HALLOWEEN CANDY HAUL

Candy is cheapest this time of year, especially if you have coupons. This is the time to stock up. The autumn colored Hershey’s Kisses will not matter if you are saving them to make peanut butter cookies with kisses on them. Chocolate freezes very well.

Those licorice whips can be tied into bows around three pretzels to make a Christmas Wreath. Some candy is great to decorate a birthday cake. Think about the baking you will be doing in the next few months. Get the candy now because the wrapper will not matter.

You can even freeze Hershey’s candy bars for your s’mores next summer.

Stock up for next year.

Stock up for next year.

YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS….

I love decorating for the seasons and for every holiday. I used to go all out with silk flowers, but my allergies got so bad that I had to give them all away. I have to be more creative now.

The first thing I do is choose three colors for my decorating. Last summer I chose blue, green and white. One fall I used Pumpkin, Cranberry and Cobalt Blue. Using a new candle as my inspiration, I chose shades of red, orange and yellow for my fall decorations this year.

Since I can’t use flowers, I used towels in the bathroom.

 

Bathroom towel decorations.

Bathroom towel decorations.

I added a pin and a hair clip to the towels for interest and to add yellow to the arrangement.

In the kitchen I used pumpkin salt and pepper shakers and a yellow candle in a clear holder.

 

Pumpkin Salt & Pepper shakers and a yellow candle.

Pumpkin Salt & Pepper shakers and a yellow candle.

The living room contained the candle, but I wanted a touch more color. I pulled out my ribbons that I save from packages. I sewed together a yellow ribbon over an orange ribbon over a red ribbon and tacked it to my boring black pillow.

I added three ribbons to my black pillow.

I added three ribbons to my black pillow.

Sometimes, all it takes is a touch of color.

“BASKETBALL SHORTS”

My daughter left her clothes in the dryer…again. As I pulled them out and piled them in her basket, I burst out laughing because I found a pair of green basketball shorts.

These shorts have a story. I purchased them as practice shorts for my son when he played basketball about six years ago. We had a problem with the washer catching our clothes and eating them. The problem was fixed, but not before it ate a few holes in these shorts.

I sewed the pockets shut and used the pocket material to make round patches. I sewed them on using a zigzag stitch and added extra stitching to make each round patch look like a basketball.

My son hated them. He refused to wear them.

But, my daughter thought they were cool! I realized she is still wearing them today.

Pockets are the perfect material to use for patches because they match the rest of the item.

The basketball shorts I repaired with the material from the pockets.

The basketball shorts I repaired with the material from the pockets.

FREE LINGERIE

My nieces wedding made me reflect over our 31+ years of marriage. I was told the secret to a lasting relationship was plenty of food and lingerie! There was not money in our budget for lingerie and I had to be creative.

Sometimes, I would just put on one of his button down shirts. Or a sheer dress without a slip. I even made an Indian costume out of paper grocery sacks. Yep, I was creative.

You don’t have to spend tons of money on expensive lingerie…just wear something that is less than modest. Of course, I am talking about in the privacy of your own home!

Obviously, there will be no photos attached to this post!

LITTLE BLACK DRESS SCORES AGAIN

One month ago, my niece got married and the whole family was able to be present…even my brother’s family from Virginia made it.

Her colors were black and cream. I decided to wear my little black dress and a cream-colored crocheted shawl over it. I had second thoughts because I could see where I ripped the stitching out to put in the lace insert. I tried to find another dress, but there are very few available in tall sizes.

My daughter was able to find a new dress and it was beautiful. Before we left, I told her the tag was still attached. She jokingly said, “That is the only way people will know it is a new dress!”

She was right. No one knows if your clothes are new unless they see a tag.

The wedding was in a town over an hour away. We loaded up our van with our family, my mom and a cousin. We stopped at Casey’s halfway there and I was surprised when a lady followed me out of the gas station.

