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A Good Cook Knows…

A good cook knows... | www.allthingsgd.com

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with the brightest and most loving chairs!

Original artwork by Curly Girl Designs – one of my favorite sources for gifts. Don’t forget all of those fabulous small businesses when you’re getting your shop on this weekend!

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Kate’s Fall Tablescape

We counted Kate’s age by months during her first three years, and I’m pretty sure each month that passed I caught myself saying, “This is my favorite age.”  Then the next month would come along and she’d learn or do something new and I’d say, “This is my favorite age!”

She is now almost five-years-old, and although we no longer track her age by the month, I still find myself thinking “this is my favorite age” on the regular.  She is SO MUCH FUN!

Yesterday I shared my easy fall tablescape, but what you didn’t see in that post was Kate’s take on the situation.  Kate informed me before her first day ever of school that she wanted to be “a blogger and a writer” when she grows up.  She has since decided that “growing up” is no longer a requirement – she is a blogger now.

Since then, when we walk into a craft store she asks, “Mom, can we get some things for my blog while we’re here?”  If I’m working on a project and she spots some scraps of ribbon or anything with glitter she asks, “Mom, can I have this for my blog?”  Sometimes she’s willing to join me on my project, and other times she wants to create something that’s all her own.

This was one of those times she wanted to fly solo.

I was setting our table to photograph pictures for my fall tablescape post and Kate just wasn’t feeling it.  She insisted we needed more painted pinecones than simply one at each spot (I explained to her they were place card holders but that didn’t change her mind), suggested I use the colorful fall leaves arrangement in the twig vase instead of the roses and succulents, and when I opted for the wooden chargers over the gold glitter ones she nearly put me in timeout.

“Those are all great ideas,” I told her, “but Mom wants to do it this way for these pictures.  When I’m finished you can do it however you’d like.”

“Yeah.  For MY blog,” she replied.

Presenting Kate’s Fall Tablescape!

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Her first order of business, of course, was changing out those chargers to the sparkly, glitter ones.  Beyond that, she liked a lot of the items from our fall decor, but decided her tablescape needed a little something more, so she went to her playroom and raided her accessories bin.

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Necklaces over napkins – look for it in the next Pottery Barn catalog.

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Kate added some colorful fall leaves, more pinecones, and a few necklaces to the mix.  She also decided the succulents and roses were okay, so out came another vase.  And since we were keeping those succulents, the live succulent planter had to be added, too.  The additional pinecone place card holders on the corners (sitting in butter dishes) are for her cousin (a.k.a. her “baby”) Eli and their dog Morty.  Lastly, Kate added her crown to her spot, just so there was no confusion as to where the Queen of All Things Sparkly sat.

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Once her tablescape was ready it was time for pictures.  After watching me for so many years Kate knew exactly what to do.  She hopped up on a stool and started photographing away!

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Her hair isn’t combed and her clothes aren’t buttoned…but her table looks good.
Yep, she’s a blogger.

When Kate wasn’t satisfied with how her photos looked on camera she made me her assistant and had me move things around to her liking.  (“I can’t quite see that one pinecone, Mom.  Can you slide it a little bit over to the left?  A little more…a little more…stop!”)

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Have I mentioned this is my favorite age?

A fall tablescape decorated through the eyes of a glitter and sparkle-loving four-year-old. | www.allthingsgd.com

Learn more about Kate’s journey from teething to tablescapes in Kate’s Monthly Posts!

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Easy Fall Tablescape

With all of the blog time handmade ornaments have been getting around here lately you may think I’d totally forgotten Thanksgiving comes before Christmas.

Not at all!

I’m still savoring up these final moments of what is still technically fall, and pulling together some of my favorite crafts pulled from nature to create an easy fall tablescape – the perfect touches for a Thanksgiving meal this Thursday!

