ThanksgivingcollageIt’s that time of year.  The Halloween costumes are put away.  The frost is on the pumpkins (ugh). It’s nearly Turkey Time.  And while all the stuffing is seasoned and the cranberries are cooked, there are probably some younger ones who need something besides screen time to do.

Here are some ideas I think are great:

1. If you’re reading this while there’s still time to get to the store, I recommend grabbing one of these paper table covers from Walmart.
For $1.97 you can give your kiddos permission to write and color all over their table.  Love it!


2. I like to promote an attitude of gratitude, and there’s no better time for that than Thanksgiving! Depending on the age of your children, there are a million ways you can get them thinking thankful thoughts.  A simple construction paper craft could do it, so I mocked up a little handprint turkey napkin ring. Super easy.

IMG_4553.JPGYou can use brown grocery bags if you don’t have construction paper. Trace a hand. Cut out four “feathers” and each feather gets one thing the person is thankful for.

I cut out a little piece for the neck too. Kids can use a glue stick to attach it all together. Then glue a little band of paper on the back of the hand and tape closed around the guest’s napkin.

Each person can read what they are thankful for before everyone opens their napkins to eat!



OR – If you have kids who are old enough to responsibly handle an iPhone or iPad, and prefer a digital option, have them act as a reporter and take the gadget around to use as a video camera, and “interview” guests about what they are grateful for, and why.  (Need some prompts? Try these: “What was your best moment this year?” “Who is your favorite person to share good news with?” “What has made you smile most recently?”  “How has someone made your life better?”  They can review their recordings and write up a story on what they found.  Let them report back to you on their findings before Grace is said at the table.

3. Take time to remember those who protect our freedom.  Veterans Day is also in November, so your kids may have just learned about that in school.  Have them take it a step further, and write a letter to a member of the military serving overseas.  An organization called Operation Gratitude is collecting them this year, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to make one and get it sent. Here’s the details and makes sure to read the guidelines: Operation Gratitude.  When you have some ready, send them to:


17330 Victory Boulevard

Van Nuys, CA 91406

UPDATE: Some chapters of the American Red Cross are collecting cards, too!


If you are local to Cincinnati, you can send your cards to the chapter here at

2111 Dana Ave.

Cincinnati, OH 45207

Just please remember the guidelines! Cards do not need envelopes. And glitter is a no-no.  Don’t send personal contact information. Just a cheerful, sincere card addressed “Dear Service member” or similar.

Have younger kids work with older kids, or with another  grown-up. They can share a little about themselves, and most of all share a message that they are being thought of, appreciated, and kept close in thoughts at a time when the service member is probably far from home and loved ones. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for children to work on their spelling, grammar, penmanship, AND gratitude to me!

I hope you and your loved ones have a most wonderful holiday.

Let me know if any of these little tips work around your table.





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Hey friends!

I’m still getting this place Fall-ified.

(What? It’s totally a word.)

This project was one of those happy accidents. I had a faux pumpkin – the plastic foam kind that are for sale at craft stores this time of year.

faux pumpkin I sat it on my craft table and when I sat down and started to work on another project, I looked up and saw my can of Minwax Polyshades sitting there. Bingo!

polyshades on pumpkinThis project is as simple as one coat of Espresso Gloss Polyshades on a faux pumpkin. Polyshades is a fantastic product, by the way, and I’m not being paid to say that.

liquor cabinet with polyshadesI’ve used it on several pieces of furniture now and just love it. It’s polyurethane that has a stain mixed right in.

blue poly chairIt’s a one stop shop for giving wood a new look. Love it. Comes in Satin finish too :-)

So poly that pumpkin. Go for it!

poly on pumpkin 2

Once it’s dry, you can embellish it if you want. I had a package of silver toned furniture nails that I got from Lowe’s. They are $1.30 for a pack of 25.  pumpkin studs

You can lay them out on the table to get an idea of what design you want to use. fall studs

Press them into place on your shiny new pumpkin and get ready to wow the neighbors!

fall pumpkin

I absolutely love the way this turned out.

stained pumpkin doneGlam and pretty and totally customizable.

stained studded pumpkinI think they’d make great hostess gifts or teacher gifts!



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Welcome fall with a simple, pretty project. Read on to see how I did mine!

Hey there!

Fall is in the air and I’m here today to share a very inexpensive way to add a little autumnal flair to your home, with things easily accessible and easy on the wallet.

Coffee can and a thrifted shirt make for an inexpensive decorative touch

Coffee can and a thrifted shirt make for an inexpensive decorative touch

My first stop was my favorite thrift store. Hit the boys or the men’s department and find a good fall-ish shirt. I picked up a rusty orange colored button down with a little stain on the front pocket, for $2.99.

Then I scooted over to the Dollar Tree. I grabbed a few of their faux flowers and leaves on stems. $1.00 each. At home, I had waiting for me a hot glue gun (although you could use craft glue, or whatever alternative you have that works), a roll of twine, and an empty coffee can.

Check to see how much fabric you'll need to cover your can

Check to see how much fabric you’ll need to cover your can

I got a rough estimate of the size of the can I was going to cover and I cut a panel from the back of the shirt that would be plenty big enough to cover it.

fall centerpiece cut fabricCut a strip a couple of inches taller than the can so you can wrap the fabric over the top and secure it inside the can, as well as fold it underneath and secure there. I peeled off the coffee label first.

fall centerpiece glue edge

Turn over the edge of the fabric where you want to start covering the can and glue it down to prevent fraying.

fall centerpiece cover canThen just start working your way around the can, gluing and pressing the fabric down as you go.

fall centerpiece can insideWhen you get to the end, leave enough fabric so that you can fold the edge over and secure it like you did the beginning, to prevent fraying.

fall centerpiece almost coveredOnce the can is covered, wrap the twine around the can and glue in back to secure.

fall centerpiece wrap twine

Tie a bow in front and glue underneath it.fall centerpiece twine bow

Arrange the stems of leaves and flowers inside and you’re done!

fall centerpiece complete

And keep your eyes peeled at the thrift store for some brass items to warm up your fall mantel.  fall centerpiece mantel done

These candlesticks (and $1 glittered pumpkins, also from the Dollar Tree) did the trick for me.

fall centerpiece mantel

Happy Fall!


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