5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween

kids2 5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween
When Halloween rolls around, both kids and adults get ready to consume lots of candy and an abundance of other great tasting treats. No matter what your age, we all know that this holiday isn’t traditionally the healthiest. But what if it could be? Here are 5 creative ideas that will keep the Halloween spirit alive without hurting your health.


Pack Them with Protein
chicken2 5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween
Children are always in a rush to get their costumes on and get out the door to collect a huge bag of candy. Because of the chaotic nature of Halloween night, most parents simply order unhealthy food for dinner such as fast food or pizza. But, is that really the healthiest thing? Your kids are going to need sustenance while walking around all night, especially since they are probably going to be eating copious amounts of candy for weeks. Don’t skimp on a good homemade meal! Whatever you make, ensure that it has plenty of protein to help keep your kids full and energized throughout the busy evening.


Trade with Your Children
book2 5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween
When kids have too much candy, simply taking it away from them can be confusing. And, let’s face it, they get angry. Offering some kind of trade-off gives kids some control and helps keep their candy intake in check. Try offering other treats like TV time, books, and small games to get the candy away from them. Make each activity or reward cost a different amount of candy. For example, for one book you could request two pieces of candy, while a half hour of TV time could require three to five. Healthier activities should cost less, and more “unhealthy” activities should be more of a challenge.


Walk It
mom 5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween
Over the last few years, it seems like more and more parents have opted to drive kids around their Halloween route instead of walking. Although it may seem like the easier option, it is also a lot less beneficial. Your kids will already be full of candy in the next few weeks, and exercise is key to making sure they stay healthy. Walking the route may be a little bit hectic, but it really is the best option. Plus, getting out in the open air is a lot more fun than riding in a loud car all night!


Skip the Sweet Treats
banana 5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween
Kids love candy, but by the end of the night they’ll have collected so much that they really will not care which homes opted for healthier options. If you feel strongly about trying a healthier Halloween, consider skipping candy and taking a more creative approach instead. It’s true, carrot sticks or apples slices are not the most exciting options, but small toys like bouncy balls or plastic vampire teeth are a ton of fun! Plus, kids will still be able to enjoy them in six months, while candy often only lasts a few minutes. If you do feel the need to hand out something edible, go with wholesome options like multi-grain granola bars or dried fruit.


Don’t Get Sucked In
candy 5 Tips For A Healthier (But Still Fun!) Halloween
That November 1st sale may seem like a great deal, but stay firm! Buying big bags of discounted candy will just bring more unhealthy temptations into your home. Avoid all the extra sugar and calories that come from those sales by mustering up the strength to skip them entirely. If you must go, make a promise to skip the candy section and look only for decorations and Halloween-themed toys. Recruit a friend or family member to keep you accountable!


Even though Halloween is known as the holiday of candy and unhealthy habits, you can still make a few healthy tweaks without sacrificing the fun. These five tips and tricks will help you keep Halloween interesting and ensure your kids and family remain healthy through it all.



Waxman, O. (2012, October 30). 5 Tips for a Healthy Halloween | TIME.com. Retrieved from http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/30/5-tips-for-a-healthy-halloween/. October 22, 2015.

Heart and Vascular Team. (2012, October 2) 5 Tips for a Heart-Healthy Halloween – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2012/10/5-tips-for-a-heart-healthy-halloween/. October 22, 2015.

Lehman, S. (2014, April 25). Tips for a Healthy (and Happy) Halloween. Retrieved from http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutritionforchildren/qt/halloweencandy.htm. October 22, 2015.

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Celebrate National Cookie Month with this Irresistible Recipe

IMG 8115 Celebrate National Cookie Month with this Irresistible Recipe


















You may remember our friend Becca from the incredible S’mores Cups Recipe she shared with us back in August. After that gooey amazingness, we just had to have her back for National Cookie Month! Still hungry? Head on over to her blog, A Dash of Texas, for more Austin-inspired recipes.

Don’t you just love this fall season? In Austin, after months of stifling hot humidity and triple-digit days of flip flop weather, we’re welcoming the cooler temperatures and autumn-hued trees with open arms. Fall signifies so many lovely changes in our day-to-day routine: scarves, the return of squashes & root vegetables, and pumpkin-flavored everything. Along with the warm duds and comforting fall fireplaces, we can also embrace the impending autumn season and celebrate National Cookie Month with Maple Oatmeal Pecan Cookies, smothered with a sweet and decadent Maple Glaze!

Instead of running to traditional pumpkin-inspired recipes to enjoy the string of months that end in “R”, let’s embrace flavors that are equally reflective of the cooler seasons of brownish-red leaves and cinnamon-flavored coffee drinks. These Maple Pecan Oatmeal Cookies are a perfect sweet celebration of all things fall-flavored: maple syrup, toasted pecans, and hearty oatmeal.

