My favorite time of year!

Hi all!  Sorry again for the extended hiatus.  Life is finally starting to slow down a bit, which is great, as I am in serious need of some down time.

I just wanted to make a quick post to show some fall decorating that has taken place in my house over the past few weeks, in between all the craziness.  This is the first time I get to decorate my new living room, so I am excited to share!  Most of my living room decor focuses on my Boney Bunch collection.  It’s fun to be able to display it in one central location, since for years it was scattered all around the first floor.  The bookshelves are the perfect place for the majority of these pieces.

I realize the lighting is a bit dark (these were taken with my iPhone early one morning, before work), but I think you get the idea.


I think my favorite spot in the living room is the console table behind our sofa.  Remember the table runner I made last year?  By the way, the candies in the right-hand bowl are Caramel Apple Milky Ways, which are just as good as they sound.  Mmmmm…

When I was at the Magic Kingdom in early September, I came across this little Ghost Mickey Jim Shore figurine that I just couldn’t resist.  He’s the newest member of my Halloween decor collection.  Again, sorry for the dark pic.

Not really decor, but I could not resist when I saw these at Target…  I’m not really a HUGE soda drinker (at least by comparison to my soda-guzzling husband), so I love that these are tiny cans.  The caramel apple soda is actually delicious.  It kind of tastes like carbonated apple juice with a little something extra.  Tadd picked the blood orange soda…I’m not really a big orange soda fan, but it was okay.  If you like orange soda, you would probably like it.  But I just love the cans.  So cute and festive!

I will be back soon with tales and pictures of where I have been all this time!

Are you getting into the fall/Halloween spirit yet?


Boney Bunch Preview 2013

I know it’s still summer, but who is in the mood for some fall-themed topics???  I know I am!

The first Saturday of August is always the preview event for Yankee Candle’s Boney Bunch collection.  I have attended this event for the past few years and have been collecting Boney Bunch figures for 5 years.  The first year I collected (2009), I really just bought one figure, the pirate seen on the left in this picture:

We were in the process of buying our first house and I knew I would be in some stage of packing/moving during the month of October, so I really didn’t want to invest in much seasonal decor at the time.  But I just couldn’t resist this guy!  He really kicked off my Boney Bunch habit.  At the time I really knew little to nothing about Boneys, and I didn’t get him at the preview…I just happened to be walking by my local Yankee Candle at some point in early September, and he was on a display of Boneys that hadn’t sold out yet at the very front of the store.

2010 was my first year attending the preview.  I think this was my favorite year, because I feel like they were in their heyday of creativity that year.  They had such a variety of items, including several non-candle things.  That was the first year that I got a candy dish promo-with-purchase item, which I LOVED!  I also had to get the adorable salt & pepper shakers.  PLUS as you can see in the photo below, they gave out small jar candles that were Boney Bunch-branded.  I believe the small jar candle was free, and the candy dish was $10 with a $30 purchase.  I wish they still did things like this.

I ended up skipping the preview event in 2011, because I was in the midst of my No Spend August Challenge.  But I was right back to it for 2012.  Last year was the first year they had a kitty Boney, which of course, I love.  They did another kitty figure this year, so I am hoping that they will have a new kitty Boney every year from now on.  I also got the light-up submarine (Tadd’s favorite), and the “Dead and Ferried” rowboat.  I also got another promo-with-purchase candy dish (which you can see in the below pic from last year’s Halloween decorations).

THIS year, the only promo-with-purchase was a generic non-Boney pumpkin plug-in with your choice of scent refill for $5.  It’s definitely cute, and I did buy one (we got the Autumn Leaves scent if you’re curious), but I also thought it was kind of lame.  If I am at the Boney Bunch preview, I want the special promo item to be a Boney item, you know?  I didn’t take a picture, but you can see this year’s preview promo item here.  See what I mean?  Cute, but nothing special.

We also got the “Bone White and the 7 Dwarves” jar holder with a medium jar in Witches’ Brew.  I think this might be my favorite Boney item of ALL time!  It’s SO cute!  I love that Bone White is holding a black apple.  Nice touch!  The jar candle is adorable too.  It’s hard to see, but the candle itself is black glass, and it has all these cute Halloween images in white around it.  Really fun!

We also got the “Bone Dry” tea light holder, which unfortunately broke before we got it home.  We brought it right back to the store and were able to order another one before they sold out (it was already sold out at my store, which is why they had to order one for us), so it should be on its way to us shortly.

And, of course, we HAD to get the kitty tealight holder!

