Halloween House Tour

 

 

In this house we love Halloween. I mean we LOVE it. I love the goofy, the scary. the cliche- all of it. So I put the word out to blogland and found a few other bloggers that feel the same- and today all 6 of us are sharing Halloween House Tours. Be sure to check out links to their blogs at the bottom of this post!

Get yourself a cup of blood… err, I mean coffee. Settle in. And prepare for a lot Halloween house pictures.

This is the room you step into when you enter the house (the door is just cut out of the left side of this picture). It only has 3 walls, so it opens directly into the kitchen and provides a lot of extra entertaining space.

 

gray and white sunroom striped walls halloween decorations

The cauldron is holding all our pumpkin carving supplies- we host a big pumpkin carving party every October. The bats are card stock I cut out with my Silhouette cameo and the vampire in the same window is from the dollar store. Spiderwebs  are all strategically placed out of the cats reach. ;)

AH! BUT WAIT! There’s something you can’t quite see in this shot:

easy tissue paper ghost DIY

I wanted something for the bay window that was large scale, but that wouldn’t block out all the light. A few pieces of tissue paper and some freehand cutting gave me two great big ghosts. Huzzah!

halloween window displayOur window is so cheesy and awesome I can’t even take it. The sign on the left I got and the one on the right was gifted to me. The cookie canister was an apartment warming gift from a friend many years ago, and the black vine we actually just got from a friend this weekend– thanks Michelle!!

halloween serving tray

 

On the bar are these awesome napkins (also from a friend- are you seeing a gifts-for-Stephanie trend yet? lol) and some little plastic ants from the dollar store.

Since the kitchen opens up into the sunroom, we couldn’t very well not decorate it….

halloween decor in the kitchenOh look, there’s a napping cat on the chair. Heyyy Luigi!

Would you care for a spot of tea?

halloween decorations decorThat’s Matt’s pumpkin mug- and don’t you dare drink from it! The other two mugs were another house warming gift (Seeeee how enabled my Halloween obsession is!!)

Let’s check out the table area a little more closely too…

halloween kitchen table

Andddd we’re not quite done yet because there’s a little display on the counter as well…

kitchen halloween decorations

And lest you think we stop there… here’s one last picture. A wide shot of our living room (also open to the kitchen and sunroom):

halloween decor living roomFrom left to right: a pumpkin on the side table, an old school McDonald’s Halloween bucket on the built in (anyone else still have these kicking around), a skull & cross on the end table, graveyard display in the window, murderous tool banner above the window, and a nice big squeaky rat on the far right end table. Whew!

And that’s just the downstairs. Ahem.

 

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Ready for some more Halloween decor inspiration? Check out these lovely ladies:

boxy colonial headshot

 

Gretchen – Boxy Colonial

 

 

 

designthusiasm headshot

 

Lory – Designthusiasm

 

 

 

the kim six fix headshot

 

Kim – The Kim Six Fix

 

 

 

our nerd home headshot

 

Kat & Cam – Our Nerd Home

 

 

 

this old colonial home headshot

 

Kelly – This Old Colonial Home

Designer Insights Interview

fall design trends

I recently did a quick little interview with Terry’s Blinds to talk about my style, where I get inspiration from, and what I’m loving right now….you can check it out here.

I’ve been blogging here for just over 3 years now, and I am surprised at how much I enjoy it. I love sharing my home, with my family that reads here and everyone else that comes too. I’m always surprised at the growing number of people that visit this little site, and I super appreciate it. I hope you all feel like you can do anything in your home too, and if I could send every girl in the world a power drill I would (and the like, 5 dudes that visit this site too, haha.)

Every time I think I’m out of projects about a zillion more pop up and I’m excited about all of them. Currently I have plans to make a cute cabinet for a friend’s mom, a craft crate plant stand, some string art as a gift for a friend… plus I still have to finish both my bathrooms and my basement stairs (I wonder how much longer I can leave them 90% done before Matt’s head explodes? hmmm.) Thanks for coming along for the ride!

In addition to the interview, they asked me to pick out some of my top decor choices for this season, and since several of them are DIY projects I thought I’d link back to them here in case you want to attempt them yourself.

