Friday Wrap: Things That Made Me Laugh

When given a choice between a funny show or drama, I’m going funny every time. I love to laugh. And when I find myself taking life too seriously, a good dose of humor helps every time.

Here are a few things that made me giggle this week. >>

{ONE}  My Dog, Leo

Sometimes he does naughty things that make me want to cry. (Remember the gel pen incident?) But he also makes me laugh…quite a bit. 

Look at that sleepy boy. He fell asleep on Brandon’s leg and was snoring up a storm with his mouth wide open. Dogs can be total day makers.

{TWO} More Funny Sleeping Positions

OMG, these pictures are awesome. This guy took pictures of his wife on pretty much all of their road trips, and she is sound asleep – and in all kinds of funny positions. I’m assuming she’s a good sport about it. At least I would be. And this pretty much could be me. Something about the gentle hum of an engine…total lullaby!

Anyway, check out the gallery here.

{THREE} Febrezing

“YES!!! Wine and Febreze!” Haha! Now, that’s my kind of cleaning.

This also made me laugh because I saw our cleaning crew at work doing this one night. True story. One of the ladies was just walking up and down the halls spraying a trail of Febreze behind her. She was like, “Welp, that’s clean now.” Lol!!

{FOUR} Jimmy Fallon’s #FitnessFails

Every week Jimmy Fallon creates a hashtag and asks people to post something about that topic. This week was “FitnessFails.”

Oh, man. There some funny ones in the thread. Here’s a little sample for ya. >>

My personal fitness fail? When my kids were babies (3 under the age of 3), the only reason I went to the gym was so I could check the kids in the daycare and take a shower!!

Also related to the topic of fitness fails…

And this…

And this…yes I do…

{FIVE} Ellen’s Game of Games

Have you seen this new show? It’s laugh-out-loud funny. Like, I was cry-laughing watching it this week.

It’s a game show that consists of crazy challenges like Blindfolded Musical Chairs, Dizzy Dash, Bet Your Wife, and Scary Go Round. Contestants are pulled from the audience, and if they win their challenge, they move on to the final round and a chance to win $100,000. I honestly can’t do it justice by describing it. You must see for yourself.

***

That’s a wrap! Have an awesome weekend – and at least one moment where you laugh until you cry. 😉

XoXo,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with these amazing bloggers again. Be sure to check them out.

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Things I Tried This Week

Well, this was a week of some firsts. Not intentionally, either. I just happened to find myself with a few new things and experiences. Some I’d even recommend!

Here’s the rundown…

{ONE} Rockin’ Rose Gold Shoes

Ok, so my husband isn’t the biggest fan of these, and I couldn’t tell if my son was making fun of me when he said, “Hey, mom. I like your shiny bowling shoes!” But both of my daughters LOVE them. And so do I.

That’s all that really matters, right?

I was downright pumped when these metallic oxfords arrived in the mail, so I promptly wore them all day…and then to work the next day. And I have them on now. They’re super comfy.

Where did these beauties come from?

I ordered them from Jane.com, which showcases thousands of smaller boutiques in one handy spot. So while I ordered on Jane, the shoes actually came from SunnyMIA. (Here’s a fun collection of all of their oxfords.)

{TWO} Finding A New Use for Lens Wipes

Whatever possessed me to buy a box of 200 pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes from Sam’s Club two years ago, I will never know. (Yes, two years. And I probably have 150 wipes still left in the box.) Apparently we don’t clean our glasses very often.

As chance would have it, this week kicked off with Clean Off Your Desk Day. And one of the random items I cleaned off (moved, rather) was this giant ass box of wipes. And right there on the package it says “great for electronics.” What?!

Why didn’t I see or realize this sooner? Not that I’d wipe my phone or computer keyboard any more frequently than I do my glasses, but now I have more opportunities to use these handy wipes. Game changer, people.

So now, I’m like, “Hey, [insert any of my co-worker’s names here]. Need your keyboard cleaned? I have 149 wipes if you do.”

I love finding new uses for old things. <3

{THREE} Drinkin’ Up to Slim Down

According to Dr. Oz, drinking apple cider vinegar with pineapple juice is going to get me into a bikini again. Hahahahaha!

Seriously, though. I’m giving it a try. Because, well, why not. The Wizard of Dr. Oz says you’re supposed to drink 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 4 oz of pineapple juice (or orange juice) before every meal. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not the most awesome taste in your mouth. It’s vinegar. But I’m giving it a solid effort.

