Ode to Fall & the dread of Winter

Fall is fading fast around these parts- the trees are almost totally bare and I’ve been raking for four weekends in a row now.

One of the best parts about living in Massachusetts is definitely the fall foliage and the crisp chill that starts to set in right around October, so I went out a few weekends ago and played around with my camera a bit.new england landscape

It was nice to get outside for a little nature walk before the bitter cold really set in. These days I’m up at 5:50am and out the door by 6am with our new pup to get in his morning walk- half of which is done completely in the dark and all of which is done in 40* and below temperatures.

As much as I love the changing of the leaves and the Halloweeness of fall, I really dread what comes next. Not the snow and the cold so much, but the short, dark days. They really do me in and bum me out.

New England autumn- ducks on a pond

Blogland gets so super pumped about Christmas before Thanksgiving ever really gets started, but I totally do not. This change of season leaves me feeling anxious, sluggish, and unsettled.

So I guess this post is just a bit of rambling, and not so much with the DIY, but I thought it was important to pause for a second and get a little real. I don’t often do holiday decorating posts, I think I’ve only even put up our tree once, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

New England Foliage- mirror lake

I love all the time with friends and family this next season brings, and I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I do think it’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling- and frankly, not everyone loves Christmas. And it’s ok if you do. And it’s ok if you don’t. And it’s ok if you want to fake sick and stay under the covers for a weekend.

Massachusetts leaves changing- coggshall park

Get outside when you can, breathe in some fresh air, and take in all the positives you can get. And if that doesn’t include making your own napkin rings and setting place cards out at dinner then so be it. Plastic plates and paper napkins don’t change the taste of your family dinner, so you do you and power through the winter drearies if you’ve got ’em!

red yellow green fall leaves





It’s A….. ‘nother dog! (And tips on keeping a clean, animal filled house)

Listen friends, I know as a married gal of (gulp) 30 you might expect me to start making some babies. But I’m totally not doing that and we just went ahead and got another dog instead.

So now we have 3 cats and 2 dogs. And maybe we have lost our minds. But we freaking love animals, and how could you possibly resist this face?

Ichabod- Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption

Meet Ichabod, formerly Banjo, the newest addition to Little Green House! We adopted him through Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption, the same place our other dog came from four years ago.

two adopted dogs- LLR

Ichabod is a bundle of energy, a huge difference from Dutch The Laziest Dog Ever, and we are having so much fun with him! Everyone is settling in, getting a long, and relearning their place in the pack- including us humans! :)


With 5 animals in the house I am now more cautious then ever to make sure our house is odor and clutter free. I prefer that when people say “You have 5 pets? Really?” it’s because they are genuinely surprised, and not thinking “Obviously. It stinks in here.”

Ichabod and Dutch- rescue dogs

So, here’s a few tips:

  • Store all  pet supplies in a piece of actual furniture, so everything (including leashes) is hidden away at all times but still easy to get to. The cats get a shelf, the dogs get a shelf and a drawer (and the bottom drawer stores vases/accessories I use on the first floor).

striped wall room with painted furniture

  • Hide the litter box, whenever possible. Check out my DIY solution here. We keep the DIY version in the living room, then a litter box in Matt’s office, and one in the guest room (rooms generally not used when we have people over).

secret litter box in an old end table

  • Keep bowls and dishes clean and stylish. I built Dutch’s pet stand (here), we got Ichabod a nice metal one, and PetSafe® sent us this amazing 100oz Drinkwell® Sedona Pet Fountain.

Pet Safe Drinkwell Pet Fountain

Sidenote: This founatin is awesome, especially with the amount of pets we have. It blends in, holds a ton of water, and is even filtered. These pets live better than me!  Read more and buy your own here.

PicMonkey Collage

  • Tuck the pet food away in a closet. I keep the cat food in rolling tupperware in the coat closet, and the dog food in a large tupperware in my closet- so it’s not out in the open (THIS one for the cats, THIS one for the dogs)*
  • Sweep daily, vacuum 2-3 times a week, and steam mop once every 1-2 weeks (THIS steam mop is the bomb dot com)*. I know this is a lot, but there are 7 mammals in our house now and that is a LOT of hair and allergens.

rescue pets- cats and dogs

How many pets do you have? And how do you keep everything clean and organized?


PetSafe provided me with the water dish free of charge, but I opted to include it in this post because it really is amazing and well made. As always, I only endorse products I love and use myself.

