Our DIY Wedding

I had the most amazing, simple wedding in my brother’s backyard.  It was the perfect summer day, surrounded by a select group of my very favorite people.  It really was exactly the way I had it pictured in my head, and it was about as DIY as you can get.  We rented tables, linens, chairs and had the meat catered.  Those were our only short cuts.

I knew from the beginning that, for me, the magic would be in the details.  Maybe nobody else would notice them, but they were important to me.  And so began months of trial and error, blood and tears, long nights and lots of wine consumption.  In the end, it was worth every second.

Here are a few of the details.  We didn’t hire a photographer, and I do kind of regret that.  Only because some of the details were missed, NOT because I wanted pictures of me.  No no no.  No pictures of me.

signs E


My daughter made the welcome sign.  I painted all of the white signs and my amazing sister-in-law put them all together.  Spray paint was my best friend.




Guest Book E


Our guest book was so much fun, and something that we will treasure forever.  I already had the book of thumbprint ideas.  I got a small sketch book from the craft store, a nice set of fine point pens, and colored ink pads.  Our friends and family got very creative with their creations.





menu E


Our menu was written on an old window that had been lined with craft paper.  My amazing daughter helped with this, too.  We propped this next to the door of the summer kitchen where the buffet was served.  One of the benefits of your brother having an old farm house is the abundance of old crap left over from renovations.  We upcycled as much as we could.




drinks E


We kept non-alcoholic drinks simple.  Sweet tea and lemonade were the main attractions.  I played around with real strawberry lemonade, but in the end, simplicity won out.  The strawberries were used as a garnish only, and that was ok.

drinks2 E





Water bottles and juice for the kids were kept cold in tubs filled with ice.




plasticware E



One of my favorite details was the wrapped plasticware.  I wrapped each set in a paper napkin, tied with some tan yarn and added a flower detail.  Simple and so cute.  We stacked them in an old drawer left over from the kitchen renovation.  It really was adorable.




chip bag EI think we got the most comments on these funny paper chip bags.  I found a tutorial on YouTube for paper gift bags, and scaled them down to fit individual servings of chips.  They were a great addition to the buffet table.  I also made serving platters out of dollar store ceramic candle sticks and large serving dishes we found at an antique mall.


bar2 E

“Alcohol! Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.”  My brother built me a bar.  FOR REAL! We provided a little bit of a bunch of stuff.  There were a few mixed drink options, lots of shot options, and plenty of options for spiking the sweet tea and lemonade.



flowers Eflowers2 EGrocery store flowers.  Yep.  And they were perfect.  I fancied up some jelly jars, pizza sauce jars, mustard jars…..any jar we emptied, really.  They added a great splash of color to the white table linens.



dessert E


We didn’t do a cake cutting ceremony.  The five minute wedding ceremony was already more “center of attention” than I wanted, so we just served dessert.  Cupcakes, cookies and mini pies. There was even a gluten free option.


silly props Eprops Eprop frames E




I spent a good amount of time trying to come up with things that would keep my guests entertained since we weren’t doing the traditional wedding activities.  These props were fun.  My mom and I found old frames that I spray painted fun colors.  The large red frame was made by my dad.  We attached drawer handles to the back of it to make it easier for people to hold.

I found prop templates online, traced them onto foam sheets and attached them to skewers (sharp tip removed) after they were cut out.

yard games E twister E horseshoes E Hayden horseshoes E



Yard games were also a big hit.  Some we had, some we bought, some we made.


Badminton/ Volley ball




Lawn twister






My dad also made us an awesome corn hole game and we rented a large bounce house for the kids.  Well, it was FOR the kids, but I kicked them out a few times so the adults could jump too.  It was only fair.

lights E





I loved these lights, and they were a pain in the butt for my brother to hang.  They deserved to be featured on the interwebs, too.

We also had a beautiful fire pit with hay bale seating that I don’t have a good picture of.  The kids enjoyed making s’mores around the fire and the teenagers used it as their hang out spot.  It was perfect, too.