Oh, and something I’d recommend if you’re going to try this, too, is getting these mini shots of apple cider vinegar. You can stash them in your purse so it’s easier to have on-the-go. And they come with the “mother,” which might need to be a whole ‘nother discussion.

{FOUR} Not Crying During “This Is Us”

I tried. But it’s simply not possible for me to keep it together during this television show. It’s so REAL. I should have known it was going to be extra, since it was the season opener and all.

This week they finally got back to Kevin and his addiction issues, which ended up pulling the whole family right in – especially the mom, Rebecca.

I think the reason it was so hard to watch (without crying) was because it brought up so many of the worries I have as a mother, like, “Am I providing enough guidance, but giving them enough room to grow? Am I enabling bad behaviors? Am I playing favorites without meaning to?” All of these issues played out this week on the screen as Kevin confronted his family. Wow, it was tough love.

Did you see it? What were your thoughts?

All I know is I need to buy stock in Kleenex, because they’re probably selling thousands of boxes each Tuesday in preparation for the cry fest. Sigh.

{FIVE} A Hanacure Facial

{This is the full kit. It has beautiful packaging and works like a DIY science experiment.}

My sweet friend, Anna, tried one of these a few weeks ago and she loved the results!! She was brave enough to show me a “during” picture, too. I decided to give it a go, and it was strange and amazing all at the same time.

After you scientifically mix all of the ingredients, you “paint” the product on, then let it dry like a shrinky dink on your face. It was the weirdest, tingling and tightening sensation. It “pulled” my skin so much that I couldn’t even blink!

Once I washed it off, though, it was like magic. Instant smooth skin and smaller pores. You should totally try it – even if it’s just for the experience alone.

That’s a wrap for this fantastic Friday. I’ll see you next week with some inspiration, discoveries and lots of other ramblings. 😉

XoXo,

Kate

PS. Be sure to check out these linkups for fashion, fun, family stuff, and friendships!

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Things That Make You Say, “Yay!”

What a whirlwind of a week! During the course of taking down Christmas decorations, sending kids back to school, heading back to work, and dealing with a few messes along the way, I managed to find a few delightful discoveries…

{ONE} Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

This is the “after” photo.

Naughty, naughty Leo found a purple gel pen in the girls’ backpack and decided to chew on it until it exploded. He also thought it would be fun to shake his head with the pen in his mouth so the ink would fling all over the carpet.

Oh, and he carried the pen to our bedroom where we have brand new carpet…that’s white. Yeah, there’s that.

After the immediate wave of horror, Brandon helped me Google WTH to do in this situation. It turns out, dabbing rubbing alcohol on the stain will pull it up from the fibers. Then follow it up with warm water. I’d say we got 90% of the stains out.

One small spot (where the initial explosion took place) was so full of ink, we had to call in the professionals. They used their magic potion (which turned out to have an alcohol base) to get the rest out. I’m finally breathing some sweet relief. Alcohol to the rescue. Lol!

{TWO} Burning Serious Calories Cleaning the House

As I’m making plans to exercise more (because resolutions) I stumbled upon an article that basically shows me how to multi-task like a champ.

According to this list, I can burn 119 calories in 30 min by vacuuming the house. And…I can burn more than 160 calories in 30 min washing windows. So now I be like…

And then there’s this article that explains if you simply believe cleaning is a form of exercise, you can lose more weight. Powerful stuff. I’m going to believe cheesecake is a health food! #wishfulthinking?

{THREE} Pretty Winter Decorations

We took down all of the Christmas decor this week, which means now our house feels empty. Isn’t that such a funny phenomenon? The house feels so drab – when it was perfectly fine before the decorations went up. Maybe it’s the cold weather outside?

One thing that helps me through the doldrums is forcing bulbs. It adds life and color to the house. These are paperwhites I grew last year. >

I’m excited to try a new trick this year and dress up the vases with sweaters. Look!!

Aren’t these darling? I plan to take a trip to our local thrift store this weekend to upcycle some sleeves.

Another post-holiday tip: If you remove all of the red decorations from your Christmas decor and keep all of the greenery and other wintery, white touches, it keeps the place looking pretty until the spring thaw!

Here are a few inspiring pics:

{FOUR} The Bachelor: Season 22

The Bachelor kicked off this week, and it’s still one of my guilty pleasures. I know…these shows are completely ridiculous, which is why I love to watch them.

And these hilarious and honest write ups are worth a read each week.

{FIVE} Day Designer: Week One in the Books!