Making these sweet fall treats is remarkably easy, and chances are you already have all of the required ingredients in your pantry. With just a bit of maple syrup, steel-cut oats, and crunchy roasted pecans, you too can make your kitchen smell like the fall holiday aisle of a craft store. Like any classic cookie, simply whip together your butter and sugars until creamy, add your eggs and flavoring, then the necessary dry ingredients. These scrumptious cookies bake into flat, sweet discs of sugary, decadent goodness. You can easily whisk a bit of powdered sugar into a hearty dose of maple syrup to make the tastiest, sweetest cookie glaze that will look beautiful and maintain its solid shape for travel to Halloween celebrations or National Cookie Month exchanges.

IMG 7984 Celebrate National Cookie Month with this Irresistible Recipe




















For the Cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups steel-cut oats
1 cup pecans

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup powdered sugar



1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When it reaches that temperature, place a rack in the top spot. Scatter the pecans evenly across a cookie sheet and toast on the top rack for about 5-6 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Let cool, then chop into smaller pieces and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about a minute. With the machine running on low, add one egg at a time, then the maple syrup. Mix until just combined.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cinnamon, flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. With the mixer running, pour the dry mixture into the dough in increments, until all of it is combined. Finally, pour in the chopped pecans and mix until evenly distributed.

4. Roll about 1/4 cup of dough into a ball and evenly place on a baking sheet. Bake each sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-16 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is set. Let cool.

IMG 8013 683x1024 Celebrate National Cookie Month with this Irresistible Recipe


















5. To make the glaze, simply whisk together the maple syrup and powdered sugar. From here, you can drizzle the icing over the cookies with a spoon or fork. If you want to have more control over the design, place the icing in a piping bag with a small tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, simply put it in a plastic sandwich bag, seal it, and snip a tiny portion off of one corner.


IMG 8077 Celebrate National Cookie Month with this Irresistible Recipe


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Fall Photography: 5 Canvas-worthy Photo Ideas

ECP 20151012 11x14 72off Facebook 2 Fall Photography: 5 Canvas worthy Photo Ideas

Streaming sunlight and a crispness to the air make fall the perfect time for all sorts of photo shoots. From snapping pictures of your family and friends, to taking a trip to a local winery, fall colors can be the perfect backdrop for your next canvas print collection. In case you find yourself in need of a little inspiration for your next canvas-worthy photo, we have gathered together five ideas that are sure to have you running for your camera.


5 Inspired Fall Photo Ideas

1. The Changing Landscape
ThinkstockPhotos 483074742 1 Fall Photography: 5 Canvas worthy Photo Ideas
During fall the landscape begins to slowly change. Leaves brighten into vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow, before falling to the ground. The grass slowly becomes a darker hue of green, before it too begins to fade in preparation for the cold winter months. New fruits and vegetables begin to grow in the garden. Even the sky starts to take on new qualities as the sun sets just a little bit earlier each day. Photographing the changing landscape is a canvas-worthy idea that can make for an interesting living room display. From capturing the migration of the Canadian geese to photographing the leaves journey from green to red on your favorite tree, fall is the perfect time of the year to conduct an outdoor, landscape-inspired photo shoot.


2. Outdoor Family Portraits
ThinkstockPhotos 85451943 Fall Photography: 5 Canvas worthy Photo Ideas
Before the snow begins to fall and the ground becomes frozen, you and your family can enjoy time in the great outdoors. Picnics, sporting matches, or a trip to the petting zoo are all great opportunities for a family portrait. Fall’s bright colors will provide the perfect backdrop and the brightly shining sun will create intricate light patterns that can be captured with any photograph.


3. Holiday Themed Photo Collage
ThinkstockPhotos 187558407 Fall Photography: 5 Canvas worthy Photo Ideas
The fall season is filled to the brim with holidays. Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, and Thanksgiving all occur during the fall months. If you dress up for each holiday, make sure to snap a quick photo for an easy-to-construct holiday photo collage. Your children might be a bit embarrassed by all of the photographs, but when they reach high school graduation, their rehearsal dinner, or even the birth of their first child, they will appreciate having countless reminders of their fall holiday costumes.


4. Farmer’s Market
ThinkstockPhotos 450798979 Fall Photography: 5 Canvas worthy Photo Ideas
Farmer’s markets are the perfect setting for a fall-themed canvas print. Towering pumpkin patches, carts loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, and even the local band can all make for a great photograph. Make sure that you pick a focal point for your farmer’s market photograph; with so many subject matters at-hand, it can be easy to become a bit lost trying to take the perfect shot.


5. Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches
ThinkstockPhotos 478381732 Fall Photography: 5 Canvas worthy Photo Ideas
This last canvas-worthy fall photograph idea is “an oldie, but a goodie.” Head over to the nearest apple orchard or pumpkin patch for a day picking out delicious, wholesome foods, while taking fun pictures along the way. From goofy poses to hide-and-seek action shots, an apple orchard or pumpkin patch is a great place for a fall photo shoot. Make sure that you wear fall clothing, such as sweaters, jeans, plaid shirts, or comfortable boots during your photo shoot. The fall clothing, combined with the beautiful colors that are found in apple orchards and pumpkin patches, will create a visually stunning photograph that can be printed and displayed anywhere in your home.


With these inspired canvas-worthy ideas, the blank walls of your home will soon be teaming with eye-catching visual displays. All that’s left to do is to pick out your favorite idea, grab your camera, take a few pictures, and start ordering your latest canvas prints. But you better hurry, in only a few short weeks fall will soon be making way for the blustering winds of winter and a whole new list of canvas-worthy photo ideas!

Posted in Canvas Ideas, Decorating Ideas, Holidays, Holidays, Home Decor | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Won’t Take All Day

fall diy Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day
Give your home a fresh new look for fall in a very short amount of time when you choose the right projects and supplies for the job. It’s faster and easier than you think to create a cozy space that incorporates the fun of the fall season – without spending all day on a single project.


Fast and Easy Crafting Tips for Fall
pt2 Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day









Use Speedy Craft Supplies:
Spray paint and hot glue dry much, much more quickly than their traditional counterparts. If you need to paint a surface quickly and evenly, spray paint not only gets the job done in a fraction of the time you’d take with a brush, it dries more quickly, too. A hot glue gun can do everything from secure embellishments to a pumpkin to attach fabric to burlap or another surface. Since these are fall decorations, you don’t need to worry about your glue melting in the heat, either.

Fast and Clever vs. Heirloom:
Choose projects that are fast but that yield a usable finished product — and realize that the result will be something you may be able to use for just this season. If you want to create an heirloom or a piece that you can use year after year, you may need to invest a little more time.

Start with Premade:
You don’t have to make every component of your project for it to be uniquely yours. If you are making a wreath, you don’t need to harvest grapevines, mold them into shape and then wait a few weeks for them to dry – it’s totally ok to start with a purchased form. If you haven’t visited a craft store recently, you may be surprised at the number of seasonal helpers that are designed to make your project a success. From pre-glittered letters and forms to pre-cut bunting and fabric shapes, choosing premade items can help you finish a project more quickly, without sacrificing your originality or creativity.


Get Inspired: Fast, Fun and Fabulous Fall Projects that Won’t Take all Day

Surface Design Pumpkins:

Instead of the time-consuming and messy carving, use surface design techniques to embellish your (real or faux) pumpkins. There are plenty of ways to add interest without taking forever – and as an added bonus, your pumpkins will last longer, too! We’ve collected some of our favorites below.

These lace pumpkins – all you need are some lace stockings, some scissors, and a pumpkin!

Black lace pumpkin and mum Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: Pike Nurseries, pikenursery.com

These patterned pumpkins made with a drill:

final pumpkins Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: Crafty Nest, craftynest.com


This Day of the Dead inspired painted pumpkin:

DSC 0041 Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: Casa Artelexia, artelexia.blogspot.com


These lovely nail head pumpkins:

nailhead pumpkin 5 thumb2 Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: At The Picket Fence, atthepicketfence.com












Great Ghoulish Designs Abound:

Their very nature makes them fast and easy – in general you’ll need some kind of support and a white, draped covering. Eyes are optional and can be added a number of different ways. Ghosts can be used indoors or out and their simple design and shape makes it easy to come up with dozens of happy haunts in a short period of time. Try the following ghost decorations to make your home a little more spooky this fall.

To create this charming ghost, just grab some some tomato cages, a white sheet, and some black felt for the eyes and mouth. Wire in a light if you’re feeling extra spooky, and you’re done!

ThinkstockPhotos 479941679 1 Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Create a glowing ghost garland with white lantern lights:

IMG 4126 Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: Design, Dining + Diapers, designdininganddiapers.com












Fast and Easy Fall Changes:

Swap out some of your summer decor for fall and use leaves, acorns and related items to give a fresh new look to your decor. Try a couple of the fast and easy changes below.

Layer lentils and dried beans to create a fall-hued glass display:

FallVaseFiller Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image credit: A Pop of Pretty, apopofpretty.com





















Add some gold tips to pinecones and assemble an eye-catching door decoration:

DSC 0492 The New Wittys Pinecone DIY Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: The New Wittys, thenewwittys.blogspot.com


















Wrap a jar or plain candle holder with autumn leaves to introduce some fall color to the mantle or tablescape:

gifts to give 7 500x437 Fall Crafts & DIY Projects that Wont Take All Day

Image Credit: Creative Connections for Kids, creativeconnectionsforkids.com












With these fast and easy fall projects as a starting point, you can decorate your entire home in a single weekend. Many of the projects use the same or similar supplies, so you can get the most from your purchases, too. Round out these items by adding fall canvas designs featuring your favorite Halloween or fall photos for a truly custom and cozy look for the new season.

