Elf on the Shelf Ideas (Featuring Ellie the Elf!)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ellie was recently featured on Freebie Finding Mom's blog post, 25 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas. I loved that one of my ideas that made my little sister so excited was shared for others to try. 

With the elves back from the North Pole, Ellie has been getting quite a few hits and repins on Pinterest bringing lots of traffic to my blog and Pinterest page. 

So, I wanted to bring all of Ellie's most poopular ideas to one page. Here goes nothin'! 

Ellie playing Regan's video games. 

Roasting marshmallows.

Getting into Regan's makeup.

Pouring Dad a cup of coffee.

Broke in to watch tv in Regan's Barbie house.
Enjoying a big Thanksgiving dinner.

Taking a nap in Regan's American Girl bed.

Being captured by the other toys for being Regans favorite at the moment. 

Hittin' a few holes.

Hanging out with the wine.

Enjoying one of the Elves main food groups.

Seeing Santa.

Getting into the leftovers.

Being the messenger. 
This has been the most popular Ellie idea. 
It has been repinned on Pinterest about 3,000 times and has brought thousands to my blog.

Enjoying Mom's favorite afternoon snack. 
This Ellie idea has been the third most popular on Pinterest with about 1,600 repins. 

Hanging with the fellas. 
This Ellie idea has been the second most popular idea on Pinterest having just over 2,000 repins. 

Showing love for our favorite family movie.

Riding the reindeer.

Calling the hogs! 

Hope some of these get your creative juices flowing!

Christmas Wreaths and Elf Returns!

Thursday, December 4, 2014
It's time to bust out the Christmas wreaths and make everything smell like cinnamon. 

When I graduated college, I went for about a month and a half of unemployment. I was waiting for Jordan to finish his temp. job with Iowa State and we were planning on moving to Arkansas. During that time I decided to keep myself busy and bring in a little money making wreaths.

(I made hair-tyes and baby headbands too but that story is for another time.)

Anyways, when we moved to Arkansas I stopped selling and don't do it anymore. But when your Aunt requests a unique Christmas wreath for her front door, you make exceptions!

She sent me a few images of what she wanted and I tried to create a balance between all.  
Here is what I came up with...

Everything was bought at Hobby Lobby. (I played with the chalk part.)

If you decide to do something similar you will need the following items.
A mini chalkboard
Roll of red burlap
Red striped burlap ribbon
Some fun/funky Christmas tree stuffers
Zip ties 

THE BOW: Go to The Domestic Diva's blog to see how it was done. I only did 4 loops instead of 6 but that's all up to you! 

The Christmas decor isn't the only thing coming back right now. Ellie the Elf is back as well!!! Although, last year Jordan and I were staying with my parents until we found a place to live so I got to set her up everywhere. This year it's all in my Mom and Dad's hands. I'm pitching ideas but it's slightly killing me not to drive over there and set her up for fun. :(

Here is what she has done so far...

Day One: She's back!!!
The image is a little dark because my Dad took it while Regan was sleeping. 

Day Two: Ellie packed lunch! 
It includes some of the essentials, candy and syrup.

Can't wait to see what shenanigans Ellie get's herself into this year....;)
Hope you're all having a great week and returning your elves from the North Pole! 

Christmas Gift Ideas for Men (Made by Men!)

Monday, December 1, 2014

I did what I think every girl does this time of year. I turned to Pinterest for stocking stuffer and gift ideas for my husband but I came up short. 

Everything I saw was FAR from what Jordan would actually want and use. 
An expensive cardigan? HA! 
A high class shave set? Nope. 
An infinity scarf? Are they serious? 

To be honest, I think half the women that create those on Pinterest only put all that stuff together because the colors coordinate. Seriously though. Go take a look and tell me I'm wrong!

So, I took it upon myself to come up with a list of Christmas gift ideas for men and the most important part of this post is that this list was made by men

I asked guys (from our close friends and family to Facebook friends) what they would love to see under the tree this year. I wanted ideas from stocking stuffers to big gifts. 

Don't worry ladies, I didn't include the requested cars, guns and riding lawnmowers. (I got your back!) ;)

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen
(You can click on the corresponding number to purchase exactly what's pictured!)

One | A bottle opener
It seems so simple but it tends to be one of the main things men love and use but rarely buy for themselves. At least, they rarely buy themselves a nice one that will last them forever.

