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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Tablescape

Happy Halloween Friends...a little bit late.  I started this post in time to get it to you on Halloween, but it just didn't happen.  Things got crazy around here!

This is my 10 minute tablescape.  Literally.  Between preschool drop-off, picking out a fall book to read for Little Man's party later, cutting up fruit for the party, getting myself looking presentable, I had 10 minutes to create a fun table for our Halloween supper.

This might be a new thing for us.  Ten Minute Tables.  I like it.  I'm creating a new label for it right now!

I started with chalkboard chargers I made last spring.  I thought the black would lend a scary element...

Then, a few holiday themed words and drawings...

I used a strip of burlap for the runner and the same metallic pumpkins from my Fall Tablescape.

The gold pinecones I used throughout my home for fall were quick place card holders.  The place cards are just construction paper and chalk with the initial of the guest.

This cute printable was a Pinterest find.  Popping it in a frame made an instant centerpiece.

The mercury glass candle holders are from Pottery Barn.  I LOVE them.  You will be seeing more of them this Christmas...

I placed a couple leftover white craft pumpkins on top of the candle sticks because I couldn't track down the right candles in my 10 minutes.  I think I like this look better!

I'm a firm believer in using it if you have it.  We were so fortunate to have been gifted lots of china when we got married and I use it baby!  Even if we're just having chili and cornbread.  Why not, right?

Well, there you have it.  Not bad for 10 minutes, eh?  How was everyone's Halloween?!?  My little guy really raked in the candy.  There is no way we could ever eat it all!  Not that I want to try!  He was really in to it this year.  So cute when they start getting the concepts of each holiday...

 Enjoy the sugar come down today!

Source List
Candle Sticks - Pottery barn
White Pumpkins - Michaels
Silver Pumpkins - Hobby Lobby
Chargers - DIY
Polka Dot plates - Kate Spade
China Bowls - Wedgewood
Runner - DIY
Napkins - Tuesday Morning
Framed Art - Pinterest Printable
Pinecones - Michaels

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Little Dragon

When I saw this costume, I knew it was made for Little J.  He loves anything dragon/dinosaur related.  Don't you just want to put him in your pocket?

We've had a number of events the past couple weeks for him to wear his costume.  I love that!  Makes the "once a year" outfit seem a little more worth the price.

This dragon did some cookie decorating...

Bowled over some ghosts....

Put the ring around a witch hat...

Pinned the tail on a cat...

and tossed the bean bag through the Jack-o-lantern.

That's one happy little dragon!

(I love how he wrote his name on the tag...when you run out of room, you just start heading back the other way! )

Monday, October 29, 2012

Party Costumes...and a Mouse

We just had a whirlwind weekend of Halloween/Fall festivities.  No complaints here, I'm just wiped!  Hayride, bonfire, pumpkins, family Halloween party for the kiddies.  So much fun!

Last weekend I mentioned the costume party the Mister and I went to.  I've popped in today to share a few pics.  Now, my hubby has a striking resemblance to the Olympian, Michael Phelps.  I'll let you be the judge...

I went as a cowgirl.  I know, I know.  It's a tired costume, but I was going for comfort.  This girl likes to cut a rug and that wouldn't be happening in 6 inch heels!

Pardon the poor lighting.  We snapped a few quick pics in the playroom on our way out the door.  No time to play with aperture!

Not too shabby for working with our closets, eh?  Anywho, it's always fun to go to a themed party. 

In other news...remember when I mentioned the little problem in my car?  Well, Mister and Tiny Man had great success with their trap.  I'm happy to report that my car is now rodent free!  And washed, vacuumed  and detailed!

Here is the trap, set up in the back of my car.  If you want to make one, search for "mouse trap" on youtube.    It really wasn't that hard and was it ever effective!

Mister set it up at about 3:30 pm and then we headed to a birthday party in his car.

When we got home (3 hours later), I hadn't seen the contraption yet, so I decided to take a peek.

Here's what I found.

 We decided this little critter had been living in my car.  What?!?  Mister was like a little kid.  He was so excited about catching something! And I quote, "this is probably one of the most awesome things I've ever done".  Boys.

I know what you're thinking about that mouse.

"He's so cute!"

Mmmhmmm.  And destructive.

We drove him several miles away and dropped him off in the woods.  So far my car has been sans mouse.  Let's hope it stays that way!

Anyone else have any exciting creature captures this weekend?  How about Halloween festivities?  It dropped about 20 degrees here and we southern peeps don't know what to do!  I always long for chilly weather, but it's hard when you have to hang up your flip-flops!