Ever since we adopted our own Halloween black cat, Jacoby, I have been REALLY into black cat Halloween decorations.  Some of you may remember last year when Yankee brought out their black cat collection at Halloween, and I could not resist ordering the tea light holder, because it looked JUST like my Jacoby!

Well, they brought back that same collection this year, and I could NOT resist this little jar clinger after Tadd pointed it out to me.  So this was a total impulse purchase, and not a Boney item, but I love it!

After taking pics, I sadly packed everything back up and put it all away until September.  Because August 3rd is too early, even for me, to start decorating for fall & Halloween!   Soon enough, my pretties!

This totally put me in the fall/Halloween spirit all weekend.  I wore my skull scarf on Saturday, burned one of my more fallish summer candles (Summer Boardwalk by Bath & Body Works…it has a very foody, bakery/cinnamon/caramel/popcorn kind of scent that reminds me more of fall than summer), and let Tadd talk me into buying a Sam Adams Harvest Collection variety pack.  I drank my first pumpkin beer of the season last night!

Are you getting into fall-mode like me?  Or are you holding on to summer a little longer?

A Halloween Non-Mantel 2012 (and more!)

I can now officially wish everyone HAPPY FALL!

This is always the time of year when I regret not having a fireplace & mantel.  I make do with my entry table, which is where I tend to do my seasonal decorating.  This is what I came up with for Halloween this year…

My favorite parts are the little potted tree in the woven container (both tree & container from Ikea), topped with pinecone and pumpkin filler, placed next to a pair of rustic wooden ravens (filler and ravens from Hobby Lobby)!

I suppose you could say that my wall of shelves in the living room is a good mantel substitute too.  This is where I am displaying most of my Boney Bunch collection.

Linking up with…

Halloween Mantels


Exciting things happening in my kitchen!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was extremely productive.

I started early on Saturday morning by waiting in line at my local Yankee Candle store for the Boney Bunch preview.  I am such a sucker for these things!  I know some might not agree, but I just think they are so cute.  I ended up with three pieces to add to my collection, the kitty, the rowboat, and the light-up submarine!

The kitty is the smallest piece, but I think it’s my favorite.  I also bought the $10 promo candy dish, and several wax tarts.  I love the new fall scent Apple Pumpkin!

The most exciting thing that happened this weekend is our continued work on the kitchen island.  We nailed in the trim, filled holes, caulked, cleaned, sanded, primed, and painted!  What a difference!  Here is a sneak peak of the before and after.

We still have work to do on the doors, drawers, a few touch up spots, and we have to install the new hardware we just purchased at Target!  Thanks to a giftcard, we only had to spend $55 on 12 pulls and 20 knobs.  I thought that was pretty good.  They are in oil-rubbed bronze, to match our light fixtures.  Love them!  Can’t wait to see them on the cabinets.

We are taking our time, but eventually all of the cabinets will be painted this same color (Vintage by allen & roth/Valspar at Lowes in case you were wondering).  We also have plans in store for the countertops (and backsplash…and pantry doors…and so on…).  I have no idea how long it will take us to do everything, but we are not in a hurry, so I will show you our progress as we go.

Some thoughts on the work we have done in the kitchen thus far:

  • Beadboard is really easy to work with.  We bought pre-finished, paint ready, interlocking sheets of beadboard at Lowes.  Love that stuff!  We used 3 packages for this project, at about $18/package.
  • We used window casing in lieu of baseboard because we liked the chunkier look it gave us.  I do not regret this one bit.
  • Love the tip of using a dowel rod on the outside corners of the island.  It really does blend right in with the beads and helps the corners look finished off.
  • We used the following tutorials to help us:  Thrifty Decor Chick: How to install beadboard and At The Picket Fence: My kitchen island transformation

Stay tuned over the next few weeks (or months, maybe?) for more on the kitchen mini-remodel!

Linking up!:

Home Stories A2Z

shabby creek cottage

Looking forward to fall.

I can’t believe it’s the last day of July!  I am happy though, because that puts us another month closer to my favorite season, fall!  Florida summers can be brutal.  High temps in the mid nineties, crazy humidity, and violent thunderstorms almost every day.  They are also way too long…Our summer weather patterns sometimes start in April and can last well into October.  It can be really tough to do anything (comfortably) outdoors during this time frame, which can be quite limiting.

So, to make these last several weeks of summer a teensy bit more bearable, I am thinking about some my favorite things about fall!