Two| A giftcard
Jordan loves to hunt and fish so his ultimate place is Bass Pro. In fact, most of our guy friends who I reached out to put this at the top of their Christmas list. Another big one was a giftcard to Home Depot or Lowes. 

Three | Beer
Duh! Another obvious one that men want. I suggest their favorite beer or a beer they have been wanting to try but always forget to buy until they have swiped their card and are heading back to the car.

Four | Whiskey Stones
Jordan's drink of choice is Whiskey (if you skipped ahead and saw the bottle of Templeton, we will get more into that in a bit).  We got whiskey stones for our wedding but this was another one that our guy friends added to the list.

Five | Mini Nerf Gun
This is a little something fun for Christmas morning. If I dare get this for Jordan, I know he will be ripping that thing out of it's packaging so fast and will be shooting everything in sight. So, maybe make this the last thing they open if you go with it? Ha!

Six | Yeti Cooler
Yeti! Oh, Yeti. The nicest cooler around. Seriously. Jordan and I want one so bad but they are not cheap folks! So, this is more of a big gift idea for your guy but one I think every guy would love to get. 

Seven | Thermos
Jordan has many Thermos' but "many" isn't always enough. Almost every one of our guy friends owns one of these but they tend to get beat up after awhile.

Eight | Slippers
This one wasn't as "manly" as the rest of the gifts but it's definitely one most men enjoy whether they admit it or not. Who doesn't love toasty toes?

Nine | Stocking Hat
Carhartt is the way to go. They are so warm and come in a million colors. Another gift that the guys put in the safe bet category.

Ten | Beard Pack
This was strictly from Jordan. His beard has been getting out of hand. No matter how much I bug him to trim it, his stubborn side get's more stubborn (didn't think that was possible. Psh!) and he refuses. The only win-win outcome is to tame the beard. 

Eleven | Zippo
And again, another top gift idea from the guys. A zippo lighter. Not only did almost all of them want this but it's a good gift idea because most men want it but won't buy it for themselves.

Twelve | Bodywash
I always try to throw in a little something like this for Jordan when I can. However, when I do, I need to make sure it's "manly" enough for this manly man. That's why Sasqwash is a safe bet if you go this route.

Thirteen | Wool Socks
Like women to shoes, Jordan is to wool socks. The man could fill an entire dresser with just wool socks. But, he's not the only one! A lot of the guys I got help from requested these as well. They are awesome for hunting season. If you live in the frigid North, this is a must have. I would be lying if I said I didn't own a few pairs myself.

Fourteen | Whiskey
And last but certainly not least, Templeton Rye Whiskey. A household favorite between our guy friends and family. This Iowa whiskey is Jordan's all time favorite. So, if all else fails I buy him this because he's always thrilled.

If you have other ideas, please throw them my way! 
I would love to keep accumulating this list for the next few years to come.
Happy Christmas shopping!!!

Catchin' Up and Trying to Keep Up!

Sunday, November 30, 2014
It's been awhile since I posted anything. A lot has happened in that time but of course now that I sit down, relax and type, I can't think of anything. Ugh. 

First off, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We started ours by going to see Elf at the Walton Arts Center, watching Elf the movie at home and stuffing ourselves into a food como with delicious food. We also enjoyed some much needed family time and much needed Christmas decorating. But of course, I don't have nearly as many pictures as I would like. I'm totally slacking on this picture thing lately!

The pictures I have gotten in the past couple weeks are of our Christmas tree. I change my Christmas colors every year but I always stick with red. Always. 

This year I decided to go with brown, gold and of course red. It turned out beautifully.

Instead  of my normal gold glitter star, I went with a big, red glitter bow!
I will proudly say that almost all of this was purchased at Walmart or 50% off at Hobby Lobby. 
Even our tree is Walmart! (Walmart with the win!)

My parents bought these beautiful Christmas laser lights for their house this year. They decided to go with blue because they could use them for the Fourth of July as well. We plugged them in last night and they lit up the house like I've never seen before. 

To be honest, this picture doesn't give them justice! By far the coolest things I have seen in awhile. 

All in all, this is the smart and easy Clark Griswold way of doing Christmas!

In other exciting news (because let's be honest, Christmas decorations are exciting!)...we decided to step out on Black Friday. No, not at 3am but at 9am on Friday. Jordan woke me up and told me that he wanted to run to Walmart to see if they had anything and to see if the store  was "destroyed" from the night before. 

