Friday, October 9, 2015

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

My girls love Halloween and picking out their costumes every year.  However, I'm not big on spending money on pre-made costumes from the store.  Even growing up, we always put together a costume out of what we had rather than buying it.  I think it's much more creative and fun to come up with an idea, rather than just buying something.  My youngest did recycle one of our dance recital costumes to be a mermaid!  Always nice to get a little more use out of these things since we spend so much $$$ on them!

Last year we all decided to dress up to go trick-or-treating.  That meant I needed an outfit as well.  I decided to go as Katniss Everdeen from the Huger Games!  This wasn't too hard to come up with out of items from my closet.  I had some green pants, a black tank, a green jacket and black boots.  I found a gold pin that resembled hers at Goodwill for $.99.  I also found a bow and arrow set at the Dollar Tree.  It was a bright color so I simple spray painted it silver.  For my quiver pouch, I made a long skinny bag out of black felt and attached a black purse strap to it.  Make sure to braid your hair.  Simple!

One of my daughter's wanted to go as Olaf from Frozen!  I did buy her this Olaf hat at Target, but it's something she can wear throughout the winter, and not just on Halloween.  We paired it with a brown long sleeve T for Olaf's stick arms.  Top that with a white sleeveless shirt for his belly.  I simply pinned on black felt circles to be his buttons.  It is also pretty easy to make a tutu skirt.  Sew or pin a circle of elastic to fit your waist.  Next tie strips of tulle onto the elastic until you have filled it.  Add a pair of white leggings and Olaf is ready to go!

My oldest daughter wanted to be a cowgirl.  We pulled just about all of it out of her closet.  She wore a plaid shirt over a tank along with her jeans.  Top with a pair of boots and a cowgirl hat and you are just about ready to go!  We found a bandanna for $1 at Walmart and added a rope lasso.  You could carry your own rope if you have some in the garage, but I found hers for just a few bucks in the costume section.  Ready to lasso some candy!

I'm all for buying Halloween costumes.  However, I usuallly buy them after Halloween when they are 75% off!  That way the girls can wear them for dress up all year long.  Sometimes they will pick something out of their dress-up bin to wear for Halloween.  That way they get to wear a number of different costumes in one year if we happen to go to more than one Halloween event!  Don't forget to check Goodwill for costume props and accessories.  That's where we got my husband's awesome cheerleading outfit!  I may even have one to match!!  Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Linking at:  Tatertots & Jello

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bridal Shower Ideas

A couple of weekends ago, I helped host a bridal shower for my sister-in-law.  Her wedding is going to be in November and they are having a rustic romance theme with some burlap, pallet wood signs, and baby's breath.  We decided to carry on this theme for the bridal shower as well.  Today I thought I'd share some ideas and pictures from the day.

Have a twitter account?  Give the guests a #hashtag to post with any picture in order for everyone to check out online later!

Painted bottles are a fun way to reuse old wine bottles.  Add a little puffy paint first and you can make them any theme you choose.

We had a Stock the Bar Party, so guests were asked to bring the couple a bottle of wine, liquor or beer.  Therefore, we thought it was quite appropriate to have a Mimosa Bar at the party.  Everyone loved it!  We had champagne in both plain and flavored varieties.  We also had blueberry, orange and cran-strawberry juices to make the mimosas.  We had strawberries and orange slices as garnishes.  My daughter enjoyed making her own non-alcoholic version with ginger ale and sparkling water.  Don't forget some fun stirrers!

We didn't want anyone to misplace their glass, so I made wedding ring themed drink tags out of plastic beads, chenille wire straws and cardstock cut into name tags.  Guests could write their names on their tags and twist their wedding rings onto their drink stem.  No lost drinks!

For favors, we made little individual mints with Mint To Be sayings tags.  The couple has a different version they are giving out at the wedding, so again we used a smaller version of their ideas for the bridal shower.

We wanted everyone to share their wishes with the happy couple.  I cut pieces of paper in different shapes and sizes and set them out with a Wish Jar!  Guests could share any thoughts, advice, wishes or even date night ideas for the couple to read later.

For one of our games, we had all the guests wear little wedding rings.  If anyone said the words "Wedding" or "Bride" someone else could take their ring.  Whoever collected the most wedding bling won a prize!  

For game prizes, we went with another Stock the Bar liquor idea.  The couple might want to stock their bar, but the guests would love their own drink too!  I placed a mini car of Cherry Dr. Pepper in a mason jar.  I wrapped the jar with burlap ribbon as well as a skinny piece of colored ribbon.  Next I used string to tie a small bottle of Fireball liquor on and slid in a straw.  You could do this with any of your favorite drink combinations.

Finally, it was time for dessert!  Cookies & cream cupcakes and Raspberry filled lemon cupcakes were the perfect ending to this fun party!  Hosting a party this season?  Hope I was able to give you a few ideas for your next get together!

Linking at:  Tatertots & Jello

Monday, September 7, 2015

Surfboard Wall Art

Happy Labor Day!  I hope you had a relaxing long weekend!  Unfortunately, not everyone gets Labor Day off to rest.  My poor Dad had to work today.  Even if it wasn't a long weekend, I hope you were able to do something fun!  Like many Americans, we headed to the beach!  I love when we go out to New Smyrna.  It's like all responsibilities melt away.  We get to relax without the guilt of my daily To Do list.

We bought our beach condo at the beginning of the year and have been working to make it great on a budget ever since.  I shared my SURF Giant Letters that we made for the girls room.  We've since added a few more things to complete their room, including this fun Surfboard Wall Art.

