13 2015 Oct

3 Must Have’s for Your Backyard When It Gets Cold Outside!

Real Flame Wood Burning Fire PitIt was Halloween night and the goblins kept invading our backyard hungry for another hotdog and some smores!  We had fixed up our patio last spring outfitting it with all the furnishings outdoor patio furniture; comfortable for enjoying coffee in the morning and star gazing in the evenings maybe with a glass of wine or two.  But when it gets cold outside and, a party is looming, there are three must haves to ensure everyone stays warm and cozy.

Our favorite purchase by far has been the Real Flame Wood Burning Fire Pit.  We debated between this and a propane model Propane Fire Pit and a freestanding Fire Place.  For our use the fire pit has been the best choice for fostering cookouts and parties.  It depends on whether you want to cook over your flame or not when considering this purchase.

Another must have for the patio or porch close to where you and your guests will be sitting to eat is an outdoor heater.  After much debate we recommend the sleek Propane Outdoor Patio Heater  which provides more heat than the overhead models we have had in the past such as the cheaper Commercial Patio Heater.

Finally, set the party mood with  LED Stripe 110V-120V Indoor Outdoor lights!

12 2015 Oct

Three Things We Should Have Thought of When We Built This House

31xZJ-zpQ2L._SL210_ (1)Every time I flip through the TV channels I seem to be drawn to HGTV and the DIY Network.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them just as much as anyone, but I have come to realize they are not my friend!  Fifteen years ago when we built this house the only remodel TV show of note was “This Old House.”  , Who knew in 2000, as we drew up plans, we were supposed to design an open concept house with granite countertops and nothing but stainless steel everything else?  Nobody told me that fifteen years later big houses on acreage without these three basics would be so hard to sell!

Now, as I try to upgrade my home to appeal to today’s buyers, I turn my attention to what I can do to spruce it up a bit without completely breaking the bank!  Starting in the kitchen those white appliances had to go!  Finding the well-priced LG Fully Integrated Dishwasher and the LG Over the Range Microwave Oven, I decided to stick with that brand and ordered the LG Freestanding Gas Range and the LG French Door Refrigerator.  A bit expensive but this upgrade alone made a huge difference!  Next I pulled the brass and popped on some new cabinet pulls Amerock BP53015G10 Allison Value Hardware Round Knob, 1-1/4 Inch, Satin Nickel.  Now I wonder, will this be enough to sell my house?

10 2015 Oct

Ready Get Set, It’s Pumpkin Carving Time!

Pumpkin Carving kitOctober is here and everywhere we look there are pumpkins galore!  Of course these days we get to choose between different colored pumpkins along with a multitude of shapes and sizes.  For the real purest, carving pumpkins doesn’t just mean carving a Jack O’ Lantern face but saving the seeds to roast plus seeing who can carve the most intricate pattern.  A book written to help is titled Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors.  Then there’s the all-inclusive Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Seed Roasting Kit with Pumpkin Light and Stencil Set or for some more crazy fun the Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit – Pumpkin Teeth for your Jack O’ Lantern – Set of 18 glow in the Dark Buck Teeth.

Fortunately parents no longer have to use a dangerous butcher knife and warn their children to stand back in case that huge knife slips.  Blood everywhere would definitely put a damper on the pumpkin carving fun!  Much safer tools such as the Pumpkin Masters® Deluxe Pumpkin Carving Kit: 21 Pieces; 15 Patterns; Safer than Kitchen Knives to accomplish this chore have been invented and are packaged in just about any possible way.  An assortment of colored carving tools Colossal Pumpkin Carving Kit and fancy made-to last Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit and electric Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit are available as tool investments.  Or simply rely on Grampa Bardeen’s Family Pumpkin Carving Set! and enjoy!!

9 2015 Oct

5 Good Resources for Vintage Halloween Costumes

1920s Guide for 60 Vintage CostumesWould your friends say that your creativity, to echo Mel B, is “off the chain?”  Well you don’t need to let on that you’ve found some amazing resources that are actually vintage to help and guarantee you and your children won’t see their costume repeated by anyone else at a party this year.

Vintage is making another comeback, so take a look at some amazing vintage Halloween costume ideas.  How to Make Crepe Paper Costumes provides instructions for a variety of flowers, butterfly’s, bumble bees, and costume ideas from around the world to name a few.  Some of these costumes are a slip over style made to be worn over regular clothes and others are glue and/or sew varieties with a simple fabric foundation.  An additional volume is How to Make Crepe Paper Costumes – A 1930s Guide to Making 64 Vintage Costumes and Accessories that includes colonial dress for men and women, story book characters such as Little Bo Beep, fairies and a variety of wigs and hats.  The same author, Dennison, also lists Paper Costume Instructions for 15 Vintage Edwardian Designs and another Instructions and Illustrations for Over 60 Vintage Costumes.

For the more adventurous, there’s the GMG Studios Professional Mask Making book for Beginners for purchase along with a 12 oz. size of InstaMorph – Moldable Plastic.  This is a super strong material that molds into any shape when heat is applied.  So enjoy this Halloween remaining the creative costume maker extraordinaire!

6 2015 Oct

Pumpkins, Candy and Costume Fun!

What’s a Home and Garden website in October without a how-to section filled with Halloween ideas?  Whether carving Halloween pumpkins, gathering candy, constructing a special costume, or putting together decorations for a fabulous party, fall screams loud for new ideas!  Costume designs can be the most fun and the most aggravating all at the same time.  What mom doesn’t remember pulling all-nighters at a sewing machine to make their darling kindergarten child that animal or clown or princess costume?  And then there’s your teenager who decided at the last minute to throw on their football uniform or cheerleading outfit and go out trick-or-treating because they were “taking their younger sibling” door to door so you wouldn’t have to.

Distlefink Candle Magic HalloweenIn a complete 4-DVD set, the Halloween Craft Making and Costume Making activity resource teaches you step-by-step how to make a wide variety of costumes, trick or treat bags, tasty treats, to put on make-up and to even carve pumpkins.  Then there’s the Spooky Halloween Guide: 10 Must Know Things Towards Your Best Halloween Ever!  Whether looking for costume, food or decoration ideas, this fun book is also available for downloading to your Kindle.  And finally, if you are looking for adult costume ideas, The Halloween Handbook: 447 Costumes promises an imaginative collection!  Happy Halloween everyone!  More candy, costume and, yes, some candle ideas.  M&Ms Fun Size Halloween Costume Party Mix 19 oz Bag in Grocery & Gourmet Food, Free Stuff for Sewing Fanatics on the Internet and Distlefink Designs Candle Magic Halloween Candle Kit.