Outdoor Holiday Decor

outdoor planter

After last weeks blast of snow I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get outside to decorate. Luckily we had a thaw this week and although it has been rainy and windy I am still determined to decorate before the next round of wintery weather begins.

My go to for Christmas decorations has always been and will always be the dollar store.

I found these awesome bows for the pillars in the front for $2 each. At another well known retailer they were $8 each. The dollar store bargains always amaze me.

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Over the weekend my step mother Nancy and I took the kids to an urn making workshop at The Watering Can. This has become our new tradition.

The kids made Grinch trees and had a blast.

Nancy and I made these beautiful urns.

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I highly recommend going to one of their workshops. We had so much fun and our instructor was awesome.

I made the planter box in front of the dining room window in a similar style to the urn.

It looks so sad and depressing when it is empty

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I started with cedar for the first layer

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Then I added some pine for fullness

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I usually only have a few large ornaments in the basket but it never seems like enough so this year I am putting in several in a variety of sizes

I used ornaments from the dollar store (where else) and glued them to bamboo skewers so they wouldn’t fly away

 

They look like ornament weapons

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I glued the end of the skewer and around the base of the ornament just to make sure it was secure

Then I stuck them into the dirt

I think it looks great and very festive.

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Callum pointed out that it matches the wreath on the door

outside

Now to put up the lights…

Maybe I will leave that job to Chris

 

 

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Halloween Cookie Pops

cookie pops

I usually make sugar cookies for my kids to take to school on Halloween but this year I am just not feeling it. Decorating sugar cookies is incredibly time consuming and I needed something quick and easy to make that still looked yummy and cute.

I thought about making cake pops but then I remembered that I attempted to make them in the summer for Sofie’s birthday party. While they tasted great they were not aesthetically pleasing. I may have also gotten incredibly angry during the making of said cake pops. The memory of that nightmare is still too fresh so I decided to pass on trying to make them again.

While on Pinterest I spied some cookie pops. Now that I can do. All you need is some Oreo cookies, lollipop sticks, candy melts and some sprinkles. Easy peasy lemon squeezy as Sofie would say.

Halloween Cookie Pops

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Melt your candy melts. I melt mine in the microwave in 20 second intervals.

Take your lollipop stick and push it into the side of a cookie

Dip the end of the stick into the candy melts and put it back into the hole in the cookie. Let this harden for a few minutes before you dip your cookie.

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Dip your cookie into the candy melts. Let the excess drip off.

Immediately cover with sprinkles.

I cover a cookie sheet in sprinkles and press the cookie into the sprinkles. I find it easier and not as messy.

Let them dry for a few hours or over night

Package in little bags and tie with a cute ribbon

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I made 60 of these in 2 hours and that includes packaging them. Sugar cookies would have taken me 6 hours to bake and decorate, and it took me over an hour to make 16 cake pops in the summer. I will definitely be doing these again. They are quick, easy and tasty.

A perfect little snack that the kids can give to all their friends.

Happy Halloween!

DIY Peacock Costume

feathers

 

 

For the past several years I haven’t had anything to do with Sofie’s Halloween costumes. Shannon, her dad’s girlfriend always took care of it. Shannon is very crafty and can sew a straight line so I had no problem handing the Halloween reins over to her. This year Sofie asked me to make her costume. I was hesitant but I said okay.

She decided she wanted to be a peacock. Piece of cake I thought. Then she told me she wanted to look like Katy Perry. Well that wasn’t going to happen so we set about designing our own version.

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While the costume was neither difficult nor time consuming, it was messy. Glitter and feathers all over the place.

Despite sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the floor there are still traces of glitter from the tulle I used.

But the mess was worth it. Sofie is very happy and she looks like a gorgeous peacock.

Here is the cost break down:

I ordered the feathers off Ebay. They were shipped from China and only cost $7 for 50 feathers. I thought that was a bargain.

I used four different colours of tulle. Each was two yards. This was the most expensive part at $40

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The body suit and shoes came from a consignment shop and were $10 for both

The hair clip and pin on the front of her costume are from Hobby Lobby, it was $5 for both

So it wasn’t the cheapest costume to make but the look on her face when she saw it completed was priceless.

DIY Peacock Costume Instructions

Measure the elastic around your child’s waist. Sew the ends together.

My tulle was 54 inches in width. I folded the tulle in half and layered the four colours on top of each other.  Starting at the fold I cut the tulle in to three inch sections.

Knot the layered tulle around the elastic. I put my elastic around the back of a chair to make the knotting easier.

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Glue the peacock feathers into the knots.