I really do love my planner, and I was super excited to spend this first week of the year filling in dates and plannin’ my dreams in this beauty.

I went with a pretty blue pattern this year and am loving the decision. >

{Order yours here!} #affiliate

That’s a wrap. Yay!

Okay, what’s on your list? Name at least ONE thing that made you happy this week!

Blessings,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with these amazing bloggers again. Be sure to check them out.

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Who Lit Your Day? Finding Light in Everyday Circumstances

Avery came home from school with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn’t wait to tell me about a kid who went out of his way to ask how she was doing. She said, “Mom, he really lit my day!”

I loved that phrase.

And come to find out, that day wasn’t particularly awesome for her. She went on to tell me about a girl who was mean to her and how she was stressed about some of her classes. But she seemed to keep those things in perspective. She talked more about how cool it was that someone “lit her day.”

Talk about filling up a mama’s heart. Not only because of that sweet boy, but also because of my strong, optimistic daughter who saw his goodness and allowed it to brighten her entire day.

It can be easy to get sucked into the negative – especially when there’s no shortage of it these days. But it’s much more productive to look for the good, the courageous, the kind, and the meaningful events around us.

The things we focus on expand in our lives.

So in order to live a more joyful life, paying attention to the positive seems to be the fastest route there.

I took Avery’s lesson and reflected on my week…looking for the light. And here are my top five moments. >>

{ONE} A Cup of KindnessA cup of kindness

The first thing that came to mind happened just this morning!

When I shuffled over to the Keurig to make some coffee, I found a freshly brewed cup waiting for me – in my “Special K” mug. It was such a sweet, quiet gesture by my husband that definitely lit my day. Dang, he’s good.

{TWO} A Moment of PrideA moment of pride

My son, Evan, is required to complete service hours for school. As we were brainstorming ideas, such as volunteering in the school library, he decided he wanted to do something more personal – like help a neighbor.

Well, we have an elderly neighbor who can’t drive, and her husband is in a nursing home, so I take her over to see him twice a week. I’ve been doing this for a little over a year now, and we’ve developed quite a friendship. One day, she mentioned how she hated her phone because she didn’t now how to use it. I told Evan about her comment, and he decided to give her phone lessons as his service project!

They had their first session this week. Seeing him sit patiently with her and teaching her how to “tap on apps” was such a great experience. Even though he was helping someone else, it lit me up inside to see his kindness.

{THREE} A Blast from the PastA blast from the past with friends

One of my dearest friends, whom I haven’t talked to in awhile, reached out to me recently. It was so nice hearing from her. She’s one of those friends that you can pick up where you left off, no matter how many months or miles grow between us.

After we connected, I pulled out some old photo albums. Because I actually had those back then. I found pictures from our girls’ trip to Germany. This picture of Kristina, DeeAnn and I above is one of my favorites. It shows exactly how we felt together…full of pure, unleashed joy. Always laughing, getting into mischief, and having each other’s backs, no matter what.

These ladies always light me up when we’re together. And it makes me want to go see them right now!!

{FOUR} An Unsuspecting QuoteBook: Today, Tomorrow and Every Day

This book has been on my “to read” list for awhile. I first saw it in a boutique in Seaside, Florida this summer and finally got around to ordering a copy. It’s called “Today, Tomorrow and Every Day” by M.H. Clark.

It’s a quick read and unfolds like a poem…using the terms “she” and “her” throughout. But as you get into it, you recognize “her” as yourself.

I had a moment of recognition when I read this page > Quote about perfection

As a recovering perfectionist, this really spoke to me. I strive to be more authentic and unapologetic every day. So this was gem. This author, this book, this page…all beams of light for me.

{FIVE} A Teddy Bear WelcomeTeddy bear welcome committeeOur cleaning lady, Brigida, and her fierce crew, whom I appreciate beyond words, are so good to our family and our home. They don’t just clean and move like ninjas, they leave little surprises for us…like this hilarious welcome committee above. Cleaning days are such a highlight, and yesterday was especially bright.

That’s a wrap! What special moments or people lit your week? Maybe take a moment to let them know – and light them up, too. <3

Many blessings,

Kate

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Top 5 Holiday Gifts for Tween Girls

As a mom of twin tween girls, I continue to learn what’s cool lit these days. It’s a never ending process, as things can turn from amazing to boring in a hot minute.

But, I have some good news for the upcoming holiday season!

