Tag Archives: cheap

(Sort of) Handmade Halloween…SPIDER!

While I’m more than willing to spend a lot of time and effort decorating my house for Christmas, for some reason I just can’t get it together for Halloween even though I love a good haunted house.  Usually we just throw a few pumpkins on the porch and then process them after the holiday for pies and soup, but this year I thought I’d try something a little more fun…as long as it was still easy, cheap and fast!   I bought a fairly ugly gigantic spider on Amazon and then basically just made it look a little better with glue and paint.  I love the ridiculous scale of it on the house!  After we hung it, we realized it needed a little something more, so we grabbed some cobwebs from the drugstore and abracadabra, our house is home to pretty creepy monster spider!  Continue reading

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A Train Car Birthday Party!

A train car at Travel Town Museum!

It wasn’t difficult to pick the theme or location for G’s 4th birthday party this year because he is SOOOO into trains right now!   He has to be holding some sort of toy train, train photo, train sticker or train book at all times and at the dinner table, they are allowed to sit and “watch” us eat from a short distance.   He even sleeps with them the way most children would sleep with a beloved stuffed animal.  It’s amazing. Continue reading

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A Quick Bathroom Makeover

When we closed escrow on our rental house, I wanted to make changes in each room to make it more “ours” without a lot of fuss or money.  Our bathroom was redone cheaply in the early 90’s and it is definitely on the top of our list for a major makeover, but we aren’t ready for that kind of expense quite yet, especially with a $10,000 fence somewhere on the horizon.   I decided to give it a quick makeover to tide us over until we could redo the whole thing with new flooring, tile, sinks and hardware.   Continue reading

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Last Minute Valentine: Slice and Bake Butter Cookies

IMG_0683I adore a simple, crunchy, lightly sweet slice and bake butter cookie.   They are lovely rolled in colored sugar, chopped nuts or coconut.  For a quick Valentine’s Day treat, I rolled my cookie dough log in homemade colored sugar and shaped it into a heart when it was partially chilled.  Once it was completely firm, I just sliced it, revealing darling heart cookies with a red sugar edge.  Super simple and a gorgeous little gift!   Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

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Simply Wonderful Tomato Soup

IMG_0648There’s just something about homemade tomato soup in the winter (yes, even in LA) that warms me to my toes.  I was never a fan of the canned stuff growing up, but real tomato soup is the perfect accompaniment to almost anything.  When my friend served us this family recipe one night last year, I was blown away by how perfect it was and I’ve been making it two to three times a month since that dinner!  Her recipe is a little creamy, a little tangy and a little spicy.   It also freezes well which has been a lifesaver during busy months.  I recommend pairing it with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich or sweet corn muffins!  Continue reading

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On the 4th Day of Christmas…Give Cookies!

IMG_0434I’ve never used my mom’s ceramic cookie stamps and I’ve been dying to for years.  I decided to make sugar cookies for my son’s therapy school teachers and thought the stamps would be perfect for banging out a large quantity of simple but gorgeous cookies.  At the last second, I thought it might be pretty to dry brush some gel food coloring over the larger designs and they turned out great!   These only took about 2 hours total to make, so they are perfect for a last-minute gift or for making in large quantities. Continue reading

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Backyard California Wedding

Close up of the ceremony arch. A wild assortment of flowers including protea, eucalyptus, and clover.

Close up of the ceremony arch. A wild assortment of flowers including protea, eucalyptus, and clover.

Last summer, I tried my hand at professional party planning for a few friends who were getting hitched and the end result was just lovely.  They wanted something very small and casual, with an emphasis on great food and lots of booze.  Since it was only about 50 people, they asked me if I could handle it all, from planning to catering to flowers…so basically, it was my dream come true!  While we did do our own wedding, it’s definitely more fun to be the person on the outside making everything perfect for someone else.  More photos of the food and flowers after the jump. Continue reading

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