DIY Turkey Shirt

I actually had planned to post about Halloween but then so much time passed that I’ve moved on to Thanksgiving!  I think maybe I’ll go back and post about the kids costumes in December haha.

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Even though Thanksgiving is still a little less than a week away we will be leaving tomorrow to spend the week with our family in Florida.  So, for me, today is pretty last-minute to decide on making shirts for my kids for Thanksgiving.  But such is me.  Granted, I had thought about it for the past week but didn’t get things together until this morning.  I thought (like I do) that I must have some things around the house that I can slap together to do this.  Turned out I did!

 

 

 

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I had two white shirts that are ill-fitting and stained anyway so why not try to do something with them?

 

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I had a bunch of different felt and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it yet.  I didn’t have any “traditional” Thanksgiving colors in my stash.  But I decided I was going to make some kind of turkey on both shirts.  I also had a brown felt leftover from my daughters first Halloween when I made her a cupcake.

 

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I literally looked around my kitchen to find something I could use to make the turkey body.  I’m not that good at free handing shapes especially circles.  I had a scrap piece of construction paper and I used a top to a sugar container and a top to a sweet tea I had a couple of days ago.  These things were on their way to the recycling bin.

 

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I used the template I made and traced it on the felt.

 

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I free hand drew some turkey feather shapes onto another scrap construction paper and placed them until I found the shape and size I thought worked well.  I actually didn’t go with this shape-I ended up making a longer one.  Used the feather template on the felt and cut them out.

 

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I loved the psychedelic felt so I used that.  I wanted to put something like “I aint no jive turkey!” on it but I didn’t want to ruin it!  I had some orange ribbon and a pink felt that I used for the beak, legs and whatever you call that hangy thing.  I used a sharpie to make the eyes but I’m still looking around my house for some googly eyes or fun buttons to put on for eyes.

I feel like it’s another successful thrown together hot mess!  Oh, and I literally Elmer glued this on so I hope it lasts till Thursday!!

 

School Fall Party

Since we’re still new to town and I’m on a mission to “put myself out there”, I thought I’d push past my social anxiety and I thought a good way to do that was to sign up to be room parent for my 4 yr old daughters class.  I thought there would be no way I could not meet anyone.  I signed up at open house and only saw maybe one other name for her class.  All summer passed and school had started and I didn’t hear anything about it.  A few more days into school and I get an email from the room mom.  Bummer.  I thought “well that sucks for me” but really I think it was a good thing.  My 17 month old son really does not allow me to do anything.  Yes, allow.  It’s getting better but I’m not an organized person by nature plus the fact that I swear each kid has taken 1/3 of my brain with them from birth-makes for probably not the best choice for room parent.  I did volunteer to help with the fall party though.  Her school doesn’t celebrate any holidays per say but they have fall celebrations and winter celebrations. They needed “fun fall decorations” for the party and I said I’d get them.  My first choice the dollar store was out of everything!

decorI headed to michaels where everything is half off and got some leaves, garland, a shiny wide mesh ribbon? (I was going to use as a table runner) and a scarecrow.

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Also, I had a “brilliant” idea to collect pinecones with the family and somehow use them for the party.  I lined some baking sheets with aluminum foil and baked them for about 20 mins on 400 degrees.  This was to get all the yuckiness out of them.

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I found this glitter paint in my stash and my daughter and I painted the edges of the pinecones.

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They were pretty but I felt like they needed something else.

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I saw some yarn wrapped pinecones on pinterest and gave it a try.  I had a yellow yarn and a cool fall colored yarn with pom poms on it.  My daughter did one and lost interest.

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Found this fallen tree branch on my front lawn and made a mobile.

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Hung the pinecones from the branch.

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I kept the yarn long on top because I wasn’t sure if it would fit in the classroom and if I had to adjust the length.  But this is the finished product-besides the fact that one of the other moms thought it was a project that the kids did…it served it’s purpose.  It was a fall decoration that was put up in the room for the party.  I did notice it was promptly taken down after the party.

 

4 Fun Fall Activities for Kids

 

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I only get a small time with my daughter on weekdays while my youngest naps to do activities that are just for us.  It’s hard to get anything done when my youngest is awake and wreaking havoc all over the house.  Since October is quickly leaving us (sniff, sniff) I figured I better get in some crafting while I can!  I didn’t want to waste much time so I found things I already had around the house and turned them into some fun activities.

