Word Photo Ornament

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Holidays are the best time for crafting.  I love the excuse to come up with cute decorations to make our house festive.  I have been trying to find ways to commemorate our travels, and decided to come up with some travel ornaments for our Christmas Tree.  That way every year when we set up the tree it is a walk down memory lane.  A few years ago I made an ornament with sand from Maui, so this time I decided to make a word photo ornament to remember Rome.

Handmade travel christmas ornament made from a vacation photo

Starting out I gathered my supplies.  In this case I used:

  • Mod Podge
  • Craft paints
  • Word letters
  • Photograph
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Ribbon
  • Glue gun

Handmade travel ornament for Christmas

Step one, paint the wooden letters any desired color.  You only have toy focus on coating the back and edges, being that you will be gluing the photo to the front of the letters.  Allow to dry thoroughly.

Making a DIY christmas word ornament

Next, trace the letters face side down onto the photo you wan to use.

Making a christmas ornament- travel memories

Remember that everything is backwards so you will want to have the letters in the correct order to have the image correct when finished.

DIY christmas "word" ornament

Carefully cut out each letter.

Christmas ornaments -travel memories

Match the letter with the wooden version

Handmade travel christmas ornament

Paint in some mod podge to each letter and adhere the photo.

DIY christmas Rome ornament

Allow to sit and dry so that the photo does not slide off the wooden letter.

Handmade travel Christmas ornaments

Thoroughly coat each letter with coat of mod podge on the front and back to fully seal on the photo to the letter.  Also to dry completely.

DIY christmas word ornament

One dry, it is time to glue the letters together.  For this step, I flipped the letters upside down and arranged as desired.

Handmade travel christmas ornament made from a vacation photo-Rome

Next I took the glue gun and applied a dollop of hot glue to the seams of each letter to adhere them together.

Christmas ornament- travel memories

In order to hang the ornament on the tree I dug around my ribbon supply and found a brown ribbon to use. I tied a bow in the middle of the ribbon.

Handmade travel ornament

I then glued each end of the ribbon to the back of the word ornament.

DIY christmas ornament

Allow to dry and hang on the Christmas tree.  Now each year when we add this ornament to the tree we will remember our time in Rome.  I will be working on more travel ornaments and hope to share them soon.  Have you made any DIY ornaments lately?

DIY christmas ornament made from a photo

Halloween Broken Porcelain Doll Costume

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I hope everyone had a great Halloween.  This year we planned a costume contest at work, but organized it with only a week notice.  Not having time to run around and look for a costume, I turned to my closet and Pinterest for inspiration.  In the end I decided to try a broken porcelain doll costume.

Halloween Broken doll costume

This is a pretty simple one to pull together.  I had a black tea length dress from my Senior prom. With a little adjustment and sucking in, I was able to get the dress on still.  I grabbed a little cardigan to make it more work appropriate.  Next I grabbed some costume jewelry necklaces, white tights and my favorite holiday pumps.

Halloween Broken porcelain doll costume

What really makes this costume is the broken doll make-up.  I was able to complete this look with just a pale powder compact, red lipstick, black, white and brown eyeliner, purple and white eye shadow, blush and fake eyelashes.  I quickly curled my hair and tied a ribbon as a headband.

Halloween costume- Broken porcelain doll make-up

Simple look that is sure to turn heads on Halloween.  It was fun to see people’s reactions at work and the trick-or-treaters at our house.  With the rain we had a lot less visitors to our house this year, so I guess I will have a bit of candy to consume this next week :)

Halloween costume- Broken doll make-up

Hope everyone else had a great Halloween.  Do any fun face painting to celebrate the holiday?

Haunted Halloween House

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!  Last year I bought this cute little wooden haunted house right after Halloween.  It was 50% off plus I had a coupon so I was able to get it for a steal.  I loved the cute little metal bats and cobwebs and whimsical slanted roof lines.  I knew I could paint it up easily and add it to my very limited indoor Halloween decor items.

DIY Halloween house for halloween decor

After rummaging through my paint drawer I knew exactly what I was going to do.  I have these fun green and purple glitter paints and I also grabbed black for the roof and yellow for the windows.

Painting supplies

As you can see, it took a few coats to get the color intensity I was aiming for.

Painted halloween house for halloween decor

But the finished product is awesome!  I cute little Halloween house we can use on our entry table for years to come.

Halloween decor. Spooky House.

Warning Zombie Sign

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My favorite part of my Zombie Attack Halloween decor this year is this DIY warning zombies sign. I decided to make instead of buying because I wanted it to be personalized and I can never pass on a chance for a fun craft day. After searching around on Pinterest and thinking about what I wanted to do, I came up the this look for my sign.