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Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party

Oktoberfest 1 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party











Oktoberfest encompasses everything fun about fall – music, beer, food and general merriment. For many, hosting an Oktoberfest party is a perfect way to usher in autumn, and if you want your event to be the ‘talk of the town’ be sure to give your guests what they want.

Ready to start planning your own Oktoberfest party? Use the tips here to create an unforgettable event.

Create the ‘look’ThinkstockPhotos 485844742 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party

Oktoberfest celebrations are typically held outdoors amidst the cool, fall weather. If you’re worried about rain, consider renting a large tent for the area. Also, be sure to get lots of tables and chairs – plastic, wood or any other material – arranged into various sitting areas. Set up plenty of lights to ensure the celebration can keep going long after the sun goes down. While it may be tempting to install flood lights or extremely bright overhead lights, opt for something softer and less invasive, such as garden lights or even torches. A tip that can really make a party pop is to use a mix of white and orange Christmas lights strung throughout the party area.


Make it comfortableThinkstockPhotos 508791705 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party










This is a party. Things will be spilled. This means you need to avoid using stuffy, expensive or pretentious furnishings. The goal for an Oktoberfest party should not be to ‘wow’ your guests with your expensive tastes and furniture, but rather make the area comfortable and worry-free.

The traditional Oktoberfest, which takes place in Munich, Germany, is well-known for singing, dancing and climbing on any surface for celebration – this means stability is much more important than aesthetics. Even if your party only gets to a fraction of the rowdiness of the real celebration, you will still need some sturdy, inexpensive furnishings present.


The devil is in the detailsThinkstockPhotos 487404268 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party










To create the perfect Oktoberfest scene with traditional appeal, just like you would find in Germany, pay attention to details. For example, one of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to make the perfect Oktoberfest scene is to purchase checkered white and blue tablecloths. This a common feature of the festival, so you should consider staying in the color theme by implementing the colors into the streamers, napkins, tablecloths and other types of decor. Blue and yellow is also commonly combined during the celebration in Munich, so this is also a smart color choice for your party. Keep in mind, any decor you choose will likely get spilled on. This means you should purchase affordable or easy-to-clean options, like plastic.


Bring on the libationsThinkstockPhotos 475035262 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party

Perhaps the most important part of the entire festivities is, of course, the beer. After all, what is Oktoberfest without some of the finest ales in Germany? While only beer produced in Munich is typically consumed at Oktoberfest, you can deviate from this slightly if necessary. However, to make the experience as authentic as possible, it is a good idea to have a few of these Munich-born options available. With more than 30 brews from six Munich breweries, you should be able to get your hands on at least one option.


Tasty treats for your celebrationThinkstockPhotos 470909278 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party













Any type of traditional German fare is ideal for your Oktoberfest celebration. However, some of the most popular traditional dishes include bratwurst, sausage, chicken, and roasted duck. Regardless of the main dish you choose, be sure to add plenty of vegetables. Other treats that you would typically find at the actual celebration include fresh pretzels and German pastries, such as Mohrenkopf.

A fun activity for party goers to participate in is baking and decorating their own cookies. This is another tradition typically seen at the Munich celebration. Plus, if you let guests make their own, that means less work for you!


The sounds of OktoberfestThinkstockPhotos 467692604 Oktoberfest Checklist: Everything You Need to Host a Party










Each Oktoberfest is likely going to have its own spin on the music played. While some people may prefer the traditional polka-style music, there is a good chance your guests will like more popular music with an occasional traditional song thrown in the mix. If you really want to ensure your guests have a great time, set up a karaoke stage where they can sing along to some of the German favorites.

Creating the perfect Oktoberfest party is all about the details. Take the time to implement all the smells, sounds and sights offered by the traditional party in Munich to give your guests an Oktoberfest they’ll never forget. Keep in mind, this party doesn’t have to cost a ton and with the suggestions found here, you can bring the spirit of Germany’s Oktoberfest straight into your backyard.

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Decorate Your Walls Like a Pro: Canvas Print Ideas for Any Space

Do you have numerous empty walls in your home? Are you struggling to come up with home wall decor ideas? If so, don’t let the decorating blues get you down, we have a few inspired canvas print ideas for every room in your home!

Inspiration For Your Next Canvas Print
Choosing your photo inspirations will require you to examine the decor of each room. Is there a dominant color? Do you have other art in the room? Are you hoping to bring the room together with a common theme? Answering these questions will help you to choose the number and type of canvas print.

