Spooky Crow Wreath

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend and are ready for a brand new week.  We had three soccer games this weekend, but other than that it was pretty laid back.  And it was cloudy, rainy, and windy…which I actually love this time of year (except when I’m at said soccer games).  This kind of weather makes me want to stay inside and do something crafty.  I know, I’m a nerd.  The problem is, I waste all my time looking on Pinterest trying to figure out what craft to do.  I pin and I pin and I never actually commit to making anything.  Does anyone else do that, or is it just me?  Well, if this is you too, then hopefully this post is a call to action for you.  I have a craft all picked out for you, and once you have the stuff you need, it can be done in no time.

So, step away from Pinterest (it’s okay…take a deep breath…you’ll survive), and make plans to head to the store.  You need to make this spooky little wreath now!  I already did the hard part…figuring out what to make…for you.  I did the Pinterest research and found this adorable wreath last year and made two of them with my girls (I cannot find the original pin to give credit for the idea, but I remember it being a Williams Sonoma knock-off). These are eight inch wreaths, but it would look just as cute with a bigger wreath and bird. They hang them on their bedroom door for their own little Halloween décor.  Aren’t they adorable?

Best of all, they are super easy. So here is what you need:

  • grapevine wreath, any size
  • moss
  • black crow (usually you can find these at the dollar store or a craft store like Jo-Anns or Hobby Lobby)
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • black spray paint

First of all, spray paint your grapevine wreath black.  Make sure you get into all of the cracks and crevices.  After it is dry to touch (I didn’t wait long), wire or hot glue (or both) your crow to your wreath.  Next, glob on some glue and moss all around your crow.  Just don’t burn your finger like I always do.

See!  You are already done!  Now go grab a command hook or wreath hanger and hang your simple, spooky wreath up. And hurry, because Halloween will be here and gone before we know it!

Megan

Harvest and Halloween Home Tour

Harvest and Halloween Home Tour

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  This week is flying by already!  Actually, the whole month is.  I can’t believe it is almost mid-October.  The kids have already been in school for six weeks, and it seems like they just started.  (Time flies when you’re having fun…I guess I’ve been having fun having them at school.)  Since Halloween is right around the corner, and before we know it Christmas will be here, I thought I better get this post on Harvest/Halloween decorating done…just in case you were dying to see it (wink, wink).

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love decorating my home in pumpkins and lighting candles and just making the house feel cozy.  After barely being inside all summer, I have to admit that it feels good to stay inside and make myself comfy on the couch (well, after soccer and football practices, supper, homework, listening to a violin scratching away, nagging about showers and teeth brushing, and getting everyone tucked in, kissed, prayed over, and a glass of water).  As I’ve mentioned before, I used to put up every decoration I owned, whether I liked it or not, but I have decided that sometimes less is more, and it’s okay to put out only the things I really like.  So this is a much simpler version of what I used to do, but my kids still get excited when I get the holiday stuff out

First of all, what would Fall be without pumpkins?  Lots of fake pumpkins!  It’s amazing how expensive they can be, though, so it’s always a good idea to buy them after the season on clearance.  And you can never have too many!

pumpkins, fall decorating

decorating with pumpkins

decorating for fall with pumpkins

decorating for fall

harvest and halloween decor

 

I LOVE fake crows.  They are simple and match with your existing décor.  Let these babies roost any and everywhere!

halloween decorations, fake crows

decorating for Halloween with fake crows

Mini fairy lights are so fun!  You can stick these almost anywhere and they lend a nice warm glow.

decorating for halloween with fairy lights

You just gotta have a throw somewhere to snuggle under.  I bought this wool blanket for $4 at an antique store!

decorating for Fall with throws

These cute little bats with sticky backs were only 75 cents at Family Dollar.  I would have bought more, but they were sold out.  And the black velvet bow was 90 percent off at Jo-Ann Fabrics!

decorating for halloween

And lastly, you can’t have a cozy house without a great candle.  My all-time favorite fall candle is Yankee Candle’s Harvest scent.  It is the best!

yankee candle harvest scent

I hope you enjoyed this little tour and maybe even found some decorating inspiration for your own home.  I know I love to get sneak peeks into other people’s homes, since I rarely come up with an original idea on my own!  Wishing you a cozy, relaxing October evening, friends!  And hopefully it doesn’t include scratchy violin noises in the background.

Megan

 

The Found Cottage Mercantile Market

Did I mention that my sisters and a good friend of ours and I went to an the Found Cottage Mercantile Market at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds a few weeks ago? It was sooo much fun, you guys! If flea markets, antiques, vintage stuff, clothes, baked goods, home décor, or fresh flowers make your heart pitter patter, you would have loved it as much as we did!

