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Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display from

Living in a small home means that decking the halls must be minimal and make sense with the flow of our space. I love making a festive home, but lack the space to execute anything too elaborate. We can just say that helps keep us on budget. Squeezing in a tree is always the December challenge and I always have wanted to display our Christmas cards, but didn’t want to interrupt the flow of our narrow hallways and spaces.

Walmart challenged me to create a Christmas craft and today I wanted to show you how to make a Washi Tape Christmas Tree Card Wall Display that won’t damage your walls, will be something fun for your kids to do when they get the mail each day, and doesn’t cost a lot to create.

Supplies Needed (all available at your local Walmart store)

2 containers of washi tape (found in the scrapbooking aisle)

1 roll of baker’s twine (small rolls also found in the scrapbooking aisle)

2 containers Damage-Free Hanging Hooks (you will need 13 hooks in total)- I used something like this, but they were clear

2 packages (or more- remember you need to hang your cards) mini-clothespins

1-2 strands of bead garland

1 ornament as a tree topper


Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display from

Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display from


1. Begin by outlining your tree, starting with a short piece on the top and working your way down. A leveler is a great tool that you can use to insure that the tree is straight. I also used one of our holiday cards to help us establish spacing between the rows.  This display has seven rows, but you can make yours with more or less depending on how tall you would like your tree to be. Make sure that you are smoothing and securing that washi tape as you go. The best part about the washi tape is that you can readjust as you need, perfect for someone who is as OCD as I am.

2. On the end of each row except for your top row, add a 3M hook on each end, overlapping just a bit to help anchor that washi tape in place.

3. Loop your bakers twine through each hook and knot it on each end, allowing it to drape just a bit for your cards. Leave some length on each end because we will use this to secure our garland.

Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display from

4. Cut garland allowing just a bit to hang over each edge. Take the end of the bakers twine and loop it and then wrap it around each one of the hooks until you near the end of your twine. Secure tightly with a mini-clothespin. Repeat on each level except the very top.

5. Create your trunk by creating a square at the base of your tree.

6. Hang an ornament topper with a final 3M hook. Done.

Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display from

I love that this display is behind our front door so when the kids bring in the mail, they can hang the cards right there. I have a little box of mini clothespins in our command center for quick grabbing and hanging of the cards.

Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display

Washi Tape Christmas Tree Wall Card Display

I hope you love this idea as much as I do for the holidays and for small spaces!  Be sure to check out my diy yarn pom-pom & ornament garland, my Anthro-inspired Pom-Pom Wreath, how I painted an adorable laminate fireplace for the holidays, and our list of fun ideas for holiday giving this year. Wishing you and your family the happiest of holiday seasons!



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How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from

I know everyone is very different about their decorating. In my house, I try to only decorate with items that I have handmade for the holidays and that really mean something to our family.  Our home doesn’t have a lot of storage so I have to be selective about what we carry over from year to year. In a nod to my yarn and knitting habit, this year the house is decorated in pom-poms for the season. I created this easy yarn pom-pom & ornament garland and I got out my yarn pom-pom trees that I created last year to decorate a shelf in our kitchen. Other than that, we keep it fairly simple with fresh greenery that doesn’t take up valuable storage.

Each year I dedicate my Black Friday to one craft that I have always wanted to try. When I first started knitting it was all about finding projects out of my comfort zone. This year though,  I decided to tackle a crafting to-do that I have wanted to do for many, many years…it is a pom-pom wreath for our front door. Just as my autumn burlap wreath carried me through from Halloween to Thanksgiving, this pom-pom wreath in cream has all of the magic of the holiday season, but can be carried over into the spring months due to its neutral tones.

This craft can’t be whipped up quick, but the reward is great. In fact, I smiled today as I pulled up to my front door. Just seeing it and knowing the labor of love that went into creating it makes my heart truly happy. If you are a maker, you know the joy that comes with the completion of a craft project you have always wanted to do and then have done it well. It’s unlike any other feeling.

