#BlogItForward for Habitat for Humanity

This holiday season I’m helping Wayfair spread the cheer with their #BlogItForward campaign.

habitat for humanity and wayfair

I wrote  a few weeks back (here) about how I get the winter blues, and one of the ways I combat it is by helping others and doing some good deeds. I know it sounds cheesey, but my being depressed about it getting dark early is nothing compared to a kid who wakes up Christmas day with no coat to wear or food to eat. It’s all about perspective.

blogitforward - wayfair

There are so many ways to give back. Here’s just a few of the things I personally do in December that are SO EASY everyone can do:

  • When buying your holiday gifts through Amazon, use the Amazon Smile link. You can designate a charity to have a portion of your purchase go to (might I suggest Bright Hope Animal Rescue or MassStar?)
  • Participate in a coat drive! We all have extra coats/scarves/gloves lying around and someone needs those. I work at a college so I just drop stuff off for our Veteran’s and single moms. A local shelter would take them too!
  • Donate something! At my college we have a basket raffle to raise funds for our Student Emergency Fund. This year I built a rolling dress up closet and my coworkers all brought in stuff to fill it up with- not quite a basket, but I think it’s going to be a huge money maker!
  • Every year the Improv Asylum  in Boston runs an event called No Rest for the Wicked Funny- where they do 24 hours of improv comedy and auctions to raise money for Globe Santa. We always, always, always go but this year it’s on a Sunday- so I’m just going to donate to Globe Santa directly (here)

#blogitforward

I’d love to hear how you give back- and if you’re a blogger, make sure you write all about it and include a badge so you can help Habitat too!

#blogitforward

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

xo,

Stephanie

 

 

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??