to do. This is a good way to figure out what you like {and don’t like} and also to establish a style you’re going for. I wanted to do a wooden sign. And I liked these:

arrow samples

I was going for a simplistic, hand drawn style that had a sense of age to it.

Here’s the materials I used to create my wooden arrow sign:


Piece of wood, painted or stained as desired.
paint & thin paint brush
glue gun
feathers {I got a package for $1.99 at Michaels}. They have lots of colors and sizes to choose from.

1. Luckily, I had an old piece of wood – I think it was leftover trim from when they built our home. It was painted white already so I decided to just sand down the finish to create a weathered look. I sanded the edges a bit more too. If you don’t have random wood pieces laying around, you can get remnants at Home Depot and paint as you’d like.

drawing sources

2. I always need sources to refer to when I’m drawing so I usually go online to find my ideas. Draw your arrow onto the wood surface with a pencil. Arrows are a simple shape. Line, triangle tip and feather shaped ends. Add any details if you want.


3. Use acrylic paint to paint over the pencil marks. I used black mixed with a burnt red to add some depth. Let paint dry completely.

feathers 1

feathers 3

4. Pick out a few feathers for the fletchings {the aerodynamic stabilization of arrows using materials such as feathers}. You’re very impressed aren’t you? Trim the ends of the feathers as needed. Use hot glue to adhere them onto the wood. Repeat on the other side.


5. Done!


6. Wait. I didn’t love how the painting looked – I wanted a more fluid, hand drawn style {kinda messy}. So I took a dryer paint brush and added some brush strokes outside the lines. Outside the lines? gasp! Yes, that’s the look I was going for. I considered adding some copy underneath – like “be brave” but it’s a little busy where I’m hanging this sign, so I just kept it simple.

hanging 1

hanging 4

hanging 6

All that’s left is to hang your beautiful, kinda messy, funky, arrow art in a great spot in your home. Or lean it on a shelf, or turn it sideways, or have it point to some thing fun or meaningful. Lots of options. I hope you enjoyed this DIY project and I hope it inspires you to make you own. Or maybe you just learned a new word. I know I did! Send me your comments – and I’m always happy to make any of these DIY projects for you!

my favorite jewelry

montage flat final

I did a post on September 30th about jewelry organization. {Click here to read that post}. While I was organizing my jewelry, I discovered some pieces that I forgot I had. Which was a nice surprise but also a good lesson on why you should always stay organized! So after my daughter and I ooohed and aaahed over some of my newfound pieces, I picked my favorites to share them with you. Funny thing is that most of my favorites were the cheapest ones – what does that say about me??? Hmmm. Click on the blue links to find the jewelry sources, if I couldn’t remember where I got them or if they are no longer available, I gave some similar options.

detail 1

I love these mixed blue-toned beads. I can wear them with jeans or a fancier black dress.

detail 2

kissing giraffes – love them!

detail 5

This was my Mom’s watch that she has given me. I remember going through her jewelry box when I was young and just loving it. The stones are beautiful – and all different. The long drop earings are a little bold for me but I love them and feel kinda special when I wear them!

detail 11

butterfly necklace reverses to black to be a little edgier.

detail 8

statement piece!

detail 6

lower case initial necklace – a gift from my sister after she saw one of my friday favorites posts saying how much I loved it. So sweet!

detail 4

I hardly ever wear matching jewelry but I feel in love with this emerald necklace and matching earings. I wore them to a formal function with a black cocktail dress.

all again

1. black cloth flower earings, Old Navy, in stores only, find similar here // 2. chunky blue tone necklace, Chic 2 Chic consignment store, find similar here // 3. gold birds, Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s, find similar one here // 4. initial necklace, Etsy // 5. gold wrap bracelet, find similar here or here // 6. kissing giraffe bracelet, Target find similar one here // 7. red flower necklace, Target // 8. Be Brave arrow necklace, Etsy // 9. Emerald necklace & earing set, find similar one here, or here // 10. heart drop earings, Brighton, find similar here // 11. butterfly necklace, Brighton, find similar here // 12. jeweled watch/bracelet, vintage // 13. yellow chandellier earings, Target, find similar here

rings all

Put a ring on it… besides my wedding and engagement rings, these are my favs. And they all seem to be big and bold. Why not?