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from

Supplies Needed

1- 18″ straw wreath (leave it wrapped in the plastic)

5-6 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA Los Angeles Tan Yarn (use this for reference, but I found the cheapest pricing at Walmart, but can also be found on sale at JoAnn Fabrics)


Large Clover Pom-Pom Maker (we are using the blue one)


How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from
How to Make a Pom-Pom Wreath

1. Following the pictures above, create your pom-poms using your Clover Pom-Pom Maker.  You can create these and pin as you go to see how many you end up needing for your wreath.

2. After you make your pom-poms (which will take one million years- don’t say I did not warn you), you can begin pinning them on your wreath form. Make sure that you leave your straw wreath in the plastic. Using pins, pin your pom-poms with two to three pins each and then fluff them. You will want to start adding a pom-pom in the center, then on one side, then on the other side. Continue stacking them this way, next to each other, making sure that the form is covered. No need to make these extremely tight so you can make sure that your pom-poms really fluff up and stand to attention.

3. Continue adding pom-poms, pinning, and fluffing until your entire wreath is covered. Once you hang your wreath, pull on pom-poms to see if everything is secure and add any pins as needed.


How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from


How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from

I hope this wreath makes you as happy as it has made me.  I couldn’t be happier to have tackled this project over my Black Friday weekend and I hope it can brighten a corner in your home too!


Happy Holidays,


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Recipe Test

Monday, June 21st, 2010

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Raspberry White Chocolate Sorbet Recipe on

Every summer I feel as though I time my family activities by the season of berries that’s ripe for the pickin’. There are trips to the strawberry fields, where our knees become encrusted with the straw that is used to mulch between the rows. There are blueberry picking adventures, the sun beating down on us as we pull handfuls of bulbous berries into small buckets.

The raspberries, though, they happen in our own backyard. The far corner in the back of the yard is devoted to the thorny canes, poking up and often trying to run into other parts of the yard. They start the spring off looking like nothing more than bare twigs, and by June they’re full of leaves and flowers and then bright red berries.

Raspberry White Chocolate Sorbet Recipe on

We pick bowl fulls for breakfast, adding a few to our morning yogurt, stirring them into our oatmeal. We drop them into sparkling juices to toast special occasions. My kids, barefoot and still dripping from the pool, hover over the prickly branches, sacrificing themselves for a few of the tart treats. But when the summer sun is hot and unforgiving, the best way to enjoy them is to gather up as many as you can and blend them into a cold, sweet cup of summer.

Raspberry White Chocolate Sorbet Recipe on Recipe Notes:

I love raspberry and white chocolate together, and while you can use any white chocolate you desire, a good quality one will definitely go father here. It’s worth it for the small amount you use. I used a Lindt Lindor Truffle Bar, which has a firm white chocolate outside and a softer, as the name suggests, truffled center, and I love that it doesn’t get too hard when frozen.

Yes, I realize this has an ice cream maker in the recipe. If you don’t have one, sorbet is a hard thing to master. The ice cream maker helps it freeze evenly and quickly, which gives you that smooth texture that you think of when you think sorbet. However, if you don’t have one, don’t despair. Put the mix in a zip-top bag, and massage the bag every half hour or so in the freezer. This will help it to freeze evenly, and you’ll get a delicious frozen treat.

The vodka helps the mix from freezing solid. If you are opposed to any alcohol in your sorbet, try adding a tablespoon of honey or golden syrup instead.

Raspberry White Chocolate Sorbet
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 6 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons vodka
  • 1 cup white chocolate, chopped
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for five minutes . Remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Once the syrup is chilled, combine the raspberries, vanilla, and vodka in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Press the mixture through a sieve to remove pulp and seeds. Process the mixture in an ice cream maker, adding in the white chocolate at the end. Transfer to a container and freeze.



Friday, June 18th, 2010

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The Thrills of Modern Day Inventions

Monday, February 11th, 2008

The weather here has just been brutal- blowing snow, freezing temperatures, icy road conditions…the list goes on and on. I am ready for warm weather and bathing suits. I want to sit in my lounge chair and watch the kids play in the sprinklers. I want to sweat, not shiver.