The non-DIY projects are these chairs (which are actually on their way to my house right now!!!! ahhhhh!!) and these amazing looking blankets  (I don’t think I could breathe if I spent that much money on a blanket, but just know that I want to).

As for DIY projects:

diy platform bench

This knockoff Nelson bench popped up in blogland a few months back, and I am obsessed with it. I don’t have the talent for it yet… but I will. 

top pick 4- diy nailhead wall hanging and headboard by sarah dorsey designs

This DIY headboard and feature wall is from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs (about a year back) and it’s what got me hooked on her blog. If you’re not following her yet, you totally should be.

top pick 3- diy copper and wood light by vintage revivals

Mandi from Vintage Revivials just posted this DIY light a few days ago, and it is awesome. Check out the full tutorial here.

…what’s on your wish list this fall?

Halloween: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I love it more then Christmas. If you’ve been around a while, you may remember this giant DIY window display I made last year:

diy-halloween window display

(See the how to here)

I’ve also been sharing a few sneak peaks of this years’ decorations on my Instagram:

halloween decorations

Welllllllll, I’ve partnered up with 5 other bloggers and we’re all sharing a HALLOWEEN HOUSE TOUR on Monday October 20th!

halloween house tour

I’m so excited these blog friends agreed to play along and I can’t wait to share my house with you and see what these guys came up with! Check back Monday to tour my Halloween decorated house and hop around to all their blogs as well!

And if you want to check any of them out ahead of time, here’s the links:

Gretchen @ Boxy Colonial

Lory @ Designthusiasm

Kim @ The Kim Six Fix

Kat & Cam @ Our Nerd Home

Kelly @ This Old Colonial Home

DIY Etched Leaf Coasters (and 24 other great fall projects!)

My aunt’s birthday was this month and I wanted to give her something inexpensive but thoughtful, more of an “I’m thinking of you” gift then a “big fancy happy birthday present,” you know?

Here’s what I came up with:

etched leaf coasters

I picked up 6 brown tiles at the Habitat Restore for 10 cents each, then put together a design for them in my Silhouette Cameo. Here’s a screen shot of what I ended up with:

etched tile outline

 

I went with 4 monogrammed tiles and two fall themed tiles (though I only ended up giving her 2 monogrammed ones and then the 2 with the leaves… I really need to work on centering my vinyl better).

I printed up the design on my Silhouette, placed the vinyl on my coasters, and used glass etching cream to etch them. I have this glass etching starter kit, which is super helpful because it comes with a hook and a scraper tool.

Because the ceramic tile is a bit more durable then glass, I let the cream sit for about 3 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Then I was left with this:

etched coasters

 

It’s really subtle, but they came out very cute. With a little felt hot glued to the bottom they were good to go!

To gift them, I just added a little fall themed ribbon and a tag and called it a day. Easy peasy!

easy handmade gift - personalized coasters

 

At 10 cents a pop I feel like these could be easily adapted to any holiday… or just buy whatever color tile matches the decor of the home and stick with a monogram.

 

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Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Paper Rosette Fall Wreath Hello Fall Sign Halloween Paper Bag Luminaries Spooky Mantle Ghost Town Dollar Store Placemat Jack O' Lantern Copper and Paper Embellished Pumpkins Ugly Sweater Wineglass Charms DIY Fall Leave Paper Wreath Starry Pumpkin Burlap & BOO Halloween Wreath Fall Paper Petals Fall Leaves Favor Tags 15 Minute Customized Halloween Buckets Gravestone Treat Bags with Free Cut File Beware of Zombies Halloween Shadow Box Welcome Sign Vampire Bat Specimen Boo-tiful Halloween Treats Little Turkey No Sew Thanksgiving Onesie Frozen Halloween Treats & Free Printable Fall Leaf Keychain Fall Lovin October Silhouette Challenge Punny #Hashtag Halloween Costume Still Falling For You Card DIY Etched Leaf Coasters