We made our way to Walmart and to our surprise, it was tidy and everything was back in it's place. Plus, there were two Samsung 55 inch flat screen tvs for sale. Naturally, we got them! Saved one for my parents who needed a new tv and drove over right away to get it and one for us. 

We are calling it our grown up tv. This is our first big, nice tv that we have bought on our own and isn't an hand-me-down. 

There's only one problem....it's so big that it pushed off almost all of my Christmas decorations! Oh well. The price you pay to see Jax from Sons of Anarchy a little better.

Mhmm! ;)

Before                                                     After

Holy huge! (Walmart wins again!)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and successful Black Friday!
Get that Christmas decorating done if you haven't already. Only 25 days until Christmas!!!
Woo hoo!

Happy (belated) Halloween!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I know, I know. I'm running behind on my posts! So, let's take a moment and go back to the great holiday of Halloween. 

This Halloween was the first time Jordan agreed to a couples costume. Well, only because he got to dress in his normal hunting gear. It was a couple costume, none the less. I think it may have made him realize that they aren't so bad either. I think it's safe to say, you can expect a couples costume from us next year. Although, I think I will make him step out of the box a little more...

On Friday, I proudly wore my three main ladies to work.

After work, I hurried my butt over to my parents house where they were throwing a neighborhood Halloween party. SO many people and so many awesome costumes! Jordan and I had to sneak away into my parents bedroom to get a few pictures (and air!). 

My Dad found this pumpkin suit at a local Halloween store. He just HAD to have it and will be dressing as The Pumpkin Man for many more Halloween's to come. 

How about that awesome witch hat? 
I truly believe that every woman should invest in a great witch hat.
Yes - that is bolded because I mean business!

Some of the neighborhood ladies. This was after the party simmered down and everyone was trick or treating. 

Hope you all had a great Halloween! Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Yippee!

Fun Family Weekend

Sunday, November 2, 2014
It's funny how people react when you say your in-laws are coming to town. When I told others that I needed to get home because they were on their way, I got the funniest reactions. Most of them looked at me like I was crazy that I was excited they were coming. Others straight out told me I was lucky to feel that way about my in-laws. I will be the first to admit that I got pretty lucky marrying into such a fun and dare I add, crazy family. 

They made their way down on Thursday so we could have all day Friday and Saturday to hang out. On Friday we explored War Eagle Cave. We only saw a few bats but the boys seemed to like it. I think Jordan was in Heaven more than anyone. 

On Saturday, we took them to their first SEC football game. We taught them how to call the hogs, got a few funny looks like "you really do this?" and watched the funniest and best play of the season. (Click here to watch it!) After the game, we relaxed and hung out with my family. 

The weekend was perfect but Sunday came too soon. We can't wait to see them all again.

How cute are my nephews?!


Saturday was a proud aunt moment for me. Seeing my nephews call the hogs put a big smile on my face! 

As for our day today, we are doing n-o-t-h-i-n-g exept watching football, doing a little Sunday cleaning and playing with chalk. Hope you all had a great Halloween weekend! (Our Halloween weekend post is coming soon!)

6 Easy, Cheap and Festive Ways to Decorate for Halloween

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

After surfing Pinterest for Halloween decorations for far too long, I finally came up with a short list of my own Halloween decorations that are cheap, simple and festive without looking too cheap and simple. Afterall, I am a woman on a budget!

[1] Outdoor Decor
This only cost me $3 and I already had a group of older ladies walk by and tell me they loved my bats. Ha! All you need is black craft paper, scissors, and heavy duty duck tape. 

1. Fold the paper in half and draw half of the bat. 
2. Cut it out and there you have your first bat! 
3. Continue to fold paper in half and trace half of the bat you cut out earlier with a pencil.
4. Cut, and tape them into a path across your front door. Viola!

[2] Garlands
A garland is the easiest and best way to decoration your fireplace. I found this felt garland on West Elm and bought the bat garland from Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard.

[3] Printables
I know, I know. I sell printables on Etsy so this may seem a little biased but it's such an easy, cheap and festive way to decorate.

[4] Chalk Art
I have changed what's on my chalkboard every week this month. It's so simple but festive! (There's that word again!)

[5] DIY Crafts
I bought frames (50% off at Hobby Lobby), striped orange and black scrapbook paper, wooden letters, black paint and black glitter to make these framed signs.

Seriously. Candles are some of the most festive things ever! I have candles all over my house from small tea lights in orange votives to black candles in lanterns (the black flame candle of course!).

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