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Monday, September 30, 2013

Month in the Rear View Window



Can you believe it's already October?

This is my favorite time of year and I am so looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the the BIG ONE-Christmas!

But, right now, I thought we would look over the highlights from September.

I shared these yummy Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls really early in the month.  
My kiddos loved them.

Then we revisited my super simple Mini Command Center that hangs in our hallway.

And, I showed off a re-use for shelf brackets.

I shared an easy recipe for Zesty Chili Dipping Sauce paired with Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips, too.

Then, I reminisced a little about fall from years past.


And, then, just yesterday, I showed off my favorite costume that I have created for The Littlest, along with some other ideas for DIY Halloween costumes for boys.

Also, last week, I got together with a few friends and recorded my blogging story for The Story of Us Podcast. It was so much fun! Head over there and check out my story, as well as the past stories.  My dear friend, Paul, has a passion for sharing the stories of the everyday extraordinary that is in each of us. Subscribe to The Story of Us Podcast on iTunes, and follow @thestorypodcast on Twitter.

I hope you've enjoyed this month's posts as much as I have.  I have some more fun fall projects to share with you soon!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIY Halloween Costumes for Boys



The time is coming for getting started on any DIY Halloween Costumes that need to be created.

I haven't created many over the years, but began the tradition about two years ago.  The Littlest wanted to be Captain Jack Sparrow and none of the costumes that I saw really made me happy.  I thought I could do better! And, in my opinion, I did!

The hair was the biggest issue, of course, but I had to get it right for the costume to turn out well.  

I visited our Hancock fabric store and found some yarn that I thought would be perfect.  It was a brown variegated nubby yarn. Don't you like my technical description? This was pre-blogging days, so there aren't any pics of the yarn or the wig making process. I'll do my best to describe it.

I took 3-4 strands about 12-15 inches long that formed the center of the wig.  Then, I tied groups of 3-4 strands, about 12-15 inches in length to hang off each side of the center strand. Some of the strands I braided, and included string and even some burlap.

I added a head scarf of some stretchy red fabric from the remnant bin and a coin earring I found in an old jewelry box to complete the wig.

I created a brown vest out of felt, and made shoe covers to look like boots, as well.  

When all of that was paired with an older brothers dress shirt, a kitchen towel for a belt, and a toy pirate sword, he was all ready to go!

Here is what we came up with:

Trip Worth Taking Blog: DIY Captain jack Sparrow Costume
DIY Captain Jack Sparrow Costume

Trip Worth Taking Blog: DIY Captain jack Sparrow Costume

Close up of the wig:

Trip Worth Taking Blog: DIY Captain jack Sparrow Wig
Captain Jack would never smile in a photo!

Trip Worth Taking Blog: DIY Captain jack Sparrow Wig
Cutest pirate ever...

I have to admit that I was super excited about the way that it turned out.  And, so was the little pirate.

This year may be a bit more time intensive.  He wants to be Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Eek.  I better get busy.

I was browsing Pinterest and found some really creative DIY costume ideas:

It's Uncle Si!

via Pinterest

These Minions are too cute!

via Pinterest

Steve!

via Pinterest

I've created a Pinterest board with DIY Costumes for boys.  I will be adding more to it all month!






Do you create DIY Halloween costumes? I would love for you to send me the link to be added to the Pinterest Board.  Shoot me an email to amyfenn1 @ gmail . com, or leave a link in a comment below.

Remove the spaces of course!

I can't wait to see what you've created!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

THE Pin It Party #24

It's that time again!

Are you ready?!

Welcome to THE 24th week of THE Pin It Party

Have you been "pinned" at one of our TWENTY FOUR parties? We have a surprise for you! Grab one of these babies and add it to your sidebar or to your featured post. Yay you!


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Are you interested in co-hosting THE Pin It Party? It is a WHOLE lot of fun and a great way to grow your Pinterest following. Go here to get more information and to reserve your spot now! 



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Grab the code for our button here!
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Completely Unfinished - Summer Lovey Dovey Road Trip Playlist
One Organic Mama - A Robot Party
What's Up with the Wilhelms - Anywhere Workout
1. Please follow the host and co-hosts on Pinterest.

2. Send out a tweet about the party! Just click here: 


3. "Like" THE Pin It Party on Facebook by clicking on the button below. 