1. pink rhinestones, find similar here // 2. large silver shield, find similar here // 3. navy kyanite square, find similar here // 4. baseball rhinestone {gift from my friend who owns a boutique}, find similar here // 5. flowers, find similar here

I hope you enjoyed my favorite jewelry picks. I had fun digging them all out and now I just have to wear them! Have a wonderful weekend!

laundry room/closet doors | inspiration

A friend of mine was asking me for advice on what to do with her laundry area doors. Her laundry area is part of her bathroom which is currently being renovated. She has bifold doors and since the room was being renovated she was rethinking how to incorporate these into the new area. I love these sort of dilemmas – and I was really into this one because I have also been wanting to redo our little laundry closet that is also part of our first floor small bathroom. Last year, we contemplated moving the whole laundry area to our second floor to a larger unfinished room off of our bedroom/walk-in closet. It was to be a new closet/laundry room. It was a good idea but there was a lot more to the project than we were willing to take on at the time. Even now, I’m not sure that’s the solution we want. And our washer and dryer are both very old and I’m waiting for them to kick the bucket. A sledgehammer might just have to do the job if they hold on too much longer. No, I would never do that. So we’re in limbo. But I do love to think about what I would do when that sledgehammer, I mean when the appliances give out and we’re ready to move forward with our redesign. So I did a little brainstorming and research for my lucky friend and her laundry area dilemma. These are some of the {hopefully} inspiring ideas and photos we found:

1) Paint or refinish existing doors. 

Use what you have but refinish the doors to match a piece in your room, or in this case, the vanity in her bathroom – which is a very pretty rustic wood finish. Or go with black doors {I love them}. You could put metal knobs on them that match the vanity/faucet too. Or you could get black knobs and make the doors really blend in and look very sleek.

Or you could go really bold. Like this. The color’s a little crazy but if you pick a funky color that goes with your room, it would make the doors look really modern and intentional.

I also love these doors. I’m not sure how to do this with standard bifold doors but and it might just mean adding MDF over the doors and then adding the decorative trim to continue across both. It’s a fairly easy DIY job or something a handy person could pull off. 
Here’s a similar treatment without having to add additional trim. Take two different paint colors and paint the door panels and indents the different colors to add interest and depth. Really makes the doors part of the room. Check out the whole room redo at Centsational Girl.

2) Install screen panels.

These are a great alternative to the standard folding doors. Almost like room dividers but hanging.

Ikea has lots of colors and patterns of hanging panels for very cheap {like $12-14/panel}. Check them out here.
ikea panels

3) Convert the bifold doors into faux barn style.

This is a very cool DIY project I saw on pinterest. I love the finish on these – a true rustic look. But you could finish them in any color or style to match your decor.

If you’re feeling it, click here to be directed to the project tutorial. From Simpsonized Crafts.
Barn Door Before and After

4) Convert the bifold doors to french style doors.

My friend sent this link to me. Check it out here. I love it!! Looks fairly easy and what a difference! Love the handles too.


5) Take the doors off and make the laundry area become part of the bathroom.

For this option, you need to really treat the space like part of the room and since a laundry area can get messy, you need good shelving, storage and nice accessories. I would paint walls and ceiling, add shelving, nice lighting and a working countertop. You could also hang signs, pictures and fun baskets to make the space both useful and pretty.
Check out this redesign from Four Generations, One Roof. She said taking the doors off made her bathroom look so much bigger. Yeah for that!!
Also, Check out this post from The Lettered Cottage. She had a similar situation where her laundry was in a hallway closet and her solution was beautiful. And here are some other ideas for removing the doors:
laundry curtain 3

Originally from Country Living.

6) Love these sliding barn doors! 

There’s no room for these in my laundry area but I love to dream!! Check this redo out at Apartment Therapy.


 I know this is a lot to take in but if you want more ideas, click here to check out my pinterest page. So much good stuff out there!

 What are your thoughts on the laundry area redesign? And do you have any additional ideas for my friend on what to do with her bifold closet doors? Honestly, if any solution can make the task of laundry any easier I’m all for that solution. Anyone???

happy halloween | free art print


halloween print f

Halloween will be here before you know it. I’ve got my pumpkins and mums, but no candy yet. Too dangerous. And lately I’ve been decorating more for the seasons, with holiday specific touches here and there. But halloween is a fun holiday to decorate for. Skulls, witches, spiders… I could go crazy. And my daughter asks me why we don’t go all out and put the large blow up figures or the pretend cemetery on our front lawn. I blame the dog… or the guinea pig… or the weather. I just can’t do it. Good excuses, right?

Those decorations are fun, but I like the simply stated happy halloween decor. If you didn’t see my post about fall touches in our home, check it out here. I painted a happy halloween print to keep things classy. Just click on the link at the bottom of this post to download your free {oh-so-classy} print. I suggest printing it on either photo paper or a nice card stock and then you can frame it {8×10 standard size}, or mount it onto cardboard and lean it on a shelf. Or even easier – use washi tape in a fun halloween color/print and tape it right on a wall, mirror or chalkboard.

Now I must confess – we do have this dancing ghost that shimmies to Justin Timberlake’s The Way You Are. It makes me giggle every time we press the button. Dancing ghost ok. But I draw the line at the cemetery.

Enjoy your free print and Happy Halloween y’all!

halloween button re



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