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Happy Halloween!!!

I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!  What exciting plans do you have today?!  Make sure they kick butt! It’s a rule!

Love Halloween on a Friday

I’m going to finish up work as soon as I can. Then I’ll help turn the guy that fixed my roof into a zombie.  Long story short, he was fixing our roof and ceiling and met Mandy, my roommate that also does costume makeup.  He’s hiring her to turn him into a creepy zombie.  :-)

Then we’re going to eat grilled chicken and mashed potatoes that I’m making for girls’ nights, hand out candy to all of the goblins and goblinettes, and then we’re hitting an 80’s dance club with a costume party.  Woot!  A $5 entry fee and $1.50 well drinks – Cat Woman will ride again!!!

Oh, and I give extra candy to the kids that know the Weeping Angel reference from my garage door.  If your kid knows Doctor Who, they deserve more sugar.  And I give out awesome candy – Snickers, Skittles, Starbursts, and gummy body parts.  :-D

Garage Door Halloween Decorations

This is my absolute favorite. Please try to really understand the detail work involved with this. I watched Will make the cuts into the poster board with a box cutter, and I still have no idea how it turned into something so amazing!

Anyway, Halloween is happening at the Stemberger house! Be merrily spooky, everybody!!!

How to Make a Yard Spider – Our Newest Halloween Addition

Despite our house issues, I did start decorating for Halloween last week.  Yesterday and today became the big push though.  I even went to Lowe’s to create a new addition to our Halloween decoration family…

The Giant Yard Spider

Meet Elspira – she makes me smile.  Just finished her yesterday afternoon.  :-)

Giant Yard Spider

This is Elspira (pronounced like Elvira).  ;-) She’s exactly as awesome as she looks. I got the idea from several places online like http://www.momendeavors.com/2013/09/diy-halloween-yard-decor-giant-spider-in-spiderweb.html and made adjustments.

Here is how you can make a giant yard spider of your own.

Things to Gather

  • Foam pipe covers (enough to make sixteen 2 foot parts) – $10
  • Eight 1/2 inch elbow socket pipe parts – $1.75
  • Black electrical tape – $3
  • Two Black plastic bags – $1
  • Filler (we used newspaper and a spare brick for the body) – $N/A
  • Foam plate (or something to make the eyes and extras) – $N/A
  • Two wire coat hangers (or something to make spikes) – $N/A
  • Total Cost = $15.75

Steps to Making a Yard Spider

  1. Cut the foam into sixteen, 2 foot sections.
  2. Join two sections of the foam together using an elbow socket pipe part and black electrical tape.
  3. Repeat 7 times.
  4. Fill one plastic bag to nearly full of newspaper or the filler of your choice along with something heavy (like the brick we used).
  5. Fill the other plastic bag just enough to make a proportionally correct head.
  6. Cut the wire coat hangers into eight 4-6 inch straight sections to use as stakes.
  7. Take all body parts to where you want to set up your spider.
  8. Use the black electrical tape to attach the legs to the torso.Legs Taped to Torso
  9. Use more black electrical tape to attach the head to the legs and torso.Head to Torso
  10. When in doubt in any step, use black electrical tape.
  11. Use the wire pieces to stake each leg into the ground.
  12. Cut out foam eyes and other facial features.
  13. Attach the eyes using black electrical tape (we rolled a piece up for each thing to make it double-sided sticky).

Voila!  You now have an awesome yard spider too!

What about you?  What awesome do-it-yourself Halloween decorations do you enjoy?

Overwhelmed? Start Small…then Keep Going

I love Halloween.  Seriously, it is my favorite holiday.  I decorate the inside and outside of my home, and I usually start on October 1.  This year has been different.  I’ve been wanting to decorate every day this month, but online work, pet sitting, time with friends, and fostering Toby, the stray Shih Tzu has all been taking precedence.  Then I followed the advice I generally have given myself every time I felt overwhelmed about anything since college – start small and it’ll roll on from there.

Halloween 2015

I took my own advice last night at midnight.  I looked into my extremely stuffed holiday closet, pulled out the Halloween plethora, and chose two main projects to finish off before bed.

The first was to put out all of my Halloween garden gnomes since they are my second favorite decorations.  I didn’t have the time to put up my absolute favorite decorations – the geek-tastic garage door decorations like my weeping angel and tomb stones.

