DIY pumpkins

Halloween is just a week away!  Fall is my favorite season and about a decade ago, Halloween was my favorite holiday.  Although celebrating Halloween has slipped from my radar, fall decor has not!  Earlier this season Ryan and I made pumpkins out of materials we already had on hand.  They are a bit abstract but they were fun to make none the less.  Check them out…

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Ryan cut a few logs to create wood slice pumpkins. Using a drill press, he made a hole in the top to insert the branch stem.  So rustic!

wood slice pumpkin-

I put a monochromatic spin on the popular fabric pumpkin by using just burlap and jute twine.  You’ll never guess what I stuffed the pumpkin with…shipping peanuts!  The shapes on these guys greatly varied just like in nature…

Burlap Pumpkin

In addition to DIYing pumpkins, we’ve been working with real ones as well – mostly in the kitchen.  This season we’ve enjoyed spiced pumpkin bread, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin pizelles. Yum!

What pumpkin inspired crafts & treats have you made?

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pushin’ along

We raised an impressive $500 through the Petal Pushers fundraiser last week for our Bike MS: City to Shore team!  Just a gaggle of ladies happily arranging flowers while making a difference…

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I am so grateful for this community, family and friends for all of their support!  We couldn’t have done it without our fearless leader and professional floral designer, Renee Tucci, the mastermind behind Petal Pushers.

We have about 6 weeks to go until the actual Bike MS: City to Shore ride and most of our riders have met or exceeded their minimum fundraising goal.  You can check out our team’s progress here.

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Multiple Sclerosis is a real part of our everyday life and business journey.  Those things are closely intertwined therefore I choose to share personal updates such as these here.  I hope to educate or empower someone by letting you in on our lifestyle.

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Ryan’s MS diagnosis has shown us that life truly is a gift.  MS has taught us to live for today and not put things off for ‘someday’.  We’ve become more adventurous and courageous.  Within reason, of course.

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It has been a year since we moved to Cape May and slowed down our pace of life while eliminating some stress and ‘stuff’ along the way.  A year!  Already.  And two years since Ryan’s diagnosis.

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I’m not sure that I ever made it explicit but Ryan has officially come on board with Circa Dee.  He is doing very well in this new lifestyle that we chose.  It seems to agree with him.  And me too.  Although change can be terrifying at first, it is certainly good and not to be feared.

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wine cork ornament DIY

Tell me you don’t have a big ol’ pile of wine corks somewhere.

In a drawer.  In a vase.  In your liquor cabinet.

If you are just a little bit crafty (and like wine), you’ve most likely stashed some corks like I did, right?  Just waiting for some trash-to-treasure project inspiration.  Well, here it is friends!

wine cork tree ornament diy

Start by gathering these supplies…

cork tree ornament supplies

For the corks, be sure to use the porous ones – actual corks.  The waxy ones just don’t adhere well.

I played around with a few different layouts before I got started.  I found that the bulky champagne corks made great “tree trunks”.  Plus they tend to be more decorative on top.

wine cork tree ornament

  • First, drill a hole perpendicular through the center of the cork so you can loop your twine through.  I used 6 inch pieces of twine for the ornament hanger.cork tree ornament
  • This is totally optional but if you’d like to attach a name tag, now is the time.  Punch (or cut) a circle out of card stock.  Use the hole punch to create a small hole and loop the twine through before knotting it.  This step allows you to double the ornament as a name tag on a wrapped gift!wine cork tree ornament
  • Now let’s assemble.  Glue a horizontal line each cork and attach one at a time.  Make sure to use your ornament hanger as the top cork.wine cork tree ornament

That’s it!wine cork tree ornament

These ornaments are fun and easy to make but the best part is acquiring enough corks.

wine cork tree ornament DIY

Because you probably already have all of the other necessary materials.

wine cork tree ornament supplies

trimming the tree with citrus

The phrase “trimming the tree” took on a whole new meaning for us this year.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

We picked out a live Fraser fir tree a few days after Thanksgiving.  Shortly after getting it in the house and decorated, we realized that the tree wasn’t taking up water.  Panic set in as I recalled what is now referred to as The Tree Fiasco of 2007 when my tree was dead as a doornail 2 weeks before Christmas.  I am talking flammable.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I couldn’t live through replacing a dried out, dead tree again so we had to act fast.  At this point, there were just a few dry needles on the decorated tree.   I knew it could be revived.  This is the point where we actually trimmed the tree.  I held it up out of the stand while Ryan gave the trunk a fresh-cut.

Dried Hydrangea on the Christmas Tree

Crisis averted.  All is calm, all is bright.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Would you believe that not a single ornament moved during this swift surgery?  A Christmas miracle.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I committed to a natural, slightly crafty and  definitely busy look this season in our living room.  I haven’t bought any new Christmas decorations and have yet to regret it.  We had burlap, peacock feathers and moss-covered seed pods leftover from our wedding.  Up on the tree they went.

Dried Seed Pod on the Christmas Tree

We live on a wooded lot now so I was able to collect fresh holly and cedar for the mantel right in our backyard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Plus twigs and dried hydrangeas for the tree.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

Following suit with the natural decor, I checked my fruit bowl.  I bought 2 large bags of grapefruit a few weeks ago.  After we packed in as much vitamin C as possible, we were left with six grapefruit staring back at us.

