Tuesday, December 30, 2014

January Holidays

It's a new year, and there are always a handful of reasons to celebrate. Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean we have to stop partying. I will be gone this next week visiting family and partying up the start of the new year with them, so enjoy the beginning of your 2015 and I will see you back again next Wednesday. In the mean time, here are some fun holiday's to keep you busy.

Any excuse to party!

Monday, December 29, 2014

FREE 2015 New Years Printables

New Years is just about upon us. I am very excited for the new year: I have a lot of fun things planned and several personal goals I am going to be working on. Don't worry, I'll bring everyone along for the ride on most of it. In the mean time, if you are planning a party to ring in the new year, here are a few free printables you can use to decorate your serving table or invitations.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Here's to 2015!

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Years Eve Countdown Activities for Kids

I found the most awesome idea for a New Years countdown with your kids over on Craftibilities. She had balloons with times on them throughout the day. At the time specified, the kids pop the balloon and inside is an activity to do. So genius. Head on over and see what kinds of activities she had in her balloons, but the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas From The Cheney's

So, remember those creepy photos we had taken in grade school that had your main pose, accompanied by the floating head profile? Who ever thought those were a good idea? Well, we did!!! This awkward family Christmas photo is brought to you by us - the Cheney's - wishing you a very Merry Christmas. We hope that this brings a smile to your face and cheer to your day!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

10 Awesome Christmas Dates

Christmas is quickly approaching. Most of us are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season: shopping, baking, cleaning and wrapping. I think it's important however, to slow down and take a minute to really spend some time with your honey. Just take a deep breath, let a few things go and go on a holiday date together. Here are my favorite ideas to get you going.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Top 5 Christmas Movies

I love movies. I love curling up with some popcorn, a blanket, the lights down low and the sound up high. Action is probably my favorite, but I love just about anything depending on my mood. There are a few movies that in my opinion make Christmas complete, and it just doesn't feel like Christmas until I watch them. Here are my top 5 Christmas movies - and no, Die Hard and Sound of Music are NOT Christmas movies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kickin' It Old School - Paper Chains

I'm not a fancy girl. You won't see my dining room table set with china and a table cloth, I am more comfortable in a pair of jeans than slacks, and I love a simple (almost vintage) decorating style. There's something about a good ol' fashioned paper chain and popcorn streamer that just fits my tastes. This year I actually spent some time putting together those lovely strips of red, white and green.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Twisted Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. It will not be heard one single day in my house until after Thanksgiving, but the second Jess and I are in the car heading out for Black Friday Shopping it's Christmas on! I love to listen to Bing sing about his White Christmas and John Denver sooth me about roasting chestnuts on an open fire, but I am a rocker through and through (I was a complete aqua net, parachute pants girl in the 80's), and sometimes you just have to get your rock on - even during Christmas. Here are some awesome albums to add to your collection for those times you just need something a little bit...... more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Sled

I have an ice sled that belonged to my dad for I don't know how long. It could have been his as a kid, or it could have been something he acquired a little later than that. All I know is there are pictures of me barley walking with my dad outside in the snow pulling me around the yard on it. Living in Seattle, we don't have many opportunities to use it, but it is one of the few belongings of his that I just can't seem to let go of. I can definitely say this is one of the times where Pinterest really has payed off for me, because now every year I get to pull that little treasure out and make it a focal point of my Christmas decorations.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Tree Is Up!

Last year we changed things up with our Christmas tree. It was time for a new one (yes, we do the fake - it's less expensive, and more convenient in my opinion). With just Aaron and I home most of the time, we decided to downsize instead of turning our entire living room upside down to fit in a big tree. Here is what we came up with, and I love it!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Easy Christmas Valance

A few years ago I had a total Martha Stewart moment. That doesn't happen in my life very often, I usually get my ideas by watching what other people do and then putting my own personal twist to it, making it into my own: It's not copying, but creative inspiration (yes, I actually learned that in a class once). One day I happened to be looking through all the Christmas decorations at the store and was hit with a brilliant idea - all on my own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Yearly Santa Picture Display

As you know, Jess and I go out every year for Black Friday, and while we are out we get our picture taken with Santa. We have seven of these awesome pictures thus far, and I really wanted to display them all this year. What a better place to put pictures throughout the years than around the clock......... profound. I did each picture in scrapbook style: it's been a long time since I've gotten the scrapbook supplies out and it was fun. Now, every time I walk by this wall, I have to pause and look at my daughter and I during the last seven years. Take a walk back in time with me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Holidays

We are in full swing holiday mode now. With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas and New Years just ahead, we have plenty of reasons to celebrate. But, just in case you don't have enough holiday parties in your schedule already, here are a few other holidays you can throw into your celebration plans.

