11/12/2014

Rules for Life

The upstairs in my house is girl territory! We have three girls so you can imagine the dolls, barbies, stuffed animals and craft supplies we accumulate. Last Monday I spent my entire and I mean my ENTIRE day and then some, dejunking and organizing this area.  I decided I better get a jump start before the holidays and more stuff takes over! I am happy to say it stayed pretty clean all week, but as I went to tuck the girls in Sunday night it wasn’t exactly how I hoped it would be.  My first instinct was to get upset and tell them to clean up, but then the thought came into my mind that this “mess”, wasn’t mess to them at all.  This mess was memories they had made with each other.  Not my memories, THEIR memories! They had set up houses for the American Girl dolls and there were Ever After High Dolls all dressed up in their finest.  The Beanie Boos (stuffed animals) were strategically placed in a row so my little one could tuck them all in for the night.  This “mess” I was seeing through my eyes was a play land for these girls.  I had memories flood back of  my sisters and me playing in our bedrooms.  We would do the same thing, set up houses, dump the whole barbie box out just to find that one shoe! These are memories I will always cherish and I realized that  these are glimpses of my girls lives that they will never forget.  Who am I to mess that up?

It reminds me of a John Mayer song (whom I love). It’s called ’83.  He says, “Whatever happened to my lunchbox, when was the day that it got thrown away? Think I should have had some say in that decision.” I know I am guilty of throwing away things that I think are “trash,” but don’t realize these things may be a memory for my children.  I committed to myself that night that my kids playing together and having fun is way more important than their cute, fun space looking perfect all the time.  Who needs perfect anyway!?!

Another thing that caught my eye as I went to tuck Avery into bed was this sign on her door.

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Now if you look closely you’ll see that this a “Rule” sign for anyone that comes into their room.  At first glance I thought it would be stuff like no boys allowed or no parents allowed, but as I looked closer I saw such happy, beautiful rules! Have fun, laphe, (laugh), don’t be sad, be creative, don’t be a party pooper! I loved everything about this sign!  Shouldn’t this be a reminder for Life?!? It’s such simple things to do, but so hard to do when life can be messy and hard.

We have  “house rules” signs  throughout our home.   I love how they look and what they say, but after seeing this one posted on my girl’s door I realized they must notice these more than I do.  They have a meaning and a purpose and not just something to fill our walls.

IMG_0287 IMG_0288 IMG_0292The sign my daughter wrote with bright colors, misspelled words, in her own hand writing is my new favorite and will be my new Rules for Life!

Do you hang House Rules in your homes? If so, I’d love to hear your favorite rule and why!

Thanks for stopping by today! Please share and follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

Honestly,

Harmony

11/05/2014

My Gratitude Tree

The word Gratitude is such a lovely word! It’s an adjective I like to use to describe me.  I am a very blessed girl that has been given so much in my life, but with that being said, I don’t think being grateful comes easily.  Life can be hard and full of ups and downs.  There have been many things I have been through where I haven’t felt so grateful for trials or hard times.  It’s easy in those times to forget what we have been blessed with.  I make a conscious choice each day to be grateful.  I am a pretty positive person by nature and so for the most part it comes quite natural for me, but I really started to think about gratitude the last few weeks.  It may be simple to say it, but to actually show gratitude can be really hard.  For instance, I say I am grateful for my healthy body, but then I find myself complaining about a feature I don’t love, or the fact that I am trying to eat healthy and I want a damn cookie!  It’s easy to say how grateful we are for our families, but then I find myself resentful sometimes for having to get up and make another school lunch or do one more load of laundry.  So I decided to challenge myself and instead of just saying I am grateful for my family or my health, etc. I am going to show it this month by the way I view myself or my tasks I have to do for my loved ones.  Gratitude is a way we live our lives, how we show people we love them or care about them.  I think gratitude is giving back to the universe.  It shows how much we do appreciate our lives by being a good human being, even when life gets messy.