It really was a simple, amazing day.  All of the stress leading up to the finished product was worth it.  I would do it again and again.

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Candy Carrots

Here’s a quicky post I’ve been meaning to put up since Easter.  Can we say SLACKER!?!  Add to that the fact that I forgot to get a picture of the finished product on their intended cupcakes, I seriously suck at this blog thing.

There aren’t a whole lot of instructions to go along with these candy carrots.  I used green airheads and orange starburst.  Each carrot was one startburst.  I warmed them in the microwave until I could shape them in my hands.  They never got super soft because I didn’t want them to melt.  While they were still soft I used a toothpick to poke a hole in the top of each.

For the green carrot leaf I cut a very long V shape out of the thinner parts of the airhead candy.  With a sharp knife I cut slices out of the top of the V.  The pointy end got shoved into the toothpick hole end of the soft carrot.  You might want to have the green bits ready before the carrots, so the carrots can stiffen up with the leafy part attached.

These are very simple and I bet there are a ton of other things you can do with this general idea.

Here are the photos –




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And the times, they are……

a chaaaaaaangin’.  So is this blog.

Thanks to some wrist pain, I’ve had to take an indefinite break from yarn.  My lovely wrist brace is helping quite a bit, but now I’m just plain scared.  Like…..monsters under the bed, things nightmares are made of, scared.  The yarny goodness To Do list is growing like crazy, and I can’t bring myself to dust off the needles and hooks.  I know I’ll get there, but in the meantime, I’ve had to come up with  other things to keep myself from having a productive, grown up life.

While I don’t think I will ever achieve “extreme” status, my couponing efforts are finally starting to pay off.  I have my first stockpiles and my children are officially too embarrassed to help with the shopping.  I must be doing something right.

I’m WAY more excited about baking though!  Yeast bread is my new obsession.  There is soooooooo much to learn, and so many handy gadgets to try.  So far I’ve learned cinnamon swirl bread, soft pretzels, hot dog rolls, croutons, beer bread, honey wheat oatmeal bread, yummy crusty dinner rolls, scones (not a yeast bread), pizza dough and quick blueberry biscuits.  FYI, beer bread is gross if you don’t like beer.  I don’t like beer.  My honey took it to work though, and it was gone by 9 am.  I wanted to rip my tongue out.

This blog has never solely been about yarn happiness, but that was the original intent.  So much for that.  I really hope to get back there soon.  For now, expect to see a menagerie of things.  A plethora of stuff.  An eclectic mix of bits and baubles.  Or maybe I’ll just work my favorite words into random sentences.  MERGE! (or just shout them out)  At any rate, changes.

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Pretty Flower Coaster…..or whatever



I’m coaster crazy right now.  There are many big projects coming up and mass amounts of coasters is the easiest one to tackle when it’s too cold out to do much else.  I’ve found some great patterns, and this is the Frankenflower that came from those.  I love the way this one turned out, and the possibilities are endless!  I’m thinking about putting a bunch of these together to make a table runner.  Wouldn’t that be cute!?!

As always, do your own thing.  This is what I did.  Keep in mind that your yarn and hook size will determine the size of your flower.  Also, changing the stitches up will help you get the size you need.  Using HDC until round 4 (use DC in round 4) will make a flower that’s about 4.5 inches.  Using DC for the whole flower will make a flower that’s about 5 inches.  I haven’t gone bigger or smaller, but feel free to do so.

What you need –  5 mm crochet hook, Sugar n’ Cream cotton

Round One

Using a magic circle, chain 2 (counts as first HDC), make 15 HDC in circle.  16 HDC total.  Slip Stitch in beginning chain 2 to join

Round Two

Chain 4, HDC in same stitch.  *Skip next stitch. HDC in next stitch, chain 2, HDC in same stitch*  Repeat from * to * around.  Slip Stitch in 2nd chain in beginning chain 4 to join.