According to my sources, the following items would make pretty much any girl between the ages of 9-12 happy campers come Christmas morning.

So…if you still have some shopping to do for the sweet little girls in your life (who are teetering on becoming full-fledged teens) you can start here!

(PS. I don’t have any affiliation with these products or stores, so it’s truly non-solicited.)

{ONE} Personalized PopSocket

A pop what?! PopSocket…it’s a phone grip, stand and mount – all in one. I didn’t realize how much I needed one of these until I recently bought one. It’s so much easier to hold your phone. Really, truly.

Here’s a good look at one. The bottom sticks right to your phone. And your fingers grip around the base. You can also get a mount for your car dashboard. But my girls aren’t driving, yet. We’ll hold on that – for as long as humanly possible!! >>
I know the girls will love having them for their silly selfies and Musical.ly videos. It makes a big difference for the reach-and-record. 🙂

Another cool thing about this brand is that they give to Parkinson’s research. Don’t you love supporting brands that give back?

PopSocket offers lots of fun designs, but I decided to go the custom route.

I uploaded a pic of Avery’s favorite bear (Mr. Fluffers) and made this for her. She’s going to freak smooth out. >>

Clara is more into monogrammed items…my Southern belle. So I hopped over to this darling store on Etsy to have one customized for her.

{TWO} Unicorn Fizzy Bath Dust

This gift is super girly and combines two favorite hits for tweens right now: unicorns and bath bombs! As a side note, anything with unicorns is “totally and utterly amazing.” And here’s a list to check out.

This fizzy dust is more like a deconstructed bath bomb. It comes loose in a plastic (non-breakable) jar that you can keep right on the ledge of the bathtub and scoop as desired.

Once this stuff hits the water, it releases a fruity fragrance. And more importantly, it FIZZLES in the water like some sort of magic potion!!

We bought a jar at a local boutique, but you can also get it here.

{THREE} Squishies

Clara has always had a funny obsession with squishing things. When she was a baby, I’d catch her squeezing packages of bread in the store as I wheeled her stroller through the aisle. Still cracks me up. So the invention of “squishies” is so up her alley.

Plus they’re adorable! >>

I don’t even know how the girls discovered these, but they wanted to give some to a friend for her birthday. I ordered online and when they arrived, we almost had to keep the gift.

It’s super calming and satisfying to squeeze these things – and to watch them slooooooowly go back to their original shape. My girls think it’s more fun than playing with slime (which is still a thing, too!)

PS. Slime ingredients make great stocking stuffers. (We don’t use the Borax recipe…we use use clear glue, baking soda, contact solution and food coloring / glitter for accents.)

{FOUR} Animal Onesies

This has been a longer-lasting trend than I had anticipated. The girls wanted bear onesies last year. We found some that were more like coats than jammies, though. They’re pretty thick. In fact, they wore them for Halloween with homemade TY-brand tags. Haha!!

Anyway, they wanted new ones to wear to bed, and the search was so much easier this year. (Trending, I guess!) I ended up finding these darling jams from Justice. >>

{FIVE} Board Games

While iPads and apps are still a source of entertainment for the girls and their friends, ol’ fashioned board games are making a huge comeback.

Here are a few on our gift list. >>

Spontuneous – No talent required, this song filled game capitalizes on the random lyrics that get stuck in your head. It’s a race to blurt out and play a crazy, updated version of Name That Tune but with lyrics as the challenge. It was the #2 Amazon bestseller last year, and is still wildly popular.

Not Parent Approved – Think Cards Against Humanity but in a clean, kid appropriate version. Crazy laughs and memories waiting to be made.

Hearing Things – Just new this year, this game is a lip reading challenge that involves wearing special headphones. Players take turns wearing noise cancelling headphones and have to guess what the other player is saying, as they read the phrases on the cards. Sounds sure to get lots of laughs – which is music to a mama’s ears.

That’s a wrap! What fun items would you add to this list?

XoXo with smiley emojis on top,

Kate

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LHOTW (Life Hacks of the Week)

It’s one of those “other” days, y’all. As my sweet Southern friends and I would say, “I’m praisin’ the Lord it’s Friday.”

That and, “Where’s my margarita?”

Somehow I managed to squeak by this week…even with a sick kid, no voice from a nagging cough, a full work schedule, and Christmas inching closer. Eek!

Thanks to a few glorious hacks, I found my way to Friday with some sanity in tact. Or at least I think so?