When I  saw this cute idea for a Gratitude tree on one of my favorite blogs to follow, Jones Design Company, I knew had to make one!  She actually has free downloads for the “I am Greatful for” tags. I love all her free downloads. Thanks to Emily at Jones Design Company.  I did however  put my own spin on the tree and I thought I would share it with you!

How to create a Gratitude tree:

First I cut some branches off a shrub in my front yard.  I sprayed them with aerosol spray glue and dusted them with gold glitter.  I then sprayed one more coat of glue and let them dry.

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Next I  added floral foam to an antique pitcher I had.  Isn’t it beautiful? I picked it up at an estate sale a few years ago and I love it!  Then I added the twigs, some moss and  a little more glitter (because you can never have too much glitter ;)).

 

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I decided to put the arrangement on my living room table.  It’s one of the first things you see as you come in the door and I thought it’d be fun for guests to add to it also.  I placed a little bowl with the tags from Jones Design Company and a pen.

 

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I hope you will think about what you are thankful for.  I’d love for you to leave a comment letting me know! Please share on FB and follow me on instagram at honest_harm.

10/29/2014

Fright Night Ideas!!

With Halloween only a few days away I decided I need to start thinking about what we’re going to have for our annual Fright Night Dinner! I try to have this all planned before the big day, because, HONESTLY, we all know the day of Halloween is crazy!! So I started to look back through some of my previous years ideas and thought I would share them with you!

 

Frankenstein dip

 

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Picture 1: How darling is this Frankenstein dip? My very talented Sister-in-law, Dawn throws great Halloween parties.  She came up with this yummy cheese ball dip.  The hair is olives and the face is made up of veggies and pickles.  So creative and fun!!

Picture 2: The brain jell-o was a hit with the kids.  This is just a brain mold.  I’ve seen them at craft stores and the Halloween Stores and I know you could find them online too.  It’s fun to add some gummy worms to the bottom before pouring in the jell-o to give it an even creepier look!

Picture 3: Shrimp cocktail is always a great one to serve at a party and when stacked on a platter  with red cocktail sauce like this one is, it just screams Halloween!

Picture 4: WHOO doesn’t love cupcakes? And this little owl is perfect for Halloween.  I just baked regular betty crocker chocolate cupcakes and then frosted them.  While frosting is still soft I added the frosting side of two oreos for eyes, (yes, my kids loved me because they got to eat the left over cookies, but you could crush them and use them another time). I then added an orange jelly bean for the nose and chocolate chips for the pupils.  These are a super easy festive treat!

Picture 5: I love caramel apples and when I saw this idea for caramel apple nachos I just had to try it.  Slice apples, drizzle caramel, melted white and milk chocolate and sprinkle with toffee bit, Oreos, cinnamon sugar, mini M&M’s or whatever candy you prefer.  Believe me, these will be gone in no time flat!! Another favorite fall treat for our family is my Gooey caramel popcorn. You can no go wrong with this one!!

Recipe for Gooey Caramel Popcorn:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups brown sugar

1 cube butter

1 cup corn syrup

Cooke on stove at medium heat stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 238 degrees. (This get really hot, make sure to stir the whole time so it will not scorch). Pour over 10-12 cups popped popcorn.

This recipe stay gooey and soft. I usually put mine in a ziplock after it cools and it will stay soft for days!

 

Picture 6: Sorry this isn’t the best picture, but one year I decided to embellish my drink ware for a party.  I dyed corn  syrup with red food coloring in a bowl, then I dipped the glass rims into the mixture. The corn syrup drips down the glass making it look like blood!

Picture 7: We can’t forget the drinks! I just made a red punch and then again using my brain mold I froze green water and gummy worms and then put it into the punch bowl.  This is a fun easy way to add a spooky effect and the kids loved it!

Picture 8: I ran to Michaels yesterday and all their Halloween stuff was 70% off! Score!! I found all this great skeleton decor and decided that would be my theme for this year. Of course the black, white and silver  goes perfectly with my decorations. I will post pictures of our Halloween dinner!

