Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Leopard Print Plates

Go ahead, be jealous of my new adorable leopard plates =)
Found them at a shop in Louisville, KY... only $4.25 for the set!

Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thumbtack Monogrammed Pumpkin

I saw the idea of decorating a pumpkin using thumbtacks on
Pinterest last year and didn't get around to making one then, so I
just HAD to do it this year! And I'm so glad I did, because I love it!

I just wanted a simple monogram ("H" for my last name). Of course,
the easiest way to do this would have been to print the letter from the
computer, but I wasn't really thinking about the most efficient way to do
things.... but I'll tell you what I did.  I had a wooden H that was curvy.
I traced the H onto newspaper and cut it out.
I just placed the newspaper on the pumpkin, and attached it with thumbtacks
to keep it in place.  I completed one section at a time, and had to overlap the
thumbtacks in order to completely cover all the newspaper.
It was a very simple project - the hardest part was finding silver thumbtacks!
I went to 3 different stores before I found what I needed at Michael's!
This size letter took about 200 thumbtacks. If I had to do it over again, I would
have started the letter lower on the pumpkin. Sitting right in front of it, I thought the
letter was low enough, but when it's sitting on the ground, it's a little too high on the
pumpkin for my liking.  But regardless, it's still adorable, and I love that I can keep it
on my porch well past Halloween and on into the Thanksgiving season!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Candy Tags

Every year at Halloween, it seems like half the town comes to my
neighborhood to go trick-or-treating... I'm not exaggerating when
I say we get HUNDREDS of kids! So I decided that I should make
passing out candy an evangelistic outreach as well.

Last year, I put 4-5 pieces of candy in a plastic baggie, along with a
comic book tract that our church supplied. I had prepared 250 of these
baggies, and was out after the first hour! It was an expensive Halloween....

So this year, I decided to get various kinds of suckers to pass out. I bought 450
suckers, so I hope that lasts the whole night- but I am taking a cue from my neighbors
and only giving one piece of candy per kid this year! Anyways, I found this super cute
Halloween scrapbook paper.... on sale!!! 
I printed tags on the computer on the more plain side of the paper.
I just used a simple phrase that another group from our church uses
anytime they pass things out for free..... so the tags say:
This candy is FREE....
Just like God's LOVE!
Happy Trick-or-Treating!!

The suckers slide onto the tags after they are hole punched at the top and
bottom. It's a pretty simple way to remind people of God's unfailing love, and
how easy is it to accept God's love, just like it's easy to accept free candy =)

And of course, I had to have something Halloween-ish to put the
candy in, and this black cauldron works perfectly!

Have a fun but safe trick-or-treating next week!!
P.S. Thanks to my mom and sister for helping me print, cut, and
hole punch these! It was a much faster project with y'all's help!!

Potato Soup in the Crockpot

So excited to have a potato soup recipe that does NOT involve
peeling/chopping potatoes... a big thanks to my friend, Jodi, for
sharing her recipe!!! I've already made it 3 times in the last month,
and I'm making it again for a party this coming weekend!

3 cups of chicken broth
2 lbs of frozen cubed hashbrowns
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of pepper
3 cups of milk
2 cups of shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Optional Toppings:
real bacon bits
browned sausage
green onion
shredded cheddar cheese

Combine chicken broth, hashbrowns, salt and pepper in the crockpot.
Cook on high for 3 hours. Add the milk, monterey jack cheese and
cheddar cheese. Cook on high for another hour.
Add whatever toppings you like, and it's ready to eat! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

After 50 Years... They Still Do! An Anniversary Celebration

My sister and I were asked to help plan a 50th wedding anniversary
party for a couple from my church. The party was at a place called
The Maylon House, in Milton, WV, which is an incredibly beautiful facility!
Since the party was outside, we wanted the decor to play off all the natural
elements that were already in place. We didn't want to take away from how
amazing this place already is! Sometimes... less is more =) 

I already had these beautiful invitations, with dried flower petals on them,
AND matching envelopes. They were PERFECT for this party! The poem says:
Butch & Glenna Hensley
are the perfect pair,
Soon 50 years of life
together they will have shared.
Outdoors is where we will celebrate,
Come help us surprise them,
it's sure to be great!

