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Wayfair Homemakers

Using Pillows to Transition a Room

This post is a part of the Wayfair Homemakers network. I was compensated for this post, but the selections and opinions are my own.

1. Home Pillow 2. Map Pillow 3. Owl Pillow 4. Pink Spots Pillow

When we first moved into our house thirteen years ago, we purchased the most comfortable couches we could find for our living room. The full couch and loveseat are so overstuffed that they fill the room almost on their own. I selected the most neutral tone I could find so that the couches would work with whatever we wanted.

I love these couches. I also hate them. And I'm ready for something with more style and equal comfort.

Our living room is now our art room, and I have big ideas for built-ins, striped walls, and modern furnishings. Right now, though, I have none of those, nor the budget to to make them happen so I'm making incremental steps to transition the room from tired and traditional to something creative and unique.

Pillows are an easy way to transition a room from season to season and now they helping me build my vision for this space with brighter tones and a little humor and playfulness. My friends at Wayfair have a great deal for you, too, if you're ready to start planning your remodel or redesign. The three we have had added a new sense of energy and are setting up the palette for our Christmas tree this year, too. Can't wait to show you that one!


They almost never run coupon codes, but the Wayfair Homemakers get to share this exclusive code!  The code is good for 15% off and is good from now until November 24th. The code is: WFPTP15

Let's spice up our homes, a little bit at a time.

Have a bright weekend, friends!

xoxo, MJ





Paper Christmas Trees

Today is the last of the many, wonderful Cricut Design Space Star Challenges for me and Lucky #13. It's been fabulous to try out so many different materials and see the ideas of my teammates and the dozens of other creators in this competition. We have a great finale for you with projects to toast the 13th Day of Christmas! And as a way to celebrate the holidays and gift giving, we want to give you a Cricut Explore to make your own gifts and personal treasures. At the bottom of this post, enter the giveaway by following me and my friends, and send this page around to your friends to enter, too. The contest ends on Dec. 4, 2014.

The 12 Days of Christmas song includes some really unusual, and arguably awesome, presents like lords a-leaping, Maids a-milking, and my favorite... swans a-swimming. What would be on the 13th day? My pals and I came up with our own additions, you can hum the tune, or not, as you explore these:

1. Merry & Bright t-shirts from Tricia of Suburban Bitches

2. Holiday Wall Decal from Melissa of The Sweet Escape

3. Paper Christmas Trees from MJ of Pars Caeli

4. DIY Vinyl Mugs & Ugly Christmas Sweater from Andrea at Andrea's Notebook

5. Pin the Beard on the Gnome game by Katie of That Girl Katie

6. Hipster Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Shirt by Crystal of Sew Creative

7. Swans A Swimming Bag by Celina of Petit a Petit + Family

8. Good Night Sleep Tight Pillowcases by Erin of Suburban Bitches


For this month's project, I created these fun message Christmas trees that shout out the joy and revelry of the season! I've been using my drawing tablet a ton (for a new, very special project yet to be revealed), and I want to experiment with creating my own text. So using my tablet, I wrote out the text and made an image of it. I wanted the words to hang on the tree like an ornament or garland might.

Within Illustrator, I created an altered a three-dimensional tree (from the Cricut Design Space offering) to have more of a hook end to each branch. These little trees make great stands for mini garlands, uber tiny ornaments, or in this case, happy phrases that have you hanging on every word. :)

Silver and gold and white fit in every room, every decor. Using metallic and glittery paper in cardstock weight, you have trees that can stand on their own and make super additions to the mantle and the sofa table.

The Merry Christmas sign can be hung on the branches from the curves of the letters. They could also be used as table confetti around the trees or adapted to read "Merry, Merry."

I am a Cricut affiliate, and I did receive a machine to make these projects. And, it's been fun. Thanks to all who have thrown their support and help along the way. I hope that you'll enter our giveaway and make along with me using the Cricut Explore. If you're a crafter, it's incredibly handy to bring dreams to reality in a really easy, efficient way.



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Thanksgiving ideas: Kids' Table Projects

Thanksgiving awaits us in just 9 days. Our family is hosting as we typically do, and it's my absolute favorite time of year! Our festivities this year include, along with both sets of grandparents and my aunt, my nephew in college who is near. He'll bring along friends, too, who may not be able to travel home, and I'm excited to open our home to a new set of companions.

