I’ve mentioned before that winter in Arizona is amazing. (It’s what gets us through our toasty summers!) And every winter we get a crew of visitors escaping their winter weather. Our door is always open for visitors. We love it. Our kids love it. The minute someone walks out the door our kids are asking who our next visitor is.
This winter we’ve had an abnormally high number of visitors. When my mom was here, we were naming off all the friends/family we’ve been able to see. We crunched the numbers and figured since December 27 through my mom leaving on March 15, we had someone in our guest room for 49 out of 79 days. The longest visitor was my brother who was here for a week with his family right after Christmas and three additional weeks (although not consecutively) for work. When we say we love visitors, we really do mean it.
I even changed out some artwork in the guest room to reflect our love for visitors.
Looking for inexpensive artwork?
Grab a 24×36 frame from Hobby Lobby.
Print out a saying at Staples as an engineer print. (There’s plenty of Etsy shops that sell digital files to quotes and sayings if you don’t want to design one yourself.) The print will cost you less than $4 for black and white.
It’s cheap enough that when we grow tired of visitors we can change the saying!
My homemade Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. I had the idea for Hunter’s homemade Christmas gift almost 6 months ago. I was working to redo his room and after I got the furniture and bedding placed I knew I wanted a picture hanging between his beds. Almost immediately the thought came to me to take a picture of his legos and hang it on the wall. The idea morphed into Lego wall art – making a quote out of his Legos and printing it for his wall.
I chose a short quote to make sure I could make it fit and look uniform. I spent an afternoon with his legos while he was at school and was done in no time.
I made a 20×20 print and put it in an Ikea Ribba frame.
Christmas morning he opened it and gave me the exact reaction I was looking for. Excitement.
We promptly hung it in his room and it was just as I had envisioned many months ago. “It’s awesome mom, I didn’t know you could make words out of Legos!” Yes son you can, and it’s much easier than the instructions that take 300 steps to build a ship!
Hallie was up for a birthday party this year and she was ready. Her birthday fell right before Halloween and my mom’s visit so we pushed it off just a little bit. As we talked about different ideas for her party I quickly realized she’s still young and she’s our only girl so it only made sense to make everything glitter.
We made glitter playdough that we used to play sculpterades (from the game Cranium) as teams – and then the girls just enjoyed playing with it.
They decorated sparkly cookies.
And sparkly letters! I bought a paper mache letter for every girl at Hobby Lobby that they were able to decorate with glitter, sparkles, washi tape and other decorations. There was glitter everywhere!
In the end, they spent time giving each other manicures with nothing less than…glitter polish.
And they went home with little goodie bags that sparkled. Plain white bags from Joanns that I made polka dot with glue and added glitter.
They sparkled from their heads to their toes by the time they were finished. I’m just glad that the party was outside because even then – I’m still finding glitter throughout the house!
Navy Tablecloths – Amazon Table runner – Target holiday line Plates and Napkins – Target Scrap garland – made from 1″ fabric strips from Joanns Drinking jars – dollar section Target (tied with glitter tulle) Paper Mache Letters – Hobby Lobby Glitter Playdough – made from this website
Several years ago I made a “Be Grateful” banner out of wood. I loved it so much but there was one small problem – I made it out of pine and that thing was heavy. It tore many Command strips off the wall! This year I reprised the project and made it out of thin underlayment – plywood.
I had Home Depot cut the plywood into strips and I used the miter saw to cut the triangles. Working with plywood like this can be a bit tricky and it leaves plenty of splinters. One side has a much nicer finish after the cutting process – I stained that side.
The other side, which wasn’t so nice, got a couple coats of chalkboard paint.
I debated how I should put the letters on: hand paint, vinyl letters, burning with a hand tool or a foam stamp. I went the easy route and what was readily available to me. I then carefully painted the edges with a metallic gold paint.
It hangs on the entertainment center with two small command strips and so far the weight hasn’t been a problem. Not only that but the wood tones look much better than the painted white “be grateful” banner I previously did.
Our record high, triple-digit weather is officially unwanted. We’ve got to make it look like fall since it doesn’t feel like fall!
Its not even October and we have all the Halloween decor up which is uncommon even for a Halloween lover like myself. Hallie and I had to miss out on a girls night out this weekend with her cousins. (Steve and Hunter were at the game which left me with two little boys, who were not wanted at girls night out!) In an effort to create a worthwhile consolation prize, I offered to pull out all the Halloween decor. She was beyond excited. She pulled everything out of the bins and put them in the areas of the house where they belonged. It’s a process.
After everything was laid out I realized we were missing several things. I went back to the garage in search of them. Having color-coded holiday bins is genius – but not so genius when you run out of space at the end of the season and the stores no longer have orange plastic totes…as was the case last year. Which meant we had a box of Halloween decor in a green bin with a purple lid which I eventually located in the disaster we call a garage. Crisis adverted. I made a note to buy an orange bin ASAP.
The decorations are up – pumpkin scented oil is warming – candy has been purchased – all that’s left to do is fill the advent calendar and let the kids fight over whose turn it is to get the candy! Let the fall games begin.