Sunday, October 30, 2011

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!

Halloween is tomorrow and I'm JUST NOW getting around to posting my mantle??? Wow, get it together Nichole!

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday to decorate for. I love putting spiderwebs all over the bushes, carving pumpkins, cutting out paper ghosts to tape on my windows....Ok, y'all get the point. I love it :)

These three wooden pumpkins I picked up at Rite-Aid. Everything was 50% off for Fall items, making them $1.24 each.

This pumpkin was another Rite-Aid clearance item. Originally $7.99, I got it for $3.99. I used my stash of black buttons and hot glue to spell out "Boo" and added a skeleton on top.

The R.I.P. sign was a door hanging I got at Michael's Arts and Crafts last year for $4.99(?). This year I took off the wire hanger and put it on the mantle instead. The white vase is one I already had, I just added some black ribbon, paired with orange polka dotted ribbon, and made a black felt flower with orange stone accent. The branches were free from the dead bush outside our front door.

The black frame is from the 99Cents Only store. I printed out the image off of Google onto a page out of Anne Rice's "Blood and Gold" (my book got damaged in a flood at our storage place). The glass jars are old. I just printed out the labels from another site I found off of Google (if I can figure out where they came from I will post up the link). For the Vampire Blood jar, I just put water in with some red food coloring.  The Skeleton bowl is a candlestick with a bowl hot glued on top; purchased at the Dollar Tree. Filled with Spanish moss, one full skeleton, and another skeleton broken into pieces (all purchased at the Dollar Tree). Tied a black ribbon around the candlestick.

"Witches Way" signage from the Dollar Tree. The ghost with the pumpkins is from Avon; he lights up and changes colors. I nabbed him from my wonderful mother when I moved out almost eight years ago. And another skeleton (comes in a pack of 4- they are supposed to be a garland, but I pieced them apart).

This bunting is not exactly an original....I saw it while looking around on Pinterest (you know, that place that sucks you in longer and faster than Facebook? You can follow me here). The one I was looking at was made out of scrapbook paper (check hers out here); I liked the idea of it, but I wanted mine to be more durable, so I opted to use felt instead.

 I think it turned out cute :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Monday, October 24, 2011

Switchin' It Up

When I first started this blog, I didn't realize how exhausting it would be to only identify my children as "Monkey #1" and "Monkey #2". So, for sanity reasons, "Monkey #1" will now be "Boog" and "Monkey #2" will be "Belly". And yeah, that's really what we call them at home, so it will be easier for me to write about them in this capacity. :)

Happy Monday all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Color Plaques

I've been working with Monkey#1 on colors lately, so I've been trying to group his toys together to show him the various ranges that a color can have. However, I wanted him to be able to see how the color is spelled as well.

Since the monkeys' bedroom walls are pretty much barren, I wanted to make something to hang. I made a trip to the 99Cents Only store and picked up a few wall plaques:

I spray painted the plaques white. Project mistake #1: I laid a damp washrag over one of the plaques to try to take off the picture. BAD, very BAD people! These plaques are made of that cheap particle board, so all it did was make it look disgusting.
 Project mistake #2: I didn't use a primer first, so I ended up doing like 5 coats of spray paint. HUGE waste, I know (insert major frowny face here)...

Once they were (Finally!!) coated and dry, I hot glued old toys, buttons, flowers, really whatever I could find to go on the plaques, one color scheme per plaque. I had to make sure I left enough space open on the plaque for the color to be painted on.

Then I took out my stash of acrylics to paint the names of the colors and the sides of the plaques. Which brings us to Project mistake #3: I should have used stencils to write out the color words!

Yes, I know the words look all funky...apparently my skills in painting are limited, and do not include painting words free-hand. Oh well, think my kids will still like them?

Here they are all hung on the wall.

Since I made them and hung them on the wall, I've moved them to a better space and arrangement in their room. Monkey#1 has his colors down pat, still working with Monkey#2 but she still has plenty of time :)

Linking up to : WhipperBerry

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Tuesday Thrift Finds!