Savor the moments of fall and bring the outdoors and inside with this easy fall tablescape - the perfect touches for a Thanksgiving meal! | www.allthingsgd.com

Pretty painted pinecone place card holders sitting on leaf stamped napkins:

Savor the moments of fall and bring the outdoors and inside with this easy fall tablescape - the perfect touches for a Thanksgiving meal! | www.allthingsgd.com

This DIY painted twig vase tied with raffia and filled with roses and succulents makes the perfect fall centerpiece.

Savor the moments of fall and bring the outdoors and inside with this easy fall tablescape - the perfect touches for a Thanksgiving meal! | www.allthingsgd.com

A loosely woven table runner topped with a raffia goes great with the natural table decor.

Savor the moments of fall and bring the outdoors and inside with this easy fall tablescape - the perfect touches for a Thanksgiving meal! | www.allthingsgd.com

Savor the moments of fall and bring the outdoors and inside with this easy fall tablescape - the perfect touches for a Thanksgiving meal! | www.allthingsgd.com

Easy Fall Tablescape

Visit the All Things G&D Holiday Gallery to see more holiday related projects and tablescapes!

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DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

My kid has a memory like an elephant.

It’s insane.

Sometimes its her attention to detail that catches me off guard, but usually it’s her recall that knocks me on my ass. Recently my almost five-year-old said to me, “Mom…remember that time we had all those balloons up on the ceiling and you made those polka dot 2′s?”

“Uh…yeah,” I replied. “That was your 2nd birthday. Almost 3 years ago.”

“We should do that again!” she informed me before skipping off looking deceivingly like a kiddo completely oblivious to what’s going on around her.

With bombs like that I shouldn’t be at all surprised that she remembers things that occurred more recently – her big thing lately being the Christmas Advent Calendar I made for her last year.

“Mom…remember that thing you did on the wall that one time with all the little surprises I got to find in the morning?”

“Uh…yeah,” I replied.

“We should do that again!” she enthusiastically replied.

“Sweetheart, it’s June.”

While most kids are counting down the days until Christmas, my little girl has been counting down the days until December 1st. She CANNOT WAIT for her advent calendar to start!  I have to admit, I’m also totally in love with the joy, laughter, and excitement of this little tradition we started last year, so today I’m sharing 8 DIY Advent Calendar Ideas over on Madison Moms Blog.  I hope you check them out and start a Christmas Countdown tradition of your own this year!

Make your countdown of the days until Christmas a memorable one with these 8 creative DIY Advent Calendar Ideas!

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Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments (DIY)

Recreate the look of mercury glass ornaments for less with this Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments DIY tutorial! | www.allthingsgd.com

I’ve always loved the look of mercury glass ornaments, and had no idea that look was so easy to recreate thanks to Rust-Oleum! The secret? Their Mirror Effect spray paint!

Recreate the look of mercury glass ornaments for less with this Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments DIY tutorial! | www.allthingsgd.com

Supplies (contains affiliate link)
Clear glass ornaments
Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect Spray Paint
Spray bottle filled with 1 part vinegar & 2 parts water
Sticks or pencils
Paper towel

Rust-Oleum has a wonderful video tutorial for how to get that faux mercury glass look, which you can see here:

Since I was working with the teeny tiny opening of a glass ball ornament, spraying the inside of the glass was out of the question for this look, so I decided to try spray painting and finishing the outside to see how it would look, and it turned out great!

I sprayed a light coat of Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect Paint on the outside of the glass ball ornament, spritzed it immediately with my vinegar and water solution, and blotted it with a frayed paper towel.  I waited a couple of minutes between coats and did three coats of spraying, spritzing and blotting total.

Recreate the look of mercury glass ornaments for less with this Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments DIY tutorial! | www.allthingsgd.com

The beautiful faux mercury glass result!

Recreate the look of mercury glass ornaments for less with this Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments DIY tutorial! | www.allthingsgd.com

Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments DIY

And here’s a look at the rest of our Day 12 DIY ornaments from our 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments series!

christmas-ornaments day 12

Simple Red Bead Ornament | May Richer Fuller Be

Christmas Music Wreath Ornament | Lovely Etc.

