Homemade Halloween Costumes!

Halloween is right around the corner and this is the first year that my kids don’t have their costumes all figured out.  I really would like to get away from buying a store bought costume and doing something a little more creative.  Last year I dressed up for an 80’s party.  I think I pretty much rocked it!


Loved my crimped hair!

So I’ve been scouring the internet to find creative ideas that I could make at home with my kids.  Check out my favorites:

The Roller Coaster

Rollercoaster Costume

This is the perfect couple costume that would surely win the best costume award!

The Ghost

green sheet spook


What ever happened to just taking a sheet and cutting eye holes??  I wonder if I could talk Bella into this…

The Bulldozer

Bulldozer Boy Halloween Costume


Got some extra boxes?  Turn them into a bulldozer!  I bet you’ll be the only bulldozer on the block!

The Juice Box

Absolute BEST Costume of the Night

Aren’t these cute ideas?  A few other ideas I am going to throw past my kids are:

  • A bunch of grapes (how easy would that be?!?)
  • Zombie
  • Werewolf
  • A baby
  • FBI Agent

What about you?  What are some creative costumes you made at home, either for yourself or your kids?

How to Decorate Flip Flops

This past Saturday, we took Bella to Old Navy because they were having a sale on their flip flops…$1 a pair!  Bella is like me, she loves flip flops.  Of course, she couldn’t pick just one pair (could you?).  Check out what she got:



As we were standing in line, I asked Bella if she would like to decorate her flip flops to make them less boring.  Of course she said yes!  There are a number of things we could do with the flip flops, but being summer and the potential for them to get dirty or wet from the sprinkler is pretty high.  So I decided to use water balloons.  Below are the DIY step by step directions on how to decorate your flip flops with water balloons!

How to Decorate Your Flip Flops

  1. Pick up a pair of inexpensive flip flops.  You can check your local dollar stores, Old Navy or use a pair you already have!
  2. Decide the color(s) of water balloons you would like to use and in what patter you would like to use them.
  3. Take one water balloon and place it on either side of the center that goes between your toes and tie a knot.
  4. Continue tying knots with water balloons until you have completed your pattern.


Total Cost

  • Flip Flops, $1
  • 1/2 package of Blue Water Balloons, $0.50
  • 1/2 package of Purple Water Balloons, $0.50

Grand total of $2.00 spent on this pair of flip flops!

You can put as many water balloons on as you would like.  Aren’t they cute?!?  Originally we thought about using fabric, but with it being summer and Bella liking to run around all over the place…they would be disgustingly filthy in no time!  So balloons were definitely the way to go!  Tomorrow we will be adding balloons to the flip flops with the white strap.  Bella is thinking all pink for that one.

If you decide to give this a try (and please do…it literally took me 30 minutes…that’s it!), let me know what you decide to do!  Shoot…send me a picture!



My Summer Bucket List 2013

My kids only have 14 or 15 school days left and they are out for the summer.  When I’m not rocking in the corner with my fingers in my ears, trying not to think about it (I joke…sort of!), I think about different things we can do this summer.  We’re pretty limited because Zachary was invited to the Summer Academy (summer school) for extra math and language arts help.  He will be back in school June 24th through July 25th.  Once that is over, football season starts and then we are pretty much stuck here.

Despite what our summer is looking like, I am putting together a bucket list of things I want to do myself, with my husband and with my kids.

My Summer Bucket List

  1. Go to the gym as much as possible.  This one is obviously for myself.  Right now I have it planned that I will drop Zachary off at summer school, drop Bella off at the park program, go to the gym and then back to pick each of the kids up.  The only problem will be if it rains.  Then I will have to skip the gym because I can’t take Bella with me.  Hopefully it rains later in the day!
  2. Family days at the Zoo.  I looked into getting a zoo membership.  We used to have one and didn’t use it very much.  It was such a hot summer that walking the zoo was miserable and when we could have used it in the fall/winter time, I was working…so it never worked out.
  3. Actually use the Date Night Jar.  I made this for my husband for Christmas.  Unfortunately, we haven’t been using it…at all.  That is going to change this summer.
  4. Take a spontaneous road trip.  My goal is to visit all 50 states with the kids.  I’d like to get that 1000 places to see book and see some of the places in it.  Obviously, given our schedule this summer, the road trips would have to be in the weekend so that severely limits us as to where we can go.  But we can leave on a Friday afternoon and come home Sunday afternoon.
  5. Lose 15 pounds.  I’d like to lose more, but I figured once I achieve that goal, I can set another one!  Ultimately I would like to lose about 80 pounds total.  I know I can hit 15 pounds lost…I can’t wait until I hit 80 pounds lost!
  6. Watch the entire Boy Meets World series.  Currently right now, I have 154 episodes on my DVR.  Crazy.  But it’s such a cute show.  I remember loving it when it was originally on and when I ran across it, I got hooked.  They’re 30 minute episodes and if you fast forward through commercials, you can get through an episode pretty quickly.  Maybe I can convince Dan to watch it with me…
  7. Go Strawberry or Blueberry picking.  I remember going strawberry picking as a kid.  I want to take my kids there.  I remember loving it (and eating a ton of strawberries).  I’m pretty sure my kids would like it too!
  8. Freeze meals for Fall football.  Last year was my son’s first season playing tackle football.  Not only are the practices intense, but they are also most of the week.  Last year Zachary was on the Junior Freshman team, so he practiced Tuesday through Thursday.  This year he has to move up to Freshman and he practices Tuesday through Friday.  I am not thrilled about adding that extra day, but I am going to try and make things easier on myself and put together a bunch of meals in the freezer so I can pop it in the oven and we can eat dinner when we get home.
  9. Make things from Pinerest.  I pin all these great things, but I rarely make them.  I want to start making something from Pinterest weekly (or more often, if I can) and then blog about my successes and failures!
  10. Relax and enjoy life.  I tend to get stressed out easily and let everything bother me.  I know I need to relax and calm down, but I get wound so tight that when I unravel…it’s a mess!  So this summer I want to find things that will help relax me and enjoy life.
  11. Sleep in most Saturday’s or Sunday’s.  Since I am going to be up at the butt crack of dawn pretty much every day during the summer because I need to get my son to summer school, I am calling it right now (I know you get my email updates Dan…), at least one day EVERY weekend is mine to sleep in.  I don’t care if I sleep until 3pm.  It’s my time.

