Halloween Deco Mesh Wreath

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This easy decorative wreath can be made to suit any holiday or event!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 10 foot roll of deco mesh (Hobby Lobby)

2 4 inch wide rolls of burlap (Wal-Mart)

1 9 foot wired garland (Hobby Lobby)

1 metal wreath form (Hobby Lobby)

1 wired glitter rope (Hobby Lobby)

1 cute decoration for the center of the wreath (Hobby Lobby, I hand lettered “Welcome”)

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To start, attach the wired garland to the wreath form. You may have to go around the form more than once. If you don’t have the wired garland, you can use pipe cleaners and twist them around the wreath form at several spots.

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This is what you should end up with.

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I decided to layer the burlap over the deco mesh and attach them together. You can use one layer or two. Just gather the end and twist the garland around it to secure it.

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Just keep poofing and gathering the deco mesh and burlap on top of each other, attaching as you go.

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The deco mesh should wrap around about 3 times. You can go around as many times as you want until the wreath is as full as you’d like.

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I liked to hang the wreath up at this point so I can see what I’m working with. Next, I attached the glittered rope, just twisting it into the garland at whichever spots I liked.

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Then, I just tied the witch’s feet sign to the top of the metal wreath form.

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Time for spiders!

These were attached to their little cardboard home with some black twist ties.

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I kept the twist ties on the spiders and used that to attach them to the deco mesh. You could also use hot glue if your’s don’t come like this.

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Ta da!

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Happy Halloween, Ya’ll!

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Not Your Average Backyard BBQ

We threw my grandparents an anniversary party in celebration of 54 years of marriage! How awesome is that? I also needed an excuse to unveil a family cookbook I put together using this website. It was very easy and the price was good too!

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I knew I wanted the party to be casual, but just a little bit upgraded from your regular ole backyard BBQ. Enter: Pinterest.

FIrst and most importantly…the menu.

Nibblins:

Peanuts

Tortilla Rollups

Cold Corn Dip

Salsa

Caprese Salad Skewers

Fruit Kabobs

 

Main Dishes:

Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork Sliders

Nutty Slaw

Mary’s Mac and Cheese

Brown Sugar Bacon Beans

 

For Your Sweet Tooth:

Strawberry Ambrosia Cake

Praline Grahams

Cowboy Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Pecan Fudge

 

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Here are the menus.

You should be able to edit them from Word:

Click here for the menus —>anniversary party labels.

There’s also a label for the Sweet Tea, Lemonade, and Sangria!

I used this tutorial to make them!

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I framed the menus in old frames that I had spray painted gold.

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These beauties are the fruit kabobs! I used 2 green grapes, 1 piece of cantaloupe scooped out with a melon baller, one strawberry, and 2-3 blueberries. I then cut the top off of a small watermelon and stuck them in the top! Fancyyyyyy.

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I got a couple of cases of simple mason jars from Wal-Mart to use as drinking glasses and set them out in this old drawer. I used the pallet chalkboard I made here, too!

I repainted this old bar and used it on the patio for drinks.

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Fresh flowers are a must! I got a mixture of white and light green/yellow flowers to keep it simple.

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Don’t forget peanuts for munching!

I got some really cute, really cheap galvanized metal buckets from here. My favorite website ever!

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I made my sideboard a dessert buffet. YUM.

I also made the tissue paper tassels here and on the outside bar using this tutorial. Tedious, but totally worth it!

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Don’t forget about our photo backdrop outside! Tutorial here.

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Don’t forget your to-go cowboy cookies!

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DIY Photo Backdrop

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Photo booths are all the rage right now. I decided that I wanted to take part in the fun as well for a recent anniversary party that we had at my house. I made this super easy and cheap photo backdrop and stuck it in the backyard with a bucket full of fun props and accessories.

I referred to this tutorial which was super easy to follow, to make mine. I cut mine a little bit shorter to fit the fabric I chose, and I spray painted the legs gold since the fabric didn’t extend to the bottom. I used a $4 hack saw to cut the PVC pipes.

This polka dot fabric was super cute and I can totally re use it for some other super cute project later.

I attached my fabric with clear packing tape so I can switch it out if I want to use my PVC pipe photo back drop for a different themed party. How awesome is that?

You could make this fit ANY theme you want!

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I made a banner using this method, which is also super easy and I already had all the supplies. I taped the twine to the corners of the photo backdrop also using clear packing tape.

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We staked it to the ground so the wind wouldn’t blow it away!

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Don’t forget your bucket full of props and a hashtag!

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Here are the Guests of Honor, Brem and Dip, on their 54th wedding anniversary… along with lots of extra hair and sass.

Check out this other photo backdrop we made for my friend’s baby shower here.

DIY Pallet Chalkboard (that hangs 2 ways!)

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I had some leftover wood from ripping down some pallets. I thought this easy DIY chalkboard would be the perfect use of the leftovers.

The best part about this chalkboard is that you can hang it vertically or horizontally! 

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Materials:

  • 2 36″ pallet boards
  • nail gun with 1 1/4″ and 1″ brads
  • sliding miter saw
  • wood glue
  • hand sander
  • twine
  • staple gun
  • unsanded grout
  • primer
  • black paint (or any color you want!)

 

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So, first, I cut four pieces at a 45 degree angle, glued, and then used 1 1/4 inch brads to attach the pieces together to form a frame. I sanded the front and sprayed with a semi-gloss polyurethane.