Friday, November 28, 2014

You're Never Too Old For Santa!

On of the traditions that Jess and I do every Black Friday is get our picture taken with Santa. It started so many years ago, when we first started going out. Santa's Photo booth was up in the mall, and I guess because it was early there wasn't a single kid for miles. No line, and Santa just sitting there all alone. We decided to go for it and take our picture. It was so fun we have been doing it ever sense. We have about 8 of these gems accumulated now. Start your own tradition with family Christmas pictures with Santa. It's one of our favorite things to do each year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5 Things To Think About This Black Friday

I love Black Friday: my daughter and I have been chasing down deals for years now. We are NOT one of the crazies that can be seen in the stores at ridiculous hours however, and we will NEVER be seen in a line longer than 5-6 people - there just isn't a deal worth all that. For us, it's just a great girls day, and we enjoy every minute of it. There are a few things about Black Friday however that I completely disagree with. I would really ask you to think about them before heading out.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Strawberry Cake

This weekend we celebrated our baby's 22nd birthday. Ya, I know, that's really showing my age! Every year she wants me to make her my strawberry cake, and it's always a big hit with everyone who is over enjoying her birthday with us. The funny thing about his recipe is, I got it way back in High School in a cooking class I was taking (we won't discuss how long ago that was), and it's still a family favorite today.

Friday, November 21, 2014

10 Ways To Teach Kids Gratitude

We have incredibly blessed lives. When you really take the time to look at the world around you it's easy to see just how many blessings you have: a roof over your head, shoes on your feet and food on the table seem like insignificant things, but they are luxuries that many don't have. I think it's important for us to teach our kids gratitude for the things most take for granted. Here are 10 suggestions to help.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Write A Thank-You Note

Checking the mail these days is a lot different than it was growing up. With texting, email, instant messaging and video chats no one ever gets anything fun in those little boxes by the road side. Heck, you don't even get bills in there any more - the most you can hope for is solicitations and ads. Let's brighten up someone's day, and mailbox!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pancake Poppers

Yesterday the Seahawks game came on in the morning, so instead of having the usual football fare we decided to do a football breakfast. One of the things I made up were these pancake poppers. They were easy to make a bunch at one time, since you bake them in the oven, and were perfect for a breakfast buffet. No leftovers with these guys!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Office Decorations

I spend a lot of time in my office: it's where I work, sew and write. I always have some sort of holiday cheer on my desk and because it's been so cold and dark as of late, I wanted to incorporate a burning candle into my Thanksgiving focal point. This is what I came up with. It's super easy, very inexpensive, and makes my office feel nice and cozy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Sunday is treat night at our house, and as usual this time of year I had a hankering for something with pumpkin. For some reason I had a yellow cake mix in the pantry, which is weird because I never buy cake mixes, but there it was. Putting the two together, and a little bit of magic, I came up with these baked, low-fat doughnuts. They were so good we couldn't stay out of them.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

It's Fall, which means pumpkin! I love pumpkin and everything that goes along with it: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. A nice piece of pumpkin bread with a hot cup of tea is my idea of a cozy morning on a rainy day. Make  up a batch of this pumpkin bread and enjoy a relaxing morning on me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Keep A Gratitude Journal

It's really easy to get caught up in life, especially during the holidays. There is so much that needs to get done, places to go and people to see that there isn't much time left for anything else. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind yourself of all the blessings in your life. I challenge you this year to start a gratitude journal.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November Holidays

Thanksgiving will be taking front and center in November, but it is so late this year let's have some other excuses to have some fun until then. Here are your unusual holidays for November. Enjoy the changing weather and darker days by staying in and having a min-party.

Friday, October 31, 2014

KISS Costumes

Happy Halloween! It's costume day my friends, and I hope you all have great creations you will be wearing this year. I'm sad to say this is the first time in about four years that I am not heading out to a big Halloween party. Aaron isn't playing this weekend, and we have been so sick this week that staying out till 1:00 in the morning doesn't sound appealing. But, I will share with you what I dressed up like last year - it was epoch! My friend and I were Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from KISS, and it was a total hit. Here's how to make your own KISS costumes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

More On Clyde

At the beginning of the month I introduced you to our newest Halloween family member, Meet Clyde. He has been such a fun addition that I am truly going to be sorry to pack him away for a year. My camera and I have been following him around as he has been left in various places for people to find. It's been a blast, and we have had some great laughs - this family of mine sure is creative! Here's what Clyde has been up to since you last saw him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To Recognize and Kill Monsters

