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Link Round-up: Happiness, Introversion, Halloween Treats and Crafts, and More

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for work happiness, introversion, Halloween treats and crafts, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for pumpkin pie chocolate truffles.

Mind Body Green shares tips for finding happiness at work even if you don’t like your job.

Hungry Happenings showed us how to make pumpkin spice jack-o-lantern Rice Krispie treats.

link ru felt masks

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make woodland creature felt masks for dress-up.

Mommy Snippets offered a homemade sore throat remedy.

Life a Little Brighter gathered 10 easy dinner ideas.

Play Dates on Fridays had a guest post that discussed what it’s like being an introverted parent.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Want to Give Your House a Makeover? Look to the Young House Love Book for Ideas.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 by 1 Comment

Confession time: I really don’t like my house. Besides the fact that I’m not thrilled with its location or the (lack of) yard, it’s stuck in the 90s, the rooms all flow into one another so changes in one area almost demand more changes in other areas, and the layout is just not my cup of tea.

I can’t change the layout, but I can make some smaller changes that make it feel more like home, which it doesn’t now and hasn’t for the past eight years.

I went to the bookstore looking for a different book, but decided that one wasn’t really what I was looking for. I was about to leave when I saw the Young House Love book by John and Sherry Petersik on a low shelf. I remembered running across a blog with that same name before, so I picked it up and looked through it, and I was instantly impressed.

The fixes are relatively simple in most cases. These are practical, cute ways to update your home without going broke, and they’re cute without coming across as if they’d seem a little silly if you were to try to use them in real life.

The instructions are always clear and they don’t just assume you know how to do parts of the projects. You get a total walk-through of whatever it is you’re looking at doing.

The photos are high-quality, the instructions are clear and concise, and the projects are creative. As I went through the book, I made a list in a notebook of all the changes I want to make in my house, and I can’t wait to dive in.

I was so inspired as I went through the pages, it’s going to take me a while to check everything off of this list!

Photo credit: Amazon

The Banana Nutmeg Bread Pudding Candle Is a Must for Fall

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 by No Comments

I’ll admit it: I have a candle problem. The bar in my kitchen is lined with them, and 88 percent or so are fall scents. I love the spices, the baked good scents, the pumpkin, etc.

Every now and then, there’s a standout scent, though, that gets burned down before the candles from the previous year are even done. This year, it’s the Banana Nutmeg Bread Pudding scent.

The throw on this thing is incredible. (I have the three-wick version, which was on sale at Bath & Body Works during one of their 2/$22 sales they have all the time.) My whole house smells amazing—sweet, a little spicy, like baked goods I’m not really talented enough to actually make—within just a few minutes of burning it.

I don’t really notice a strong banana scent when I burn it. It doesn’t smell fruity—just comforting, with its notes of nutmeg and brown sugar, with maybe a little bit of a creamy banana undertone there. If you got last year’s Pumpkin Carving candle (my ultimate favorite in the fall selection last year), it smells a lot like that one.

This candle is burning evenly, and it’s lasting longer than it probably should! I’ve burned it so much over the past couple of weeks, and though it’s beating out some of my leftover fall scents from last year (since I kept going back to my favorites and didn’t burn them as much), I’m surprised by how much I have left.

Bath & Body Works says you should get 25-45 hours of burn time. That sounds about right.

Photo credit: Bath & Body Works

Link Round-up: Magic Potions, Pumpkins, and More

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has magic potion jar decorations, a cookie recipe, a pumpkin decorating idea, and more.

About Family Crafts showed us how to create magic potion jar decorations.

Bombshell Bling shared a recipe for Halloween Oreo-stuffed double chocolate cookies.

Uncommon Designs Online taught us how to make a Halloween candy wreath.

link ru rock bottom price list

Living Well Spending Less showed us how to create a rock bottom price list.

Organized 31 showed us how to make deviled egg eyeballs.

Dollar Store Crafts shared 10 grown-up leaf crafts for fall.

DIY Inspired shared a spooky stagecoach pumpkin idea.

Photo credit: About Family Crafts and Living Well Spending Less

The Magic Treehouse Book Series Is Engaging Even for Kids Who “Don’t Like to Read”

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 by No Comments

Though my daughter has been able to read for a couple of years, she still claimed to “hate reading” until recently.

My husband and I are both avid readers, and can think of no better way to spend an afternoon, evening, or weekend than with a book (we don’t get to do that much, but that’s another story).

She was at the awkward stage where the books were either too easy or too difficult. We kept finding easy readers that didn’t challenge her and chapter books that intimidated her.

One day, we ran across The Magic Treehouse book series by Mary Pope Osborne at the book store. It caught my eye because they had a book about dolphins (Dolphins at Daybreak), a topic she actually has enjoyed reading books about in the past.