Last night the school listings were starting to post for delays and cancellations. Ethan’s school was not listed, but I was determined to not have a repeat incident of what happened last time. I checked the news website and lo and behold…you can have school delays and cancellations sent right to your phone.

I signed up for this service and the weather alert service. I am bad about watching the news so this was perfect for someone like me.

This morning I heard a beep, beep, beep. This wasn’t my alarm beeping at me…it was my telephone. “South Bend Community Schools have been canceled. Go back to sleep, momma!” (Well, I am adding that last part for the sake of narration…)

Roll back over and go back to sleep. Thank you, sweet modern day invention!

Sound Off: Do you do text messaging or receive any free services like this to your cell phone? Coupons, deals, alerts? Please share!

Free Family Fun Subscription

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Head over to Baby Cheapskate and read how you can get a free subscription to Family Fun Magazine!

This is a great magazine for those of us who try desperately to craft with our kids, but are stumped for ideas!

While you are over there, Angie has added new additions to her Freepeats program…including Chicago. Midwest moms say, “Hurray!” Boston & Houston communities were also added to the mix.


All Around the House 02.07.08

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

You might be wondering where I was yesterday? Well, I am proud to say that I am tackling one of my New Year’s resolutions and have begun a sewing course over at Hancock Fabrics. I had been looking into it (or procrastinating on it) for several months now and finally decided that this was the year to learn.

To say that sewing is hard for me is an understatement. I am really struggling with learning to sew. Does sewing come naturally to anyone? I find this whole thing to be quite tedious compared to using a hot glue gun and a staple gun. I am one of those free spirits though that doesn’t like to measure or follow direction, but that is not what is expected of you in a sewing class. I know I am being taught the proper way to sew, but I don’t envision myself doing half the stuff I am learning when sewing. My goal really was just to learn how to use the sewing machine so that I could make throw pillows or curtains. An added bonus for me would be to be able to make a simple skirt or apron, but never to sew my own pajamas (which is our third project in this series of classes).

Our first project was pillowcases. I have a feeling I will never make pillowcases again because this is something I would rather buy in the store. Of course, the purpose is to learn how to sew, not necessarily to learn how to make pillowcases. These were supposed to be an easy first time project, but it took me four hours to make these. They didn’t turn out perfect, in fact, one of my pillowcases had to be completely sewn again because it wasn’t done right. I also had made the mistake of picking striped fabric, which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who is trying to learn to sew because all of the lines had to match up and it took forever to cut these and sew them.

Our next project will be more up my alley. We are learning how to make aprons and this time I picked a green polka-dotted print. Seeing as the pillowcases took me four hours, I can imagine that an apron will take me about twenty hours.

Regardless, I am really enjoying Ivy’s, from Home Ec 101, posts on learning to sew and she is offering a great tutorial for beginning sewers. Taking her free advice is a lot less expensive than taking the courses, which average $15 each plus materials, but I am hoping this class pays off for me.

If you have any kind words for a discouraged sewer, I could really use them! I know I am not very patient!

Ethan was also the superstar in his class for the week. They pick one person each week to be the star and each day they do something special with that person. He had to make a picture about himself and his family which shared all about himself and his favorite things (pancakes and trips to Chicago). The next day he shared his favorite book, “How do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon.” The next day was spent sharing about his favorite toy- his Mega T-Rex. Lastly, today we had to make his favorite snack to bring in to share with the class..Pumpkin Muffins. After my sewing class last night, I came home and whipped these up to take this morning while my little superstar slept.

The whole family chipped in to make his superstar week, complete. Even Emily & her monkey helped by handing crayons to our rock star to complete his project! This was definitely a family effort to make his week special.

Open Your Own Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Pre-children, my husband & I got the opportunity to take some really fun trips and to visit some really amazing places. While we have never gotten the opportunity to travel out of the country, we have gone lots of great places in our own country.

One of our trips lead us to a beautiful bed and breakfast in Cape Cod. Our room was tucked away in the attic of the home and it was filled with beautiful antiques and slanted ceilings. They served us an amazing breakfast and we lounged on their antique couches and enjoyed our beautiful breakfast while reading the paper. We spent the entire day window-shopping and curled into our bed, covered in quilts and feathered pillows. It has been one of our favorite little getaways and was one of the last trips we got to take before our son entered the world.