My Grandma Fazak’s old hutch decorated for Fall with a new garland

All four of us found something(s) we had to have. And all four of us saw things we really wanted to take home with us, but didn’t. There was a limit to how much the truck could haul back, after all. And I for one, am a little fearful that my husband may disown me if I bring one more antique side table home. But, as it turns out, not so fearful that it kept me from doing just that! I think it is actually an old desk, and I got all heart-eyed the second I saw it. And when I opened the drawer and saw all of the signatures and dates written on the inside, I had to have it. The oldest date inscribed is 1906, and there is even an “atta boy” on the drawer! I don’t know what it is about old handwriting, but it sucks me in every time! I also picked up a really cute garland and a collapsible blue hat/coat hanger.

See? Doesn’t my sewing machine look perfect on this table?
Just one of many signatures in my new old desk!
Paid just a few bucks for this vintage collapsible hanger that will hold Milla’s cowgirl hat in her bedroom.

It was a beautiful night that felt a little like Fall. Much more so than recently!  We enjoyed pork barbecue sandwiches from one of the food trucks and had a great time laughing and talking. There was just so much fun stuff to look at, and it made us want to go home and decorate for Fall. I’m hoping that it becomes an annual event, but if not, I can always go to The Found Cottage store in Hudsonville. They organized the event and have an amazing store with all kinds of home décor, antiques, florals, clothes, locally made soaps and candles, and more.  Even if you don’t have any money to spend, it is a great place for home dec inspiration.  It’s amazing how the proprietors take salvaged everyday items and turn them into something useful and pretty.

So if you are looking for a fun new store to check out, head to Hudsonville. There is another store down the road from The Found Cottage called the Painted Farmgirl, which is also super neat and similar in nature. In fact, they just hosted the Farmgirl Flea Market last weekend.  Good thing Mardi and I were busy with barn party preparations, or I would have gone for sure!  And I probably would have wanted to bring home another table!

Megan

An Old Fashioned Fourth of July…And a Few Recipes!

Hey guys!  Happy Monday!  I know, I know…that sounds entirely too peppy for a Monday following a holiday that pretty much spans a week.  Well, if you live in Michigan, it usually does because, well, the weather is nice and it’s America’s birthday, and lots of employers shut down for the week, and people go up north or camping, or to the beach.  It’s just what we do.  At least I hope all of you got to do at least some of those fun things.  Mardi and I and our families celebrated the Fourth of July as usual at my parents’ annual party, followed by a trip up north.

The party was huge this year!  My mom and aunt counted over 200 people!  We had some new faces this year, some I didn’t even know.  But I am so glad they felt comfortable enough to come, and I hope they all felt welcome.  The weather was absolutely perfect…80ish and sunny.  The kids were in and out of the water all day right until dark.  One of my favorite things about this day is seeing the kids, many who only meet up once a year at this party, instantly act like old friends from the minute they arrive.  And I didn’t see kids on electronics literally the whole entire day!  And they lived to tell about it!

We ate around 4, and let me tell you, I think it was better than Thanksgiving dinner.  Since it is a potluck, the choices are amazing!  I always love the deep-fried shrimp that the guys make, and my mom’s smoked sausage cooked in crushed pineapple, and Danya’s crab salad.  Then there are Mrs. Vogel’s homemade cinnamon rolls that are always a party staple.  Can you tell I’m really into health food?  One of my new favorites this year was a corn salad with chili cheese fritos.  I’m not even sure who brought it, but it was so yummy.  Luckily I found a recipe on Pinterest.  Here is one that looks similar.  You should check it out if you haven’t had it before!  I think I will definitely make this in the future.

I actually made the little fruit tarts with the star cut-outs that I mentioned I might make in the previous post.  I added blueberry pie filling as well, and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the top.  They were super easy and tasty too.  I also made the Six Sisters’ Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.  They are sooooo good, and the recipe yields a lot of servings.  Mardi made scotcheroos, sugar cookie bars, and a really good snack mix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended up dragging the kids out of the water for a sack race, a three-legged race, and tug of war.  They were having so much fun swimming that they didn’t seem to mind the simplified games this year, which was nice.  Most of the kids are getting older now, too, so we don’t have as many participants. Sniff, sniff.  Especially the boys…they have graduated to letting off their own fireworks.  Always a little scary, but there is no coming between boys and bottle rockets.  Sometimes you just gotta let boys be boys, I’m learning.  But sometimes I just can’t really watch too close, either.  Thankfully, they all have wonderful guardian angels (Thank you Jesus!), and no one was hurt.

