Thursday, November 5, 2015

Snowbird Ornament Giveaway from Tree Classics

Hey, folks!
I hope you had a fun and safe Halloween and the only
bad spirits you encountered came from a bottle.

I know it's not quite Thanksgiving,
but it's time to start thinking about Christmas.
Making lists, checking them twice,
figuring out if you've been naughty or nice.

I can't really help with the naughty or nice part,
but I may be able to help with the decorating!

Tree Classics has asked me to help you make your
home into a winter wonderland this Christmas.

Founded in 1976, Tree Classics™ has a long history of
designing the World's Finest Artificial Christmas Trees.
We have since expanded our range of holiday offerings to
include artificial wreaths, garlands, and various accessories.
Our lasting success is a result of our dedication to quality
and personal service that delights customers year after year

I'm partnering with them to give away this
adorable set of Mini Snowbird Ornaments.

The splendor of the outdoors comes alive with
Tree Classics' Assorted Mini Snow-Bird Ornament Set.
These Christmas tree decorations capture the charm of
snowbirds perched on evergreens in the winter.
With a bristly finish & glitter embellishments,
these snowbird ornaments are perfect against the
rich green foliage of a classic Christmas tree.

Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below and
enter to receive these sweet little snowbirds.
The contest runs through 11:59 PM MST on Nov. 11
and is open to U.S. residents only.
For more details, see the terms and conditions below.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Love From Your Mummy: A Halloween Chalkboard Care Package

It's time once again to remember your favorite college students,
far away friends and relatives, and loved ones serving overseas.

Yes, I know I'm a little late. Again.
I was out of town and just got this finished up.
You can pin it for next year. was worth the wait!
It's Love From Your Mummy!!!

A totally awesome Halloween Chalkboard Care Package!
I'm almost more excited about the box than the stuff inside!
But I'm a dork.

I started off painting the inside with black craft paint.
I added orange polka dots with more paint.

Use different coordinating scrapbook paper for the flaps.
On a side note...I love scrapbook paper.
But I don't scrapbook.  So There.

I wanted to make the outside cute, too.
I started off just painting it like the inside.
Then I had a brilliant idea!
Chalkboard, baby!

The cardboard kinda soaks up the paint a little making the surface a little rough.
I knew it would be easy to replicate a chalkboard look even without chalkboard paint.
I did go ahead and rub some chalk over the surface and wipe it
off with a paper towel before painting for more authentic look.

I haphazardly, but precisely (lol), painted my words with white paint.
I didn't want them too perfect, but I wanted them to have nice form.

Then using a sanding block I lightly distressed the entire thing and lightly dusted it off.

The result was a beautiful thing.
Just look.

I did two full sides...

Love from your Mummy
May contain: things that go bump in the night

The other two sides I just filled in with mini chalkboard scenes.

My furry helper approved...

But wait...what about the Halloween treats inside????

I made up a bunch of these adorable Halloween S'mores treat packs.

Each one has 4 graham cracker halves,
2 mini Hershey bars, 2 pumpkin peeps, and one ghost peep.

Mr. Ghost looks a little angry.
Maybe someone ate his I Scream.

Look how cute they are!
I just love them!

What good is a Halloween care package without a good movie.
Sara doesn't like scary movies so I always look for
something a little more on the fun side.

I know she hasn't seen this one...and it's a musical to boot...
Little Shop of Horrors is the perfect choice.

A little trick or treat candy, some decorations,
other random stuff...and you've got yourself
a howlin' good Halloween care package.

Full of Love from your Mummy.

  I hope you've enjoyed this last minute Halloween gift idea.
I know I had way too much fun creating it.

The lady in the mailroom at the college told Sara
she always knows when a box comes in for her.
I always decorate them in some way.
I think she's really going to like this one.

I've got a little giveaway coming up next week so be sure to stop by!

Until then...
beware of those things that go bump in the night.

Scaring up a little fun here:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Outdoor Movie Night

Hey there!
I wanted to share something fun we did recently before
the weather got too cold for you to do it, too!

We hosted an outdoor movie party and it was a blast!
Even if we did get rained

It's so fun and easier than you think!
We used a cheap shower curtain for our screen and clamped it to the back fence.
I only wish I'd gotten one a bit bigger or maybe two.

We asked guests to bring camp chairs and/or blankets...
but we had some available also.

I researched inexpensive projectors with USB
connections and chose this one I found on Amazon.
I won't be the next destination for the Sundance film festival,
 but for $58 it works pretty great!

It does have its own speakers but we hooked up
some computer speakers we had along with a spare woofer,
 and it sounded awesome!

We just connected it to our laptop to play the DVD.

Once you've taken care of all the tech's time for food!
Always make sure you have plenty of tasty treats,
but keeping it simple means no stress eats!

In trying to keep with the movie night theme we had corn dogs,
single size candy, and of course, POPCORN!

I think Sara and I made popcorn for almost 2 hours straight in the air popper. Oooof.

I found the NOW SHOWING chalkboard on Amazon,
along with the character concession cutouts and the popcorn bags.
You can find a lot of those things at Hobby Lobby, too.

To add to the fun and let guests participate in the movie choice,
we included a URL to a SurveyMonkey questionnaire.
Invitees were able to vote for their favorite of 3 movies and
let us know what their favorite movie night snack is.

It made it easy to pick a movie everyone would enjoy,
and make sure we had good treats.

Let me say...The Princess Bride in the backyard is so awesome.
As I said, we did get rained out about half way through.
It hadn't rained in our area for WEEKS!!!

Families with young kids went on home...
everyone else helped get the equipment out of the rain
and we finished the movie inside.

Even with the was totally worth it and so much fun!

