DIY Halloween Lights

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We really don’t like spiders. We scream when we see them in our homes, and fear them crawling on us. We have recurring nightmares after a villa experience in Tuscany {which was amazing, and we would do it all over again}. Along with the wonderful grapes, vines, greenery, olive trees and an old villa came spiders…big ones! To this day, we still dream that spiders are crawling on us, or people next to us, and although we seem to be ‘awake’ and we think we really see them, they are just a bad dream.

Despite our fears, spiders crawled their way onto our DIY Halloween balloons, and now they are shining bright for our DIY Halloween lights. The creepy spider tattoos from Oriental Trading were our source of inspiration, once again. Tis the season of Halloween.

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Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Gather ping-pong balls. Remove the piece of plastic from the tattoo and cut the spider tattoos into individuals spiders.

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Step 2: Place the spider tattoo face down onto the ping-pong ball, press down and apply water all over the back of the tattoos with a wet sponge or wash cloth. Apply it just the way you would on skin.

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Step 3: Insert a sharp knife into the back-side of the ping-pong ball {opposite of the spider}. Make an X or a T with the knife.

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Step 4: Insert the light into each ping-pong balls.

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Step 5: Find the closest outlet, and let the spiders hang.

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50 Patriotic Must-Haves Under 50 Dollars

There are 50 states, so naturally we had to find 50 red, white and blue must-haves as we celebrate America on the fourth of July. Wait, it gets better. All of them are under $50. 50 for 50 under 50. We love America, don’t you?

  1. Star and Stripes Sandals
  2. Stars and Stripes Jean Shorts
  3. Stars and stripes American Tee
  4. Chuck Converse Shoe
  5. Scarf 
  6. Star Studs
  7. Stars and Stripes Socks
  8. Tunic
  9. Chambray Shirt Dress
  10. Red Toms Shoes
  11. Red Lipstick 
  12. Floppy Straw Hat
  13. Straw Tote with Tassels
  14. Bourbon and Bowtie White Stone Bangle
  15. Moon and Lola Script Pendant
  16. Raglan Shirt
  17. Off Shoulder Top
  18. USA Tee
  19. American Flag Turban
  20. Sunglasses
  21. American Flag Leggings
  22. American Flag Cap
  23. Star Print Shorts and Pajamas
  1. Red and White Turkish Towel
  2. America Cheese Board
  3. Paper Napkins
  4. American Flag Tapestry
  5. Monogram Koozie
  6. Coasters
  7. Swell Water Bottle
  8. Red Star Dinner Plate
  9. Red Wooden Cutlery
  10. Radioflyer Wagon
  11. Sunscreen
  12. Red Cooler
  13. Swan Drink Holder
  14. Bamboo Tray
  15. Blue Sunnylife Radio
  16. Red, White and Blue Hanging Planter
  17. Bocce set
  18. Enamel Mug
  19. Ping Pong Set
  20. Monogrammed Mason Jar with Straw
  21. Celestial Coaster Set
  22. Red White and Blue Striped Box
  23. Picnic Blanket
  24. Merican Dream Doormat
  25. Cobalt Blue Vase 
  26. Giant Ice Pop Floatie
  27. American Flag Pillow

DIY Red, White and Blue Ice Bucket

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It’s about that time when red, white and blue are just about the only colors on our minds. Yes, one of our favorite holidays, July 4th, is coming up, and this year we’re adding a DIY fruit ice bucket to our party to do’s.

A DIY patriotic ice bucket is the perfect July 4th accessory, and it’s so easy and cheap to do. Guests will love the extra touch of red, white and blue, and they will enjoy their chilled beverage.

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Materials:

  • water
  • large bucket, we used a plastic one from Party City
  • small buckets {small enough to fit inside large bucket and large enough to fit a wine bottle or beer can}
  • blueberries, fresh or frozen, at least 2 cups
  • strawberries, fresh or frozen, sliced, 2-3 cups
  • weight, such as a rock
  • wine or beer

Directions:

Fill about 1/3 of the large bucket full of water, then drop in all the strawberries. Freeze for at least 5-8 hours.