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For the hair clip I glued several feathers in the middle of the plume. The extra weight made it tip backwards a bit so I added a thin piece of card board for some stability.

I knew that Sofie would love the sparkly shoes but I thought the bow on the front didn’t fit the peacock vibe. I cute out two pieces of black felt (one for each shoe) that was the size and shape of the toe. I then glued 3 trimmed feathers on to the felt and attached it to the shoe with hot glue. I finished it off with 3 faux gem stones.

I used an electric blue eyeliner and purple, green and blue eye shadow on her eyes. Believe it or not those are not fake eye lashes. Sofie has the most beautiful lashes. I am so jealous.

 

 

sofie peacockFor an inexperienced costume maker I think it turned out pretty well. Most importantly Sofie is thrilled with it.

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Holiday hangover

I am so tired. I slept better last night than I have in a while and yet I am totally exhausted. I have a holiday hangover and it was not caused by too much alcohol. It was caused by too much food!

This past weekend was very busy.

Saturday we attended a wedding that was held at the Sterling Inn and Spa in Niagara Falls. It’s a gem that is tucked away off Lundy’s Lane. The food and service were excellent and the Inn is gorgeous.

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The ceremony was one of the best I have ever been to. The two grooms were overcome with emotion several times. There was laughter and there were tears, and  a whole lotta love.

Sunday was Chris’ birthday. I was up at the crack of dawn making pumpkin scones. My mother in law Clare gave me the recipe years ago. They are so good! Better than Starbucks!

They are incredibly easy to make too.

scones

PUMPKIN SCONES – Serves 8

3 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup sugar

5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin spice ( I use 2 because I like the extra spice)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pumpkin pie filling

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

Combine all ingredients with a fork. Your dough will be wet but it shouldn’t stick to your hands.

Turn it out on to a well floured surface and form into a ball.

Roll it out until it is 1 1/2 inches thick

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Slice into 8 pieces

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Bake at 350 for 20 minutes rotating at the half way mark.

Let cool for a few minutes and cover with glaze.

The glaze is very simple. 1/2 cup of icing sugar with a splash of vanilla and 1 tsp of milk. I like my glaze to be thick but if you want yours thinner just add more milk.

Word of advice, do NOT use canned pumpkin. It will not turn out well. Make sure you use pumpkin pie filling!

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Sofie and I spent the remainder of the day in the kitchen making his favourite meal. Prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts with bacon and caramel crème brulee for dessert.

Sofie’s friend came over to help as well. They were super stars in the kitchen. Slicing and chopping and setting the table.

Everyone was very happy with the meal and very, very full.

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Monday we celebrated Thanksgiving at my dad’s house. It is my father’s birthday on Wednesday so Sofie and I decided to make a cake to celebrate.

It took almost the entire day to make but it was so worth it.

Chocolate mousse cake with ganache and chocolate curls. It was heavenly. My dad said it was the best cake he has ever had.

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So even though I am bone tired from all the celebrating and cooking I am extremely thankful for all the amazing people in my life that I can celebrate these wonderful occasions with. I am truly blessed to have such an incredible group of family and friends.

 

Favourite Fall Decor

The leaves are changing colour, there is a crispness in the air, and it is finally sweater weather. It’s officially time to put away all things summer and start decorating for fall.

I have scoured the world of blogs for fall décor inspiration and I wanted to share some of my favourites with you

PicMonkey Collage

 

 

diy project wood block fall banner

How cute is the banner from Thistlewood Farms

thanksgiving table with mustard accents

I love everything that Centsational Girl does!

Fall Tour & Decorating Ideas | perfectly imperfect

What a beautiful table setting from Perfectly Imperfect. Always blown away by what Shaunna comes up with!

Miss Mustard Seed-1462

You can always rely on Miss Mustard Seed to come up with beautiful minimalist decorating ideas

DIY rustic fall sign - the easiest way to make a sign!

Loving this mantle by Liz Marie

Fall home

Some outdoor inspiration from Just a Girl

Natural and gorgeous décor from Apartment Therapy

rustic halloween box

Polka Dot Pumpkins from Craft o Maniac

Beautiful mercury glass pumpkins with leaves and candles from Setting for four

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Try this simple side table project from Thrifty&Chic

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DIY acorn wreath from The Little Farm Dairy

5 MINUTE FALL DECOR-an easy and doable way to decorate beautifully in 5 minutes- lots of pictures and instructions-stonegableblog.com

 

A fast fix from Stone Gable Blog

So much inspiration and I have barely scratched the surface! How do you plan on decorating for fall?