Prints for the TV or Living Room
FireplaceCanvasn NoLogo Decorate Your Walls Like a Pro: Canvas Print Ideas for Any Space

  • Family photos — The TV or living room is a space that is most often occupied by your family and guests. It should be a warm and inviting part of your home that is perfect for casual lounging, watching a movie, reading a book, and other family-oriented activities. Family photos can easily be turned into beautiful new canvas prints. You can arrange the photos as a full wall display or choose to hang them individually.
  • Vacation pictures — Did you recently go on a fabulous vacation? Before you post the pictures to your favorite social media site, take a moment to create new canvas prints. Vacation photos hold wonderful memories that should be cherished every day.
  • Remembering big life events — Important life events, such as weddings, graduations, and christenings can all make great canvas prints. Instead of creating individual prints, create a collage or wall display. If you have been present in someone’s life from their graduation to wedding to the birth of their first child, put these incredible events together to create an inspired photo collage.
  • Pets — Pets are an important part of any family. Don’t forget to display your favorite moments with your four-legged friends.

Prints for the Kitchen and Casual Dining AreasKitchenCanvas NoLogo Decorate Your Walls Like a Pro: Canvas Print Ideas for Any Space

  • Important event invitations — The kitchen fridge is usually the place where we store important event announcements. From wedding invitations to pregnancy announcements, the kitchen fridge can easily become cluttered. After the events, your invitations might make their way into a scrapbook, where they could easily be forgotten for years to come. Instead of forgetting about these important events, you can turn the invitations into beautiful canvas prints. Simply pick the events that are most important to you and create a new print that can hang on your kitchen wall for an inspired look.
  • Inspirational messages and accompanying images — When we are in the kitchen we are often inspired by food and drink. Turn these inspirations into the latest wall art! Inspirational messages and accompanying images can be prominently displayed throughout your kitchen as canvas prints. Whether you want to pick a light-hearted message about drinking wine or prefer to choose a food-inspired photograph, the choice is yours!

Canvas Prints for Hallways and BathroomsHALLWAY NOLOGO CROPPED Decorate Your Walls Like a Pro: Canvas Print Ideas for Any Space

  • Artsy prints — A home’s hallways and bathrooms are places to have a little fun with wall art decor. Now that you’ve mastered your Instagram filters and the iPhone camera quality is approaching professional levels, why not put some of your amateur photos on canvas? Show off your newfound photography skills and enjoy your work as you move throughout your hallways. Since they are not centerpieces of big rooms, art for your hallways and bathrooms can be a little more on the adventurous side. That flower photo or city shot you’re so proud of will make the perfect addition.
  • The Great Outdoors — Landscapes, cityscapes, and nature scenes can also work wonders for brightening up basic hallways and providing enticing wall art as you navigate your home. Mountains, waterfalls, and forest scenes add a calming, tranquil feel to the transition from room to room. Especially if you’re in an urban setting, a little reminder of the world outside your city block can be a breath of fresh air. Beach scenes are especially wonderful for bathrooms, draw a bath and reminisce on your last beach va-cay!

Canvas Art for a Home Office or DenOfficeCanvas NoLogo Decorate Your Walls Like a Pro: Canvas Print Ideas for Any Space

  • Motivational quotes & imagery — Find a quote from one of your mentors or personal heroes, and hang it front and center for instant motivation throughout the work day. Alternatively, hang a print of your favorite travel destination. Not only will it add some color to your home office, but it will serve as a great reminder of what can be accomplished through all your hard work!
  • Places of residence (your first apartment or home) — Turning photographs of your old homes into canvas prints is a great way to remember your previous residences and all of the memories that they hold. These photographs can easily be displayed in a digital timeline.
  • Hobbies or passions – The den and home office areas are perfect spaces for displaying imagery around the hobbies and activities you love. Sports fan? Hang a picture of your team’s stadium, or an artsy closeup of players or equipment. Music lover? Highlight lyrics of sheet music from your favorite song.

With these inspired canvas print ideas, the blank walls of your home will soon be filled with stunning visual displays. All that’s left to do is to pick out your favorite ideas and start ordering prints!

Posted in Canvas Ideas, Decorating Ideas, DIY, Home Decor | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Decorate Your Home for Halloween

Ghosts, goblins, and skeletons, oh my! It’s almost that scary time of year, and no we aren’t alluding to tax season, we’re talking about Halloween! Are you ready to become creative with your scare tactics this year? If so, get ready to discover new Halloween decorating tips for the interior and exterior of your home. From spooky door-hangings to festive table centerpieces, we have your Halloween decor covered!

Creating Spooktacular Halloween Decor
ThinkstockPhotos 490130694 Decorate Your Home for Halloween










The best Halloween decorations can be achieved when you have a chosen theme. With this in mind, here are a few tips on choosing the perfect Halloween theme.

