Ten kid Halloween costumes for $20 or less

Fall is here! I am itching to put on boots and cozy sweaters, and I know Halloween will sneak up on us like it does every year. In an effort to avoid the mad dash the week of for Halloween costumes, I’ve started hunting early. You will find so many get ideas on Etsy, and reasonably priced. Most of these are one accessory that can be made into a complete costume with clothing and other items that you already have.

Some of my favorites for kiddos that are $20 or less…

Mickey Mouse via divapuppy
(can you stand the cuteness!!?)

Peacock Mask via AllThingsGrand

Pirate Hat via KiddieWink Designs

Ladybug Ruffle Leggings via Dainy Button

Charlie Brown onesie via Linda Sumner Designs

Super Hero Cape by Superkid Capes
These are blank capes with colors for boys or girls. Endless possibilities!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Chipwich by sweet emma jean
Seriously. Too. Cute.

Bumble Bee Tu Tu by Tu Tu Cutie Bowtique

Boxer by My Swag Shack

Dragon wings by The Sky Dragons Shop

So, what are you going to be for Halloween this year?


How to get the mercury glass look

Mercury glass decor items are popping up everywhere. It adds a nice grown up sparkle without looking stuffy. And when you can get away with adding sparkle in your home without demasculizing your husband, by all means – do it.

My inspiration:

Photo Credit: Vases, Lamp, Hurricane

I picked up the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint at Craft Warehouse, gasped at the price and put it back. Then I remembered I had my 50% coupon so I went for it. Finding glass pieces wasn’t hard, I LOVE collecting different glass items and who doesn’t love the good ole mason jar. So while baby was sleeping and my four-year old was treated to some Angry Birds time on the computer, I set out to get this project done.

I started by spraying the items with 3-4 very light coats of the paint, giving five minutes of dry time or so in between each coat. Tip: spray on very, very light coats, and spray the inside of your item. When the paint dries, the mirror side will be on the outside – and the inside will be matte.

And then things got interesting. When I went back out to check on them, our sprinkler system was going full-bore in the backyard and they were dripping wet. Why the sprinklers were on at two in the afternoon I do not know…what is it with men and constantly working on their perfect lawns? It’s like they are an extension of their…well you know.

Anyway, I brought them inside and tried to dry them off but the paint started coming off in patches. Lovely. So I tried painting again even though there were still some areas of paint on them that I couldn’t get off.

After the second attempt at painting them, I put together a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and gave them a thorough spray.

After sitting for a few minutes I started to gently wipe off the vinegar mixture, leaving behind the scratched and bubbled imperfections.

What do you think?

How to paint a chevron wall

Chevron! (Say it like Oprah. Chev-roooooooonnn!)

I saw a lovely grey and white chevron wall over on pinterest and had to have my own. You see, my husband had just finished building a fabulous murphy bed in our bonus room (more on that later), but I kept thinking it needed something more. Too sterile. Guest beds need to feel cozy, super soft sheets and be adorned with some kind of headboard. But, I knew with a four month old and a four year old running around, I needed to do something quick and easy, with big visual impact.

The walls in this room are already painted a lovely shade of grey and I had leftover cream paint that matched the trim and cabinets, so I did this on the cheap. Before I started painting, I took measurements and made a little drawing of my design to double check everything. I first measured the length and width of the wall, and formed my pattern working from the middle out. I picked the middle point and made a square grid; then I made the chevron pattern using the points of the squares. I wanted a big, dramatic pattern (and I didn’t want to have to tape too much), but you could do it whatever scale you want.

Once I was happy with my pattern, I started measuring out my grid and used small pins to mark the points of the squares. Then the final and most laborious step before getting out the paint roller was to tape the chevron pattern.

Save some time and buy the Frog tape. It seals wonderfully and you will get a nice clean line.

Then paint a couple of coats, remove your tape and a bada bing – serious chevron fabulousness!

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe

Making your own laundry soap is SO incredibly easy. I was sold at the first use. AND, it’s way cheaper than the store brand variety.

I have tried a few recipes and this one is my favorite. Funny story about the Fels Naptha. When my sisters and I were little, my mom would threaten to wash our mouth out with the yellow bar of soap if we used bad language. I only remember this happening once to me, and I think it was more of a two second bite than an actual washing…but still.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Oxiclean
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap bar

(Both the Washing Soda and the Fels Naptha soap can be found in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets.)

1. Combine the Borax, washing soda, baking soda and oxiclean in a big bowl and mix together

2. Grate the bar of soap using a cheese grater. It actually looks quite like cheddar cheese.

3. I use my blender to mix the soap with the other ingredients and break down the soap into smaller pieces. Put about half of the white mixture into your blender and half of the shredded soap so you don’t overload your blender. If you run it too long, I have found that the motor will heat up and some of the soap will melt and get stuck in the blade. So put it on the pulse setting and give it a few short pulses. You can also use a food processor if you prefer. Do the same to the second batch.

That’s it, you’re already done! See, not so hard after all. And doesn’t your kitchen smell heavenly now??

Use a funnel to put the soap into your container of choice. I use a large mason jar and put a cute label on it. Head on over to Limeshot Design for the free and adorable mason jar labels I used.

And the savings! This recipe will make approximately four cups of detergent. You only need to use 1-2 Tablespoons a load. So that gives you 32 regular loads or 16 large or heavily soiled loads. At just under $3 a jar for all the supplies, that makes for more money for things funner than laundry soap. (Yes, I know funner isn’t a word but it makes me laugh.)

One more thing – this formula is perfectly safe for HE machines because it is low sudsing.

Homemade granite cleaner

Granite looks so great when it’s clean. But it hardly ever is around our house. I refuse to go through a bottle a week of the special, expensive granite cleaner. So, I did some research and came up with a recipe that I make at home and it turns out it works better than the store-bought stuff. Easy peasy.

Homemade Granite Cleaner
1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka
5-10 drops of Dawn or other dish soap
10 drops essential oil or tea tree oil (optional)

Put the rubbing alcohol or vodka into a 16oz squirt bottle. (I don’t know why you would waste vodka on cleaning but apparently some people do.) Add the dish soap, essential oil and fill up the rest of the bottle with water. Give it a few shakes and you’re good to go. I always add essential oil or tea tree oil because it takes over the alcohol smell. And lavender essential oil and tea tree oil just happen to be naturally antibacterial so that’s a nice bonus. I just got a new essential oil called “Blues Buster” that is a combo of tangerine, grapefruit and geranium. Heavenly!

*I know a lot of people use vinegar for all-purpose cleaners but be sure to avoid using vinegar on any natural stone as the acidity could cause damage.