Counting Down to the Holidays with At Home

This post brought to you by At Home. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Makely School for Girls.

I always get a little exhausted when I see Christmas decorations hit the stores in September.  It’s too early, right?  What about Halloween?  What about Thanksgiving?  But then, I start to panic that all the really cute stuff will be gone before Halloween, so I need to get a move on it immediately.

I had the exact same thought process when I walked into my favorite At Home store this past week.  It’s not time!  It’s still pumpkin season!  Oh, wait!  That’s amazing!  I better buy that before someone else snaps it up!  The struggle is real, y’all.

Okay, so don’t freak out on me, you guys, but I bought some At Home Christmas Decor in October.  We have so much going on in the next two months, that I decided to just get a jump on it when I had time.  I have never jumped into the holidays before Thanksgiving, but last year we had virtually no Christmas decorations in our home.  I think we put up a tree a few days before Christmas, and that was it since we were so busy.  As with everything I do, it’s either feast or famine.  I do it 100% or not at all.

So, I went ahead and decorated our master bedroom.

Master bedroom decorated for Christmas with items from At Home

GASP!  I know.  But it looks so fun!

Luckily, you don’t have to get started on your decorations right this minute, because At Home has a huge selection of holiday decorations – definitely the largest selection of any other retailer in my area.  And even better, they make it so easy to put together a great holiday room or beautiful tree on a small budget.  They have 15 different themes of decorations, like Snow Capped Scene, Forest Fairytales, and Cherished Memories.  You can pick one theme and go wild, or you can mix and match.  Many of the themes are shown here.

How to Bend PVC Pipe

How to Build PVC Pipe

Have you ever needed to bend a length of PVC pipe for a project?  PVC is such a great, light-weight building component for structures and costumes, but the sharp angles and straight lines leave a lot to be desired.

Today, Tom is going to show us how to do with with the help of our HomeRight Dual Temperature Heat Gun (affiliate).  We use this heat gun for all sorts of projects around here, but using it to bend PVC was a new one for me.  I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to bend PVC pipe, but this is how he does it.

Tom is building Zack’s Halloween costume (he goes ridiculously all out for Halloween!), and he needed some nice curves in the PVC pipe.  Using heat resistant gloves, he turned the heat gun on the highest setting and warmed up the pipe, trying to bend it as it heated.  Once the pipe was heated enough to become pliable, he curved it to the angle he wanted it to be.

How to Build PVC Pipe

“It’s Almost Halloween!!

As my kids keep reminding me, “It’s Almost Halloween!”  The six weeks leading up to Halloween always feel like an eternity, as the kids can’t wait to done their costumes and collect their candy.

Luckily for them, I love Halloween, too, and have worked to put together some tips and tricks for making it a great day.  Here are some Halloween-themed guides that I put together for Ebay:

Tips and Tricks for a Great Halloween

Trick-or-Treat Tips to Support Children with Food Allergies

Tips and Tricks for a Great Halloween

Spooky Thrift Store Halloween Figurines + a HomeRight Giveaway

As soon as the kids go back to school, my thoughts turn to fall.  The football.  The Halloween costumes.  The pumpkin spice everything.  But, because I live on the surface of the sun (aka Texas) where it’s still 100-degrees, it doesn’t even begin to feel like fall until most of you already have inches of snow on the ground.  So, I have to occupy myself with little fall-type projects while I sit in my air-conditioned house.

We’re getting ready to start teaching our DI kids some costume building skills so they can create their own Halloween costumes this year, so I have Halloween on the brain.   During a recent trip to Goodwill, I spotted these teddy bear figurines and a crazy idea came to mind.

Halloween Teddy Bear Figurines

I set up my HomeRight Spray Shelter so I could give these beauties a coat of paint in my garage.  It was one zillion times easier to set it up in the garage than it was in my bedroom (who knew?  Ha!).  I put down a drop cloth and then covered a little table since it’s easier to spray paint when your items are waist high.  You’ll notice that the drop cloth is smaller than the Spray Shelter footprint – we’ll talk about that in a minute.

Halloween Teddy Bear Figurines

How’s It Holding Up? + A $100 Gift Card Giveaway from Glidden

Over the course of the last six and a half (!!) years, I’ve completed my fair share of DIY projects.  Though my DIY background originated from little more than glue gun burns, I’ve learned over the years that using the proper products and tools make all the difference.

Today, I thought I would share with you three of my older projects and talk a little bit about how they have held up over the abuse that we dish out on them.  These particular projects were all coated with my favorite brand of interior paint, Glidden, so I’ll be able to discuss how the paint has held up over the years.

Stripped Wall in Playroom

In 2012, I transformed our playroom from a boring beige space into a colorful area with vintage appeal.  One of my favorite parts of the redecorating was the turquoise and white horizontal stripe that I painted on two of the walls.

Modern Vintage Inspired Playroom | Makely School for Girls

A lot of homeowners are nervous to paint their walls bright white for fear of scuffs, handprints, and general paint damage from every day use.  However, I’m happy to point out that this is not the case for the this particular formula of paint (Glidden Premium Interior – flat sheen ).  Even though our walls do get dirty, they are easy to clean.

Back to School with Office Depot

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Office Depot. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ready or not, the new school year is right around the corner!  My kids have just a few more weeks before they start 4th grade (Zack) and Kindergarten (Emma).  Ack!  And Woot!

That means that it’s time to for back to school shopping.  Luckily, my kids’ school offers a “school supply box,” where you prepay to have all of their required school supplies delivered directly to the classroom.  But, that box only covers the school district’s requirements.  I still have to gather the other necessities that the kids need for school, like backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, and supplies to have on hand for homework.

This year, I turned to Office Depot for our back to school shopping.  It’s one of my favorite stores ever.  I mean, what kid’s favorite store is Office Depot?  Yep, it was mine…and the love affair has continued well into adulthood.

Instead of the craziness of a big box store, we headed to Office Depot one afternoon so that the kids could pick out some back to school items – a few things they wanted and a few things I knew they needed.

Their first stop was the puzzle erasers, which is a big favorite in our house.  They both selected a package of macaron erasers and pizza erasers.  Zack also grabbed a package of shark pencil grips, so of course, Emma had to have some, too.  Luckily, all of those items were only $1 each, so I felt like I could say “yes!” to all of their wants.

Next, we headed to the lunch aisle, because I needed them to pick out lunch containers to put into their lunch boxes.  They went with the Sistema Lunch to Go, because it has a place for a sandwich and then divided containers for fruits and vegetables.  I made them pick the same color, so that it would make my mornings much easier.  I’ve been known to accidentally pack Zack’s lunch in Emma’s pink lunch bag.  Oops!

Speaking of easy mornings, I couldn’t leave Office Depot without a box of my beloved Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla K-Cups.  Let’s be honest, back to school after a lazy summer means Mama will need A LOT of coffee!