DIY Halloween Spider Web Wreath

There are so many spooky Halloween wreaths out there but frankly, I think the price tags are equally as frightful. I am a huge fan of Fall decor and don’t even start me on Christmas but my Halloween decorating is minimal at best. I can’t justify having a huge amount of decorations for just one night (ok, yes ironic since Christmas is technically one day as well). So I took things into my own hands using Michael’s 40% off one full priced item coupon and made this MINDLESSLY easy, spider web wreath which ended up costing just $7!

DIY Halloween Spider Web Wreath

You will need just three items:

  1. Plain, twig wreath (whatever size you want!)
  2. Spider Web
  3. Spiders, of course!

DIY Halloween Spider Web Wreath

Depending on where you are placing this and what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, you may need to use wire or glue to secure your spiders. Due to the family of geckos that likes to move into all my front door wreaths and then try jump into my house, I will probably use this indoors as wall decor! If you are displaying the wreath inside then those spider legs pretty much secure themselves between the twigs. One less step – score!

Obviously these wreaths are supposed to be round (duh!) but they are inexpensive and all vary. Choose wisely at the store. When you are ready to start, lay it flat on a table and decide what point will be the top (where it will sit on the door hanger/nail).

DIY Halloween Spider Web Wreath

After this you get to play with your webbing. I used a very small amount, stretching it to the max to ensure it looked more real. The more you use, the clumpier it will be. I wound the web around one side, spending time making it look as true to life as I could. You could also arrange it width ways across the bottom half or indeed, all over the entire wreath.

DIY Halloween Spider Web Wreath

Next up – spiders! Sparkly, plastic spiders are much more acceptable than live, hairy ones. This pack had six in it but I used just four. Again, depending on your wreath size, it’s up to you. You’re all set! Did I mention this was TOO easy?!

DIY Halloween Spider Web Wreath

Let me know if you’ve made your own Halloween wreath!

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Unique Succulent Arrangements

Succulents don’t ask for much making them a beginners favorite. Most varieties can be planted in small containers and because of this you can be as creative as you like when it comes to your planter of choice. I’ve planted them in teacups, terrariums, regular clay pots and even shallow dishes. Here is a roundup of some really unique succulent arrangements and planter ideas. Hopefully you will be inspired to come up with something just as wacky and wonderful!

Unique Succulent Arrangements

5 Unique Succulent Arrangements

Harvest Pumpkin Planter

Perfectly in keeping with the time of year, why not decorate accordingly with your succulents? I love this idea!

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Troll Doll Planter

This one cracked me up. I had these troll dolls as a child and I would spend hours brushing and styling their crazy hair. These would look so funny with any climbing succulent!

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The Wall Mounted Letter Planter is probably my favorite idea here! What a unique way to arrange your succulents and also have a beautiful piece of outdoor decor!

Wall Mounted Letter Planter

Similarly if you love a wreath on your front door to greet your guests, then try this DIY Succulent Wreath.

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Stuck for space? How about a Vertical Garden?!

Vertical Garden

Have you tried any of these arrangements? Let me know about your quirky succulent arrangements in the comments!

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Mountain Getaway: Tallulah Falls & Helen, Georgia

This year was our first Labor Day weekend without a plan. Initially we honed in on Florida. Sick of excessive heat and humidity, we changed our plans on a whim and booked a trip to Northern Georgia. How lucky we were! Florida was a no-go thanks to Tropical Storm Hermine ripping her way right through the state and unfortunately for us, our home was also in her direct path. We left a night early to avoid driving through the storm. On our agenda for the weekend was visiting Helen, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls, eating some good food and playing a round of golf! Nothing too wild! It turned into an interesting trip…

Mountain Getaway

Helen, Georgia is an Alpine town with a Bavarian feel right in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Apparently with a population of just 430, Helen is the third most visited town in Georgia! After spending so many years traveling around Bavaria, I must admit it does have a genuine Bavarian feel. I would highly recommend it for any military friends pining for their old German duty station!

Helen Georgia

Fussen, Bavaria is the town we would stay at whenever we visited Schloss Neuschwanstein where we got engaged. I was excited to find out that Helen is her sister city!

 

The architecture and decor is undeniably Bavarian.

 

Mountain Getaway

We ate at a really authentic German restaurant called Bodensee on the outskirts of town. To find it just cross the bridge on the main street and make an immediate left. Schnitzel after two years without it, really hit the spot!

 

 

Mountain Getaway

We spent a few hours walking around Helen, visiting the stores, eating and of course having a Bier! There’s a large parking area with $5/day parking which I don’t think is a bad deal. However if you are staying in Helen then there’s no need to move your car from the hotel. The majority of the hotels are no more than a 10 minute walk away. There’s a lot to do in Helen and around it’s outskirts. One fun family activity is tubing on the Chattahoochee river. For the adults, Oktoberfest starts the weekend after Labor day each year, a fest not to be missed!