4. Grab the party button above and add it to your blog's sidebar or link up party list.

5. Post 1-3 links to your blog's most "pin-able" posts from the last few weeks. (Please, no links to other parties, giveaways or shops please. If you are an ETSY shop owner, come back this weekend and link up at the Weekend Blog Block Party!

6. Mingle! Reach out to somebody new and pin their stuff. You never know when you will meet your blogging bestie!

7. Have a FABulous day and come back next week for more Pinterest fun. XO 



Host: Ellie @ Creative Geekery
Co-Hosts:
Kristin One Organic Mama 
Michelle @ Our Three Peas


We will each choose our three favorite posts from the party and pin them to this party's collaborative Pinterest board: THE Pin It Party - The Best of the Best! Woot woot! 












Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Straight Talk Wireless: Give A Minute, Help Make A Wish

 I participated in this sponsored campaign for One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

 


Do you get sick of your expensive wireless bill?

Boy, we do! 

It really is unbelievable what we pay every month for our cell phones, but we use them all the time, for everything.  

If you've thought about changing your plan, you should check out Straight Talk Wireless from Wal-Mart.



Straight Talk Wireless is the nation's largest no contract wireless cell phone provider and it's available exclusively at Wal-Mart. How convenient is that? Get some groceries, get a cell phone. Awesome. They, also, provide service in more zip codes than any other provider. 

And, it's not some cheap-o phone, either! You can get the same phones that anyone else carries, whether it's an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy. Take your pick. 

Straight Talk "All You Need" Plan is only $30 a month and you get 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text or multimedia messages, 30 MB of data transfer for data phones and 411 calls at no additional charge.The Unlimited Plan is only $45 a month. Seriously good deals.  



Just remember, if your planning to go do your grocery shopping on a Saturday in September, stop by to learn about Straight Talk wireless, and Straight Talk will donate $1 for every person that visits to the Make A Wish Foundation. Straight Talk will donate a minimum of $500,000 and up to $1,000,000 to the Foundation to help make sick children's wishes come true. 

If you don't live near a Wal-Mart, or maybe just want to stay home in your pj's, you can still help out by visiting the website, until September 28, to view the video about the Give A Minute, Help Make A Wish Program. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WEBSITE.

While you're there, share it on your social networks and Straight Talk will donate another dollar for every share! It doesn't get easier than that., and it can mean the world to a sick child.



Won't you help out? Please share!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Porch Vignette And A Printable


Well, I usually wait until October 1st to decorate for fall, but the weather this weekend was amazing and I couldn't wait.  

Simple Fall Porch Vignette

It's simple and easy.  I didn't have to stress over it at all.  Right now, I have a simple berry wreath on the door, but I will put out a bigger fall wreath at a later date.  I added a Coca-Cola crate stuffed with burlap and have the pumpkins spilling out. I'm using my Easy Rope Nest as a cornucopia that I will fill with mini pumpkins, and brought a grape vine star from inside the house. 

Simple Fall Vignette

I created the fall printable to add to the frame and embellished with a few scrapbooking items.  

Fall Printable in Frame

Pumpkins, Stars, and Burlap, Oh My!
I updated my grapevine wreath:
Fall Paper Bunting

Fall Paper Bunting
I love bunting and change mine out on the porch with the seasons.  I love the combinations of these papers.  It's a super cheap, quick, and easy option for bunting. 

I love the simplicity of the decor, and I only spent $24 to update it and it took about an hour to change everything out.  

Are you updating your decor for fall yet?
Maybe you can use this cute fall printable?

5x7 300ppi


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cleaning Routines and BISSELL PowerGlide

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of BISSELL Homecare, Inc. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Cleaning is hardly anyone's favorite task, right? 

I tell my kids that is why I have them.  So they can clean and I can watch.

Okay, not really, of course.

But, I do involve them in the cleaning routines as much as possible. I want all of my boys to be able to help out around this house and the house that will be their own one day. I feel that is SO important.

When we are limited on time we will do a whirlwind clean up. We actually haven't done this one in a while, and I think I need to revive it.  Here is how it works:

1. Set a timer for 10 minutes

2. Each person take a room (maybe two people in one room) and pick up, clean up as much as you can in that amount of time. 