On another note, we're sending prayers and good vibes to the coast.  Stay safe everyone.

I'll be back tomorrow with my Little Man's costume.  The cutest little dragon ever!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Home Binder - Parts VIII, IX, X - Kids, Info, Projects

Happy Friday!  Last weekend before Halloween is upon us!  Have you gotten your candy yet?

I'm wrapping up the Home Binder mini series today by combining sections 8, 9, and 10.  Next week we have to focus on Halloween, right?!

If you haven't seen any of the other Home Binder posts, please start here.  We're happy you found us!

Section 8 for me is dedicated to my son.  In this section I keep the list of his classmates and their parent's names/numbers, snack schedule,etc.  I also keep a sheet to record all of the hilarious things he says.  I usually clip it to the fridge so I remember to jot stuff down, and keep old ones in the binder.

The "Info" section is just that, info.  I keep a log for each of our cars' maintenance and one for our home appliances.  Any other items that cross my path and have to do with general home information also get punched and placed in this binder (insurance, health care stuff).  If I had to dash quickly, this binder would help me access everything I needed.

The last section of the binder is one I reference frequently..."Projects".  This section houses my "plans" for home projects, as well as a running list of things we want to tackle.  When we have a few minutes on the weekend, I look at this list and those minutes are quickly filled!

If you are wanting any of these printables (or any of the other ones featured in this mini series), be sure to check out Clean Mama's Printables.  She has offered all of my readers 20% off her entire shop!  Just become a follower of this blog and use promo code 20NESTYOURBEST.

Hope you feel inspired to get that binder going.  I waited forever to make one and I wish I hadn't waited so long.  It's really been such a life saver....and it's not that hard!  Especially when you have great printables that work for you.

Have a great weekend lovelies!  I'll be back next week to share my Little Man's costume, my Halloween Tablescape, and what the Mister and I wore to the costume party.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Home Binder - Part VII - Vacation

Who doesn't need a vacation now and again?  Or, at least a trip to your parents?  Whatever type of trip you take, it just got easier with the "Vacation" section of your home binder.

Start here to see what we've done so far with our home binder.

I only have 2 sheets in this section, but these 2 sheets pack a punch.

One helps me plan a trip.

The other helps me pack.  I LOVE that I don't have to hand write a new list every time we go somewhere.  Back in the day, I used to be a camp counselor and I made packing lists for all of the day trips we took.  I always meant to make one for my family, but then I found Clean Mama's Shop so I didn't have to!

The dividers with the folders hold trip info, brochures, etc.  Print out a few copies of these and I'm set for the year!  Could not be easier.  Now we never forget chargers, wipes, etc.

Planning any trips?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Home Binder - Part VI - Cleaning

This past weekend my fellas worked on making a mouse trap.  That's right.  We have a mouse...

...in my car.

Sorry.  I just needed a minute to let that sink in.  Imagine coming out to your car to strap you little man in his carseat, only to find it chewed up and covered in mouse droppings.  Can we say unsanitary?  Needless to say, that had to be completely detoxed!

Ugh.  I am kind of a clean freak.  I don't mind the occasional mess when crafting or cooking, but I don't like dirty.  Especially rodent dirty.  For all of you feeling great sadness for said mouse, no worries.  This is a humane trap and the little rat guy was released far away from here!

Now that we're all feeling a little bit gross, let's talk about the cleaning section of my home binder!!

For a quick catch up on all the other sections, please follow the links and then come back!
    Start Up
    Meal Planning

INSTANT DOWNLOAD The Cleaning Kit - BRIGHTS - 6 documents
Clean Mama Printable Etsy Shop

Once again, I used printables from Becky to get my home binder in gear.  Don't forget to use the promo code 20NESTYOURBEST to get 20% off anything you need to get your home binder going!

My binder basically holds a bunch of cleaning checklists.  I have the chores I do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly.  I have a checklist that includes all of these items in a frame that I use with a dry erase marker.  My friend's husband actually made us the spreadsheet (shout out to Keith and his mad Excel skills!!).  And now, because my Mister will be jealous, shout out to Big Man and your mad Excel skills too, it's a gift.

  It's great to be able to go in and edit the items if things change.

These are the daily tasks:

The Weekly Things:

I put a letter next to each task here to designate a day of the week I attempt to do it.  

The Monthly Items:

I also designated items my Mister is responsible for in blue.  He actually does check the things off!

Quarterly Things to Do:

Here, I record the date I last completed this task.  This is helpful for, say, changing the air filters.