Our accommodation destination was Clayton, Georgia. A small town near Tallulah Falls. I won’t talk about where we stayed because frankly, it doesn’t deserve a review. It was the downfall of our trip and we were definitely disappointed to find that it was nothing like advertised and was exorbitantly expensive for the condition it was in. If you like luxury hotel stays, it is very easy to be fooled by fancy (edited) pictures and exaggerated descriptive words. still, we decided to make the most of it and not let the hotel get us down.

That night we decided not to bother eating at our destination and instead ventured into Clayton to The Laurel restaurant at The White Birch Inn. The White Birch Inn is a boutique hotel in the historic part of town and I just about died over the decor in there. It all made sense when I read the owner is an interior designer! If only we’d booked a room there – divine!

Mountain Getaway

Mountain Getaway

Saturday was hike day! Tallulah Gorge State Park is located in the town of Tallulah Falls, just 20 minutes away from Clayton. I was excited for this for a while but I was initially disappointed by how short the trails were. Don’t get me wrong there are many trails but the best and most fun are for experienced hikers with real deal equipment. Someone I am not. So only two trails were available to me and my abilities. We found that one of those (South Rim trail) was a no-go due to a 600 step descent, something that was unfortunately a health concern for me at the time.

I must also add that if you are one of those hardcore hikers planning to visit the park this Autumn to hike to the gorge basin where the sliding rock/beach area is, it is closed due to dam maintenance until Memorial Day of 2017.

Mountain Getaway

The paths are easy and quite open (I was worried about this due to the many snakes inhabiting the park). In some areas the paths narrow and there’s lots of roots to wary of. In wet weather it can be pretty soft and slippery. Obviously appropriate footwear is a necessity.

Mountain Getaway

If you do attempt the descent on the South Rim trail then you will arrive at the suspension bridge which allows you to cross the gorge.

Mountain Getaway

We hiked he North Rim trail to ‘Inspiration Point’ where your eyes are treated to this stunning view! There’s a perfectly placed bench up there to sit and take it all in after your walk. This trail has a steep incline and while the path isn’t difficult, it gets quite tough in hot weather. Despite the short trail (2.5 miles) do not start it without water.

Mountain Getaway

The beauty of the park is amazing. It was so nice to be away from the crippling humidity of coastal Georgia. To breathe in fresh air and hear the rush of the water from the various falls reminded me of home!

The saving grace of our hotel was that it had a relatively decent golf course for my husband to play a round on. I tagged along for the fun/companionship but didn’t play. I did try my hand at swinging some clubs though. It was pretty enjoyable just to take in a beautiful serene mountain view. Even if I was trying to avoid being thrown from a golf cart by the world’s most erratic cart driver. Not to name any names…

 

 

 

Mountain Getaway

Mountain Getaway

Mountain Getaway

Mountain Getaway

One of my favorite parts of this trip was my morning coffee. That sounds really sad but I just really appreciate funky little coffee houses that are NOT serving me Starbucks. It turns out that The White Birch Inn also has an adjoining store/coffee shop call White Birch Provisions. Again I was in love with the design. It helped that the coffee and pastries were just as perfect!

Mountain Getaway

Mountain Getaway

Mountain Getaway

Have you been to any of these locations and what was your favorite?

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Football Food: All American Game Day Snacks

Football season starts THIS week! Who’s excited?! I won’t pretend I’m ecstatic. Football is so big here and I find it overwhelming. I don’t understand the game and my team has been chosen for me thanks to my die-hard Greenbay Packers husband. Thus far, it’s been a loud and obnoxious whirlwind of jumping in the air, shouting at the TV and occasionally, week-long sulking over losses. There is something I absolutely can get on board with though and that is football food. Sunday football games call for All-American comfort food, delicious snacks and refreshing beverages! Football Sundays are the ultimate ‘cheat day’!

Football Food All American Game Day Snacks

Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to sniffing out fun new recipes to try and football season is no different. From basic recipes to creative works of art, there is a virtually unlimited selection of ideas. Here are some of my favorites!

Appetizers

Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread

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Husband is a big bread lover and while I’m not overly keen on carbo loading before eating my meal, I am always up for some tear ‘n’ share bread. This one from Creme && Crumb encapsulates the best of two worlds!

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

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I’ve made this dip multiple times now and while the amount of sour cream involved is slightly horrifying, the taste will make you forget all your problems. Try it with thick cut potato chips.

Mains

Twisted Hot Dogs

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The great American hot dog! Could it even be game day without one? Chicago dogs are my favorite but I can’t wait to try these dogs with a twist!