How to make a spooky zombie sign

To make this sign you will need a square wooden board, a wooden stake, paint, red gel food coloring and spray acrylic sealant.  To start out I painted the entire board cream.  I then used my yard stick to separate the top section and painted it black.  I then played around with red and black for the outside border of the sign.  Once dried I freehand painted “Warning” and “Zombies”.

Making a zombie sign diy

Next I racked my brain on how to do the blood on the sign.  I ended up grabbing a tube of red gel food coloring from my baking cupboard and smeared it all over my hand.  I then grabbed the sign in a few places and used one finger to write out “Save Your Self”.  The texture of the gel food coloring gave some great depth and detail and really looks like blood.

DIY zombie halloween sign

After letting it dry for over 24 hours, I took the sign outside and added multiple coats of clear acrylic spray paint.  The red food coloring has already faded a bit and is really not water resistant.  I am not sure if it will hold up all that great over time, but I can always re-do that portion for the future if it fades away.

zombie attack halloween decor

The final touch to make this sign pop was adding fake barb wire and Zombie Arm Lawn Stakes.

zombie attack halloween decor. Zombie eat brains!

Don’t have time to make a zombie sign?  Good news is that there are a ton of them out there to buy and they run about $10-$15 a piece.  Here are a few examples I saw at the Spirit store that would have worked great too.

Zombie Hunter SignZombie Research Metal SignQuarantine Sign

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Zombie Attack Halloween Decor

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I LOVE Halloween!  This year for our outside decor I decided to go with a zombie attack theme.  I had big plans of going all out, but kept it pretty simple in the end to save money and time while still having fun. So, let’s go for a tour around our front yard…

DIY zombie halloween decor

Let’s start out in the little cubby area next to our front door.  Same as last year, I began by adding some webs and spiders.  I decided to use regular webs this year, since the black light ones did not light up as well as I hoped.

Zombie attack decor for Halloween

Next up we ran by the Spirit Halloween store and bought some Bloody Hand Drips Decoration and Blood Splat Window Clings.  These clings are awesome and help to add some gore to the zombie attack theme.

zombie attack decor

Also at SpiritHalloween.com or the Spirit Halloween stores that pop up during this season, we were able to find some foam distressed boards to use on our windows.  I tried using double sided tape, but after a couple hours they started to fall.  So I pull out my staple gun and secured each plank to the wall around the window.  For the bigger windows I was able to tape two planks together and span the gap that way.

DIY zombie attack decor

I also found some fun fake barb wire and wrapped the front post with it.  It looks to be just twine rope painted in silver, so I might make my own in the future if I need more.  I bought two stands this year and saved the second strand to use on my zombie sign.

Spooky spider infested halloween tree decor

Panning over to the trees along the path, I added more spiderwebs and glittery spiders.  I bought 3 bags of web this year and was able to cover a lot more area than last year.  I did the same look on the main tree in front of our house by wrapping it in purple lights and then web and spiders.  I bought new lights because the cheap ones from Party City last year kept failing.  These are much more vibrant LED lights we picked up on sale at Target right after Halloween last year.

Spooky spider infested halloween tree

To add some creepiness we have our native giant spider making an appearance too again this year.  He is much too heavy for the web, so I use thread to tie him the the branch for added support.

Spooky Halloween Spider

Now on the the main new additions this year. Since I had so much fun last year making the wooden trick or treat sign, I decided to do it again this year by making a warning zombie sign.  You can learn more about how I did it here.

zombie attack halloween decor-diy

I am really happy with how the sign turned out and it really adds to the overall look and theme.  I had some left over black cloth from last year so I simply covered the bush and threw some more up in the tree.

zombie attack halloween decor

This big bush came in handy for the sign too.  Instead of having to hammer it into the ground, I stuck it into the bush and done.

Halloween zombie sign.  Warning Zombies!

One finishing touch…adding some zombie hands to the lawn, also found at the Spirit store.  So there you have it, cheap and fairly easy Zombie Attack Halloween decor.

Halloween outdoor decor. Zombie attack

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

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When I think about making cookies, one of my favorite from my childhood are Snikerdoodles!  I am not sure where this recipe came from as it is one my mom taught me and I have been making for years now.  These are a great choice to bring to the holidays for children or picky eaters.  Everyone loves a good sugar cookie right?  Plus you can easily make them festive with sprinkles.

The BEST Snickerdoodle recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • cinnamon & sugar

Snickerdoodle recipe

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer.

