Haunted Gingerbread Houses and Cheers to Small Parties!

Balloon is from Emerson Sloan in Houston. More sources at the end of this post. 
Over the weekend my daughter had a tiny sleepover with friends to celebrate her 10th birthday.  I liked the size so much that I'd like to go back in time and say to my kids when planning their parties, "Which 2 or 3 friends would you like to invite?" Her small party was less stressful and more personal.  I'd even like to go back and have a smaller wedding. Ha! In the past it has seemed impossible to do small parties because I haven't wanted to leave anyone out or hurt anyone's feelings. But this way of thinking has cost me my sanity and the enjoyment of my own parties. That cost is too high for attempting the impossible, controlling other people's feelings, I can't do that!  I'd have to have a stadium and a million dollars to include everyone I love and who wants to go to a party where they can't find their friends?! Now I realize this wouldn't ever happen I'm just trying to prove a point.  I love a lot of people but I cannot manage a lot of people. :)  And on the flip side, if I or my kids are ever not included, "Ouch, that hurts and it's disappointing, but I get it." Anyway, shoot! This post is supposed to be my attempt at writing a quick blurb about a fun idea: Haunted Gingerbread Houses!

Sources at the end of this post.
My inspiring friend Jenn Powell shared her Halloween fun from Friday night on Instagram which included Haunted Gingerbread Houses.  "Genius idea," I thought! So I ran around all day Saturday gathering supplies to copy her idea that for the party that night!  It was the perfect activity for a sleepover and party favor to take home.  And I think I had energy to put it all together because I knew, in the end, I would get to make one, too!

And I did!  And we ALL had fun! Some finished in an hour others finished in 3 (me).  This house is actually a pre-assembled Christmas Kit from World Market. They already have Christmas out and they're selling out of Halloween Kits.  The Christmas kit comes with white icing so we went to Target and bought Black and Orange Icing and extra Spooky Candy.  World market had a good selection of Halloween candy, too.  But if you want to save yourself from running around to 4 stores, you could ship it all to your front door.  Here are a couple sources:

World Market:


I'd love to see what you make, tag me in your photos please! And it's not just for kids!  Creating is always therapeutic!


My Favorite Lunch Box and Why

I like our lunch boxes from last year (pictured in the background) and they've held so well that we are using them again this year! This brand of lunch boxes has a lot of patterns and shapes, great prices (under $20) and they are high functioning (no ice pack because they ARE an ice pack, the icepack is built-in the walls).  I am also going to add to our collection, I'm going to give the bento thing a whirl and PackIt has a new Bento Set!

I think they've held up from last year because they store in the freezer every night (they ARE an ice pack) and bacteria doesn't have a chance! Notice how they fall flat, folding like and accordion. They don't take up too much space and I like not having a ton of random ice packs floating in my freezer. :)

Green Camo Classic StyleColorful Camo Upright Style

I've always wanted to try the bento thing.  We'll see how it goes! This lunch box has a handle on the top flat side so it can be stored and carried flat but the plastic bento container will also fit in the classic style lunch box if you're not concerned contents in the container shifting. Also, a water bottle will have to be held separately with this bento style but a drink will fit in the classic style along with the plastic container.

Bento Set, Extra Bento Containers, Classic Lunch Box

Everyone and everything has different needs and wants.  Here's what I like about these specific boxes pictured above: The Green Camo box (it comes in several patterns), I like it because the top flips open like a classic lunch box and everything can stay inside the box while you're eating. Also, I'll be able to fit the bento container and a bottle of water.  Both camo styles have a strap that can clip onto a backpack or bicycle or... belt loop? Ha! ;) And the Bento Style will be great when the contents call for flat.  One last thing, they sell extra bento containers so you can have one lunchbox and several dishwasher safe containers. PackIt, I'm a fan!

Green Camo Classic StyleColorful Camo Upright StyleColorful Bento SetBlack Bento SetExtra Bento Containers

Several more styles I like:

All links are Amazon Prime because I love you and school starts very soon!


Settling In 2 | Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I'm picking up where we left off, more from the home section of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I've been on the hunt for functional kitchen accessories and I want them extra big but I don't want them to take up too much space. Huh?!  You know, something to break up the back splash wall but that won't look cluttered or take up working space on the counter top. Are you looking for this, too? I found something in the Sale, this Extra Large serving board meets all requirements and the simple design ties into my marble island and wood floors. :) And with a great temporary sale price, $56.90! After the sale it goes up to $85.

Sweet cereal milk! I thought these were sold out but they're back in stock!  We've been needing cereal bowls for a while now, soup bowls just didn't cut it anymore and this set of 6 is $19.90! And this color white has a pretty iridescence to it.

Moving on to our guest bedroom. I brought home both the Down Alternative Filled duvet (pictured left) and the Down Filled duvet (pictured right) by the Nordstrom At Home brand to compare fluffiness.  Can you tell a difference? Neither can I and I really wanted the Down Filled to win, I wanted there to be a reason for the higher price! But this is good, just as much fluff as real feathers for a lower price of $148.90 and bonus, hypoallergenic!  Price goes up to $199 after the sale.

Now that the duvet is fluffy and will keep our guests warm, I also wanted a nice set of sheets for them to sleep on.  And I've been waiting for this sale to purchase them!  People have different opinions on sheets so read the reviews.  I like cool to the touch and smooth, so I went with the 400 Thread Count Sheet set with the pretty stitching detail.  So happy with the comfort and look of our guest bedroom!