We all get scared occasionally by something that goes bump in the night. Usually, upon investigation, we realize there is nothing there but the fence gate blowing in the wind or the broom that has tipped over. But, what do you do when there is actually something there? Here are some tips on how to recognize the most common monsters and how to kill them to save yourself and your family.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Pizza Bling

If you don't already have mini Halloween cookie cutters in your arsenal you should. They are a very inexpensive, easy way to make an ordinary meal fun and festive. This weekend I made our favorite pizza and topped it off with pumpkin peppers and mozzarella ghosts. Whala - Mexi-Pizza becomes Halloween Pizza! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

20 Haunting Memento Mori Photographs

Death has many different superstitions and odd traditions surrounding it, each culture trying to understand and deal with it in their own ways. In the late nineteenth century photography was just in it's beginning stages. Death in the home was a very ordinary part of life and post-mortem photography was a common part of this process; especially with infants and small children. These photographs served as keepsakes to remember the deceased, and in most cases were the only visual remembrance the family had. Most families preferred to have an image of a deceased loved one than no image at all. These images are both reverent and haunting at the same time.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Grilled Jack-O-Cheese Sandwich

It really is the simple things in life that bring so much pleasure and comfort. There's something about a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold day that just hits the spot so perfectly. To make it fun during the Halloween season, turn your plain grilled cheese into a grilled Jack-O-Cheese sandwich. Comforting and fun. That's sure to bring a smile to your face!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

15 Of The Worst Halloween Costumes

It's no secret that I love Halloween, and I love dressing up. There's something that makes you feel spunky about wearing a wig or the fun you can have being someone else for the night. I also love the creativity that never ceases to amaze me as I look around at what people have come up with. There are so many amazing ideas out there...... and then you have to wonder some times - What the heck were you thinking?! Here are 15 costumes that I wonder just that: WTF. Happy Halloween, and have a laugh on me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spooky Sweet Potato Fries

I love french fries. When it comes to comfort foods, they are definitely at the top of my list. With my sweet potato fries you can eat your fries almost guilt free: and using sweet potatoes in place of russet gives you a boost of vitamin A, which is great for the immune system. The best part - Halloween speaking - is sweet potatoes are orange. Throw some black sesame seeds on there: insta Halloween side dish.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Poster

The zombie apocalypse. When it comes will you be prepared? Do you have the necessary skills and supplies that will be needed to survive? There are a few tried and true things you should know to keep you and your loved ones safe and alive: all gathered together on a handy poster for your reference.

Monday, October 20, 2014

10 Awesome Halloween Party Activities

No party would be complete without games and activities for your guests to participate in. They're a great way to keep the little ones busy and the adults socializing. I have a list of 10 great ideas to keep your party flowing - 5 for the kids and 5 for the teens and adults. Even if you have the guest that "hates games" (and there's always one or two of those) these should be sure to please. Have a great Halloween - and PARTY ON!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mummy Breakfast Sandwiches

Fun Halloween food isn't just for dinner. I love breakfast and wanted some fun foods in the morning as well, so I came up with this fun mummy breakfast sandwich. Easy, healthy and fun - the trifecta of the perfect holiday meal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Party Playlist

Every party needs great background music to help it be successful. A few years ago I assembled a long list of songs that I think make an awesome Halloween Party Playlist. Of course there is the obligatory "Monster Mash", "Purple People Eater" and "Ghost Busters", but this playlist goes well beyond that. With songs from all genres to obscure artists, this list will have it all, no matter who is attending your party. So rock on my friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Haunted Village

I have been building a little fall village for a few years now, just picking up pieces here and there. While I was at the thrift store the other day I found the piece of all pieces to add to my collection. When I saw this mansion I couldn't believe it and bought it right away. Now, instead of just a regular fall village, I have turned it into a haunted village. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spider Cubes

It's the simple things in life that make it great. Soup on a cold day, a candle burning to cozy up a room, and spiders in your ice cubes to freak out my daughter - who is scared of spiders - these are a few of my favorite things. This is such a simple, cheap, and fun thing to do during the Halloween holiday, everyone should have spider ice cubes in their freezer!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Black Bean Pasta

I found the best thing for Halloween food since candy corn! It's black bean pasta, and its amazing. It looks creepy, it tastes great, and - ready for it - it's actually healthy!  Win, win in my book. Organically made with nothing but black beans and water, there are no funny ingredients, you will get a protein punch from the beans, and it looks so cool on your dinner plate. You'll definitely want to give this a try.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Interview With A Ghost Hunter