I found this surfboard art at Goodwill for $5.99.   I wasn't too big on the colors.  Ick!  Ketchup and mustard colors.  But I also knew it had potential.  It was the right price to make something great.  

I started by painting the whole thing with a thin coat of primer.  The colors were so bright that I didn't want them to bleed through at all.  After the primer dried, I taped off the red stripes down the middle of the surfboard.  I decided not to paint the contrasting stripes down the edges of the board, but just make them the same color as the rest of it.  I did paint the middle stripe a bright white.  I painted a couple of coats to make it fully covered.

My next step was to paint the outsides of the board a beige color.  I gave it a second coat as well.  After it dried, I rubbed on a darker stain with a rag in order to give my surfboard a more real wood look.  Wipe it in the same direction you want your wood grain to go.  Give it a good even coat.  You can add more or even wipe the excess off if it is too dark.  Allow to dry completely.

After it dried, I peeled off my blue painter's tape.  I can see the stripes underneath between my wood grain and the white middle stripe.  I used a dark blue paint that matches my SURF letters and a steady hand to paint my blue stripes on either side of the white stripe.  You could also tape it off to make sure you paint a straight line, but I just went for it and it turned out.  

The surfboard came out great and was perfect to hang on the girls wall at the beach.  I love how the stain gave the board a wood look.  So much better than the red and yellow.  Not lucky enough to find an ugly surfboard to update?  Just cut your own surfboard out of a piece of plywood!

That just meant we had to find something for over the other bed.  Luckily, I came upon these awesome wood fish bones on sale at Marshall's for only $7 for the three of them.  A cute addition to the girls room.

I also found these two matching Tommy Hilfiger quilts for only $35 each on sale at Homegoods.  I had already found this cute monkey surf lamp at Goodwill and later found this cute surf monkey canvas print at Ross for $7.  Love when a room can come together and stay on budget as well.  

Linking to :  Tatertots & Jello

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beef, Mushroom & Biscuit Casserole

Everyone is back in school and back to our busy routines!  The first week of school I tried to be a little more creative with dinners.  The girls were getting sick of our usuals, so I decided it was a good time to try a few new things.  I went to the fridge to see what we had to work with.  I always like to stop by The Fresh Market on Tuesdays for their $2.99/lb ground chuck and $2.99/lb chicken breasts.  Both are great meats to build a meal on.  I wanted to use our ground chuck and I also had a refrigerated can of Immaculate biscuits.  Now I just needed some veggies!

Start by browning your meat and chopping some mushrooms and celery.  Add the veggies to your meat and cook until tender.  Next you will add your soup.  

 Transfer your meat mixture to your casserole dish and top with cheese.  

I flattened my biscuit dough by hand to cover the top of the mixture.  Time to bake!

Beef, Mushroom & Biscuit Casserole
by Love Bug Living

1 1/2 lb ground beef
8 oz Mushrooms, diced
1/2 c celery, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 can biscuits

Brown your ground beef and drain grease.  Add in your celery and mushrooms and contine to cook until softened.  Stir in your soup until combined.  Pour mixture into a baking dish.  Top with cheese.  Flatten your biscuits by hand and top your casserole with them.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Printable Recipe

My middle daughter can be quite picky, especially when it comes to meat dishes.  However, she made me promise that I would make this Beef, Mushroom & Biscuit casserole again.  She said she liked it so much that she'd even eat it without the biscuits on top.  I think that means she really liked it!

Linking to Tatertots & Jello

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goodwill Stools Makeover

I love finding a hidden gem among the trash.  That's why I love browsing at Goodwill stores and thrift stores.  You never know what you might find.  We had been looking for a new set of stools for our kitchen counter.  We were looking for backless stools because our space is kind of limited.

However, when I saw these beauties, I couldn't pass them up.  Ok, so they needed some work, but you could tell they were well made by just the weight and feel of them.  The wood was in good shape, they rotated well, and they were very sturdy.  For just $10 each, it was a deal I couldn't resist.

The seat cushions had definitely seen better days though.  There was quite a variety of paint colors and dirt.  Someone may have taken a marker to them as well.  The wood was easily cleaned with a magic eraser sponge, but we decided to just recover the seats.

I found our material at JoAnn's in the home decor section.  It's from the HGTV Home collection, called Turtle Shell.  I love the bright colors and geometric print.  I was able to get enough fabric by purchasing 3/4 of a yard.  With my coupon, I was able to get the fabric for around $15.  This brought our project total to $35 for two stools.  This is less than half the price you would pay for just one new stool.  After unscrewing the stool cushions from the stools, I unattached the black back fabric.  Position your fabric in place on the top of your stool cushion.  Be sure to center any design if your fabric has one.

Fold your fabric under on one side and staple in place around the edge.  Stretch the fabric to the opposite side of the stool and staple in place.  Now staple the other two sides, stapling a few staples on what would be the four sides.  Now pull and position your fabric evenly between these four "sides" and staple the rest of the fabric in place on the bottom of the stool seat.

Trim the excess material.  Replace your black cover fabric and attach it in place with staples around the outside edge.  Screw the seat back to your stool base.

I was very pleased with how these stools turned out.  They are the perfect pop of color for our kitchen.  Off to do a little more treasure hunting!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

First Day of School 2015

We all survived the first day of school!  It actually went quite well.  Everyone loves their teachers and had great days!  Maybe even looking forward to Day 2!!

6th Grade

4th Grade


On the way to the bus stop

Waiting for the bus

Sending sissy off to her first day of middle school

Our baby is growing up!
Hope everyone had a great first day of school this year!  The craziness has begun!
Good Luck!