  • Decide if you want guts and gore, or surprises and scares. Just as vampires and werewolves aren’t friends, combining fun scares with guts and gore can create a decorating fiasco. Choosing one theme will help you to focus your decorating efforts, so that you can tell a compelling Halloween story.
  • Know your budget before you begin to design. Some themes are more expensive than others, which means that you want to know your budget before you head to the store or down to your basement to begin creating.
  • Pick a theme that you want to see every day. When choosing the perfect Halloween theme you have to remember that a passerby and house guest will only see the decorations for a brief time period; however, you will have to live with the decorations for at least a couple of days or weeks.

Once you have chosen a theme you will be ready to start decorating! And so, without further ado, here are a few decorating tips that are sure to turn your home into a Halloween sensation.

The Exterior of the Home
ThinkstockPhotos AA046400 Decorate Your Home for Halloween












  • The classic headless horseman greeter. Creating a headless horseman greeter for your front stoop is a great way to let everyone know that your household is in a “Halloween frame of mind.” Dress your horseman in all black for a particularly spooky site, and don’t forget to make his head out of a glowing jack-o-lantern.
  • A clan of witch pumpkins for the backdoor. Witch pumpkins can be created with different colored pumpkins. For an extra scary look, see if you can find orange, yellow, or white pumpkins. You can also use large squashes (the more knobs the better). Use dark brown paint on any irregularities on the pumpkin or squash to create gruesome-looking warts. Turn the pumpkin’s stem into a nose by covering it with a different colored paint. Add a black witch’s hat, paint a pair of eyes, and your witch pumpkin will be ready to cause a backyard scare!
  • Outdoor tree lighting meets a scary ghost. Head to your linen closet or the store to make or create a scary ghost. Next, hang the ghost in one of your front yard trees, so that it is partially visible from the street. If you don’t have ground lights installed, you can use a set of Christmas lights to create a spotlight on the ghost. Set your lighting solution to a motion-sensor, so that the ghost is lit-up whenever anyone walks by. If you don’t have trees in your front yard, don’t worry! The hanging ghost can also be set-up on your front stoop or in a front window.

The Interior of the Home
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  • Indoor haunted house goody bags. If you are hosting a Halloween-themed party, then what better way to present your guests with a keepsake than with their own miniature haunted house? Start with a black paper bag. Fill the bag with candy or other party favors. Cut out yellow windows and glue them to the bag. Print out a clip-art version of a steeple roof that you can glue to the top of the bag, and voila your standard party bag has been transformed into a haunted house goody bag. Leave these bags scattered around your home as an added decoration.
  • Use a chandelier to create a bat mobile. With a little bit of string, some black cut-out bats, and conveniently hanging chandelier you can easily create a bat mobile that is sure to have people ducking during dinner. You can also print out an image of a dark and eerie cave to place on the wall behind the chandelier. Hang a few bats in front of the photograph to create the impression that the bats are flying in and out of the cave.
  • Gothic candlesticks, fake mice, and cheesecloth create the perfect centerpiece. To create a spooktacular centerpiece, start with gothic looking candlesticks. Use grey or black candles. Strategically place a few mice on and around the candlesticks and candles. Use cheesecloth to create a few wisps of a fake spider web. Drape the spider web around the base of the candlesticks. Be sure to add a mouse or two, and maybe a fake tarantula to the centerpiece for an extra creepy vibe. If you really want to get creative, you can carve out a small portion of a miniature pumpkin and place a fake mouse in the space to create an eerie Halloween-themed centerpiece.

With these tips in mind you will be able to create the spookiest home on the block this Halloween!

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Fall Favorites: Updating Your Home Decor with Autumn Staples

Fall is the time of year when the leaves begin to change, kids head back to school, and a crispness enters the air. It is also the time to switch your home decor from classic summer pieces to fall staples. Fresh table centerpieces, new fall flowers for the front steps, and small items placed strategically throughout your home can help you make the leap from summer fun to fall-inspired decor.

FallLeaves Fall Favorites: Updating Your Home Decor with Autumn Staples










Fall Home Decor Ideas

Whether you are looking to create one iconic image or you want to change the entire feel of your home, we have a few inspired fall decorating tips to help you create a festive and welcoming home during this beautiful time of year.