Now look at these Waterworks bathroom accessories, they are fab and on sale!  I'm not able to keep these because they don't coordinate with the light fixture and faucet in this bathroom. :( But I wanted to share them anyway in case you're in the market. I think they are so pretty!

We are keeping the towels though!  They look great in my daughter's bath, guest bath and our powder bath, 3 very different places.  I've been using them all week and I love their softness, absorbency and weight. The contrasting edge is a pretty detail and the bath towel has a cotton rope loop sewn in for hanging on a hook, tell it to your neighbor!

Now to my daughter's room.  Nordstrom's selection of Wall Art keeps growing and they've included a lot of it in the Anniversary Sale!  This pineapple print is so much more vibrant in person than in my photo and it looks pretty cute on her nightstand next to her Pineapple Goodnight Light. And the gold and pink photo frame fit right in to the colorful mix!

Sale Items: Pineapple Print and Photo Frame

Other Items:

Here's another set of fab Waterworks bath accessories that I can't use because the finish doesn't coordinate with the mix of metal finishes I already have at work in our master bath.  They are pretty though and I thought I'd share if you're in the market because they are also included in Nordstrom's anniversary sale.  The hydrocotton towels we are keeping because I think they were made to coordinate with carrara marble counter tops and great reviews!

Before you go, things sell out in the Nordstrom sale that ends Aug. 6th. Things sell out all the time everywhere and shelves also get restocked all the time everywhere and there will be another sale next year. So I have to tell myself not to buy anything for the fear of it running out, fight the, "Hurry, buy! Before it sells out!" It helps me to remember there will always be enough and I am enough.


Settling In | Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Hi guys!  If you've been following along on Instagram or Facebook then you've seen my project #TITYNSettles where I've started going room by room organizing, designing, creating solutions, asking for help and decorating our new house.  The most common question friends have excitedly asked me since we moved in was, "Are you settled in?!"  And my answer was always a disappointing, "A little settled, slowly, I'm having trouble getting motivated." This was a head scratcher to me and it was bothering me so I knew setting up a project through Tell It To Your Neighbor would help me get motivated and give me a little accountability.

A year ago we were in the middle of building our house and I was cruising the Home Section of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I was thinking, "Man, I wish I could know what I'm going to need for the house" because I was surprised to find towels, bedding, tabletop, etc.! But I quickly squashed that "fear of scarcity" that sales can often manipulate me into feeling and remembered I have next year and I don't actually "need" any of it!  Now it's a year later, I'm not feeling as frantic about it and I am taking advantage of the sale for the things this house "can use".

First up, this house can use a few updated photo frames.  All of my older picture frames are chunky wood frames and they're not looking right in the new space.  So I think these two frames from the sale are so light and pretty and look great here!  

Kate Spade gold frame with black mat, 4x6 photo because of the mat. Silver frame with white mat, 3.5x3.5 (actually closer to 3x3) and $20.90.

Next, look at these towels!  I feel like they were designed to look pretty with carrara marble! Our master bathroom can definitely use these!  Our old white towels from the wedding registry 15 years ago needed replacing about 8 years ago, but I never could decide to go white again or with a color until I saw these gray towels. The "grey vapor" is just enough color to hide dirt over time but still light enough to keep the space clean, light and simple.

These hydrocotton towels are so fluffy and soft! Check out all the great reviews of them, customers are happy.  And if you need a different color they come in 19 different colors, all on sale!

Hydrocotton Towel Collection in color Grey Vapor.

I bought this bath mat in the spring and now it's part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I like it because it's very absorbent, great for stepping out of the shower.  I wouldn't recommend it for a high traffic area, it's ribbed design can catch dirt in a passageway but its great where I have it!

These towels are also a favorite of mine from the sale.  Their pattern reminds me of a cobblestone street.  They are also very similar to the fancy European Thistletex towels I always look forward to using at Rachel Ashwell's The Prairie in Round Top.

Luckily they are on sale because I'm using these in several other places.  I've only had time to photograph them in the powder bath, don't they look like they were made for this room! Bonus, I ran into a neighbor shopping at Nordstrom, she has these and said they've held up well and her kids have been using them!  They come in two colors, grey magnate and blue vintage. I was also surprised to find a rope loop on the bath towel for hanging on a hook, yes!

Lastly, I've been having trouble with the glass cabinets in our breakfast area.  I've been trying to fill them and make them look pretty without buying anything.  I also have a drawer full of floating recipe cards and a bunch of my Mom's recipe boxes from the 70s I'd like to get organized.  

Enter pretty Rifle Paper Co. tin recipe box, it's $21.90 with the sale and after the sale it will be $34.00.  It's not a need but I sure can use it!  It comes with cards and dividers inside.

That's all I had time to photograph and share before Early Access to the sale ends today! I'm still waiting on a few deliveries, too so good thing the Public Sale continues to August 6th.  Hopefully I'll have time to photo the successes but if not here's what I'm working on and things I found of value for the home in the sale:

Before you go, here's a quote I hung on my college apartment bedroom door when I was addicted to shopping for home goods, "Simply tell yourself that you can't afford anything new right now. Sure, deprivation is painful at first, but delayed gratification feels much better in the long run and gives you more control over your finances."