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The next thing I did was prime a small piece of plywood. This will be the chalkboard insert.

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After my primer dried, I made a very easy DIY chalkboard paint. It is:

1 Tbs unsanded grout

1 cup paint

I used black acrylic paint and painted two coats over the plywood.

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After the chalkboard dried, I attached it to the back of the frame using 1 inch brads.

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Using the staple gun, attach the twine to the back of the frame. Tie a small knot in the twine.

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Now, here’s the kicker! Attach the twine at the second corner and then the third. That way you can hang vertically or horizontally.

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Gather the twine at the point where both parts meet and hammer in a small nail to hold the string that is not being used.

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Ta Da!

 

Card Catalog Cabinet

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I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m a little obsessed with card catalogs. And being that they’re WAY expensive and hard to find, the next best option is to make your own. Now, I’ve been known to go off the deep end a few times, but there’s no way in hell I was going to make a million tiny drawers. Enter: this post. Problem solved! It will be fake drawers. Awesome.

The only things I did differently were I used a different stain(s), I put mine on wheels instead of tapered legs, and I used different types of wood since I had some scraps left over.

Follow her tutorial, as it is step by step.

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The stain I originally bought ended up being way too light as you can see. It was Minwax Ipswich Pine. Thankfully, I had some Minwax Espresso left over from another project and went over the light stain. It ended up giving the pieces a slight color difference which I happened to love! The lighter pieces have the light stain with the dark stain over it and the darker pieces have just the dark stain.

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I think the color difference makes the piece look a little more authentic.

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After the last few drawer pulls and wheels, it came together so well!

Make sure to check out the entire tutorial here!

DIY Hanging Planter

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I needed a little help in my backyard and this hanging planter did just the trick. It adds a pop of color on an otherwise bare brick wall. I strayed from the original plans a little bit because I used scrap wood leftover from other projects. You can find the original tutorial here.

First, I cut a 1×3 in half, making the two sides. Then I cut some remaining wood into three equal parts to make the shelves and attaching them equally down. The bottom shelf is flush with the sides.

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Then, I added a piece on the front of the shelves to create a little “lip”. I attached all the pieces with wood glue and 1 1/4 inch brads for my nail gun. Next, I drilled a big hole on the top of each side and slipped a little bit of rope through.

Finally, I spray painted the entire piece using Krylon Metallic spray paint and I sealed it using spray polyurethane.

This is a pretty easy project that can easily be adapted for whatever wood you have leftover. Don’t forget your wood glue!

Happy building!

Check out some of my other projects that left me with the scrap wood to build this!

Pallet Sectional

Burlap Upholstered Headboard

Praline Grahams

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If you want to totally fake out your people and make them think you’re an extravagant praline-making master, make these. They take less than 30 minutes and won’t last long after that.

This recipe makes one batch, but I guarantee you’ll want to at least double it!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of graham crackers (1 bag out of the box of 3)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

 

1. Separate each graham cracker into 4 sections and lay them with ends touching on a foil lined baking sheet.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Add the pecans.

3. Cook butter mixture on low for 3 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened.

4. Spread mixture over graham crackers and bake at 300 for 12 minutes.

5. Let cool completely before removing from baking sheet and breaking into pieces.

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Vegetarian Enchilada Pasta

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This pasta is easy, versatile, and great if you participate in Meatless Mondays or are trying to eat a little less meat. You can pretty much add anything you’d like in this pasta… even meat!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 1/2-2 cups enchilada sauce
  • Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes

 

1. Boil pasta in salted water until done. Drain and set aside.

2. Saute chopped onion and bell pepper in a little bit of oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add half of the chopped cilantro, lime juice, corn, beans, Rotel, and half of the cheese. Heat through.

4. Stir in the enchilada sauce and pasta. Season to taste.

5. Pour into a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly on top.

6. Top with sliced avocado, sour cream, more cilantro, and more cheese. Always more cheese.

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

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I’ve been out of control with my Mexican food eating/cooking lately, but hey, what else is new? We love eating enchiladas over here and this homemade sauce totally overtakes any canned sauce! It’s easy and you actually know what ingredients are in it! This sauce is pretty clean so you can have a second helping and I won’t tell.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne (or more for those of you who like it spicy!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs flour (if you’re going clean, you can sub whole wheat flour)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce

 

1. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-low heat. Add the spices and cocoa powder and whisk together, careful not to burn, cooking for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook for about 1 minute.

3. While whisking, add the water or stock and tomato sauce.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.

5. You can season to taste and store in the refrigerator for up to a week or use immediately. You’ll never go back to canned again!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

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A combo of two of my favorite desserts, on a Sunday, and I didn’t even have to run to the store. Win, win, win.

As usual, I was perusing around Pinterest and found this recipe and got to work. Of course, Martha’s came out prettier than mine, but I know mine tasted just as good. These brownies are cakey and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Tbs of butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs

 

1. In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, add 8 Tbs butter (1 stick) and chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir. Repeat until almost melted.

3. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar and mix. Add 3 eggs. Mix well.

4. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Don’t over mix.

5. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese and 2 Tbs of butter. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 egg, and 2 Tbs flour. Mix well.

6. Alternate pouring brownie batter and cream cheese batter in a 9×9 pan. Make sure your pan has been sprayed with Pam, lined with parchment paper, and that the paper has also been sprayed with Pam.

7. With the tip of a knife, swirl the batters together. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top.

8. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

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