  • Fall inspired wall hangings. Have you ever walked into a friend’s home and immediately noticed fall-themed photographs or wall art? The quintessential fall images of colored leaves, earthy vegetables, and frost covered fields can easily be transported onto a beautiful print for your family room, kitchen, or entryway areas.
  • Don’t forget about the fall family photos. Changing the position of your family photos is a great way to give your home a new look for the fall. Popular fall inspired family shoots include: apple orchards, hiking adventures, a trip to the local pumpkin patch, and enjoying a family game of touch football.
  • Create a pinecone sensational centerpiece. Pinecones are a fall decorating staple for the majority of individuals in the mid-west and north-east. Make sure that all sap is completely hardened before you place the pinecones onto a nice surface. Pinecones can be displayed individually or as a clustered group. With different colored spray paint you can easily transform your “ordinary pinecone” into “something extraordinary.” For an extra festive look, try using oranges, bright reds, and gold.
  • Create a leaf garland for your mantle. If you live in an area where the temperatures start to dip during the fall, then you are probably getting your fireplace ready for everyday use. In the midst of chopping wood, don’t forget to take a moment to become inspired by the beautiful fall foliage. Leaf garlands can be added to your mantle to create a complementary accompaniment to your brightly lit fire. If you are heading to the store, make sure to buy the most “life-like” leaf garland. If you are making a garland from scratch, you will want to paint the leaves with either clear nail polish or spray the leaves with hairspray. These two techniques will give the leaves a glossy finish, while improving their longevity.
  • Say goodbye to citronella and hello to fall candles. Do you have candlesticks placed throughout your home? Are they on your mantle, in your bathroom, throughout the kitchen, or on side tables? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then it is time to switch-up your candle game. While summer candles bring a freshness to the home, fall candles should create a warm or welcoming vibe. Popular scents include: vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin, and even caramel latte. No matter your scent preferences, don’t forget to choose candle colors that will match the rest of your fall decor. Red, burgundy, orange, yellows, and dark greens are popular fall candle colors.
  • Fall towels can be a staple decorating item for any home. Fall-inspired towels can be placed in your kitchen and bathroom. Kitchen towels can include a cute fall message, feature bright leaves or pumpkins, highlight fall drinks, or any of the other popular fall images. Your white or cream colored summer linens can be switched out for fall hues.
  • Fall flowers bring an extra pop of color to the interior and exterior of the home. Whether you want to choose single plants or create flower arrangements for your home, fall flowers will bring an added touch of color to your home. Popular fall flowers include: mums, marigolds, sunflowers, thistles, and freesias.
  • Collect squashes and miniature pumpkins to decorate your kitchen and porch areas. Squashes and pumpkins are two iconic fall vegetables. These earthy veggies can be used to create a festive kitchen decoration. Grab your favorite wooden bowl or basket, pick out a few brightly colored squashes, choose a cute miniature pumpkin, arrange to your heart’s content, and voila you have just created a new, fun fall decoration.
  • The perfect fall wreaths for the front door. Fall wreaths are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether you prefer a leafy creation, or are more interested in combining flowers, twigs, pinecones, and leaves into a natural creation, a fall wreath will brighten your home and help you to transition from summer to fall decor.

After reading this post, are you inspired to decorate your home with a few fall staples? Whether you choose to print out fall inspired wall hangings or add a few beautiful fall flowers to your home, the above tips will help you transition your home into the new season.

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Decorating 101: Where to Start

Putting your ideas on paper is one thing, but to bring them to life is truly amazing. I’m sure you have encountered people who hired the best home designers and decorators to give their house a total makeover. This is a great option for people working with a flexible budget, or who may not have the time to experiment with the many variations of styles available. But it’s certainly not the only option.

With a little imagination and creativity, you can decorate your own home using your own resources: your time, your budget, your energy. Put your ideas and creative mind to work and create the perfect environment for you. What have you got to lose?

Put Your Thoughts and Ideas into Perspective

As Mark Twain once said: “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” So it is with home decor; getting started is often the hardest part. After you have looked at the same rooms for years, it is hard to imagine them looking any other way. Don’t let the thought of decorating overwhelm you. Instead, break your project down into steps or goals.

That being said, don’t have too many steps to complete, or it may become tiresome and technical. Decorating should be fun! You can accomplish a lot in each step, depending on what you have on your to-do list.

Step One

Go through one room at a time, and envision how you want each room to look. What colors do you want? What style of furnishing would be appropriate? Do you want to use solids, stripes, multi-print, or zig- zag colors? Do you want wallpaper now that you have found your colors and styles?

Jot down every thought, every color scheme, and every style that comes to mind. This is your chance to explore your options.

WritingFinal Decorating 101: Where to Start


Step Two

Browse home decor magazines or search the internet for some basic ideas. Sometimes it takes a little inspiration from another source to get motivated. Once you get that first spark, you’ll find that the ideas really start flowing.

If you want to create a warm soothing atmosphere in your living room, go with earth tone colors. Earth tone colors promote a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. This is the setting you want for your bedroom, guest room, or living room. These colors are also great for bathrooms.

EarthTones3 Decorating 101: Where to Start


Step Three

Now it’s time to decide on the best window treatment for your space. Should you use blackout curtains, mini blinds or side blinds? This may seem trivial, but it is a necessary step. Your window treatment will add balance to your room. In fact, whichever style and color you choose, your window treatment should complement the furnishings, the paintings, and the decor.

For example, let’s say you have beige furnishings and an earth tone carpet with brown, orange, beige, and olive. You can choose orange sheer curtains and striped throw pillows to enrich your space. Orange will bring life and color to your peaceful environment while ushering in feelings of rest and relaxation.