1. Create & Babble // 2. Lil Mrs. Tori // 3. unOriginal Mom // 4. Zanaree // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. One Dog Woof // 7. Cupcakes & Crowbars // 8. Living My Given Life // 9. Architecture of a Mom // 10. Put A Bird On It // 11. Just Add Paper // 12. Weekend Craft // 13. Silhouette School // 14. Minted Strawberry // 15. My Paper Craze // 16. McCall Manor // 17. Chicken Scratch NY // 18. Mama Sonshine // 19. Creative Ramblings // 20. From Wine to Whine // 21. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 22. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 23. The Thinking Closet // 24. Simply Kelly Designs // 25. Sandpaper & Glue //

Upcycled Media Cabinet

My husband is a high school English teacher and this semester he got assigned a film and literature course, which means his classroom needed something to store all the equipment as well as somewhere for the tv to go. But the school didn’t really have a budget for both electronics and furniture, so I took matters into my own hands.

We bought a 1980s media cabinet at the Habitat Restore for $17….

1980 media cabinet upcycle

 

Then, I turned the open section, meant for a big bulky square tv, into a bookcase with some plywood, hobby board, and 1×2’s….

bookshelf media cabinet

My plywood was kind of a weird shape so I had to Frankenstein it together (then spackle it smooth).  I added 1×2 pieces on the back and sides and fit a hobby board on top to create the shelf. To bulk up the hobby board I added a 1×2 lip in front of it, this also added a bit to the length which was helpful as well.

Next, I emailed my friends at Deco Art and asked if they would supply some Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint for the project. They sent me some carbon (black) paint as well as wax, which I partnered with some relique (gray) paint I already had on hand.  I chose chalky finish paint because there was no sanding required, and painted on two coats (without removing the doors, just opening them up and painting carefully).

black upcycled media cabinetWe haven’t moved it into Matt’s classroom yet so I just styled it up in my living room to share with you. And then it rained all week, so I apologize for the grainy pictures but you get the idea. :)

living room black painted furniture

love this thing. The wax helped maintain the nice matte look I was aiming for. The glass door cabinet is perfect for storing the blu-ray player and sound bar (when not in use), the slim build of the cabinet is just right for a flat screen to perch on, and the bookshelf is going to hold the classrooms’ dictionaries and thesauruses.

It’s been hanging in our living room for about a week looking super stylish and awesome, I’m going to be so sad to see it go!

tv cabinet upcycle

 

 

 

So next time you see this bad boys pop up on Craigs List, give them a second look! A little paint and some wood go a long way!

 

*Thanks to Deco Art for supplying the paint! (All other supplies were at my own expense.)

 

Healthy Life Update

At the end of July I posted 4 tips for a healthier lifestyle, and I’m feeling like this time of year is a good time to check in again. It’s the time of year where all we want is heavy, warm, delicious comfort food (carbssss!)

I’m going to break this down into categories….

Weight:

  • I’ve lost 13 pounds since July 1st and still have about 5 or 6 to go. This is genuinely because I’ve been eating a lot better, both diet wise and portion wise, and I exercise 3-4 days a week.
  • MyFitnessPal helped me figure out what 1200 calories a day actually looks like, and I tracked my food for about 2 months. Now, I get the picture and I don’t track nearly as often.
  • Today I’m wearing a dress that didn’t fit me this time last year! Huzzah!

Exercise:

  • Man, I hate exercising. I do. I always try to convince myself I like it, and then like a week later I’m way over it.
  • I did the alpha round of T25 full out once (which is a 5 week/5 days a week program), but now my work schedule is a bit hectic so I’m repeating the alpha round again only 3-4 days a week instead of 5. It works and honestly, I feel stronger and look better.
  • I exercise with my husband, because we motivate each other and T25 is only 25 minutes a day. If I was on my own, I probably wouldn’t do it.
  • I received a Victoria's Secret Sports bra and cropped Knockout pants to review-- and they are AWESOME. Seriously. If you know that you're going to stick to an exercise routine it's important to invest in gear that fits you right, makes you feel good, AND makes you look good. Victoria knows what's going on.

I received a Victoria’s Secret Sports bra and cropped Knockout pants to review– and they are AWESOME. Seriously. If you know that you’re going to stick to an exercise routine it’s important to invest in gear that fits you right, makes you feel good, AND makes you look good. Victoria knows what’s going on.

