Boo To You Halloween Dinner

If you know me well, you know it is no secret that I love celebrations. I love taking seemingly ordinary days and turning them into special parties for my kids. Life is too short not to grab a little fun when and where you can. Cooper in particular gets so excited about our celebrations which is why I continue to do it.

This year was our first annual Boo To You Halloween Dinner and I wanted to share in case you wanted to plan a Halloween dinner for your family! It isn’t too late and you probably have most of what you need already on hand.

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First – decorations! I can’t throw any party without fun decorations. Thank goodness for Target’s one dollar spot, right?! The tablecloth, spiderweb chargers, tree and ornaments, pumpkins, and aliens are from Target. The plates are from Kroger.

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Each child got a Halloween pajamas (except Cooper – he’s unfortunately out of child pajamas and into the big boy sizes now) and a Halloween book.

I themed our food as well.

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We had pumpkin oranges, mac and cheese in jack o lantern cups, vampire doughnuts, monster rice crispy treats, zombie brains (meatballs), and mummy dogs. I also served my Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice to drink.

Do you do any special themed meals to celebrate Halloween? Share your ideas in the comments.

Check back tomorrow for recipes and more ideas for Halloween food!

How to Make a Spiral Mesh Wreath

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I’m absolutely obsessed with mesh wreaths. I like big wreaths and I cannot lie; what can I say? I think mesh wreaths make such an impact on your door. I want people to see my wreath as they drive by my house!

I’ve been making traditional mesh wreaths for about 2 years, but recently I took a class at Carolina Pottery to learn how to make a spiral mesh wreath. It was so much easier than I thought, and I’m going to share a step by step tutorial with you today!

(In case you are a more visual person, I’ve got a quick video tutorial at the bottom of this post.)

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Step One: Gather your supplies. You’ll need mesh, a wreath form, and embellishments if you chose to add them. I added ribbon and some patriotic accessories to my wreath.

You can just do one color wreath, but you’ll need to make some adjustments in your technique if you choose just one color. I talk about this in the video.

All the supplies for this wreath were $60;however , you can make two wreaths out of what you see above. The ribbon was what really made my total so expensive. The burlap ribbon was $10!

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Step Two: Prepare your wreath form. Each grouping of wire is two pieces (keep that in mind for later). Right now you want to pinch the two pieces together and pull them straight up. Then, go around your wreath and count how many groups of wire you have. Most wreath forms have about 18 groups of wire.

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Step Three: Arrange your mesh for cutting. To make this much easier, you will want to layer your mesh on top of one another. The white is on the bottom, then the red, and then the blue. Just make sure they line up at the very end.

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Step Four: Cut your mesh. I use a piece of computer paper as my guide. Cut lengthwise. You can cut along the lines of the mesh if you are a perfectionist.

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Step Five: Once you finish cutting, the mesh will curl up naturally. Set it to the side and cut 18 more times – one strip of mesh for every grouping of wire on your wreath form.

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Step Six: Once you have all your strips of mesh cut, it is time to start putting your wreath together. Take one strip of mesh and fold it in half so that the ends meet. Cut the strip of mesh in half. Now you have two strips of mesh.

Step Seven: Take apart the three individual colors of mesh. Fold the mesh into a cylinder shape. Do this for all three colors.

Step Eight: Stack the three colors mesh on top of one another and pinch in the middle.

Step Nine: Remember how I told you to remember that each grouping of mesh was made up of two pieces of wire? Here’s where that comes into play. The mesh you have pinched together in Step Eight now will get secured on the wreath form with one piece of wire. Pull apart the two pieces of wire on the wreath form and secure the mesh using one piece of wire. Then you will go back and grab the other group of mesh – from the one strip you cut in half – and secure to the other piece of wire.

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Step Ten: Pull apart the wire and fluff. Continue this process with all the strips of mesh, moving around the wreath until you have used all the mesh and all the wire on the wreath form.

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Step Eleven: Here is your finished product, pre-embellishment! The whole process, from cutting to placing the mesh on the wreath, took about 2 hours.

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Here is the wreath after I added my embellishments. I talk a little more about how to cut the ribbon and add the accessories in the video.

Here’s the video! I look a hot mess since I filmed at the end of the day. I had dinner on the stove and the kids were fussing, so excuse my appearance and the mess of my kitchen.

Tips:

  • Wear casual clothes when you make the wreath. The mesh catches on your clothes.
  • Place a tablecloth or sheet on your table if it scratches easily.
  • This is a messy process! Do it somewhere that is easy to vacuum or sweep.
  • When you secure your mesh to your wreath, only wrap the wire one time. Leave the excess wire in case you want to add ribbon or accessories. You can use the excess wire for that purpose.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Playroom Tour & Organization

When we moved into our home three years ago, we decided we wanted to keep all the bedrooms upstairs. We have three bedrooms upstairs. At the time we only had one child, so one was the master bedroom, one was my son’s nursery, and one was a guest room. When I become pregnant with Sullivan, we turned the spare bedroom into Cooper’s “big boy” room and we moved Sullivan into the nursery.