I apologize for the dark pictures.
It's not easy to snap pics in the dark ;)
I hope you decide to make a movie night...
even if you have to do it next year.
I think we're starting a new family tradition!

Till next time...

Rolling out the red carpet here:

Crafts a la Mode
AKA Design

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Easy Yummy Crockpot Chicken Soup

I think I see fall coming!

That means time for sweaters and cozy bonfires and changing leaves...and SOUP!

Don't get me wrong...I'm NOT ready for what comes after fall...ugh.
For now let's just stick to soup.

Once upon a time I posted about my world famous chicken soup...
I've been meaning to revisit seriously is super good...
you just have to add a little more broth to make it soupier.

This is a variation of that recipe that you can do in the crockpot.
What's not to love about that?

This time I used fresh cut carrots and onions...
well...because that's what I had.
It was worth it and I'd do it again.

I did still throw in a packet of Knorr vegetable soup mix.
It just adds a little oomph.

You need a BUNCH of chicken broth.
A bunch.
Oh...and chicken.
Put it all in your crockpot with some seasonings...

After the chicken is completely cooked, you could take it
out and let it cool and tear it up or cut it into bite-sized pieces...
or you could use a handy-dandy mix 'n masher and just tear it up right in the pot.
Yup. Much easier.


When you've decided it's just about ready,
throw in a couple cups of noodles and let them cook.

Then you're ready to enjoy some seriously good chicken soup.

Totally Yummy, Seriously Easy Crockpot Chicken Soup
  • 3 large boneless skinless breasts, about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced and diced
  • 5 - 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I use the jar kind and used a tbsp or so...I like garlic)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 packet dry Knorr vegetable recipe mix
  • 1 square Knorr Caldo de Pollo bouillon
  • 8 cups (64 oz) chicken broth
  • about 1 tsp salt, and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups egg noodles (I used the old fashioned style) or 1 cup rice

  1. Place chicken breasts in crock pot.  Top with chopped onions and carrots.  Add garlic, olive oil, and spices.
  2. Pour in chicken broth. Stir in soup mix.  Add salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low about 8 hours until the chicken is cooked and the veggies are soft.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, shred in the pot or remove and cut up.
  5. Add noodles (or rice) and cook until soft then turn off heat to prevent mushy noodles.

Relish the cooler weather.
Make some soup.
Enjoy it immensely.
You're welcome.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Glam Guest Bath Makeover

I have made it my mission to paint all the cabinets in the house.
Someday I'll even make it to the kitchen.
In the meantime I have finished the 3rd and final bathroom.

This is our upstairs guest bathroom...
otherwise known as Sara's bathroom when she is home.

It started out like this below...usually with more clutter.
The fashion cities wallpaper border never got completely
put up and what was there was starting to fall down.  Nice, huh?

I don't know why there is a yellow hand towel on the rack.

It wasn't horrible...if you don't count the orangey
builder cabinets with no hardware.
But it was time for a change.

You can see my paint samples on the wall below. :)

Ta da!
I went with Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray.
It's soft and a little warm...very pretty and soothing.

I was concerned about doing gray in this room with no windows,
but the satin finish and the lighter color actually seems to
brighten the room instead of make it darker.
Please ignore my elbow.

She's been wanting me to do something in here since

She wanted the cabinets painted and the mirror framed...
and when I told her I was going with gray...
her only request was a plum shower curtain.


Oops. Looks like I forgot to put the little rug back in before I took this shot.
Oh well.
Someday I hope to replace the flooring...but until then this will have to work.

I framed the mirror with some decorative molding, mitered at the corners.
You can find instructions for that all over the place.
I will post some of my own someday.
I also used my favorite Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint
to transform the shiny silver light fixture into something more classy.

She also asked if I could do a large damask stencil on one wall.


You can see it here reflected in the mirror.
It look pretty...but that's something I probably
won't be doing again anytime soon.
But more on that in a later post.

I've decided to do the cabs throughout the house in the
SW Creamy that I started with in the master bath.
To me it's the perfect creamy white but not stark.
I love a little warmth to my white.

The hardware I purchased from this seller again on eBay
because they have great prices and flat rate shipping.

The counter top was done using my same method of
sponge painting and sealed with epoxy resin
like I did in our planked wall powder room.

The faucet is the same as the powder room...these were a
couple of satin nickel faucets I picked
up on clearance at Walmart for a great price.
I couldn't pass them up.

Here is the stenciled wall.
I took out the standard towel bar and replaced it
with antique looking hooks for a little more character.

This actually came from Hobby Lobby and was turquoise.
I painted it with some black chalk paint and distressed
it a little so the turquoise would just peak through.

I'm still deciding if it needs a piece of art in the large space to the left of the towel hooks.

Here's a little closer look at the counter tops.
And a little bit of pretty with a sort of vanity tray and a beautiful orchid.

That's the story of the glam bathroom makeover.
Yes it's a little posh and purple...but I feel it's still a nice
space for Sara as well as any overnight guests we may have.

Oh...and just for a little fun...
I added this bit of vinyl to the front of the tub
 so you see it when you pull back the curtain.

Just a quick before and after.

I wish I could give you a cost breakdown.
But the truth is I started this makeover last fall.
I know, I know...hard to believe it takes that long.
Hey...I did say I changed jobs and it caused a scheduling upheaval.

If I had to guess in my head...
paint, hardware, faucet, curtain, molding for the frame, epoxy...
Probably around $250 or so.
Not bad for an entirely new look without replacing major pieces.

So what do you think?
Way better than the before right?
Sara likes it...I know she won't be home forever...
but I'm confident guests will enjoy it also.

Well...that's all for now, folks.
I do actually have a couple more things waiting in the wings to show you...
I just have to make some final stay tuned.

Until then, remember:
happiness is a choice...choose wisely.