Baking snickerdoodle cookies

How to make snickerdoodles

The BEST Snickerdoodle cookie recipe

Add your egg and beat until combined.

Snickerdoodle cookies- yum!

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Snickerdoodle cookies

Add sifted dry ingredients to the butter, sugar & egg mixture.  Mix together until fully incorporated.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Snickerdoodle cookie dough

After chilling the dough, roll it out into walnut sized balls.  Roll each dough ball through a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  If you want to add sprinkles to the cookies, make sure to add them to this cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Sprinkles will not stick well after the cookies are cooked, so adding them before hand it key.

Snickerdoodle cookie recipe

Place dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Making snickerdoodles

Cool on wire rack.  Makes about 24 cookies.  These are still one of my favorite cookies and a big hit with kids! Enjoy :)

Making snickerdoodle cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

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Merry Christmas!!  I rarely make cookies, except for during the holiday season.  Then I tend to go a bit crazy trying out new recipes as well as a few tried and true.  One of my favorite recipes is the Ocean Spray recipe for oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chunks and cranberries.  They are so good, and really simple to make.

Oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chunk cookie recipe


  • 2/3 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5-ounces Dried Cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Cranberry oatmeal white chocolate cookie ingredients

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Oatmeal cranberry white chocolate cookies
Cranberry oatmeal white chocolate cookies

Add eggs, mixing well to combine.

White chocolate cranberry cookies- YUM!

In another bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt.

Cranberry oatmeal white chocolate cookie -YUM!

Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each.

Oatmeal cranberry white chocolate cookies -YUM!

Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Cranberry oatmeal white chocolate cookie recipe

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

White chocolate cranberry cookies

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

White chocolate cranberry cookie recipe

Cool on wire rack. This recipes makes approximately 2.5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chunk cookie recipe

Holiday Decorating: Snowflake Wreath

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Merry Christmas Eve!! Today we will be heading down to spend the holidays with Alex’s family and I can’t wait.  Good food, wine and a present swap.  I know I promised this tutorial on how to make an easy snowflake wreath a while back when I first posted about our holiday mantel for this season, and here it is finally.

Snowflake wreath

To get it started, I found these foam snowflakes at Joann’s.  My initial plan was to use felt and cut out snowflakes, but then I spotted these snowflake packs at 50% off I knew I could save a lot of time and labor by using them.  Half the pack is glittered and the other half is plain white.  Being that I wanted all glittered snowflakes, I bought 2 packs.

Crafty snowflake wreath

Next I grabbed a wire wreath frame and a 12×12 piece of paper.  I then traced a large circle onto the paper to act as my wreath frame.  With the foam being so light I did not want to use a real wreath frame, but I created a paper one to make sure I kept my snowflake in a perfect circle shape.

Holiday snowflake wreath

Once traced onto the paper, cut it out.

Holiday festive wreath

Now you have the perfect circle for the wreath base.

Holiday wreath

Using my glue gun, I started gluing on the snowflakes.

Christmas snowflake wreath idea

Keep adding on snowflakes as you work around the wreath.  To make them look more random, I moved around as I added them and made sure they did not all overlap in the same way.

Making a crafty snowflake wreath

And after about 25 snowflakes, we have a finished snowflake wreath!

Crafty snowflake wreath tutorial

Once all the snowflakes are glued down and it has cooled, it is time to add ribbon.  I found this shiny green ribbon in my wrapping tote and thought it would work great.

Christmas snowflake wreath

I glued the ribbon down on the back in the wreath and created a fun little bow to the front.  To hang it above our fireplace I simply used a tack through the middle of the ribbon bow.

Snowflake holiday wreath

And there you have it.  A super simple holiday wreath.  I think it looks great in our dining room on the bold navy walls, but you could also hang it on your door for some festive holiday decor.

Holiday mantel stockings

Holiday Decorating: Our Christmas Tree 2013

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Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!  I meant to share our Christmas tree last week, but with all the festivities I ran out of time until now.  Want to see what we have been up to? Check me out on Instagram :)  But without further ado, here is our 2013 Christmas tree!

O Christmas Tree

This year we went bigger and better since we finally have a house and tall ceilings.  But that did mean more money and having to be a bit more creative about how we were going to be able to get the tree home.  In years past we could simply put the seats down and push it in through the trunk, but not anymore!  This year we had to strap it to the roof of my little Honda!  Luckily the tree lot we go to was not very far from home and we made it safely.