We had one bedroom downstairs that we decided to use as a playroom. I don’t really care to have toys in the kids’ bedrooms. Cooper does have a few toys in his room, and I have two wicker baskets in the living room that are Sullivan’s toys, but in general all the toys stay in the playroom. When we first moved in, this room was a mess. We had several plastic storage bins just filled with toys and we kind of let Cooper do what he wanted as long as the toys stayed in the playroom. As a result this room was always a mess. It got to the point where Cooper couldn’t find anything to play with because everything was in such a chaotic jumble.

When I got pregnant with Sullivan, I went on a mad house organization and decorating binge. We had been in our house for two years at that point and had not painted anything other than Cooper’s nursery – but when nesting mode hit, I insisted we paint Cooper’s (new) room, the downstairs bathroom, the dining room, the kitchen, the living room, the hallway, and the playroom. And when I say “we” I really mean my husband.

Luckily my husband is a trooper and always makes my crazy ideas come to life!

We left this project until the last minute… as in, this was done just a few weeks before I gave birth. I picked up stuff for the room here and there throughout the summer, and we threw it together last August. In the almost year since we decorated and organized, I have to say the system we came up with is working quite well!

Without further adieu…

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Here’s the view of the left side of the room from the doorway. I love statement walls, and I decided to go big or go home in this room. I know a lot of people hate chevron, but I love it. I told my husband I wanted to do multi-color chevrons and he made it happen. The base of the wall is white, and I used blue (the blue of the other three walls in the room), pink, yellow and red for the chevrons. My husband says that painting the chevrons is not as hard as it seems, but it is very time consuming. It involves a lot of measuring and taping.

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Here’s a close up on the storage cubbies you see in the picture above. The two storage cubbies and the bench cubby are from Target. I also purchased the red fabric drawers from Target as well.

When I decided on a cubby system, I knew I wanted to label the drawers in a way that my son could easily view and understand what went into each bin. I sat down and sorted all his toys into categories to decide how many bins I would need. Then I made labels with scrapbook paper and cardstock. I searched for clip art for each category of toy, and then I pasted it into a Word document. I printed on heavy cardstock, cut, mounted each square on scrapbook paper, cut, and then laminated each square. I initially used velcro to attach the labels but those did not work long term. I ended up hot gluing velcro to the fabric drawer – it still detaches easily if I need to change out the content and the label.

One I had the fabric drawers labeled, I asked my son to help me put everything in the correct bin. I explained the system as we went, and the first few times he cleaned up I helped him, explaining what went where. From that point on he could do it himself.

Here are some of the labels I created:

  • Angry Birds
  • Super Heroes
  • Legos
  • Little People (this includes random figurines)
  • Castle
  • Toy Story
  • Mr. Potato

The bookshelf holds his books and some puzzles.

Above the bookshelf I have a shelf with hooks where his dress up clothes hang.

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This is the view of the center and the right side of the room. In the center of the room there is a children’s table with a tabletop easel. Directly behind the table is the train table, and beyond that is the art desk.

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We use the easel for our learning time. I print whatever letters we are working on that week, and my son uses the chalkboard on the back to practice. He also loves using the cups and paintbrushes to paint.

IMG_5851Here is what we call the Creation Station. (A very corny name for where I store art & educational supplies, and where we have Cooper’s art desk.)

IMG_5846The art desk itself stores markers, crayons, colored pens, and paint. The bins to the right and left hold stickers, educational supplies, chalk, paint, play dough, etc. The three drawer bins are from Target and I created the labels the same way I did for the fabric drawers. I repurposed some old plastic bins to hold coloring books and construction paper, and created labels for them as well.

I have to tell you – my friends think I am insane for putting the art supplies out. However, my husband and I had a serious talk with Cooper when we put together the desk. We told him he needed to always ask before using his art supplies, and that if he wanted to paint he needed to have his dad or I supervise. He’s done really well! We have had two accidents with the paint but it is washable so luckily it came up out of the carpet easily.

Here’s some of the art I created for the room.

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I purchased two plaster, open backed frames from Hobby Lobby at 40% off. I painted them red with the same paint we used on the walls. My husband (carefully, since they are plaster) screwed in hooks on the back, and I used twine to make racks where I could pin photos. In between the two frames, we screwed hooks directly into the wall and strung twine between the hooks. I purchased small hangers from Hobby Lobby and printed off Instagram pictures for the frames and the wall.

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I purchased wooden letters from Hobby Lobby and painted them to match the different color chevrons. These letters hang above the closet in the room.

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On our last trip to Disney World, I purchased a book of all the different Disney characters. Every time we saw a character or a character spot, I would stop and have the character autograph his or her page. I pulled out some of our favorite pages and framed them for the wall.

This was my least favorite project in the room. I got the frames from Ikea, super cheap, but they were black. I primed them with spray paint primer meant for plastic, and then I attempted to paint them with the red paint I used on the chevron wall. Even though I had primed, the paint would not stick. It took me about 10 coats, and there are still places where if you get close enough you can see the paint did not adhere.

I do want to point out that the playroom will likely change as Sullivan gets more mobile. We have already went in and pulled out anything that has tiny pieces the baby could choke on. We moved those toys upstairs into Cooper’s room. I am sure as Sullivan gets more mobile that they art supplies will move to a locked closet.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the Playroom Tour & Organization!

Note: you may see color differences in each photo. This room is very dark and is hard to photograph because of that. I had to go in and lighten each picture, so if the paint colors look different room to room, that is why.