Godzilla Eating Gnomes

Yep, this is mini-Godzilla eating garden gnomes. Thank you, Ivy!

Zombie Garden Gnomes

I love my walking dead of garden gnomes. They make me giggle.  Oh, and my cell phone camera did this to the picture…I used it since I like the effect!

The second task was to unscrew my garage door lights enough to put the jack-o-lantern faces on them.  These faces give an aura of Halloween to the entire front of my home without actually doing anything else.

Jack-o-Lantern Garage Door Light Cover

I love the simplicity of this idea – a face to put over the lights you already have by your garage door…just cool!

Within 30 minutes, I felt like Halloween has officially started.  That will push me to put up the rest of the holiday stuff tomorrow.  And that will just be the decorations.  Last year, we hosted a masquerade ball potluck.  This year will be a super-hero and comic book themed potluck.  WOOT!!!

Do you adore Halloween too?  What’s your personal suggestions to tackle projects that just seem too big to start?

Not Dead, Just on Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Just a quick note that I’m just on vacation.  Please don’t worry if you don’t see posts regularly for the next week or so.  :-)

Hope you all are having a great July too!!!

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July to my American readers and
Happy Random Friday to everybody!!!

Our Free Valentine’s Day Ideas

My husband and I actually like Valentine’s Day.  Yeah, it may be a “Hallmark holiday”, but we like the reminder to just spend some time spoiling each other.  And you aren’t forced to make it Hallmarky…

Our Free Valentine’s Day

Since Valentine’s this year is landing on a Friday, we are not even leaving the house.  Too nutballs out there.  We’ve decided to go cheap and stress-free.

First, we’ll be going to a sit-down restaurant on Thursday instead of Friday, and we’ll use the gift cards we still have leftover from Christmas.  So we’ll be going to Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, or Papadeaux.  We have enough on the gift cards to cover the entire meal.  We usually end up catching each other up on how we’re feeling and joking around at restaurants, so that seems like a good goal.  :-)

Then we’ll head home and throw in the next two DVD’s of Downton Abbey that we’ll have from Netflix.  We’re using a one-month free subscription to their 2-at-a-time DVD plan for all of February.  Even though we used to have their DVD plan before it separated from the streaming-only plan, they are still letting us take advantage of trying it for free again.  Check it out!

As for our selection of show, neither of us had seen Downton Abbey before…it never sounded that great to us.  BUT, we started it last week and are both hooked.  He likes the politics of it all and I’m rooting for my favorite staff in the house to be happy.  Who would have known that a fake, British, wealthy family in the 1900’s could be so interesting?  :-)

We’re going to end the evening by trading off massages before bed.  Yep, can’t go wrong with absolutely free time together just connecting.

Other Cheap or Free Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

If you don’t have gift cards or Netflix, here are some other cheap or free Valentine’s Day ideas:

  • Picnics (indoor picnic away from the kitchen if the weather sucks)
  • Board Games or card games
  • Video Games with two controllers
  • Movie night at home.  Either snack on what you already have or splurge $4 on some popcorn at the grocery store.
  • Walk in free parks.  We have a free botanical garden 10 minutes away.
  • Enjoy an activity.  We like Disc Golf and already have discs and there are free courses all over the place.  But you may each enjoy something else like hiking, bike riding, bird watching, star gazing, etc.  Heck, hug your inner child and see if hide-and-seek, freeze tag, or even dodge ball with your friends still seems as amazingly fun as it was before…
  • Make s’mores over a fire
  • Take advantage of your jet tub together (or your hot tub).  Not everyone has one, but people who do sometimes forget to enjoy them…
  • Go to a local karaoke night

Honestly, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to celebrate a relationship.  If you aren’t in a romantic relationship, do some of this stuff with other friends in the same position.  A single’s party for Valentine’s can kick butt if everyone is in the mood for fun.  The overall point is to simply have a great time.  This can be for Valentine’s Day or ANY day.  Just have fun!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day or just for fun?

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

New Year's Comic

HAHAHA!!!  Just substitute that line with anything that you judge harshly and this is hilarious…

I hope everyone had a great 2013 and will have a fantastic 2014 too!