Round Three

Slip Stitch into chain 2 space, chain 2 (counts as first HDC).  Make 4 more HDC in chain 2 space.  Chain 1.  *Make 5 HDC in next chain 2 space.  Chain one*  Repeat from * to * around.  Slip Stitch into beginning chain 2 to join.

Round Four

*Skip 2 stitches.  In the 3rd stitches make 6 DC.  Skip 2 stitches.  Slip Stitch into chain 1 space*  Repeat from * to * around.

Cut yarn, fasten off, sew in ends.  Flower!


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Dude, let me help you get lucky


Dear Men,
Have you ever wondered what your woman really wants? Have you ever taken the time to think of a way to show her your appreciation for all that she does to make your life easier? Screw that. Have you ever wondered how to turn her from a homicidal Martha Stewart into a playful Jenna Jameson? Here’s the secret to making a woman feel loved, appreciated, and open to a little (or a lot of) hanky panky.

CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF! Get your filthy underwear off the floor. Don’t just put your dishes in the sink if the dishwasher is empty. Put dinner away. Hell, cook dinner.

It’s really not that hard guys. Women aren’t the complex creatures we’ve been made out to be. Yes, our definitions are different than yours. Our expectations are different than yours. (Ok, so we’re a little complex). WE ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOU! Dude, that’s part of the reason you like us. If you want our girl parts to do stuff with your boy parts, please take this letter to heart.

We appreciate everything you do for us, and we do our best to show you that appreciation. We remember when you mentioned, 2 years ago, that you’d like to see Nine Inch Nails live again. That’s why we surprised you with those tickets. We didn’t forget when your mom told us your favorite childhood sweet was Aunt Peg’s chocolate cream pie. That’s why we spent 6 hours on a Saturday, sweating our ass of in your mom’s attic (wondering how hard it would be to get her on Hoarders) looking through 40 years of accumulated crap to find dearly departed Aunt Peg’s recipe. We are thoughtful, considerate creatures, and we love you.

We also understand that you aren’t (through no fault of your own) thoughtful or considerate. We overlook it on a daily basis. We let it slide when you blow off eating dinner with us to watch the game in the other room. We don’t let it bother us when you don’t remember (even though we’ve been talking about it a lot) that the super important thing that has given us anxiety for weeks, was today. We get that these things don’t mean that you don’t love us, even when we hide in the bathroom to cry, or tackle that pan from dinner with inhuman strength so we don’t punch you in your stupid, thoughtless head.

We get you. Now it’s your turn.

I’m not promising that these tips will have you bumpin’ uglies tonight. I don’t know how big the sexless hole is that you’ve dug for yourself. These things will help though. Please believe that we think about gettin a little sumthin sumthin way more than we’re given credit for. We want a little slap and tickle, we’re just too tired to show it.

Tip One
Don’t wait until we’re half way through a household tast to ask if we need help. Trust and believe, we’ve already creatively cursed you out. It really is a good thing you can’t read our minds. By this point, your beheading would be more welcome than your help. However…..

Tip Two
…this does not mean you can’t find something else that would be helpful. On your own. Without asking what else needs to be done. For real. You live in this filth. You created this filth. How is it that you can’t see what needs to be done without being told? There is always something that needs to be done. If you’re really not able to think of anything, sweep the kitchen floor. Yep. It’s simple. It’s fast. It’s one less thing we have to do. (It’s a little more energy we’ll have between the sheets)

Tip Three
Don’t ever, under ANY circumstances, make any kind of comment about a mess we’ve made. Don’t draw attention to it. Don’t look at it. Ignore the mess. We are allowed to make messes. YOU are not. Let me explain that. Historically speaking, who cleans up after the kids? We do. Who cleans up after you? We do. Who does the majority of the cleaning? We do. So, it’s safe to say we’ll clean up our mess, right? Right. So just shut up.

