Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Lanterns


So a couple posts back, I mentioned that my oldest daughter is getting married next month. Make that about 2 1/2 weeks from today!

We decided pretty early on that we would do the decorating large part because my hubby is pretty fearless about taking on a challenge, so he decided he could handle rigging up a fabric-draped circular ceiling that Nicole wants for her luncheon and reception. Once we felt like that was doable, it was easy for me to say I could handle the rest of the decorations. The wedding has yet to happen, but so far, so good. Today I am sharing one of the projects I've been doing to try and have a beautiful wedding on a reasonable budget.

The reception will take place in a church building in our neighborhood, so the intent is to transform it as much as possible. That includes dressing up the outside a little bit. Nicole wanted paper luminaries to line the sidewalk, but the more we thought about the possibility of snowy weather, the more I thought it might be good to have something a little sturdier just in case.

Enter the DIY Mason Jar Lanterns, something you have probably seen on Pinterest. They are easy to do and turned out pretty well. Luckily for me, my aunt happens to have five matching shepherd's hooks to hang them from. The hooks will be about 20 inches off the ground, so I decided that pint jars would be the perfect size.

For two pint jars, I mixed a couple tablespoons of the glue with a teaspoon or so of water, and then stirred in the glitter. Gold is one of Nicole's accent colors, but silver would be pretty as well. I learned that you want to go heavy on the glitter in order to have a good coating inside your jar. Once your glitter to glue ratio looks good, add a little more. Lesson number one. :)

Paint the inside of the jar with the glittery glue. I turned the jars upside down on paper for a little while to let the excess drip out, then used my finger to smooth out the drips on the inside of the jar. Once that's done, let the jars dry for several hours. Once the jars are dry, simply take some wire and wrap it around the neck of the jar to form a handle. I used 20-gauge colored copper wire, and it seems plenty able to hold the weight of the jar. A wooden chalkboard tag, with lettering yet to be added, finishes it off.

FYI: Gold battery-operated votives came from Dollar Tree, and all other supplies, including the awesome chalkboard tags {my most favorite recent find!} came from Bennion Crafts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Five-grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Hi! I'm guest posting over at Simply Sweet Home today, where you will find the recipe for the yummy muffins above. They make a great Thanksgiving morning breakfast. Click on over and check it out. Thanks to Jerri for featuring my recipe! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Check Your Neck!

Hey friends!

I've been largely neglecting my blog lately. There are lots of reasons for that, but mainly my life is full to the brim with stuff. Mostly good stuff, but some bad too. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Thyroid cancer. Did you know September was thyroid cancer awareness month? I did, and I should have written this then, but it struck real close to home and I didn't get around to it. My oldest daughter, who has made a few appearances on this blog *wink* actually had thyroid cancer surgery that same month. She also is engaged to be married next month. See? mostly good, but we've had to take the bad along with it.

Lots of people have asked me, how did you know she had it? The answer is simple. Other than a lump on the front of her neck, there were no symptoms. No screwy blood levels, no low thyroid, no high thyroid. She didn't feel sick at all. In fact, she ran a marathon last spring! Thanks to a doctor who checked Nicole's neck during a routine physical, felt the lump and sent her for an ultrasound, the cancer was caught and her thyroid removed. Treatment is far from over at this point--getting Nicole's synthetic thyroid hormones regulated correctly is proving to be a long, up and down process--but she is doing as well as anyone could expect. If you look closely in the pic above, you can see her scar, which she has decided that she is proud of. I'm proud of her!

The kicker? Thyroid cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. It's also the #1 cancer in young women under 25. I had no idea on either count, until it struck home.

So peeps. Please Check Your Neck! If you ever feel a lump get it looked at right away. And yes, thyroid cancer may be the "best" cancer to have, but it's still cancer!

See for more on thyroid cancer awareness.