*denotes affiliate link

Zipper Face Make Up Tutorial: A Halloween Costume Recap

We love, love, love Halloween around here so even though it’s over I thought I’d throw up a quick tutorial on how I put together my costume- this year I dressed up at the worst ballerina you’ll ever meet.

I didn’t intend to do this post so these are all cell phone pics from our party- if anything is unclear just leave your questions in the comments. :)

Zipper face ballerina and Zombies Ate My Neighbors Zeke- Halloween Costume

I wanted to try my hand at some special effects make up so I decided to unzip my face. Originally I was going to wear a hospital gown and be some sort of mental institution patient, but then I remembered the creepy ballerina from Cabin in the Woods and thought that was totally the way to go.

My cute husband dressed up as Zeke from the Zombies At My Neighbors video game- he likes to keep it easy and comfortable!

So… should you ever want to unzip your own face, it’s actually easier than you may think!

zipper face halloween make up tutorial - step 1

Adhering the zipper to your face is easily the most difficult part of this costume. I used a real zipper (purchased on Amazon) and adhered it with A LOT of spirit gum. You really need to load on the glue and give it the appropriate amount of time to try- especially because you need to be able to open and close your mouth. I adhered it with my mouth open so it’d have some give.

To use spirit glue, paint it on your zipper and on your face then give it 30-60 seconds to get tacky, place the zipper on your face and hold it on tight for another 1-2 minutes. Do this in small 2-3 inch sections slowly working your way from the top of your forehead down to the bottom of your neck. You can either cut it off there, or just tuck it in to your shirt.

scary bloody halloween face make up- step 2

I wanted to go with a sort of burned/charred look, so I used my eye shadow brush and dabbed on a layer of grey eye shadow. I then used a make up wedge to apply matte red lipstick on top of it. Finally, I used a glossy red lipstick to add some depth and shiny spots. None of this was Halloween costume make up, just stuff I have on hand and use on a daily basis.

zipperface make up tutorial - after

After I had the eye shadow and 2 red lipsticks on, I caked on some dried blood make-up I got at one of those pop up Halloween stores. I just sort of smashed it onto random spots on my face, and it dries almost instantly- especially with the stickiness of the lip gloss.

And that’s it! You’re ready to creep your friends out!

zipperface and wolf attack little red riding hood

My friend Kelly went as a wolf attached Little Red Riding hood and her make up was so much more amazing than mine, I wish I had a closer picture of it.  It took me about an hour to do my make up, and a good 20 minutes of that was just slowly adhering the zipper. Kelly’s took about an hour and a half- she had much more intricate shading.

What do you dress up as??

Halloween Around the House & a $5 Halloween DIY

If you’re a long time reader, you know of my intense love for  Halloween. (Check out last year’s blog hop Halloween house tour here and past costumes here.) I thought I’d pop in today with some basic decorations I’ve got going on and a quick DIY for your Halloween party….

When you come into the house you walk in to what we call the sun room, so I always like a few nicer decorations in this space- I’ve got two candy jars on the bar right now (one for dog treats, one for people treats), a few window decorations, and a planter I’ve been meaning to put mums in for about 3 weeks. minimal Halloween decor- simple and cute

The windows both have signs in them, and they’re 2 sided which is nice. From the outside this one reads “Watch for Vampires” and then on the side window (which you can just see a bit of on the left of the above picture) we’ve got a Dracula window decal. There’s also a few little spider and moth decals spread out on the windows- you can see one in the bottom right of the window below.Halloween window decorations - skeleton halloween countdown blocksThe countdown is one of my favorite decorations- I love that sassy skeleton- and the pumpkin is a hand me down from my mom.

Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year we’re throwing a party, the problem is my costume will DEFINITELY scare the kiddos so I can’t be opening the door to them- whoops! We decided to set up a “trick or treat yo’ self” station outside instead. The customized jar from Personal Creations will be for dog treats (lots of my neighbors take their dogs around with the kids) and then I’ve got a cauldron full of candy for kids to help themselves to too.