I needed to get out of the house again, so off to Goodwill I went. This time it was the one in the Rosedale area. It's a much bigger store and they have a LOT more items to peruse.

Here's what I scored today:

Last year the hubby found a GREAT VCR at Goodwill for $5.95. And every so often he comes home with a VHS for the kiddos (and once he found a vintage 1985 "Vampire Hunter D" VHS---we were both stoked about that one!). Today I found these two:

These little cuties will be hung outside the front door:

More bottoms for my little girl.

After Halloween is over, I will have no wreath for the Fall. I saw this and can tell it HAS POTENTIAL, though right now he looks kinda shabby.

I may or may not keep the mirror for this...I really only bought it because I loved the frame. I will probably spray paint it black, or find an awesome peacock blue color.

Saw somewhere crafty that used S&P shakers for their glitter, so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for some. Found a whole set! SCORE!

All in all, not too bad. Kind of having Deja Vu though, because wasn't this my checkout total last week?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Potatoes

Twas the day before payday and the cupboards were bare, my hubby’s tummy was rumbling around in despair. But alas! We had chicken, potatoes and cheese; I thought to myself, “What in the world can I make out of these?”

Ok, horrible rhyming skills, I know, I know! But seriously, this was us 6 years ago; we had no money and little left in the fridge for a meal. I had those three things plus some red onion, so I quickly went to work, and it has since become a favorite in our house. 

Here's what you need:
6 small-medium red potatoes
1/4 of a red onion
2 chicken breasts
lemon pepper
garlic powder
mild cheddar cheese
extra virgin olive oil (or as Rachel Ray would say, "grab some E.V.O.O.")

First step is to cut up the chicken breasts into bite size pieces, then cook them in a pan with butter, salt, and pepper; stir frequently. Don't cook the chicken all the way, just until it all turns white...It will be going in the oven so you don't want the chicken to be too dry. Preheat your oven to 350*.

While the chicken is cooking, wash and chop up your potatoes.

Then, chop the onion into tiny pieces (or if you just want them for flavor, leave them in bigger chunks and pick out later).

Add the onions and chopped potatoes into a glass baking dish. Mine is 9x13. Drizzle on some olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and the garlic powder. Toss that around for a second.

Drain the cooked chicken and toss that in with the potatoes and onions.

Cover with foil and pop in the oven (center rack) for 45 minutes. Now get to grating some cheese! How much you grate really depends on how much you love cheesy goodness! We love cheese, so I usually grate about 1 1/2 cups to go on this. 

After 35 minutes, take the foil off and sprinkle the cheese on top. Place it back in the oven for the remaining 10 minutes (uncovered). 

Once it's done, take it out of the oven and let it cool off for about 10-15 minutes. Then serve :) We didn't have anything to go along with this meal back then, but now I like to serve it with sauteed green beans. YUM!

So there you have it! The meal when there was none to be had. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Tuesday Thrift Finds!

Since it has started to get a little bit chilly, I went through the kids' clothes taking out stuff that was too small and taking inventory on how much Winter-y type clothing they had. M#1 has tons of clothes.....M#2 on the other hand, does not. My poor baby girl :(

This morning we set out to Goodwill down the street. The hubs usually goes in there everyday after work just to see if they had gotten anything new and super in. That man has found some pretty amazing things in there...including clothes for me! He has a great sense of style, seriously.

Here are a couple finds he picked up:


He's pretty awesome!
Ok, enough bragging about my fashionable's what I scored today:

Alright, so the lace wasn't exactly on my shopping list, but it is something that I have told myself to keep a look out for. This baggie had lots of lace scraps and trims....and I have the perfect idea for using some of it! *hint, hint, I'll post that project when its finished :)*

I got out of there in 15 minutes and my damage:

 Not bad! However I think I still need to get more pants for Monkey#2. 

What have been some of your favorite thrifty finds?