Nautical Jute and Rope Ornaments | Thrifty and Chic

Star Pine Cone Ornament | Cherished Bliss

Clay State Ornaments | Whats Ur Home Story

Rudolph Ornament | Mom 4 Real

Fabric Heart Ornaments | Remodelando la Casa

Easy Burlap Ornament | Bigger Than The Three of Us

Kid’s Fingerprint Christmas Light Ornament | The Happier Homemaker

Mini Tinsel Wreath from Canning Lid | It All Started With Paint

Snowy Forest Glitter Ball Ornament | Serendipity Refined

Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments | All Things G&D

A great big THANK YOU to Linda from It All Started with Paint for organizing this DIY ornament series, to Rust-Oleum for providing their Mirror Finish Paint at no cost to me, and to Michaels for providing a gift card to cover the cost of some of the additional products.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments series – now we want to see YOUR handmade ornaments! Link them up below and show off that DIY holiday goodness!

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Date Night

G and I had a date night last night.

We had planned it about a week ago after looking at our calendar and realizing we had exactly ONE weekend night free between now and 2015. So I texted our babysitter, Miss Alisa – one of Kate’s preschool teachers who is young, energetic, amazing with kids – and to our surprise she was free!  Miss Alisa has babysat for us once before when G was out of town and I had an event to go to, but this was her first time babysitting for us for a date night.  She arrived at 6pm, we kissed our freshly bathed babe goodbye, and were out the door for a night of parental freedom!

With no actual date night plans we decided to go to a nearby Mexican restaurant for a pitcher of margaritas and great food.  Our food arrived five minutes after our order, and our margaritas were gone 30 minutes later.  At this point G remarked, “Whoa…we might be home in time for bedtime at this rate.”

After dinner we decided to go to another place closer to home for a nightcap (to prolong the night) and then we were all, “Oh hey, we’ve got that Netflix movie at home…”

At 7:45pm we walked in our door to our surprised babysitter exclaiming, “Oh!  Did you forget something??”

Yeah.

We’re old.

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Cupcake Sprinkles Ornament

Got someone with a sweet tooth on your Christmas list this year?  This Cupcake Sprinkles Ornament is for them!

cupcake-sprinkles-ornament

Supplies
Clear ball ornament
Sprinkles
Paper cupcake liner
Yarn
Ribbon
Craft Glue

To make this colorful cupcake sprinkles ornament I simply filled a clear ball ornament with sprinkles, glued a paper cupcake liner to the bottom, and glued loops of white yarn to the top to mimic frosting.

diy-cupcake-ornament

This cupcake sprinkles ornament is sure to add some sweet cheer to your Christmas tree this year!

Cupcake-ornament-DIY

Only one more day of ornaments left in our 12 Days of Handmade Christmas ornaments series! Check out the rest of our Day 11 ornaments below:

christmas-ornament-crafts day 11

Gold Leaf Polka Dot Ornament | The Happier Homemaker

Polymer Clay Snowflake Ornament | Remodelando la Casa

Clothes Pin Snowman Ornament | Serendipity Refined

3D Deer Head Ornament | Cherished Bliss

Glitter Monogram Ornament | It All Started With Paint

Simple Canvas Tree Ornament | Bigger Than The Three of Us

Painted Grinch Ornament | Mom 4 Real

Cupcake Sprinkles Ornament | All Things G&D

O Little Town of Bethlehem Ornament | Lovely Etc

Frosted Hot Glue Snowflake | Thrifty and Chic

Globe Ornament | Whats Ur Home Story

Felt Flower Ornament | May Richer Fuller Be

Don’t forget our link party starting tomorrow! We can’t wait to see all of YOUR handmade holiday ornaments!

A great big THANK YOU to Linda from It All Started with Paint for organizing this DIY ornament series and to Michaels for providing a gift card to cover the cost of some of the products.

This post contains affiliate links.

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