Here are five life hacks I relied on this week:

{ONE} Sunglasses Holder > Cord Wrangler

On Monday, I got to work and realized I didn’t have my phone charger or earbuds…oh, my!

When I got home, I made a little cord wrangler using one of my sunglasses cases. I know, first-world problems, but this hack really came in handy.

Oh, and notice I used loom bands to hold the cords together…a hack inside of a hack. >

LOOK! It goes in my purse in a snap. >>

{TWO} Neck Pillow > Stomach Soother

My son came down with the stomach flu early in the week, which was no fun!! Between moments of getting sick, his stomach would cramp up. Poor thing. I didn’t want to leave a heating pad turned on in his room, so I warmed up my neck pillow in the microwave. It fit perfectly across his stomach!

And since it’s filled with lavender, it smelled good and probably helped him get some extra rest along the way.

This is the back side of the pillow, which is silky soft. >

{THREE} Baking Soda > Laundry Detergent

We went to Nebraska last week for Thanksgiving, so we had a decent pile of laundry to clean when we got home. I also wanted to wash my son’s sheets and blankets once he started feeling better to freshen up his room. Needless to say, it was a big laundry week, and I wasn’t quite prepared.

I ran out of detergent at one point and decided to DIY my way through the next load or two until I could get to the store.

Did you know baking soda makes a great detergent? One cup of baking soda did the trick for a full load. I bypassed the soap dispenser and just sprinkled it in with our clothes. They came out clean and smelling fresh.

{FOUR} Appointment Reminder > Library Notice

My girls needed books (ASAP) for their reading assignment at school, so we hauled it over to the library. At the checkout desk, we realized we had a book (or two) overdue. Oops! Why do I always forget about those darn things?

After I paid our fine, I decided to put the due dates for the newly checked items in my phone. I just made myself an appointment to “return books.”

Now our books will be returned on time. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?! >>

{FIVE} Paper Clip > Ornament Hangers

Is it just me, or are there never enough ornament hangers when it’s time to decorate the Christmas tree? As I found myself decorating this week, which was a miracle in and of itself, I realized I was short a few hooks (sounds like a euphemism – haha!) and I didn’t want to run to the store.*

*Do you see a theme with some of these hacks? “Ways to not to have go to the grocery store.”

Anyway, I decided to raid my office supplies. It turns out, paper clips are a gem for the job.

I gently pulled the middle of the clip up, to make it into an “s” shape, like below. Hook the smaller loop through the ornament and use the larger loop for the tree.

That’s a wrap. Enjoy your weekend, lovelies. I hope you get some decorating done, if you haven’t already.

And most importantly, kick those heels up for a spell.

Cheers!

Kate

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Five Personal Ways to Share Kindness

World Kindness Day was on Monday, but we should at least celebrate all week. Right? So it’s not too late to join, if you haven’t already.

Here are five terrific ways to share kindness – and on a very personal level.

Sometimes it’s easier to do random nice things for strangers, like hold a door or share a smile. Isn’t that strange, but true? It takes time and effort to do something extra for the people closest to you.

Hopefully one of these ideas gives you some inspiration. >

{ONE} Notice Them

Yesterday’s post is still sitting deep with me. In my 21-day gratitude challenge, I was asked to think about the people around me whom I might take for granted.

When I started running down my list, I realized a couple of things. One, I have some incredibly awesome people in my life, and two, I probably don’t tell them enough how special they are.

In an effort to share more kindness, I think the simple act of noticing can be huge.

Let your eyes light up when someone walks in the room. Put the phone down, ask about their day, and be present for them. Notice something beautiful about them, and then speak it.

{TWO} Shower Them with Cards

A very kind and inspiring girl from my sorority is fighting colon cancer as we speak. She started chemo treatments last week and needs lots of support and encouragement right now.

One of our sisters decided to organize a card party (with snail mail). She started a Facebook page to get the word out to all of the girls who lived in the Delta Gamma house during the time our friend was there. And she’s encouraging all of us to mail a card, poem, pictures, or any kind of day-maker on Monday. We hope to flood her mailbox with love.

I absolutely ADORE this idea!!

Wouldn’t this be such a great thing to do for anyone special in your life? Pick an unsuspecting day – like not their birthday or anniversary – and organize friends and family to send cards that include special messages.

How fun for them to check their mail?! Not everyone’s letters will arrive on the same day, so it could span a full week.

{THREE} Listen with Love

Everyone needs a friend who can listen…like really set the world aside for a moment and listen. It’s such an important skill, but doesn’t always come naturally.