So there you have it!  That is my bucket list for this summer…what is on YOUR summer bucket list?

DIY Date Night Jar

My husband is one of the hardest people to buy a gift for.  Mainly because he has a lot of things and the things he wants are just not in the budget to buy or I can’t buy it for him (like the custom golf club he wants).  So to say I was stressed out this holiday season trying to figure out what to get for him, was an understatement.  Until I was browsing Pinterest and I found a great DYI gift idea!

date night jarMy husband works in another state during the week, which takes a huge toll on our relationship.  When you only get two days to spend together a week, it really stinks.  And since we have kids, I always feel guilty getting a babysitter so he and I can go out.  I feel like they need to spend just as much time with their dad, as well.  But like I said, it’s taking it’s toll.  So when I saw the idea to make a Date Night Jar, I knew I had to make one of those for him for Christmas.  And boy did I have fun!  I even bought him a puzzle for Christmas to go along with the jar!

So what do you need to make this?

  • Package of wide popsicle sticks 
  • A jar
  • Label for the jar or some way to decorate it
  • Sharpies

The first thing I did, while watching Beverly Hills, 90210 (I just love that show…and I’m hoping Santa brings me the series on DVD!) was take a red sharpie and color the tip of several popsicle sticks.  The red tipped sticks indicate that a little more planning would need to go into that particular date…basically, we would need to get a babysitter.  The plain popsicle sticks are things we can do at home once the kids are in bed.  Here are a few of the  different types of dates I have in the jar:

The Red Tipped Sticks:

  • Dinner at Mongolian BBQ
  • Go for a drive (we used to do this before kids…just drive and drive…but gas was also cheaper then)
  • Dinner at P.F. Changs and a movie
  • Night at a hotel

The Plain Sticks:

  • Pick a t.v. series on Netflix and have a marathon
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Play Trivial Pursuit
  • Plan a family vacation
  • Finish a project in the house

You can put anything you want on these popsicle sticks.  I geared mine towards things my husband and I like to do or places we like to go to.  And yes…I also put some naughty ones on there too!  But my point is, you can make this gift any way you want!  I also thought about making a summer vacation jar for me and the kids.  The possibilities are truly endless!

If you were to make a jar for your spouse, what would you put on your popsicle sticks?


DIY Food Storage Ideas

I often dream about my “Really Real House”…the house where I have everything I want.  The one thing my “Really Real House” has to have is a walk-in pantry.  I’m not a food hoarder, but I do use coupons and stock up on the items that we use  most.  So food storage is a must. Now that I am making most things from scratch (check out my awesome bread recipe), keeping things like flour, sugar, etc on hand is important!

Since I can’t have my “Really Real House” right now, I do have one thing I really like in my house and that is my basement pantry shelving.  It is the ultimate food storage solution for people that don’t have a walk-in-pantry! I could explain it, but it’s probably best to show you a picture of what I’m talking about.

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food storage

DIY Food Storage

Food storage shelving like this is very easy to make.  Simply measure your space, decide how much space you would like between each shelf and hang using an L bracket thingy (yes…that is the technical term!).  If my husband wasn’t snoring next to me, I’d ask him the exact term.  But for now, we’ll go with L bracket thingy!

food storage

Yes I realize I am very anal and all of my cans are facing outward, but I like to be able to look at my pantry shelving and read the label as soon as I open the door!  As you can see…I am not a weird food hoarder!  And yes, the Sodastream Soda Maker food storage is very awesome and is something we use A LOT of in our house!

SodaStream Fountain Jet Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, Black and SilverSodaStream Fountain Jet Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, Black and Silver

Now that school is starting (THANK GOODNESS!) I am going to head on over to Home Depot and pick up a super bright color (like pink) and paint that basement stairwell a brighter color!  But Shhhh!  Don’t tell my husband!