My cousin and I thought she was going to ask me about the allergy mask that I wear everywhere whenever I go out. I was shocked when she asked me where I got my dress and shoes!

She got out a pen and paper and wrote down, overstock.com for the dress and joesnewbalance.com for the shoes. I didn’t bother to tell her that I let out the hem, zigzagged the edge, sewed the vee-neck up a bit, ripped it back out and added a lace insert. She just saw a dress that fit me and was modest. I also did not let her know the dress was six years old.

After all the only way you can tell if clothes are new, is if the tag is still on them. Buy the best clothes that you can afford. Have them altered to fit you and take care of them. They will last for years.

My little black dress with a lace insert.

My little black dress with a lace insert.

YOU SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY

My birthday is coming up and my favorite gifts are the ones made for me. A few years ago, my husband made me a puzzle board out of scrap material.

He took a 42″ x 18″ piece of Masonite and glued 1/2″ trim around it, and divided it into two sides. You put the puzzle together on one side and have the pieces on the other side. It is small enough to store under a love seat.

I am working on a 750 piece puzzle. You could make these for Christmas gifts, too.

My puzzle board.

My puzzle board.

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HEAT THE CREAM

College boy is on a coffee run. As a part-time employee of Caribou coffee, I swear he is one of their best customers. Running to Caribou is not an option for me.

While reading Pinterest, I realized the best part of buying coffee is it is hot. They boil the milk for some drinks and heat the cream for others. They never add cold milk to their drinks.

I decided to pour a little cream in my coffee cup and put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. The cup warms up along with the cream and it helps keep the coffee hot.

Zap your creamer before adding coffee to your cup.

Zap your cream before adding coffee to your cup.

 

TRIM YOUR BLIND CORDS

The mini blind in the office broke. When we replaced it, I trimmed the cords. I pushed the bell up, measured 16″ and tied a knot. I cut below the knot and let the bell slide down on top of it. That makes the cord end halfway down the window and out of reach.

Trim cords above reach of a child.

Trim cords above reach of a child.

ALWAYS BUY A RED BIKE

Tomorrow college boy will turn 21. I think it is safe to reveal a secret from his 3rd birthday. We wanted to buy him his first 2 wheeler bike, but could not find one we could afford. We even considered selling his sister’s old bike that she had outgrown.

Then, in desperation, I took his sister’s bike and hid it in the basement. After he went to bed each night, I would paint a pink area blue. He got his new blue bike, but as you can tell by the picture, it was not his favorite gift.

His favorite was a toy guitar that played rock music. That trend continues as he spends more money on his instruments: drums and two guitars, than he does on transportation.

Even then he was a ladies man as all of his guests were girls!

College boy's first 2-Wheeler.

College boy’s first 2-Wheeler.

FOUR YEARS AHEAD OF MARTHA STEWART

My mother dropped off some old magazines and I laughed when I saw an article in the May, 2013 Martha Stewart Living magazine. The article was entitled “DROP-CLOTH DECOR.”

I thought it was funny that she was presenting an idea that I had used in 2009. I had been unemployed for over a year and set up an office in an unused bedroom. The walls were painted blue and I wanted to have white, sailcloth drapes. When I priced them, I realized they were way over my budget.

Then, while de-cluttering (See flylady.net) the basement, I found a drop cloth. There was no paint on it and I decided to make drapes from it. It was a simple sewing project. I ripped out the center panel to make tie-backs and folded the two remaining pieces in half.

I cut out 2″x4″ pieces from the center piece for the curtain rod to run through and sewed them to the curtain. I sewed ivory colored buttons on the top for embellishment.

The two layers of heavy material make them very energy-efficient. I almost bought the curtains because the drop cloth was not white, when my friend Paula said, “Why? It’s a south window and the sun will bleach them to white soon enough.”

I am so glad I listened to her as I am still happy with the results.

My drapes made from a drop cloth.

My drapes made from a drop cloth.