Tip Four
We love positive attention, but you knew that already. This is the simplest tip to follow. It should go without saying. Maybe you already do this, and kudos to you if you’re that guy. Tell us something nice about us. Not the house or dinner. Us. “Boy honey, that kitchen counter sure is clean” is not going to help get us in the mood as much as giving us a hug and telling us our hair smells nice. Squeeze our hand and tell us how soft our skin is. And a never fail compliment – we look nice in that color. Delivery of the compliment isn’t all that important. We don’t need you to longingly look into our eyes. In fact, that creeps some of us out (me!). It really is the thought that counts. Just hearing the words, and knowing that you noticed something nice about us can go a long way in improving our day and your sex life.

Tip Five
If there are kids involved in your relationship (it doesn’t matter if they’re hers, his or ours) have your woman’s back. I’m not saying you should jump in and involve yourself unless you know for sure that’s what she wants. What I’m saying is simpler than that. Support her. After a screaming match with a difficult 3 year old, tell her she did a good job not giving in. Hell, a smile and a nod during the battle is enough to boost our bruised and battered mommy heart sometimes. When our teenagers, in their struggle to define themselves, have torn us apart to the point that we want to run and never stop, help us remember the good we’ve given them. Remind us that our babies eventually come back to us, and all of the struggles, sleepless nights and gray hairs are worth the definition they will find when they’re ready. When our children become kind, compassionate and thoughtful adults, remind us that we did that.

Now, how do these tips help Mr. Happy get some much needed and (I’m sure) much deserved attention? It’s really simple. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Not just our world. We carry your world, the kid’s world, our boss’s world, our best friends world on our shoulders. Picture that weight as a chastity belt made out of unbreakable puzzle pieces. Each worry, stressor, obligation, chore, duty, unmatched sock is a piece of the belt that’s preventing you from getting a piece of ass. If you can help rid us of these heavy puzzle pieces, the belt will fall off much faster.

Science, or something, has proven that we are emotional beings. By following these tips, you’re helping our emotions guide us in a happier direction. You’re acknowledging our struggles. You’re showing us that you care by taking some of this weight away. It’s a lot easier to get our pants off when the weight is lessened.

One last tip –
Please don’t let her know that sex is your only motivation for doing something nice for her. If it really is your only motivation, maybe you should reevaluate your relationship. If you can see the trip to funky town as an added bonus to making your lover happy, that’s probably the better way to go. However, if sex is the bigger motivator, hide it. Lie. Whatever you do, don’t show your frustration if the tips take a while to work. You never really know how many pieces make up her belt.

I wish you all the best. You have it in you to conquer these tips and discover a few more on your own.


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Halloween Pin-spiration

I have a Pinterest addiction.  I have ELEVEN crochet/knitting boards.  If you’re interested, you can find me by searching Kristin41478.  I wanted to share with you a few things that I’ve enjoyed making the most this Halloween, thanks to the awesome that can be found on Pinterest.  You still have time to whip up a few of these goodies too.  I didn’t use a pattern or even follow the links that accompanied the pictures I found, I just made them up as I went.

Halloween Hand Sanitizer


This is a super fantastic project for scrap yarn.   I found the felt Halloween stickers in the $1 section at Target.


Make as many chains as you need to go around the base of the bottle.  Half double crochet in the round until the bottle starts to get smaller.   Decrease by 4 (or as many decreases as you need for the shape of your bottle) for 1 or 2 rows (again, depending on the shape of the bottle).  End with a row of single crochet right before the cap of the bottle.

You can make the handle separately and attach it when you’re done, or you can reattach your yarn to the other end of the sanitizer holder and go from there.  I went down at least one hook size, and as you can see, none of my handles were the same size.  With the smaller hook, chain as many as you need to make the handle the length that you want it.  Go down to an even smaller hook size to make the button hole.  I think I went down to a 3.25 mm hook.  With the smaller hook, chain as many as you need to go around the button you’re using, slip stitch into the first chain you made with the smallest hook (this forms your button hole), switch back to the hook that you used to start your handle and slip stitch back to the beginning.  Attach your handle if you haven’t already.  Sew the button into place directly across from the base of your handle.

