The Most Original Pumpkin Decorating Idea Ever

I have been obsessed with for a while now and anyone who has never been there should check it out right away. To prove my point I just found the coolest pumpkin decorating idea I have ever seen. I always hated the messy carving and once cut the pumpkins rot within a few days here in the Texas heat. Painting is overdone and the little Mr. Potato Headesque stick in pieces just look stupid if you ask me. The only hitch in this method is that you have to grow your own….but there is always next year!


Halloween Dead Fairy

Another one of my craftster posts. Halloween will be here soon and these little suckers are quick and cheap to make I have mde quit a few as gifts and still have got plenty to decorate my house with. Let me know what you think! fairy

Check out one of my Craftster posts

Happy Birthday

This is the ‘Watchmen Smiley Face’ cake I made (and by I made , I really mean watched my sister ) for my son’s birthday.

Happy 10th Birthday Conor!!!Watchmen Cake

Awsome Swagbucks Offer!!!!

Swagbucks has the $5 cash to Paypal offer on sale for 70 points!!!!! It normally is 190!!! The offer is found under the Swag shop gift card section. The Paypal address must match the one that was registered to swagbucks. After you verify your order via an emailed link you will be emailed another link (in 2-3 weeks) that will add the funds to your account, you have to claim your $ within 30 days of receipt of the funds transfer email or it will expire. I have no idea when this offer began or when it will end but I had enough points to redeem 2 and they both were verified as being accepted transactions. Yay $10 bucks with a few points leftover when normally I would not have had enough for $5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harry Potter Movie party favor box

Just a few pictures of the goodies I put in our little party favor boxes for the midnight screening of  Half Blood Prince

Vial of Felix Felisis potion

Vial of Felix Felisis potion

All the goodies!

All the goodies!

Finished treat boxes

Finished treat boxes

A bit more details on making the treat boxes to follow, along with our costume photos from the movie party!!!

Imbrace your inner geek with a Harry Potter Party

With the newest installment in the Harry Potter movie series being released in only a week —giant Potter nerd that I am —I knew that we would have to celebrate in some way. From my first book release party for the Order of the Phoenix I was completely taken in by all of the costumes and props and little touches people made to show what huge Potter fans were there that night.

Our first Potter book release party!

Our first Potter book release party!

Since then I (and my extended family who are all Potter nerds too) have tried to design a costume, props and find a new way to add to our fun.

The Half Blood Prince Book Release Party was our first full out costume event and I think we made ourselves proud!

I will post some photos of us in our costumes and props in the next few days. I will also show you the Harry Potter collection display, a year round feature  in my living room featuring some of my best bargain buys and homemade crafts, and although we have had to cut back a bit on the budget for our movie celebration this year, I will show you what we are doing in case you want to celebrate the movie too!


15 Free and Cheap Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy This Summer

After scouring the entire internet ( well, maybe not the WHOLE thing but at least 30 minutes worth) for summer activities for the financially challenged (BROKE), I have found many different lists with the same useless ideas  listed over and over and over….  If doing a jigsaw puzzle, or reading a book actually entertained a bored child, I  wouldn’t be looking up ideas on the internet in the first place. After giving up on finding the kind of  list that might be in any way helpful I decided to write my own. While some of these suggestions may be a bit unconventional ( I believe that is the politically correct term for  completely INSANE), I have tried and had some luck  with each. And strange or not I did not copy the same ridiculous tips on every other list I have read. If your kid will sit and read a book, or go on a picnic, or  make crafts  from popsicle sticks this list is not for you (and I hate you with a blinding passion….sorry, I drifted for a minute there)— this list is for people who have actually had to use Windex to clean up a stain from  an orange soda spill… on the dog, or had their child emerge from another room after a few very rare hours of quietly entertaining themselves  only to  casually point out that we never did get around to equipping the new house with fire extinguishers.  FYI— I still have no idea what may have prompted that observation due to my strict policy to never ask questions that I  do not really want answered. Yeah I am THAT kind of mom.

***DISCLAIMER– I have a 10 year old boy so guess what? Most of my ideas are for older children who might also happen to be boys. ***

1). Teach your little darling how to use Photoshop because adding red glowing eyes and devil horns on pictures of         your mom never gets old– apparently.

2). Taking and uploading videos to You Tube can be fun too. There can be lots of everyday activities that would make good video subject matter. * see #6

3). Having your child start his or her own blog to keep up with friends from school, or it can just be a topical blog on their favorite hobby (collecting, video games, anything ). Having them write  their own blog posts can be a sneaky way to teach them about computers and improve writing skills without them even realizing it.

4).Teach your kid how to play chess. Okay fine- it was poker.  I  can’t really even justify this as educational but being a good poker player  is something that may come handy one day and I suck at chess anyway.

