Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from my family to yours!  I hope everyone has a spooky evening!  Last year my neighbor's boys had glow sticks while trick-or-treating, genius.  I forgot about the glow sticks from when I was a kid!  So this year I picked up a few from Academy.  It will be easier to spot my kiddos dashing through the dark.  "NEXT HOUSE!!!" ===>>


Inspiration Board

Well, I was going to post about Diaper Rash Wipes today (I made a special trip to Target and everything, so I'll do that tomorrow).  But I have been sidetracked by minted's first inspiration board challenge!  Minted, oh how I love minted and their super thick paper!  Did you know they now have party decor supplies?  How easy!  Anyway, this is my Swedish Christmas inspiration board.  I started with Cadence Paige Design's White Christmas Holiday Card, LOVE IT!  Then I gathered images of Swedish Christmas traditions I've been collecting on my Pinterest board Swedish Roots.  I'm inspired!

Swedish Christmas by Erica, see more Minted.com
Swedish Christmas board by Erica. See more Minted.com

You can make a board, heart/favorite designs you like and enter your design for a chance to win.  Good luck!


Pedicure for Two

How great would it be to watch KLG & Hoda live... with a great friend... and Starbucks in your hand... while you're getting a PEDICURE IN A PRIVATE ROOM???  Sounds luxurious!  Sign me up Sister, tell it to your neighbor!

I had no idea when I called Isle PediSpa to make a double pedicure appointment for me and my Sister that we would also experience such luxury at no additional charge!  This is now our happy place!

I'm usually able to schedule one of these private rooms the same day I make the call.  And since I don't get to do this very often, my favorite pedicure is the Cooling Cucumber Pedicure.  The treatment focuses on intense callus refining.  :)  I hope that's not T.M.I.!

I took this picture before they added the cucumbers.
The West University location of Isle PediSpa has two of these private rooms.  A green room:

And a red room:

I can't wait to try their West Ave. location, they have a private room for 4!

Had to include this picture.  Love Nene Leakes!
These private rooms would be a great surprise for a friend on her birthday or maybe a new Mom who can only spare an hour.  Maybe this would be a perfect escape for a friend going through a rough patch in life.  I prefer Isle PediSpa for my nail salon because I like to soak up the experience!  Ha!  Don't wait for a special occasion though, carpe the hell out of this diem!!!

Source: etsy.com via Erica on Pinterest


Art Full Circle

Last Saturday the plan to celebrate my birthday was to go to the Bayou City Art Festival downtown. Normally we head to the Kemah Boardwalk when my birthday lands on a weekday.  Long lines for kid's rides on the weekend, no thank you!  I was missing Kemah though and trying to rally for the Art Festival!  We arrived and got in free because the show closed in only 30 minutes!  Disappointed but making the most of our half hour we started exploring.  Then I walked into to artist Syd Moen's booth and the little disappointments of the day disappeared.  She's a local artist and she creates whimsical "Little Planets" through her photography and software, they are so cool!  Her subjects looked local as well so I started thumbing through the prints and I spotted a colorful carousel.  It looked familiar, "Is this Kemah?"
     She said, "Yes!"
     And I thought, "SOLD!"

"Kemah Boardwalk" by Syd Moen 
Syd was so thoughtful and gave me a deal on my birthday!  How great is she?!  I wish you could see this print in person, the iPhone's best pic of a pic just isn't good enough.  It's colorful, vibrant, fun and personal.  Buying art is simple when there's a personal connection to it.  I will always love this and how it came full circle! :)  I love how it looks like a funny bird too.  Can't wait to frame it and find a place for it.

The artist was in the paper and on the news last weekend along with the festival, check out the article from the Houston Chronicle and the clip from ABC:

Her card says she's available for private commissions.  How cool would it be to have her create a Little Planet with your house as the focal point?!  If I were Hines I'd commission Syd to photograph Williams Tower and the Waterwall in Uptown Houston, I'd love to see that Little Planet!  You can find Syd Moen at Spring Street Studios and her number is: 713-962-4262.  Check out her fantastic Little Planets!


Elf on the Shelf or Skeleton in the Yard?

Pre-Halloween season Grandin Road discounted their Halloween decor and this year I was in the market for a posable skeleton, I even told my neighbor about it!  (I'm trying to say this was not an impulse buy)  So I scooped up their 5' life-size skeleton!  I wanted to take our Halloween decor to the next level and I thought it would be funny to pose this skeleton in the yard with props (also this might help my kids with their extreme fear of this stuff).

Meet Ms. Spooky
Leading up to the arrival of our skeleton I prepared our daughter and tried to make all the scary stuff seem funny.  It worked!  When I opened the box, she screamed and ran the other way, but then quickly turned around.  She even touched the skeleton, moved it's jaw and started laughing it all!  She named the skeleton Ms. Spooky just like we named our Elf on the Shelf, Tiny.  And then an idea was born!  How exciting would it be for Ms. Spooky to move around like our elf?!!  This would even be fun for our neighbors!

It's been a blast!  Our kids run to the windows when they wake up.  "Where's Ms. Spooky????  Mommy, how does she move if she's not real?  Mommy, I think you move her?"  Such a mystery...  One neighbor suggested a Children's book that would be perfect to go along with our skeleton, but I can't remember it and cannot figure it out, Mr. Jones maybe?  But I did find an awesome book at Costco last night that has me singing and excited!  Do you know this song from The Delta Rhythm Boys?

Dem bones, dem Bones, dem dry bones
Now hear the word of the Lord

Toe bone connected to the foot bone...

