Saturday, November 28, 2009

decorate with paper!

with a bigger house this year my christmas decorations aren't going too far...

so i went to my favorite inexpensive decorating trick - use paper!

i cut the words "joy" out of white glittery paper and put them in frames with red cardstock in the background.

i also took that same cardstock and framed some snowflake ornaments.

voila! christmas decor for cheap!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

quick thanksgiving table

it was 2:00 this afternoon. i was just waking up for a quick nap. i looked at the clock and thought "i should think about what i want to do for my thanksgiving table."

better late than never.

so i started getting out my plates. my square green plates from target. the family heirloom china. the brown napkins my sister got me for christmas a few years ago.

that part of setting the table is easy. now for the fun part. the making the table festive. this is always my favorite activity to do with my mom. sadly this year we aren't making it back, so in the back of my mind i kind of tried to think like my mom.

that got me thinking about something i saw on martha as a kid (i know, i've been watching martha for over 20 years!) jack 'b little candle holders. so with a knife and a spoon i got to work.

not too bad and i didn't cut myself!

next step. place cards. i hate it when you go someplace for a nice meal and have that awkward feeling of where should you sit. parents need to be by their kids, the cook close to the kitchen, some people need coffee cups, some don't...

place cards solve those problems. here is what i came up with. jack 'b littles, tags, brown stamp and some raffia.

and for the kids, well, i didn't have enough jack 'b littles and i had two gourds left. this is what i came up with:

(supposed to be turkeys...)

so now it is 4:30 the day before thanksgiving, and if you are like me you need some last minute ideas. well here you go. simple. cheap. cute. go ahead. try them out yourself!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

holiday baking

for the first year ever i have time to do so many holiday activities. in previous years i've had to balance holiday fun with a full time job as a teacher. now that i stay at home and have an 11 month old who takes two naps a day, i am looking forward to the holiday season and doing "traditional" holiday baking, crafts and christmas wrapping.

so, my question to you: what are some of your favorite simple holiday candies, cookies, appetizers or desserts?

serving platters

guess what i am gonna do for serving platters at a certain girl's winter one-derland themed birthday...

saw this on hostess with the mostess. we have logs waiting to be used for our fireplace that can first be used at the party.

Monday, November 23, 2009

i gave in...

to temptation. i started decorating for christmas tonight.

i am even hosting a thanksgiving meal. oh well.

this is what i decided. i am ready. this is our house so i can decorate for christmas when i want to (as long as hubby is ok with it, which he is). that is the beauty of having your own home. you get to make it look how you want - WHEN you want.

so the reindeer have made their appearance at the copy cat cottage. are there reindeer or nativity's at your house that are ready to be brought out? these items are some of my favorite possessions, so why only used them for a month?

if you are ready - i say go ahead! decorate!

to continue or not...

are you out there? is this blog giving you ideas? things that you can copy in your own home? then i need to hear from you! whether i know you or not! for me to take up my time doing this i need to know that it is worth it...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


my friend melissa informed me of this great photo editing site:! look at what i created in minutes!

Monday, November 16, 2009

stockings from sweaters

here is my first christmas craft i have planned.

i have lots of old sweaters laying around from my teaching days...

christmas is coming; the goose is getting fat!

oh how i tormented my siblings with that song when i was younger. i would play it over and over on our record player. did i mention it was miss piggy singing it?

anyway, christmas decorating commences at the copy cat cottage in 10 days. what does that mean? well, i need to finish a few projects first{paint 2 dressers and my bedroom and hopefully our entry way bench!}

that way i will be totally free of house projects during the holiday season so that i can do holiday activities all month long: bake, decorate, make gifts, wrap presents. oh, and work on a special little girl's first birthday celebration!

so with the big baby shower done, i used some of my time this morning on bh&g website as i drank my coffee and listened to christmas music on pandora.

a wonderful morning.

here are some pictures i found that i would love to incorporate in my house. i am planning on using my daughter's birthday theme {winter wonderland} as my decorating theme in my living room. lots of whites and silvers for colors. tons of greens and branches for textures. reindeer, pinecones and snowflakes for themes.

i found these pictures today but i had just asked my hubby yesterday to make me some of the log candle holders! simple enough and free to make from our log pile in back!

tea party baby shower: the decor

this weekend was the baby shower that i've mentioned before. i think it was a success: good food and great fellowship and the mommy of honor felt very loved. all the components necessary for a successful party in my mind.

i decided that to have a proper tea party there must be no plastic present at the party. that meant i had to find enough tea cups and saucers for 30 people. oh boy. thankfully the endeavor was not that difficult - i had so many friends that have china {all white with gold!} and with my white dinner plates and white napkins the table was set!

as i have blogged about before, i made the centerpieces out of pink tissue paper. very cheap yet looked stunning against the bright blue tablecloth. i used paper doilies underneath the centerpieces. total cost for all the tables: $5. the key to keeping it so cheap was using paper. i had selected several scrapbook papers as my color inspiration and used every inch of those papers. i cut out tons of circles to sprinkle the table with and to place on the napkins as a pop of color. simple and cheap yet it was a nice added detail.