For those of you who missed my interview with a ghost hunter, and have come back here to read it, I am sad to say I had to remove it. It is too long of a story, and honestly not worth repeating, but there were some in the "paranormal community" that had problems with it due to personal conflicts with the gal interviewed. Haters are gonna hate, and some people are just irrational. Those people are not worth my time, and this is not the place for such antics, as this blog is meant to be a lighthearted, fun place to visit. Sorry if you missed it, it was a great post, but given the circumstance I have decided removal of the post was best. Please stay happy and kind.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Top 10 Most Haunted Places In America

Ghosts. Some of us believe whole-heartily in them, many of us want desperately to believe, while the rest of us just aren’t sure and have no proof of their existence. Whether you believe in these spiritual apparitions or not, a good ghost story is always fun to listen to. We loves to have our spines tingle and be spooked by a great tale of ghosts. Here are the top 10 most haunted places in America. These are supposedly homes to legendary tales and infamous spirits. The stories that follow are both historically fascinating and eerily spooky at the same time. My bucket list of places to visit has just gotten longer!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween Cupcakes!

I love cupcakes. There's something magical about a little cake in a paper cup that is so perfect. They are super fun to decorate, easy to serve and just the perfect amount of indulgence. You can grab one know you aren't going to eat too big of a piece because it comes in a pre-packaged serving size. I made a batch of cupcakes and had some fun with frosting and accessories. I was so excited about how well they turned out I had to share. Here's how to make your own batch of Halloween fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monster Finger Sandwiches

There are a few things that are musts in our house every Halloween season: the skeletons come out of their hiding places, spiderwebs hit the fire place bricks and monster sandwiches are on the menu. These are one of our favorite holiday menu items and I end up making them at least once, if not a couple of times. They are super yummy, look amazingly cool and they warm up well for lunch the next day.

Monday, October 6, 2014

FREE: Witches Brew Bottle Labels

Whether we know where it comes from or not, we have all heard the line: "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble". This conjures up visions of witches hunched over a huge black cauldron, stirring their witches brew - and with good reason. It's the famous scene from Shakespeare's "Macbeth". If you've never read this scene, it's worth the couple minutes it takes to watch the conniving witches at work. I have typed out the scene for you along with some free bottle labels to make your own witches brew display.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Meet Clyde

Clyde is our newest addition this year. A life size (well, life size to me any way) skeleton that is fully pose-able. A friend of mine picked him up at Costco for me and we have been enjoying dinner with him for the last couple of weeks. When I first got him my daughter Jess got up to go to work and he startled her - funny! Good job Clyde!! You have done what you were created to do - to put fear in the hearts of others. The series of events that followed that morning are even better. Wait till you see what Clyde has been up to! I promise it will make you laugh and want to get your own life-size pose-able skeleton.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ghostly Baked Spahetti

It's pretty easy to throw a Halloween twist onto any casserole that your making. Last night I made baked spaghetti, which is always a crowd favorite, and topped it with my ghostly apparitions. The best part about these ghosts is their made of cheese - and who doesn't like cheese? They look awesome and taste awesomer. (Awesomer? I just made up a word. I like it.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Graveyard Mantle

My fireplace mantle is usually the focal point of any holiday decorating. It's central in my upstairs living space, can be decorated without having to uproot my entire house, and since I have old school bricks usually looks pretty cool. Whenever I am in the kitchen cooking, dining room dining or living room.... well living, I can see my fireplace and enjoy the festive holiday decorations. This year I decided to turn my mantle into a graveyard. I have a lot of really cool skeletons that I love having out and they all went together nicely.  Here's what I came up with.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Holidays

I will pretty much be doing Halloween all month long, but there are also a few other little holiday's that are fun to throw in the mix - and a few of them tie into Halloween quite nicely, like Candy Corn Day! So, if you're not really into Halloween (that's weird ;o), or you just would like a different reason to party, here are a handful of other fun holidays this month.

Party on!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Coundown To Halloween 2014

I am getting excited - October is almost here! Is it weird that I put up my Halloween decorations last week? I think there are several things I love about Halloween: you can act like a kid again and it's completely acceptable, and to me it's the official kick-off to the "Holidays". I will be participating in the Countdown To Halloween this year, and have been preparing for it for weeks. I've had all of my Halloween books out, been pinning like crazy and devouring Google for inspiration. I have a lot of great things coming!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Burlap Swag

I love swags on my mantle. It just dresses it up so much without being too overbearing and gaudy. This fall I decided to play around with some of the cute little dried Indian corn that was at the farmers market. I always love those little bundles, so I wanted to do something that would really showcase them. I came up with this awesome swag. I will give you step by step instructions, including how to make an awesome bow to go with it.