I can’t wait to to create our Fright Night dinner after looking through some of these ideas!  I’ve also added some links of Fun Halloween food ideas I found on Pinterest.  I will be checking these out and I hope you do too!

http://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com/halloween-party-food/

http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/halloweenie-roast-2012/

So what are your favorite treats or traditions you do for Halloween?

Leave a comment and let me know, and don’t forget to share this post with friends!

Thanks for stopping by!

10/24/2014

Halloween Home Tour

I have to say that I love decorating for Halloween almost as much as I do for Christmas. There is something about the color combinations, the spooky vibe and feel of lace and glitter that I adore! I have found lots of my inspiration from other blogs and home decor magazines and I love how it has come together. So I thought I would share some of my Home decor with you all. I love to decorate in black and white and then add pops of color here and there. Lace and velvets are great too for Halloween.  So if your Your ready, I’d love to show you around!
My mantle is probably my favorite thing to decorate. It’s quite large and gives me plenty of room to fill. The background is just old book pages stapled to cardboard. I antiqued the edges a little bit to add some more texture. I then just started layering with the old window, some antique silver I picked up at the thrift store and a black feather wreath. I also included some thriller novels by Stephen King to give heights and create more dimensions. I also purchased the books at the thrift store for just a couple of dollars.  After that I added in some fun skeletons, bones and a skull. The finishing tough was the lace and bat garland.

Fireplace Mantle

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Fire place mantle

 

This is the sofa table that I again decorated with black and white. The tall candles give it an eerie glow at night and I love when they reflect in my window.

The chevron pumpkin I purchased at Target a few weeks ago.  I love how it adds some pattern and whimsy.

Sofa Table

skull basket

Skeleton

My entry way table is draped in lace and then I added a candelabra, a spooky glitter house and the best part are the creepy witch hands I hung from the wall. I purchased these at Grandin Rod a few years ago.  Don’t they remind you of Snow White?

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The kitchen table is also draped in lace and a big black bird cage with a crow inside makes for a creepy feel. Again, the candles on the table add a pop of color and an eerie glow at night.  I purchased these hanging balls at a boutique a few years ago.  They have “Boo” written on them and I love how they complete the space!

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The last place I’d like to show you on my Halloween home tour is my front porch. I made these lace pumpkin topiaries a few years ago and I love them. I added some big spooky spiders and a tomb stone sign. The pillow on my front bench adds a bit of whimsey and pops of color also.

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So now that I share my Halloween House with you, I’d love to hear about your favorite holiday decor.  Leave a comment and if you liked the tour please share!  Thanks for stopping by! Trick-or-treat!

10/15/2014

Easy Pumpkin Cookies

Why not make my first post a recipe!?! Don’t we just love PUMPKIN!! I thought I would try a new recipes tonight and so of course I went to my Pinterest board and searched cookie recipes. I stumbled upon one from Picky Palate. http://picky-palate.com/2011/11/14/pumpkin-toffee-chip-and-rolo-chunk-cookies/. She always has the greatest recipes and so I thought I would try it out. As I looked at the ingredients I realized I did not have the Rolos, so I decided to improvise and this is what I came up with. Instead of only using 15 oz. of pumpkin I used 20 oz. I added in a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice, just to give it a little more of that fall flavor. And instead of using plain toffee bits I used heath toffee bits. And to top it off I replaced the Rolos for white chocolate chips. This was my favorite part and thought the three flavors blended so well together with the pumpkin and the spices. This recipe literally took me 7 minutes to whip up and they were delicious!! And that’s my HONEST opinion!

cookies

Easy Pumpkin Cookies (adapted from Picky Palate @ www.pickypalate.com)
1 yellow cake mix
20 oz. pumpkin puree
Mix together and then fold in:
2-3 sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups heath toffee bits
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

drop 1 inch dollops 2-3 inches apart on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until golden on the top.

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