Mardi and our friend Kathi decorated the pontoon boat this year to participate in the annual Wolf Lake boat parade.  They did a fantastic job getting it all decked out, but when it was time to leave the dock, the darn boat wouldn’t start.  The battery was dead.  Sigh.  Oh well…the parade went on without us, but it’s always fun to watch anyway!  Better luck next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening ended with an awesome display of fireworks that my dad and a friend went in on together.  They even let some of them off from an old pontoon boat off shore!  It was just an amazing way to end a perfect day.  And I’m so thankful to my mom and dad for opening their home to everyone and getting to celebrate such a special holiday with so many wonderful people every year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you spend your Fourth of July this year?

Megan

 

I Love the Red, White, & Blue!

Memorial Day is this Monday, which means a long weekend!  Woo Hoo!!  And school is almost out for the summer!  And I’m pretty sure we will eat hot dogs at least once (okay, maybe not a woohoo…but it means summer).  But most importantly, it means we take a day to remember and honor all of our fellow Americans who have served or are serving our country.  Man, can you imagine a greater sacrifice?  Even if that sacrifice didn’t involve their very lives, it meant sacrificing family, friends, home, comfort, peace, freedom, and much more at some point along the journey.  To think that anyone would give up all of that for you and me…well, that’s just pretty darn special.

As you can tell by the blog name, Mardi and I are pretty patriotic.  We love American history, and learning about great Americans that have come before us and shaped our nation.  We both believe that God had a sovereign hand in the creation of the Constitution, and has blessed our country with faithful leaders.  But no leader is greater than one that has laid down his or her life for her country.  And to all of those heroes, we salute you, thank you, and thank God for you.  And may God continue to protect those men and women currently serving the good ole U.S.A!

Because I love my country, and I also happen to love flags and red, white, and blue, I already have some patriotic décor scattered around my house.  This weekend always inspires me to add a little more to keep up through the 4th of July.  So I’ve picked a couple of my favorite ideas to inspire you, plus a few from my own home.

Source:  Pinterest

Source:  House Beautiful

Source:  Liz Marie Blog

Source:  On Sutton Place

Source www.dreyne.com

I picked up a pack of little flags at the dollar store to put in this pitcher.  Easy Peasy!

More little flags just propped in some greenery.

I bought this flag at an antique store.  It used to hang in a courtroom.

I love this flag holder over my secretary desk!  It came from farmhousewares.com

All of these ideas are super simple and cheap, but add a nice dose of patriotic character!  Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with your family, and may you appreciate the freedom to do so because of the sacrifices of so many!

Megan

Easter Greetings

Happy Easter, everyone!  To quote the well-known hymn, “Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!”  It is a blessed day for sure.  The Brott family had our very own Easter miracle today:  we were almost on time for church today!  We were only five minutes late for church instead of…..well, we won’t go there.  I always say the devil is at work on Sunday mornings because we are always running late and everyone is irritable.  Then we walk into church and smile (like we haven’t been bickering).

Forgive me, I digress.  Easter is a time of rebirth.  The daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, the forsythia bushes, and you can buy tulips (they haven’t bloomed yet here).  Megan and I love giving our homes spring-y touches and decorating for Easter.  She displayed her Easter decorations on a previous post, so I’ll show you some of mine.  Since it’s Easter today, it’s too late for this year, but you can get ideas for next year.  Or just emulate the spring-y décor and take out the bunnies.

My parents have a forsythia bush, so I hacked away on it to create my own little “bush” at home.  Down the beach there are some pussywillows.  Megan and I noticed them on a walk one day.  Sadly, most of them had gone to seed.  There were just enough branches for me to put in a crock.  I bought tulips at Walmart, but any other “plant” is a pretend one.

As I’m writing this, I have on “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.”  Yes, I am very juvenile.  I absolutely love watching holiday shows.  Megan’s girls Milla and Fynnlay usually come over and watch them with me, but we didn’t get around to it this year.  We broke our time-honored tradition….and I live for tradition!  I didn’t stray from tradition last night, though. The traditional night-before-Easter marathon of boiling eggs, watching “The Ten Commandments” on TV, and ironing everyone’s clothes for church the next day (Eureka!  Maybe that’s why we’re always late for church….I only iron ahead of time for Easter).  Anyway, whatever your Easter traditions, I hope you enjoyed this blessed holiday.  In closing, I’ll quote another famous Easter hymn (if it’s stuck in my head, it might as well be in yours too):  “Up from the grave He arose!  With a mighty triumph o’er His foes!  He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He’ll live forever in our hearts again!”  Hopefully I quoted it right, but the sentiments remain.

God Bless!

MardiHere’s Megan’s and my families with our parents, sister Kendal, and her fiancé Rob.  We had just had an amazing brunch at Bella Maria’s. If we look cold, it’s because we were!