I also want to say that I don’t make my daughter do anything.  I suggest projects and show her things and it’s up to her if she wants to do it.  I would love to show you beautiful projects where everything is perfect but that’s not reality-not for us anyway.  Her attention span is that of an average 4 yr old and her skills as well.  She creates for as long or as short as she wants.  It’s about the process not the predetermined outcome.  You want your kids to enjoy what they’re doing not grow to hate it because you micromanaged them to death.  Ok-I’m stepping off my soapbox now!

Cupcake Liner Ghosts

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I had these cupcake wrappers that I saved-they were the liners of the foil wrappers and I’ve just never been sure what you’re suppose to do with them. Do you keep them in?  Can you use them separately? Ahh, guess I’ll never know so might as well use them for some kid projects!

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We decided on making a little ghost scene.

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My girl usually goes sans pants so I got lucky today.

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Also got a little fine motor action going by having her squeeze the glue bottle herself.

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Glued those ghosties down.  This ghost reminds me of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin!

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Lovely ghost scene–the “normal” faced ghost is mine!

Tissue Paper Ghost

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I have a ton of white tissue paper left over from my daughters 4th birthday party so I grabbed some and cut up some random squares.

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I have little to no drawing ability so here is my attempt at a ghost-sorta looks like one of the pac man ghosts.  I used chalk and my daughter added the facial features and hair-because duh.

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Again, using some fine motor skills she rolled and scrunched up the paper into balls and used a glue stick to stick them on.

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Pretty fast and simple and you could always then cut this out of the paper and hang it somewhere so its floating like a ghost!  Next time I’ll use a paper plate or card stock so its more sturdy.

Fall Tree

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I just drew a tree with no leaves on it and told her she could fill in the leaves with the fall colored paints.

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My daughter loves to paint and spent a good amount of time doing this.  She even noticed that the yellow started looking green-and I was like wow probably from the yellow paint sitting on top of the blue paper!  I was genuinely surprised haha.

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I didn’t wait for it to dry!

Ghost/Mummy/Fall Goop

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 This last activity is more of a sensory activity then a craft.  Mixing shaving cream and baking soda together you can get different types of goop.  Depending on how much of each you put you can end up having a mold-able dough.

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The expanding fluffiness of shaving cream is just so fun and makes you want to jump in it!

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Next time I’ll definitely use a bigger container.

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After my daughter was getting finished using the shaving cream/baking soda mixture I thought it would be fun to do some color mixing.

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I added the rest of the baking soda to get more of that mold-able consistency.

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Once she was getting over that, we added one more thing-vinegar!

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Who doesn’t love some science!

I hope you enjoy your children with some of the easy and fast activities-of course the worst part is the clean up!

10 Indoor Activities for Rainy Days

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First off, we are a t.v. watching family.  It’s not something I’m very proud of but I’ve more or less made my peace with it.  I grew up on a lot of t.v. and I try to do my best to not sit my kids in front of it but sometimes things just have to get done around here and that’s really one of the only ways it can happen.  I know a lot of judgy moms will get worked up reading that but I don’t care (you know life being short and all)!  I make sure my kids don’t watch “inappropriate” things and try my best to (sometimes) make it educational.  Also I try to engage with them about what they’re watching whenever possible so it’s not just this static, brainless thing they are doing.  Rainy days when we’re stuck in the house are the extra hard days to keep them busy.  Usually on rainy days I pretty much forego any chores that we can go without for the day so that I can whip out the more messy activities and focus on just being with the kids.  Being that I was a preschool teacher in another life I usually have a good handful of ideas at the ready. Here are just 10 to get you going!

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Repurposing Puff Containers for Bowling

I keep almost everything-it’s actually a bit of a problem but anyway…starting back when my 4 yr old was younger and obsessed with puffs I would save the containers and turn them into games for her.  You just have to line them up and grab a nice soft ball to use as the bowling bowl and knock them down!  You can keep them empty for the younger kids and for the older ones you can put some sand or rice in them so they are a little harder to knock down.  Also, you can cut pictures from magazines or draw your own and tape them on to the containers to tie into a theme or even for a party you can put in small prizes and reward them for whichever they knock down.  There are endless possibilities with these.

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Crepe Paper Maze

Especially good if you have a hallway or some narrow space.  You just get some crepe paper streamers from the dollar store and just tape them in a hallway at various heights and have your kids try to crawl through/over the streamers without breaking or ripping through.

sillyputtySilly Putty

Good for fine motor skills (strengthening hands) and fun by rolling up the putty and using as a rubber ball or great when making newspaper prints.