It's really amazing what you can get accomplished in such little time.

It's a great way to get a quick cleaning touch up and involve the whole family.

And, when we have company coming over they all have assigned chores to complete. Nothing hard, but necessary things that have to be completed.  

The older boys can clean the bathroom and vacuum, while the Little can dust and clean windows.  

I just wish the vacuuming took care of the stains that are on the carpet in the bedroom that the Little and the Middle share. Geez!

The new BISSELL PowerGilde with Lift-off Technology would be a great addition to this household!

It's lightweight and has swivel steering for easy maneuverability. Nice.

And, a 27 foot cord! I'm thinking that would reach all three of our bedrooms from one plug in the hallway.

With the one step removeable pod, it's easy to clean out when you are done and stores away nice and clean, ready for your next messy spill clean up.

Come on, you know you want one. I know I do!

Well, BISSELL is allowing me to share this awesome deal with all of my readers:

Use the Promo Code POWERGLIDE when you visit BISSELL.com for $20 off and FREE shipping on the following products:  

POWERGLIDE Pet Vacuum with Lift-Off Technology (2763)

POWERGLIDE Pet Bagged Rewind Vacuum (38631)

or

POWERGLIDE Pet Vacuum (1044)

This offer is valid until November 30, 2013

Hurry to take advantage of this great offer and get your house all spiffed up before you start having holiday guests and parties.

You can, also, enter to win the Celebrate Everyday Messes Contest by sending in a photo of your favorite messy clean up! Fun!

Don't forget to stop by the BISSELL blog to get cleaning tips from Janice and Susan of 5 Minutes for Mom. They have all sorts of stain removal tips!

What stain have you had the biggest problem getting rid of in your home?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

THE Pin It Party #23

Great new! I am back to co-hosting The PIN IT Party! Woohoo!
I took a little break during the summer, but it is so much fun, I just couldn't stay away.

Plus, Ellie over at Creative Geekery is way cool and I love playing along with her!

Let's get to it! I'm so excited to see what you have to link up!

Welcome to THE 23rd week of THE Pin It Party


Were you "pinned" at one of our TWENTY TWO previous parties? We have a surprise for you! Grab one of these babies and add it to your sidebar or to your featured post. Yay you!



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Are you interested in co-hosting THE Pin It Party? It is a WHOLE lot of fun and a great way to grow your Pinterest following. Go here to get more information and to reserve your spot now! 



Grab button for Creative Geekery
Grab the code for our button here!
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</a>
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Completely Unfinished - Summer Lovey Dovey Road Trip Playlist
One Organic Mama - A Robot Party
What's Up with the Wilhelms - Anywhere Workout
1. Please follow the host and co-hosts on Pinterest.

2. Send out a tweet about the party! Just click here: 


3. "Like" THE Pin It Party on Facebook by clicking on the button below. 

4. Grab the party button above and add it to your blog's sidebar or link up party list.

5. Post 1-3 links to your blog's most "pin-able" posts from the last few weeks. (Please, no links to other parties, giveaways or shops please. If you are an ETSY shop owner, come back this weekend and link up at the Weekend Blog Block Party!

6. Mingle! Reach out to somebody new and pin their stuff. You never know when you will meet your blogging bestie!

7. Have a FABulous day and come back next week for more Pinterest fun. XO 



Host: Ellie @ Creative Geekery
Co-Hosts:
Michelle @ Our Three Peas

We will each choose our three favorite posts from the party and pin them to this party's collaborative Pinterest board: THE Pin It Party - The Best of the Best! Woot woot! 











Monday, September 16, 2013

Loving Autumn

Autumn, Fall, whatev...



I love it.  And, we don't get much of it around here.  Step inside the house at the wrong moment and you'll miss it.  However, if you're like me, you don't want to be outside in the heat with the mosquitoes, so your pretty much screwed.  

The hubs love Fall, too. He really loves putting out fall decor.  I don't do a lot of decorating for seasons, but we do some type of vignette on the front porch for Fall and Christmas.  

No, I don't really change up much for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  We have the necessary carved pumpkins for Halloween, and then they get tossed when I can't stand the smell anymore. 