I recently read an article about “conversational narcissism” and couldn’t believe how many times I’ve done this or had it happen to me!

Here’s how it goes. A friend shares an emotional story, like how their kid got in big trouble at school, and you can tell your friend is embarrassed and pissed at the situation. You find yourself digging through your archives for a similar incident so you can empathize and make her feel better. That’s your intention, anyway.

What can end up happening is you make her feel like you’re one-upping her situation. Even if you don’t mean to. The kind thing to do is listen and let it be about them. Instead of saying, “Me, too!” stick with, “I’m so sorry. What can I do to help you through this?”

{FOUR} Speak Their Language

Waaay back at the beginning of my marriage (almost 17 yrs ago!!) Brandon and I discovered this book about love languages. We thought it might be kind of cheesy, but we also wanted to be good spouses. While we had dated each other for several years, being a wife and husband was definitely new territory for us.

When we opened the book, it also opened our hearts. I know, sappy, but true!

It outlined five types of love languages people gravitate toward: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch.

Once Brandon and I figured out the secret to each other’s love, it was so much easier to make each other happy.

So…if you want to truly share kindness with someone close to you, it would be good to figure out what’s most meaningful to them. Then do it, give it, be it, feel it, or say it!

Acts of service (above) is my cheat sheet for Brandon!

I happen to cherish quality time, so any of the ideas below would make me super happy. 😉

{A full set of downloadable prints for each love language can be found on this awesome post.}

{FIVE} Capture Their Kindness

Starting this week, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is sponsoring a 14-week photo challenge. They encourage you to capture an act of kindness and then post it online using the hashtag #CAPTUREKINDNESS. You can win awesome prizes and inspire more people to join.

Even better…you could double down on your kindness by taking a picture of someone you know who’s caught in the act of doing something nice. When you post the pic, you could win a prize and give it to him or her!

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That’s a wrap! For more ideas check out these posts on Acts of Kindness. You’ll find Kindness RocksMaKayla, our kindness elf, a few inspiring quotes, and more!

XoXoXo,

Kate

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5 Ways to Decorate with Corn Husks

{This beautiful print can be purchased here}

As a graduate of the University of Nebraska, you could say I have a deep appreciation for corn husks. (Go Cornhuskers!)

This fact also brings me to a slight confession. I’ve never really decorated with them. Crazy, right?

You would have thought this craft-loving alumna had rooms wallpapered in husks – or at the very least multiple craft bins dedicated to various shapes, sizes and colors of husks. Sadly, no.

After spending several years surrounded by fields of corn, it took moving to Northwest Arkansas and having some amazing, authentic, homemade tamales (which are steamed in corn husks) to fully appreciate the versatility of a corn husk.

And now that we’re in harvest season, I can’t help but have husks on my mind!

So…this is the year I’m finally going to decorate with them. I’ve rounded up lots of ideas – all with links to their DIY instructions!

Which one is your favorite??

{ONE} Rock Them Around a Wreath

(above) This reminds me of a giant sunflower! And I love the pinecones in the center. So pretty!

(below) This project is an Anthropologie look-a-like, which instantly makes it Pinworthy. I like the idea of a grapevine wreath as the base, too. Smart.

{TWO} Cover Your Candles

Now I could totally see these on my dining room table or lined on the mantel. The feathers add just the right amount of softness next to the grainy texture of the husks. Yes and yes.

{THREE} Fashion Them Into Flowers

If I can summon the patience to make these, I can already think of a bazillion places where I can glue, tuck and tie these beautiful blooms. (on wreaths, in vases, on napkin rings, etc.)

Remember the time I made flowers out of pumpkin seeds?? I still keep finding places to use them. Most recently, I tucked one on the top of a birthday gift for my sweet Mom.

{FOUR} Gather Them In a Garland

(above) Isn’t this such a cool idea?! The concept is to loop the corn husks – like you would for a wreath – but instead of securing them to a wreath form, you attach them to each other and form a swag or bunting or garland – whatever you like to call these things!

(below) This is a wider shot so you can see the big picture here. (Cool clock, too.)

{FIVE} Create for Christmas

I have a feeling if I started something like this now, it will be ready in time for Christmas. Maybe?

I really like these little trees and could see them in a display with a wooden nativity or as part of a “winter woodland scene” on a buffet table. Don’t you think?

Oh, and quick tips on husks >

Shopping: Buy packs of dried corn husks (used to make tamales) in the international foods section of a grocery store or at Walmart or from this Etsy seller if you have time to wait for the shipping.