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

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If you’re not a fan of MidWest delights then go further South and opt for some BBQ pulled pork sliders. They’re guaranteed to go down a treat.

Oven Baked Steak Fries

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I love thick cut fries (or ‘chips’ where I’m from!) and these super chunky steak fries are divine. Try them with salt and vinegar or fresh parmesan and garlic!

Dessert

Chances are after all the delicious savory food, there won’t be much room for dessert but just in case here’s some adorable dessert ideas!

Peanut Butter Football Dip

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Oreo Cookie Ball Footballs

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Want to skip the fattening cookies? Then opt for a fruity alternative!

Chocolate Dipped Football Apples

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What’s your favorite football food?

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Effortless Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Anyone who knows me, knows I am desperately willing Autumn to arrive. Chunky knit sweaters, boots, comfort food and darker evenings – I love it! If only Georgia actually experienced cool weather! So in order to bring Winter to me, I hike up the AC, don my winter woolies,  switch the flame on our fireplace and start eating my favorite comfort foods. The best thing about such food is that a lot of it can easily be made in the slow cooker. There is nothing I love more than being able to dump ingredients into one large pot and walk away until it’s time to eat!

Effortless Slow Cooker Taco Soup

When I moved to the US, I found it difficult to get into the swing of cooking dinners we both liked for an entire week. I was raised (stereo typically) on meat and potato based meals and it was hard to transition to a lot of culturally diverse dishes. Luckily I found I liked the majority. For such a fussy child, I will try anything now. Husband however, will not. Once tacos became a staple in our household, we fell into a rut. I felt like I cooked more sloppy tacos than I cared to look at and I was keen to branch out.

After feeling ill for a couple of weeks I hit up Pinterest and pinned a whole bunch of soup recipes. I saved a Chicken Enchilada Soup and it got me thinking about another variation of our tacos! I tweaked the enchilada soup recipe to be the easiest taco version I could muster and it turned out to be the most divine, tasty dish!

The title of this post is ‘Effortless Slow Cooker Taco Soup’ because truly, the most difficult step involved is opening the cans! This soup is as satisfyingly easy as it is delicious!

Effortless Slow Cooker Taco Soup

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Ankle Boots: Splurge V Save

Boots are my favorite part of Autumn-Winter. I love everything about Winter style. The colors, the textures and the layers! However I quickly learned that here in Georgia, Winter doesn’t show up until the occasional day in January. Kind of like how Summer appears in Ireland one day every July. Although I may not be able to bear the heat from my Winter woolies I cannot give up my beloved boots. I’ve compromised and made the switch to ankle boots, relatively unknown territory for me. I typically am the calf-high boot’s biggest fan. Here are some of my favorite new season booties – hopefully I’ve included something for everyone!

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save

The Peep Toe

These peep toe shoe-boots will take you from day to night. Dress up casual jeans during the day and pair with a dress for date night!

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save(1)

Splurge @ Dillards

Save @ Forever 21

 

The Classic Chelsea

Chelsea boots appear to never go out of style which means even if you splurge, you’ll be wearing them for years. The classic equestrian vibe compliments denim perfectly. I love to complete the look with a plaid shirt and padded vest.

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save

Splurge @ Nordstrom

Save @ ASOS

The Patent

Dress down a feminine dress with these classic patent booties. Pair with black tights and a leather jacket for an edgy look.

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save

Splurge @ Nordstrom

Save @ River Island

 

 

The 80s Revival

These are my favorite! I love the sharp 80’s style pointed toe.  These boots would look fabulous with everything and the pointed toe elongates the leg!

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save

Splurge @ Nordstrom

Save @ Old Navy

The Buckle

The perfect day to day boot. The buckled heel is totally on-trend as well as the suede and leather texture mix.

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save

Splurge @ Nordstrom

Save @ boohoo.com

 

The Western Twist

Cowboy boots aren’t exactly easy to wear with everything (although here in the South many would argue!) these fringed boots offer a western vibe without going all out!

Ankle Boots Splurge V Save

Splurge @ Nordstrom

Save @ Target

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Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Who loves cinnamon rolls? I do! I’ve been known to eat a whole pan. Not that I condone that sort of behavior! I realized that I hadn’t baked any cupcakes in a long time and as I was humming and hawing over what flavor I was craving, I saw a tube of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in the fridge (yes, I cheat sometimes!) and my mind was made up!

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Have you made any Cinnamon Roll variations?

Let me know in the comments!

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Easy Succulent Planter

My love of succulents is not a secret. It couldn’t possibly be, even if I tried. In Succulents for Beginners, I outlined how to plant a succulent and keep it alive. So be sure to check back there for the nitty gritty.  I was at a loss for where to plant my newest cactus (Blue Candle Strawflower) and crassula. A quick trip to the dollar store to buy a birthday balloon for Darby (yes, the dog) solved my conundrum! I picked up this large white coffee mug to serve as my succulent planter and some white stones to decorate. The plants cost around $3 the week prior so for a grand total of $5 I put together this little cactus garden, knocking the socks off the $15-20 pre-made counterparts!