Top 5 fall-related things I am looking forward to (in no particular order):

  1. Yankee Candle Boney Bunch Preview!  This event is THIS coming Saturday morning, August 4th.  I was good and skipped this last year during my No Spend August Challenge.  But this year, I will be going back and I am psyched!  I always love Yankee Candle’s fall and Halloween items, and the sneak peek pics I have seen so far show that this year is no exception.  There is even rumor of a Boney Bunch kitty character in this year’s collection!

    My Boney Bunch haul from 2010.

  2. Long & Scott’s Corn Maze. My friends and I conquered the maze last year.  It wasn’t a very fall-like day (hot!), but we had fun working together to solve the 6-acre maze.  Hopefully this year we can go on a day with crisper temperatures. 
  3. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Disney events like this one make me feel really lucky to live in Central Florida.  This is always one of the highlights of my fall season every year.  It’s not a cheap day (each tasting item costs an average of $4-5), but there is something really fun and enjoyable about getting to stroll around World Showcase, trying different food and beverage items from all around the world.
  4. Fall crafting. Fall tends to be the time that I really get into crafting.  For some reason, it sparks my creative side.  I actually hope to get started on this very soon!  Last year I made a cute “SPOOKY” sign, a Halloween-ified vase, and got together with my girlfriends to make candy corn wreaths.  This year, I am planning on some fall sewing projects.
  5. Halloween!  I love all holidays, especially Halloween.  Tadd and I are starting to toss around costume ideas for this year already.  Last year we dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf!

An Update on this “No Spend” thing.

So I am officially 1 week into my No Spend August challenge.  We are doing quite well, as we have only spent money 2 days so far in August.

We had made prior plans for a friend’s birthday celebration already and knew we would be spending on Saturday, so Tadd also went ahead and got his haircut and we gassed up the car on Saturday.  Then we went down to a new place in downtown Orlando called Frank & Steins.  As the name suggests, they specialize in hot dogs and beer, and the whole place has a sort of sports bar feel, with board games and video games (even skiball) to play while you are eating and drinking.  Being that I am not a huge fan of hot dogs, I had a pretzel with queso and started out with a La Fin Du Monde…one of my all time favorite beers!  I was delighted to see it on the menu, as not too many bars carry it around here.  After that I switched to a witbier that I had never tried before called Blanch de Bruxelles.  Loved it!

So we got ALL of our spending done within the confines of Saturday.  The rest of the weekend, we did not spend a DIME.  I also overcame a huge temptation Saturday morning.  Confession: I really like the Boney Bunch at Yankee Candle.  In case you don’t already know, Boney Bunch is a line of really cute and extremely popular Halloween decorations and candle holders that Yankee has put out every year for the past few years.  They have the big preview event the first weekend in August, which means this year it fell on this past Saturday, and many of the more popular items sell out really really quickly.  Before we had implemented the challenge, I had told Tadd that I would definitely be going to the Boney Bunch preview event and purchasing ONE item.  BUT, I did the same thing last year (promised Tadd and myself that I would only buy ONE item) and ended up with all of this:

They always end up having a lot of those “Spend $XX, get this free!” and “Spend $XX, get this super-fun extra thing for only $10 more!” deals, which I end up getting suckered into.  Because instead of just getting one item for $20, I ended up with all of this for $60-something!  But seriously, aren’t they adorable!?!  Just look at that salt & pepper shaker set!  So cute!  I could not resist…

I was quite excited about this event, but in the end I decided that succeeding in this challenge meant sacrificing stuff like this.  So I did the right thing and decided to stay home.  I already have Boney Bunch stuff from the past 2 years to decorate my house with, so I will be good.

I also heard that Dollar Tree put out their fall and Halloween stuff and that is KILLING me!  I so want to go check it out, but I won’t.  It doesn’t help that a bunch of my downtime this weekend was spent perusing blogs for fall decorating tips and craft ideas.  This challenge is NO FUN, I tell you!  I am going to be going NUTS with fall decor shopping on Sept 1st, no question.

I did come up with some no-spend projects that I want to get done around the house.  Hopefully we can work on some of it next weekend.  The main one I am looking forward to is moving the desk that is currently sitting in our loft collecting dust (because we never use our loft), into our living room.  I want to set up a laptop station for myself so I can blog at a proper desk, but still be in the middle of all the action in the house.  We are going to move it to that huge empty space that has been bugging me in our living room since we moved in.  This is one of those things that I’m really not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner.  But I can’t wait!  Hopefully it ends up the way I picture it in my head.

Hope everyone has a great week!