Halloween candy jars - ceramic halloween decorations

PS- the customized jar is so cute and I’m super thankful Personal Creations offered to send it along! It’s airtight and a great size, we may keep it out all year long. Check out their site for lots of great personalized gifts- including trick or treat bags, doormats, Christmas stockings, and so much more!

personal creations customized canister

In the kitchen I set up our bar cart area with some rubber rats of course, my Halloween mug, and a pumpkin with a big floppy spider perched on it. You can’t tell because the window is so blown out, but there’s a skull and crossbones decal on it and I love that you can see it from the kitchen too.

kitchen coffee cart - halloween decorations

And lastly, our dining area got a few little bits of decor as well:

dining area halloween decor

The decal on the mirror, the skeleton card, and the skull on that plate is all out year round (I know, I’m a weirdo), but everything else is seasonal. I’m especially excited about the succulent jar, which may also stay out long past Halloween because all those plants are the most fantastic fakes you’ve ever seen (the brand is Darice).

Hallooween Centerpiece- kitchen table setting

For our party the house is going to be much much much more decked out- cobwebs and mood lighting and fog and more. Muah ha ha ha! I even made these “creepy cocoons” with some dollar store supplies:


Henry is concerned, but curious.

  • I took some sticks from my yard and used electrical tape to attach them to a rubber dollar store ball. This created the head and shoulder with for my cocoon
  • Next I used masking tape and tissue paper to shape out my creature
  • I covered the shape with a “creepy cloth” from the dollar tree
  • Then I wrapped the whole thing in a cobwebs.

It’s super lightweight and each one only took about 20 minutes to make. They’re not the most amazing thing I’ve ever made- but for $5 and 20 minutes they’re not too shabby– especially when the lights are dimmed and there’s some fog crawling across the floor. :)

Do you go all out for Halloween? What’s your favorite way to decorate?


While Personal Creations did send me the canister free of charge, they did not require I post about it- I chose to because I really do love it and am super impressed by the quality. You can always count on me to only endorse brands and products I truly adore.

DIY Wooden State Art

Last week I posted about a DIY Wedding Guest Book Alternative (here), and this week I’m following up with a little DIY gift I made the bride and groom… but it’s totally something you could just make for yourself and frankly I probably will make one for myself because it’s freaking awesome.

I used cut and stained plywood as well as a painted canvas to make a very cute piece of art:

DIY plywood state art- rhode island

I don’t have a ton of in process pictures because I had no idea if I could successfully make those cuts, but let me break it down for you…

Create your state:

  • I googled “Rhode Island outline” and then brought the image I chose into my Silhouette Cameo and cut the shape out onto paper to create my template. (You could also just print and cut out the design yourself if you don’t have a Silhouette)
  • Trace the template onto your plywood with a pencil, then use a Jigsaw or Skillsaw to cut it out. Holy cow is tough- but you will feel like a superhero once you’ve succeeded. I used a jigsaw and very slowly and very carefully cut this out in sections. Please be careful not to cut your fingers off and also wear safety goggles. I am literally the worst at safety precautions but you need to be careful when a power saw is inches from your precious fingers.

Note: I did not use a “scrolling” blade because it kept bending, the plywood was too thick for it. I used the “10 TPI smooth” blade with my saw set to “curved” and that worked much better. There are different blades to switch in and out of your jigsaw to help you cut different materials and achieve different edges.Jig Saw settings- black and decker

  • Once you’ve cut it cut out, sand down all your edges and wipe it with a damp cloth
  • Stain with your desired color! Pictured is Minwax Special Walnut, one heavy coat.

Paint your canvas:

  • As you can probably tell, I am not an artist (sorry, lower right section of the canvas), but I thought the ombre look would be perfect for this. I used a test size of Behr’s Smokey Blue and feathered it on with a bristle brush, mixing in a little bit of pure white paint at each layer.
  • For some reason I added a little water to the paint because I thought it would be too thick, and that was a bad idea. So, if you use wall paint instead of actual painting-a-canvas-paint, don’t water it down. It’s fine.
  • Let it dry completely!

Once your canvas and stained wood are dry, it’s time to bring them together! I used Gorilla super glue to adhere the state to the canvas… and this is trickier then it sounds because you want to press the wood and canvas together while it dries. Your canvas is wrapped around a frame, which means when you place the canvas down the edges sit on your surfaced and the middle is suspended… so toss a book under there, then glue your state where you want it, and then put a weight or another big heavy book over the state to sandwich it together while it dries. Perhaps this doesn’t make sense? Let me know if you have questions!