Also, if you’ve never been to a store to have someone measure you, you should do that. I was way off. WAYYY OFFFF. And the sales associate’s were lovely, despite how awkward I was about it.

Overall health stuff:

  • I’ve been getting allergy shots since January- once a week for 6 months, then worked my way down to once a month. My allergies were bad. This week I will stop taking my allergy pill (which I’ve been taking everyday for like, my entire life). In the spring I’ll stop taking my allergy nose spray (which I take everyday). I have about 5 years of shots left. It’s worth it.
  • I buy good stuff to put on my skin. I don’t work 2 full time jobs for nothing, TREAT YO’ SELF! I love Origins eye cream and have been using Carbon Beauty plant oil (this one) on my whole face.
  • I really try to eat natural organic food when I can. I mean, I ate a frozen pizza for dinner last night. But this morning I had homemade applesauce and my lunch today is a pita and some hummus and an apple… there’s a give and take there. Keep it realistic.

 

What are you doing to stay healthy these days? Any good tips? Or great success stories? I want to know it all!

DIY Football Shirt (and a $100 giveaway to Expressions Vinyl!)

This week I forayed into the world of HTV, which is fancy pants lingo for Heat Transfer Vinyl, with little push from Expressions Vinyl  and their #VinylNFL challenge. So far on my Silhouette I’ve done lots of paper cutting and decal vinyl printing, but I’ve never attempted to make clothes.

Expressions Vinyl challenged me and a few other bloggers to use HTV in a football themed project, so my brain went right to creating a football shirt for my 2 year old nephew.

diy toddler football shirt long sleeve

Since we’re in Massachusetts I used red, white, and blue as my colors (like the New England Patriots)… the front boasts the team logo, but that’s far too simple for a personalized shirt so I put a little quote and image on the back too. That little star in the football is the cut out from the logo on the front– waste not want not, people!

Don’t forget, when using HTV you always want to feed the vinyl shiny side down into your Silhouette and mirror the image. Here’s a screen grab of what the logo looked like in my Silhouette software:

new england patriots logo for tshirtSee- backwards. This is super important, because it gets flipped back to normal when you iron it onto the shirt. Everyone’s iron is different, but for me I used a low steam setting and pressed hard for about a minute/minute and a half on each section I transferred, with an old towel acting as a buffer between the shirt with the HTV and the iron. Once it was cooled I turned it inside out and ironed from there too- I don’t think that’s necessary, but it just gave me piece of mind that it was on there good and strong.

new england patriots toddler shirt

Can we talk for a quick second about how difficult it is to get a non-blurry picture of a 2 year old? Holy cow! This is the best I could do, and he had to have his goat. Then I caught the back when he went to “go get eggs” from his DIY play kitchen. I just want to squeeze his cute little face. This kid can bring me pretend eggs all day long.

new england patiors long sleeve toddler shirt

I think he’s ready for some nachos and a big foam finger, don’t you?!!

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AND NOW FOR THE BEST PART!!!

Want to win $100 to Expressions Vinyl so you can create your own project?

Click here a Rafflecopter giveaway !

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Want to see some more football inspired Silhouette projects? Click on any of the images below!

 

Morena Hockley @ Morena’s Corner

Morena Hockley @ Morena’s Corner

Vanessa Barker @ Our Thrifty Ideas

Vanessa Barker @ Our Thrifty Ideas

Melissa Viscount @ Silhouette School Blog

Melissa Viscount @ Silhouette School Blog

Staci Potter @ The Potters Place

Staci Potter @ The Potters Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay Fekitoa @ Frenchie Wraps

Lindsay Fekitoa @ Frenchie Wraps

Heidi Kundin @ Happiness Is Home Made

Heidi Kundin @ Happiness Is Home Made

Kaysi Gardner @ Keeping It Simple Crafts

Kaysi Gardner @ Keeping It Simple Crafts

Sara Hoffman @ Major Hoff Takes A Wife

Sara Hoffman @ Major Hoff Takes A Wife