I am getting ready to fix up the door and front porch for the changing season.  I know some people have had theirs out for a few weeks now, but I just couldn't do it.  Not when it's still 100+ degrees out. Nope. Not gonna do it. 

I need cooler temps to woo me. 

And, they are coming!

It will be in the upper 80's this weekend.

Don't tell me it's only a forecast and that can change. 

It won't change.  

It won't.

So there.

I went shopping this weekend and gathered a few items for my  mini makeover.

I used to have tons of "stuff" on my front porch, but I now go with a little more simple look.

Here is what it looks like now:






Anyway....

Nice and simple. Minimalistic, if you will. (Use snooty voice here.)

You see, my porch is very narrow. More alleylike in appearance, really. 
Just a straight shot up to the front door. 
So, I have struggled with how to stage it.  Until, I decided to go simple.  

It took a load off my mind! I don't have to worry that things are getting knocked around every time someone approaches the front door! Or, that the decor is attacking anyone! Yea!

Now it is off with the old and in with the new! 
Here are a few of the things that I purchased:



Can you guess what I'm making? One of the things I'm making, I have wanted to do for a while, I just never got to it.  Stay tuned to see more!

Now here are a few pumpkin picking pic for your enjoyment:






Okay, old pics! I didn't get to go pumpkin picking with the family last year, and the hubs certainly didn't take any shots.  But, still don't they make you long for cooler weather?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick Fix: Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips and a recipe for Zesty Chili Dipping Sauce

As a busy mom of 3 boys, I am always looking for quick fix meals. 
As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias, 
I created this easy chicken strip meal with a 2 ingredient dipping sauce. 

I am not a great cook. I am not terrible one, and once in a while I can hit a home run with a random meal. But, I get tired of coming up with new ideas for meals that my boys will like.  They are all good eaters, but I want them to really enjoy mealtimes. This recipe with products from Sam's Club really fit the bill.

And, I really dislike meal planning.  I know it is the best thing to do and makes your shopping and meal prep so much easier, but I still don't like it.  Ick.

#shop for #Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips
He eats more and more!
We are a very routine oriented family, but it can take us a while to fall back into the swing of things once school starts, and time seems to slip away quickly in the evening. So, any corners that I can cut are a good thing.

The youngest may get a shower instead of a bath
(and, let me tell you sometimes I feel that he needs to soak!).
I may skip a workout. (That happens often.)
The hubs may tuck in Little, so I can workout. (Not often.)
And, sometimes, the kitchen may not be cleaned right away.

You see how it is.  Cutting corners can be a good thing when you are trying to fit it all in. 

So, I love it when I have a super easy meal to prepare. And, Tyson Chicken can really speed up the meal prep process, and that is always good on a busy school night. 

My hubby and I can make a date out of anything, including a trip to Sam's Club, and it was on one of those trips that I snagged some Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips and Tones Chili Powder. I love the bulk sizes of the seasonings and they have a huge selection. I rarely have to worry about running out.

#shop for #Tones at #SamsClub
#SamsDemos with #Tones Seasonings
After the trip to Sam's Club I had everything I needed for my Monday night meal.  

Simplest meal ever. Period. End of story.

Seriously.

I popped the Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips in the oven then prepared my dipping sauce.

#shop for #Tones Seasonings and #Tyson
2 step Zesty Chili Dipping Sauce

The Tones Zesty Chili Dipping Sauce is 1 cup of Sour Cream and 1 teaspoon of Tones Chili Powder.

That's it! Easy and delicious.

We were done with supper and ready to get on with everything else that a busy family has to do on a school night.  With our oldest in high school now, that means hours of homework every single night.  But, he had the energy to get it done after a good meal. 

Okay, okay. I know you want to see one more pic of our plates up close:

#shop #Tyson and #Tones quick fix meal
Easy Quick Fix Meal from #Tyson and #Tones

You can see our shopping experience in this Google+ Album: #SamsDemos #Shop for #CBias

And, you will want to visit these upcoming demos at Sam's, as well:

September 17 @ 11 AM: Italian Style Fish and Pasta
September 19 @ 11 AM: Smoked Sausage Pasta OR Quick 'n Easy Chicken Parmesan
September 24 @ 11 AM: Chicken Dippers

Don't miss the chance to stock up on some quick and easy meal items and ideas!

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