 

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Ooblek

All you need for this “goop” is cornstarch and water.  You can start with some water in a bowl or whichever container you have and add the cornstarch until you get a gooey consistency it should feel like a solid when trying to pick up and a liquid when it is in your hands-very cool and you can add food coloring and add some color mixing fun to it.  Also, science!

 

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Playdough

Adding household items to this can make this activity feel special-using real spoons, bowls cookie cutters for example.

 

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Paper Plate Skating

All you need are a few paper plates and the kids just have to step on them and push their feet and “skate” around.

 

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Playing with Packing Peanuts

Make Angels/Snow Fight and when you’re done you can “melt” them in water-mega points for being eco-friendly!

 

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Make your own books

Using a piece of construction paper for the cover and pieces of loose-leaf or white construction paper for the inside where they will draw/write-can staple or tape together-your kids will treasure these homemade books!

 

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Card Games

And also found at the dollar store you can find character cards and just play a good old fashion matching game or go fish.

 

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Board Games

Depending on the age of your kids will determine what kind of games you may play.  Two of our favorites are Candyland and Trouble-really any game that can help teach taking turns and good sportsmanship are awesome.

 

I hope some of these can help you when you’re panicked and trapped in the house all day! Even with all these suggestions it’s still pretty rough going at my house so good luck!

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

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So to go along with the pumpkin everything way I’ve been living lately, I figured I’d do another muffin since they’re popular in my house-but add some apples!

 

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Here are most of the ingredients that I planned on putting in the muffins.  Just forget the pecans and the confectioners sugar because I forgot/ran out of time to make a fancier topping!  Also, I ended up only using 2 of the apples.

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The recipe called to mix the wet ingredients first but while I was waiting for the butter to melt I decided I would mix the dry ingredients and put them to the side until they were needed.

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Whisk together two eggs, and the sugars.

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Add in the flavorings: the spices and pumpkin.

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It looked and smelled like pumpkin pie!

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Add the dry mixture to the wet and do not over mix.

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Mix until combined.

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Fold in the apples.

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Mix together the streusel topping.

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I was really rushing now and should have mixed my streusel topping better so that it’s more crumbly.

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Fill almost to top.

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Struesel on top.

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The recipe made 16 for me.  I put 4 in another tin and had them on the bottom rack of the oven and those four all burned on the bottom.

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Also some of this.

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The other 12 came out pretty good!

They weren’t that sweet so a perfect breakfast muffin.  My kids loved them!

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
Servings
Ingredients
Wet Ingredients:
Flavorings:
Dry Ingredients:
Stir-Ins:
Streusel:
Servings
Ingredients
Wet Ingredients:
Flavorings:
Dry Ingredients:
Stir-Ins:
Streusel:
Instructions
  1. Mix Wet Ingredients: Whisk 2 eggs with 48g granulated sugar (4 tablespoons) and 48g brown sugar (4 tablespoons). Whisk in 112g (8 tablespoons) melted butter. Whisk in 1 cup milk.
  2. Add Flavorings: Stir in 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir in 1 teaspoon ground ginger. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice. Stir in 1 cup canned pumpkin. Stir well until smooth.
  3. Add Dry Ingredients: Combine dry ingredients: 270g (about 2 cups) all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients briefly until just incorporated.
  4. Add Stir-Ins: Peel and dice 2 apples. Fold into batter. (NOTE: adjust stir-in amount to taste.)
  5. Bake: Spoon into prepared muffin cups or loaf pan(s). Mix 48g brown sugar (4 tablespoons), 24g white sugar (2 tablespoons), 28g butter (2 tablespoons), 70g flour ( 1/2 cup) plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle over top. Bake at 375 until a toothpick comes away dry or with a few moist crumbs when inserted in the center (typically 15-25 minutes for muffins, longer for loaves).
Recipe Notes

Muffin Recipe Generator

A great website where you can click on the ingredients you have or want in your muffin and they calculate the amounts for you!

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Transform a Dollar Store Pumpkin

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I’ve seen a lot of amazing projects using dollar store pumpkins.  I got one last week to see what fast project I could come up with.  My husband I didn’t want to spend too much and this ended up costing only $3.00!

 

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Grabbed one of these pumpkins from dollar tree not knowing what I was going to do with it.