The book, Dem Bones, by Bob Barner is a cute rendition of the spiritual song and it teaches about the human body with "bone facts".  I'm so excited it's all coming together, a prop, a song and a book!  Ms. Spooky has brought about all sorts of questions about our body, "Mommy, so does the heart go in here?"  And we've been comparing our bodies to Ms. Spooky's bones, like our ribs and our joints.  Now we have a fun book to elaborate!

There's a big stack of these books at Costco right now for $10.49.  It's so cute!

Ms. Spooky has been having lots of fun in our yard!  If you want to start your own "Ms. Spooky" tradition I found similar life-size posable skeletons at our Kroger on Buffalo Speedway @ 59.  If you have a Kroger Plus Card it's on sale for $55.99.  Or if you already have one of those giant spiders, it would be fun to watch it move around on your house, a "Spider on the House" tradition!

Taking a nap.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Oh no!
This one was really funny!  This is the window the kids look out of in the morning to find Ms. Spooky.
Joseph did this one!
Waiting for us to come home from dinner.  Ahhhh!
Hanging out.

Elf on the Shelf, Skeleton in the Yard, Spider on the House, the possibilities are endless...  We're enjoying this new mysterious and funny Halloween tradition and there's still plenty of time before Halloween for more spooky thrills!  A prop, a song and a book make the perfect not-so-scary package.  Boo!


Guest Bedroom Design, Everything on Sale

Yesterday I wondered if I could design a bedroom with only items online and on sale at this very moment.  So I headed to my favorite websites to collect sale items, but I had to love these items as well.  As I was collecting, the design started to evolve into a lovely guest bedroom or even a room for a lovely lady.   It was fun, here it is:

This main picture (above) is not clickable but below are links to everything in the photo and their sale prices.  Everything is on sale!  I found some amazing deals!  Oops, the only thing not on sale is this awesome iPhone amplifier (I like it in white) from C. Wonder.  It might as well be on sale at only $10, tell it to your neighbor!  If I were your guest and you had this for me on the nightstand, I'd think "How nice and considerate!"
I'd also appreciate this white 23" LED as a guest!

Amersham Mirror, Oval $224.95

Harbor Coffee Table $199.95 was $1298.00!

Jack Table Lamp $199

4 x 6 Zebra Bone Frame $19

It can be done!  A whole bedroom can be put together online and it can ALL be on sale!


A Rapunzel Party Without Getting Tangled

If planning a Rapunzel birthday party is in your future, don't get tangled in a tower of stress, just use these ideas and sources.  Rapunzel will be pleased!  I did my best to keep it simple while still making dreams come true.  Our house was under construction last year getting a face lift (I'll share it with you soon) leading up to our daughter's Tangled party with her friends.  So I had to keep it simple.

THE INVITES - Save your sanity and do not do what I did, I love love love these Rapunzel invitations but they were time consuming and my Husband had to leave the house with the kids for a whole day so I could finish.  The idea came from Supermom, if you are still interested in crafting your own.

This is a new design from minted by voss, if it had been available at the time I would have happily ordered these.  It's a pretty design and it meets the color criteria of golden and purple!

THE LOCATION - Wonderwild was Rapunzel's request and they just happen to have a tower!  I love Wonderwild, Mommy's choice too.

THE CAKE -  Rapunzel saw elaborate tower cakes on Pinterest but luckily she was very excited about our "tower" of cupcakes.  The 4-tier cupcake stand by Wilton nests nicely for storage and can be found on Amazon or at Michael's.  The awesome character cupcake toppers are by Jennifer Miller, owner of the Get Sprinkled shop on Etsy.

The cupcakes are from our grocery store, H-E-B, and easily personalized at home with fondant cupcake toppers, little works of art, so cute!  The delicious toppers were created by Julie, owner of the Cakes and Kids shop on Etsy.  Are you as happy as I am to see white icing at a birthday party?  Rapunzel's friends came in costumes that needed to be worn the very next day for Halloween.

THE PARTY FAVORS -  Paulie's cookies to take home!  These pictures do not do the crown and the paint pallet cookies justice, they were gorgeous.  I've started to give a $3-4.00 gift (like a cookie) as a thank you for coming rather than spend the time sorting goodies and stuffing bags.  Paulie's was awesome and they customized our colors.

We put the cookies in purple glittered containers with handles and stuffed with "golden" tissue paper.  The buckets I found in the Target $ Spot section, but I've seen them at Hobby Lobby as well.

THE DECORATIONS -  Don't think twice about this.  Nothing will make Rapunzel happier than this not-so-classic banner and these plates.  Add balloons.  Wonderwild will do this for you, golden and purple, as many or as little as you want.

Rapunzel's pizza has never touched a better plate in her eyes!

THE CHARACTERS -  Rapunzel, Queen Mommy, King Daddy and Best Pal Pascal.  At the end of Tangled the movie, Rapunzel is finally reunited with her Mom and Dad, that's us!  The crowns are from Party City.

I was trying to be smart with this Rapunzel ensemble by not buying the expensive gown at the Disney store, at the time it was around a shocking $70, now a more affordable option is available.  The braid was $20 from The Disney Store, the dress came with a soft crown headband for $30 from Target and she wore her own silver shoes.

This was the closest costume I could find to the chameleon Pascal, not easy!  It's an Infant Gecko Costume from Amazon, I meant to curl the tail with a pipe cleaner but that didn't happen.  

Well I hope this helps you with your Tangled Rapunzel birthday party.  Take it easy and just use theses sources, Rapunzel had the BEST DAY EVER!!!