the final bit of decorating that i did was made pompom flowers for the ceiling and made a garland out of ribbons that matched my color scheme. 1/2 price ribbon at hobby lobby, so final cost for the garland was maybe $5 too.

the one "big" expense for the party was the tablecloths. $15 for a king sized sheet at target, then cut into 3 pieces and the edges sewn. for me though this was an investment. i love the color of the tablecloths and can see it being used at birthday parties and easter celebrations. and for a special someone's bridal shower i am planning for in march...

tea party baby shower: the menu

this is what really made the shower a success. i have very talented friends who made savory sandwiches and delicious desserts.

for some reason i struggled with what to serve at the party. i don't want you to struggle. i want you to copy if you would like!

we had chicken salad sandwiches served on crust-less white and wheat bread. i also made cucumber dill sandwiches on pumpernickel and my friend made tortilla spinners. all of these items were served on cake stands with paper doilies to continue the tea party feel.

my friends also made two salads and an assorted fruit tray. the final part of the menu was the most amazing part in my opinion.

charlotte's apricot and orange marmalade danishes:

melissa's white chocolate fudge:

and her cherry almond petit fours {garnished with white hydrangea which is not edible}:

and melissa's monogrammed sugar cookies {m is for micah, the baby girl's name}:

and finally melissa made mini carrot cake cupcakes which she embellished with toothpicks and paper that also had an "m":

the idea for food was to keep this fancy and dainty. i think my friends helped me to accomplish this! {thanks!}

of course there was tea, coffee and hot chocolate for non-tea drinkers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

24 hour redo

do you have a room that just confuses you? you don't know how to decorate it. you don't know what color to paint the walls? well, i have a room like that. my bathroom.

here is my issue. how do you take a 1969's bathroom {complete with mauve toilet and tub} and turn it into a cottage feeling-kid friendly-soothing for guest bathroom?

my first attempt was a calming color. so, days after moving into our new house i painted my white bathroom a mocha color.

hmmm... mission not accomplished. the room did not feel soothing nor kid friendly. i definitely did not achieve the cottage look i was going for. hmmm... how to fix this...

then a couple things happened.

i saw my friend melissa's all white bathroom. perfect for a cottage and for a small space. everything being white made the space feel larger.

then my sister gave me a can of green paint {which i ended up not using}. hmm...

finally i read an article about how to quickly perk up your bathroom. now an idea was coming together...

1.) paint the walls, trim and doors white. this will make the space feel bigger and will therefore be more soothing.

2.) paint the "furniture" {vanity and over the toilet cabinet} a spring green. this is cottagy and kid appropriate.

3.) do this as quickly as possible. need to get rid of that dreary bathroom stat!

so, last week the painting commenced. with much frustration, the walls went back to white. with some elbow grease, the door and trim white as well. with some delight the vanity went from ugly brown to green.

the bathroom isn't finished yet. of course i have more plans!

1.) we will hopefully be getting crisp, white toilet and tub this winter.

2.) i want to put a skirt on my vanity - continuing a cottage feel.

3.) new, all white shower curtain.

4.) more of the chalkboard towel hooks {i will DIY this project soon!}

5.) some candlelight, somehow, for me when i take baths.

6.) glass knobs on the vanity.

7.) some sort of bath toy storage.

8.) a step stool for my daughter for when she is old enough to brush her teeth!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

tea party baby shower: tissue paper centerpieces

do you see tissue paper pom pom flowers on just about every blog?

i do.

so what is my response? copy it!

So last night, i decided to try one myself. my friend melissa had told me they were super easy to make. i was skeptical.

she was right.

i made a few large poms to hang from the ceiling in minutes. then i decided to try some smaller ones to see if they would look good in the tea tins i am planning on decorating the tables with.

they did.

see, for our guest of honor i really want to make her feel special - and she loves tea and flowers! problem is that real flowers are out of my budget. however, tissue paper flowers fit nicely into the budget, and if you try hard enough, i think you can convince yourself that they are peonies!

check out martha for instructions!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

up to my neck...

in projects...

my goal is to have no house projects in december so that i can enjoy the holiday season and not be painting rooms, trim or furniture. so in light of that, i have been busy so far in november.

1.) we tore out our entry closet. now we need to put it back together.

2.) still need to finish up our hallway - touch up paint, get some cork, paint some frames

3.) last night i had a fever over 100. today i somehow woke up refreshed and started painting my bathroom. i had painted it once already when we moved into this house. unfortunately i disliked the color. now i am trying to correct it. painted the vanity and over the toilet cabinet spring green. painting the walls white (inspired by my super creative friend melissa and her white bathroom).

4.) i have random pieces of scrapbook and tissue paper all over my house in preparation for next weekend's shower. (many pictures to come)

5.) kitchen curtain and my daughter's curtains need to be made.

also daydreaming about christmas... decorating, gifts, food, parties...

tis the season to be busy!