Succulent Planter

Since this mug has no drainage holes, I lined the bottom with a mixture of pea gravel and well draining soil. I then added some soil and planted the cactus. Those suckers will stab you so be careful to grip it in the right place! Once I secured it in place I added the crassula, dispersed around the free space slightly.

Succulent Planter

Succulent Planter

Succulent Planter

Succulent Planter

You can add colorful sand, pebbles or moss to decorate the planter or leave it au natural. That’s the fun part and entirely up to you. You can plant these bad boys in virtually anything so be creative. I have a white container theme going on so this mug was perfect for me.

Succulent Planter

If you are really interested in keeping and propagating succulents then I would advise you to buy the industrial sized bag of pea gravel for drainage. I find the small single-serve bags of pebbles over-priced and gimmicky.

Let me know about your succulent planter ideas!

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5 Times Albus Dumbledore Made You Reevaluate Your Existence

Since I was 11 years old I have been a HUGE Harry Potter fan (who isn’t?). I thought it was the coolest thing to be the same age as Harry each year he returned to Hogwarts to Hagrid, Dumbledore and the crew. I never thought I would get to experience the excitement of waiting for another book to be released again. With the glorious arrival of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and an ode to Harry’s birthday, I’ve been re-reading the series and watching the movies!

Dumbledore Quotes

Harry Potter may be about the wizarding world but the magic experienced when reading them is immeasurable. In fact, I enjoyed HP so much growing up that I am saddened for kids who haven’t read the books and experienced the institution that is the world of Harry Potter.

While reading I am falling in love with the characters, the relationships and the magical world all over again. What strikes me most throughout all the dialogue are the stellar quotes of Albus Dumbledore, beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.


5 Times Albus Dumbledore Made You Re-evaluate Your Existence

On Integrity

Dumbledore Quote

On Being Present

Dumbledore Quotes

On Finding Hope

Dumbledore Quotes

On Understanding Why People Do Bad Things

Dumbledore Quotes

On Parenting (from the Cursed Child)

Dumbledore Quotes

Have you picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet?

Happy reading, Muggles!

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Fall Y’all + Must-Have Autumn Decor

My sister-in-law is the biggest Autumn fan or more specifically, Halloween fan! In fact, I was inspired to write this post after she sent me a message. She asked if Halloween decor was in stores in the US yet and since America does seasonal decor like nobody else the answer was of course, YES!

Fall Yall Must Have Autumn Decor

Autumn is simply referred to as ‘Autumn’ in Europe. No fuss and no falling leaves connotations just the plain and direct name of the season. I think the majority of America forgot that the season is called Autumn. When I use the term here, I’m often asked to either repeat myself or people repeat what I say in the Queen’s English and call me ‘proper’. After battling the Americanisms for quite a while now, this year I find myself saying ‘Fall’ quite a lot!

In Ireland, Autumn isn’t so much of a season as a soggy transition into Winter. The colorful, falling leaves are quickly helped along by rain and winds. They become more of a terrifying slip hazard than an aesthetic wonder. Last year we took a trip to Ohio in October and one of the most beautiful Autumn scenes I had ever seen was driving through parts of Tennessee and the Smokey Mountains. Since Europe doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving either, Halloween and Christmas are really the only decorate-able occasions.

Here in Coastal Georgia the kids return to school in early August. With the arrival of the school buses comes the closure of the swimming pools, the shelving of the summer clothes (which is CRAZY considering it’s still hot as heck until around November!) and the emergence of pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. The decor I saw in every store last year became too difficult to resist and I purchased a few pieces. It became a running joke of my husband’s that if it was a leaf or pumpkin it couldn’t come in the door. I cannot wait to decorate our new house this Fall. I already plan a mini pumpkin-patch style feature on our front step. The US has truly reeled me in!

I’ve been perusing the stores and trawling the internet for some of my favorite, affordable pieces and here’s what I found!

Must-Have Fall Decor

 

Fall Pillow
Find this cute burlap style cushion at Etsy
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This rustic Thanksgiving wood block is also from Etsy
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How cute is this tealight holder from Pier 1?!
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Feeling crafty? Get yourself to Joann’s where you can find this leafy garland. If you don’t have a mantle, try it on a banister or weave it through a wreath!
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I love farmhouse decor and this milk canister from Hobby Lobby is super cute!
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I found this pallet sign at Hobby Lobby this weekend and couldn’t leave it behind! It’s also 40% off!

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