Since we have had children, our travels are more limited, but I have been trying to capture the feeling of a good bed and breakfast over the weekends in our home. While I don’t have someone here to keep the home tidy, I try to revel in the details that can help make our home feel more like a vacation house, instead of just the place we live in.

Here are some of my ideas for helping create a bed and breakfast in your own home:

1. Putting fresh sheets on the bed makes climbing into bed so much nicer. I love to turn the bed back to make it look more welcoming. I wouldn’t suggest doing this until the evening (or you will probably end up in it!), but doing this before bed makes the bed seem more inviting. If you don’t have time to clean the sheets, fresh pillowcases or just neatly making the bed can help to freshen it up.

2. If you have the space, pull a comfy chair up into your room. Our glider was rarely used in Emily’s room anymore, so I brought it into our room to make a cozy little reading corner. A basket of library books are right next to my bed so I always have a little reading material.

3. I love my trays and I keep one in our bedroom too. It is a great place for me to put my current reading material, the newspaper, and a Suduko puzzle book. I like to rest my coffee in the tray while I do my reading so I don’t have to balance a cup on our bed. You could also bring your breakfast into your bedroom and take a little mommy time-out on the weekends. My husband sometimes lets me disappear for a little bit and I can enjoy a few moments in peace. It is great!

4. One of the fun things about staying at a hotel is getting to try all sorts of new bath and body products. I keep a basket of freebies in our room and love to dig into these on the weekend. It is so fun to try tons of spa products without paying a dime for them. What could be better than that?

5. On Saturdays, we love to make pancakes or waffles. On Friday night, while our pizza is cooking, I try to make up the batter for our brunch the next day. I put this in a bowl and tuck it in the fridge for the morning. The next day, all I have to do is pour the batter out and we are ready to go. It helps eliminate a lot of the work for the meal the following day and makes my morning run much smoother.

6. When serving your brunch, break out the good dishes! Everything looks and tastes so much better when it is well-presented.

7. If the budget allows it, buy some fresh flowers for your bedroom and table. A beautiful bouquet at Aldi is only $2.99 and has enough flowers that it can be split into two rooms.

Here are a few recipes for creating your own bed & breakfast:

Oatmeal Waffles
Spiced Pumpkin Waffles With Honey Butter
Yeast Waffles
Banana Pancakes
Pete’s Scratch Pancakes
Pumpkin Pancakes With Oven Fried Bacon (scroll down)
Amy’s French Toast
Gingerbread Waffles
Cinnamon Muffins
Apple Pie Muffins
Sour Cream Muffins
Pumpkin Struesel Muffins
Almost Nutra Grain Bars
Amy’s Favorite Cocoa Mix
Homemade Pancake Syrup
Homemade Nonstick Spray (This will help keep your waffles and pancakes from sticking)

For inspirational reading on making your house feel more like a fabulous weekend retreat, I love to read INNside Innkeeping in Montana. There are excellent tips for home maintenance and tons of delicious recipes to try.

Sound Off: What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends? How do you help keep your weekends running smoothly?

I Heart Oz (Or I Heart Carrie)

Monday, February 4th, 2008

I got an unexpected package in the mail last week. I didn’t remember ordering anything, but tucked between all of the junk mail was a squishy envelope.

I opened the envelope up and out fell an “I Love Oz” t-shirt. There was a sweet note explaining that my awesome blogging buddy Carrie had attended a swap night and happened upon this shirt. She remembered my entry about my surprise birthday tickets to the show and she also knew my size. Wouldn’t you know she snatched it up for me?

I really wanted a shirt when I attended the show, but you know me and my money. We are tight. I kept my money in my pocket and never imagined that I would have gotten such a nice surprise!

Thank you, Carrie! You truly made my week!

Braggy McBrag-Brag Strikes Again…

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

You can read an interview about how I got my start in the frugal community on Frugal Hacks today. Much thanks to Kim for showcasing my blog this week. I am awfully flattered and oh-so-proud!