Anyway! Voila!wood and painted canvas state art

This piece isn’t perfectly sanded smooth, but I kind of like that because the edges of the state aren’t perfectly smooth either, you know? Also, it’s hard to sand in those little grooves and the wedding was like 12 hours from when I started this project so I was kind of in a time crunch. :)

personalized state art gift- a DIY project from Sandpaper And Glue

DIY Wedding Guest Book Alternative

This past week two of my loveliest most awesomest friends got married in a small ceremony in their beachy hometown. Instead of a wedding guest book, they opted for a piece of art. Made by yours truly!

plywood and wood canvas art  Originally, they outlined an idea for a frame with a suspended canvas in the middle of it but that would have required maybe a grommet maker or a lot of hook and eyes and honestly I just wasn’t that confident I could do it- I can build anything, but I’m not so much a crafter. So I took some artistic liberties and this is what I came up with:

rustic wood and rope guest book art

The frame is made of 1×2’s  mounted on a half inch thick sheet of 24x24in plywood. I glued the 1×2’s onto the frame with Gorilla Wood Glue and since there was a little overhang I added some staples to the seams (from the back) as well. I adhered the canvas with Gorilla Super Glue and it worked great- I just put some weights on it overnight to make sure it set well.

gorilla glue- wood and super

The frame and plywood is stained with Minwax Special Walnut. Depending on the type of wood the stain might go on with a little bit of a greenish undertone, but that totally fades once it dries. On the 1×2’s it had the undertone, but on the plywood it didn’t- it must be how quickly it absorbs or how it looks wet. I’m not sure.

Once all the glue was dry I cut and hot glued about a million strips of rope onto it- just about 2 full packs of this rope. I could get the curves sharp enough, which is why I glued individual strips.

DIY wedding guest book - close up

I love how it came out! Very rustic and a great looking piece of art while still being sentimental and full of meaning.

**Gorilla Glue supplied me with the wood and super glue, but honestly I would have used it anyway because it’s a go to product for me. 

Heirloom Dresser Update

A few weeks ago my brother called and ask me to come over and help with “a few projects”…. Which turned out to be redoing an end table, two dressers, a mirror, and a bookshelf hack.image

The dresser this post is about is that big orangey piece one in from the left. As you can see from the writing on the back, it was purchased in November 1943 (by my great grandmother- that’s her writing!). It originally belonged to my grandfather, then lived in my room at his and my Nonna’s house while I was growing up. Now it’s passed on to my brother to use as a buffet in his dining room.orange stained chest of drawers before

The yellow orange stain was really dating it, but I just can’t bear to paint a vintage piece like this so we decided to strip it down and re-stain it instead.

It had this sweet applique on the center drawer that I remember staring at all the time when I was growing up- is it a doe? a reindeer? the green fairy?? Who knows. It broke my heart to sand it off but at least now it’s captured in a photograph.

wood applique- close up

My brother sanded the whole thing down with the lowest grit sandpaper we could find, then I wiped it all with a damp cloth and applied two coats of Minwax charcoal stain and three coats of wax. I would recommend sanding it with 100 or 150 grit before staining but it was 90* out and we had been sanding forever so we opted to skip that step. It left a few spots with the old stain still in tact, which ended up looking pretty cool.

To apply the stain:

  • brush it on, let it sit for a few seconds, then wipe off the excess with a rag.
  • repeat 2-3 times until you reach your desired tone and coverage

…that’s it! Don’t let staining intimidate you, just apply a little at a time very slowly so you have lots of control over how it turns out.

gray stained antique bureau- close up

We also switched out the (old, round, wood) knobs for some nice metal ones my brother picked out. They read as gold in the pictures, but look more antiqued and silver in real life.

stained vintage dresser- close up

The dresser is gorgeous, and looks so good in its’ new spot. I can hardly tell it’s the same piece!! I really like the spots where we didn’t get the old stain and poly off and the original color shows through- it gives it an awesome weathered/rustic look that I totally dig and pays homage to it’s original form.

bureau turned dining room buffet - after

Once it was dry I rubbed on three coats of wax, which are glaring horribly in that picture above but really don’t show up that harshly in real life. This piece isn’t going to get heavy use, so just a few coats of cured wax should protect it plenty over the next few years of little ones with sticky fingers. ;)

I’m so glad this piece is staying in the family and can live on in a new way, the stain really updated it without being to bold or overbearing, and it looks great in its’ new spot.

DIY Vintage Dresser