The drink table was made using two wine barrels and an old door.
We made tags out of scrapbook paper that we attached to the mason jars
using twine, so people could write their names on the tags to keep track
of their drink.  I knew it would look cute, but it was also really helpful to keep
track of your drink - I had to look for my own tag more than once!

The cake "table" was a wooden spool, accented with fake flowers (that our church
already had!) wrapped in burlap.  The cake and cupcakes were adorable, made by
Kate's Wonderland Cakes.  We also put a picture of the bride and groom cutting
their cake 50 years ago on the cake table. So precious! The dessert plates are clear
plates from the Dollar Store that we glued scrapbook paper to the bottom
to make them look more festive.

The food was all so delicious - and looked pretty too! An antipasta bar with all
 the fixings, more pasta/meat selections that you could ever imagine, and breadsticks.
We glued scrapbook paper to the bottom of the food plates as well, and wrapped
the plastic "silver"ware in napkins tied with twine.

umm.... how FUNNY is the knight in shining armor in the background?!?

Instead of a traditional guestbook, we had each guest sign a rock and place it
in a vase that the couple could keep. It added to the "natural" feel of the party,
and is a great way for the couple to remember who joined them on this special day.

The bride and groom actually eloped, so we wrote out their
story and framed it. It was such a cute part of the shower and
for those who didn't know the couple way back then loved reading it!

The favors (an assortment of gold candy to signify their "golden" anniversary)
were displayed in a suitcase, which was part of the wedding story.
I thought it was such a cute touch!

We had adorable pennants hung up that said "after 50 years," "we still do,"
"love sweet love" and "Happy 50th Anniversary" and also got to hang pictures
up of the happy couple, their family and friends throughout the years.

The inside tables had a burlap runner with paper flower bouquets in
wine bottles (these were used for a shower earlier this year, but went so well
with everything else that we had to use them again!).

***those of you from Huntington - the tables
and chairs are from the old Chili Willi's!***

For the outside tables, we used stick placemats under a rock filled vase with a
citronella candle in it (for a tutorial on how to make the vases, click here). The
outside area had this beautiful fireplace, but it wasn't cool enough to have a fire.
It was still pretty to look at though!!!

We strung up white lights, attached to shepherds hooks and citronella torches,
around the outside portion of the party area.  Most of the party was during the
daylight, but we knew it would be continuing after dark so it was necessary to have
extra light. It looked so pretty! There were already lights strung up on the inside
structure, so that was one less thing we had to do ourselves. I'm so sad that I don't
have a good picture of the white lights on the shepherd hooks though =(

We made cute little signs to show the way to the restrooms, which were inside
the main house. Just something that is necessary information for the guests!

It was just a beautiful evening, and the perfect way to honor a couple
who have stayed together through better or worse, richer or
poorer, in sickness and in health. They are still so in love and it really was
a beautiful thing to witness =)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Burlap Initial with Floral Fall Wreath

I made a new wreath over the weekend... totally stole the idea
from a wreath I saw at Hobby Lobby!! It was one of the easiest
wreaths I've ever made.... and one of the cutest!!
12" straw wreath
ribbon (took every bit of 9 yards that was 1.5" wide)
wooden H letter
fake flowers/berries/leaves
glue gun & scissors

Wrap ribbon around wreath, hot gluing to secure it to the wreath.
Hot glue burlap to the wooden letter. 
Trim off any excess burlap, glue the edges down over the sides (the hardest step for me)
Hot glue the letter in place on the wreath.
Arrange the foiliage around the letter and hot glue in place.

Could it BE any easier?!?!?
Mine doesn't look EXACTLY like the one at Hobby Lobby - it was
a little more elaborate, with the foliage hanging down - but I was happy
with how it turned out =) Here is the inspiration wreath from Hobby Lobby:

I think the wreath accentuates the mums and pumpkins that
I have out on my front porch... everything is pretty simple though.
I just tied a couple yellow bows to the pumpkins, and wrapped the
yellow mums with burlap.  But I still think it looks nice!

Happy Fall Y'all!!