Using: Soak husks in water until they are pliable, then shape for your projects.

That’s a wrap! I honestly don’t know which project I’ll start first. Maybe the wreath?

Have a fantastic weekend.

Blessings,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with all of these fantastic bloggers again this week. Be sure to check them out. >>

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Friday Wrap: Is October Really Over?

It’s been a wild week at the Andersen house. We closed out the month with plenty of fanfare. Can it really be time to roll into November, though?

Before we do, here are a few of our favorite moments from the week. >>

{ONE} Halloween Shenanigans

The girls had two costumes this year, which I guess makes up for no costume for my teenage son. Haha. Actually, he and his friends were super sweet and took the littles out for trick-or-treating before they did their own thing.

First up were The Little Hungry Caterpillar and Rainbow Fish, which the girls wore to school for book character day. {It was a creative way for their school to let the kids dress up, but not really make it be about Halloween. I guess schools aren’t doing Halloween anymore??}

The “official” Halloween costume of the year were these bear outfits. It turned out to be a pretty cold night, so they were pumped to be walking around in these cozy, fuzzy onesies.

To make them look like Beanie Babies, we just made tags that hung around their neck with ribbon. So simple. My kinda outfit.

Brandon and I made a last-minute decision to dress up. I’m talkin’ 20 minutes before we went to our friend’s house for dinner.

Once Brandon found the red, white, and blue hat in the attic, we scrounged around for anything we could wear with those colors (including the red plastic glasses from the dress-up bin) and just went with it. Go ‘Merica!!

We had such a fun night chillin’ with friends – especially these sweet ladies (even if they did talk me into drinking a “beer” from Bolivia that tasted like black licorice and burned my throat.) I swear I still have indigestion from it.   

Oh, and I made the pumpkin-shaped cheeseball again. The tradition continues…three years and running!!!

{TWO}  Chai Love You

I’m a seasonal sipper when it comes to coffee and tea, but I’m not a huge fan of PSL (I know, I know). What I do love, though, is the touch of spice in a chai latte this time of year. So I stocked my pantry full of some yummy K-cups.

+ This drink reminds me of my sister, KJ. It’s her favorite, too. And she warms my heart. Cheers to more chai!

{THREE} Black & White Photo Challenge

Have you seen the black and white photo challenge circulating on Facebook these days? It’s actually pretty cool, and I have no idea how it all started. Do you??

I was nominated by a co-worker and am currently on day two. My first post included Leo (above). I bribed him with a treat to sit next to me while I did yoga that morning. Lol.

It has only been a couple of days, but so far I feel like it’s great practice for mindfulness. I’m spending the day being more aware of what’s going on around me as I look for the right shot.

Want to join me? Here’s the wording for the challenge. Feel free to use my name as the person who challenged you. Because I am!! Copy and paste this into your next Facebook post – with a photo of your day.

I was nominated by Kate Clark Andersen
Seven days, seven photos in black and white of your everyday life. No explanation, no people, challenge a friend to join every day.
Day 1/7
Today, I challenge {you get to choose!}

{FOUR} Becoming Buzz Worthy?

Y’all, The Neat Nook was mentioned in a BuzzFeed Nifty article! Here’s a link to the post, and here’s a post about the link. Haha! There are so many great tips in here, too. Check it out!

{FIVE} Transitioning to Thanksgiving

In addition to some pumpkin makeovers, I’ve started back up with Thankful Thursdays. I’d love to hear from you each week and share in your thanksgivings. Yesterday was the first post, so be sure to check it out.

That’s a wrap, my friends!

Many blessings,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with all of these fantastic bloggers again this week. Be sure to check them out. >>

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5 Perfectly Easy Pumpkin Makeovers

Halloween is just a few days away, but there’s still time to dazzle up some pumpkins before your doorbell starts ringing. And I have some super easy, no-carve ideas to share.

As an added bonus, when the Halloween clock strikes midnight, all of these can turn into whole new pumpkins that will last until Thanksgiving!! (No fairy godmothers required.)

Here’s a snapshot of all of the projects. The Halloween edition is on the left and the Thanksgiving makeover is on the right in each photo. >>

Now let’s get down to the details!

Here are the five projects, which include supplies and instructions. You won’t believe how easy these are. For reals!