And Annual Things:


I really do love that I can edit this sheet, because looking through it even now, there are things I would change around.  Clean more often, less often, etc.  Spend a few minutes in Excel, or have a helper make you one, or check our Clean Mama's shop. She has some editable items too.

The binder also holds cleaning lists that go with each section of my dry erase system.  For example, I keep deep cleaning sheets from Clean Mama for each room of my house.  It helps me remember exactly what needs to be done when I do my deep cleans (quarterly).

Well, there you have it.  Talk about all this cleaning has me feeling slightly better about the whiskered situation.  Let's just hope we've seen the last of them.  We have the woods behind our house, so probably not.  At least we have a successful trap...and I know how to clean!

See you tomorrow for "Vacation" planning.  How good does a beach sound right now?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Hostess Gift

Is it just me, or is October flying by?!  I mentioned that we headed to a Halloween costume party this weekend.  It was a blast!  How many chances do you get as an adult to dress up and have a good time?

Our friends that threw the party really did it big.  Decor, food, drinks.  It was fantastic.  Hopefully I'll be able to share a few pics of us in costume later this week.

I was raised never to show up empty handed, so I whipped up a quick batch of saltine toffee.  Have you all tried this?  It truly is one of the easiest "candies" I've ever made.

Just saltines, butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips and you've got a treat that is more than hostess worthy.

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and lay out about  50 saltines side by side.  Bring 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of unsalted butter to a boil.  Let it get really brown and bubbly (about 3 minutes).  Pour over saltines and bake at 400 for 6 minutes.  Pour 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips over top and let them soften.  Spread with a spatula to coat evenly.  Let cool completely and then break into pieces.  SO easy.

After bagging the candy, I used my computer to print up a festive tag.  I found some Haloweeny fonts on Pinterest and google searched for the candy corn images.

After trimming the tag (printed on cardstock) with pinking shears, I hole-punched each side and threaded some Halloween ribbon through each end.   Ordinarily, I would just punch one hole on top, but I made the tag a bit too big.  Rather than re-print, I just rolled with it.  It's a little "pig-tail" like, but hey, it's still festive!

Has anyone else been to a great party lately?  Party season is upon us.  And that also means holiday food eating is upon us.  I'd better kick my treadmill into high gear!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Home Binder - Part V - Holidays

Welcome back everyone!  Hope you had a restful weekend! We had a blast at the Halloween Party Saturday night.  I promise to post some pics later this week...

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite sections of my home binder, "Holidays"!  As a kid, I have fond memories of baking cookies, decorating, and doing holiday themed activities.  I guess that's why I became an elementary school teacher!

If you're just joining us, start here to get your binder set-up.  Last week's posts will walk you through how to get your "Calendar", "Meal Planning", and "Finance" sections up and running as well.

 Once again, the printables I use for this section come from Clean Mama Printables Etsy Shop.  I have to give Becky a HUGE thank you for giving all of you a promo code for 20% off (20NESTYOURBEST) and also, for pinning my home binder to her Pinterest page.

If you are here because Clean Mama pinned me, I am thrilled!  You have no idea how exciting it is to see how many page views I've had since last week!  I'd love it if you became a follower.  Think of us as one big family, just trying to keep it organized and pretty!

Okay.  Now to the post I promised...:)

This is a slightly askew picture of the Halloween planning page.  Each holiday gets a devoted page (or two!) in my binder for planning.  On this page, I plan my tablescape for meals, parties I'm hosting, food options, guest lists, and other decorations.  This is a fantastic way to see what you did last year and repeat what you liked, but also add something fresh.

I usually print 2 per holiday so I can make a brainstorming rough draft of ideas and then a pretty one when things are finalized.  You know I love my pretty!

50% OFF - The Holiday and Special Occasions Planning Kit - 16 documents
Clean Mama Printables Etsy Shop

I have a slightly bigger Christmas section because any momma knows it takes a lot of prep work and organization to pull it off.  On these pages I track gift lists, shopping lists, traditions we want to remember to fit in, things I need to make/bake.  I also have a blank December calendar in here to plan out meals for house guests, events, and all the other craziness fun the season brings.

I'm a big fan of making and/or baking as much as I can ahead of time.  This sheet helps me do just that.

I also keep a list of who I sent a Christmas card to last year.  It helps jump start my current year's list.

If you bought dividers with pockets, this is a great place to stash holiday recipes or decor ideas you've pulled from magazines.

The "Holiday" section.  Not a section you will see in most home binders, but I couldn't live without mine!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a sweet little hostess gift I brought to the costume party.  If you're in need of a great gift idea, you don't want to miss this one!


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