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Place 2 small buckets on top of first layer of ice, add weight inside {we used a rock}, and fill another 1/3 of the bucket with water. Do not get water inside the small bucket because it will be more difficult to remove the buckets from the ice. Freeze for about 5-8 hours.

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For the final layer, fill the remaining 1/3 of the container fill of water, and then drop in blueberries. Freeze for 8 hours.

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Remove from the freezer. Pour boiling water inside the small buckets and gently twist to remove from the ice. Additionally, run the outside of the large bucket with  hot water from the sink faucet. After about 15 seconds on each side, the ice cooler will be easily removed, and the layers should look like this.

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Carefully flip the ice cooler out from the bucket with your hands and set on a tray. Fill the holes with wine or beer. We couldn’t decide because beer, well, it’s all-American and those Budweiser cans are so patriotic and awesome. But, the vino lovers that we are couldn’t resist the taste and look of the red and blue Relax Wine bottles of wine.

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Cheers!

Important Note: We took photos of this DIY ice bucket with wine we had in the liquor cabinet, and after review of photos, while the wine was good, for the ultimate patriotic post, the wine bottle {and beer} needed to be more festive in color. Enter, Relax Wines and Budweiser beer! However, the ice bucket had to be re-frozen during a several hour photo shoot intermission, and a thin ‘film’ of ice formed over every layer, so the color of the DIY ice bucket was dulled, and the lines of the red, white and blue blurred. You win some, you lose some. Either way, we love our bucket, but honestly, it will be more vibrant than our photos if you have the right alcohol the first time around. 

Project Funway

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We are big fans of Project Runway. It’s a show we can’t get enough. The creativity, the talent, the challenges, the designers, Tim and Heidi – we love it all! Well, Project Runway has some major competition…from the small resort town of Vail, Colorado.

Moms, dads, architects, teachers and everyday amazing people enter into Project Funway to raise money for EFEC, Education for Eagle County. The non-profit organization helps to provide funding for tools, technology and staff that supports an excellent learning environment for the kids of Eagle County.

What started as a small event has grown into a large, must-see runway show. The lights, camera and action are exciting, but the fashion is unbelievable.

The more unconventional the materials, the better. I will never look at a construction fence zone, plastic bread tags, plastic containers, bicycle tires or medical gloves the same way I did before.

Last year, Jessica’s daughter Gabriella, competed. Her theme was Summer, so she walked the runway as a watermelon. Her top was made of window screen, the skirt was constructed with plastic tablecloths and held up with a duct tape belt, she adorned a flower headpiece made from a plastic cup, and she was accessorized with a a bubblegum necklace and a purse made from a watering can.

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Turns out, inspiration is all around us – we just have to use our brains to brainstorm and our hands to mold, sew, glue or design it into a work of art, or runway piece.

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Our personal favorite was the construction fence dress. Who knew the orange fencing could be so couture?

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This year’s show is Saturady, April 9. It’s sure to be a show-stopper. Read more about the event, and how to buy tickets here.

Photography by Sherri Innis
Photo of Jessica’s daughter {and lead designer of her watermleon dress} by Meredith Moran Photography

Giraffe Baby Shower

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We made a trip to the zoo last week, and the giraffe’s were a favorite among our kids. The tall beauties have been loved by Jessica’s son for a long time. Thanks to Sylvia Strauss of Special Events and photographer Finishing Touch Roelien Visser, now we know they can be the inspiration behind a pretty baby shower, too.

Sylvia was inspired by the blue and yellow color of the striped flower pots on the table. Of course we love the DIY details, such as the wool letters and the spray painted plastic animals.

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VENDOR LOVE

Venue: Mountain Breeze Stellenbosch
Cookies: Krummelkuns
Decor & Planning: Special Events
Photographer:  Finishing Touch Roelien Visser