Don’t forget the artwork, and choose your paintings carefully. Go with larger framed pictures with a soothing image such as a natural waterfall. Avoid bland colors with no features or pizazz, as they can make a room feel dull and lifeless. And let’s not forget canvas prints!

Easy Canvas Prints Decorating 101: Where to Start


Step Four

If you are a visual person, you can begin with an accent or a centerpiece. Sometimes it takes something small to create something large. If you are inspired by an art piece or some other decor item, let that be your guiding point. If you are good at crafting, you can make your own centerpieces, decorate them with the colors you want, and in a style that will set the tone for your new setting. Think outside the box, and remember: this is your home, inspire yourself to be original.

RoomAccent Decorating 101: Where to Start















Step Five

Now that you have chosen your colors, furnishings, and style, you can focus on the cost. Earlier we suggested breaking each room down into a project or goal. Decide how much you are willing to spend on each room, and make sure the total cost falls within your means. This is particularly important if you are a newlywed on a budget, or if you will soon be welcoming a new addition to the family. With all of the DIY options and decor “hacks” available, there is no reason to break the bank!

Budget Decorating 101: Where to Start


Final Decorating Tips

Once you have made the big decisions around color combinations and themes, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to add a personal touch to any room. With earth tone colors, you can always change the window treatments to another color, and the throw pillows as well. This type of color scheme really allows you to transform any room by simply replacing or switching out colored items.

Wallpapers with printed designs and leafy decor are great options to consider throughout the decorating process. Even fabric wall hangings bring style and class to a natural setting.

Colors are everything and how you use them is up to you. So, put them to work for you and you can’t go wrong!

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Kitchen Color Combinations that will Transform Your Space

Colors are amazing. Using the right colors in your kitchen can create any type of effect you want. When you look at your kitchen, what do you see, and what look and style do you want to achieve? Do you want to actually make your kitchen bigger, or do you want to make it appear to be bigger? Making it appear larger is significantly less expensive! However, the first step to creating the perfect kitchen is to choose your colors wisely.

After you choose the right colors, you will definitely want to pick out complementary dining room furniture, upgrade the cabinets, and add some decor. Matching wallpaper, centerpieces, and other amenities only add pizzaz to your great taste. Having so many vivid colors to choose from makes it easy to revamp your kitchen into a beautiful, spacious eatery.

Perfect Transformations Begin with Great Colors

  • White and black stripes
  • White backsplash walls, with bright colors
  • Retro colors like aqua blue, cobalt and red

White is the fundamental color for backsplashes when you want to convert a small area into a larger area. The colors you choose will transform your small kitchen into a huge, stylish cooking arena. Providing you want your kitchen area to appear larger than it actually is, try using light colors.

Light and bright colors do well in breakfast nooks, dining rooms, and eating areas. Aside from choosing the right colors, you need to choose the right appliances and furnishings as well.

White appliances are traditional, but now you can buy colored appliances to coordinate with the colors in your kitchen. Lime and yellow are not your average colors, but they can bring life to a dull, otherwise lifeless kitchen.

ColorfulKitchenAppliances1 Kitchen Color Combinations that will Transform Your Space

Image Credit: KitchenAid












Light on the Blues and Trim it in White
Mix and match colors to create a unique contrast design. White kitchen walls with light aqua blue cabinets, white high-back chairs with wide seats and red cushions creates a soothing environment. Wallpaper decor with patterns of aqua blue and white colored swirls sets the tone. The colors reflect peace and serenity.

AquaCabinets Kitchen Color Combinations that will Transform Your Space

Image Credit: Better Homes & Gardens













Sunny Bright Yellow
Smile your way through the day with the brightest kitchen on the block. You don’t want your yellow to be too bright, however, so go with one shade darker. A really bright kitchen won’t give you the look and feel you are searching for…it might give you a headache instead!

YellowKitchen Kitchen Color Combinations that will Transform Your Space

Image Credit: sortrachen

Rainbow Colors
Using several different colors to remodel your kitchen is ideal for a really small, dreary looking kitchen. Do the trim in a vivid color, the cabinets in a neutral color, and don’t forget to backsplash the walls with white. Remember: white is the color you want to always put on your background.

Pale colors like purple, blue, and green add depth and openness to an area. So, bounce those colors around. Dare to be bold and creative. Depending on the effect you want, you can paint your walls and cabinets in horizontal or vertical patterns. This depends on whether you want your space to appear longer or wider. For example: do your walls in white, your cabinets in olive green, and make your chair cushions gold. You can use window shades in lieu of curtains, and don’t forget to add the wallpaper around the top of the ceilings.

BoldBlueKitchen Kitchen Color Combinations that will Transform Your Space

Image Credit: HouseBeautiful


Colors are amazing; they can create an illusion in minutes without you having to spend a ton of money on professional contractors. What color combos have worked best for you?

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