Getting our Christmas tree

After pulling out all the Christmas boxes from storage, I decided to use the fabulous flower tree skirt that I diligently hand stitched last year.  I think I need to find a use for it every year for at least 10 years to make up for all the hours of labor that went in to it. And, lucky for me, it still looks big enough even with a larger tree.

O Christmas Tree skirt

Once again this year we opted for an eclectic tree displaying all the fun and random ornaments we have started collecting over the years.  I do love a good themed tree that looks like it stepped from a magazine page, but there is a special feeling hanging up all the ornaments with a story and memory behind them too.

Wiener dog christmas ornament

Plus I love the fun of picking out new ornaments too.  Like this cute little owl from Target.  Someday I have the vision of a rustic critter filled tree, so maybe this little guy is just the start of a fabulous collection.

Owl christmas tree ornament

Then there are ornaments like this turtle to remind us of our Hawaii honeymoon.

Hawaiian turtle christmas ornament

Or this clothespin reindeer that my hubby made when he was just a little kid.

Clothespin reindeer ornament

And no tree is complete with a jolly Santa.

Christmas tree santa ornament

And at last, one more new ornament this year.  Is anyone sensing a owl theme here?!?

Ceramic owl christmas ornament

I had to sneak in a cute pup pick to commemorate our first Christmas with little Augie too of course.  They look like such good, well behaved dogs here, but do not let them fool you.  It is amazing what a handful of cookies can do!

Puppies under the christmas tree

Next year I want to invest in buying twice as many lights to really make it sparkle.  I felt like I had to spread them our a bit to thin since we were only working with 5 strands.  But overall I love my eclectic Christmas tree.

O Christmas Tree

Holiday Decorating: Glittery Acorns

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Happy Holidays!!!  I am so excited to be decorating this year in our new house :) I knew I wanted to do a holiday decorating  project with some sparkle, and I got this idea while browsing Pinterest. The acorn idea is from stacywinters on Etsy who makes and sells these cute gold glittered acorns, and i figured with all the acorns falling in our yard and the ridiculous surplus of glitters I own, this could be a great free project to do this holiday season.

Glitter acorns

Cute right? A little rustic meets a little glam.  To start off this project you will need to have access to acorns.  In our new backyard there is an oak tree hanging over from the street that was full of beautiful large acorns.  As the weather turned colder, they began to fall into our yard.  As long as I collected daily, because the pups love to chew the acorns up as soon as they find them, I was able to get a nice large collection.

Fall decorating with acorns

Next I removed any acorn caps that had not naturally fallen off.  Taking my exact-o knife, I drilled a tiny hole into each cap.  You could use a power tool, but since the caps are so thin, I found it easy to just twist the tip of the knife through.

Making glitter acorns caps

Make sure the hole is drilled all the way though and large enough to fit string through later to hang them.

Fall decorating with gilttered acorns

Once the hole was drilled, I grabbed my trusty Mod Podge and a paint brush.  Next I covered the acorn cap with a nice coating of Mod Podge.  You could really use any glue product for this step, and I used what I had on hand that thought would work well.

Making glitter acorns

While the Mod Podge was still wet, I grabbed my silver glitter and sprinkled it all over the acorn lid, making sure it was thoroughly coated.

Holiday glitter acorns

Set aside to dry and continue the process with your remaining acorn lids.

Making glitter cap acorns

I just love how much they sparkle!  Give the acorn lids a few hours to make sure completely dry.  I allowed mine to sit over night before moving on the the next step.

How to make glitter acorns

Now you will need to scrounge up string and scissors.  I used red embroidery floss, but if you are going more rustic you use twine. I varied the way each was hung, making some only one per stand and other, like the string below, designed to hang two acorns from.

Fall decorating with glittery acorns

The process from here is pretty easy, using a large tapestry needle, I threaded the ribbon into the acorn lid.

Holiday glitter acorn tree decoration

Next I tied a knot to make it secure.

Holiday glitter acorn decorations

Then I took my hot glue gun and placed a dollop of glue int he acorn lid, making sure to cover the string knot for extra hold.

Christmas glitter acorns

I then placed the cap on the acorn, holding for a moment to secure.  Make sure to not add too much glue each time or it can ooze out of the cap and onto the acorn.  After a minute or so, they are ready to hang!

Making glitter acorns for the holidays

Fall decorating with giltter acorns

Glitter acorns for fall

These acorns are so pretty and great as a stand alone decoration using a vase with tree branches.  They can also be used as Christmas tree ornaments or as cute accessories tied to a Christmas present.  For now, our are adorning the entry table by the front door as a cute rustic “tree”.

Fall decorating with a giltter acorn tree