Odds and Ends tips –

For the fun hand sanitizers with the stickers, I used worsted weight acrylic yarn.  Even though the stickers were sticky, I still used a hot glue gun to attach them.  I know a few little monsters that will pull apart anything they can.  For the everyday hand sanitizers, I used cotton yarn.  I really like the way this looks.

Candy Corn Treat Bags


This is the horrible-est picture ever.  Sorry.  I made these for a friend, and I forgot to get a real picture before she picked them up.  They turned out to be super cute, and I didn’t want a craptastic picture to stop me from telling you about them.

Tips –

These are pretty self explanatory.   I think I started with 5 half double crochets in a magic circle and increased by 3 in every other row.  I also made a larger one as a trick or treat bag.  You might want to double the yarn (hold 2 strands together) if you make a trick or treat bag.  I ended up with a pretty floppy bag.  That’s fine for older kids, but toddlers need something that holds its shape a bit better.  Please don’t let this picture keep you from making these.  I really hate the camera on my ipad.

Felt Skull Beanies


I love these.  I did two for my nieces with the heart eyes and the others I wanted more unisex, so I stuck with circular eyes and used black thread for the nostrils.  I think I like them better with the circular eyes.  If you need help with a basic beanie, check out bobwilson123 on YouTube.

Tips –

Get creative!!!  Don’t let the lack of a printer stop you from making something out of felt.  I had to get very creative for these hats.  My printer is, sadly, no longer with us.  He had a long and productive life and all good things must come to an end.  I found a skull that I thought I could make work here.  It wasn’t quite right for what I was doing.  Little nieces have little heads, therefore they need little skulls.

Because my printer took a crap is deceased, I used my ipad.  I took a screen shot of the iron on decal and then traced it onto a piece of paper.  These are the screen shots I used.  (I even had to make it my lock screen so it would stop moving while I traced!  That’s desperation right there folks.)

skullsOnce I had the pieces the size I wanted them, I cut them out, combined them and traced them again.  Once I had the second tracing the way I wanted it, I cut it out and traced it once more onto cardboard.  (you can skip the cardboard if you’re only making one hat.  I was making a few and wanted something more sturdy to trace onto the felt).  Finally, I traced the skull onto white felt, cut it out, and attached it with black thread and a whip stitch.  Was there an easier way to get the results I wanted?  Probably.  Sometimes you have to make do with what you have.

skull hats                                      (another craptastic picture.  i’m working on that)

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Sugar Free Blueberry Syrup


I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I hate artificial sweetener. There are just some things that need to be real, and in my book, sugar is one of them. However, living with a diabetic has seriously cut down on my sugar intake. I try to be supportive. I really do. That’s where this surprising bit of yummy came from.

I think this recipe will work with most fruit. I’ve only tried strawberries and blueberries, and both turned out fabulously. It’s amazing on ice cream, as a glaze for a fruit tart, or on French toast. Or, ya know, by the spoonful is good too.
Ingredients –

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup water

1-4 packets Splenda

1 tsp corn starch

1/2 tsp vanilla

small amount of white sugar (optional)

Direction –

Bring the berries and water to a simmer. Add the corn starch, vanilla and as many Splenda packets as you like. Continue to simmer until the berries are soft. I just let it go on a low simmer while I prepped and started the French toast. I did add less than a teaspoon of granulated sugar to mask the artificial sweetener taste just a tad. Remove from heat and let the sauce thicken.

And that’s it. Pretty simple and very tasty. I like a little extra texture in my syrup, so when I removed it from the heat I threw in a few more fresh berries to soften up in the cooling goodness. If you don’t like texture in your syrup you can always strain the fruit out.


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