I bought her that one and she devoured it. We went back and got more for an upcoming trip and she couldn’t hold herself back from reading another one and getting halfway into the first in just two days. Finally, books she likes!

The topics are so varied, there’s something for any kid. There are the regular chapter books with stories about the adventures of brother and sister, Jack and Annie, as well as a “Fact Checker” nonfiction series that goes along with them for extra exploration of kids’ favorite topics.

To find out more about the books, read a sample, check out events, play some games, and more, visit MagicTreeHouse.com.

Photo credit: Amazon

Link Round-up: Halloween Inspiration and More!

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has tons of Halloween inspiration! There’s a spider web lamp shade, costumes for kids, a table runner, and more.

Uncommon Designs Online shared a recipe for caramel popcorn marshmallow treats.

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make a spider web lamp shade.

About Family Crafts showed us 36 no-sew costumes for kids.

link ru decorate with what you have

Living Well Spending Less showed us 10 ways to decorate with things you already have on hand.

Bombshell Bling showed us how to make a Halloween table runner.

Yesterday on Tuesday showed us 20 dollar store organizing ideas.

Organized 31 showed us who to make DIY mummy candy bar wrappers.

Photo credit: Uncommon Designs Online and Living Well Spending Less

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Is a Beautifully Written Memoir

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 by No Comments

I had been hoping to find a book that would really move me. Lately, I’ve read a lot of “good” books, but none of them really stuck with me and made me feel like I had to go tell everyone I know to go read them.

The Glass Castle is different. I love memoirs anyway, but this one has to be my favorite.

It’s about a life “on the run” for the author, her siblings, and her parents. Her dad was a highly intelligent alcoholic who, despite his faults (the alcoholism, ideas that the family needed to pick up and leave because different groups of people were after them, the inability to hold down a job for very long, and others), still obviously loved his kids and wanted them to have fulfilling lives. Jeannette was his favorite, and she believed in him even when no one else did, so their relationship was especially interesting to follow.

Walls’ mom was an emotional artist (and teacher, when she had to be) with her own addictions and quirks (some of which will make you want to shake her and ask what she was thinking), and she thought everything they did—the running from state to state, having to look for food in dumpsters, being homeless or in the very least, hungry—were exciting adventures. And she was addicted to excitement.

I’m always in awe when an author can take a character in a novel and make them seem real, but even though these characters were real people, I’m still in awe of Walls’ ability to convey so much about their life, conflicts, character, and struggles that I felt like these people were my family by the end.

I was sorry when I had finished the book because I enjoyed it so much, but I was satisfied with the ending and never bored over the course of the whole story. It’s not just an interesting—and at times, shocking—story. The simple elegance of language painted the imagery and emotions in a way that encouraged me to settle in and get lost in someone else’s past for a while.

Photo credit: Amazon

Bath and Body Works’ Pumpkin Caramel Latte Candle Takes You Straight to the Comfort of a Café

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 by No Comments

This is the second of the two candles I allowed myself to buy this fall. Pumpkin Caramel Latte is a sweet bakery scent just like the other one I fell I love with, Banana Nutmeg Bread Pudding.

As usual, I got the three-wick version because it was on sale and they tend to burn more evenly than the others, in my experience (plus they last 25-45 hours).

The candle has a creamy, sweet (almost too sweet!) scent, and I can detect a marshmallowy vanilla, buttery caramel. What’s missing, to me, is the pumpkin. That was disappointing, but I still love the scent.

When the candle is lit downstairs, it only takes a few minutes for it to not only fill the downstairs area, but to make its way upstairs, too. When I got out of the shower a few days ago and walked out of the bathroom, I thought I smelled maple syrup. It was the candle.

This isn’t quite as cloyingly sweet as the Pumpkin Pecan Waffles scent that was out last year and returned again this year. There’s less of that buttery note, too.

I have no complaints about the way it burns down, since it burns so evenly. The wicks are still intact and haven’t broken off despite frequent use. The throw and strength of fragrance are both very good, and I feel like we’ll get quite a bit of use out of this particular scent in the coming months.

I only wish there was something in there that suggested pumpkin, since that word is in the name.

Photo credit: Bath & Body Works

Link Round-up: Home Maintenance, Halloween Crafts, Beauty Buys, and More

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link roundup has reasons for a home maintenance checklist, Halloween crafts and snacks, plus some beauty buys you just might need.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons taught us how to make cute pumpkin snack bags.

Makeup and Beauty Blog showed us a much less expensive dupe for one of the best eyeliners on the market.

Crafty Journal taught us how to make a milk jug ghost.

link ru home maintenance

Kenarry gave us reasons to have a home maintenance checklist.

Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a cute paper plate ghost.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make ice cream sandwich monsters—yum!

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared her top six beauty buys.

Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and Kenarry