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I also grabbed this witch headband because I’m going to actually use the headband part for my daughters Halloween costume.  For some reason when I got home I just put the headband on the pumpkin and I thought it was so cute!

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After fooling with it for a few minutes I thought it was cute enough and was done.

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I found these rub on transfer letters that I bought from the dollar spot at Target a few weeks ago and thought maybe they’d transfer onto the Styrofoam pumpkin.  I had no idea what else I was going to do with them so I figured I’d just do it and see. dsp5

I cut out the letters I needed.  I decided on “Happy Fall” but kinda wish I would have brainstormed that a bit and come up with something better.

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Placed the first letter with one hand and rubbed with a stick that came with the package I transferred the letter on.

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It worked!

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Kinda wonky but still cute!!

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It’s a cute addition to my little fall display I have on my counter.  This is one of the only places in the house I can put anything because -kids.  I think I’ll make a post about the other things I have on my counter-but that can only happen when I clean the other crap off the counter so I can take pictures!  Don’t hold your breathe on that one!

 

DIY Pumpkin Spice Playdough

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I love fall.  Ever since I was a kid it’s always been my favorite time of year.  The sights, sounds and smells have always been comforting to me and remind me of happy memories.  I hope to make the same happy memories with my kids.  My daughter and I celebrated the last day of September by making our own pumpkin spice scented playdough.

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Gathering up the supplies-flour, salt, cream of tarter, pumpkin spice ( or combo of cloves, all spice, cinnamon), oil and water.

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Had my daughter put everything in the pot with the assist from some trader joes halloween potato “chips”.

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Being oh so careful I had her start to stir everything together on low heat.  She soon got tired of waiting and stirring so she went and had a leftover popsicle I made during the summer-wait this is a fall playdough and she’s eating popsicle’s? well yes.

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I ended up adding more cinnamon to the mix because I didn’t feel the pumpkin spice was potent enough-probably had to do with it being expired-oops! Stirred until mixture came together and was no longer sticky or gummy.

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The dough will be a little hottish and warm so without hurting yourself start kneading the dough until its fully combined and smooth.

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We wanted orange dough to go with the pumpkin spice so we added food coloring but you can leave it as is of course.

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Making playdough is such a great fine motor activity.  Really strengthens their tiny hands-plus so much fun!

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It’s a little subtle but definitely in the orange family-I was getting tired from kneading and I didn’t want my daughter to lose interest before we even got into playing so I made an executive decision that this was the perfect color!

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I’m pretty happy with this recipe-the dough came out great and now we have a pretty good sized batch to play with for the next few weeks.

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Really started feeling like fall with the pumpkin spice scent filling the house!

 

Recipe:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons cream of tarter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • however much spice you want

Mix and cook the above on low heat until non sticky dough consistency.  Knead out until smooth.  Optional-add food coloring after cooled and knead in dough until combined.

Recipe: Sweet Tea

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I am not originally from the South-I am from Long Island (think what you will haha).  I loved iced tea.  I would make pitchers of it in the summer.  These pitchers were made with tubs of powdered mix like 4c or Lipton.  I had no idea the wonders of sweet tea that awaited me when I moved to Florida.  There I experienced my first McDonald’s sweet tea and boy oh boy an addict was born!  I use to get these almost any chance I got.  In fact, when I was in the hospital after my daughter was born, I specifically requested McDonald’s sweet tea since I gave up all caffeine while pregnant.  It’s been maybe close to 10 years now that I’ve been drinking sweet tea.  I have since given up (almost) all fast food and alas I haven’t had a McDonald’s sweet tea in probably 4 years.  I have really tried to become healthier since my daughter was born and I’ve done an ok job at doing so.  But, I do still order sweet tea when we go out to eat-which we do at least one time every weekend and I also make it at home.  Now that I’m “healthier” I order “half sweet/half unsweet” sweet tea and make it at home with much less sugar.  I know it’s fall and everyone is gearing up for hot drinks but I have sweet tea all year long.

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I always use Luzianne brand tea, I think it tastes best but of course you can use whatever you have on hand as long as it says you can use it for iced tea.
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Boil 2 cups of water.

 

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I saw on Pinterest that the secret ingredient to great sweet tea was a little baking soda in the pitcher.  I’ve been doing this and I think it does help to make it taste better.  I put about 1/8th teaspoon.