{ONE} FROM MINI MASQUERADE TO MANY THANKS

– SUPPLIES –

Orange Pumpkin * Pretty Mask * Tulle * Feathers

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Cut strips of tulle and lay them under the pumpkin – like a star. (shown on left)

Gather up the tulle at the stem of the pumpkin and secure ends with another piece of tulle. (shown on right)

Tie on the mask and add feathers for extra fabulous flair.

I used feathers with wire stems so I could just poke them right into the pumpkin.

 – MAKEOVER –

Remove the mask and feathers and gather a few extra supplies.

 – SUPPLIES – 

2 Pieces of Gold Ribbon * Short Strip of Burlap Ribbon * Tag and Gold Pen

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Wrap the gold ribbon around the pumpkin. I used two separate strips of ribbon and tied them at the top.

Make a tag using words like “give thanks” or “grateful” and then tie it onto the stem with the burlap ribbon.

I plan to put this on the buffet in my dining room.

{TWO} A SPIDER TURNS TURKEY

– SUPPLIES –

White Pumpkin * Extra Fuzzy Black Pipe Cleaners * Sharpie

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Use the Sharpie to make two black eyes.

Insert the pipe cleaners directly into the pumpkin. Super easy!

This guy is resting on the armoire in my living room at the moment.

PS. You’ll see why I didn’t make a mouth in a moment.

 – MAKEOVER –

Remove the spider legs and gather a few supplies.

– SUPPLIES –

Brown Feathers * Gold or Bronze Sharpie

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Draw a turkey beak under the eyes.

Add the fancy feathers behind the stem, so it looks like a little turkey.

These feathers had wire stems, so it was a cinch to poke right into the pumpkin.

This might be my favorite pumpkin of all time.

{THREE} SPOOKY TO SENTIMENTAL

– SUPPLIES –

White Pumpkin * Black Tulle * Orange Ribbon * Fake Spider

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Layer the black tulle and orange ribbon into a bow and tie around the stem of the pumpkin.

Hot glue or tie on the spider to jazz up the spook factor.

 – MAKEOVER –

Strip down the pumpkin to its beautiful self.

– SUPPLIES –

Silver or Black Sharpie

– INSTRUCTIONS –

You could start a lovely tradition of The Great Thanksgiving Pumpkin.

Have each person at your Thanksgiving table take turns writing something they’re grateful for – on the pumpkin.

I love the one pictured below.

{FOUR} A CHANGE OF PACE IN THE VASE

– SUPPLIES –

Small Orange Pumpkin * Carving & Scooping Tools * Floral Foam + Gothic Feathers/Flowers

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Okay, so this one requires some carving, but you can preserve the inside of the pumpkin with this handy tip.

Now, cut a “lid” on the top of the pumpkin. Open and scoop out the insides.

{Remember to keep your seeds for these yummy recipes or this darling flower.}

Insert the floral foam in the bottom of the pumpkin and arrange your feathers and flowers.

I used a little Spanish moss to fill the gaps around the edges of the arrangement.

 – MAKEOVER –

Pull out the Halloween-themed flora and gather up a fall harvest.

– SUPPLIES –

Large Bundle of Wheat

– INSTRUCTIONS –

I was able to reuse the floral foam. If it’s too crumbly from your first arrangement, you can always use a fresh one.

Insert a few stems of wheat at a time. I inserted them at an angle so they fanned out of the pumpkin.

You could add Spanish moss or even tuck in a few pine cones at the base to help cover the gaps.

I also added a pretty bow, because I just like them.

{FIVE} THE GREAT RIBBON SWAP

– SUPPLIES –

Orange Pumpkin * Black and White Ribbon * Gold Paint and Brush

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Wipe down the pumpkin and paint stripes and polka dots – or any fun pattern.

Tie a bow around the stem. Boom. Done.

 – MAKEOVER –

Remove the bow.

– SUPPLIES –

Burlap and Gold Ribbon

– INSTRUCTIONS –

Um, all you do is swap out the Halloweenish bow for this beautiful fall bow. I layered the burlap under the gold ribbon.

You could paint lots of smaller pumpkins and arrange them down the middle of your dining room table.

For the Halloween pumpkins, add black candles to help goth-up the look. When it’s time to give thanks, swap out the candles for a cream or burgundy color.

That’s a wrap! I hope this gave you a few fun ideas to try. Which one’s your favorite? Or do you have other ideas to share? Do tell! 😉

In the meantime, I’ll be busy gathering goodies (mountains of candy, more like it) for our little treaters next week.

Blessings,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with all of these fantastic bloggers again this week. Be sure to check them out. >>

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