We may have to break out into two tables for the first time. My children might experience the kids' table for the first time ever. Did you enjoy any holiday meals from the kids' table? My maternal grandmother often hosted our Thanksgiving, and I have memories of many years (as the youngest grandchild) spent at the table that was adjacent to the main action - the kids' table. To be fair, the kids' table had a lot of antics to be enjoyed so it wasn't a disappointment to be sitting there.

What if it were a treat? Or if you're looking for ways to keep your children busy while the meal is prepared or football games are watched? I've discovered these five great projects from creators who know what they're doing that I wanted to share with you. Such great results!


Hand turkeys have had their time. Let's try fan turkeys! For this you'll need some construction paper, markers, and glue. I love that it's more detail-oriented but can amuse the young child, tween, and maybe even teen. Googly eyes are always a nice addition. Check out all of the instructions over on A Girl and a Gluegun.


I love this gesture of gratitude that Katie and her family did over on Lasso the Moon. On Thanksgiving day, they gave family and guests small plush hearts and thanked them (one on one) for little and big things they do for them. On one sheet they wrote down who received each heart and why.

Throughout Thanksgiving Day, our family will take on the task of giving away as many hearts as possible. To give them away, we need to notice something that a person does for us, without being asked, that shows they care about us. (This can include neighbors and others, but I think we’ll just be sticking with the members of our family this year.) We give them one of our hearts, thanking them for the thing they’ve done for us, recognizing the reason why they’ve done it.

And there you have a lesson in gratitude for all to enjoy.


This one will delight even the youngest set. While the turkey is roasting, pull out those collected toilet paper tubes to convert them into one of a kind napkin rings. If you head over to Crafts by Amanda - warning she has a ton of amazing projects for kids and adults - you get all the details on how to make your pilgrims just right.


And if napkin rings weren't sweet enough, how about these adorabel treat boxes? They'd be fun to craft in advance and use as placecards, or to leave ready to decorate for your young guests. Wouldn't these be a fabulous take home treat, along with tons of extra turkey, for kids traveling near and far? Learn all the details over at A Pumpkin and A Princess.


This is the perfect project for the teens and tweens who may not be delighted that they are relagated to the kids' area. Raid your backyard or any craft store this time of year. Grab some paint brushes and set one example on the table to follow. The ombre effect is really pretty and metallic edging would be great, too. With a bit of sparkle, the kids can feel like the are getting ahead on their Christmas decorating. Oh, wait, kids probably aren't worried about that. :)

Wishing you and your kids a fabulous Thanksgiving. How do you keep your kids happy and entertained while hosting?

xoxo, MJ

P.S. Need some more ideas to make this Thanksgiving the best? Check here.












Hostess gifts with Lulu the Baker

I love entertaining and being entertained as the snow blows outside and the smells of hot and savory meals fill the home. It only feels right to bring the hostess or host an expression of appreciation for such a great time, right?

Here's an easy project today, and I'm sharing it with you and the readers at Lulu the Baker. Etching glass is a unique way to personalize and make the simplicity of glass into something really unique. Join me over at Lulu the Baker's to find out how you can create this lovely hostess gift.


 Have a bright weekend, friends! Stay cozy.

xoxo, MJ





A free printable joke calendar

We took a quick trip to Michael's today, and we were greeted by the countdown sign: 43 Days until Christmas. I always have mixed feelings about getting into the Christmas spirit too early, but I do admit that the decorating, the shopping and making, and the glimmer in my children's eyes... well.

So we turned our anticipation into a fun project. You know I love a good corny joke, and we made up a whole batch to put into an Advent calendar.

I'm delighted to partner with Steph from Modern Parents Messy Kids to offer a great free printable countdown with jokes for every day! Yes, holiday-themed sillies to uncover for a quick laugh, for school lunches, for bedtime giggles.

I might be a little excited about it!!

We made ours into the shape of a tree to serve a dual purpose of holiday decor and joke teller. The printable comes in two parts: pages of colorful, numbered ornaments paired with 24 jokes to attach to the back of each. Run on over to MPMK to download, pin, and share yours!

Are you ready to break out the holiday spirits?

xoxo, MJ