5). Challenge him to a video game. Because it is hard to whine about being bored when you are rolling around on the floor laughing about how much your mom sucks at video games. Wii games, RockBand and Dance Dance revolution are the best because even if you are good you still will look ridiculous.

… continue reading this entry.

bookmooch_logo is one of my favorite places on the web, combining books, thrift, reusing, and for me the thrill of recieving packages in the mail! Book mooch is completely free to join and matches up people who want particular books to those willing to mail them away. New members must establish a network name and password as well as the mailing address that they wish to recieve to. An Email adress is also needed to allow other members to contact you to initiate transactions or discuss pending transactions. Trades are done via a point system new members must have a minimum of  10 books that they are willing to trade and they list those in an inventory using the ISBN number assigned to the book (or Title or Author can be used if ISBN not available) as each book is entered the member is encouraged to make any additional notes regarding the condition of the book (torn pages, cover damage, strong odors, ect) each book added to an inventory is worth 1/10 of a point. One full point is needed to request another member’s book. When a title you are interested in is available you will see a “mooch now” button on the upper right side of the screen.    When a mooch is initiated you  will see a confirmation word (usually an author’s name) that must be entered to verify the transaction. Your address will be shown in a “ship to”  box and there will be an additional box for comments. Then if there are multiple copies available you will be able to see some details on each member offering the book as well as any condition notes. To complete the request you only have to select the member you would like to mooch from (when only one book is available that member is the default choice) and submit request. An email will be sent to the sender with your information and they will be able to accept or decline your request. If your request is accepted you will recieve an email confirming and it will be listed under the “pending” tab of your Bookmooch screen.  Once a request has been accepted the member sending the book is transfered one point from your balance and he or she will cover the shipping costs. When the book is recievied you update the pending transation by giving the sender a feedback rating. The feedback rating is visible to all members and indicates whether they conduct timely transactions and if their book arrived in the condition as it was expected. Members with multiple negative feedback scores can and often  are declined when they request to recieve books. Recievers are awarded 1/10 of a point to provide the feedback information. Although there are special proceedures and different point values many trades can be conducted with members in other countries, often resulting in books that are hard to find in your country.
I have been very happy with the transactions I have conducted and with the other members I have dealt with. Being able to trade an unwanted title for just the cost of shipping and in turn find a book I wanted is often cheaper than going to a used book store and definitely easier.

Super Mario game room— coolest home decor project EVAR

The move to our new house was a long time coming. As frustrating as that was I tried to turn it into a positive by obsessively planning each room. Our video game room was in dire need of a facelift. Before the move it was partially furnished with our old entertainment unit, an Ikea couch, no carpeting just bare cement and the rest of the room was piled high with storage boxes.UUUGGH. So imagine my glee when I happened on these Blik wall stickers on These stickers were described as removable high quality vinyl wall stickers that could easily be taken down for a move or just to reposition them. The kicker was however that there were three of the sticker sets licensed by Nintendo!!! Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers 3, and Super Mario Brothers were my options and of course chose the first game I had fallen for as a child–the Original Supermario Brothers.

I am so incredibly happy with the results ( and lets face it my friends are much more impressed than my son) DSC01364DSC01365DSC01366

Again I am thrilled with the results but had a few (really minor) complaints. The sets them selves are a bit pricey at $75.00 plus shipping but cheaper that hiring a muralist. How ever I was trying to recreate something that resembled an actual screen shot during game play. No go though we were way short on bricks (I even contacted Blick to see if  I could purchase  just a sheet of bricks but was shot down because of the licencing aggrement with Nintendo). After looking at all the examples on the company’s website I walked away rather bitter realizing that not one example used less than 2 kits. I really had to think about my placings to get the effect I wanted and added the storage benches to help raise the design up, so it could be seen over the back of the couch, and take away the floating effect I would have had with a blank wall (all the extra storage was awesome too!)    While I was still trying to maximize the placement of each sticker (I only had 4 I couldn’t use) we decided to paint the walls that love shade of Mario sky blue to enhance the theme. It was only sheer luck that we noticed the tiny slip of paper that fell out of the box warning us that fresh paint had to be allowed to cure for two weeks before applying decals. We bitterly gave up our “weekend project” and stared into the room in a misguided attempt to make the paint cure faster.

After waiting the two weeks I knew where I wanted to place each sticker and using a measuring tape for height and a level, I peeled and stuck for slightly over 30 min then beheld my masterpiece.  The few pieces I did reposition moved easily and stuck well but I did notice that even with an almost flat texture to the walls the decals began to stretch to meet the wall making it unlikely that I could move them from one place to another easily. Even with setbacks I am thrilled with the results, it creates a huge impact in the room and the really were as easy to use as the box said. Definitely worth the buy!!!!!

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