 

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I sprinkle the baking soda in the bottom of the pitcher and usually put 3-4 family sized tea bags and pour the boiling water over them, cover it and let it sit for 10-20 mins depending on how strong you want it.

 

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You can add as much sugar as you’d like depending on taste-I usually put up to 2/3 a cup of sugar.

 

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Stir the sugar to dissolve and then add 6 cups of cold water and throw it in the fridge until fully chilled.

 

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Fill up a tall glass with ice and enjoy!  Mason jars makes it taste better =)

 

Ingredients:

For my 2 quart pitcher:

3-4 Family size tea bags

2 cups boiling water

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup sugar

6 cups cold water

 

DIY Fall Wreath

 

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Here’s a fast wreath that I did for our front door.  I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get any wreath done so I kinda slapped this together so that I would have SOMETHING up for the first day of fall.  So, yes I actually have had this up on my door for a little whiles and just getting to posting about it-oops!!

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I got this wreath on sale at Joanns last year-and it was totally worth the maybe $8.00 I spent on it because I have used it for almost every holiday in some way.

I got a package of glittery fake fall leaves from the dollar store and thought maybe I could just combine the two in some way that will look ok.

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I thought it did look pretty ok considering I wasn’t willing to put too much work into it-also the glitter was getting EVERYWHERE so I was pretty much done with it.  I saw how it looked from the street and I just thought meh.  It didn’t really stand out in anyway.

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I added our letter that I painted last year and also added this chalkboard pumpkin with the word “fall” on it.  Scored that pumpkin in the clearance section last year after Halloween.  After looking at it for a little while I thought it looked too busy-still not sure!

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How it stands right now-took the pumpkin down and left like this.  I have some other things I may add to it.  I think this will be a work in progress as the fall goes on!

edit: 9/28 I already changed around the wreath because I just wasn’t happy with it!

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I had this chevron ribbon that I quickly and I do mean quickly fashioned into a bow and literally used scotch tape to just hold it together-I also had some scraps of orange tulle and wrapped it around the middle to somewhat connect it to fall and the “G”. I also found these pine cones and random orange flowers in my fall decorations and stuck it with those same dollar store leaves.  I’m really loving how quirky it is with the non matching bow!  I can’t believe that I threw this together in no time and really just using scotch tape for the bow and “G”.  We’ll see how long this all lasts!

DIY Plywood Sign

I love wood signs of all shapes and sizes and fonts and colors..etc you get it I like signs.  I’ve been dying to make my own for a while now and I finally got to it.  I didn’t have any of the supplies or time to do what I really wanted so I just did what I could.  Our upstairs kids/guest bathroom is in dire need of some kind of makeover but until we can do that I figured I could give it a sprucing by just adding some kind of wall art.  Enter this sign.
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I went to Lowes and looked for the cheapest piece of wood I could oh and I had my kids who as per usual were in no mood to browse.  I found this 2 x 2 piece of plywood for about $3.50 and thought why not-if it doesn’t work out I at least didn’t spend too much.

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Got it home and tried to scrounge up some other supplies to make this sign happen.  Luckily I still had some white acrylic paint that I’ve been using for everything lately and I happened to have just bought a beautiful blue/green sea color from target for a dollar!  The board I got had a little cherry hue to it that I didn’t want for that room so I made my own white wash.  I got a paper cup and put maybe 5 drops of the white paint in it and added a little water till I got it to a consistency that I liked.

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I only wanted to cover it up a little and get the red out so I didn’t go crazy.  It dried very quickly which is great when you have no time to wait and are so impatient like me!  I used my reusable stencils and tried coming up with an expression that I knew I wouldn’t get sick of.  I remembered seeing on pinterest or etsy signs with “so fresh and so clean clean” on it and knew I HAD to have it.  I arranged the letters a few different ways until I thought they were in a pretty good spot and I used a pencil to lightly sketch out the words.

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I had a teeny tiny paintbrush and used that to fill in the words.  When I do this again I will definitely slow down and maybe measure where the words go so I don’t end up with some uneven words (like I did here).

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I would have had this project done and hanging up in one day but I had nothing to hang it with.  After a few days and a trip to get some command strips I finally put up the sign.

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I love how fast and easy this was.  The only thing I’m disappointed in is the lack of total bathroom transformation that I thought would happen once I put the sign up haha.  Lots to do in that bathroom but I guess one thing is done so yay!  There are about a thousand things that are “wrong” with this sign-but I did it and did it cheap!  And I love it!