Grapefruit to Garland

A wonderful opportunity to try my hand at a citrus garland with the leftovers.  I am so glad I did because they quickly became a staple of our holiday decor this year!

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

First prepare the grapefruit…

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Slice up the grapefruits or oranges. Each one will yield 5-6  1/4 inch slices
  • Pat them dry with a paper towel and place on a non-stick cookie sheet
  • Lightly bake for 3-4 hours, flipping the slices halfway

Grapefruit to Garland

Next, make your garland…

  • Choose 1/2 inch-1 inch wide ribbon, twine or fabric as the base of the garland.  I chose to cut up an old flannel shirt, of course (keeping with our Lumberjack holiday theme)
  • Cut into approximately 12 inch long strips.  You will need one strip per piece of citrus
  • Tie each strip of fabric through the citrus.  Most slices will naturally have a whole in the middle
  • Then tie each piece of fabric together creating a little bow at the connection

DIY Dried Citrus Garland

The citrus garland adds a festive illumination to the lit tree.

DIY dried citrus garland

Garland your tree, mantel, foyer, whatever!  Just don’t worry about spending an exorbitant amount of money.  Re-work what you already have in your house…even if it’s edible.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

What are you making this holiday season?

home for the holidays

I’ve never thought of myself as a very transient person being that I always lived within minutes from family and close friends.  Always in the Philadelphia area.  And let’s face it, this last move to Cape May is still pretty much within the Philadelphia metro area…only a mere two hours away.  Still practically a Philadelphia suburb if you ask me.  People here are Phillies fans.  And Eagles fans.  It is definitely still like home in that regard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

However, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever moved out of Pennsylvania.  I’m faced with learning New Jersey laws and regulations.  Most of which are much lighter and easier than Pennsylvania’s.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

It has occurred to me that I have lived in five homes in the last 10 years.  Five!  I must be more transient than I thought with that many addresses under my belt.  This is my first official New Jersey home.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

With each move, comes decorating and redecorating.  Especially around the holidays.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Questions arise like where will the Christmas tree go?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Where will the stockings be hung?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Will Santa know where to find us?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

And with each move, comes new traditions.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

A new sense of “home”.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

New beginnings…

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Happy holidays, friends!

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

 

Linking to:

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directional guidance

It has been a crazy busy summer already.  We’ve barely come up for air.  Honestly, a small cry from how we planned to spend our summer.  But someone once told me life is what happens when you make plans.  So true.  Less planning, more living.

So when we do get a minute to breath, we relish in reviewing our wedding photos over and over again. We notice something new every time and relive that perfect day when just about all of our friends and family were in the same place, just a few months ago.  Which, by the way, doesn’t help us select photos to frame and to put in an album nor determine which should end up on the cutting room floor, as they say.

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Speaking of, there are so many hysterical dance floor photos that I am considering posting an outtake reel here…although I may be disowned by a few people.  (If you beg me, I will totally post it though.)  Signature dance moves, silly faces and all.

© Love Shack Photo

N-E-way, where did we leave off in the wedding DIY deets?  We talked about the cake and the must have cake table.

Dana & Ryan Cape May Wedding

We talked about the DIY trailhead highlighting where all of our friends and family traveled from.

© Love Shack Photo

I think that transitions nicely into the map thang we had going on…

© Love Shack Photo

I racked my brain over what to do with the table settings.  We knew right away that we would have food stations for dinner. This created a party atmosphere (which isn’t hard to do with our group) as opposed to a formal sit down dinner where people felt like they couldn’t get up and mingle as they please.  There is nothing wrong with that setting but it just wasn’t what we were going for.

© Love Shack Photo

With all of that said, I didn’t want the tables to be bare either since the food would be served at the stations.

© Love Shack Photo

Enter 160 atlas pages to the scene, my friends.  I found old and new ones.  The blue, green and yellow colors coordinated perfectly with our springy palette.  Each page served as a charger or place mat.  Also, a subtle nod to the “On the Way to Cape May” theme.  With a splash of burlap for good measure.  Oh and here’s a secret for you if this look is up your alley:  Take your atlases to FedEx/Kinko’s to have the pages cut in bulk.  It will save you hours upon hours of time tearing and cutting pages.

© Love Shack Photo

Bonus, everyone was encouraged to scribble notes to us on their map.  This ended up being totally entertaining for guests as they waited for dinner and an icebreaker at a few tables.

© Love Shack Photo

Plus, we jumped on the instagram trend and incorporated our own wedding hashtag (#recanize) and encouraged guests to share their candids.  It is a blast to relive them every time and we plan to make a little album of candids with maps as the scrapbook pages.  One of these days.

For brides-to-be out there, we placed note cards at each table communicating the hashtag info to guests…

instagram hashtag

Go ahead, take a look at the hashtag on instagram.  You know you want to.

And one more map for the road….ha, get it? Road? Ok.  Our guest book was a guest map which we framed.  People signed all over the country and of course Cape May had a little heart on it.  I found this on etsy.

© Love Shack Photo

I have to admit that I restrained myself from being an etsy bride.  I only ordered this map, which was made locally, and Wilson’s seersucker bowtie and leash which is just priceless as far as I’m concerned.

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Next up…the centerpieces.  And why I might have been temporarily insane for doing them all myself just days before my wedding.  What was I thinking?  Come back on Friday to find out!

© Love Shack Photo

All professional photos shot by the talented folks at Love Shack Photo.